Looking for FPL Bargains in This Season’s Promoted Sides

The off-season is no time for dwelling on the past, unless you’re one of the canny fantasy football managers who strategized their way to a top-1000 finish. For the rest of us, there should be no time wasted ruminating on the mistakes of last season, on the disappointing triple captains, on the weeks spent with Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott in your team for some unfathomable reason.

Just as Premier League managers are working feverishly to improve their side, many fantasy football bosses will be looking with interest to three new squads of players who have become open for selection. Norwich, Sheffield United and Aston Villa arrive back in the Premier League after absences of varying lengths. There’s no doubt that there’s a fantasy football bargain or two somewhere in those squads.

Norwich City

Most expected Leeds United to top the Championship under the wisdom of Marcelo Bielsa, but it was Daniel Farke’s Norwich who defied the odds and impressed with their fluid attacking play. While Bielsa is preparing for another season as Championship betting favourites with Leeds, Farke will be contemplating how to adapt to life in the top flight.

Adaptation will be much easier if Teemu Pukki continues his fine form, with the Finnish forward finishing the season as the top scorer last year with 29 goals. Pukki’s inability to score prolifically in the Bundesliga or the SPL will raise concerns, although a possible price of around £6.0 could make Norwich’s main man a risk worth taking.

Include newly promoted defenders at your peril, but swashbuckling full-backs Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis look like the kind of players whose price could quickly rise once a bigger audience sees their potential.

Sheffield United

It would be harsh to write Billy Sharp off as another Dwight Gayle/Cameron Jerome in waiting, a player attuned to the rigours of the Championship but lacking in Premier League skill. Nevertheless, it may be worth holding off on Sharp for a few weeks.

The more creative David McGoldrick could be the pick of the Blades’ attacking options. He may lack pace, but McGoldrick has the vision to rack up assist points even if the goals dry up.

Wing-backs always appeal, with Chris Wilder’s side well-accustomed to that system. Could one of George Baldock or Enda Stevens be this season’s Matt Doherty, in that you stubbornly keep them out of your team in the assumption that they have to stop scoring/assisting at some point?

Aston Villa

Despite arriving via the playoffs, Villa’s squad on paper will have many journalists predicting Dean Smith’s side to enjoy the best fortunes of the promoted clubs. Fantasy football is also played on paper (at least before the season starts), so there are likely to be many benches filled with Villa players for the first game week.

Of those, Jack Grealish may be the most popular choice. Grealish notched a fairly indifferent 6 goals in 35 appearances last year, but the tricky midfielder is likely to draw many free-kicks and penalties from desperate defenders.

Ahmed Elmohamady’s versatility and Premier League experience could bode well for his hopes of securing regular football. Elmohamady has never been a goal machine, but he was often deployed in midfield for Villa last year. Simply by being further forward than advertised, Elmohamady’s chances of unwittingly deflecting in a Villa goal are greatly improved.

How many promoted players you sign ultimately depends on how you think the promoted sides will fare. Fulham and Cardiff offered little for fantasy football managers last season, with Mitrovic and Etheridge respectively excluded. Whichever side you anticipate coming closest to pulling a Wolves should be your first port of call for potential bargains.

Premier League 2019-20 A first impression of the new boys

Jack Grealish of Aston Villa
“Is Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish going to make the Premier League his this season?” (CC by 2.0) by Ben Sutherland

On the one hand, it’s early, sure, but on the other hand, is it ever too early to start preparing for the Fantasy Premier League? Exactly, that’s what we figured as well and after all the EPL fixtures for 2019/20 were released today. Welcome back and let’s get this show on the road. It’s promising to become another teeth-crunching, brain-munching, wall-punching season, so why wait?

Today, June 13th 2019, is the day on which the fixture calendar for the 2019-20 season of the Premier League are announced, so we figured it was the perfect day to get a first impression of the newly-promoted teams this season: Championship champions Norwich City, Sheffield United, and Aston Villa. Seeing as the transfer window hasn’t officially opened yet, we’ll just take a look at what each club’s performances last season might say about their expectations this season and what each of them has been doing so far to make their stay in the Premier League last longer than just a single season. Later on, we will, of course, be looking at each of them in more depth, but a first impression can be useful to get your own FPL pre-season started, just as taking advantage of the best bonuses with online UK casinos can get you a useful start at NetEnt Casino.

Norwich City

Position in the Championship last season: champions

Major imcoming transfers so far Major outgoing transfers so far
Patrick Roberts (RW) from Man City: loan None yet

When the Canaries beat Blackburn Rovers on the 27th of April, 2019, they secured promotion to the Premier League after an absence of three years. In the trend of several other young German coaches who have made it in Europe’s top leagues over the past years, like ex-Huddersfields manager David Wagner and PSG’s Thomas Tuchel, it was the now 45-year old Daniel Farke who played an important role in Norwich success’ story. Advocating a possession-based, dominant brand of football with a clear focus on youthful talent and tactical maturity, the young German generally prefers a 4-2-3-1 set-up. He has done so successfully in the Championship and he’s not expected to change these formational tactics too much, though he will surely be wary of the Premier League’s unique challenges.

The German influence at the club has not been limited to the coaching staff though, as several key players hold a German passport as well. Midfielders Marco Stiepermann and Mario Vrancic, for example, are both products from the German youth system (Borussia Dortmund and Mainz, respectively) and are expected to play a significant role coming season as well. Where Vrancic scored 10 goals and provided 7 assists last season, Stiepermann was just a tad less productive with his 9 goals and 6 assists.

The eye-catcher in the Canaries has been topscorer and Championship Player of the Year, Teemu Pukki, though. His 29 goals and 9 assists in 42 games underline his crucial importance to the team and he will be heavily looked at in the coming season to deliver in the Premier League as well. From an FPL point of view, the Finnish striker might become an interesting start-of-the-season punt, though that will depend on various factors, including what his price will be and what Norwich’ starting fixtures will look like and an Away match at Liverpool is not very enticing to start with.

It will also be interesting to see to what extent the young English prospects in the Canary ranks will be featuring among the elite, because Norwich have focused heavily on homegrown talent as well. The likes of right-back Max Aarons, just 19 years of age and voted the Championship’s Young Player of the Year, left-back Jamal Lewis, and central midfielder Todd Cantwell are all 21 years old or younger. Farke has shown that he’s not afraid at all to give his talents considerable responsibilities on the pitch and the hope is that he’ll be continuing to do say in the Premier League.

Sheffield United

Position in the Championship last season: runner-up

Major imcoming transfers so far Major outgoing transfers so far
None yet None yet

For many of us, Sheffield United were a familiar face in the Premier League for a long time, but the Blades might not enjoy that same kind of recognition among the younger FPL managers. After their direct rivals for second place, Leeds United, tied against Aston Villa on April 28th, 2019, United secured a return to the Premier League for the first time in no less than twelve years. Under the leadership of experienced local hero Chris Wilder, who joined his boyhood club back in 2016, Sheffield have deservedly been promoted to the elite of English football after a typically long and exhausting Championship season in which they spent the majority of their time among the top six.

As far as expectations for the 2019-20 campaign go, Sheffield are probably looking forward to a tough season in which they will be fighting in the lower side of the bottom of the table for most of the season, but if there’s one thing that Wilder’s exceptional at, it’s squeezing every single drop of quality and intensity from his players. He’ll be looking to create a hard-to-beat unit based on his preferred 3-5-2 formation in which the overlapping wing-backs in particular play an important role, both in terms of offensive threat and defensive versatility. If the Blades manage to bring in some new blood, hopefully infused with Premier League experience, they could be in it until the very end.

