Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 37
Welcome to Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 37.
“Oh what a night, late April back in twenty-nineteen”.
Sure it doesn’t quite go to the Four Seasons’ song, but that’s how I’ll fondly remember Liverpool’s performance against Huddersfield. No, it’s not because I’m a supporter of the Reds, but because, like many other managers, it happened to be when I selected a certain chip on a certain Egyptian, helping me on to a gameweek score of 131 and rank of 45k that I still can’t get my head round.
But I’m not here to gloat. The reason I am mentioning this is to remind you that your fortunes can change so easily within FPL. Back in Gameweek 10 at the end of October, I was at a rank of 1.8 million, having had my worst start to a fantasy season in the 10 years I’d been doing it as every move I made proved to backfire spectacularly. Christmastime and things started to properly turn around and it’s been a very slow process since. So, don’t give up, especially if your season has also been challenging to say the least. There’s two rounds still to go where you can gain – or even regain – the ground on your gloating colleagues and friends and finish the season on a high. If you have that triple captain chip left, there are a few games this week and the next that you could use it for too.
So, here are the recommendations for this penultimate gameweek and, as it’s my last of the season, it’s quite the beast! I’ll just say, though, don’t hesitate to also sign up and get yourself on the boards for advice on your team from a great community.
As in previous tips articles, I have purposefully shied away from goalkeepers of teams like Liverpool and Man City, as they have defenders of approximately the same price who also have great attacking or bonus point potential. My first selection is great value for money as he’s super cheap (£4.3m) and has two decent fixtures to see out the season. That is, of course, Vicente Guaita. Initially sitting on the bench until THAT incident by his colleague Wayne that has seen the Welshman undergo intensive equality and diversity training, the Spanish shot stopper has been a regular within the Crystal Palace team since Gameweek 17, having only missed two fixtures in that time. Sitting 12th in the table, the Londoners still have pride to play for as they could finish as high as 11th or low as 16th and so the games that will consist of a trip to Cardiff and visit of Bournemouth will be worth keeping a clean sheet in. Indeed, the squad had the former Getafe man to thank for keeping it 0-0 in the fixture against Everton last weekend, gaining a bonus point for his efforts.
More about the opposition and we’re at a point where the Bluebirds are hanging on to the league for dear life as they keep a close eye on how Brighton are getting on. Their dire performance against Fulham may not necessarily be repeated in the next match, however the fact they have only found the back of the net 19 times at home does bode well for the Eagles defence. Though Roy’s men haven’t been great at home this season, as only Huddersfield have had a worse record, Bournemouth would be 16th in the table if it was all based on playing away, having only won five on the road. The three they scored against Southampton last gameweek has increased the tally of away goals to 23 of over the entire season.
Second on my list is another cheap man between the sticks, Lucasz Fabianski. The goalkeeper has had quite a mixed season from an FPL perspective as he’s conceded 54 in 36 but has picked up six clean sheets and 133 points along the way.
This gameweek, he will hope there is no need to pick the ball up from the back of the net as Southampton come to town. The Hammers go into this game on the back of a clean sheet away at Spurs which took many, myself included, by surprise. The shock came, partly, due to the fact it was the first time the Pole hadn’t conceded for the first time in six fixtures, as you look back to their 2-0 win over Newcastle at the start of March. The Saints, meanwhile, have had mixed fortunes when travelling to the London Stadium – and previously Upton Park – as the last seven visits have seen two wins, one draw and four losses, of which the latest was a 3-0 defeat. A trip to Watford then completes the East Londoners’ campaign which is rather hard to call as Pellegrini and co are 12th on the away stakes, whilst the Hornets are 10th when it comes to playing on their own turf and the last nine encounters have seen four losses, two draws and three wins from the Irons’ perspective.
Third in line is a guy who has made a name for himself as making silly mistakes once again, with memorable gaffs against Chelsea, Barcelona, Man City and Everton. Indeed, it’s also the case that he’s only got six clean sheets so far this season. David de Gea, however, is a pick as his last two games against Huddersfield and then Cardiff could help him reach eight games without conceding.
