As the Fantasy Premier League season approaches its business end, the points have dried up. Gameweek 33, that only had eight fixtures, was the third-lowest scoring week of the campaign with an average score of 36.
Only five players returned with a double-digit score in GW33 with Burnley’s hattrick hero Chris Wood top-scoring with 20 points. Kelechi Iheanacho, last week’s second most popular, captain returned handsomely with 12 points while Mohamed Salah, the top choice for captaincy last week also scored nine points. But there were no points elsewhere for FPL managers as the scores remained low.
Normalcy returns in GW34 as Tottenham and Manchester City assets are back in action. However, with four English clubs involved in European semi-final action, expect a lot of rotation from these teams.
With City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal players highly owned, it will be a headache for FPL managers to find a way to have eleven players who will be assured starters making your bench strength critical in GW34.
Tottenham return to action in the Premier League and they have the best matches in coming weeks. With Harry Kane and Son Heung-min heavily owned, the average score might be higher in coming weeks. Leicester, Leeds, Everton and Arsenal are the other teams that have good fixtures on the horizon.
However, FPL managers must be aware of the possibility of a double gameweek in GW35.
As per fixture expert Ben Crelin, the teams that could have a double gameweek in GW35 are Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Everton, Southampton, Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester City and Manchester United.
However, Chelsea and Leicester will blank in GW36 due to their participation in the FA Cup final and it will mean Arsenal and Manchester United will also blank in the process in GW36. So FPL managers must keep this in mind before planning the transfers. The double and blank gameweeks, however, are yet to be confirmed.
Fixture Difficulty Ratings
|Team||*Combined Difficulty rating for GW 34-36||GW34 opponent||GW35 opponent*||GW36 opponent|
|Arsenal||8 (2, 2, 4)||NEW(A)||WBA(H)||CHE(A)|
|Aston Villa||10 (3, 4, 3)||EVE(A)||MUN(H)||CRY(A)|
|Brighton||10 (3, 3, 4)||LEE(H)||WOL(A)||WHU(H)|
|Burnley||9 (4, 2, 3)||WHU(H)||FUL(A)||LEE(H)|
|Chelsea||10 (2, 5, 3)||FUL(H)||MCI(A)||ARS(H)|
|Crystal Palace||8 (4, 2, 2)||MCI(H)||SHU(A)||AVL(H)|
|Everton||8 (2, 4, 2)||AVL(H)||WHU(A)||SHU(H)|
|Fulham||8 (4, 2, 2)||CHE(A)||BUR(H)||SOU(A)|
|Leeds||8 (3, 3, 2)||BHA(A)||TOT(H)||BUR(A)|
|Leicester||8 (2, 2, 4)||SOU(A)||NEW(H)||MUN(A)|
|Liverpool||8 (4, 2, 2)||MUN(A)||SOU(H)||WBA(A)|
|Man City||9 (3, 4, 2)||CRY(A)||CHE(H)||NEW(A)|
|Man Utd||11 (4, 3, 4)||LIV(H)||AVL(A)||LEI(H)|
|Newcastle||11 (3, 4, 4)||ARS(H)||LEI(A)||MCI(H)|
|Sheffield Utd||9 (4, 2, 3)||TOT(A)||CRY(H)||EVE(A)|
|Southampton||9 (4, 3, 2)||LEI(H)||LIV(A)||FUL(H)|
|Spurs||7 (2, 3, 2)||SHU(H)||LEE(A)||WOL(H)|
|West Brom||10 (2, 4, 4)||WOL(H)||ARS(A)||LIV(H)|
|West Ham||9 (2, 4, 3)||BUR(A)||EVE(H)||BHA(A)|
|Wolves||9 (2, 3, 4)||WBA(A)||BHA(H)||TOT(A)|
The big ins and outs
Iheanacho continues to attract new owners thanks to his splendid form and a good set of fixtures in the next two weeks. Son and Kane, who were ditched by FPL managers last week, are back in demand as they face relegated Sheffield United at home.
