FPL Gameweek 34 tips from former HOF Number 1 FPL Manager Richard Clarke. Rich is an FPL veteran and has one of the most enviable records out there, notching 2 top 500 finishes, 8 top 10k finishes and has never finished outside the top 0.5% in every single one of his 14 seasons. Rich will be revealing his team on a weekly basis in 2020/21 season; providing observations and strategy comment where appropriate.  
Fantasy Premier League Tips GW34

Rich's FPL record

 

Blank Gameweek 33 Performance: 57 points

(Rank change = Up 3,000 places to 20K ) best fpl transfer for fpl gw34

Brief review of Blank Gameweek 33

A Gameweek where late goals and missed opportunities certainly played a part in FPL fortunes. This was particularly evident in the Liverpool v Newcastle game which dramatically altered the points outcomes for fantasy managers. Depending whether you owned or not, 'assist-gate' for Ollie Watkins's part in Aston Villa's late equaliser against West Bromwich Albion will rage on for a while. In the final fixture of the week, another late flurry of points for Kelechi Iheanacho, saw those brave enough to captain him against the Salah herd rewarded on Monday evening as Leicester City continued their march to a top 4 finish.

My Team in Blank Gameweek 33

A reasonable game week for me with a score of 57 points and a small green arrow to 20k overall rank. Late team news confirming Edouard Mendy's start against West Ham United, allowed me to carry through a second transfer. Antonio Rudiger backed up Mendy's clean sheet up in a double for the Blues' defence. I brought in James Maddison (for Heung-min Son) and while he didn't immediately return, I am still optimistic of some differential returns in the next two Gameweeks. Apart from Mohamed Salah's 18 points as my captain, plus the seemingly ubiquitous Iheanacho's 12 pointer - it was fairly slim pickings. I'm happy though with the 20k ranking with five weeks to go - and looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead in order to improve it further. The top 10k is now 23 points away...

Gameweek 34 - Strategy  

What we all really need is fixture confirmation for the rest of the season. It is very hard to strategise and plan transfers based on what 'might' happen.  Like everyone else, I am hoping the Premier League confirm the remaining games and their timings before the Friday deadline at 6.30PM.  I would urge transfers are done as late as possible this week to take advantage of any such confirmations. Of course, we also need to plan for the opposite outcome of no further information being released. This has, frustratingly, happened already this season, with new fixture dates being announced just after the FPL deadline. I have no chips left to play, but if I did, I would probably be finding the wait for confirmation even more frustrating. I have two free transfers this week - so must really use one in order to 'prepare' for the unconfirmed schedule. It is wise to carry the second transfer into next week if fixtures remain unconfirmed, but also to have a 'Plan A' ready in case we do get news.

The 'No news' strategy

Looking across my squad, it is in very good shape with no real injury concerns. I am mindful of rotation this weekend with teams who have European second legs in particular.  The likes of Mendy, Rudiger and Holding could all be handed rests, so a strong bench looks like it may be needed. With £2.2m in the bank, I'm looking at a few single transfer options:

Eduardo Mendy to Emi Martinez

This one is really an 'insurance' type move that avoids burning a transfer and secures an extra game for Martinez to come (probably in GW35), plus guarantees a keeper for GW36. I'm still worried about Kepa Arrizabalaga getting some minutes before his likely FA Cup Final game - and the Fulham game could be the right time to hand Mendy a rest before the Champion's League second leg with Real Madrid. Chelsea's potential double in GW35 (mci, ARS), doesn't look particularly attractive either!

Diogo Jota to Gylfi Sigurdsson

Again, this is a bit of forward planning, with Everton also having an extra game to come (against Aston Villa). Siggy also plays in the potential Blank Gameweek 36 - so with an eye  my player count for that week he could provide useful cover when others will potentially miss out.  Jota's returns have been disappointing recently - despite a number of chances and he may not even start the match against Manchester United on Sunday. He does have great fixtures after this though - so there is an element of risk with this option.

Matej Vydra to Ollie Watkins

Vydra is largely in my squad as a playing bench option - and doing very nicely in that role, but I do have an opportunity to upgrade him to Watkins, again with Villa's double and non-blank in mind. This one will eat a lot of my budget though (+£1.8m) and perhaps make other moves trickier down the line.

Bruno Fernandes to Heung-Min Son

Perhaps the riskiest and most surprising single move - moving off Bruno for the big game with Liverpool and bringing back Son for the rest of the season is tempting. I can't get to Son otherwise without spending both transfers and a defensive downgrade so this move gets him back for Sheffield United and gives me plenty of money for other options.  Fernandes is a potential captain for 'Double?' Gameweek 35 though (avl LEI) - so this one almost needs a different fixture plan to be announced.

The 'Double (35)/Blank(36)' strategy

If we do get the expected fixture confirmation, I am more likely to use both my free transfers this week. That extra certainty could allow me to combine two moves for the aforementioned Son move, though that may still be a challenge. Briefly - (though other articles will go into much more detail on this) - Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Leicester could all play twice in Gameweek 35, but then face an immediate blank in the following Gameweek (36). According to our own @Ben Crellin this is about '70% likely' to be the way the fixtures fall! Looking at my current team, the following players would have a double in GW35 but no game in GW36: Mendy, Rudiger (Chelsea) Holding (Arsenal) Maddison, Fofana, Iheanacho (Leicester) Fernandes (Manchester United) A focus on Aston Villa and Everton players (or maybe Southampton and Crystal Palace?) could yield up to ten doublers in Gameweek 35. This sounds great until you realise it could mean benching two of Trent, Salah & Kane that week! Is it also really worth cluttering up our teams with players from mediocre (at best) sides in order to maximise the double? Looking further forward into GW36, my starters would look something like: Forster Alexander-Arnold, Coufal Salah, Jota, Lingard Kane, Vydra So, you can see with four free transfers between now and Gameweek 36, it should be feasible to get a playing eleven out for that week.   It does show though, that we need to be very careful about who we lose from our teams as well as who we are bringing in from now on.

Transfers (2 free transfers available, £2.2 ITB)

Obviously from the above I am going to wait for fixture and team news over the next 24 hours. If we don't know the fixtures, I will likely just make one transfer and probably do something dull like move Mendy out for Martinez this week. This 'de-risks' the rotation with the position and guarantees a double somewhere. It also doesn't take away a game week 36 starter - like some of my other moves might do. If we do get news, I could get a little more ambitious and make a couple of moves that sure up Gameweek 36 a little more.  With so much football to come at home and in Europe in the next week, the advantage of two free transfers going into game week 35 is immense.

 Gameweek 34 Team Reveal

 

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