The Terriers have found the back of the net just 20 times this campaign, whilst the Bluebirds have managed a mere 30, putting them at the worst and second-worst respectively. Man United have been another one of those teams this season that has played better on the road when compared to at home and so the trip up the M62 could see success both from an attacking and defensive perspective. As there’s potential for fourth spot to still not be concluded by the last round of the season, the game back at Old Trafford, in what is most likely the opposition’s last in the Premier League, could see that clean sheet become crucial. The critics may even quieten down too.
As previously mentioned, I have held off on mentioning certain teams and their players until now as defenders have proven themselves to be critical parts of your squad this season. Indeed, Andy Robertson has eclipsed the record for a defender when it comes to FPL points, as his points haul against Huddersfield sailed the total past 200. Virgil Van Dijk, PFA Player of the Year recipient, is only six points away from breaking through the double-century barrier as well.
As two Liverpool players have been mentioned within one sentence, it’s no surprise that my top recommendation is basically any of the premium Liverpool defence. Trent Alexander-Arnold is the most transferred-in of that department this week, no doubt due in part to his cheaper price of £5.7m, whilst the £6.8m Andy Robertson and £6.7m Virgil van Dijk have been popular purchases. Between them, they have scored four and provided 25 assists, whilst the Scot leads the way in clean sheets with 20, as the Dutchman has 19 and the Englishman has 15. No, there’s not enough time for any Scot, Dutchman and an Englishman jokes.
Time is very much the theme here, you see, as it’s fast running out for Liverpool. Fans won’t need reminding they are still one point behind, because Man City very impolitely also refuse to stop winning their games. Or their opposition is happy for the Cityzens to beat them if it means Klopp’s men won’t be champions. So, their last two games comprise Newcastle away and then Wolves back at Anfield, with the two legs against Barcelona in the Champions League interlaced. You may remember from my fixtures article last week there has been quite a mixture of results between the Magpies and Reds as the north-east has conquered four, with two draws to boot, however, the duo of results the north-west has won have come out as 5-1 and 6-0. As for Wolves, they may have power up front but you have to look back to 1984 for the last time the lads in black and gold beat Liverpool in a league fixture. Currently, at least, Robertson and company are still undefeated at home and have only conceded 10 goals all season at Anfield, the fewest of any Premier League team.
I’m afraid the next selection is another expensive defender, as Aymeric Laporte will now set you back £6.2m. However, for that price, you have yourself a player who has been a bonus point magnet in recent times, collecting three in both of the last games, along with a fine collection of 17 clean sheets. The 3-1 victory against Crystal Palace in Gameweek 34 broke up what would now be six straight clean sheets, in fact. Now owned by 14.7 per cent of FPL managers, the player was unlucky not to find the back of the net against Burnley and take his goal count up to three.
The commentator’s curse, as it’s known, therefore meant that Leicester just had to keep a clean sheet as they swept aside Arsenal on Sunday – after I’d said the last games carry with them a chance of conceding “a fair few goals as well” in my latest article. I do feel more confident that the Foxes will this coming gameweek, however, as they are the next team in Pep’s sight, however their fire power in Vardy and Tielemans will take a bit more work to keep out too. You never know, Rodgers may like to do his previous English club a favour, as well. After that, the trip to Brighton at the end of the season could be the Frenchman’s 18th clean sheet of the season as they have only conceded 10 on the road all campaign – joint best with Liverpool – and face a side that have scored only 18 in as many games.
Down in price we go to someone a little more affordable and it’s the 2018-19 season legend that is Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The most transferred-in player this gameweek, he’s now £4.5m – though many will remember his half-a-million-pound cheaper pricetag earlier this season. Similarly to Laporte, the local lad picked up a clean sheet and all three bonus points in the last fixture, which was the 32nd time he has played all 90 minutes in the league this campaign.