Most transferred (in) players ahead of GW34
Bruno Fernandes, the top points scorer in FPL, is second on the list of most transferred out players ahead of GW34 after recent blanks. But many may rue the decision as Fernandes scored twice and assisted as many in Manchester United’s 6-2 win over AS Roma in the Europa League. Liverpool’s Diogo Jota is also exiting teams but FPL managers must not forget that he is seventh in the Premier League for xG (Expected Goals) over the last three gameweeks.
Most transferred (out) players ahead of GW34
Top picks for Gameweek 34
Whether you bring them in through transfers or (luckily enough) have them in your squad already, these are the five hottest selections for GW 34:
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur): Kane may not be too keen to remain at Tottenham for the long haul but if he is to leave he would like to sign off with a bang. He’s been on fire all season and is probably the reason why Spurs are still in contention for European spots. He has played a direct role in 34 out of the 56 goals that Tottenham have scored in the league. Up against relegated Sheffield at home and with Spurs under new management, expect them to play a lot more freely and score a few goals. Kane is a must-have this week.
Marcos Alonso (Chelsea): The Spanish wing-back is an FPL favourite and for good reason. He keeps clean sheets consistently and is a huge threat inside the opponent box. With goal-shy Fulham visiting Stamford Bridge, Alonso who is a very likely starter given Chelsea’s European commitments this week.
Matheus Pereira (West Brom): The Baggies may be on their way to the Championship but Pereira may not go down with them. After scoring nine times and providing seven assists, Pereira is certain to find a taker among one of the Premier League clubs that stay afloat. The West Brom midfielder is the fourth-highest point scorer in 2021 and with a struggling Wolves visiting The Hawthorns, Pereira is the man you need to own.
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City): A man you simply have to own at this point in FPL. With nine goals in his last seven league appearances, Iheanacho has revived the Foxes’ faltering top-four bid. He has also been scoring in the FA Cup and against a Southampton side who have one clean sheet in their last 15 league games, he is likely to keep his good run going. Iheanacho is also comfortable top of the xG charts for the last three GWs.
Stuart Dallas (Leeds United): Dallas is registered as a defender but plays in midfield. And with Leeds United significantly tightening up at the back, he has become a very attractive option, given his goal threat. Up against a Brighton side that have scored once in their last four games, Dallas could be a very shrewd pick. Leeds also have a good run-in till the end of the season.
Top differential picks for GW34:
Ferran Torres (Manchester City): It’s never good having to guess Pep Guardiola’s line-up but given the significance of Manchester City’s Champions League semi-final second leg against PSG, expect wholesale changes to their lineup against Crystal Palace. But that’s good news for Torres who is now very likely to start for City against a leaky Palace side. He has returned in four of his last five starts for City in the league and could be a very good option against Palace. With less than 1% ownership, he’s the differential player you need in GW34.
Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur): After Jose Mourinho’s departure, Bale was restored to Spurs’ starting line-up and repaid the faith with a goal. With Sheffield United visiting, he becomes a great differential alternative to the heavily-owned Kane and Son. With just 3.1% ownership, the potential is huge.
Kai Havertz (Chelsea): The German is set to be another beneficiary of possible Champions League rotation. Thomas Tuchel likes to use him in a false nine role and Havertz has impressed while playing there in patches. Expect him to start against Fulham having not started against Real Madrid. He is sixth in the league for xG over the last three weeks and with just 3.2% ownership has great differential value.
This week there are two clear candidates for the captain’s armband – Spurs’ Kane and Leicester’s Iheanacho. Both strikers have been in red-hot form and it will be hard to choose between the two. The Leicester man has form on his side but has a more difficult fixture compared to Kane, who is pretty much guaranteed a return against a Sheffield United side that have been conceding goals away from home. Spurs’ dependency on their captain just gives Kane the edge over Iheanacho, who at some point is sure to have an off day given how deadly he’s been over the last few weeks.
Bruno Fernandes, Mohamed Salah and Mason Greenwood are some other differential captaincy options to be considered this week. And if you are in some mood for real adventure, handing the armband to Pereira also may not be such a bad ploy.
FPL Deadline for GW34: 11:00 pm IST, Friday, April 30, 2021.
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