And just like that, we’ve got just five gameweeks left for the 2021-22 Fantasy Premier League season. If you’re still trailing in your mini-leagues (or eyeing that sweet top 10k overall spot, for example, why not?), time is running out for your final moves. With just over 67% of all managers still sitting on their second Free Hit (just over 51% in the current top 10k) and around 60% of all managers still holding their second Wildcard (16% amongst the top 10k), you can expect considerable chip activity over the very business end of the season. Double gameweek 34 especially seems to be a good moment for many FPL managers to deploy one, with the second Wildcard feeling like a popular choice in the online FPL community.
A GW34 Wildcard would allow them to start preparing for the major double gameweeks in rounds 36 and 37, while also optimising their starting eleven for a DGW34 with potential. We see title contestants Liverpool and Manchester City face very favourable opposition at home in Everton and Watford, respectively, while both Chelsea (West Ham home, Man United away) and Manchester United (Arsenal away, Chelsea home) are doubling. On top of that, the upcoming gameweek features Crystal Palace at their trusted Selhurst Park hosting Leeds, Spurs visiting Brentford to keep their top-4 dreams alive, and a seemingly resurgent Burnley side battling for survival welcoming Wolves to Turf Moor. Plenty to look forward to, including an interesting captaincy debate.
Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 34 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, April 23rd, 2022.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per April 22nd, 2022)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Ramsdale (ARS), De Gea (MUN), Sa (WOL)||Schmeichel (LEI), Foster (WAT), Ederson (MCI)|
|DEF||Rudiger (CHE), Doherty (TOT), Tierney (ARS)||James (CHE), Alonso (CHE), Laporte (MCI)||Injuries to Rudiger + Doherty + Tierney. James + Alonso DGW|
|MID||Saka (ARS), Maddison (LEI), Coutinho (AST)||Mount (CHE), Salah (LIV), Havertz (CHE)||Chelsea DGW, Salah home vs Everton|
|FOR||Kane (TOT), Lacazette (ARS), Antonio (WHU)||Pukki (NOR), Werner (CHE), Ronaldo (MUN)||Werner + Ronaldo DGW|
Remember the time when Mo Salah (£13.2m) blanked two games in a row (he was rested for the first one) in gameweek 29 and 30, and “people” started saying that he’d lost his super form of earlier in the season? That perhaps Mo was just too tired? Too disappointed even, after consecutive national team upsets? Well, all the Egyptian needed was back-to-back encounters with the Premier League’s Manchester sides to show that doubting him is simply ridiculous. He took it easy with an assist and 5 FPL points in GW32 against Man City at the Etihad. He then brought down the house against Man United in GW33, scoring a brace and giving an assist at Old Trafford for an amazing 19 FPL points. Up next are Everton at Anfield for what could end up being a historic game and all we can say is, unless you’re trailing and planning some shock differential moves, just count on Salah. Get him, keep him, captain him.
With Chelsea out of Europe, the Blues now have the Premier League to focus on, as well as the FA Cup final against Liverpool on May 14th. This should ease the rotation risk amongst Blues assets a bit, at least over the coming weeks as Chelsea can’t afford to drop too many points if they want to keep Spurs and Arsenal at a safe distance from third place. Combine all that with the fact that Chelsea are one of two sides doubling this round and it suddenly makes sense that five of the seven most transferred-in players for this week call Stamford Bridge their home. Number one in that particular list is Mason Mount (£7.7m), who has been in great form of late. The England international is one of the most nailed-on offensive players for manager Thomas Tuchel and he’s been extremely effective over the past five gameweeks: 5 starts, 3 goals, 3 assists, 41 FPL points. Up next are West Ham at home and Man United away, two games we feel the Blues simply have to win if they want to secure third place on time. With no other obligations to deal with for now, Mount looks like a prime candidate for two starts in DGW34, so bring him in if you can.
The budget enabler
Beside Chelsea, it’s Manchester United who have a double this gameweek and it looks like a perfect storm for Anthony Elanga (£4.8m). The 19-year-old Swedish international has been racking up more minutes of late, with his consecutive starts in double gameweek 33 as a confirmation of his growing role in the team. Of course, the absence of Ronaldo, Greenwood, Cavani and Pogba frees up spots on the sides of the midfield, but a lot of it is Elanga’s own merit as well. In nine starts since gameweek 22, the Carrington graduate recorded 2 goals and 2 assists, with both of those assists coming last week against Norwich. Due to his rivals Jadon Sancho and especially Marcus Rashford simply not living up to expectations this season, Elanga seems to have steadily moved up the pecking order to make himself a serious candidate for at least 100-120 minutes of action over the next two games. The Red Devils will be facing Arsenal away and Chelsea at home this double gameweek, two must-win games if they want to keep their hopes of a top-4 finish alive. Not the easiest of matchups and Elanga is definitely a punt, but at a price of just £4.8m and owned by less than 1% of managers, he could be worth it bigtime.
Our differential fantasy pick for DGW34 is also our second Chelsea pick after Mason Mount. Kai Havertz (£7.9m) needed some time to adapt to Thomas Tuchel’s system, but he now seems to have cemented his place in the German manager’s starting eleven. He did miss considerable minutes in gameweeks 31 (45 minutes, 1 goal vs Southampton) and 32 (30 minutes vs Arsenal), but that was mainly due to the Blues also playing a Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid in that same period. Now that Chelsea are out of Europe, securing third place in the Prem and winning the FA Cup final in May are the priorities, and Havertz will play an integral part in those remaining objectives over the coming gameweeks. Tuchel deploys him as a central false nine who drifts in and out from the right depending on whether Reece James is positioned as a central defender or a wing-back. This means that he’s involved in plenty of action, which is underlined by the 5 goals and 1 assist he has recorded since gameweek 28. With a current ownership of 8.4%, Havertz could be a fantastic differential against West Ham and Man United this week.
We deliberated on the captaincy for quite some time, as we suspect more than a few FPL managers will this week. There are the Chelsea assets who are doubling, and the likes of Mount, Havertz and James could deliver big, while even a punt on Ronaldo or Bruno Fernandes for United’s tough double gameweek could pay off handsomely. This time though, we feel like there could be some truth in the century-old adagio of not focusing solely on double gameweek players when some proven single-gameweek assets have favorable fixtures as well.
That’s because Premier League powerhouses Liverpool and Man City are each preparing for home games against relegation candidates. Where the Cityzens are facing Watford on Saturday, the Reds are hosting archrivals Everton a day later. There’s KDB, Mahrez, Foden, Mané, Jota, Luis Diaz, Trent and even Cancelo or Robertson, all decent picks for the armband, but in the end, there was only one for us: Mo Salah.