This article is part of our FPL Bargain Bin series.
It was hit-or-miss last weekend for the Bargain Bin. Marouane Fellaini capitalized on his new role and scored a goal in Manchester United's rout of Tottenham, Glenn Murray played in a match that saw his team score three goals, but he was unable to add to the tally. Aleksander Kolarov did not play in Manchester City's disappointing loss to Burnley, and it is easy to wonder if any defenders showed up for Sunderland in front of Costel Pantilimon.
This week there are some great matchups to take advantage of for your squad. Southampton, Tottenham, Arsenal, West Ham, and Manchester City will all be heavy favorites and with good reason. Both defensive and attacking options from these teams should be in consideration. Luckily these clubs provide some bargain options to exploit in good matchups and provide value that could match some of their more expensive counterparts.
It has been a rough 2015 for Adrian and West Ham. In 10 league matches since Jan. 1, West Ham has collected just one win and two clean sheets. Much of this can be attributed to the stretch of schedule they have recently played. Over their last seven matches, West Ham has played teams that currently sit fifth, fourth, sixth, seventh, 12th, first and third in the table. Their current form revealed they are not a contender for a European place as they showed early in the season. However, they are also not nearly a bottom-half of the table team as their current form would suggest. A visit from lowly Sunderland should help the Hammers get back on track. The Black Cats have the second-fewest shot attempts per road match this season and have scored just 11 goals in 14 away games.
Alderweireld and Southampton are great candidates for a clean sheet this weekend. The Saints' defense has played well all season and has been extra stingy at home. In 15 home matches this season, Southampton has allowed just 10 goals, tied for the second-fewest in the league. Much of this is because the Saints' defense does a great job of limiting their opponents scoring opportunities. Teams average just 8.5 shots per match in trips to St. Mary's Stadium this season, also the second-fewest in the league. Burnley is not a team to muster up much of an attack on the road and that should play right into Southampton's hands. Alderweireld returned to the starting XI in their last match and should remain there barring any kind of set back. This would be a great weekend to use the bargain defender.
Since Feb. 10, only four players collected at least five combined goals and assists: Harry Kane (4G, 1A), Olivier Giroud (4G, 1A), Sergio Aguero (3G, 2A) and Phillips (1G, 4A). That's pretty good company. Phillips has looked fantastic and busted out his version of the knuckle puck (a wonderful shot in hockey mastered by a young Keenan Thompson before making his way to Saturday Night Live) to score last weekend.
He should be able to add to his recent form as Everton come to town. Just three days before these teams meet, Everton will have played a match in Ukraine. The Toffees have played well over the weekend after they have travelled in Europe to play during the week. As poor as Everton has been in these situations, Queens Park Rangers have looked like a legitimate football club at home this season. This is a match that has QPR written all over it and Phillips will be a big part of that.
Since going on a run of six goals in six matches, Sakho has scored just three more times in his last 13 appearances. While that does not sound impressive, it has allowed his cost to remain low. Injures to Enner Valencia (toe) and Andy Carroll (knee) has put the spotlight on Sakho. In each of the last two home matches, he attempted seven shots. Numbers like that may not lead to goals against Chelsea, but they will certainly lead to goals against Sunderland. Look for Sakho to be one of the better fantasy options this weekend yet at a bargain cost.