(Note: this FPL preview was written on July 17th, before tonight’s final GW36+ game)
That Liverpool were going to be crowned champions was a matter of time after the forced break was something everyone expected, but that the league would remain so tight until the end, both around the top of the table and at the bottom, was something we could only have hoped for. Well, “we” as in, FPL managers and neutral supporters, because these surely must be trying times for some supporters clubs. How about those Hammers and Hornets fans, for example, waiting for their teams to dispute the hugely important final game of gameweek 36+ tonight? Or the fact that three clubs, Chelsea, Leicester and Man United, are within a point of each other, while fighting for two Champions League spots with just two gameweeks to go?
In other words, it looks like the 2019-20 campaign is going to be a tense affair until the very end. Gameweek 37+ is offering us some interesting fixtures in that sense with a few favourable match-ups for teams that simply need to win, either to stay in the race for Champions League or Europa League tickets, or to avoid relegation. On top of that, the FA Cup semi-finals are taking place over the weekend, which will surely add to the familiar FPL risks (rotation, injury, fatigue). Before we move on to our picks, here are the upcoming FA Cup games for you to take into account when planning for GW37+.
|Saturday, July 18th||Arsenal vs Manchester City @ Wembley|
|Sunday, July 19th||Manchester United vs Chelsea @ Wembley|
Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 37+ is set at 16h30 (UK time) on Saturday, July 18th, 2020.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per July 17th, 2020)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Schmeichel (LEI), Button (BRI), Alisson (LIV)||Pope (BUR), Martinez (ARS), Henderson (SHE)||More expensive goalies being transferred out, Pope and Henderson can always return, Martinez is a budget starter with good fixtures.|
|DEF||Söyüncü (LEI), Alexander-Arnold (LIV), Van Dijk (LIV)||Tarkowski (BUR), Egan (SHE), Bardsley (BUR)||Expensive Liverpool defenders without clean sheets, regained trust in Burnley defence as they go up against Norwich.|
|MID||De Bruyne (CIT), Willian (CHE), Salah (LIV)||Martial (UTD), David Silva (UTD), Son (TOT)||Premium big-hitters being replaced by form players with good fixtures in the final two rounds of the season.|
|FOR||Greenwood (UTD), Vardy (LEI), Calvert-Lewin (EVE)||Ings (SOU), Rashford (UTD), Jesus (CIT)||FPL managers bringing in in-form strikers with a good final stretch of the season.|
Premium fantasy picks
Our first premium fantasy pick of the week is Raheem Sterling (£11.8m), whose benching in gameweek 36+ surely caused more than a few cries of frustration and desperation in the FPL world. The Man City winger was actually the most-captained player among FPL’s current top 10K, so his eventual cameo and subsequent 1-pointer caused serious rank re-shuffles all over. We believe the Englishman was spared in order to appear fully rested at Wembley on Saturday, when City face Arsenal in the semi-final of the FA Cup. The Cityzens host West Ham three days after, which is not a long resting period by any stretch. Still, considering Sterling was rested this week, we expect him to start again over the coming games. He is, after all, in great form. He has scored 4 goals and provided 1 assist in his last three games, including 29 minutes of game time in GW34+ against Newcastle (1 goal, 1 assist) and 45 minutes versus Bournemouth this week, for a total of 32 FPL points over that run. West Ham are fighting for survival, but Sterling and his team mates will most likely prove to much too handle for the Hammers.
Our second premium fantasy pick is also playing in Manchester, but he dresses in red for home games. Marcus Rashford (£8.9m) had recorded 19 FPL points over his last two games, courtesy of 2 goals, an assist and 4 bonus points, and he has been one of United’s most threatening players going forward. Despite their 2-2 hiccup against Southampton, the Red Devils are flying at the moment and every dangerous attack they muster seems to involve Rashford. For gameweek 37+, a struggling West Ham fighting relegation is visiting Old Trafford, which means goals could be on the cards. The Hammers possess some firepower up front and even in the middle, but their backline is not exactly sturdy. Only three teams have conceded less than their 59 goals, something we hope Rashford will be able to exploit on Wednesday.
