FPL Season 2018/19 – Gameweek 33 Review

Eden Hazard / Эден Азар
“Chelsea’s Eden Hazard was in absolute top form against West Ham on Monday” (CC by 2.0 ) by Aleksandr Osipov

Did you have Hazard? Did you captain him?!

Despite Jamie Vardy’s 16-point haul a few days earlier to match the Belgian’s gameweek high score, these two questions were probably asked by millions of FPL managers around the world on Tuesday morning. Hazard is known as an unpredictable magician in the FPL community (though his current 16 goals and 12 assists make him the Premier League’s MVP), but yesterday night was a good night. For those with Hazard in their teams, I mean. For those with Hazard as their captain, even better. His first, Ben Arfa-esque goal gave the Blues the lead after less than half an hour, while his second in the final minute of the game to also give him 16 points was a little present for the FPL managers who kept faith in him and a relief to those like me who’d decided on Hazard for Captain rather than Vardy (48 points from the two players – very nice thank you).

Despite being a depleted gameweek, round 33 probably shook up the FPL world than the double gameweek did before that. As part of the preparation for gameweeks 34 and 35, which are likely to see another spike in chip usage as a result of round 35 being a double gameweek in which no less than eight teams play twice, we’ll take a quick look at last weekend’s games. Talking of games there are a wide variety of Online Casino games from New Zealand such as Lucky Nugget. So if you’re looking for the Lucky Nugget casino login or other New Zealand pokies before the next gameweek starts then good luck to you. Before our review of the last league matches, a simple overview of our picks for gameweek 33.

Premium Sadio Mané (Liverpool) 1
Premium Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) 2
Premium Mo Salah (Liverpool) 6
Differential James Maddison (Leicester) 7
Differential Willian (Chelsea) 0 (no game time)
Captain Jamie Vardy (Leicester) 16
Captain Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 16

The games and results in gameweek 33 were as follows:

Southampton Liverpool 1 – 3
Bournemouth Burnley 1 – 3
Huddersfield Leicester 1 – 4
Newcastle Crystal Palace 0 – 1
Everton Arsenal 1 – 0
Chelsea West Ham 2 – 0

Southampton vs Liverpool (1 – 3)

A revitalised Southampton side was never going to be an easy task for Liverpool and things looked even more complicated for Jurgen Klopp’s men when Shane Long put the home team in front after 9 minutes. The Reds are true title contenders though, and few other stats underline this status more than a team’s ability to come back from behind and “kill” games in the final minutes. In the Premier League, Liverpool have so far won 16 points from games in which they first went behind, while 20 of their 75 goals were scored in the final 15 minutes. No other PL outfit beats these stats. Against the Saints, Naby Keita equalised in the 36th minute, leaving it for Salah (80th minute) and Henderson (86th) to bring the three points home. The Reds fought, showed their undeniable quality and kept maximum pressure on Man City. If, on top of that, Salah’s goal (his first since mid-February, 8 gameweeks ago) is a sign of a return to his top shape for the season’s end, the race for the title will be tight until the very end.

Bournemouth vs Burnley (1 – 3)

Bournemouth were gameweek 33’s disappointment of the week. The Cherries were one of the surprise packages of this season’s first half, but they have been mediocre of late, to say the least. The performance against Burnley was easily one of their worst this season and not because Sean Dyche’s men were supposedly easy targets (because they definitely aren’t), but because it looked like Bournemouth had their minds set on their summer holidays already, to use an old football cliché. Looking further back though, the Cherries have only booked one victory in their last nine Premier League games, the kind of run that make relegation talk more than realistic. Sure, Eddie Howe’s won’t go down this season, but make sure you subject Cherries assets you’re interested in for your team to the eye test before clicking the “Confirm Transfer” button.

Burnley, on the other hand, had a dismal start to the 2018-19 campaign, but managed to turn it around step-by-step. The Clarets now find themselves 8 points above the relegation zone and they’ll be happy about that, because the end of their fixtures calendar is far from easy. This coming weekend’s home game against Cardiff is something of a must-win, because after that it’s Chelsea (away), City (home), Everton (away) and Arsenal (home). We don’t want to say that Burnley players should no longer be considered for your FPL rosters, because assets like Heaton, Westwood and Barnes could still be excellent differential budget enablers, but it’s clear that the Clarets are heading for a tough season ending.

Huddersfield vs Leicester (1 – 4)

A few rounds ago, Leicester looked like one of those teams who would have a season ending without anything to play for, meaning their players would become less reliable in terms of FPL. The arrival of Brendan Rodgers seems to have given the Foxes a welcome boost though, as they are now 7th in the league (with Wolves) after winning their last 4 games in a row. At the end of the season, this spot will grant them a place in the Europa League, which, after their exploits in the Champions League a few season ago, should motivate the Foxes to keep performing at a relatively high level in comparison to some of the lower-ranked teams that will soon have nothing left to play for.

Though Leicester left it a bit late against Huddersfield, the Foxes played a decent away game against a positive but already-relegated Huddersfield. Jamie Vardy was the obvious stand-out performer, with 2 goals and an assist (as well as a week-high 16 FPL points), while Tielemans and Maddison, both netting once, looked in fine form as well. Leicester have two more winnable games coming up (Newcastle at home next week and West Ham away after that) before facing Arsenal (home), City (away) and Chelsea (home) in the campaign’s final three games. Despite not having double fixtures in gameweek 35, we strongly suggest to keep considering (attacking) Leicester assets for at least two more weeks.

