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Fantasy Premier League preview for Gameweek 24

A week after Liverpool's thrilling 4-3 win over Manchester City, we face a weekend without a clash of Premier League superpowers. All the big clubs will be heavy favorites, which could lead to a high-scoring slate.

Here are the top 10 things you need to know heading into Gameweek 24, from a fantasy perspective:

Firing blanks: The early game on Saturday is Brighton vs. Chelsea (7:30 a.m. ET), and if your Fantasy Premier League team features Chelsea attackers, you're probably pretty frustrated right now. They are coming off a third straight scoreless draw at home against Leicester City last week, with Eden Hazard being removed in the 58th minute. And Alvaro Morata failed to score a goal for the third league game in a row, and for the seventh time in the past eight games.

Morata definitely won't score on Saturday -- he's suspended for the game, thanks to his two yellow cards in Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Norwich City in an FA Cup replay on Wednesday (Chelsea advanced via penalty kicks). As for Hazard, he has just one goal and one assist in the past eight league games.

The Chelsea players you want right now are defenders. The two nailed-on starters are Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta, who also happen to be the top two in FPL points among defenders this season. But they're also the two most expensive defenders in the game. Alonso was rested for the Norwich City match, but Azpilicueta played the entire 129 minutes (including extra time).

Posting blanks: Speaking of defense, Manchester United have found their groove again at the back, with clean sheets in three straight games -- the latest coming in a 3-0 home victory over Stoke City on Monday. They certainly could get another one at Burnley on Saturday (10 a.m. ET) -- the Clarets have only scored 19 goals in 23 games, tied for fourth-worst in the league.

Antonio Valencia returned from injury and scored his third goal of the season against Stoke. He's fourth among all defenders with 109 FPL points, but is the third-most expensive defender at 6.7 million pounds. A much cheaper option is Chris Smalling (5.3 million), who returned to the starting lineup against Stoke and figures to stay there for the time being alongside Phil Jones (5.7 million).

Paul Pogba has delivered double-digit FPL points in the past two weeks, thanks to two assists in each game. And his current price tag, 8.0 million pounds, is reasonable. But he hasn't scored a goal since Gameweek 12, and his two other goals came in the first two games of the season. I'd like to see him be more of a goal threat before adding him to my squad.

Sinking ship: Arsenal are coming off a 2-1 loss at Bournemouth last week, and will probably be without Alexis Sanchez on Saturday when they host Crystal Palace (10 a.m. ET). Sanchez was left out of the squad at Bournemouth and has likely played his last game for the club, with a move to Manchester United appearing likely.

On the bright side, manager Arsene Wenger said Thursday that he expects defenders Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal to return to the lineup this week, and Mesut Ozil could return as well. Monreal is tied for ninth among all defenders with 85 FPL points, despite missing the past four games, and will only cost you 5.6 million pounds.

Aaron Ramsey returned to action against Bournemouth, playing 16 minutes off the bench - he performed well earlier this season, but I wouldn't rush to add him back to my squad, given the turmoil they're going through. And Sead Kolasinac didn't get off the bench, again, last week -- he's still on 7.3 percent of FPL squads, but I'd ditch him if I had him.

Unfamiliar territory: How will Manchester City respond to their first defeat of the season? Probably pretty well, given that they host Newcastle in the late game on Saturday (12:30 p.m. ET).

In case you missed it amidst all the goals flying in at Anfield last week, David Silva was a non-used substitute in that game, and has now played in just two of Man City's past six league games (and he didn't have a goal or an assist in either of those games). He's still on 9.1 percent of FPL rosters, but is clearly too much of a risk right now.

Fabian Delph had to leave the Liverpool game in the first half due to a knee injury, and was replaced by Danilo. If Delph is out for an extended period, Danilo will probably get a run of games. And at 5.0 million pounds, he would be a very cheap route into the Man City defense.

Back in the groove: Harry Kane atoned for his disappointing double gameweek by delivering another brace in Spurs' 4-0 win over Everton last week. He now has a league-high 20 goals on the season, and could certainly deliver more at Southampton on Sunday (11 a.m. ET).