As you’ll hopefully remember from my write up about the Crystal Palace goalkeeper, as it was only a few paragraphs ago, it’s a trip to Cardiff next on the cards – who have failed to find the back of the net in the last two consecutive matches – and then a home game against Bournemouth to complete the season. With the fewest goals conceded at home out of any team from ninth or below in the table and the fact they’re sixth on away form, the Eagles – and, in particular, the 21-year-old from Croydon – have great potential to see out the campaign in style.
If you would like to get yourself a player from that specific defence but don’t have £4.5m to fork out on Wan-Bissaka, perhaps take a look at Martin Kelly instead. Having played all 90 minutes only five times before Gameweek 32, he has played every game since and picked up 14 points along the way. I’m not guaranteeing he’ll play all 180 minutes in the last two fixtures, however you can’t go wrong at just £3.9m.
Next up on the list is a guy who has been named by many on Twitter as one of the main FPL trolls this season, thanks to the points he’ll pick up when he’s not in your team and then minus figures when he is. Lucas Digne now costs £5.3m and is owned by nine percent of managers which is a rising figure, thanks to the 22 points he has picked up in the last two gameweeks – of which 14 came on the back of a goal and clean sheet in the 4-0 humiliation of Man United. Had his deflected cross gone in at Selhurst Park, it would have been even more, too. That followed a one-pointer away at Craven Cottage which was the first time the number 12 had scored fewer than three points in a single match since the 1-0 defeat against Watford back in Gameweek 26.
With 146 points picked up from 2,784 minutes of football, the Frenchman has a very respectable chance of taking that tally over the 150 mark as Burnley come to town this week. The lads from Turf Moor have conceded 34 on their travels and have only scored in two of the last four visits to Goodison Park. After that, it’s an away day to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to face a team that triumphed 6-2 when they last played them. Presuming you like to rotate your defence, it may be good to stick him on the bench for that one. Especially when you read what statistics I’ve found about Eriksen and Son.
My final pick is another choice within the same time, as Southampton’s Yan Valery and Jan Bednarek are worth a mention, especially as they are just £4.1m and £4.0m, respectively. The cheap as chips players are now regular starters in Halsenhuttl’s side and, in the case of Valery, there are two goals and one assist to accompany the three clean sheets. The Saints have a potentially tricky fixture away at West Ham this gameweek, however your patience is then rewarded with a juicy fixture against Huddersfield back at St Mary’s – especially when you consider they have not lost against the Terriers at home since 1971.
I try not to be predictable, honestly I don’t, but you just can’t look past Mo Salah, if you don’t have him or haven’t got the cash. Especially as he’s scored two in three against the Magpies and managed a goal and assist when he last played Wolves in Gameweek 18. That Sadio Mane isn’t bad either, is he?! As I however feel I’ve already mentioned him enough within the opening paragraph – and Liverpool’s defence had such a showcase earlier – my first pick is actually Raheem Sterling. Ooh, plot twist!
Whilst he only registered three points in the win over Burnley, you could do well to have the £11.6m player in your team as the Cityzens have Leicester coming to the Etihad before that fixture against Brighton. Yes, there’s also only been one goal and assist scored against both Leicester and the Seagulls by the recipient of the Football Writers Association’s Footballer of the Year too, but bear with me. His double-figure hauls have so far appeared in Gameweeks 23, 25, 26, 30 and 34 – with a particular highlight being the 21 points accrued in the 3-1 win over Watford, thanks to a hat-trick – which means that, like a rumbling volcano, his time is very much due. That’d be against a Foxes team who have conceded a total of 14 in the last seven away fixtures or a Brighton squad that have let in seven in the last three league games against Pep’s men.
Next up is a recommendation to not be too hasty in removing Christian Eriksen or Heung-Min Son from your squad, as much as it is the case they have just one goal between them from the last three games. In the case of the Dane, he has a great record against this week’s opposition, Bournemouth, having found the back of the net three times and set up four other goals. In fact, the most recent time the two sides met, he came away from the 5-0 demolition of Eddie Howe’s men with 13 points. Son, meanwhile, picked up the same tally in that fixture and can lay claim to five goals in as many fixtures against the very same team. He’ll also be well rested, thanks to suspension in the Champions League.
