After a blank gameweek of extreme highs (for those trusting in Jamie Vardy and/or Eden Hazard) and lows (for the unprepared/unlucky/unaware ones), we’re immediately moving on to another sequence of potentially impacting rounds. With the season’s second and final major double gameweek coming up next weekend, many FPL manager will be activating their remaining chips over the coming days, with the second Wild Card the most popular. We expect the most popular combination to be a Wild Card for gameweek 34 and then either a Bench Boost or a Triple Captain in gameweek 35, when no less than eight extra games are scheduled.
With Man City and Watford qualifiying for the final of the FA Cup by beating Brighton and Wolves, respectively, we have no more domestic cup football to worry about in terms of our FPL rosters. There is still the small matter of European football though. On Tuesday, Liverpool booked a rather comfortable 2-0 home victory over Porto, while Spurs managed to both beat and shut out Man City, courtesy of a single Son goal. Tottenham’s victory has come at a cost though, as it looks like Harry Kane could be out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury (the same ankle that kept him off the grass for 41 days earlier this season) after a duel with Fabian Delph.
Tonight (Wednesday), Man United are facing the mammoth task of overcoming Barcelona in their first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals, while tomorrow (Thursday) both Arsenal and Chelsea will be in action in the Europa League, facing Napoli and Slavia Prague respectively. Considering the increasing importance of the European games, in terms of silverware and prestige (and securing a starting spot in next season’s Champions League in the case of the Gunners and the Blues), it’s essential to keep rotation in the back of your head when making your transfers over the coming weeks. For now, let’s take a look at some of the players that could well stand out in gameweek 34 of the Premier League.
Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 34 is set on Friday, April 12th, at 19h00 (BST).
Doubt has been soaring through the FPL community since last night after Harry Kane limped off in the Champions League game against City as a result of a nasty coming together with Fabian Delph. Who to replace him with? Are Spurs still a stand-out resource for FPL points until the end of the season? One of our personal favourites, Christian Eriksen, is featuring later on in the captaincy section of this article, so for our first premium pick of the week we’re going with Heung-Min Son (£8.6m). The South Korean forward stepped up in a big way when Kane was injured earlier on this season, which is one of the main reasons why he’s currently still the highest-scoring Spurs asset after Kane himself, both in terms of FPL points (150 vs Kane’s 160) and goals (12 vs Kane’s 17). On top of that, he has provided 7 assists as well. The last game Son featured in was in gameweek 32, when he scored a goal (and a nice 10 FPL points) and completed the 90 minutes for the first time since gameweek 26, when he also scored. You can count on him to complete many more games over the coming period, as well as on him scoring more points and enjoying a price rise in FPL.
As if the positives for Son’s selection aren’t enough yet, there is also the fixtures calendar until the end of the season. With four of the six remaining games played at their brand-new stadium (against Huddersfield, Brighton, West Ham and Everton), as well as a potentially juicy away game against leaky Bournemouth in gameweek 37, it looks delicious, for both attacking and defensive Spurs assets. Keeping in mind Pocchetino’s love for rotating the backline, we’ve gone with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (£5.4m) as our second premium pick for gameweek 34. First up is Huddersfield at home, an already-relegated outfit that has scored just 11 goals in 16 away games this season, followed by a double gameweek consisting of City away (no comments necessary) and Brighton at home (the Seagulls have scored just 15 times in 16 games away from home). The French goalie is the most nailed-on defensive Spurs pick, and though is his price might scare off some managers, we believe he could be more than worth it when looking at their schedule until the end of the season, even when factoring in the Champions League games. Hugo’s confidence should be pretty good after his penalty save last night from Aguero.
Our third premium pick for gameweek 34 has not exactly been putting in premium performances over the past weeks, at least not in terms of FPL, but he could be excellent at home to West Ham this weekend. Paul Pogba (£8.7m) had an amazing start under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but his form seems to have dropped a bit over the past few weeks, as has United’s form overall in the Premier League. The French midfielder has scored 11 goals and provided 10 assists already this season (good for a total of 155 FPL points), but he hasn’t posted any attacking returns since gameweek 29. His upcoming fixtures are a mixed bag, with West Ham at home, a double gameweek 35 of Everton away and City at home, Chelsea at home, Huddersfield away and Cardiff at home, but he has the quality to shine against any kind of opponent. Starting with this weekend’s game against West Ham at Old Trafford, Pogba could well get back onto the score sheet. The Hammers are in mediocre form and have shipped 25 goals in 16 away games. Of those 16 games, they’ve lost 9 and won just 4. At his current price, Pogba could be worth inclusion in your team.
