FPL Gameweek 37: Preview

Eden Hazard / Эден Азар

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard” (CC by 4.0) by Aleksandr Osipov

The Premier League 2016/2017 season is coming to its end in an almost disturbingly fast manner, but not before another double gameweek, and this one could be big. As Antonio Conte prepares his Chelsea machine for the potential league-winning away game at the Hawthorns, the battle for Europe has yet to be decided. After two consecutive victories (over United and Southampton) Arsenal are back in the mix, together with Liverpool, Man City and Man United, and back in the fight for one of the coveted top four spots.

The League title games

Yes, Chelsea still needs to win, and yes, West Brom have had a more than decent season so far, but does anyone really doubt this one still? It’s true that the Premier League is the most unpredictable football league in the world, but looking at current form and what each team is playing for in this game, a Chelsea victory looks more than likely. Ever since reaching the 40-point mark West Brom have seemingly taken their feet off the gas, while Chelsea is steaming on relentlessly. Last weekend a motivated and well-organised Boro outfit was simply no match for them. In terms of FPL assets, look at Alonso, Cahill, and Hazard, as well as Costa and Pedro. Anything can happen in 90 minutes, and until they actually win it the championship is still undecided, but expect a match-winning performance from Conte’s men.

The remaining three spots

That give access to Champions League football, that is. With the first place most likely to be taken by the Blues, and with Spurs comfortably (though in their own eyes probably a bit disappointingly at this moment) in second place, the final two spots will be for any two teams out of Liverpool (3rd), City (4th), Arsenal (5th) and United (6th). Liverpool and City are in the driver’s seat at the moment, with respectively 4 and 3 points more than fifth-placed Arsenal, especially considering the fact that there are no more direct clashes between these four teams.

Of the four though, Liverpool is the only team without a double gameweek. The Reds face West Ham in London on Sunday and come off a decent streak, taking 10 points from the last 5 games, and conceding only 3 goals (two of which on a total off-day home to Palace). The Hammers meanwhile have recorded 4 clean sheets in their last 5 games, including last weekend’s home win over Spurs, and won 9 points in the process. With Liverpool’s Mané still out injured, and with West Ham’s Antonio and Carroll (doubtful) absent as well, this might turn out to be a game in which goals are scarce.

Manchester City seems to be the team to go for this weekend for FPL managers. They have a double gameweek (home games against Leicester and West Brom) and they’re in the midst of the battle for the Champions League, so signs of slowing down are unlikely to appear for City. Rotation, Pep Guardiola’s favorite hobby, is a risk for FPL assets, but the likes of Caballero, De Bruyne, Kompany and Gabigol (if Aguero is deemed unfit, keep an eye on the news!) seem like solid investments and potentially even armband material. For goals Man City have the best boots of the season and ones to watch out for next season are Gabriel Jesus, Sane and Aguero if he stays.

Meanwhile the looming civil war at Arsenal seems to have subsided somewhat after solid victories over United and Southampton, resulting in 4 goals scored and none conceded. The Gunners are back in the race for the Champions League, and it looks like star man Alexis has found back his mojo just in time for this crucial gameweek in which Arsenal play Stoke away and then Sunderland at home. If you have the capital, Alexis Sanchez is a strong recommendation for both your FPL team and the captaincy, while the likes of Cech, Oxlade and Koscielny (the latter two face fitness tests) could very likely be raking in the points as well this weekend. If your players don’t come up trumps then you could try other games at Royal Vegas online casino instead.

Finally, there is sixth placed Manchester United. The Red Devils reached the finals of the Europa League on Thursday evening, in which they will face Ajax Amsterdam on May 24th. The strain of the semi-final versus Celta de Vigo might affect Mourinho’s man as they go into a double gameweek in which they face Spurs and Southampton (both away from home). In other words, it’s not going to be easy for them, especially without Zlatan. The United defense looks like a solid investment, think of Bailly (who’s suspended for the Europa League final), Valencia and Blind, but the attacking bit of the team remains unpredictable. Rashford seems assured of playing minutes, as do Pogba (back from injury) and Herrera, though none of these players have been bringing home loads of FPL points this season.