The new recruits are most likely to find another local hero up top in the shape of Billy Sharp. He started his third spell at Bramall Lane back in 2015 and he hasn’t looked back since. The now 33-year old scored 23 goals and provided 4 assists in 40 Championship games last season, and he’ll be raring to continue this excellent form at the very highest level. Irish striker David McGoldrick, their Player of the Season 18-19, is likely to feature next to Sharp up front after scoring 15 goals and providing 4 assists last season, although the Blades would probably be wise to at least supplement the pair with a forward of proven Premier League quality. In the midfield, the 28-year old Northern Ireland international Oliver Norwood has also been an outstanding performer for them and he’s expected to keep pulling the strings at the center of the park in the Prem as well.

Aston Villa

Position in the Championshop last season:

Major imcoming transfers so far Major outgoing transfers so far
Anwar el Ghazi (RW) from Lille: £8 million Micah Richards: out of contract
  Ritchie de Laet: out of contract
  Mile Jedinak: out of contract

Out of all of the promoted teams, Aston Villa has made the biggest signing so far, in the person of Dutch winger and play-off hero Anwar el Ghazi. He is a bright prospect who came up through the famed Ajax Amsterdam ranks before joining French side Lille in 2017. After a year and a half in the Ligue 1, he was loaned out to Villa, who have now splashed a cool £8 million to sign the 24-year old. Including the play-offs, El Ghazi scored 6 goals and provided 6 assists in 34 games, and the Dutchman has shown an overall quality to worry opposition defences with his pace and powerful right foot. He has played at the highest level in different countries as well as in Europe, and he even earned two caps for the Dutch national team during his years at Ajax. It will be interesting to see what his price will be in FPL,  as he might just turn into a popular third-striker or fifth-midfielder option.

As far as the club goes, the Villans are returning to the English top flight after an absence of three years, an absence that hurt among the faithful of the seven-time champions of England. They’ve got the history, they’ve got the fan base, and they’ve even got the wealthy owners to back a successful return bid to the Premier League, but the challenge is real. This starts with the fact that several of their key players were actually on loan last season, including Man United defender Axel Tuanzebe, Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings and Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham. Villa have managed to convert the loan agreement for El Ghazi into a permanent contract and they’ll probably try to do so with one or more of the previous names as well, if only for the sake of consistency after a successful Championship season.

The key player at Villa Park is highly-rated youngster Jack Grealish, who has attracted interest from England’s top clubs over the past few seasons. The still just 23-year old attacking midfielder is currently the most prized asset among the Villa ranks, something that’s underlined by the £60 million escape clause in his current contract. He scored 6 goals and provided 8 assists in 34 games, including 3 play-off games, last season and he’ll be part of the foundation for the coming season. If Villa’s opening fixture are a bit decent and his FPL price is reasonable, Grealish could well become a popular early-season FPL asset, although they start with an Away fixture at Spurs. Let’s just hope he keeps himself out of the tabloid headlines a bit more this coming season though…

Manager Dean Smith likes to field a balanced mix of young talent and more experienced players, in this particular case spearheaded by the earlier mentioned Birmingham boy Jack Grealish. At the beginning of 2019, Villa looked doomed for another anonymous mid-table season in the Championship, until Smith engineered a remarkable run of 10 consecutive victories that saw his team back in the top six. After an up-and-down season, and keeping in mind the number of transformations that will be taking place over the coming summer in terms of players, it’s hard predict how Villa will turn up for the first game of the season. Be sure to keep an eye on activity in and around Villa Park though, because they have already been linked to the likes of Southampton right-back Matt Targett and Stoke goalie Jack Butland, while several established names from Spain’s La Liga and France’s Ligue 1 are rumored to consider a transfer to the Villans as well.

There’s no better way to follow the Premier League action than via FPL and FISO’s FPL Forum

TFF Winning Team 2018-19

Adrian Frost won Telegraph Fantasy Football (TFF) for the 2nd time (!) with his entry ‘Live Mix’. This was a ‘late’ entry on Sunday 12th August, and with only three games remaining of the 1st round of EPL matches, the selection was restricted to those teams. (For the build up to the last match in TFF 2018/19 (the 2019 FA Cup Final) and some more details on Adrian’s previous wins, check out our earlier TFF article).

The starting 11 for his Live Mix team was:
Alisson, Van Dyke, Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold , Gomez, Mahrez, Sterling, Redmond, Sane, Salah, Aguero, So ten players from Man City and Liverpool (with the entire Liverpool backline).

The team slipped away into oblivion hitting 59,532 position but recovered very nicely and was in the top 1,000 in December with ZERO transfers used. Realising that this was a very strong position Adrian took the view that he would only concentrate on this one team. Adrian made his first transfer on 5th December when Aguero was injured.

The grid below prepared by a fiso forum member, ffstuff, summarises all the details on Adrian’s transfers and positions for his winning team.

Published on this fiso forum TFF topic by ffstuff

Adrian’s final team was: E Moraes, K Walker, V Kompany, A Laporte, A Robertson, Trent Alexander Arnold, B Silva, R Sterling, E Hazard, S Aguero & Jimenez. This was one player difference to the team in second place with just the FA Cup Final to play and B Silva outscored his Deulofeu by 6 so Adrian won by 13 points.

If anyone has any comments or suggestions on how TFF could be improved then please have a say on this fiso forum TFF topic.

Telegraph Fantasy Football – Final Leaderboard 2018-19

FPL Season 2018-19 – Gameweek 38 Review: the final round

Manchester City FC
“Congratulations to the 2018-2019 Premier League champions, Manchester City” (CC by 2.0) by Richard Ayers 

And just like that, it’s over. After months of smiles and tears, joy and misery, and relief and frustration, the Fantasy Premier League season 2018-2019 has come to an end. Did City players get you plenty of points despite the extreme rotation risk? Did you jump on the United bandwagon as soon as Solskjaer was appointed interim manager and, more importantly, did you jump off when things reverted to this season’s normal? Did you make every transfer deadline this season? Whatever your answers, don’t worry too much about them. It’s over, and now is the time to look back at yet another thrilling Premier League season and evaluate your own season as a Fantasy manager. Where can you improve next season? Which wise lessons have you learned? Are you happy with the chip strategy you chose just like you need to be with the top casinos online?

It’s been a pleasure for us again to preview each gameweek for you this season and we hope that we somehow, at some point, in some area, have managed to make a positive contribution to your fantasy managerial decisions this year. Seeing as the title decision this season amazingly came down to the very last gameweek, we’ve decided to have a look back at gameweek 38 from a Fantasy Football point of view. After all, not just Man City and Liverpool, but also hundreds of thousands of FPL managers around the world, still had something to play for. In many mini-leagues, a decent score last weekend could mean closing that small gap with your league’s leader or climbing into the overall 1% or top 10,000 overall, just to name a few high-stakes scenarios. We’ll take a quick look at this season’s best performers per position in terms of FPL points and go over last weekend’s deciding action.

Don’t forget that there’s no deadline set for this weekend. It’ll take some getting used to again and don’t worry about the withdrawal symptoms: with the all-English European finals and the Nations League coming up before August, it’ll be FPL time again soon. And if you’re bored, there’s always casino online united kingdom to play and keep you entertained.

