1 month ago
GW31+ has gone by in a flash and we quickly turn our attention to GW32+. Which conversely will be spread over 6 days as Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Norwich, Leicester, Newcastle and Sheffield Utd battle it out in the FA cup over the weekend.
Two trends are beginning to emerge across FPL, those sticking with high-value Liverpool assets and those shipping them and spreading the value across the team, particularly in defence. Both approaches would have likely reaped the benefits from this in GW31+. With Salah (£12.7m), Mane (£12.5m) and TAA (£7.8m) all getting on the scoresheet against Palace. While those spreading their funds benefitted from Martial’s (£8.1m) hat-trick, Jimenez’s (£8.3m) consistency and clean sheets at Wolves, Spurs and Man U to name a few.
But focussing on GW32+ and what we have learnt from the 2 GWs since the return of FPL, here are my transfer suggestions ahead of the upcoming GW.
Tuesday night’s performance had many lauding Aurier (£5.0m) with praise. He had 22 touches in the opposition’s final 3rd, joint 5th highest in the match. Having picked up an assist against Man Utd and playing so far forward against West Ham, combining this with clean sheet potential given Mourinho’s solidity which is finally taking shape, has put Aurier high on the radar.
Another fullback who has found their attacking flow is Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.3m). His 1 big chance created against Sheffield United led to an assist. This, combined with a clean sheet and 2 bonus points, gave him an 11 point haul. With good fixtures to come and Man Utd’s more reliable defence of late (except for David De Gea £5.3m), it would not be a surprise if we were to see such hauls again before the season ends.
In my previous article, I detailed the merits of the Wolves defence, in particular Doherty (£6.3m) and Saiss (£4.6m). Those looking for an alternative could do worse than considering Jonny (£5.4m). Although he is my least favourite of the three options, those who can’t stretch their budget to Doherty would be happy to see that in the last 2 GWs+ he had a superior xA of 0.25 to Doherty’s 0.09. Although it seems he does not provide the same goal threat as Doherty, with an expected goal tally of 0 while Doherty’s is 0.87.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s (£7.8m) sublime free-kick, as well as a clean sheet, helped him land 2 bonus points against Palace for a total of 14 points! He is always a threat and likely to get a clean sheet. Potentially a rotation threat given the title is wrapped up, but that is still to be seen.
Favourable fixtures and good attacking output make Azpilicueta (£5.9m, 6.4% owned) and Alonso (£5.9m, 3.6% owned) attractive differentials. Both are getting close to being nailed, but Alonso, in particular, will be looking over his shoulder at Reece James (£5.0m). Chelsea have also been far from solid at the back this season.
Ritchie (£5.3m), Chilwell (£5.7m) and Robertson (£7.0m) are other names worth consideration.
Those sticking with Salah and Mane don’t need convincing otherwise. But if you are picking between the two, today Salah looks the most potent. He racked up 5 shots (3 in the box) against Palace compared to Mane’s 1 shot which was in the box. Salah has the benefit of more rest, having not featured against Everton, as well as penalties.
De Bruyne (£10.7m) keeps on scoring! This time with a sensational free-kick which gave Kepa (£5.4m) no chance. No City player is immune from Pep's roulette, but De Bruyne looks dangerous regardless of his minutes. Sterling (£11.7m) doesn’t look as sharp, but with the quality of the team, he is still afforded plenty of opportunities, hitting the post in this game. Mahrez (£8.5m) is seeing plenty of game time and created 4 chances in this game (1 big chance) and earned himself an assist for his efforts. Foden (£5.2m) provides a budget-friendly alternative for those not wanting to outlay significant funds for players rotated so heavily. His 3 goals from 1 start and 1 sub appearance evidences his threat, but keep an eye out for his yellow flag given he has picked up a knock.
Son (£9.8m) owners were left ruing his goal against West Ham being chalked off for offside but he still managed to produce an assist. However, he was forced into a more wide role in this game with Kane (£10.9m) playing further up the pitch. As a result he managed just 1 penalty box touch. His offside goal was also his only shot of the game. Nevertheless, he still managed to create 3 changes (1 big chance) in this game. With Spurs good fixtures and their push for 5th he is worthy of consideration, particularly with a now leaky Sheffield Utd up next. But the Kane v Son headache has gotten that bit harder and is hard to disentangle with only 2 games of evidence.
There are too many options at Man Utd with Martial (£8.1m), Bruno (£8.7m) and Pogba (£8.3m) all vying for places in our teams. Martial has the huge benefit of being the focal point of this attacking team, even if he performs poorly it looks like he will get an abundance of chances. Showcased by his 4 shots, all in the box and 3 big chances against Sheffield Utd. Pogba created 4 chances in this game which subdued Bruno’s output, who just created a single one. It is hard to differentiate if this is the exception or the rule from the 1 match they both started. But any of these selections are good choices, I expect their performances and points to continuously sway from one to another until the end of the season. Pick 1, 2 or 3 and stick with them is my advice.
Pulisic (£6.9m) vindicated my choice of him as a differential for the last GW. Dribbling and finishing well thanks to a Mendy mistake (£5.5m). He looks like Chelsea’s best attacking option but may be prone to rotation due to their many attacking choices. He had the most shots in the box in this game (3) and penalty box touches (7). I would suspect he is rested for the FA Cup and will then start against West Ham.
The machine that goes by the name of Traore (£5.8m) has now picked up 2 assists from 1 start and 1 sub appearance. A rotation threat, but he has proved more valuable than Jota (£6.3m) since the FPL return for those considering them for their 3rd Wolves spot. I have not seen a defender yet who has handled his speed and power. A good option given Wolves fixtures and Champions League ambitions.
With Martial playing striker, Aguero’s injury and Liverpool and Chelsea’s midfielders providing the goods we are seeing a relative dry spell for strikers.
Having said that, Mr. Consistent (Jimenez, £8.3m) needed just one shot in his game to find the back of the net and collect all 3 bonus points. Currently, the most reliant striker to choose from.
As already discussed Kane played further up the pitch against West Ham. Due to his yellow card, he only managed 5 points. But his 3 shots, all in the box, maybe an indication of better things to come.
Jesus (£9.6m) is becoming a popular discussion point given Aguero’s (£11.7m) injury. But as seen against Chelsea this does not make him a guaranteed started, with Bernardo Silva (£7.7m) starting as the striker. Pep even dropped a bomb in his pre-match conference that he could even play Gundogan (£5.2m) in this role. Sterling fits this role too. We should still expect more playing time than usual though. Of players who started 200+ minutes he has the second-highest expected goals per 90mins. Aguero’s injury could be the perfect window for him to showcase his scoring ability.
Although Martial stole the show Rashford (£9.0m) managed to assist 2 of his goals. He also had 2 shots, both in the box as well as 1 big chance. It looks like Rashford’s points will come very many avenues and at that price, in an attacking team, he should consistently do well.
Ings (£7.2m) faces Man City, Everton and Man Utd in his next 4 matches which would put me off him for now. Alternatively, I prefer Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£6.5m) who didn’t manage to score against Norwich but had 7 shots (4 in the box) in the match, the highest of the GW.
As I mentioned at the start, this is a very long GW thanks to 8 teams playing in the FA cup. These 4 clashes could have many repercussions for our teams later in the GW. So I strongly advise having as strong a bench if possible. In addition, if you choose to captain one of these players I would recommend vice-captaining a player not playing in the FA cup. Spurs options look good, who have a 9-day break against Sheffield Utd who will have played 2 extra games than them since the return of FPL.
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