4 months ago
The end of the season brings with it crazy rotations and benchings that can leave a sour taste in the mouth of many an FPL manager. What once seemed to be a solid, dependable team now looks like a straw house ready to be blown over by the slightest of breezes. Every now and again the template team that the majority have been clambering to create will take a hit and it is the few that own differentials that rise out of the rubble holding their green arrows.
I tipped Mason Greenwood to explode last week, which he duly did, and managers that owned him are fifteen points richer for it. In a week that was surprisingly low scoring, that should be seen as a monumental win. As always, differentials are considered to be any player with less than 5% ownership. A certain Manchester United winger does make his second appearance of the season.
Leicester City, £5.7m, 4.3% owned, Fixture: CPL
Leicester City haven't exactly been water-tight as of late, but there is reason to believe that changes this week. They host a Crystal Palace team who often find it difficult to get the ball into the back of the net and do not travel well. One thing Brendan Rodgers has done incredibly well with the foxes this year is to make them organised and perform above their expectations. You can expect Leicester to win this game and make a late charge to end the season well.
Castagne has blown hot and cold this year. He started the campaign impressively and since tailed off in the middle of the campaign. With Leicester's easier fixtures to come, I think the Belgian will find his form and deliver attacking returns before the season has finished (edit: collected 1 assist against WBA after this piece had been written). He isn't scared to get forward and join in with attacking phases. With Vardy and, especially, Iheanacho hitting spectacular form, he certainly has someone to aim for in the box.
West Bromwich Albion, £5.4m, 4.1% owned, Fixture: AVL
For a promoted team, that has struggled incredibly at times this year, Pereira has had a fine year. Technically brilliant, the Brazilian took no time to show everyone why he deserves a move to a bigger team next season. When he performs well he performs very well and already has four double-digit hauls this season. This includes a 21-point haul away from home at Chelsea.
The Derby against Aston Villa provides another opportunity for Pereira to strut his stuff. Villa are still to find their identity this year when Jack Grealish isn't playing and are happy to concede possession and goals to teams. Although the fans won't be there, I fully expect West Brom to be fully up for this fixture and if the Baggies score, you know Pereira will be involved.
Manchester United, £7.1m, 3.5% owned, Fixture: lee
What more can be said about this man that I didn't already say last week? The stage is set for him to finish the season superbly and he is already taking the bull by the horns and performing as we all knew he could. Two goals against Burnley showed what he can do when given the game time and he should continue to thrive in an offence that is growing with confidence. The balance of Manchester United shouldn't be undervalued. Rashford on one wing, Cavani down the middle and Greenwood on the left provides opposition defences with a nightmare to deal with through every minute of the game.
What most encourages me is that Bruno Fernandes has significantly dropped off in the last month. He seems to be playing with less selfishness and his want to create chances rather than score them is hugely beneficial to the player in front of him. Any of the three I have mentioned are poised to have good endings to their season but Greenwood in particular this week looks dangerous against a Leeds team that hate to play against counter-attacking teams.
Chelsea, £8.3m, 2.9% owned, Fixture: whm
Predicting a Chelsea outfield player to do well is always a risk. Predicting an injury-prone player to do well is always a risk. And yet, here we are. The American winger has excelled since returning from injury and seems to be at the front of Tuchel's thoughts whenever he writes down his team sheet. One thing Chelsea do well is control games and they use the wingers, in particular, to break away and hurt teams.
West Ham have lost all ability to defend since Declan Rice was lost through injury and have generously conceded ten goals in their last four games. Although a Chelsea win may be a stretch to predict due to West Ham's season-long form, it will not be a low-scoring game. I expect two or three Chelsea goals in this London derby and if Pulisic plays, he should return.
Wolverhampton Wanderers, £5.3m, 1.1% owned, Fixture: BUR
I always like to include at least one complete punt in my picks and this week it's the young Portuguese winger. Since Pedro Neto went down with a season-ending injury, it has fallen to the Birmingham club's other two wingers to inject the creativity into this Wolves team. Adama Traore ably supplied an assist last week and Podence was very close to providing an attacking return himself.
Having started the season well, everyone expected Podence to be the main man in this team. There is no reason to believe that form can't come back to him to end the season and the fixtures for Wolves are beautiful. Facing Burnley at home this week should mean that three points are in the bag at least. Burnley have, suprisingly, been one of the worst teams in the league at conceding chances in recent weeks and are there to be picked off.
I have been playing Fantasy Premier League for almost 13 seasons, with multiple top 100k finishes. I still enjoy the start of every season as if it was my first. Always make sure you're enjoying the game!