FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 38 preview

The end of the 2023-2024 Fantasy Premier League campaign is upon us and unlike many of the preceding years, there is lots still to play for in gameweek 38. Spotlight number one will, of course, be on the top of the Premier League table, where Manchester City and Arsenal are separated by just two points in the former’s favour, with both of them having a winnable home game coming up.

A few places further down the table, the Europa League and Conference spots are still up for grabs as well. Spurs and Chelsea are to battle it out for fifth place, with the former currently in the driver’s seat. Newcastle and even Manchester United could come into the picture at some point as well, but that would require a series of specific results. Don’t forget that the FA Cup final on May 25th between the Manchester rivals will also have a considerable impact on which English sides will qualify for Europe this season.

Finally, there is also the relegation battle. Sheffield United have been relegated for a while already, as have Burnley, who both have no longer have any chance to finish above the line. Luton Town looks like they will join them in the descent, though the Hatters do still have a very minimal chance of survival. They are currently three points behind Nottingham Forest and to secure another season of Premier League football, they will need to beat Fulham and hope for a Forest defeat against Burnley. The even bigger problem for Luton is that they also need to make up a goal difference swing of 12 in favour of Forest…

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 38 is set at 14h30 (UK time) on Sunday, May 19th, 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per May 17th, 2024)

GKEderson (MCI), Pickford (EVE), Areola (WHU)Raya (ARS), Vicario (TOT), Leno (FUL)Ederson injury
DEFSchär (NEW), Dunk (BRI), Branthwaite (EVE)Gvardiol (MCI), Porro (TOT), White (ARS)Dunk injury doubt, Gvardiol form
MIDSaka (ARS), Gordon (NEW), De Bruyne (MCI)Havertz (ARS), Olise (CRY), Foden (MCI)All transferred-out players are injury doubts
FORIsak (NEW), Solanke (BOU), Watkins (AST)Mateta (CRY), Haaland (MCI), Jackson (CHE)All transferred-in forwards in good goalscoring form

Premium pick

Logic dictates that, when it comes to the final gameweek of the season, it’s wise to go with teams and players who still have something to play for. If that “thing to go for” is the Premier League title, all the better, especially when Manchester City is concerned. The reason for this is that we can wholeheartedly recommend Erling Haaland (£14.3m) as the stand-out premium fantasy pick for gameweek 38. If Pep Guardiola’s men want to win the title without having to depend on external results, they need to beat West Ham at home on Sunday and you can be sure that Haaland will spearhead the attack for the occasion. He actually has a very small chance to make it at least 30 goals in each of this first two Premier League seasons, seeing as last season he scored 36 times and he is sitting on 27 goals in the current campaign as we speak. On a day on which Manchester City can prolongate their title and Haaland could grab yet another record, is a hattrick for the Norwegian phenomena really that crazy to imagine?

Non-premium pick

“Yeah, he should be fine”, is what Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta answered last Sunday when asked about the fitness and injury status of Bukayo Saka (£8.9m). Therefore, despite him still carrying a yellow flag in the official fantasy game, we are selecting the England star as our non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 38. Much like Haaland and Manchester City, Saka and Arsenal can still win the title and to do so, they will in a big part be looking to their main man on the right flank. After a fantastic season with 14 goals and 12 assists from 37 league starts last season, he currently has 16 goals and 12 assists from 35 league starts in the current season. On top of that, Saka is also in good form at the moment, despite not getting a direct involvement in the only goal at Old Trafford last weekend. Prior to that, he got an assist against Chelsea in GW34, a goal and an assist against Spurs in GW35 and another assist against Bournemouth in GW36. The Gunners are facing an Everton side that no longer has anything to play for on the final matchday of the season, so it looks like the planets are aligning for a nice Saka haul this weekend.

The budget enabler

If you are using a Wildcard or a Free Hit in gameweek 38, for example, or if you need to free up some cash somewhere to bring in the player that will help you go out with a bang, a budget player can come in very handy for the final matchday. We have therefore gone with Michael Olise (£5.7m), who is combining good form with a decent fixture this weekend. Crystal Palace are facing Aston Villa at home on Sunday, with both teams no longer having anything to play for. We know what we said about picking players with an interest in gameweek 38, but when it comes to the ideal budget enabler, you want something of a high points ceiling as well. That is what Olise is offering, as the French youth international is priced at £5.7m while in good form. He got 12 FPL points for a goal and an assist versus Wolves last weekend and in the gameweek before, he scored a brace against Man United for 16 FPL points. Palace’s opponents Aston Villa just secured Champions League football with their mid-week draw against Liverpool, so we’re half expecting them to be well on their way to the beach when it’s time for the kick-off at Selhurst Park. Let’s see if Olise can make it three double-digit returns in a row.

The differential

Over the last seven gameweeks, no midfielder in the official fantasy game has scored more goals than Arsenal’s Leandro Trossard (£6.6m), who despite this impressive feat is still owned by just 2.6% of all managers at the moment of writing. Only Bruno Fernandes has managed to match the Belgian’s five goals in six appearances, which is even more impressive when you take into account that Trossard only played 80 minutes or more in the home game against Bournemouth in gameweek 36. It should be noted that he did start the last six league games in a row, which reinforces our belief in him as a stand-out differential for gameweek 38. We therefore expect him to start against Everton at home on Sunday as well, in a game that could bring Arsenal the title if they manage to win and Man City don’t win against West Ham. Trossard got a goal against Bournemouth in gameweek 36 and a goal against Man United in gameweek 37, so we’re hoping for a third match with attacking returns in a row for the Belgian attacker.

The (vice-)captaincy

Considering all of the factors in play during the upcoming final gameweek of the 2023-24 season, we are going with Erling Haaland as our captain. Manchester City need to win against West Ham to grab the title and Haaland is their main man up front, so yes… hattrick incoming.

For those not so confident in the Norwegian, you could opt for Kevin de Bruyne instead, though he is currently flagged in the official game. Outside of City, we’d go with Bukayo Saka as our captain, or perhaps Kai Havertz or Leandro Trossard if you’re looking for a differential armband pick on the Arsenal roster. Other options worth considering include Chelsea’s Cole Palmer at home to Bournemouth, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah at home to Wolves in Klopp’s fairwell and Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son for his visit to relegated Sheffield United.