Potentially treacherous waters ahead in gameweek 33, or so it seems. With no less than seven sides doubling (see table below), GW33 has been on many an FPL manager’s mind for some time, but is this double gameweek really as much of an opportunity as we’d like to think? Most of the doubling sides don’t represent the most attractive combination of fixtures, while several popular and premium assets are facing a single, but favourable gameweek. There is, of course, plenty to be won this upcoming weekend and week, but it might just not be as simple as pilling up on double gameweek players, sitting back, and waiting until the 100-point barrier is breached.
|Arsenal||Southampton (away), Chelsea (away)|
|Brighton||Spurs (away), Man City (away)|
|Burnley||West Ham (away), Southampton (home)|
|Leicester||Newcastle (away), Everton (away)|
|Manchester United||Norwich (home), Liverpool (away)|
|Newcastle||Leicester (home), Crystal Palace (home)|
|Southampton||Arsenal (home), Burnley (away)|
Looking at the table above, you can see what we meant before. None of the double gameweek sides really have excellent match-ups, apart from maybe Newcastle and Leicester. For different reasons though, these are not the most reliable sides, from an FPL point of view at least. The traditional top six are represented by Arsenal and Man United as far as DGW teams are concerned, but their respective double fixtures are average at best, especially considering Arsenal’s and United’s latest form. At the same time, Liverpool are hosting a vulnerable United side this weekend and Man City will be entertaining Brighton at the Etihad. Spurs will also play at home against the Seagulls and West Ham are welcoming managerless Burnley to London on Sunday, so there are plenty of interesting single-gameweek targets to consider as well. In other words, we’ve got another potential rollercoaster of a gameweek on our hands.
Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 33 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, April 16th, 2022.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per April 15th, 2022)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Sa (WOL), Ramsdale (ARS), Martinez (AST)||Schmeichel (LEI), Ramsdale (ARS), Dubravka (NEW)||DGW33|
|DEF||Doherty (TOT), Tierney (ARS), Coady (WOL)||Schär (NEW), Cancelo (MCI), White (ARS)||Newcastle + Arsenal DGW, Cancelo fixtures, Doherty + Tierney injuries|
|MID||Coutinho (AST), Salah (LIV), Raphinha (LEE)||Maddison (LEI), Son (TOT), Kulusevski (TOT)||Maddison DGW, Spurs fixtures|
|FOR||Dennis (WAT), Antonio (WHU), Watkins (AST)||Toney (BRE), Wood (NEW), Kane (TOT)||Wood DGW, Kane fixtures|
Even though the likes of Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son (both at home to Brighton), Mo Salah (at home vs Man United) and Kevin de Bruyne (at home vs Brighton) all present big haul potential, we figured to follow the double gameweek route for our premium fantasy pick of the week. Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) has been Manchester United’s best performer this season with 9 goals and 7 assists for a total of 136 FPL points, though considering United’s overall unpredictable form throughout the season, this might not say as much as we’d like. What it does say though, is that in fantasy terms, Bruno is the stand-out pick on the Red Devils’ roster. Over the past six league outings, no teammate has created more than his 13 big chances, while just two players in the entire league attempted more shots on goal than the Portuguese international over that same period. United will be facing Norwich at home, followed by a visit to Anfield. The way we see it, this is a combination of about as favourable a fixture as one can get this season with a bonus against Liverpool on top. After all, for example, a goal and 2 bonus points versus Norwich followed by a 2-pointer against Liverpool would still see Bruno bag 12-13 FPL points.
