Hello and welcome to your weekly fantasy football preview. We’re into the penultimate week of the season now, where does the time go? It has to be said, at this stage of the season I am feeling the FPL fatigue. These tough decisions take it out of you. With plenty still to play for, there should be FPL points on offer. But first, let’s review week 36.
Last week was good. Thanks to Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Andy Robertson, 65 points were in the bank before Saturday had even arrived. We extended that to 107 by the end of the weekend. It smashed the average of 69 (ha) and saw our overall rank rise to 3,978th. Four digits. The task now is staying there for two weeks. Excuse me, my nose is bleeding.
What does week 37 have in store? There are no more top 6 clashes and no more double weeks. It should be straight forward from here. It won’t be though and here’s why.
The fixtures are all over the place this week so we’ll approach this in chronological order. First under the spotlight are Tottenham, who make the Saturday lunchtime trip to Bournemouth. I don’t fancy Spurs at all at the moment. They’ve looked short of ideas against Brighton, West Ham, and Ajax and lost the latter two 1-0. They are just one win away from securing a top four spot though and that would allow them to throw everything at Ajax next week knowing they can put out the under 18s next weekend.
They look knackered though. Bournemouth have nothing to play for but that comes with a freedom which we saw at Southampton last weekend. Bournemouth couldn’t defend when they were trying to so that give Spurs some encouragement. Son was suspended for the first leg of that Ajax game so in theory, he should be raring to go here. Generally, though Spurs have been rotating their back four and I wouldn’t select any Spurs player especially for this week.
Liverpool are in the unusual kick-off time of Saturday evening. They’re away to Newcastle, who like Bournemouth have nothing to play for. Liverpool are coming off the back off playing quite well in Barcelona but ultimately losing 3-0. Newcastle don’t have Lionel Messi. They have Cristian Atsu. You’d think Liverpool will find a way to win as they have all season and most of us have three Liverpool players in our teams after last week. The choice of selling Salah or Mane is not an easy one as you’re setting yourself up for a fall. It’s a pickle alright.
Into Sunday then and Man Utd will be expected to run up a cricket score against Huddersfield. I’m certain they will win but with Marcus Rashford a doubt it’s probably down to Romelu Lukaku to sort this one out. He thrives against poor teams but his price puts off most FPL managers. Paul Pogba is the other cert. For all his detractors he will have penalty duties and will see a lot of the ball, he should be very useful here.
Kicking off at the same time are Chelsea, at home to Watford. Eden Hazard was surprisingly rested to the bench on Thursday in the Europa League which secures his starting berth here. Chelsea should win but will they have on eye on Thursday? They have Leicester away next weekend which is a tough finish to the season so three points here will be imperative. The injury to Rudiger should mean a start for £5m Andreas Christensen, budget fans.
Rounding off Sunday we’ll see Arsenal host Brighton. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette were paired together again on Thursday, as they were in the defeat at Leicester. Arsenal need the points to keep the pressure on Chelsea in fourth and I think both will play again, with one dropping out on Thursday in Valencia. The Arsenal team is always a bit of a mystery though, especially directly after a European game. We even saw Carl Jenkinson the other week for goodness sake.
Monday night we’ll see Man City potentially clinch the title with a win over Leicester if Liverpool haven’t won at Newcastle. With that carrot dangling, the likes of Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, and Bernardo Silva will be on red alert for points. Those three seem undroppable in the run-in, as does Laporte in defence.
There’s not an awful lot else to play for. Cardiff can technically still stay up and they host Crystal Palace. Palace are much better away from home and I’d recommend their players over Cardiff’s. Wolves are in pole position for 7th and a home game with Fulham makes Raul Jimenez look like a good bet at £6.9m. Nuno also spoke about wanting to give Will Norris some minutes this season. They’re at Anfield next weekend so perhaps his chance will come this weekend. He’s a goalkeeper worth £3.9m, if you fancy taking the mother of all gambles.
It’s a toss up between a few this week. Aguero seems the obvious choice, he scores big goals and you’d always fancy City to score at home. Sterling is in a similar position though he hasn’t scored for a few weeks. The best fixture on paper is Arsenal’s. Lacazette or Aubameyang would be a brave captaincy choice given the rotation of recent weeks but if either or both start they will likely notch.
After some heroic performances last week there’s no time for niceties. The squad as it stands is:
Fabianski, Digne, Robertson, Doherty, Sterling, Mane, Salah, Son, Rondon, Gray, Wilson. Subs: Wan-Bissaka, Camarasa, Duffy, Foster.
Initial thoughts are that I want Aguero, but that can only happen if I sell one of the Liverpool lads. I’m not prepared to look a fool so I’ll probably do Son to Bernardo. Son hasn’t done much for a while. I might spoil myself and bring in Jimenez too for any of the strikers, it’ll cost me 4 points but I’m prepared to take that risk.
It’s a Friday night deadline again. Don’t forget to have your changes made by 7pm on Friday 3rd May. It’s the penultimate week so don’t ruin your season by forgetting now!
That’s all for this week though but I’ll be back next Friday with the final one of the season. Toodles for now!