Gameweek 35 is already almost upon us, about 36 hours after double gameweek 34 ended with a 1-1 draw between Chelsea and Manchester United at Old Trafford. Gameweeks have been coming thick and fast lately, and this will continue until the very end of the season. In fact, the upcoming gameweek 35 is something of a lull before the storm, as gameweek 36 and 37 are both (major) double gameweeks before the season ends in gameweek 38. That means there are just four rounds to go in FPL, but plenty can still happen in what’s promising to become a spectacular end to the 2021-22 FPL campaign.
As far as the upcoming double gameweek goes, the current top three face favourable opposition, though all three of them are playing away from home. Liverpool are visiting Newcastle to open the gameweek on Saturday, followed by Manchester City rolling up to Elland Road for the last game of the day and Chelsea traveling to struggling Everton on Sunday. On top of that, a Spurs side without a shot on target since gameweek 32 will host leaky Leicester this weekend, Manchester United are welcoming Brentford to Old Trafford and Arsenal are going to West Ham, who are plagued by injuries in defence and just played a Europa Conference League semi-final against AS Roma.
Don’t forget, the deadline for your FPL gameweek 35 transfers is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, April 30th, 2022.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per April 29th, 2022)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Ramsdale (ARS), De Gea (MUN), Sa (WOL)||Schmeichel (LEI), Foster (WAT), Martinez (AST)|
|DEF||Rudiger (CHE), Livramento (SOU), Schar (NEW)||Cash (AST), Alonso (CHE), Matip (LIV)||Upcoming DGWs, Livramento injury|
|MID||Saka (ARS), Son (TOT), Maddison (LEI)||De Bruyne (MCI), Coutinho (AST), Mount (CHE)||Upcoming DGWs, Saka injury doubts, Maddison rotation|
|FOR||Kane (TOT), Antonio (WHU), Wood (NEW)||Jesus (MCI), Watkins (AST), Dennis (WAT)||Upcoming DGWs, Kane 180 minutes without shot on target, Jesus coming off 4 goals|
We may have already gone through 34 gameweeks this season, but some things never change. Mo Salah (£13.3m) is our premium fantasy pick for gameweek 35, despite strong competition from the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and Harry Kane. It’s the business end of the season and the high-intensity games are piling up at breakneck speed for Liverpool, but their Egyptian superstar is just carrying on with what he has been doing all season: scoring goals, giving assists and delighting the almost 60% of FPL managers who trust him every weekend. He has scored 2 goals and given 3 assists over the last three gameweeks for a total of 30 FPL points over that stretch, while his season totals currently sit on 22 goals and 14 assists in 31 league games. The Reds are just one point behind leaders Man City and even though this weekend’s opponent Newcastle have been in great form of late, we find it hard to imagine the Magpies forcing Liverpool’s title ambitions onto the backburner.
Our non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 35 is based more on his upcoming fixtures than on his current form. Philippe Coutinho (£7.0m) had a magnificent start as a Villain when he came over from Barcelona in the last January transfer window, but the Brazilian has been quiet of late, at least in terms of FPL returns. Between gameweeks 22 and 28, he managed 4 goals and 3 assists for a total of 55 FPL points. Since GW28, he has registered five consecutive blanks, though it should be noted that the opposition over that period was quite difficult (West Ham, Arsenal, Wolves, Spurs, Leicester) and Villa don’t have that much to play for anymore. What’s interesting about Coutinho, is that he is facing Norwich at home this weekend, followed by back-to-back double gameweeks in which he will face, in order, Burnley (away), Liverpool (home), Palace (home) and Burnley (home). The Brazilian international is a nailed-on starter under manager Steven Gerrard and he has set-piece duties as well, which in combination with his friendly price tag make him an interesting pick not just for GW35, but until the end of the season.
The budget enabler
Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah (£5.5m) has burst into his side’s starting eleven right on time for the very business end of the season. Of course, we need to mention here that he has only just recently displaced Alexandre Lacazette from the Gunners’ number-nine position, but he has been largely impressive and we don’t see any immediate reason why Mikel Arteta would suddenly decide to switch it up again. Nketiah started the last three games in the league and managed a brace back in gameweek 33 in Arsenal’s spectacular 2-4 away win over Chelsea. He is facing a depleted West Ham defence this weekend, as the Hammers will be missing at least Craig Dawson, Angelo Ogbonna and Issa Diop, followed by a double gameweek 36 against Leeds (home) and Spurs (away). At a price of just £5.5m, Nketiah has all the makings of a perfect budget-enabler for the final month of the season, but keep in mind that Lacazette is vying for his spot as well.
To be honest, our premium pick debate for gameweek 35 was between Mo Salah and Kevin de Bruyne (£11.9m). Two factors made us pick Salah, namely the lower risk of rotation he carries and the fact that KDB is actually still owned by just 9.8% of FPL managers, which means that he still qualifies for our differential pick category! The Belgian playmaker has been one of City’s best performers over the past few weeks and months, which is not that surprising considering he is one of the very best creative midfielders in the world. In the six league games he started since gameweek 28, KDB scored 4 goals and gave 4 assists, collecting a delicious 56 FPL points in the process. In GW35, City are visiting Leeds for what could well end up being a goal fest, though it should be noted that Pep Guardiola’s men will also be travelling to Madrid on Wednesday to face a certain local football club in the semi-finals of the Champions League (and thanking the UEFA rule makers that Away goals no longer count). Rotation will undoubtedly be the name of the game as far as City assets are concerned this weekend, but with Liverpool just a point behind and playing Newcastle earlier that day, the Cityzens won’t be able to afford too much change either. In any case, De Bruyne might miss a minute here and there, but if you can, you should probably bring him in for now until the rest of the season. Oh, and he has a double gameweek against Newcastle (home) and Wolves (away) in GW36 as well.
As you probably guessed from the content above, the captaincy this week is between Mo Salah and Kevin de Bruyne for us, and we’ve ended up going with the latter. Both have the potential to haul bigtime, let that be clear, but we feel that Newcastle away for Liverpool is a tad more difficult a fixture than Leeds away is for Man City at the moment. Picking KDB does come with the higher risk of rotation, but with almost five days between the Leeds game and the Real Madrid cracker, there should be enough resting time available for the Belgian to feature from the start in both encounters. On top of that, with an ownership of less than 10%, he can be a great help to FPL managers chasing in their respective mini-leagues.
If you don’t captain Kevin de Bruyne, then captain Salah. If you don’t captain Salah, probably captain Harry Kane for his home game against Leicester, who are focusing entirely on the Conference League. If you don’t captain Kane either, please send us a screenshot of your team. Kidding, of course, because in reality there are more than a few decent alternatives left for GW35. Kai Havertz or Mason Mount away against Everton could pay off handsomely, as could Cristiano Ronaldo at home against Brentford and Bukayo Saka away versus West Ham.