FPL Gameweek 31: Declan Rice, Mohamed Salah and five transfer tips for players to sign this week

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Fantasy Premier League managers must be prepared for a swift turnaround, with the deadline for the new gameweek coming at 6pm BST on Tuesday.

After some tricky ties to contend with this past weekend, the Premier League fixture list looks a little easier to judge this midweek round - but FPL bosses still need to juggle resources with another batch of games at the weekend.

Here are our tips for transfers ahead of gameweek 31.

David Datro Fofana - striker, Burnley, 5.0m

Having been ineligible for the weekend draw with his parent club, Fofana is sure to return for the Clarets as they look to mount an unlikely survival bid - he’s played almost every minute of the previous six league games, scored in both his last two appearances and has tallied eight shots across his last three.

As an in-form man for a team who are desperate for goals, he’s the one to lean on as Burnley look to extend a three-game unbeaten run...and the fixtures suggest it’s possible. Home to Wolves is a big game for them, but Fofana could also impact beyond that as they face Everton and a leaky Brighton defence in the coming weeks.

Declan Rice - midfielder, Arsenal, 5.5m

It was a quiet outing for Rice against Man City, as might be expected, but a clean sheet meant three points all the same - keeping his 30-day points average at a very impressive 6.7 per game. He’s eclipsed that twice in the last three, while the last time he went two league games without a goal or assist was back on GW 23.

Adding set pieces to his regular contributions has been a big factor there and he’s likely to be let back off the leash by Mikel Arteta at home to Luton Town. The Gunners almost dropped points in the reverse fixture before Rice popped up with a late winner; don’t bet against him repeating the trick at the Emirates.

Mohamed Salah - midfielder, Liverpool, 13.3m

We know what you’re thinking: everybody already has him! Except, they don’t, not at this point. Africa Cup of Nations duty, a hamstring injury and a tricky run of games means ownership of the Liverpool star is down to under a third of all teams, making him (almost) a surprise differential pick.

He’s expensive, but for good reason - even with those aforementioned absences, only three players have more points than him this season. Salah scored once at the weekend but took a monstrous 12 shots; while the finishing touch wasn’t there, it rarely deserts him for long. A more favourable upcoming run of games starts against Sheffield United at Anfield.

Alexander Isak - forward, Newcastle, 7.7m

Sometimes you just have to follow the goals, especially when a high-class forward is in good form. Newcastle don’t have much wiggle room for rotation at this point in several positions due to injuries, which has seen Isak put together back-to-back league 90 minutes for just the third time this term.

In those two games he scored three and assisted one and it’s five goal contributions in the last three games in total. Home to Everton is a good chance to increase that total, with Fulham away to follow. Newcastle still just about harbour European ambitions and Isak staying in form will be key to that.

Illia Zabarnyi - defender, Bournemouth, 4.5m

Finally, we’re going for a player with the potential for back-to-back clean sheets at a relatively low cost. Bournemouth are back in form, unbeaten in four and pushing in towards mid-table as a result. Illia Zabarnyi has been a strong performer all season for them but is even more key now with centre-back partner Marcos Senesi missing through injury.

The big appeal here though is facing Palace at home then Luton away; both teams have only scored more than once on one occasion in their last four fixtures, and with Bournemouth playing somewhat better of late - and picking up a clean sheet against Burnley recently - there’s definitely scope for another shut-out. Could be cheap points to make funds for one of the more expensive signings above!