This week's line-up offers a flexible approach to the doubles that will hopefully tick boxes for most managers.
I'm tempted to gamble on a 5-4-1, but as always, I'll wait until the pre-match press conferences are complete before finalising my plans—total cost: £102.2m.
FPL GW28 XI:
Jose Sa (£5.3m) - Predicted Points: 3.3
The Wolves stopper has the highest predicted points of any goalkeeper this round owing to his double game week and high probability of a clean sheet or two!
His work this season has been the saving grace of a Wolves side that have had mediocre defensive numbers, but in Sa, 5.8xG prevented, they have the best performing No.1 in the Premier League.
Wolves take on Palace and Watford at Molineux with odds of around 35 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively, to shut the visitors out.
The Hornets, in particular, have struggled in front of goal, scoring only twice in their previous seven games, although they will point to a win at Villa Park and a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford in their last two away fixtures.
- Ben Foster (£4.1m) – A cheap, starting placeholder.
Conor Coady (£4.8m) and Roman Saiss (£5.0m) - Predicted Points 4.5
The treble up on Wolves' defensive assets for the double game week looks much more appealing than their attacking players, who have been poor for the most part.
Only two teams – Burnley and Norwich – have scored fewer goals. For those not comfortable going all-in at the back with Wolves, admittedly, I'm not entirely satisfied with this approach; there is flexibility within this team to change the formation.
Trent Alexander Arnold (£8.5m) - Predicted Points: 3.5
The Reds have a high 38 per cent chance of keeping a clean sheet, while Trent always carries an attacking threat. There's not much that needs to be said about this seasons' highest scoring defender.
Joao Cancelo (£7.1m) - Predicted Points: 3.2
Manchester City are rated as having a 52 per cent chance of a clean sheet despite facing their bitter rivals this weekend.
The Portuguese star is almost on a par with Trent falling into that must-own category due to his attacking prowess. A goal or assist would come as no surprise against a United side struggling for consistency under Ralph Rangnick.
Digne (£5.1m) - Predicted Points: 2.3
A double means the Frenchman is only second to Romain Saiss for predicted points, although Villa have two tough fixtures.
Southampton are unbeaten in seven and high on confidence, while Leeds will be hoping for a bounce from their new manager Jesse Marsch.
Digne is renowned for his attacking returns, and GW28 places him third amongst defenders and eighth overall, while he has a massive 40 per cent chance of assisting in his two games.
Digne is on set pieces, and both opponents are ranked in the bottom four for dead-ball goals conceded.
Mo Salah (£13.1m) - Predicted Points: 5.7
The world's best player returns after a brief hiatus due to the Carabao Cup. The only real question: should he be your captain?!
Philippe Coutinho (£7.4m) - Predicted Points: 3.2
The double makes the Brazilian an extremely attractive prospect with the sixth-highest predicted points of the round. Coutinho has a 49 per cent chance of scoring, which contributes to his 69 per cent chance of any return.
Despite the fact there are others within the Villa side with better underlying numbers, see my Captaincy article, I am counting on his set-piece skills to bring home the points.
Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m) - Predicted Points: 3.9
I try not to overthink City assets, and I'm always happy to pay the premium for De Bruyne, given his high ceiling.
Yes, the last three-game weeks have been frustrating for owners, but the Belgian was rested midweek, and I'm expecting a big performance.
This game will be Ralph Rangnick's first against a top side, and United could be in for a rude awakening as they are nowhere near the level of their bitter rivals.
De Bruyne has the highest predicted points amongst City assets with a 31 per cent chance of a goal and a 61 per cent chance of a return.
James Ward-Prowse (£6.5m) - Predicted Points: 3.6
I have included the Saints star man for the second week running, and hopefully, my faith will be rewarded. Southampton are on a decent run scoring ten across their last six matches with the fifth-best xG in the league.
Ward-Prowse has been his consistent self with the fifth-highest chances created of all players, and with two nice fixtures, there should be lots of opportunities to bring attacking returns.
Moussa Sissoko (£4.4m) – A budget placeholder with a guaranteed start.
Allan Saint-Maximin (£6.8m) or Chris Wood (£6.7m) - Predicted Points 1.7 or 3.6
Rarely do I recommend a Newcastle player, let alone two in the same game week, but round 28 provides a great opportunity for the Magpies to continue their excellent run and move away from the relegation zone.
Eddie Howe has overseen a remarkable turnaround in fortunes with an impressive xG – seventh-best over the last six – built on a solid defensive foundation.
Saint-Maximin is the obvious choice here, but a recent calf injury casts doubt over his readiness to start, so Wood looks to be the safer option.
He offers set-piece threat, something which Southampton do not defend well, while Brighton have dipped of late and look certain to be without the influential Adam Webster once again.
Armando Broja (£5.5m) - Three consecutive blanks have not put me off. The striker is still producing good underlying data, and he showed midweek in the cup that his confidence is not affected by his recent lull. Over his last six matches, the Saints' top scorer still has the fifth highest shots in the box, which bodes well for his Top 8 predicted points and 67 per cent chance of a return.
Best FPL Tips For Gameweek 28:
FIRST PUBLISHED: 12th August 2021