An overview of the highest scorers in FPL per position (number of FPL points behind each name):

Allison (176)   Robertson (213)   Salah (259)   Aubameyang (205)
Ederson (169)   Van Dijk (208)   Hazard (238)   Aguero (201)
Pickford (161)   A-Arnold (185)   Sterling (234)   Jimenez (181)
Etheridge (154)   Laporte (177)   Mané (231)   Vardy (174)
Lloris (145)   David Luiz (164)   Sigurdsson (182)   Wilson (168)

Gameweek 38: the title decider

Obviously, all eyes were on Manchester City and Liverpool during gameweek 38. The Cityzens collected 95 points after 37 games this season, while the Reds were right behind them with 94 points. The scenarios were clear to everyone and each team knew what they had to do: a victory against Brighton at the AMEX would bring Man City the title regardless of the Liverpool result, while Liverpool had to beat Wolves at Anfield and hope for City slip on the British south coast. As we know now, neither of the two made a mistake, meaning that City crowned themselves champions with Liverpool left behind as the best runner-up in the history of the Premier League and indeed of all five major European leagues. The previous record was set in the 2009-2010 season, when Real Madrid finished La Liga in second place with 96 points, behind Barcelona, at the time coached by… Pep Guardiola.

The Cityzens surprisingly went behind first at the AMEX, courtesy of a goal from Glenn “So experienced fixtures don’t matter anymore” Murray. City weren’t phased in the least, though, because literally a minute later, Kun Aguero equalized, followed by an Aymeric Laporte goal ten minutes after that to put City in the lead. The Seagulls had put up a good fight for about half an hour, but it now seemed like a question of time before the visitors would be crowned champions. Guardiola saw his men net twice more in the second half (Mahrez from David Silva’s second assist of the day and Gundogan), which was more than enough to claim the title for a second year in a row. Well-deserved, to say the least.

In most cases, the position of runner-up is the most bitter one, because you almost made it, but no one will remember you in a few years time. It might be a different reality for this year’s runner-up Liverpool. The Reds have been nothing short of impressive throughout their 2018-19 campaign, which is illustrated by their 97 points in the League and their spot in the Champions League final. Sadio Mané scored two against Wolves on the final day of the season, but an eventually routine victory of their sky blue rivals from Manchester meant Liverpool will have to wait at least another year before lifting their first English league trophy since 1990.

Obviously, both teams have been excellent, both in real life and followed via fiso’s FPL forum. It’s not often that FPL managers can pick, for example, from a defence as reliable as Liverpool’s (22 goals conceded in 38 games, 21 clean sheets) or City’s (23 goals conceded, 20 clean sheets). At the same time, the likes of Mo Salah, Kun Aguero, Sadio Mané and Raheem Sterling, just to name a few, have shown on a weekly basis why the Premier League is the most competitive league in world football. In other words, both these teams have been exceptional and both deserved the title. We couldn’t have wished for a more thrilling title race.

Gameweek 38: the European spots

The title race wasn’t the only event of importance on the final day of the season. Below the top two, four more teams had to battle it out for two more Champions League spots and two Europa League spots for next season. Thanks to a Spurs draw at White Hart Lane against Everton, a draw at the King Power was enough for Chelsea to claim third place, while their London rivals remained in fourth. For both teams, these positions will feel satisfactory, considering the fact that the former has gone through some slumps throughout the season and the latter has had to deal with several injury crises. On top of that, both of these teams have made it to a European final, with Spurs battling Liverpool for the Champions League and Chelsea facing Arsenal in the Europa League final.

As far as FPL goes, these two teams were up and down for most managers. In the rankings for best players per position in terms of FPL points, only three players from these two teams make the cut: Eden Hazard (238 points), David Luiz (164) and Hugo Lloris (145). Of course, Harry Kane’s misfortune on the injury front this season is a major reason for him not being amongst the top-scoring forwards, but for the rest, neither of these teams have offered mini-league-winning consistent value over the course of the campaign. Hopefully next season, Maurizio Sarri freshens up the starting eleven that he tinkers so little with even if he has transfer restrictions and Mauricio Pocchetino gets the chance to add serious title-challenging quality to his squad.

Just a tier lower, Arsenal and Manchester United took fifth and sixth place, respectively. The Gunners did what they had to do by beating Burnley away from home, courtesy of an Aubameyang double to give him the Golden Boot (shared with Sadio Mané and Mo Salah) and a late goal by Eddie Nketiah. United, on the other hand, ended the season in a fashion that, unfortunately for them, illustrated the disappointing campaign they’ve had. The general consensus was that, despite their horrid form, the Red Devils were going to use the home game against relegated Cardiff in the final gameweek as a way to finish the season on a positive note, but no… Instead, Solskjaer’s men put in another unacceptable performance, this time one ending in an embarrassing 0-2 home loss.

Neither Arsenal, mainly due to Unai Emery’s love of rotation, nor United, mainly due to their unpredictable form, offered much joy to FPL managers this season. Sure, Aubameyang jumps out with his 22 goals and 5 assists in 36 games, but he has the £10.5m+ price tag to go with it. The likes of Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba enjoyed a brilliant month or two following the appointment of OGS as caretaker manager, but outside of that period, there were many better options available for your teams. Neither team was consistently stable enough in the back to make their defensive assets essential for FPL managers, while fluctuating form and at times maddening rotation up front (we’re talking to you, Unai Emery) limited the FPL potential of most of the Arsenal and United forward options. Both teams will be playing Europa League football next season and when comparing them to the current top four, that’s probably a correct reflection of the season.

Gameweek 38: three goodbyes

Unfortunately for the teams involved, the relegation battle did not need to be decided on the very last day. Huddersfield surprised many fans and pundits last year when they managed to avoid relegation in their first season amongst the elite, but this season they became the joint-earliest relegated team in Premier League history. Their 2-0 loss at Selhurst Park in gameweek 32 confirmed their relegation and the end-of-season stats show us why: 38 games played, 3 victories, 28 losses and a goal difference of minus 54. Goalkeeper Jonas Lössl (99 FPL points) proved to be a wanted cheap goalkeeper option in the official game, while Christopher Schindler and Aaron Mooy (both 76 points) were probably the best outfield options for those managers who really wanted a Terrier in their rosters. Overall though, there wasn’t much joy to be found here for FPL managers this season.

Fulham FC are probably the disappointment of the season. After a stellar season under Slavisa Jokanovic in the Championship that ended with promotion to the elite and a transfer summer in which more than £100 million were spent on new recruits, the 2018-19 Premier League campaign soon turned into a nightmare for them. With just two victories over the first half of the season and the increasing number of FPL managers basing some part of their transfer strategy on “Who’s playing Fulham this week?”, Fulham looked well on their way back down already before Christmas. Current manager Scott Parker was appointed after Claudio Ranieri couldn’t manage to turn around the club’s horrible start under Jokanovic, but despite improving performances under the young English manager, Fulham will be playing in the Championship again next season. No matter how many Mitrovic’ or Babel’s you bring in, when your team ends the season with 81 goals conceded and a goal difference of -47, you kind of deserve it.

Finally, newly-promoted Cardiff City joined Huddersfield and Fulham on the way down after losing 2-3 at home to Crystal Palace in gameweek 37. As a sidenote, as far as we’re aware, Palace are the only Premier League side ever to condemn two sides to relegation in the same season. Back to the Bluebirds, who started the season in a bad way, losing six of their first eight games. Many people saw them back in the Championship before Christmas, but Neil Warnock’s men got their act together and stayed in the fight until the penultimate gameweek. They can be proud of their season regardless, especially considering the unspeakable drama that unfolded around the transfer of Emiliano Sala during the January transfer window. From an FPL point of view, the Bluebirds offered some serious value as well, especially in goal, where first-choice goalie Neil Etheridge had a fantastic season that culminated in 154 FPL points and a fourth place in the goalkeeper rankings overall. Captain Sol Bamba (despite his unfortunate long-term injury in gameweek 29), midfielder Victor Camarasa (106 FPL points) and even forward Bobby Reid (£5.2m, 5 goals, 3 assists, 80 FPL points) were other Cardiff assets that, at one point or another, enjoyed surges in their ownership as a result of Cardiff’s performances.

