FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 34+ Preview

“Thanks to a brace in GW33+, Leicester’s Jamie Vardy now has 101 Premier League goals to his name for the club.” (CC by 2.0). Image by CFCUnofficial London

It’s just non-stop at the moment for FPL Managers. With the final encounter of gameweek 33+, Spurs vs Everton, played last night at 20h00 (UK time), there are just 22 hours between the end of that round and the start of the next. Palace and Chelsea are kicking off today, Tuesday, at 18h00 (UK time). Obviously, these extremely quick turnaround times are already having their effects the FPL, especially in regard to starting lineups, and they will continue to do so until the very end. How else can you explain Pep Guardiola benching De Bruyne out of nowhere last weekend, for example? OK, well, the notorious Spanish rotator maybe isn’t the best example, but you get our point.

Including the upcoming GW34+, there are now just five rounds of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign to go and there is still plenty to play for, especially regarding European qualification and the relegation battle. The encounter of the week is probably taking place this evening when Arsenal host Leicester, but there’s plenty of other interesting action on this gameweek. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Chelsea, for example, will be hoping to confirm their European aspirations away from home against relatively favourable opposition, while 17th-placed Watford take on an all but relegated Norwich side. Like every week, we’ve made six fantasy picks plus a captaincy suggestion to help you navigate the very business end of the season.

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 34+ is set at 17h00 (UK time) on Tuesday, July 7th, 2020.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per July 6th, 2020)

GKDe Gea (UTD), Henderson (SHE), Schmeichel (LEI)Pope (BUR), Martinez (ARS), Ederson (CIT)Managers making room for a third outfield United player, going for Ederson’s status as a nailed-on starter at City, and Martinez as a starting budget-enabler.
DEFLundstram (SHE), Chilwell (LEI), Wan-Bissaka (UTD)Azpilicueta (CHE), Wan-Bissaka (UTD), Söyüncü (LEI)Injuries to Lundstram and Chilwell, good form from Azpilicueta and Wan-Bissaka
MIDCantwell (NOR) Grealish (AST), Traoré (WOL), Fernandes (UTD), Willian (CHE), Martial (UTD)Cantwell injury plus ack of returns/form/starts/favourable fixtures in change for a few of the most in-form midfielders.
FORJimenez (WOL), Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Rashford (UTD)Greenwood (UTD), Ings (SOU), Vardy (LEI)Similar to the possible reasons for movements in the midfielders segment, while Rashford etc to Greenwood represents budget-enabling value.

Premium fantasy picks

Even the best need a rest sometimes, is what Pep Guardiola must’ve thought when he benched Kevin de Bruyne (£10.8m) out of nowhere in GW33+. The Man City maestro had already been spared back in gameweek 30+, which was a double one for City, so his absence from the starting lineup against Southampton surprised more than a few managers. Not as many as the home team’s 1-0 victory, though. The Belgian midfielder should be back from the start for the upcoming home game against Newcastle and he’ll be looking to flush away the taste of surprise defeat at Saint Mary’s, the same stadium where Leicester booked a 0-9 victory earlier this season. With 11 goals and 20 assists, De Bruyne is essential to City and he will be on Wednesday as well.

Our second premium fantasy pick of the week is maybe a bit of a knee-jerk, but not completely either. Yes, both Leicester and Jamie Vardy (£9.7m) had a bit of a rusty beginning of Project Restart as it took four games to get their first victory, but some of their earlier form finally showed again in GW33+ as they beat Palace at home, 3-0. Main man in that game was Vardy, who scored a brace in the final fifteen minutes of the game to get a nice 13 FPL points for himself and the 26.4% of managers who own him. That brought his total tally for the season to 21, which places him at the top of the Golden Boot ranking, two goals ahead of Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The relative knee-jerk aspect of this pick is the fact that the Foxes striker recorded just 6 FPL points from Project Restart’s first three games. Vardy is a proven goalscorer though (his goals against Palace were numbers 100 and 101 in the PL for him), and the Foxes boast one of the most talented squads in the division, so we feel the victory over Palace could work as a catalyst for them. Leicester are facing Arsenal and Bournemouth away in the next two, and you can be sure that there will be opportunities for Vardy.