Non-premium fantasy picks
When you take a look at the current Premier League Top Scorers ranking, you’ll notice something a bit unfamiliar. Yes, Jamie Vardy is leading the pack with 23 goals and yes, usual suspect Aubameyang is behind him with 20 goals, but the Gabon international is tied for second place. Not with Mo Salah, not with Kun Aguero, not with Raul Jimenez or Harry Kane, but with Southampton’s talisman Danny Ings (£7.5m). The English striker has been simply extraordinary for the Saints this season and with 2 goals in his last three games, he’s really in the thick of the Golden Boot race until the very end. At a current ownership of 30.4%, Ings isn’t much of a differential any more, but he is facing hanging-on-by-a-very-thin-thread Bournemouth on Sunday. The Cherries simply need to come out, score and win against the Saints, but they’ll have to do so while facing one of this season’s most in-form strikers and missing their best defender Nathan Aké due to injury. Not an easy task and Ings will get some opportunities here, we’re counting on it.
With a current ownership of 21.6%, Man United’s Anthony Martial (£8.4m) isn’t much of a differential either, but that’s OK, we’ll cover the differential picks in the next part. Before that though, we want to highlight the Frenchman’s potential for gameweek 37+. The Red Devils are up for a home game against West Ham and that’s Martial’s territory. Sure, he bagged a goal and 8 FPL points at Selhurst Park just a few days ago, but Old Trafford is what it’s really about for Martial. In his last five home games, he recorded no less than 64 FPL points, thanks to scoring 7 goals and giving 3 assists. United as a whole are on fire with 18 goals in their last six Premier League outings and with West Ham desperate for points, this could end up becoming a game more open for Martial and co than the Hammers are comfortable with.
A differential fantasy pick or two
To be honest, we find it a bit incredible that at this point, Gabriel Jesus (£9.8m) can still be considered a serious differential in all senses of the word. His ownership still sits at just 7.3% at the time of writing this, so we have immediately included him as a differential pick for gameweek 37+. Of course, rotation is a major reason for his ongoing differential status, but the Brazilian has been very consistent lately, in terms of both starts and returns. He was in each of Pep Guardiola’s last five starting lineups and despite only completing the 90 minutes once, Jesus did manage to score 3 goals and provide 2 assists. What’s more, all of those returns have come over the last three gameweeks, totalling 30 FPL points over that run or a beautiful average of 10 points per game. Also, you might remember a certain 8-0 thrashing of Watford at the Etihad back in gameweek 6. Jesus didn’t feature in that game as Aguero shone up top, but the Argentinian is out injured this time and Jesus looks like a starter. There is, of course, the small matter of an FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal this weekend for City to deal with, so do keep an eye on City team news regarding Jesus. We’re confident he’ll start though and if he does, a haul is possible.
Finally, Chris Wood (£6.1m), who this week embodies the definition of a differential pick to make up ground with in your mini leagues. The New Zealand international missed a few games after the coronabreak due to ongoing injury niggles, but these seem to be a thing of the past now. Burnley manager Sean Dyche has been gradually building up his game time since GW33+ and last gameweek represented Wood’s first full 90 minutes since gameweek 29. The striker decided to mark that milestone in style with a goal (a penalty shortly after missing a sitter) and 7 FPL points to bring his season tally to 12 (plus 1 assist). He is currently owned by just 1.2% of FPL managers and up next is an away game against relegated Norwich. The Clarets, on the other hand, are going through a bit of a purple patch, not having lost a Premier League game in six outings. Back in gameweek 6, Wood scored both goals in the 2-0 victory over Norwich at Turf Moor and we can see him adding another goal or two when the sides meet again on Saturday.
Gameweek 37+ is offering quite a range of viable captaincy candidates. Major Man City assets like Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Kevin de Bruyne are prime targets for the armband as they visit Watford, while Phil Foden could be a ballsy punt to force a late surge in ranking. In Manchester, United will host West Ham, which brings the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes, and even Mason Greenwood into the spotlight. Each of them could haul big, just like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang might against Villa on Tuesday. Raul Jimenez at home against an unusually leaky Crystal Palace defence is another one worth noting down. Still, we doubted for a while, but bar any negative team news in the coming days, we’re going with Sterling as our captain this week.
For a more differential armband choice this week, we’d recommend considering Chris Wood or Jay Rodriguez from Burnley as they visit a disheartened Norwich side with nothing left to play for. The same can be said for Liverpool, albeit for completely different reasons, which is why betting on Christian Pulisic could pay off when Chelsea visit Liverpool on Wednesday evening. Current Golden Boot leader Jamie Vardy is in a similar boat, as he will be determined to consolidate his position at the top of the top scorers ranking in a difficult away game against Spurs.
According to the FISO Forum poll on the FPL Captain for GW37, Martial and Bruno Fernandes 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 GW37 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.