With one game to play who will win the 2018/19 TFF title?

After all the EPL matches have now been played, the race for the Telegraph Fantasy Football (TFF) 2018/19 title is down to the last game: the FA Cup Final. This is something I’ve experienced before; finishing 2nd in TFF in 2002/03 and if Ashley Cole had not cleared James Beattie’s header off the line in the Arsenal v Southampton 2003 FA Cup Final the title would have been mine! Back down Memory Lane here was the line up for the 2003 FA Cup Final:

Arsenal vs Southampton 2003-05-17.svg

By PeeJay – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

So nerves must be jangling for the leaders, although maybe less so for current leader and fiso member Adrian Frost, who won TFF in 2010/11 and whose father, Roy, then went on to win in 2015/16. With a gap of only 7 points down to David Parker in 2nd and another 18 points to 3rd it’s probably all to play for between the two of them unless someone in the top 10 has a block Man City defence. No doubt they now have a good idea of each other’s teams so will know who to cheer on (and who not to) during the Man City v Watford final on Saturday 18 May. In the unlikely event either have a transfer left then they must gamble wisely with their selection just as you would with best no deposit bonus casinos. Interestingly the two of them (Frost and Parker) were 1st and 2nd in TFF on 18 March so they have been able to keep ahead of the chasing pack for at least the last 2 months

A Telegraph Fantasy Football manager’s task is to assemble a team of 11 players from a budget of £50m who score you fantasy points based on their performances in the Premier League and FA Cup. You have 40 transfers to use for the entire season.

This year the prize pool for season ticket holders (paid teams) is:

  • The Champion: £40,000
  • Runner up: £2,500
  • 3rd: £1,000
  • 4th: £500
  • 5th: £200
  • 6th to 10th: £100

Your first team is free (whichever game you choose to start with) but you’ll need to treat yourself to a Season Ticket to play in more than one of the competitions and be in with a chance of winning the big money cash prizes. As you can see there is a huge difference between 1st and 2nd prizes so the FA Cup Final is going to provide an enormous amount of excitement for one person and disappointment for the rest.

Season Ticket Holders – Top 20 overall with just the FA Cup Final to play

1Adrian FrostLive mix2384
2David ParkerENABLE2377
3Brian MurnaghanCaptain Cuttle2359
4Andrew GarmentTeam AG92357
5Andrew Luckhurst292357
6Marie KingHorse 12351
7Marie KingHorse 22348
8Mark LemmerLem’s 12346
9Andrew Luckhurst12340
10Liam BuckleyBabsBoys2331
11Mark ChadwickArnolfini Portrait2324
12Lee FrickerSuperman 10 t-ment v2321
13Peter EckersleyGrimbles!2320
14Mark ChadwickThe Scream2320
15Chris WilkinsonHorbury diddymen2319
16Trevor FrickerConcorde2319
17Graham DolanGreen clouds invent2317
18Elaine FrickerLIV MCY 2ND2314
19Ed JonesJB Man City IV2313
20Jamie BaerLaw 12313

The above table is almost exactly the same for All Managers i.e. including the free teams but with one entry in 12th and the other in 19th.

You can follow the TFF action on Saturday on FISO’s TFF Forum and maybe on this TFF FA Cup Final topic.

Premier League Top 11 – The Best Performing Fantasy Football Players

This Premier League season was one of the most exciting ones in recent history, with many memorable events, great successes and heartbreaks. In terms of fantasy football, it was also one of the most interesting seasons to participate in, with many outstanding individual performances from top PFL players. So, with the gameweek 38 wrap up yesterday, let’s look at the best Premier League fantasy squad for the 2018/2019 season, by each position.

Premier League Top 11

The 2018/2019 season was one of the most popular seasons in terms of fantasy football, garnering a huge following and a massive player base. It was also very popular among sports bettors, with an almost record-breaking season in terms of sports betting wagers. Those who were skilful enough to find a bet365 bonus code and use it to better their online betting budget were also probably able to come about great wins and enjoy this Premier League season even more.

Even though some football fans, fantasy players and sports bettors will complain how this list excludes some quality players that have performed excellently this season, the list mainly consists out of players from two teams who have been the most dominant over this season. Going by the official stats provided by the Fantasy Premier League website, here are our picks for the Premier League fantasy team of the season.


Ledi Gag Alisson Becker kept a clean sheet on his Liverpool debut against Napoli

Although Alisson and Man City’s goalie Ederson were going neck and neck in the Golden Glove race for the entire season, we’ve decided for the Liverpool goalkeeper over Ederson. On many occasions, Alisson performances were the key reason for his club’s success. His amazing season was crowned with a special individual success of 21 Premier League clean sheets in one season, making him only the fifth player to do so in the highest ranked football league in England.

Andrew Robertson

By many statistics, this fast-rising star playing left back for Liverpool has been showing some remarkable performances this season. Already considered as one of the best left-backs in today’s football, Robertson was a vital factor in 29 of Liverpool’s Premier League wins this season. Robertson notched up 12 assists in the Premier League this season, a record for most assists by a defender.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Complimenting Robertson from the opposite side, Alexander-Arnold had a stunning season playing the right back position. With only 20 years of age, he garnered over a dozen assists for the team and was an instrumental part, not only for their Premier League push but for the team’s success in the Champions League as well.

Virgil van Dijk

Striker Virgil Van Dijk Menekan Liverpool Untuk Maju Sampai Liga Premier

The Dutch centre-back was absolutely dominant all throughout the season. His fantastic performances won him the prestigious PFA Player of the Year award, ahead of a number of other players that performed excellently this year. Along with his defensive teammates, Virgil led the best defence of the 2018/2019 season, with an average of close to 0.5 goals conceded per match.

Aymeric Laporte

Aymeric Laporte has been one of the top FPL performers this year and an indispensable part of Man City’s defence. The centre back has been a favourite of many Fantasy Premier League players, as his style of play has allowed him to fill up the stat sheet with each passing week.

Eden Hazard

One of only two players on this list that don’t come from Liverpool or Man City, Hazard has been a massive factor for Chelsea. Although he has had a tumultuous season with the club, regarding his contract extension, Hazard performances have been near perfect, ranking among the top players in both goals and assists.

Sadio Mane

The lighting fast winger has been an unstoppable force for Liverpool this season and is already considered as a Liverpool legend just a couple of years into his tenure with the club. Playing the wing/forward position alongside Salah, Mane proved his quality night in and night out for the team, scoring 22 league goals this season, jointly winning the golden boot.

Raheem Sterling

With 17 goals and 14 assists this season, Raheem Sterling has shown yet again that he is one of the best players in the league and the future of his club. Sterling had one of his best seasons to date and has been the second most popular fantasy midfield player this year, right behind Eden Hazard.

Mo Salah

Mo Salah was the most efficient player this PFL season, with 22 goals scored. Even though this year has been a bit weaker compared to the last one when he scored 32 Premier League goals, it still proved to be more than enough to win him his second PFL Golden Boot in a row along with two other strikers. In addition to this, Mo picked up a dozen assists this year. All of this helped him come out on top as the most sought-out and most expensive fantasy Premier League player of the season.

