Aston Villa only team with two fixtures in Gameweek 34 but Dream Team bosses should look further ahead

EVER since the English clubs were eliminated from the Champions League and Europa League, Aston Villa’s stock has risen among Dream Team managers.

As the only Premier League side still active in Europe, the Villains have experienced a surge in popularity.

The first leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final with Olympiacos means they’re among just three teams with two fixtures to fulfil this current Gameweek, with Thursday night’s game following on from their 2-2 draw with Chelsea at the weekend.

And Unai Emery’s troops are the only team facing a double header in Gameweek 34 in the form of back-to-back away days to Brighton and Olympiacos.

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Dream TeamIt’s all eyes on Aston Villa in Gameweek 34[/caption]

It’s rare that one team has an additional fixture over all their top flight rivals and so Dream Team bosses will naturally be interested in Villa assets ahead of Friday night’s deadline.

For the second week in a row, Ollie Watkins (£5m) is among the most-popular recruits and with good reason.

The England international has massed 295 points at an average of 6.4 per game this season via 23 goals and 17 assists.

His current ownership of 37% makes him the fifth most-popular player in the game but it could be argued he deserves to be among the top three given his form and schedule.

After Watkins, it’s not all that clear which Villa players are best placed to take advantage of the extra fixture in Gameweek 34 and beyond.

Emi Martinez (£3.1m) picked up an injury last time out and the World Cup winner is expected to be miss this weekend’s game against the Seagulls at the very least – he is suspended for the first leg against the Greek giants regardless.

GettyA must-have asset for the remainder of the season?[/caption]

Leon Bailey (£3.7m) and Moussa Diaby (£3.1m) are tempting options but both have been the subject of many substitutions this season.

Douglas Luiz (£3.8m) and John McGinn (£3.9m) are guaranteed more minutes but don’t provide quite the same level of attacking threat – although the former is on penalties.

Ezri Konsa (£3.5m) is seemingly the best option from the defenders as he is among the top bonus point earners in the game with 52 – the three players above him in this metric are all midfielders.

The other thing for gaffers to consider is that Villa aren’t among the six clubs with two fixtures to fulfil in Gameweek 35; that sextet being Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle, Chelsea, Brighton and Spurs.

Those keen on squeezing the schedule could recruit Villa players for Gameweek 34 and then replace them with busier assets ahead of Gameweek 35.

ReutersIt’s hard to know which Villa players will capitalise this month[/caption]

However, others will have to choose between Gameweeks 34 and 35 when targeting the midweek fixture(s).

Alternatively, some will choose to tailor this week’s transfers to Gameweek 35 as well as next week’s batch, with a view to making the most of the six double headers.

Helpfully, gaffers should be able to get a read on Villa’s prospects in Greece when they face Olympiacos at Villa Park this week.

If Thursday night’s game is a favourable match-up that yields plentiful points then that will reinforce the idea that Watkins and company are smart selections for the upcoming double header, especially with Brighton’s form falling off a cliff.

And of course, if Emery’s men progress to the final of the Europa Conference League then they’ll have a fixture in Gameweek 37 – which currently features just the FA Cup final between the Manchester clubs.

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