1 month ago
GW34 – what a mess! I went into the GW with the knowledge that Raphinha and Rudiger were injured but following the postponement of Manchester Utd and Liverpool, I was left with just 9 players. Fortunately, I kept my head above water. That postponement is still causing havoc, with Manchester Utd now playing 3 games in 5 days and Liverpool now having a double. Andy has done a great piece discussing the best Manchester Utd options . So I am going to focus on the best double gameweek options as well as my current plans and traps I think you should avoid.
There are a few must-haves that most teams have by now. If you do not, you should get them into your team without thinking twice. With Liverpool now having a double and playing in blank GW36, you must have Salah and TAA. Salah has 3 goals in his last 4, while TAA has 3 attacking returns in his last 5 and has numerous encouraging clean sheet opportunities from here until the end of the season.
A Liverpool triple-up is the way to go. You can expect your assets to play each game as they push for Champions League, while I suspect Manchester Utd options will be heavily rotated given that insane fixture schedule. The 3rd slot should go to Jota or Phillips, go Mane if you need a wild differential.
Jota was top for shots in the box between GW32-33 as well as beating Salah and Mane for xG and big chances. Yet he blanked twice, was subbed off at 57mins and was benched for the Manchester Utd before its postponement. Alternatively, Phillips is a great cheap option but just plays for the clean sheets. Both are good options and I think the choice depends on your team. I sold Jota last GW for Lingard, which was a 2 point gain despite the blank. Jota has the numbers but not the form, while Lingard has the form and not the numbers. I think many have made this switch and I wouldn’t be rushing back. Although Jota will be rotated, he is still the slightly better pick in my view.
Having said that, I am getting Phillips. It is team-dependent as I said, and I currently only have 1 defender for GW36. So we have to look ahead to then too when deciding.
Iheanacho is my other must. He is still a bargain and is adding creativity now to his game, creating the most big chances in the league in the last 2 GWs. Since GW26 he has scored 9 goals and had 2 assists. Initially, I was planning on selling him in GW36 given Leicester’s fixture turn, but his form and Leicester’s push to stay in the top 4 has convinced me to keep him. So get him or keep him in your squad too.
Out of the double GW teams, Everton garner the most interest for me. Chelsea blank the following GW and they play Arsenal and City. I think you should play the assets you own, but I would not be rushing to buy more.
While Arsenal also blank in GW36, they do play West Brom in the double followed by Palace and Brighton to close the season. Saka is so cheap he could be worth a punt as your 5th midfielder, particularly if they are knocked out of the Europa League tonight.
Aubameyang played up front against Newcastle netting a goal and an assist from a game-high xGI of 1.4, which will get many excited. If you need to climb rank and fast, he is a worthy punt, but with Lacazette soon returning and there still being a cloud over Arteta and Aubameyang, I would be avoiding him unless you are on a Free Hit.
OK, back to Everton. I like Dominic Calvert-Lewin a lot and I believe the triple GW announcement will see him go under the radar. He has 2 goals from his last 7 starts which is not encouraging but until the last GW, he shared the striker’s role with Richarlison. Against Villa, he was again the lone striker, which saw him return to his scoring ways. He has had a phenomenal 7 big chances in his last 4 matches. With Sheffield Utd and Wolves to follow the double GW, I envy those who can fit him in their team!
In the same vein, Digne is a great option for those who can afford him. He has managed 9 assists from 25 starts this season, with the majority being crosses onto Calvert-Lewin’s noggin. A few clean sheets are also on the card given these favourable fixtures.
Similarly, I like budget option Coleman who I myself am considering in a straight swap for Fofana this week. Since returning from injury, he has 2 assists in 5 games. Playing Sunday-Thursday-Sunday should give him ample time to recover. Pickford is also a fine shout to close your season out between the sticks.
Sigurdsson is on many people’s radar as he is easily attainable being a mid-priced midfielder. I neither like nor dislike him as an option. He’s returning every 190mins this season so we can expect some action from him between now and the end of the season. He provides good value for money and I fancy him to get more game time than Greenwood despite the latter having 3 games.
The last team I would like to discuss is Villa. We have to go back 8 games for their last clean sheet so I would not be investing in their defence. Watkins is the best pick. He continues to tick over, with 7 returns in his last 8 matches which includes games against Spurs, Liverpool and City. This is also without the creativity of Grealish. He is nailed, having played every minute of the season, fixture proof and great value for money with 21 attacking returns in his debut season. He is one you just buy, play, and don’t worry about.
With Wood, Wilson and Antonio at the same price bracket, it may be tempting to look elsewhere given their tough fixtures to close out the season. That is why I like El Ghazi as a punt. Given his price you can play him in the double and GW36 against Palace, to then leave him to rot for the remained of your season on the bench. He has scored in his last 2 games where he started, while he also cracked the crossbar against Everton. Nevertheless, he is always a rotation risk but when he starts, he scores. He has started 11 times in the Premier League this season, scoring 7 times in these games. With 2 goals in 2 it would be hard to drop him, so I like him as a differential.
Palace probably have the best DGW fixtures, playing both Sheffield Utd and Southampton away. However, I urge people to focus on the acquisition, not the opposition. Palace have 1 win in their last 8 games. 2 in their last 11. They are well and truly on the beach. Having conceded 13 goals in their last 6, their defence is a must avoid. Eze is an up-and-coming talent, but he has one assist and no goals in his last 11 starts. While Zaha has just 1 goal and assist in his 6 games since returning from injury. I would not be so keen on investing.
But in my last article last week I have encouraged those who are trailing far behind to look at some sensible, low-owned players and use them to climb rank and fast. I hope some of you captained Bale as I suggested! So on that note, I, sitting at 55k worldwide, do not like Zaha. However, if you need to make huge strides, I think he fits this category perfectly – he is a flat track bully and faces two poor sides so he has a high ceiling. So if you need to be different, I think he is a good buy. I still don’t like Eze though!
So these are my suggestions and I think there are a lot of great candidates here. The triple Gameweek will be crazy! 3 games in 5 days for Manchester Utd could be a huge trap for managers! I currently just have Bruno. I am eyeing up Maguire, but it would mean I must take a hit in GW36 to have a starting XI. And I am not so sure he is worth it. Will he start all 3 games? And will he outscore Coleman or Fofana by an equivalent 4 point hit? I do not know, but I will be watching their line-up v Roma closely!
What I do think is this makes Liverpool fantastic assets and I will be tripling up on them. But don’t overlook your single-game players too. Spurs looked free-flowing under Mason, so I am happily keeping Kane and Son. Antonio could be a wise acquisition too.
As always, best of luck to everyone, and if you want to reach out to me with any questions DM me on Twitter or leave a comment below.
Sports fan and FPL addict from Ireland (still has not forgiven Thierry Henry). Loves numbers in both studies & profession and has incorporated this into FPL in recent seasons. Has played FPL for 8 seasons, finishing in the top 40k 5 times, with the best finish of 8k. Find on Twitter @FplPup if you have any questions