Sergio Aguero

The last-minute hero of Man City’s 2012 PFL title, Aguero is still pushing strong seven years later. He did finish the season on a bit of a low note, but overall, Sergio Aguero was yet again one of the most efficient forwards in the Premier League. An attractive and flamboyant player, he was also a very popular pick among Fantasy Premier League players this year.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Rounding out this year’s Fantasy Premier League top 11 is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Although many could argue that Arsenal has under-performed this season, Aubameyang has done everything in his power to keep them as close to the top as possible. With 20 goals this season, Aubameyang has quietly impressed this season and ended up jointly winning the 2018/2019 Golden Boot.

FPL Season 2018/19 – Gameweek 38 Preview

“Is Jurgen Klopp going to surprise in the Premier League as well after Liverpool’s heroics against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals?” (CC by 2.0 ) by Asia Johanna

And so we’ve come to the end of yet another thrilling Premier League campaign and yet another roller coaster FPL season. The final gameweek promises plenty of emotion, as the championship has not been decided yet, unbelievable but true. With a win at Brighton, Pep Guardiola’s Man City will crown themselves champions with an incredible 98 points from 38 games, after surpassing the 100-point mark last season. Any other result at the AMEX, in combination with a Liverpool victory at Anfield versus a Wolves team that has nothing to play for any more (already assured of 7th place), and the Reds grab the title with 97 points. No matter the outcome, both clubs have been brilliant throughout the season, something that’s illustrated by the fact that the runner-up for the 2018-19 campaign will finish with at least 95 points. In any other Premier League season bar last, that tally would have been more than enough to comfortably take the title home.

The easy thing about gameweek 38 is that there is just one more week to take into account in terms of your FPL transfer plans. The only other remaining relevant games on the schedule are the FA Cup final between City and Watford (May 18th), and of course the all-English European finals: Spurs vs Liverpool in the Champions League final on the 1st of June and Chelsea vs Arsenal in the Europa League final on May 29th. Relevant is a relative term in this case though, because we don’t believe that these games, considering their dates, will have too much impact on the starting line-ups for the Premier League’s gameweek 38. Still, players from any of these six teams with a niggling injury might be spared coming Sunday in order to nurture the injury as well as possible in the build-up to a final.

What could be of more influence on player selection this weekend, is the fact that the majority of teams in the Premier League no longer have something to play far apart from their honour. For this reason, we’ve created a simple overview of what’s at stake for every Premier League club in the final gameweek of the season:

Brighton Manchester City Brighton are safe from relegation, City win the title if they beat Brighton
Burnley Arsenal Burnley are safe from relegation, Arsenal secure fifth place if they beat Burnley. Arsenal can fall to sixth place if they lose or draw, and Man United beat Cardiff
Crystal Palace Bournemouth Nothing at stake but twelfth place
Fulham Newcastle Fulham have been relegated and play their last home game of the season, Newcastle are safe from relegation
Leicester Chelsea Chelsea secure third place if they beat Leicester, but if they draw or lose and Spurs beat Everton, Chelsea drop to fourth place. If Leicester beat Chelsea and Everton lose away to Spurs, Leicester takes eight place.
Liverpool Wolves If Liverpool beat Wolves and City draw or lose against Brighton, Liverpool take the title. Wolves have secured seventh place.
Manchester United Cardiff Cardiff have been relegated. If United beat Cardiff and Arsenal draw or lose against Burnley, United take fifth place.
Southampton Huddersfield Southampton are safe from relegation, Huddersfield have been relegated.
Spurs Everton If Spurs beat Everton and Chelsea draw or lose against Leicester, Spurs take third place.  If Everton lose to Spurs and Leicester beat Chelsea, Everton drops to ninth.
Watford West Ham Both teams are safe from relegation, while there is no chance of European qualification for either of them via the Premier League ranking.

*In some scenarios, the goal difference might make a small difference, but we have disregarded this factor when determining the stakes for the table above.

Do not forget that the deadline for gameweek 38 has been set at 14h00 (BST) on Sunday, May 12th, and that all games will kick off at 15h00 (BST). Be sure to check your chips as well: if you have any chips left, this is your last chance to activate them, just like you would if you were playing online pokies in Australia. Now onto our last picks for the 2018-2019 FPL season.

Premium picks

As you probably imagined, our picks for gameweek 38 are dominated by Man City and Liverpool assets, not for the first time this season. With just one game left to go, the title race is still wide open, meaning that we’re counting on both managers to field their strongest possible starting eleven. Seeing as Raheem Sterling is part of our captaincy picks later on, our first premium pick of the week is his team mate Sergio Aguero (£12.0m). The flow of play on Sunday is predictable, as Brighton will most likely sit deep and make disrupting City’s offensive plans their top priority. The Seagulls have conceded 10 goals in their last 6 games, a run that included a collective lapse of concentration in gameweek 34 that ended with a 0-5 drubbing at home to an inconsistent Bournemouth side. As far as Aguero goes, the Argentinian striker has not been on his most productive run over the last few gameweeks, at least in terms of FPL returns. In the last four games, he scored a goal and provided a single assist, while the home game against Leicester last weekend represents the first time Kun didn’t get a return from a home game in which he started this season. Truth be told, fortune wasn’t on his side as he did hit the crossbar in that game and Leicester’s Kasper Schmeichel kept Aguero from the score sheet with an excellent save in the closing minutes. With both the Premier League title and the 2018-19 top scorer’s title on the line for the agile forward (he stands at 20 goals currently, two behind Salah), expect Aguero to start and City to come out with guns blazing.

Our second premium pick for GW38 is Liverpool’s Sadio Mané (£10.3m), as his team mate Mo Salah is our second suggestion for the armband this week after Jurgen Klopp confirmed that the Egyptian will have recovered from his concussion by the time Wolves roll up to Anfield on Sunday. The Senegalese forward did not manage to get directly involved in any of the four goals during the instant legendary comeback against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final during the week, but he played an excellent game nonetheless, providing constant threat to the Barça backline. Mané has been in scintillating form at Anfield this season, scoring 11 goals in 18 home games. Over the last four games overall, he scored 3 and guess where those were scored? Exactly, in front of the Reds faithful. Wolves are far from push-overs, but with seventh place in the PL guaranteed, they may turn up a bit more relaxed than usual for the last game of the season. It’s also possible that manager Nuno Espirito Santo uses the opportunity to give a few of his less regular starters some playing minutes. In any case, considering the stakes for Liverpool, it’s hard for us not to see a victory for the Reds here. On top of that, Salah (first with 22 goals) and Mané (shared second with 20 goals) can still both realistically win the Premier League Golden Boot, which is a great prospect from an FPL point of view.

Our final premium pick of the week, and indeed of the season, is one inspired by… well, hope, or maybe stubbornness. Whatever the case, we believe Manchester United’s Paul Pogba (£8.6m) is worth a mention, despite United’s inexplicable form at the moment. You’d think United assets would be on the way out after their horror show of a performance against Huddersfield last week, but Pogba is actually one of the most-transferred in players in the build-up to gameweek 38. Truth be told, he was relatively one of the less disappointing Red Devils on the pitch versus the Terriers and he did hit the woodwork twice in that game, all of which goes towards explaining his inclusion in our list. United are hosting recently relegated Cardiff on Sunday afternoon, so you’d think (or at least hope) that the locals can bring it one more time, in front of their home fans, to give a largely disappointing season a positive ending. United have scored 33 goals in 18 home games (with Pogba scoring 10 and preparing 3 of those goals), while the Bluebirds have scored just 11 goals on the road this whole season, losing 13 of their 18 away games. Add to that Pogba’s penalty duties and nailed-on starting spot, and it suddenly doesn’t look like such a bad idea to include the Frenchman in your FPL squad, although as we’ve hinted it is a bit of a gamble with other promising options available just like American online gambling sites can be.

