Welcome to FPL Fixtures Analysis Gameweek 37. We’re finally at the point in the season where it doesn’t make sense for me to list out my top three picks for the coming rounds – with only two rounds left, and a host of DGW teams, that model that I’ve been typing out week after week probably isn’t going to cut it. So I’ve been told by the brass that I’m to write a single paragraph for each DGW team that will be featuring in GW37. I know, right? Just a single paragraph per team? From me? Challenge accepted.
As such, we won’t be going over the other half of the league that won’t be featuring twice in the coming round. So I’ll not have to bemoan the effort of Everton, nor the late surge from their bitter rivals. And I also get to not write about Middlesbrough, Hull and Swans and all of their latest maneuverings to try to stay in the league. This article is going full MLS: all DGWs, all day.
Arsenal – STK (A), SUN (H)
Really, say what you will about Arsenal (and you could say a lot, I’m sure), this is such an inviting double that it might make you want to maximize your Arsenal allotment going forward. Well, maybe. Arsenal did well to beat United over the last weekend, but United aren’t really playing with the same set of motivations as other teams. That win, though, put Arsenal into place to still challenge for Top 4 if somebody above them slips up. It sounds crazy, I know. But with their game in hand, they could still qualify for Champions League play if they win out and either Liverpool or City drop enough points in the rest of their matches. It’s a far fetched hope – but it at least gives the boys a bit of motivation to push on. Playing Stoke away could be tricky; even though Stoke are erratic, they have the ability for a surprise result every now and again. But getting to play Sunderland, already relegated, at home? That’s gold right there. All in all, assuming that Arsenal don’t rotate their players too badly for fixture congestion, they have an absolute peach of a DGW coming their way.
Chelsea – WBA (A), WAT (H)
On paper, this is maybe the easiest schedule of games that doesn’t involve Sunderland. But whereas Arsenal still might have a bit of motivation about them, where does Chelsea fit in after Tottenham dropped points against West Ham? *(Also keep in mind that this article was written prior to Chelsea playing against Middlesbrough for GW26, so they could be even further out ahead by the time this goes live)* I guess as long as there’s hope for Spurs, Chelsea will have to push on until the league title is mathematically clinched; but being honest, they won’t have to work that hard to seal the deal. Both West Brom and Watford have been largely awful in the second half of the season, and there’s really nothing to fear from them if you’re a team like Chelsea. Both of these teams have trouble scoring, and Watford have started another scoreless streak that doesn’t look close to snapping yet. This should be all Chelsea, all the way. The only worry for the fantasy player is the manner in which Chelsea decide to win. Will they play for the first goal and sit back and rest a bit, or do they still go out and really put their foot on the gas? Hard to say, but they’re still a best bet for me either way.
Leicester – MCI (A), TOT (H)
This is going to be a troubling spot for Leicester, no way around it. They’ve rattled off a couple of wins here recently going 1-0 over WBA and 3-0 over Watford, but these teams in their coming double are another class entirely. And let’s be honest, Leicester are safe now; they’re not going down this year, and they’ve got nothing more to play for other than pride. Maybe that’s enough, but ask Everton the same questions and look how they turn out. When a team doesn’t have a clear goal in mind, their form really can go either way. Unfortunately for Leicester, whether they play for pride or not, City and Spurs still have points to capture, and they’ll be coming for them with everything they’ve got. Facing these two teams back to back at any stage of the year isn’t an inviting prospect, but having to do it now with them being hyper-focused on closing out the year with the maximum amount of points possible? Not fun. DGW or not, avoid Leicester completely, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.
Man City – LEI (H), WBA (H)
Arsenal may be knocking on the door, but it’s probably nothing to worry about for City with this schedule they have. Continuing to play at home will only be a boost for them, and their competition just really isn’t up to snuff when it comes to matching the lineups side by side. It’s also a bit worrying for teams that Aguero is still out. When Aguero goes out, something snaps in that squad. Maybe they’re not worried about funneling the ball to the striker at all times. Maybe they feel a bit more free to play their natural games individually. Who knows? What we do know is that Aguero sat out with injury and the team hung 5 goals on Palace last weekend, and they looked dangerous from every angle. And if that sort of attack continues on, Leicester and West Brom really won’t have anything to say about the results one way or another. City should absolutely dominate these two teams from start to finish.
