FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 36+ Preview

“West Ham will be facing Watford in a high-stakes battle for Premier League safety on Friday” (CC by 4.0). Image by Hammersfan

(Note: this FPL preview was written on July 13th, before tonight’s final match of GW35+.)

If there was ever a gameweek to mix things up, it was gameweek 35+. While a complete Leicester collapse against Bournemouth and a 3-0 Sheffield United victory over Chelsea have thrown the race for the European tickets wide open, a Michail Antonio-inspired West Ham (tipped by us last week) win over Norwich and a Watford victory against Newcastle complicated things for the bottom three. On Sunday though, two of those bottom three (Villa and Bournemouth) won their respective games to once again maintain a sliver of hope of avoiding relegation still. In other words, there’s plenty still to play for in gameweek 36+ and that goes for FPL as well.

With Chelsea hosting finished Norwich, Man City welcoming a Bournemouth side coming off a 4-1 victory over Leicester, and in-shape Man United rolling up to Selhurst Park in London, more than a few popular FPL assets have favourable fixtures coming up. West Ham versus Watford is a huge one as well as neither team is mathematically safe yet, while the clash of the weekend is taking place at the Emirates on Wednesday when Arsenal is hosting champions Liverpool. So, without further ado, here are our fantasy picks for gameweek 36+.

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 36+ is set at 19h15 (UK time) on Tuesday, July 14th, 2020.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per July 13th, 2020)

GKSchmeichel (LEI), Alisson (LIV), Button (BRI)Pope (BUR), Ederson (CITY), Henderson (SHE)Lack of clean sheets for Leicester and Liverpool, Pope and Henderson offer similar potential at lower prices, Ederson is a fixed City starter.
DEFSöyüncü (LEI), Alexander-Arnold (LIV), Van Dijk (LIV)Egan (SHE), Tarkowski (BUR), Digne (EVE)Söyüncü red card and Liverpool assets are too expensive for not getting clean sheets.
MIDMané (LIV), Salah (LIV), Traoré (WOL)Sterling (CIT), Antonio (WHU), Willian (CHE)In-form players coming in, expensive assets being sold and Traoré keeps struggling with his form and fitness (and finding the net from 10 yards out).
FORJimenez (WOL), Rashford (UTD), Calvert-Lewin (EVE)Ings (SOU), Greenwood (UTD), Jesus (CIT)Ings, Greenwood and Jesus all have favourable fixtures coming up.

Premium fantasy picks

When Manchester City have just come off a 0-5 victory at Brighton in which they had 70% of the ball and recorded more than 25 attempts on goal for the second game in a row, it’s probably a good idea to throw your Pep-related rotation caution into the wind a bit and get in on the City attack. Especially when the next game is a home encounter with Bournemouth, despite the latter’s surprise thumping of Leicester on Sunday. The Cherries crushed the Foxes 4-1, but only after a rightly awarded Söyüncü red card and a Stanislas penalty. Prior to this game though, Eddie Howe’s men were the worst performers in the league since the return of football. They took 1 point from five games and scored just three times in that period, while conceding 12. On top of that, their main defensive man Nathan Aké will be missing out with an injury, which only furthers the appeal of investing in the City offense.

We have chosen to do so with our two premium fantasy picks for GW36+, them being midfielder Kevin de Bruyne (£10.8m) and forward Gabriel Jesus (£9.8m). The former needs no introduction (we hope!), while the latter is quickly turning into one of the major end-of-season differentials. The Belgian midfielder could not add anything to his already impressive tallies for this season (11 goals, 21 assists) in GW35+, but Jesus did. The Brazilian scored a goal and gave 2 assists to follow his goal from a week earlier, which brought his total to 22 FPL points over the last two games. At an ownership of 5.5%, that represents some serious differential value. De Bruyne’s ownership, on the other hand, sits at a staggering 52.3%, but his security of starts and constant output of attacking returns put him on top of our list for gameweek 36+.