The FISO Forum transfer topic for FPL GW38 will give you more ideas.

A differential pick or two

With Southampton safe from relegation and considering their 3-0 loss to West Ham last weekend, a Saints asset might not be top of your transfer targets list for GW38. Still, with their final game of the season taking place at home to Huddersfield, a player like Nathan Redmond (£5.5m) could well be worth a punt. The English forward is a nailed-on starter for manager Ralph Hasenhüttl, despite his surprising start on the bench against the Hammers last weekend. The Austrian coach brought Redmond on after the break though, enough for the Saints star to make four attempts on goal from inside the penalty area. He has scored 2 goals and provided 1 assist over his last five Premier League games, and all of those returns came in the two home games during that period (2 goals vs Wolves in GW33 and an assist vs Bournemouth in GW36). The visiting Terriers have lost 14 of their 18 away games this season and they have conceded a worrying 44 goals over that run. A end-of-the-season haul could well be on the cards for Redmond. It’s also noted that goalkeeper Gunn who was also benched last week will be starting on Sunday according to Hasenhüttl.

Our second differential pick of the season is Fulham’s Ryan Babel (£5.6m), who will be looking to leave a good impression in what is most likely to be his last game for the club. Though not enough to avoid the relegation that had been looming over Fulham for many months already, the Dutch international has had a fantastic impact on his team, scoring 5 goals and providing 4 assists since arriving to Craven Cottage in the last winter transfer window. Apart from 2 goals, all of those returns were recorded on his own ground, where Fulham will be hosting Newcastle on Sunday. In his last five home games, Babel got an impressive 39 FPL points: 9 in GW36 vs Cardiff, 14 in GW34 vs Everton, 2 vs City in GW32, 9 vs Liverpool in GW31 and 5 in GW29 against Chelsea. Newcastle, on the other hand, have conceded 23 goals in 18 away games, of which they lost 7. With a price tag of just £5.6m, his FPL position as a midfielder but him being deployed as a forward in real life, and a current ownership of just 1.6%, Babel could be a surprising differential asset in the final stages of your mini-leagues.

The captaincy

As we mentioned earlier in this article, both of our suggestions for the captain’s armband in gameweek 38 are directly involved in the deciding games for the Premier League title. With Mo Salah (£13.3) playing at home and considering his current leading position in the Golden Boot ranking, the Egyptian forward is our first captaincy pick this week. Despite him not being in the squad for the mid-week semi-final against Barcelona in the Champions League due to a concussion, Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that his talisman will be ready for the clash with Wolves on Sunday. Salah has provided attacking returns for his owners in the last six gameweeks, a run over which he scored 5 goals and gave 3 assists. On top of that, there is no other player in the Premier League who has had more shots on target in home games this season than Mo’s 30. Besides the championship, the Liverpool wizard is also defending his lead in the Premier League Golden Boot race, which he is currently leading by 2 goals (22 vs three players with 20 goals in second place: Aguero, Aubameyang, and his team mate Mané). This may result in a bit more selfishness in front of goal than usual, which, considering his underlying stats, is not bad news either for those who own Salah or are planning on bringing him in.

Man City’s Raheem Sterling (£11.7m) was recently elected PFA Young Player of the Season and it’s not hard to see why. The young English forward has been spectacular for Pep Guardiola this season, scoring 17 goals in the Premier League and preparing another 14 goals for team mates. In a deep squad where rotation is an ever-present risk, Sterling is one of Pep’s most-used players (2,680 minutes in the PL alone this season) and we can only see him featuring from the kick-off against Brighton on Sunday. It is true that the City star has been less productive lately, with just a single assist in his last three games to illustrate that, and City have been struggling lately to translate their footballing dominance on the pitch into comfortable victories. Add to that that Brighton are likely to do whatever they can to frustrate Pep Guardiola and his players in their quest to put the game beyond doubt as soon as possible, thereby making the result at Anfield redundant. It’s hard not to see City winning this one though, but it’s unclear whether they’ll do it comfortably or by the skin of their teeth. Both scenarios are real possibilities. In any case, the visitors will be creating chances and when they do, more often than not, Raheem Sterling is involved. His arm is probably one of the safest places for the armband in gameweek 38.

According to the FISO Forum Captain Poll for FPL GW38, Aguero and then Salah clearly lead the way from Sterling and Mane.

Things You Need to Know About the Rugby World Cup 2019

One of the biggest sporting events of the year is still a few months away, but it’s never too early to start talking about it. It’s the Rugby World Cup, of course, and this year’s epic event is set to be a whopper.

The championship takes place from Friday, 20th September until Saturday, 2nd November this year. Twenty rugby teams from all over the world will be gunning for that coveted Webb Ellis Cup in this year’s event in Japan.

The exciting first match will kick off on the 20th in the breathtaking Ajinomoto Stadium near the heart of Tokyo Metropolitan. September usually offers the perfect rugby weather in Japan – not too cold or too hot – so it’s not to be missed.

Naturally, not everyone has the luxury of going to Japan to see the mud splatter up close. So for the rest of, streaming will have to do. But more on that later. For now, here are a few interesting facts about the Japanese rugby team, and all the details around the Rugby World Cup 2019.

5 Need-to-Know Facts About the Rugby World Cup 2019

1. A Look Into Japan’s Rugby Team

The Japanese rugby team, known as The Brave Blossoms (yes, that’s really it), is currently ranked 11th in the world. As the hosts, they automatically qualified this year, and they’ll be gunning for a spot against tough competition in the pool stage.

The Japanese team has consistently qualified for the Rugby World Cup over the last 20 odd years, but have yet to see a win. That said, they are seen as the strongest rugby union in Asia, with numerous wins against South Korea, Tonga, and China. They’ve also had some memorable matches against Tier 1 nations.

One of the most noteworthy wins for The Brave Blossoms in recent years was in a World Cup pool match against South Africa. They beat the Springboks 34–32 in 2015, causing an uproar among rugby fans.

While they’re not fan favourites to win this year’s cup, it will be interesting to see how they fare on home ground.

2. The Qualifying Teams

The teams taking part in the 2019 World Cup are:

– Argentina                                          – Australia

– Canada                                             – England

– Fiji                                                     – France

– Georgia                                             – Ireland

– Italy                                                   – Japan

– Namibia                                            – New Zealand

– Russia                                               – Samoa

– Scotland                                            – South Africa

– Tonga                                                – Uruguay

– USA                                                  – Wales

3. The Tournament Schedule

There will be four pools of five teams each. Only two teams per pool will make it through to the knockout rounds.

The Pools:

A: Japan, Scotland, Ireland, Russia, Samoa

B: Italy, South Africa, New Zealand, Namibia, Canada

C: England, Argentina, France, Tonga, USA

D: Australia, Fiji, Wales, Georgia, Uruguay

Here’s the schedule:

The Pools: September 20 – October 13.

The Quarter-Finals: October 19–20.

The Semi-Finals: October 26–27.

The Bronze Final: November 1.

The Final: November 2.

For a full schedule of the match dates, check out the fixtures page on The Telegraph.

4. The 2019 World Cup Mascots

While the World Cup mascots never really do much, they are fun to look at, and the kids always love them. This year, there’s Ren-G, two sacred lion-like creatures called shishi. According to the organizers, this adult and child combo embody the five spirits of rugby – integrity, solidarity, respect, discipline, passion.

