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West Ham’s schedule makes Jarrod Bowen viable option for Dream Team bosses in April

With England having registered two wins at the start of their European Championship qualifying campaign, thoughts drift away from Gareth Southgate’s team selections and back towards the domestic season.

Club fixtures will come thick and fast once April in underway with the FA Cup semi-finals and a smattering of two-legged European knockout ties around some double game weeks in the Premier League.

Needless to say, Dream Team managers would be wise to ensure their XIs are full of players set for a busy month ahead if possible – a lot will be waiting for transfers to be refreshed in Game Week 29.

No doubt assets associated with the Manchester clubs will spring to mind first for the majority of gaffers.

The Red Devils are hopeful of adding the FA Cup to the Carabao Cup they won in February and at the time if writing, they are the bookies’ favourites to win the Europa League having made it to the quarter-finals.

While Pep Guardiola’s side are also present in the FA Cup semi-finals, they will be prioritising their Champions League clash with Bayern Munich in the last eight of the competition they are so desperate to win.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 18: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola during the Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final match between Manchester City and Burnley FC at Etihad Stadium on March 18, 2023 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)

Man City assets will be popular after the international break

But it would remiss to overlook West Ham when weighing up strategies for next month.

The Hammers are currently 18th in the table and are one of nine teams in what promises to be dramatic relegation dogfight.

It goes without saying that they have underperformed significantly as a collective this season but Jarrod Bowen (£3.9m) remains a viable option.

The 26-year-old took Dream Team by storm in 2021/22 and while he hasn’t been to match those heights, his tally of 107 points puts him among the top ten midfielders in the game at this juncture.

West Ham’s No20 has scored ten goals and provided four assists in all competitions, taking full advantage of some favourable match-ups in the Europa Conference League.

Preserving their top flight status will be the club’s primary objective as the current campaign draws to a close but they also have a two-legged European quarter-final against Gent to fulfil.

This tie with the Belgians means David Moyes’ side have a hectic schedule in April – they’re due to play nine games in the space of 27 days.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  Jarrod Bowen celebrates scoring West Ham's second goal during the UEFA Europa Conference League round of 16 leg two match between West Ham United and AEK Larnaca at London Stadium on March 16, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Bowen features in 6.2% of Dream Teams

During this time, Bowen will face Southampton, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace – three games West Ham will surely have to take at least five points from if they are to survive.

A busy schedule is only one of the reasons Dream Team gaffers should consider the England international.

Bowen has claimed six Star Man awards this season, a tally only bettered by four players: Kieran Trippier (£5.7m), Erling Haaland (£9.3m), Kevin De Bruyne (£7.7m) and Bruno Fernandes (£6.5m).

This is a very useful habit of the ex-Hull winger’s and one that could well place him among the top point scorers in April.

Such a tactic comes with risk, few West Ham season ticket holders would recommended backing any of their lads based on the team’s collective performances in recent months, but the stats suggest Bowen has risen above the mediocrity around him to a notable degree.