So, here we are. After 370 matches, 1,032 goals and countless double gameweeks, gameweek 38 is finally here. The final gameweek of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign brings us the last ten games of this rollercoaster of a season. As is usual for the last gameweek of the year, heavy rotation is expected, though a lot is at stake still for more than a few teams as well. We’ll place a quick overview below of those teams still fighting for something, i.e. getting into Europe for next season or avoiding relegation to the championship.
Also, Spurs were hit by food poisoning this week, allegedly. Manager Antonio Conte says all is fine in the world though, but we recommend keeping an eye out for team news over the coming 24 hours.
|Manchester City||Aston Villa (home)||Victory = certain champions|
|Liverpool||Wolves (home)||Need victory to keep chance of title|
|4. Spurs||Norwich (away)||Victory = certain CL|
|5. Arsenal||Everton (home)||Need victory to keep chance of CL|
|6. Manchester United||Crystal Palace (away)||Victory = certain EL|
|7. West Ham||Brighton (away)||Need victory to keep chance of EL|
|17. Burnley||Newcastle (home)||Victory = avoid relegation|
|18. Leeds||Brentford (away)||Need victory to keep chance of PL|
Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 38 is set at 14h30 (UK time) on Sunday, May 22nd, 2022.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per May 21st, 2022)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Sa (WOL), Martinez (AST), Ramsdale (ARS)||Lloris (TOT), Alisson (LIV), Steele (BRI)||GW38 fixtures|
|DEF||Van Dijk (LIV), Cash (AST), Coady (WOL)||Matip (LIV), James (CHE), Alonso (CHE)||GW38 fixtures|
|MID||Salah (LIV), Coutinho (AST), Saka (ARS)||Son (TOT), Bowen (WHU), De Bruyne (MCI)||GW38 fixtures|
|FOR||Dennis (WAT), Ings (AST), Watkins (AST)||Kane (TOT), Toney (BRE), Nketiah (ARS)||GW38 fixtures|
Kevin de Bruyne (£12.1m). Man City need to win against Aston Villa at home to clinch the Premier League title, which, apart from its enormous prestige, would also mean that the Cityzens do not end their season trophyless. In other words, this is THE game of gameweek 38, in our opinion. Pep Guardiola’s men control their own fate, as winning against the Villans will bring them the title regardless of what Liverpool do against Wolves at Anfield. With food poisoning rumours surrounding Harry Kane and injury worries putting Mo Salah in doubt, KDB simply looks like the safest premium fantasy bet for GW38. He will start, he is on many set-pieces and he’s one of the best midfielders we’ve seen this decade, while his ownership is still below 20%. We’re expecting big things from him on the final gameday.
Our premium fantasy pick is a City asset, so we figured it’d be no less than right for the balance to pick a Liverpool player as our non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 38. With Mo Salah currently flagged in the official game (“Muscle injury – 75% chance of playing”) and Luis Diaz (£8.1m) being benched in GW37 against Southampton, our attention has shifted to the latter. The Colombian arrived at Anfield in January and did not need long to make an impact. In ten starts and two sub appearances, he has been good for 4 goals and 3 assists, totalling 62 FPL points. Despite him missing out in gameweek 37, we feel that Diaz could be a good punt this weekend. Liverpool can only win and hope for a minor miracle at the Etihad, which is how we expect them to turn up on Sunday as well. How it will turn out is anyone’s guess, but taking a little punt on Diaz might just turn out to be the banger you want to end your season with.
The budget enabler
In the past two months or so, Eddie Nketiah (£5.7m) became one of the best budget players in the game. Since his first league start of the season back in gameweek 33 away at Saint Mary’s, the youngster has started every single gameweek for Arsenal, scoring two braces over that period: one in gameweek 33 at Stamford Bridge and one versus Leeds at home in GW36. With so much at stake for the Gunners when they host Everton on Sunday, we can’t image manager Mikel Arteta suddenly benching Nketiah, especially as the academy graduate has shown good form over the past weeks. A considerable amount of Free Hits are still unactivated in the official game, which makes us think that GW38 will see considerable Free Hit activity and if we’re right, Nketiah is likely to be part of many of those squads, if not all of them. Everton have been terrible on the road this season, conceding 59 goals (only four teams conceded more) and recording an Expected Goals Conceded (xGC) of 58.3, which places them in thirteenth place. On top of that, they just secured Premier League survival, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Arsenal face an Everton side that has been celebrating for the past few days.
Even though Brentford in reality don’t have much to play for anymore, we’re recommending Christian Eriksen (£5.6m) as our differential fantasy pick for gameweek 38. Currently in eleventh place, the Bees could still move up to ninth if they win against Leeds at home, while a defeat could potentially see them drop to fourteenth. Apart from the difference in prize money, Brentford also seem to want to end their fantastic return season to the Prem in style. They’re coming off back-to-back victories against Southampton at home and Everton at Goodison Park, scoring six goals in the process. Eriksen created two of those goals, bringing his total returns since his arrival in January to 1 goal and 4 assists. The Danish international, who was called up for his national side recently as well, recorded 11 FPL points over the last two games, which at a price of £5.6m and an ownership of just 1.7% is very decent. He’s also a guaranteed starter and the man for practically all set-pieces. In other words, a major differential in a home game against a side fighting relegation.
Plenty of appealing fixtures on the agenda for the final gameweek of the 2021/22 Premier League season, meaning there are plenty of feasible captaincy candidates as well. As you might have guessed already though, after reading our premium fantasy pick for GW38, we won’t be looking further than Kevin de Bruyne this week. It promises to become a crazy final day of the campaign, but from a fantasy perspective, Sunday’s encounter at the Etihad has all the makings of a perfect storm for KDB. Our final armband of the season is for the Belgian.
Alternatives for the City midfielder can be found at Anfield, where Liverpool will be hosting Wolves. While Salah is flagged currently, the likes of Sadio Mané and Luis Diaz become very interesting captaincy targets, especially considering their below-8% ownership. In London, Heung Min-Son should be around the top of your watchlists as should his partner in crime Harry Kane, though rumour has it the England captain is not 100% after food poisoning. Other interesting options could be Eddie Nketiah at home to Everton, Cristiano Ronaldo away at Palace and Jarrod Bowen at Brighton. Want to finish your season with a real punt? An expert’s punt, so to say? Why not slap the armband on Wilfried Zaha then, for his visit to former club Manchester United, where he never fully blossomed?