5. Where to Watch

Those not fortunate enough to go and see the action live at least get the upside of watching it from a comfy couch. It’s a small consolation, but at least streaming services makes it easy to see everything live. Well, that is, if internet service providers play along. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case when streaming sporting events from other countries. ISP throttling can become a major issue and cause viewers to miss important moments.

The Rugby World Cup will be aired by all the regular broadcast partner channels in over 20 countries. It will also be streaming live in the official site. Those who don’t have cable or access to the official streaming partners will have to get a little more creative.

Regardless of the streaming service of choice, it’s a good idea to invest in a VPN (https://nordvpn.com/coupon/) for the duration of the tournament. A VPN will both thwart ISP throttling and provide access to more streaming sites to choose from across the globe.

Don’t Miss Out

The matches will be played in 12 modern stadiums across Japan. Make sure to catch all the action as it happens this rugby season. It’s set to be one of the most exciting years yet.

Are There Any Cybersecurity Threats Fantasy Sports Fans Should Worry About?

Fantasy football is supposed to be fun, with the stress mitigated to calculations and a bit of luck. But there’s a new player on the block – the cyber attacker – and they are not here to play but to steal. Fortunately, there are some tools that can keep them at the start line. Read on to find out how.

Bets used to be contained to private dealings between a bookie, their paper pad, and close acquaintances. Now, it’s a public thing, run by huge companies like New York-based FanDuel Inc. and Boston-based DraftKings Inc.

It’s great news for those who are into both serious and casual betting as it provides a stable platform to do so. However, it’s also attracted the attention of the shadier side of the internet. And unfortunately, where hackers are involved, things can get hairy fast and then they’re gone before anyone’s the wiser.

Cyber Crime is a Huge Threat to Fantasy Sports

Anything that’s popular on the internet is fair game as far as hackers are concerned. The bigger the fish, the bigger the prize and they’re placing their bets on fantasy sports.

Fantasy Football has grown a lot in popularity these last few years, attracting millions of visitors to betting sites every day. But as people happily bet away on their favorite athletes, cybercriminals are busy poking holes in these platforms’ defenses.

Back in 2014, Yahoo saw one of the largest data breaches in history. Users of their fantasy football app were among the largest sections of those affected.

That was 5 years ago. Participation in fantasy sports has increased exponentially since then, with over 15.6 million players in 2017, in the US alone. That’s one big target on the backs of fantasy sports betting companies – that haven’t really focused on upping their security.

This has lead to increased reports of sports betting websites being targeted as well as fake sites being set-up to draw some of that traffic. Unless companies step up their security, it’s very likely that these threats will only increase in number.

The Types of Threats Fans Face

The nature of fantasy sports betting sites and apps leaves a lot of room for exploitation from outside forces.

To take part, people have to share personal details and login information, as well as a payment method. These companies collect massive amounts of data – including credit card information, social security numbers, and other consumer data. That leaves fantasy sports fans very vulnerable when the company database gets hacked. Not to mention the massive amounts of money these companies work with on a daily basis. Both these aspects make a sports betting website an attractive target for attackers.

Right now, the threats fantasy sports fans face are:

-Fake betting websites and apps.

-Malware that hides behind ads on fantasy sports betting websites.

-The connection becoming compromised and transactions being intercepted.

-The company data being stolen, which means user login details, personal details, and payment information being stolen, too.

-Hackers rigging the system.

Ransomware attacks.

-Phishing attempts via email, social media, and text messages.

What Can Be Done?

Right now, it’s up to each individual to protect themselves. Even if the betting industry gets their act together cybersecurity-wise, it’s still better to be safe than sorry.

Luckily, there are a few steps a person can take to make themselves a harder target. Hackers work smart, not hard. If they can’t get in, then they’ll move on to an easier target.

Get a good antivirus and firewall: These programs will block internet pop-ups, detect suspicious downloads, and automatically delete unsafe files. They’re not infallible, and might not detect everything, but they are the first line of defense.

Use a VPN while online: VPN services are becoming exceedingly popular under those working with online transactions. They employ state-of-the-art encryption methods and hide a user’s IP, making it very hard for an outsider to gain access.

Use a separate Email and password for betting: This way, it’s harder for attackers to get access if any other online accounts get compromised. It also makes it easier to pick out phishing attempts.

Never click on links or download attachments: When it’s possible, go straight to the source. Meaning, type in the website URL or search for the page via the website. Attackers often create fake versions of emails sent by real companies to get people to click on the links. Which is always malware.

In Conclusion

Fantasy sports is a booming industry, but this intersection of tech, money, and data creates the perfect platform for exploitation. So don’t let the fun get spoilt by malicious cyber attackers – bet cautiously with online safety.

FPL Season 2018/19 – Gameweek 37 Preview

“Liverpool’s Mo Salah was up to his very best again against Huddersfield, with 2 goals and an assist leading to 19 FPL points in gameweek 36” (CC by 3.0 ) by Footballcoin

We are now truly reaching the end of the 2018-19 Premier League campaign. With gameweek 37 upon us in about 24 hours, we’ll be entering the final two gameweeks of the season and rarely has an English title race, or indeed any football title race, been as tight as this year’s battle of titans between Man City and Liverpool. The way it looks now, the Cityzens seem to be in pole position, as it seems unlikely that they’ll drop points against Leicester at the Etihad or versus Brighton away. You never know, though. One thing we do know, is that Jurgen Klopp’s men won’t give up until the very end.

That will also be the main thought for FC Barcelona’s Ernesto Valverde after he led his men to a (flattering) victory over the Reds in this week’s first leg of the Champions League semi-finals. After Spurs succumbed to a brilliant opening half hour from the visitors from Amsterdam a day earlier, the other English semi-finalist had to recognise Barcelona’s superiority at the Camp Nou. Or maybe better said, Lionel Messi’s superiority. Considering the flow of the game, it can be considered a miracle that Liverpool didn’t score, but that’s what happened and now they have the daunting task of coming back from three behind against one of Europe’s best outfits. Still, not so long ago, PSG showed that incredible turn-arounds against Barça are possible. If they could do it, why not the best Liverpool in ages?

On to FPL. The upcoming return matches in the Champions League, as well as the upcoming games in the Europa League semis, will have their impact on team selections this weekend, so we will be taking that into account. Before moving onto our picks for gameweek 37, we’ll provide a simple overview of the two games that each team still has to play, as well as a summary of how last week’s picks performed. With just two rounds to go, it’s all or nothing for those chasing in their (mini-)leagues, while the fortunate ones in the lead need to hold on for just a little longer. Just like for Liverpool, for most FPL managers, it’s all coming down to the final games.

Don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 37 has been set at 19h00 (BST) tomorrow Friday, May 3rd.