Man United – TOT (A), SOT (A)
Quite the inverse for United here as they play both of their fixtures on the road, and neither one looks to be as easy as United would like them to be. Don’t expect the same game from Spurs as you saw them play against West Ham (more on that later). I expect Spurs to come out and really put the screws to United, and I’m hardly alone in that view of the game. Southampton could prove tricky too (again, haven’t seen Southy play their final game of GW36 yet, but when they feel like it, they have enough to not be a pushover). Picking United players will come down to how much stock you put into their 2-0 loss against Arsenal over the weekend. Are the rotation and the injury problems just becoming too much? My thinking is starting to lean that way. United may not be the worst bet in the world for this double, but they’re hardly the odds on favourites to be the best of the lot either.
Southampton – MID (A), MUN (H)
As of the writing of this article, Southampton are coming off of back to back nil-nil draws (against Hull and Liverpool). And it’s amazing how vastly different the perception of that same scoreline can be depending on who they played against. When you see that they went away to Liverpool and held them scoreless, you start to think that this is a team that has a bit about them. But when you see that same scoreline against Hull, at home no less, you wonder if this team has any bite left in them at all. And the answer is that we really don’t know. This team has the goods to defend when needed. But their offence just hasn’t clicked back into place since Gabbiadini has come back into the lineup from injury. Prior to his injury, they seemed to be firing on all cylinders. Now? It just hasn’t bounced all the way back – but you always get the feeling that it could suddenly come together and be potent again. And maybe a game against Middlesbrough is just what they need. I think they have the defence to keep these two oppositions at bay, but we have to wait and see on how that offence wants to run.
Sunderland – SWA (H), ARS (A)
The bosses told me to write a paragraph for each team, but what do you say about Sunderland? They’re bad, like really bad. You could pull some shenanigans like buying Defoe for your team as a differential, but there’s no point. Don’t buy from this team. Ok, that’s enough writing about Sunderland now, I feel so dirty that I have to wash my hands before I continue to the next team.
Tottenham – MUN (H), LEI (A)
Now the question you have to ask yourself is this: did I really take a break to go wash my hands there?
Let’s call it like it is: Spurs stumbled badly against West Ham to start the weekend. They know it, you know it, Chelsea knows it. Obviously, that loss isn’t the mark of a team that’s been a pretender this whole year, they just legitimately had a bad game in the worst spot possible. But that in no way diminishes them. The fact is that the table doesn’t lie, they really are the second best team in the league. So pound for pound, do United or Leicester have enough to see Spurs off? I wouldn’t think so. Spurs will continue to play hard until they mathematically can’t achieve their goal anymore. I would almost expect United to take the brunt of their frustration more than Leicester, so I’m watching for some big scores out of that match alone. Top to bottom, this team is healthy and they’re hunting for every point possible, they’ll get 6 points from their double.
Watford – EVE (A), CHE (A)
By my count, Watford have 14 games this season in which they’ve been held scoreless. Their current streak of not scoring has now gone three games, and they’ve only scored a total of 4 goals in their seven matches since the beginning of April. This really is a feast or famine type of club. Some clubs seem to trudge on and always get that single goal to keep the scoreline respectable, but Watford are either gunning for 3 goals or none at all. The problem is, the ‘none at all’ outcome is much too common for them. As for their match against Everton? Anybody has a chance right now (*deep sigh*). But against Chelsea? Watford are just too mediocre to stand much of a chance in that spot. They’re also pretty much safe at this point from the relegation threat, so I’m not expecting much out of them in any capacity in this stretch.
West Brom – CHE (H), MCI (A)
I’ve been hard on West Brom all year. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t as smart as the rest of you when you all jumped on Brunt and McAuley. But my critique against them is still pretty valid: if you rely so heavily on scoring from the back because your front is busted, you become pretty one dimensional – and good opposition will pick that apart all day. And good opposition doesn’t come in a much more potent dose than this. Neither of these games will go well from West Brom, it really is as simple as that. WBA are winless in their last six matches, and I don’t really see this as their spot to try to correct that.
The Tracker in full…
Thanks for reading FPL Fixtures Analysis Gameweek 36. This article was written by Guy Sanchez
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