A differential pick or two
Thanks to the rare phenomenon of consecutive double gameweeks coming up for Brighton, we’ve chosen central defender Shane Duffy (£4.7m) as our first differential pick of the week. The Irishman is facing Bournemouth and Cardiff at home this weekend, and Wolves and Spurs (both away) in gameweek 35. Sure, the second double gameweek looks like a zero-pointer for the Seagulls, but it remains to be seen how Wolves handle their elimination from the FA Cup and Spurs have the Champions League return against Man City to worry about as well. This week though, looks a lot better for Chris Hughton’s men. Brighton are currently five points above the relegation zone, but two victories would lift them over direct rivals like Newcastle and Burnley into 12th place. In other words, the Seagulls are not safe yet and have everything to play for still. Besides the encouraging fact that they have conceded just 16 goals in 15 home games, it’s also nice to know that Duffy himself has already been directly involved in 7 goals this season (5 scored, 2 assisted). As a matter of fact, over the past four gameweeks, no Brighton player has had as many attempts on target as the Irishman (2 on target out of a total of 10). Duffy is a real recommendation for gameweek 34 and for those FPL managers who really love the feeling of adrenaline flowing through to their bodies, he could even be considered a candidate for the armband. Yep, Brighton’s Shane Duffy.
Sometimes a player performs so well or shows so much promise that we repeat him as a pick for the gameweek after that as well. This week, that’s the case for Leicester’s Jamie Vardy (£9.2m). Last weekend against poor Huddersfield, the English striker had a party and scored two goals while also winning the free-kick from which James Maddison scored. His 16-point haul was several things: a gameweek record (shared with Chelsea’s Eden Hazard), a season high for him (on par with his 16 points against Fulham in gameweek 30) and the sixth time in the last eight gameweeks that he brought his FPL owners (currently just 13.2% of players) attacking returns. Over that period of eight games, Vardy scored 60 FPL points, which comes down to an average of 7.5 points per game. Before Leicester’s schedule turns sour in gameweek 36, the Foxes still face Newcastle at home this week and West Ham away next week. Both of those games could see Vardy add to his tallies of 15 goals and 5 assists for the season so far.
Here are more transfer ideas for GW34 from the fiso forum.
As mentioned earlier in this article, our first suggestion for the captain’s armband in gameweek 34 is Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen (£9.2m). Despite a team roster that was deemed “not deep enough to compete” at the start of the season after a transfer-less summer, Spurs manager Pocchetino manages to rotate his team quite a lot. One of the players who seems irreplaceable though, besides Kane, is the Danish midfield maestro. He has started the last 15 Premier League games in a row, and over that period he has scored 5 goals and 5 assists, and recorded 84 FPL points. The upcoming game against Huddersfield looks like a great opportunity for Eriksen to add to those numbers. The Dane is also on most set-pieces and he might be taking over from Kane when it comes to penalty duties. After Huddersfield, Spurs have a double gameweek (City away and Brighton at home), followed by Brighton (home), West Ham (home), Bournemouth (away) and Everton (home). Eriksen could be a “select now and forget about him til the end of the season” kind of pick, and an excellent choice for the captaincy this weekend.
Our second pick for the captaincy is a bit of a punt, but not as much as our suggestions in a few other gameweeks. Everton are visiting relegated Fulham on Saturday and that could mean a haul for Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.3m). The Icelandic attacking midfielder is a centrel piece in Marco Silva’s project, as there have only been three gameweeks in which he was not part of the starting eleven. He has scored a goal and provided an assist over the last three gameweeks, while his season totals of 12 goals and 4 assists so far are pretty decent as well. Fulham, on the other hand, haven’t been very decent this season, especially from a defensive point of view. The Cottagers have already conceded 32 goals in 16 home games, an average of 2 goals per game. It looks far from likely that they will manage to shut out a revived Everton side this weekend and when the Toffees score, the possibility of Sigurdsson being directly involved in the process are quite high. After all, he’s been directly involved in 35% of his side’s goals this season. For the daring and the ones in need of serious differential points, consider Gylfy as your captain.
According to the fiso forum Poll on the GW34 Captain, Duffy and Son are leading the way.