The remaining fixtures list for each Premier League team this season

Team GW37 GW38   Team GW37 GW38
Man City Leicester (h) Brighton (a)   West Ham Soton (h) Watford (a)
Liverpool N’castle (a) Wolves (h)   Palace Cardiff (a) B’mouth (h)
Spurs B’mouth (a) Everton (h)   Newcastle Liverpool (h) Fulham (a)
Chelsea Watford (h) Leicester (a)   B’mouth Spurs (h) Palace (a)
Arsenal Brighton (h) Burnley (a)   Burnley Everton (a) Arsenal (h)
Man United H’field (a) Cardiff (h)   Soton W Ham (a) H’field (h)
Wolves Fulham (h) Liverpool (a)   Brighton Arsenal (a) Man City (h)
Leicester Man City (a) Chelsea (h)   Cardiff Palace (h) M United (a)
Everton Burnley (h) Spurs (a)   Fulham Wolves (a) N’castle (h)
Watford Chelsea (a) W Ham (h)   Huddersfield M United (h) Soton (a)

(a) = away ; (h) = home

Before moving onto our picks for GW37, here are the results of last week’s picks

Premium Andy Robertson (Liverpool) 14
Premium Mo Salah (Liverpool) 19
Premium Christian Eriksen (Spurs) 2
Differential Bernardo Silva (Man City) 3
Differential Jamie Vardy (Leicester) 13
Captain Sadio Mané (Liverpool) 13
Captain Heung-Min Son (Spurs) 2

Premium picks

After an unusual drought in terms of attacking returns for Raul Jimenez (£6.9m) that lasted three gameweeks, the Mexican striker got back on the score sheet against Watford at Vicarage Road last week. Wolves are facing relegated Fulham at home on Saturday, and especially at home, Jimenez has been a man of extremes since gameweek 24. They played six home games over that stretch and the Mexican recorded three double-figure hauls, while returning 2 points on the other three occasions. Including away games for that period, Jimenez has scored 7 goals and provided 3 assists, bringing home 76 FPL points for the 38.1% of managers that own him. Fulham meanwhile still boast the worst defensive record in the league this season, but they did shut out their last three opponents (Everton home, Bournemouth away, Cardiff home). Nevertheless, Wolves are expected to aim everything at securing the seventh spot in the League in these last two games, as a Man City victory in the FA Cup final versus Watford would mean that the seventh spot equals Europa League football next season. Raul Jimenez is a nailed-on starter and one of the best performers of the season, so try to bring him in for this one if you can.

As could be seen against West Ham at home last weekend and mid-week against Ajax in the Champions League, Spurs are not going through their best phase, in big part due to injuries. Still, they are fighting to keep hold of their current third position in the table, which is why our second premium pick of the week is Heung-Min Son (£8.9m). The Korean attacker was suspended for the first leg of his team’s Champions League semi-final clash, and even though many eyes will be on him to lead a potential comeback against Ajax coming Wednesday, he’s more than likely to start at the Vitality Stadium coming Saturday. Considering Spurs’ current struggles to break down rival defences, he might even be the one to decide that encounter. Son’s last attacking return came in gameweek 34, an assist in just four minutes of playing time, and followed his goal against Palace a round earlier. Bournemouth’s home form is reasonable, with 7 victories and 6 draws in 18 games. They did concede 25 goals over those 18 games and their recent results have been fluky. Between gameweeks 33 and 35, for example, a 1-3 loss at home to Burnley was followed by a 0-5 victory versus Huddersfield, which subsequently was followed by a 0-1 home loss to Fulham. Despite their injuries, form, and hectic schedule, Spurs should come away with three points this weekend, and if they do, Son will be instrumental.

Our final premium pick for gameweek 37 is based more on fixture than current form, though we can’t really say that Man United’s Luke Shaw (£5.0m) has been in bad form of late. It’s more a team-wide issue at United, it seems. The young English left-back played a good game against Chelsea last week and provided an excellent assist for Mata’s goal, earning him the full 3 bonus points for a total of 8 points. On Sunday, the United defence faces the League’s lowest-scoring attack when the Red Devils roll up to Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium. The Terriers have scored just 9 goals in 18 home games this season. Nine. Despite a top-four finish depending on the results of their rivals as well, United can be expected to aim for a comfortable victory and hope for a mistake by Chelsea or Arsenal. With Cardiff at Old Trafford as his last game of the season, Luke Shaw could very well record two clean sheets to end the campaign in style. Add the potential of an assist in one of those games and maybe a bonus point or two, and you’ve got a defender who could represent 12+ points over two games without stretching our imagination too much.

A differential pick or two

Exceptionally, we’ve included two defenders in this week’s list, as our first differential suggestion is Wolverhampton’s Jonny (£4.3m). Wolves are facing Fulham at home on Saturday and despite the improvement in composure and form displayed by the Cottagers over the past few weeks, a clean sheet and a victory seem to be on the cards for the locals. As we mentioned earlier, a Man City victory over Watford in the upcoming FA Cup final would mean that the seventh place in the Premier League represents a spot in next season’s Europa League, and Wolves are currently in seventh. Fulham have been far from prolific in front of goal away from home this season, scoring just 12 goals in 18 away games. Wolves, on the other hand, boast excellent home form, with 9 victories out of 18 games, and just five losses. Their starting left-back Jonny is currently owned by just 3.5% of FPL managers and has recorded 19 FPL points over the past three League games, courtesy of a clean sheet against Brighton in GW35 and two assists against Arsenal the week after that. The young Spaniard is facing Liverpool at Anfield next week, so this would really be a one-week differential pick, but one that definitely pay off.

Paul Pogba (£8.5m) is our second differential pick for gameweek 37. There, we said it. Sure, he’s not a differential in terms his current FPL ownership (31.4%), but considering United’s recent form and alleged dressing room issues, we do think that counting on United’s current form is kind of a punt. In other words, more than 31% of managers might own Pogba at the moment, but how many will be spending a free transfer or even 4 points to bring him in? The Frenchman has averaged just 3.3 FPL points over his last ten Premier League games, but his 90 minutes are practically assured and he’s on penalties as well. He’ll be up against Huddersfield on Sunday, who have conceded 30 goals in 18 home games. What’s more, the last time the Terriers conceded less than two goals in a game was back in gameweek 29. In the seven games that followed, they conceded a staggering 23 goals. Pogba’s last attacking returns came against West Ham in GW 34 (2 goals and 15 FPL points) and the game against Huddersfield looks like the ideal opportunity for a next haul.

The FISO Forum GW37 transfers topic has further ideas for you to have a look at.

The captaincy

Man City are on course to decide this year’s thrilling title race in their favour, all they need is to win their remaining two games against Leicester (home) and Brighton (away). Besides the FA Cup final on the 18th of May, City have no other obligations, which means they can list their strongest starting eleven without a problem this weekend. Kun Aguero (£11.9m) is definitely part of their strongest eleven. This weekend’s home game against Leicester won’t likely be a walk-over, but few teams can withstand a Man City at full force. As far as Aguero goes, he has delivered attacking returns in every home game so far this season, including two hat-tricks. Also, his crucial goal against Burnley in gameweek 36 was his 20th of the Premier League campaign, meaning that the Argentinian assassin has now reached at least 20 goals in the PL in each of his last five season. This man is fixture-proof and even though Brendan Rogers has done really good work in relatively little time at Leicester, it’s hard to not see Aguero making a considerable contribution to Man City’s title chances, both this weekend against the Foxes and in gameweek 38 at the AMEX in Brighton.

If you feel that Leicester might be the proverbial banana peel for Pep Guardiola’s men, than you can look at their main rivals for an alternative. Liverpool’s Mo Salah (£13.3m) seems to have returned to top form for the business end of the season, illustrated by his huge 19-point haul against Huddersfield last week, making him the highest-scoring FPL asset in the game (249 points in total). Considering the intense encounter at the Camp Nou this week in which Salah failed to have an impact on the scorelines despite a few chances to do so, Jurgen Klopp will still count on Salah to bring the tricky away game versus Newcastle to a satisfying end coming Saturday evening. They’ve still got everything to lose in the League as well. Mo has scored 4 goals and provided 1 assist in his last five Premier League outings, including a double strike and an assist last week against Huddersfield. Liverpool have scored an impressive twenty times since the start of gameweek 30, while Newcastle played three home games over that period in which they conceded 4 goals. It won’t be an easy game for the Reds, but considering the stakes, one would expect Liverpool to score a few here and come away with the three points.

The weekly FPL Captain Poll has for GW37, has Aguero currently with over 50% of the votes.