FPL Season 2020-21: Gameweek 33 Preview

“On Saturday, West Ham are hosting Chelsea for what could be the banger of the weekend” (CC by 2.0). Image by @cfcunofficial.

After the small double gameweek last round, we now need to deal with a mini blank gameweek. Four teams are blanking in GW33, including two sides with plenty of popular fantasy assets, namely Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. This means that popular picks like Harry Kane (current ownership: 50.9%), Heung-Min Son (48%), Ilkay Gündogan (25.8%) and Ruben Dias (24.1%) will not be featuring this weekend. The other two sides blanking this weekend are Southampton and Fulham, but we expect that the impact of their absence on the FPL community will be relatively limited.

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Enough with the teams not playing though, because this round also offers us more than a few interesting fixtures, at least from an FPL manager’s point of view. Liverpool and Leicester both have home games against Newcastle and Crystal Palace, respectively, while Manchester United are travelling to Elland Road for what could easily end up being a goal bonanza. Wolves and Villa are facing pretty favourable opposition as well, at home against Burnley and West Brom, respectively, while Arsenal versus Everton on Friday and West Ham hosting Chelsea on Sunday are, on paper, the biggest encounters of the weekend.

In any case, don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 33 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, April 23rd.

Also do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per April 21st, 2021)

GKPope (BUR), Lloris (TOT), Ederson (CIT)Martinez (AST), Patricio (WOL), Schmeichel (LEI)
DEFCresswell (WHU), Stones (CIT), Cancelo (CIT)Alexander-Arnold (LIV), Dallas (LEE), Dunk (BRI)City blanks, Cresswell injured, TAA form
MIDSon (TOT), Gündogan (CIT), De Bruyne (CIT)Lingard (WHU), Salah (LIV), Greenwood (UTD)City and Spurs blank in GW33
FORCalvert-Lewin (EVE), Kane (TOT), Antonio (WHU)Iheanacho (LEI), Watkins (AST), Vardy (LEI)All transferred-out players are or could be injured, Iheanacho form

Premium pick

With Spurs and City absent from this gameweek, we’re expecting Mo Salah (£12.5m) to be amongst the most popular premium fantasy picks. Actually, even if Spurs and City would play this round, Liverpool’s Egyptian talisman would still be amongst the top picks for their home game against Newcastle. The Reds still have everything to play as they are currently in sixth place, two points off fourth place and another season of Champions League season. In that light, the late draw with Leeds in GW32 was a downer for Jurgen Klopp’s men and they’ll be raring to make up for it. Salah featured only as a 71st minute sub and could not make the difference in twenty minutes. He did score in the two prior gameweeks and we honestly don’t think that he will be missing many more minutes of Liverpool’s favourable season run-in from now on. On top of that, he is after the Premier League Golden Boot as well, so a defence as leaky as Newcastle’s looks like a perfect match for a rested Mo.

Non-premium picks

When it comes to Edinson Cavani (£7.9m), you will simply need to expect that he is somehow still subject to rotation under Ole Gunnar Solskjear, despite only star man Bruno Fernandes and club icon Marcus Rashford scoring more than his current 8 goals (and 3 assists). The Uruguayan forward found the net in both GW31 and GW32, against Spurs and Burnley respectively, and will undoubtedly be looking forward to facing Leeds at Elland Road on Sunday. The Whites have already conceded 50 goals this season and even though their 1-1 draw against Liverpool this week shows that they are no push-overs by any stretch, this game has all the makings of a goal fest. Remember back in GW14, when an unchained Man United side smashed Leeds 6-2? We’re hoping for a similar scoreline, but this time with Cavani at the middle of it.

By following that same train of thought, we figured that it could be smart to include a second Red Devil in our fantasy picks for gameweek 33 as well. Looking at the recent performances of the non-premium fantasy assets on the United roster (meaning, with a price of less than £9.5m), it’s pretty hard to not highlight Mason Greenwood (£7.1m) at the moment. The English youngster is going through a bit of a purple patch since gameweek 30, scoring 4 goals and providing 1 assist in his last three outings for a total of 32 FPL points. It’s hard to imagine him being dropped from the starting eleven in this kind of form, so he is more than worth considering for United’s game at Elland Road coming weekend.

The budget enabler

Back in the build-up to gameweek 31, Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.1m) was still priced at just £5.8m, but his fantasy football popularity and therefore his price tag have grown considerably since then. That’s not so surprising, of course, considering that the Leicester striker has scored 7 goals in his last six Premier League games, as well as the only and therefore winning goal in the FA semi-final against Southampton this week. Even at his current price, Iheanacho is still an incredible bargain, especially when looking at the medium-term schedule for the Foxes. They are hosting Palace this weekend before travelling to Southampton and then playing home versus Newcastle, all of which are games in which Leicester are expected to have the upper hand. This looks good for the in-form Iheanacho, because at the same time, Palace are currently ranking amongst the bottom-five teams in the league when it comes to most of the important defensive indicators, including shots conceded, shots on target conceded and big chances conceded. Why would the Nigerian attacker not be in your team by now?

A differential pick or two

With Harvey Barnes out injured, the Leicester midfield does not offer too many high-ceiling fantasy options for FPL managers this season, which is why the return to fitness (after sitting out a minor disciplinary measure) of James Maddison (£7.2m) is good news. The talented Englishman (current ownership: 5.9%) has not really had the best of season, in part due to ongoing injury niggles, but he has still notched 8 goals and 7 assists so far, from just 18 league starts. Those are more than decent stats and with the upcoming schedule looking so kind to Leicester (Crystal Palace home this weekend, then Southampton away and Newcastle home), Maddison looks like a fantasy pick with potential. We expect him to slot right back into Brendan Rodgers’ starting eleven to provide the front two with ammunition as the most advanced midfielder. The Foxes are smack in the middle of the battle for the Champions League spots and they have just qualified for the FA Cup final as well, so we reckon Rodgers and everything Leicester around the world will be delighted to have Maddison back.

It’s true that the Wolverhampton Wanderers are not having their best season since returning to the Premier League, which explains why none of their players boast an FPL ownership of more than 7.3%. While they don’t offer much from an attacking point of view, there is value to be found in their defence. In their last five league games, Nuno Espirito Santo’s men recorded 3 clean sheets, and the next three games are Burnley at home, West Brom at the Hawthornes and Brighton at home. In other words, a Wolves defender does not look like such a silly investment at the moment, which is why we have included Conor Coady (£4.9m) in our fantasy picks for GW33. The English central defender is a mainstay in the Wolves defence, whether they play with a back-four or a back-five, which is why he is our Wolf of choice. His single goal so far this campaign shows that we should not expect too much attacking spectacle from him, but more clean sheets could definitely be on the way.

The captaincy

Gameweek 33 is presenting us with more than a few very good to decent options for the captain’s armband. We have gone with Mo Salah this week as Liverpool host Newcastle, seeing as the Reds are heavy favourites here and Salah is leading the Golden Boot race at the moment. We know that Jurgen Klopp’s men have been maddeningly inconsistent this season, but amongst all the chaos and disappointment, Mo has still managed 19 goals and 4 assists in the league alone so far.

For those not sure of our captaincy decision, Bruno Fernandes provides a practically equal alternative. United’s Portuguese playmaker is facing leaky Leeds and is on penalties as well. His team mates Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford could be good shouts as well. At Leicester, Iheanacho is a prime candidate, while Jamie Vardy should never be written off. In terms of riskier fantasy picks, putting the armband on Nelson Semedo against Burnley, Leandro Trossard against Sheffield United, or Ollie Watkins against West Brom could pay off handsomely as well.

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