As for the opposition in Gameweek 38, I’m sure you’ll all remember the 6-2 win the North Londoners enjoyed at Goodison Park just before Christmas, where the South Korean scored two and set up another duo to claim 21 FPL points and Eriksen also found the back of the net to register six. That took Son’s total against the Toffees to three goals and two assists, whilst the 27-year-old originally from a town called Middelfart – no laughing at the back – has found the back of the net against the same side four times. See what I mean by perhaps benching Lucas Digne for that one?!
Fortune favours the brave, so they say. If you’re looking to make up ground in your team, perhaps you may want to overlook the current form and favour the fixtures that Paul Pogba has. Having expertly waited for many FPL managers to sell him before he then scored two penalties in the 2-1 win over West Ham in Gameweek 34, that was the highlight in what has otherwise been five two-pointers, a single point against Arsenal and that -1 when he fluffed the penalty in the 3-2 win over Southampton back in Gameweek 29.
But then you remember that Man United’s opposition this week is Huddersfield, a team who are just dire – especially when playing at home. Of the 18 games at the John Smith’s Stadium this season, there have been two wins and a duo of draws to make up the eight measly points, with 30 conceded along the way. The chance of victory very much lies on the shoulders of the Red Devils. As previously mentioned, there’s then a visit from Cardiff in the last game of the season which has its points potential for the Frenchman, too. Potential being the operative word.
It’s now been over six weeks since Watford last kept a clean sheet, when they beat QPR 1-0 in the fifth round of the FA Cup. In the 12 games across all competitions since then, Javi Gracia’s side have conceded 21 and so my pick is a player from the team they’re facing this weekend, Chelsea. Eden Hazard has, unsurprisingly, been the main source of goals for the Blues, as his 16 goals are double those of his nearest rival, Pedro. With 13 assists, the Belgian’s also five ahead of Marcos Alonso in second place and so it’s fair to say that, if Chelsea fans are celebrating a decent scoreline come 4pm on Sunday, this guy will most likely be the cause of it. Especially when you consider the fact he has scored three against the Hornets in the five times he has played against them, of which two came in the 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road back in Gameweek 19, earning him 15 points in one fell swoop.
After Watford, Sarri’s men then travel to Leicester in a game that many suspect will be Eden’s last before he moves to pastures new. If that is the case, then a great send off will be to add to the two goals and one assist he has recorded against them in the past.
Fully conscious I have recommended midfielders to you who are at the top end of the budget scale, the final selection is a bit kinder to your wallet or purse – but he does partly come with a warning. The most transferred-in midfielder this gameweek, Diego Jota has now been brought in by over 50,000 managers in anticipation of Fulham’s trip to Molineux this Saturday.
However, the caution I will give is that Wolves have played well against the top teams this season, but also struggled against the squads lower down, with two defeats against Huddersfield a particular case in point. That said, Jota has been one of the team’s star men and has been particularly good at home, having picked up eight points against Chelsea, Man United and Arsenal, a whopping 19 from a hat-trick against Leicester and 11 versus Cardiff. So it’s not entirely impossible the number 18 will help you along to the much-wanted green arrow this week, however bear in mind there’s then a difficult trip to Liverpool as the Reds have everything crossed they can win the title.
Laying claim to a budget-friendly pricetag of £6.9m, the first pick is Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha. Managing a decent return every other game since Gameweek 27, he’s scored four and set up three in that time – roughly half of his entire season total.
