Budget Enablers in FPL: Blank Gameweek 28

This weekly article profiles budget FPL players that you may wish to consider for selection in your squads when looking to enable funds to be spent elsewhere in your team.

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Defender – Jan Bednarek (£4.4m) vs West Ham United (A)

With three clean sheets in his last six starts, the Pole is the joint-cheapest asset in the Saints’ backline in good defensive form, particularly at home. He only has one goal to date this season so clean sheets are his best source of points.

If we take out Southampton’s game against Arsenal in Gameweek 31, which is likely to be postponed, then all four of their next league opponents sit in the division’s bottom five for xG across the past three league matches.

Bednarek therefore makes a great replacement for those defenders blanking this gameweek or as a replacement for the dropped Martin Kelly and Diego Rico.

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Midfielder – Dwight McNeil (£6m) vs Newcastle United (A)

With just two goals and six assists to date this season, McNeil’s form has been quietly bubbling away beneath the surface but that could be set to boil over with his Burnley team handily facing no blank gamweeks for the rest of the season. He is only owned by 0.1% of the top 10k in FPL so he is a tasty differential.

In addition to his goal and assist against Bournemouth, the set-piece taker also hit the post and was unlucky to not be awarded another assist for a penalty against the Cherries for a defensive handball.

Over the last four weeks, the English winger has had ten attempted assists, which makes him the most creative of the budget midfielders with a fixture this gameweek. The Magpies are second only to Aston Villa for the highest amount of xGA (7.25) across the past three games in the league.

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Midfielder –  Moussa Djenepo (£5.2m) vs West Ham United (A)

The left winger has had an injury disrupted spell in his first season in the Premier League but has shown glimpses of his big potential despite recording just two goals and assists each to date.

The Malian was the biggest underperformer amongst midfielders for xG (0.49) in Gameweek 27, in a game where 67% of his leading total of nine attempted dribbles were successful. West Ham have problems at right-back right now with Ryan Fredericks sidelined so Djenepo will look to exploit that.

If we take out Southampton’s game against Arsenal in Gameweek 31, which is likely to be postponed, then all four of their next league opponents sit in the division’s top seven for highest amount of xGA across the past three fixtures.

* It was revealed after publication that Djenepo’s mother sadly passed away this week, which means he is now a doubt for this weekend.

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