For this week’s non-premium fantasy pick, we are looking at Leicester City, as the Foxes face what is probably the most favourable double gameweek match-up, on paper at least. First up is a visit to a much-improved Newcastle side, followed by a visit to Goodison Park. At the same time, Leicester just qualified for the Conference League’s semi-finals after an intense 90 minutes against PSV Eindhoven on Thursday and their next league game is set for Sunday afternoon. In total, they have to deal with four games over a period of about nine days, so fatigue and rotation are real concerns. That’s not what you want from a double gameweek asset, so in our choice for Harvey Barnes (£6.6m) we have taken recent starts and playing minutes into account a lot. On paper, teammate James Maddison looks like the most explosive and definitely the more popular attacking Leicester option, but the England man just completed 90 minutes against PSV and played at least 88 minutes in each of his side’s last four league games. We feel he’s due a rest, especially with Leicester now focusing more on their European adventure than the league, and Barnes was just rested in gameweek 32. He was also taken off at halftime against PSV, which in all honestly probably had more to do with his sub-par performance than any kind of minute management, but it seems likely that he will be racking up more minutes over the upcoming double gameweek than Maddison. At £6.6m, fortunately, he does not represent too much of a risky investment, and he does sit on 3 goals and 8 assists for the season so far, so if you’re looking for Leicester attacker for DGW33, Barnes would be our recommendation.
The budget enabler
Together with Leicester, it’s probably Newcastle who got the most favourable double gameweek match-up with home games against Leicester and Crystal Palace. The Toon have undergone something of a transformation under Eddie Howe, though their very recent form has not been very good. Wolves were beaten 1-0 at home in GW32, but before that, three consecutive away games were lost, although it should be noted that those games were against Chelsea, Everton and Spurs. The double brings Magpie assets into contention nevertheless and especially in terms of budget options, we see potential there. That’s why our budget enabler for DGW33 is Fabian Schär (£4.4m) and we’re not the only ones with this idea. The Swiss defender is currently the most-transferred-in defender ahead of gameweek 33 and it’s not too hard to see why. He’s a nailed-on starter for the Magpies, they’re defence has improved since the arrival of Howe and Schär is even on some set-pieces as well. He has 2 goals and 2 assists to his name as well, and over the last five gameweeks, no Newcastle player brought home more FPL points than Schär’s 39 points. Not the most exciting of fantasy picks, we admit, but at £4.4m, he represents good budget-enabling potential, in particular for those managers considering a Free Hit this week.
Speaking of Free Hits, we’ve seen more than a few drafts being discussed by pundits, experts and casual managers alike over the past week. What we find surprising is that so few drafts seem to take James Ward-Prowse (£6.4m) into consideration. Sure, we understand that his double gameweek combination of Arsenal at home and Burnley away is not the best, and that Southampton just got thrashed 0-6 by Chelsea in GW32, but that doesn’t mean JWP can’t deliver this week. Why? Because the 27-year-old is one of the best set-piece takers in the history of the Premier League. It’s that simple. His wonderful free-kick against Wolves last weekend meant he has now scored 13 direct free-kicks in the Prem, a total only bettered by David Beckham with 18 successful attempts. He’s on practically all corners and free-kicks, both direct and indirect, and he takes the penalties as well. In a double gameweek, the potential for points from those set-piece duties is doubled as well, and at a price of £6.4m and with a current ownership of just 6.5%, we believe JWP should at least be on your watchlists.
Double gameweek 33 could very well result in one of the most spread-out captaincy debates this season, as there is not a real, clear-cut favourite candidate this time. Classic safe picks like Mo Salah and Harry Kane do have a favourable fixture, but not a double, just like Kevin de Bruyne, for example. At the same time, generally (much) less likely captaincy candidates such as James Maddison, Chris Wood and Bukayo Saka have decent double match-ups, but the question is, would you really slap the armband on one of them without a worry?
We have decided that we won’t and that we will go with Bruno Fernandes for our GW33 FPL Captain instead this week. Completely confident in this captaincy pick? Well, it’s United. Blinded by the doubles? Perhaps. Seeing the potential of a haul? Definitely. As we wrote before, the right way to look at Bruno’s double gameweek is as a home game versus Norwich plus a complete bonus appearance against Liverpool. Don’t expect more than 2 FPL points from the visit to Anfield, but focus on the visit of the Canaries. We feel a double-digit haul is not out of the question at all and that’s what you want from a captain, right?