As previously mentioned, Crystal Palace haven’t been exactly great at home as their 19th place on the table in that department shows, when compared to sixth when on the road. It’s therefore good, then, that it’s a trip to Cardiff this week, a team who have let in 35 in 18 games at the originally-named Cardiff City Stadium. That’s essentially two per game and so paves the way for Wilfried and, if there’s a penalty, Milivojevic to redeem themselves from the 0-0 score the last time the two sides met and join the many who have found the back of the net at that ground. That’d be despite the fact the home team will no doubt want to put in a better performance than they did against Fulham. After that, the last game of the season against Bournemouth will be a great opportunity to move past the Cottagers up the home form table as a last hurrah and the Ivorian could well be at the centre of that as he has scored one and assisted three against the Cherries in the past. Not only that, have a second to consider the fact Eddie Howe’s men have conceded 11 in the past six, of which five of those were on the road.
Next up is Sergio Aguero, who is bound to be a popular captain pick this gameweek, as Leicester come to the Etihad. That appears to be a good idea when you only have to look back to the last time the Foxes visited, where a 5-1 victory saw the Argentinian forward score four of the five he has put past them over his time as a Cityzen. Though a trip to the Kingpower Stadium on Boxing Day last year ended in one of the four defeats his team has experienced in the league this season, the number 10 still managed to get an assist. The last tie of the season, Brighton away, will be another scoring opportunity as the two times he has played them have seen a goal in each fixture.
Now boasting 20 goals and 11 assists from 2,281 minutes played, the man who scored the decisive goal against Burnley in their hard-fought 1-0 victory is now on 193 points and so could quite easily join the likes of Robertson, Salah, Hazard, Sterling and Mane in moving past the 200-mark. With second-placed Aubameyang nine points behind and Wolves’ Jimenez 16, Sergio could also top the charts for the forwards too.
My penultimate forward pick – yes, we’re almost at the end of the article – is a player now owned by 37.9 per cent and therefore stands a good chance of being in your team already. Raul Jimenez has lit up both Wolves and the Premier League as a whole this season, having scored 13 and set up 10, collecting 177 points along the way. Hard to think he was originally the bargain basement price of £5.5m, when you consider the fact the Mexican has gone up £1.4m in value in that time. Alas, now he is a permanent member of the Midlands team, you can expect his price to be higher at the start of next season.
As previously mentioned for Diego Jota, Wolves do have this knack of losing to teams lower in the league and then pulling out all the stops against the squads higher up in the table. Jimenez doesn’t help himself in this department as he blanked the last time he played Fulham back in Gameweek 19, which ended up as a 1-1 draw. The away day to Liverpool at the end of the season may be another blank as they’re determined to win the title, but there’s a good chance it’d be Jimenez if anyone is going to make that net bulge at Anfield.
Here we are then, you’re now officially at word 4,042. Sorry to the editors – I did say it was a beast as it was my last article of the season! My last pick is more of a punt, definitely based more on his ridiculously good form than the two fixtures Leicester have left. Jamie Vardy now has 18 goals to his name – with five assists along the way – and 10 of those have come since Gameweek 28. It’s certainly not a coincidence 90 per cent of those have been since Brendan Rodgers came in as manager. He has done what Claude Puel wouldn’t and given the party guy a cuddle and whispered in his ear that he is really good at what he does.
The £9m player is away to Man City this gameweek, a team he’s actually managed to score four and assist one against, with a highlight being the hat-trick back in the 2016/17 season. As previously mentioned, the Foxes have managed to beat the Cityzens once this season and could be quite the formidable opponent from an attacking perspective. With Aguero at the other end, there’s a good chance it’ll be a high scoring game. After that, Chelsea come to the Kingpower Stadium, which is actually another team the Sheffield-born player likes to play against. Within an average of 1.5 goals conceded per away game, the Blues may get, well, the blues on the last day of the season as the 32-year-old looks to add to the three goals and one assist he has achieved against them in the past five years.
So, there we are then, the last two games on what has been and still could be an unpredictable and, frankly, bonkers season. It’s been a pleasure to write, design and look after the majority of the tweets (yep, in the case of the latter, that’s me) for this great place and I’m already looking forward to doing it all again next season! Though I’ll be on the boards as much as I can, I’ll just take this opportunity to wish you all the best of luck in achieving your season objectives and also have a great summer. 4,399 words, all out.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 37. This article was written by Swirly.
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