Newcastle vs Crystal Palace (0 – 1)

After 90 minutes in Newcastle on Sunday, the score sheet gave off a familiar vibe. Palace won an away game with a difference of one goal and that goal came from a penalty by Luka Milivojevic after Wilfried Zaha was fouled. Of their 17 away games so far, Palace have won 8, drawn 2 and lost 7, a record that places them in 7th place in the Premier League ranking for away games. In terms of last Sunday’s only goal: it was Palace’s 11th PL penalty of the season, 10 of which have been converted by captain Milivojevic and 6 of which have been won by… yes, Wilfried Zaha. The Eagles have been steadily improving the quality of their game in the second half of the season, something for which old fox Roy Hodgson should get considerable credit, and they seem safe from relegation after the victory over Newcastle. Up next are City at home and Arsenal away, so Palace assets won’t be the most popular on the FPL market, but their run after that (Everton home, Cardiff away and Bournemouth home) might see interest in the likes of Milivojevic, Zaha and Wan-Bissaka spike one final time before the end of the season.

Newcastle, on the other hand, are in 15th place and 7 points above the relegation zone, but to say they no longer have relegation worries would be naive. Brighton, who are just 2 points behind them, have played 2 games less, while resurgent Southampton in 17th are equal in points with the Seagulls and have played one game less than the Magpies. Rafa Benitez has his men playing a hard-to-beat kind of football, based on defensive solidity and an improving offensive plan centered around the tireless Salomon Rondon and January arrival Miguel Almiron. With five games left to go (Leicester away, Southampton home, Brighton away, Liverpool home and Fulham away), Newcastle will get chances to play themselves safe soon. Two out of those five games are encounters with direct rivals, while the final game of the campaign sees them visit already-relegated Fulham. The likes of Rondón, Lascelles and Dubravka are likely to see their FPL ownership rise in the coming weeks, as managers hope for the Magpies’ desire to confirm their presence in the Premier League for next season as soon as possible.

Everton vs Arsenal (1 – 0)

In their quest for Champions League football next season, Arsenal suffered a tough but deserved defeat at Goodison Park. Especially away games seem to be a real issue for Unai Emery’s men this season, as the Gunners have won just one away game in the Premier League since their 1-2 victory over Bournemouth all the way back on November 25th of last year. To make things a bit worse still, Arsenal haven’t kept a clean sheet in an away game all season. Arsenal was bland against Everton, creating little to nothing and defending without real conviction. Despite 57% of the ball, the Gunners made just five attempts at goal, two of which were on target. Considering this abysmal away form, their end of the season looks tougher than one might think at first glance, as 4 of the remaining 6 games are away from home against teams that are generally no push-overs (Watford, Wolves, Leicester and Burnley). The other two games are at the Emirates against defensively solid sides Palace (who perform well on the road, as discussed earlier) and Brighton.

Everton went through a serious bad patch for a while, but the Toffees are back to winning ways. The scorelines suggests a tighter game for Everton than it was in reality, as they had 17 attempts on goal, 6 of which hit the target. They basically just failed to put more into the back of the net to bring the victory home earlier. Everton largely controlled the game and manager Marco Silva will have been happy with what his players were showcasing on the pitch, in particular his midfield comprising of André Gomes, Bernard and Gueye. It should be noted as well though, that the Everton defence kept a clean sheet for the fifth time in the last six games. Next up are Fulham at Craven Cottage, followed by United at home, Palace away, Burnley at home and Spurs at their brand-new stadium. Being just 1 point behind the seventh spot in the league, more FPL points can be expected from Everton players in the coming weeks.

Chelsea vs West Ham (2 – 0)

Gameweek 33’s final fixture turned out to be a spectacular ending to a rollercoaster blank gameweek. Spectacular, not because of Chelsea or West Ham putting up mesmerizing team performances (far from it), but because of Eden Hazard. With a fantastic display, in which he scored the game’s only two goals, he showed all of us why not just Chelsea fans but Premier League fans all around the world should be enraged if the Blues let him leave to Real Madrid coming summer. At the moment, like during several periods earlier this season, the Belgian wizard is carrying the Blues and he’s carried them all the way into third place for the moment. Chelsea have won three consecutive games in a row after the disheartening 2-0 defeat versus Everton in gameweek 31 and they seem to have tapped into some OK form ahead of the coming away clash with title-chasing Liverpool. If the Blues want to have any chance in that game, they better pass all balls to Hazard and hope for some of that “first goal against West Ham” kind of wizardry.

Meanwhile, West Ham seem to best fit the definition of a team that has nothing left to play for anymore. The Hammers, of course the underdogs for their game at Stamford Bridge, made just 5 attempts at goal in the whole game, 2 of which hit the target, and they appeared a bit lacklustre overall. In truth, Manuel Pellegrini’s men improved a lot over the run of the second half and even created some good chances for Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini towards the final whistle. The individual quality of the West Ham players and the managerial strength of Pellegrini and his staff are undeniable, but it hasn’t really resulted consistent performances of good quality this season. With United (away), Leicester (home), Spurs (away), Southampton (home) and Watford (away) still awaiting before the end of the season, the Hammers have their work cut out for them. We’re not sure investing in West Ham players now represents the best use of your limited FPL resources.