FPL Gameweek 34 Recap
Wow, does anybody else wish they still had their pre Wildcard team?! We did not expect the Leicester bus to come to a halt. We knew Huddersfield were the whipping boys, but we didn’t think it would be Moura cracking the whip. We also put a lot of faith in Brighton, thinking Bournemouth were on the beach and we definitely wished we still had some of their attacking assets.
Who did I tip?
- Son (4) – Huddersfield was the plum fixture, but there was some uncertainty about him starting with the City game on the horizon and he only featured for a quick cameo, which was still enough to pick up an assist.
- Duffy (1) – Wow, who would have thought with two plum Home games that he would end the week with an aggregate score of 7-0. Brighton are well and truly awful.
- Vardy (2) – A lot of people kept him in their teams given his recent form, despite no double Gameweek, but his and Leicester’s run came to a surprising end here.
- Eriksen (6) – I felt that he was more likely to start given the lack of a similar replacement and this was correct, but his score was pretty underwhelming. He was unlucky though and could easily have added a goal and assist to his tally.
- Pogba (15) – Admittedly I didn’t pinpoint which Man United attacker, but it was clear that West Ham was probably the second best fixture here and Pogba aka Milivojevic demonstrated how valuable it can be to own someone on penalties.
What did we learn?
- Title Race – no ground will be given and I can’t see anyone standing in the way of Liverpool at the moment. City look a bit more shaky but it’s going to take something special to beat them and I think you need coverage from both of these teams.
- Whipping boys – although they were unlucky I would still include West Ham with Huddersfield as the league whipping boys and Brighton can join them after that dire display!
Gameweek 35 Captaincy
Here we go, the final leg of the Free Hit, Wild Card and Bench Boost strategy. There are a multitude of options this Gameweek, as you need to factor game time against explosiveness but potential rotation.
A bit more of a detailed look at the teams with a double:
Initial thoughts for the teams that play twice:
- City v Spurs / Man Utd– for any other team these fixtures would be awful, but City can do it against anyone in the league. However, both of these teams are desperately fighting for top four and I think there could be a better Captain candidate elsewhere.
- Watford v Hud / Sou – with the first game against the league whipping boys and a second against a tough Southampton team this could be a good week if you get the right Watford asset.
- Wolves v BHA / Ars– Brighton are awful away and so are Arsenal, earlier in the season it would sound mad but a Wolves player could well be the best Captain candidate this Gameweek.
- Southampton v New / Wat – these should both be fairly cagey games and there are better Captaincy fixtures available unless Redmond decides to continue with his hot streak. For that reason, I haven’t analysed them, although I am considering Ings as my Deeney replacement.
- Man Utd v Everton / City – Everton have three clean sheets in a row at home and City need to win to exert pressure on Liverpool, I wouldn’t Captain anyone from United even though top four is all they have to play for.
- Arsenal v Palace / Wolves – Palace are a tricky team to play and Arsenal have an important EL second leg three days prior, which could lead to rotation then Wolves away will be a very tough game and I can’t see a viable Captain here.
- Spurs v City / BHA – the City game will have a strange vibe, just three days after the CL decider it will feel like an anti-climax but both teams desperately need a result in the league as well. I don’t think Spurs will get much joy at the Etihad though and it’s the Brighton game where there should be more points on offer. I do think that there could be one or two potential Captain options here and that’s not even factoring in Moura!
What about the single Gameweek teams?
You should always Captain someone that plays twice over a single Gameweek player right? Not necessarily, playing twice does increase the probability of a higher return, but it doesn’t guarantee it. There’s also no certainty they’ll play 180 minutes and there have been several occasions where a player with a good single Gameweek fixture has massively outscored someone with two games.
- Bournemouth v Fulham – if anyone still has Bournemouth assets they would have been very happy on Saturday. Fulham (despite their recent win) still look relatively leaky and this could be another goal fest.
- West Ham v Leicester – I still feel that West Ham (along with Huddersfield and Brighton) are whipping boys, they’re also fairly attacking which will play right into Leicester’s hands. They’ll be eager to bounce back after defeat and I expect this to be quite an open game.
- Cardiff v Liverpool – Liverpool are just immense at the moment, however, Cardiff have a lifeline after beating Brighton moving to two points behind (albeit Brighton have a game in hand). They feel like the world is against them after some unfair decision the past few weeks and will rally hard at home, so it will be a tough game but I can’t see that stopping them.
- Chelsea v Burnley – Burnley are on great form at the moment and it’s unclear whether they will start to relax now that they’re pretty much safe. Chelsea have a reasonable gap after their EL second leg and they’re still in a top-four hunt, so I would expect them to really go for this.
Old Hunting Ground
Do any of these picks have a good history vs their opposition?
Aguero looks a really tasty option, despite the fixture difficulty, but it’s unclear how many minutes he’s going to get. Deeney also has a reasonable history, but his returns against Huddersfield all came from the Championship and he’s now suspended for the Gameweek. Both Son and Eriksen have a reasonable history against their opponents as well.
For the single Gameweek candidates, the sample size is small but Wilson, Fraser, Mane and Salah look very promising. I also expect Vardy to pick up his scoring spree again.
All stats are from OPTA and are based on the last four home or away games dependant on where the next fixture is.
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