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Fantasy football tips: Time to shake things up with four weeks to go?

Gabriel Jesus is the player who has been signed more than any other in the run-up to the gameweek 35 deadline so far.

That may well be a case of closing the stable door once the horse has bolted but getting on the right Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea assets at the right time and nailing your captaincy choices in the last four weeks of the season will send you shooting up the rankings.

Those player selections are probably easiest with the Liverpool line-up, the obvious choices being Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Mohamed Salah and there seems little chance of rotation with the title and the quadruple still on the line.

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If you’re looking for the differential in that Liverpool team then I really like Luis Diaz at £7.9m who looked absolutely lethal against Villarreal again on Wednesday night.

He’s only started one of the past four Premier League games but he seems to be on the teamsheet in the most important games and they only get more important from here on in.

Even if he is coming off the bench, he is still likely to contribute as he did against Everton on Sunday and I’d expect quite a few fantasy points from him in the last four gameweeks of the season.

Remarkably Kevin de Bruyne remains a differential, owned by under 10% of managers, but lots of us are now trying to find a way to get him into our teams off the back of 56 points in his past six appearances and confirmation of Manchester City’s double gameweek 36 with their trip to Wolves added to a home game against Newcastle.

The difficulty is that he costs £11.9m which makes it tricky to fit him in, particularly if, like me, you own Salah and Harry Kane.

Phil Foden costs £3.1m less than his teammate and is the first one I would turn to if you can’t make the budget work to get De Bruyne. Raheem Sterling (£10.5m) could be a good pick for this gameweek having not made the starting line-up against Real Madrid and I’ve also got a feeling that Ilkay Gundogan (£7.1m) might start and get himself some attacking returns away at Leeds.

Kevin de Bruyne & Phil Foden
Kevin de Bruyne has bagged more goals than assists this season, but is the slightly cheaper Phil Foden a better option?

Your safest bets with City players for the run-in are in defence though and I would go for Joao Cancelo, Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias in that order.

Chelsea are a little harder to predict as they’re no longer in the title race and their top-four place is almost secure, but they’ve got some nice looking fixtures to come, finishing with home games against Leicester and Watford in gameweeks 37 and 38.

You would imagine Thomas Tuchel will rest some of his key men though for their trip to Leeds in gameweek 36 which comes three days before the FA Cup final, so that might only make it a single gameweek for the likes of Reece James, Marcos Alonso, Mason Mount or Kai Havertz.

Aston Villa assets will also be popular this week – the likes of Matty Cash, Philippe Coutinho, Jacob Ramsey and Ollie Watkins – before their home fixture against Norwich and back-to-back double gameweeks, but I wouldn’t overload on them.

Their recent form hasn’t been convincing, and I think the fixtures are trickier than they look and they finish the season away at Manchester City in gameweek 38.

Finally there’s plenty of debate in the fantasy football community about whether to sell Son Heung-min or Harry Kane after Tottenham failed to manage a shot on target in their last two games against Brentford and Brighton.

We had the debate ourselves on the latest Fantasy 606 podcast and all agreed that this week’s home game against Leicester provides an opportunity to get back on track with Brendan Rodgers expected to rotate his team in between the two legs of their European semi-final.

Where we differed was Chris Sutton and I believe the gameweek 36 double against Liverpool and Arsenal could suit Tottenham playing on the counter-attack, Statman Dave doesn’t have the faith though and went for Richarlison on his wildcard instead. He says he’s then going to come back for the Tottenham pair for their last two fixtures against Burnley and Norwich.

Selling Son or Kane could be your way to get to De Bruyne but personally I’m planning to stick with Kane and I’m going for Phil Foden instead.

Alistair Bruce-Ball presents the Fantasy 606 podcast alongside former Premier League winner Chris Sutton and Statman Dave. The latest episode previewing gameweek 35 is available now on the BBC Sounds app.

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