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Fixture Focus: Should we invest in Aston Villa assets?

Aston Villa assets were sold before the problems of Spurs and then Blank Gameweek 33. Fixtures are about to pick up though, with two doubles.

A combination of losing four successive matches and being without a match in Gameweek 33 led to almost one million Philippe Coutinho FPL sales over the past fortnight. Popular assets like Matty Cash and Jacob Ramsey also made way, with Villa playing like they were on the beach.

Yet the recent rearranging of previously-postponed matches will bring a double-double to Steven Gerrard’s side. With nothing to play for during the final weeks, FPL managers may opt to stay away from them. But it sometimes has the opposite effect, removing the shackles and pressure from players.

Aston Villa form

Recent results tend to come in frustrating patches. Two defeats without scoring, followed by three wins without conceding. Although European football was never a realistic target upon Gerrard’s arrival, Aston Villa’s season is seemingly drifting.

Aston Villa fixtures

As seen in Sunday’s Longview piece, Villa have risen considerably in the fixture rankings according to Fantasy Football Scout’s Fixture Ticker.

The algorithm didn’t like them being one of three sides to not play in Gameweek 33 whilst seven appeared twice. However, their three home outings against Norwich, Crystal Palace and Burnley offer great potential. Even a trip to Leicester can bring points, as the Foxes’ European adventure means they participate in each weekend and midweek until the season ends.

It’d be best advised to ditch Villa assets for the final day but that is many deadlines away. Those using a Gameweek 34 Wildcard can plan for this in advance.

FPL assets

Coutinho made his debut in Gameweek 22 yet had already reached two million squads by Gameweek 28. In fact, the three preceding rounds had brought a trio of blanks. The Barcelona loanee scored in both Double Gameweek 28 matches but nothing in the four since, hence his ownership halving.

Despite this, of all midfielders under £11m, none have taken more shots than Coutinho (31) during his time at Villa Park.

Many managers will like the Bench Boost potential that comes with bargain midfielder Ramsey. Priced at just £4.7m, he matches Coutinho’s four goals since Gameweek 22 and has an expected goal involvement (xGI) that isn’t much worse (3.79 vs 5.00). Around 40% of the top 10k still have a Bench Boost to activate, so Ramsey offers goal threat at a tiny price that allows more funds to strengthen the other 14 spots.

Philippe Coutinho stole the show on Aston Villa debut but Jacob Ramsey was  the architect of Man Utd's demise

Attacking full-backs Cash and Lucas Digne could also be explored, although the France international seems destined to always disappoint his owners. Only Joao Cancelo and Andrew Robertson have more penalty area touches than Cash, who provided two goals, two assists, three clean sheets and 43 points during Villa’s aforementioned three successive wins.

Up front, Ollie Watkins is the game’s seventh top-scoring forward. He’s perhaps been a letdown in previous instances but – considering the lack of good FPL strikers – could build upon his three goals from the last seven appearances.

Community chatter

FPL Corf has noticed the easiness of moving from a Newcastle forward to Watkins.

Meanwhile, Sam has noticed the four recent price drops of Coutinho.

Fantasy Football Community