Non-premium fantasy picks

Since the return of football a few weeks ago, Manchester United have been one of the most in-form teams in the Premier League. From four games, the Red Devils have taken 10 points, scoring 12 goals in the process and conceding 3 in the process. For perspective, two of those conceded goals came in the spectacular 5-2 home win over Bournemouth last weekend. The fantasy appeal of some of their assets has risen so fast in relatively little time that FPL managers have actually started wondering which combination of three United players is optimal for the final part of the season. With their upcoming fixture list looking good, the likes of De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Pogba, Fernandes, Martial, Greenwood and Rashford all deserve consideration.

For our gameweek 34+ selection, we have gone with the unstoppable Bruno Fernandes (£8.9m) and the extremely talented Mason Greenwood (£4.6m) whose FPL price has just risen last night from £4.5m to £4.6m. The former has been nothing short of impressive with 3 goals, 2 assists, a clean sheet, 4 bonus points and a total of 30 FPL points over the past two gameweeks, while the latter is enjoying the longest consecutive run of starts at his still very young age. The fact that he brought home 3 goals, 1 assist and 6 bonus points for a total of 25 FPL points over that same period only makes the 18-year old’s latest performances stand out more. As if that weren’t enough, Greenwood’s price tag sits at an ultra bargain level of £4.6 million. At current prices, you can get the aforementioned starting Man United duo of Fernandes and Greenwood into your team for just £13.4m with Villa away and Southampton at Old Trafford up next.

A differential fantasy pick or two

Since their surprise 3-0 win over Liverpool back in gameweek 28, Watford have won just one single point, so our first differential pick of the week is not based on team form. Instead, we’re putting our money on the fixture, as Ismaila Sarr (£6.1m) and his team mates are taking on all-but-relegated Norwich City at Vicarage Road. Like the rest of the Hornets, Sarr’s last moment of glory came back in GW28 when he scored a brace and gave an assist against Liverpool. Since then, the speedy Senegalese winger has been a nailed-on piece of coach Nigel Pearson’s starting eleven, unfortunately reeling in just 10 FPL points from five games. It should be noted though, that with away games versus Palace, Chelsea and Burnley as well as a home game against Leicester, Watford’s run wasn’t very favourable for an attacking fantasy asset like Sarr. We’re hoping to see considerable improvement in this sense against the Canaries tomorrow, and hopefully in the home game against Newcastle and the away match versus West Ham after that as well.

The same does not go for Michail Antonio (£6.9m), in the sense that the West Ham striker does combine relatively favourable upcoming fixtures with good individual form and a team form with potential. It’s alarm phase red for the Hammers as they are fighting relegation, so the 3-2 home victory against London rivals Chelsea in GW32+ and the 2-2 draw at Saint James’ Park after that were more than welcome for them. In both those games, Michail Antonio, who plays as a striker but is listed as a midfielder by FPL, played a major role. After 2 goals, 1 assist and 2 bonus points for a total of 19 FPL points from those two games, the Englishman has found himself in a bit of a purple patch. Still, his current ownership sits at just 1%. With homes games against Burnley, Watford and Villa as well as a home game against Norwich coming up in the remaining five gameweeks of the season, West Ham’s Antonio could prove to be a major end-of-the-season differential.

The captaincy

Our captain for gameweek 34+ is Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne. The Belgian was benched on the way to City’s unexpected 1-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton and will be back in the starting lineup for the game against Newcastle for sure as the Cityzens will look to redeem themselves. Within the City roster, the likes of Sterling or even Gabriel Jesus could be decent alternatives, but we’re sticking with the 11-goal-20-assist midfield maestro for this one.

In case you’re not convinced, GW34+ does offer a few good alternatives. Manchester United are playing at Villa Park, which automatically brings Fernandes, Rashford, Martial and even Greenwood into the mix. Liverpool’s Salah, Mané or even Alexander-Arnold could have a field day at Brighton. Or what about putting your faith in Jamie Vardy’s refreshed goalscorer’s instinct against Arsenal after becoming a Premier League centurion for Leicester? Finally, for the more risk-resistant managers among us, handing the armband to Deeney or Sarr for their home encounter with obliging Norwich could be a huge differential.

Do also check out the FISO FPL Forum Poll on the GW34+ Captain.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for large prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s Premier League 50k Main Event and the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants organised by FanTeam. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee.