It is unsurprising that the reduced number of fixtures in GW35 produced an average score of just 30, the lowest of the season.
Many managers faced the issue of not being able to field a full XI and illustrated that the Free Hit chip, which was brought in for the first time in 2017/18, may be crucial to save until late in the FPL campaign. I’m interested to know what people think about this. Is it a useful addition? Or is it a boring test of patience?
A posse of Man City and Arsenal players were the best performers in GW35. Who will the big hitters be in GW36? I’ve given you my two cents below:
Spurs vs Watford
I’m making an effort not to write about the ‘top six’ teams too much, as I’d like these guides to provide as many differentials as possible, but I couldn’t objectively ignore Spurs this week.
This article recently got me thinking about whether teams with less to play for perform worse towards the end of the season.
In short, I think that it is fair to say they do, and Watford and Leicester have been stark examples over the past few weeks.
Spurs will be mindful of defending fourth place and Harry Kane (£12.9) is chasing his third Golden Boot in a row. He looks short of fitness but due to his importance to the team he will play on.
The attraction of this fixture and the approaching DGW in GW37 has made him a man in demand. At the time of writing, Kane’s the most transferred in player of the week with over double the number of signings that second placed Gabriel Jesus has. When deciding whether or not to buy him it may be worth assessing your mini league rivals to see if they already own him or not.
In Spurs’ midfield, Eriksen (£9.5) is in sensational form at the moment, producing 4 goals and an assist in his last 5 games.
Alternatively, Dele Alli (£9.0) managed 3 goals and 3 assists prior to GW34, but then completely blanked over the DGW.
Son (8.3) remains a threat, although he struggles for minutes. Similarly, Davies (£5.8) has been rotated but is a fantastic attacking option. Bear in mind that Davies played both GW34 matches and started against Man United in the F.A. Cup. He’s certainly one to consider but I would pay attention to the FPL community’s thoughts online and whether Pochettino gives away anything in his press conference.
Despite Spurs not keeping a clean sheet in their last 5 games, Watford’s top scorer this season is Doucouré (£5.3) with just 7 goals. Richardson (£5.9) is their second deadliest weapon with 5. They haven’t scored respectively since GW’s 24 and 12. Ouch.
Palace vs Leicester
Continuing my suspicion that Watford and Leicester are already on the proverbial beach I think Palace could pick up three points here.
However, I’m predicting goals for both sides. Bet365 are backing this up, offering less than evens on both teams to score, and as high as 11/1 for a 0-0.
Milivojevic (£5.2) and Zaha (£6.9) continue to be the Eagles’ essential players. They’ve collected 6 goals and 3 assists between them over their past 5 games.
Andros Townsend (£5.6) has chipped in with 2 assists in his last 5 and could pique the interest of managers looking for an uncommon option, he’s owned by just 1.4% of managers right now.
Taking a look at the foxes, if the goals are going to come from somewhere it’s most likely to be Jamie Vardy (£8.9). He toiled against a stubborn Southampton side and came away empty-handed, but prior to that had scored in 4 games running. He’s nailed to play and has notched 17 goals so far this season, making him the 5th highest scoring player this season.
If you wanted to break the mould, consider Marc Albrighton (£5.5), who has Leicester’s second highest number of assists after Mahrez (£8.9). Owned by just 3.1% of managers, Albrighton isn’t in dazzling form, his last assist was in GW30, however he’s prone to getting results against teams towards the bottom of the table. His last 3 attacking returns came against West Brom, Stoke and Huddersfield.
Mahrez is, of course, a wonderful player, but whilst I thought he’d be playing his socks off to try and get in the shop window this summer, he’s looked flat since the match against West Brom in GW30.
Southampton vs Bournemouth
Lastly, speaking of players on the beach, I think we should keep a close eye on this south coast clash.
Southampton have been throwing everything at Premier League survival and whilst they are up against it (Bet365 giving 4/9 for them to stay up) the stats are slowly improving.
In March, they had 33 attempts on goal but only 8 on target, scoring no goals at all and conceding 6 in the process.
Since the start of April however, they have had a similar 31 attempts but managed a much improved 17 on target, scoring 4 but still conceding 6.
However, not making it any easier for FPL managers, those 4 goals have all come from different scorers. There isn’t an in-form pick.
Bet365 are backing the home side, giving 11/10 on either Austin (£5.8) or Gabbiadini (£6.2) to score anytime in the match. This is compared to Wilson (£5.7) who is listed as the most likely Bournemouth player to score anytime at 9/4.
Both sides have pace down the flanks and so this game could be won in the middle of the park. James Ward-Prowse (£4.9) has 3 goals and 5 assists so far this season, so isn’t exactly challenging Mo Salah, but could be the player to help break the deadlock.
If you’re feeling suspicious of the Saints’ chances of survival, Begovic (£4.5) is Bournemouth’s highest scoring FPL asset this season. Nathan Ake (£5.0), their 3rd highest, isn’t scoring or assisting much but has played 90 minutes in all but 2 games this season.
Also worth a look…
- Olivier Giroud (£8.2)
In GW34 he grabbed 2 goals in a fantastic performance against Southampton but couldn’t break the Burnley back line. I still think he’s worth a punt as Morata is still floundering somewhat. Owned by just 1.7%.
- Mo Salah (£10.6)
It’s almost disrespectful to the audience, including the 2018 PFA Player of the Year in a ‘One’s to Watch’ article, but it also be wrong to leave him out. Despite playing in Europe I believe Klopp will continue to play him in the league, albeit for reduced minutes. However, what Salah can do in an hour most players can’t do in 3 or 4 games. He plays at home against a beleaguered Stoke this week.
- Johann Berg Gudmundson (£5.0)
Had the more attempts on goal than any other Burnley player against Stoke last week, including in-form strikers, Wood and Barnes. In addition, 2 assists in his last 3 mark him out as a dangerous prospect for Brighton to face this week.
- Ayoze Perez (£5.4)
Blanked against Everton away in GW35 but still boasts 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 4 games. He comes up against a rejuvenated West Brom side but the Baggies have struggled to, erm, bag this season and Newcastle’s defence is handy at home. Could Perez score the winner?
- Raheem Sterling (£9.0)
Once again, it’s not a groundbreaking selection, but with 211 points so far this season Sterling is the leading FPL scorer in the Man City team have sealed the title. Hard to avoid choosing him. 3 goals and 4 assists in his last 5 games make him red hot. Or, sky blue hot, depending on how proud you are.
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