Should you pick him for FPL Gameweek 35?

Most Chelsea fans reasonably feared the worst when Cole Palmer was ruled out of their London derby against Arsenal in midweek.

An eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions had already been broken by their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City, but Mauricio Pochettino's side were then beaten beyond recognition at the Emirates Stadium, conceding four goals in the second half. in a 5-0 defeat.

There was little desire or spirit from the visiting Blues, who were without their star summer signing who has scored 20 of their 61 Premier League goals so far this season. Chelsea return to action on Saturday night, but will Palmer be fit enough to take part?

Here's what we know so far about Palmer's fitness ahead of FPL Gameweek 35.

After playing at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final defeat against his former club Man CityPalmer was then deemed unlikely to play in midweek after emerged he suffered from illness and was unable to train.

He was joined on the sidelines by injured Ben Chilwell and Malo Gusto, adding to an already huge list of absentees which includes Wesley Fofana, Romeo Lavia, Christopher Nkunku and Reece James among others.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday before Arsenal's defeat, Pochettino said: “We will see tomorrow, we have to evaluate tomorrow morning. But today I don't believe he can be involved, but we have to evaluate it tomorrow and then we will decide.

“If he is fine tomorrow, maybe he is not fit to play. I hope he recovers from this situation and can return to the team as soon as possible.”

Cole Palmer

Palmer expected to return this weekend / Visionhaus/GettyImages

In good news for Chelsea fans, manager Pochettino revealed during Friday's press conference that he expects Palmer to return to the matchday squad for Saturday's trip to Aston Villa, continuing to the Champions League.

He revealed: “We assume that he [Palmer] will be available and part of the team, yes.

“Cole is a very good player for us, a key player for us and he shows we are struggling a bit without him.”

Following the heavy defeat to Arsenal, the former Tottenham boss refused to claim his side's defeat to the Gunners was down to Palmer's absence.

He added: “We can't say that's the reason why we are losing the game, but we are losing a player who is a creative player who helps connect the team. We are losing players and that has made it very difficult to manage. But I think that today, more than that, it was difficult to be in the match.

“Where Arsenal are, that's where we need to be as well. We're talking too much this season and all the information we're getting now is that we want to be in a different position next season.”

Michael Olise, Mercy of the King

Eze and Olise – Are in great shape / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Palmer is the most successful midfielder in Fantasy Premier League this season with 208 points, only Ollie Watkins achieving more with his 217.

The England international began the 2023/24 campaign priced at just £5 million, but his stellar performances mean that has since risen to £6.2 million. It's still a good deal, but there are some interesting options to consider if the daunting trip to Villa Park convinces you to look elsewhere.

Eberechi Eze (£6.1m) has managed two double-figure goals in his last three outings for Crystal Palace, registering two goals and an assist against Liverpool and West Ham. It's also hard to ignore teammate Michael Olise (£5.6m), who also helped the Eagles win three games on the trot. Upcoming matches with Fulham and Manchester United should be packed with goals, making the duo attractive targets for the weekend.

Leandro Trossard (£6.5m) scored two goals in two games in Gameweek 34 against Wolves and Chelsea, but whether he will get another start at Tottenham is up in the air.


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