Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks Gameweek 37
Welcome to Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks Gameweek 37. Spare a thought for DGW37 outcasts Bournemouth, Burnley, Palace, Everton, Hull, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Stoke, Swansea and West Ham; wandering around the wilderness futilely in search of a second helping, like acne-ridden flotsam cast into the social void, while the other half lives it up in shared accommodation with their fine-dining and beautiful spouses. Those with their single games are not welcome in these parts.
This is ‘Wife Swap’ on steroids.
In this week’s episode…
ALEXIS SANCHEZ – Stoke City (A), Sunderland (H)
Mark Hughes had done much to improve his stock in Premier League management, with Stoke heading for a top-half finish after a creditable draw at Man City in March. Since then however, their form has dipped markedly and he will now be relieved their 41 points keeps them safe for another year. It’s clear then which team should be the most motivated when Arsenal line-up against the Potters.
Conversely, Sunderland’s victory at Hull showed just what a team can do when there’s nothing but pride at stake. Moyes’ men will arrive at the Emirates keen to upset the odds once again, but it would take a brave man to bet against a certain Chilean pouring more salt onto Tyne-and-Wear wounds.
HARRY KANE – Manchester United (H), Leicester City (A)
Unless you have Man Utd players of course. Mourinho appears to believe that a 5 point gap to Liverpool with a game in hand is somehow insurmountable and thus will continue to shuffle his deck like a croupier being tasered. With such erratic selections in mind, Kane could be up against a disjointed and unfamiliar defence.
The King Power Stadium will be a tough proposition for the Lilywhites, and both teams may struggle to raise their game in what could well be a dead rubber. This would be an ideal time for Pochettino to give fringe players a run out, though Harry Kane will surely insist on game time as he seeks to overhaul the 3 goal gap between himself and top-scorer Romelu Lukaku.
EDEN HAZARD – West Bromwich Albion (A), Watford (H)
Even though the title may be settled by the time Watford trudge in, this will be the Blues’ trophy-waving victory lap in front of their own fans. Expect a Harlem Globetrotters-esque showboating extravaganza, with Conte perhaps choosing GW38’s finale against Sunderland to experiment.
As for Hazard himself, there’s little that his 15 goals and 9 assists don’t already say on his behalf. He has 3 games to get the 24 points he needs to overtake his personal FPL record of 233, achieved in the year he was crowned Player of the Year. Curiously, while 11 of his goals have come at Stamford Bridge, most of his assists have come away, so he should have something for everyone this week.
DIEGO COSTA – West Bromwich Albion (A), Watford (H)
Performance-wise, the Far East distractions that surfaced in January clearly put Costa off his stride for a while, but he’s looked focused again during Chelsea’s title run-in. “I am the owner of my future”, says the Spanish International, quite rightly asserting his sovereignty, and who knows where that future will be? However, the owners of his FPL strawman couldn’t care less right now and will be expecting exceptional returns in his next two fixtures.
In recent weeks Costa has favoured picking off the weaker opposition, scoring decent points hauls against Bournemouth (8), Southampton (16), and Middlesbrough (6), while blanking against the likes of Man City, Man Utd and Everton. With games against West Brom and Watford looming, and noting that both opponents allowed him to score in the reverse fixtures, owners may wish to put their bibs on now in anticipation of a feast.
KEVIN DE BRUYNE – Leicester City (H), West Bromwich Albion (H)
Even while the pack has shuffled around him, KDB has been largely a mainstay in Pep’s new world order, missing only two games all season. Taking this into account, a return of 5 goals seems relatively meagre until you realise he’s hit the woodwork 9 times. But this guy is a latter-day Robin Hood, unselfishly giving to others on an astonishing 15 occasions. The Belgian has more assists than at a Freemason lodge circle-jerk.
The visits of Leicester and West Brom are covered fully in an unhelpful critique below (spoiler), but suffice to say Kev will be expecting 2 victories as City continue their pursuit of Champions League football, in a league that is already almost bereft of teams that actually still give a toss about what happens between now and the end of the season. In this respect Manchester City are a beacon of hope for FPL fans.
GABRIEL JESUS – Leicester City (H), West Bromwich Albion (H)
Since Sergio Aguero tweaked his groin at the Riverside Stadium, demand for Kun’s 20-year-old Brazilian heir has reached almost biblical proportions. With 65k transfers in so far this week, and an ownership percentage rising seemingly by the hour, having Jesus at the top of this captain pile is probably preaching to the converted. Two full games into his second coming and he’s already amassed a goal and an assist, bringing his full repertoire to 4 goals and 2 assists in 4 starts for the Citizens.
The first of two home games sees a tale of two cities as the rejuvenated Foxes come to the Etihad. Craig Shakespeare has been a revelation for Leicester in the wake of (allegedly) ousting Ranieri. Such a betrayal, if true, would put him up there with Marcus Brutus and Judas Iscariot, so watch out Jesus. Tony Pulis doesn’t evoke such obvious literary connotations, though after those 5 games without scoring, ’50 Shades of Grey’ came to mind.
The Baggies shocked the footballing world with a double against Burnley last weekend, so who knows what goal-fest awaits us in the second of Man City’s double-bill. The smart money is on it being one-sided target practice, but don’t take that as gospel, it’s not necessarily a nailed on win, Jesus isn’t good on crosses, he’s just a very….. (Editor opens trapdoor)
Thanks for reading Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks Gameweek 37. This article was written by Bry Cooper
The Fixture Tracker in full…