Christian Eriksen scored a goal against Everton, and Dele Alli had an assist. But the real star (besides Kane) was Heung-Min Son, who had a goal and an assist, and hit the woodwork. Son is up to eight goals and five assists on the season, with six of those goals and all five assists coming since Gameweek 15. And he'll only cost you 8.2 million pounds.

One note of caution: after this week, Spurs will face Manchester United (home), Liverpool (away) and Arsenal (home). You may want to wait at least until after the Man United game to add any more Spurs players.

Who needs Coutinho? Liverpool made quite a statement last week, and their front three delivered in a big way. Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino each had a goal and an assist, and Sadio Mane scored a goal as well. And they'll be licking their chops at Swansea City on Monday (3 p.m. ET).

The FA probe into Firmino's clash with Everton's Mason Holgate still hasn't been resolved, which continues to make me a little nervous about adding Firmino. But there's no arguing with his production -- 10 goals and six assists on the season, including five goals and three assists in the past six weeks. Firmino's now the second-ranked forward with 117 FPL points, behind only Kane, and he'll only cost you 9.2 million pounds.

Salah and Mane are excellent options, too - particularly Salah, of course, who remains the overall leader with 179 FPL points. But also keep an eye on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who had a goal and an assist against Man City, too. If he starts regularly in the place of Philippe Coutinho, the Ox could be a steal at 5.6 million pounds.

More Merseyside talk: Everton manager Sam Allardyce put new forward Cenk Tosun straight into the starting lineup last week. But they didn't manage a single shot on target in a 4-0 loss at Spurs.

Tosun replaced Dominic Calvert-Lewin, so it appears DCL's run as Everton's starting striker is indeed up. He's still on 10.0 percent of FPL rosters, but it's time for those folks to find another budget forward (see below).

Everton added another attacking player this week in Theo Walcott, who comes over from Arsenal. I wouldn't be surprised if Walcott goes straight into the starting lineup, too, at home against West Brom (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET). But I'd hold off on adding him or anyone else from Everton right now. It remains to be seen how Allardyce will rejigger his lineup, and after the lopsided defeat last week he talked about going back to the drawing board and playing more conservatively -- not exactly what FPL players want to hear.

Double whammy: West Ham, on the other hand, are coming off a 4-1 win over Huddersfield Town last weekend, with Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini both having huge games. Lanzini scored two goals, and Arnautovic chipped in a goal and two assists.

The Hammers host Bournemouth on Saturday (10 a.m. ET), who are coming off an embarrassing 3-0 loss to League One side Wigan in an FA Cup replay on Wednesday. And their next three opponents are Crystal Palace (home), Brighton (away) and Watford (home) -- pretty darn attractive.

Arnautovic (7.0 million pounds) is playing at center forward a lot under new manager David Moyes and looks like a different player, with all six of his goals this season coming since Gameweek 16. He was also rested for West Ham's 1-0 extra-time win over Shrewsbury Town in an FA Cup replay on Tuesday, only coming on in the 69th minute.

Lanzini is slightly cheaper (6.8 million pounds), but played all 128 minutes against Shrewsbury. And Arnautovic's the better choice, anyway.

Under the radar: If you need to replace Calvert-Lewin, or are just looking for a cheap forward, Jordan Ayew appears to be your best bet right now. He scored Swansea City's goal in their 1-1 draw at Newcastle last week, and scored another goal in their 2-1 FA Cup replay win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday.

Ayew has scored a goal in three of Swansea's past five league games, and he's even cheaper than Calvert-Lewin at 5.1 million pounds.

Swansea's next two opponents are tough -- Liverpool and Arsenal -- although both games are at home. But then Swansea have six straight games against non-"Big Six" competition.

New boss: Paul Lambert will take charge of Stoke City for the first time when they host Huddersfield Town on Saturday (10 a.m. ET). So make sure you take a look at Lambert's first lineup, and how the team performs.

As bad as Stoke have played of late, their upcoming fixtures are extremely enticing. After Huddersfield, their next five games are against Watford (home), Bournemouth (away), Brighton (home), Leicester (away), and Southampton (home).

Maybe Xherdan Shaqiri will have an Arnautovic-like resurgence under Lambert? Maybe Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will get to play up top again, making him more of a goal threat? But don't you dare think about a Stoke defender -- they've given up 50 goals in 23 games, eight more than any other team in the league. And that probably won't be a quick fix.