Non-premium fantasy picks

At the time of writing this preview, Manchester United still need to play Southampton at home, but our first non-premium fantasy pick of the week is Bruno Fernandes (£9.0m) anyway. The Portuguese midfielder has been nothing short of spectacular since joining United from Sporting Lisbon during the last January transfer window, both in real life and for FPL managers. In the last three games, he recorded 15, 15, and 14 FPL points respectively, courtesy of 4 goals and 3 assists. Up next are Crystal Palace, who have shipped 13 goals in their last five games. The Eagles seem to have lost much of their earlier-season defensive resilience since the end of the coronabreak and we hope that Bruno Fernandes can benefit to make it four double-digit hauls in a row.

For our second non-premium fantasy pick, we’re looking at Chelsea. The Blues may have suffered a disheartening and very unwelcome defeat against Sheffield United in GW35+, but the upcoming home game versus Norwich simply looks too tasty to pass up. We were torn between Willian and Christian Pulisic (£7.3m), but in the end we went with the young American. Like the rest of the Blues, he disappointed in GW35+ at Bramall Lane, but he was the man in form in the five weeks before that. Since the return of football, Pulisic scored 3 goals and provided 3 assists in five games for a total of 37 FPL points. Tuesday’s already relegated opponent Norwich boast the worst defence in the division, conceding almost two goals per game on average, and with Chelsea defending their Champions League spot, our money is on Chelsea to attack and Pulisic to deliver this week.

A differential fantasy pick or two

We’re not just hoping for Pulisic at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, though. As Norwich’ relegation was confirmed last weekend, Chelsea still find themselves bang in the middle of the fight for the Champions League tickets, which should create a very fantasy-favourable environment for attacking Blues assets. That’s why we have also included Olivier Giroud (£6.7m) in our fantasy picks for GW36+. The French striker was left on the bench for 76 minutes against Sheffield United, but he started the two games prior to that and scored in both. He had also scored back in gameweek 30+, which means that he now has 3 goals in 415 minutes of Premier League football since its return. What’s more, thanks to his affordable price tag, chances are that you won’t have to tinker too much in order to bring/fit him into your existing squad. The only real risk for this one is Giroud’s risk of rotation with Abraham, but based on recent history, we feel it’s logical for the Frenchman to start up top again versus Norwich.

Now, before we reveal our final fantasy pick for gameweek 36+, we just want to say: we’re not getting lazy! It’s just that after recommending Michail Antonio (£7.0m) and seeing him blank unluckily in GW34+, then repeating our pick and watching him score four against Norwich in GW35+, and now seeing that a home game against Watford is up next for the Hammers, there’s honestly not much we can do but select the 30-year old again this week. At the time of his first career hattrick (and then some!), Antonio’s ownership sat at just 1.8% and even though it has risen to 2.5% in about 36 hours, he still represents enormous differential potential. Sure, a repeat of his four-goal fiesta seems unlikely against Watford, but the Hornets are still immersed in the fight for survival as well and their defence is not infallible. Antonio is expected to start up top again on Friday and will be hoping to cause the Watford defence some serious trouble.

The captaincy

With Chelsea facing Norwich, Man City playing Bournemouth and Man United visiting Crystal Palace, gameweek 36+ offers us an abundance of captaincy candidates. We’re suspecting most armbands will go to United’s Fernandes, one or two City assets, and even Liverpool’s Mo Salah, but we’re going with Christian Pulisic against Norwich at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are fighting to keep a hold of their Champions League ticket, so a comfortable victory would be more than welcome in this one.

As we wrote earlier though, GW36+ presents several candidates with potential, including De Bruyne and Jesus against Bournemouth and Fernandes, Martial or Rashford against Palace at Selhurst Park. At Chelsea, you could even go for set-piece specialist Willian instead of our pick Pulisic. Even Ings at home to Brighton or Richarlison at home versus Villa could be good, but risky punts regarding the captain’s armband.

According to the FISO Forum poll on the FPL Captain for GW36, Pulisic and Sterling lead the way at the moment.

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 with a 20 euro entry or their Full GW36 traditional 11 player game at a 5 euro entry and see discussions on the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants organised by FanTeam who also have a 100k GW38 Premier League comp to finish the season and will have another massive season-long Premier League comp for 20/21. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee.