FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 35+ Preview

“It’s London Derby time at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium on Sunday!” (CC by 2.0). Image by Daniel

For the first time in a while, there is one complete day of rest between consecutive gameweeks. In the build-up to Saturday’s gameweek 35+, Friday’s Premier League-less day will be welcomed by more than a few clubs as several of them were starting to look tired and devoid of ideas. For FPL managers, it makes the prep for GW35+ a bit less hectic, especially for those still holding on to a chip or two.

This round is the reverse of gameweek 4, all the way back in August, and it’s offering a few interesting fixtures. Both Liverpool and Manchester United are playing lesser opposition at home, while the likes of Leicester and Man City play winnable games away from their homes. The clash of the week surely is the game between Spurs and Arsenal on Sunday, while a West Ham side fighting against relegation visit relegated Norwich in what could be an interesting fixture from a fantasy football point of view. Anyway, here are our fantasy picks for gameweek 35!

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 35+ is set at 11h30 (UK time) on Saturday, July 11th, 2020.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per July 10th, 2020)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKPope (BUR), Henderson (SHE), Ryan (BRI)Schmeichel (LEI), Ederson (CIT), Pope (BUR)Ederson is City’s most certain starter + favourable fixtures, Schmeichel is showing excellent form.
DEFLundstram (SHE), Chilwell (LEI), Wan-Bissaka (UTD)Egan (SHE), Wan-Bissaka (UTD), Söyüncü (LEI)Defenders lacking regular playing time (or with injury) are being exchanged for in-form assets. Managers can’t make up their mind about AWB.
MIDCantwell (NOR), Traoré (WOL), Mané (LIV)Willian (CHE), Pulisic (CHE), Fernandes (MU)Cantwell injured & relegated, Traoré ongoing shoulder worries and the most-tranferred in assets are all in great form.
FORJimenez (WOL), Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Rashford (UTD)Greenwood (UTD), Vardy (LEI), Ings (SOU)Jimenez and DCL are not delivering lately, while the likes of Greenwood, Vardy and Ings are scoring goals.

Premium fantasy picks

We’re considering giving Kevin de Bruyne (£10.8m) a permanent spot in our weekly FPL article until the end of this season and, why not, for the entire next season as well. It’s just… he’s THAT good. That’s also why his current 52.5% ownership is no real surprise. Despite his very low differential value, the Belgian midfielder is still our first premium pick for gameweek 35+. He was on fire again in his last game as City thrashed Newcastle 5-0. With an assist on Mahrez’ goal, KDB brought his totals for the season to an incredible 11 goals and 21 assists, as well as 223 FPL points. (Incidentally Marhez signed for City 2 years ago today). Up next is an away game against Brighton, who have shipped 47 goals in 34 games and who won’t be looking forward to facing De Bruyne and the rest of the Cityzens.

Our second premium fantasy pick for GW35+ is the inevitable Jamie Vardy (now £9.8m after a price rise last night). With just 6 FPL points from his first three games after the coronabreak (no goals, no assists), the Leicester striker, like the rest of his team, had a sluggish restart. As it tends to be for strikers though, apparently all he needed was that first goal and it came late in gameweek 33+. That one was promptly followed by another goal and then another goal in GW34+. Like that, Vardy recorded 22 FPL points those who kept faith in his scoring abilities. The 31-year has a history of scoring in batches and upcoming opponents Bournemouth will know that as well. On top of that, the Englishman is unlikely to relax before the end of the season, seeing as his 3 goals in the last two games have kept him in the lead for the Golden Boot, which has put him two above Arsenal’s Aubameyang and three above Liverpool’s Salah. He’ll be hoping to extend that lead when they visit the seriously relegation-threatened Cherries on Sunday.

Non-premium fantasy picks

The final game of gameweek 35+ is played on Monday and it’s a nice one: Manchester United versus Danny Ings’ Southampton at Old Trafford. The Saints have been capable of causing a few upsets this season, but we still feel that they won’t be much of a match against a flying Man United side. That’s why this week, we’ve picked Anthony Martial (£8.3m) to represent our hopes for a nice haul. Man Utd won (yet again by 3 goals) last night against Aston Villa and whilst Martial didn’t score, since the return of football, the Frenchman has scored 4 goals and provided 2 assists, though it should be noted that none of those returns came in away games. The Seagulls have had a decent return to football with 7 points from five games, but they also conceded 7 goals over that run. In other words, the Red Devils will have their work cut out for them, but we feel the 19.8%-owned Martial could deliver here.

We also wanted to include a defensive pick in our selection for this weekend and it looks like James Justin (£4.7m) could be up for some FPL points. The young English right-back has taken the injured Ricardo Pereira’s spot in coach Brendan Rodgers’ starting lineup and he has been doing a good job there. Since GW30+, the first one after the break, he has been part of 2 clean sheets and this weekend’s game against Bournemouth could very well end up being his third. The Cherries have had a horrid return to football with no points and 12 goals conceded (and just 3 goals scored) in five games, and despite the threat of relegation having become very real now, we don’t see them forcing anything against an improving Leicester side.

A differential fantasy pick or two

Our first differential pick for GW35+ is an attacking Man City asset of less than £6.0m with a big chance of starting at the AmEx in Brighton on Saturday evening. That’s right and the player we’re talking about is the ridiculously talented Phil Foden (£5.4m), who has played 284 Premier League minutes since the return of football. In those 284 minutes, he racked up an amazing 38 FPL points, courtesy of 4 goals, 1 assist, 3 clean sheets and 4 bonus points. He played 60 minutes in gameweek 34+ at home to Newcastle and 30 minutes in the week prior to that, so we’re expecting/hoping for a start against Brighton this weekend. Despite his low price and obvious FPL potential, he is still owned by just 6% of managers, so getting him in for the final four games could be a wise move.

Finally, a repeat pick. We identified West Ham’s Michail Antonio (£6.9m) as a differential with potential for the home game against Burnley last week, so if you followed our suggestion, we appreciate it and we apologise for the lack of returns. Still, the midfielder-turned-striker was quite unlucky not to get at least an assist or to even get one past Pope himself. His right-footed curler against the post in the 40th minute was the closest he got. We know, West Ham are still West Ham, but the Hammers did string together decent attacking at times and Antonio was involved practically every time. On top of that, they should be fighting with all they’ve got as relegation is looming. And on top of THAT, West Ham are visiting Carrow Road to face Norwich this weekend. It’s a punt, but we think it could be a very good one.

The captaincy

After his brace against Brighton a few days ago, Mo Salah might well be the most captained player by the time we reach gameweek 35+’, though the benching and subsequent 30-minute cameo by Sadio Mané might lead to many managers going for the Senegalese winger instead. Still, we’re putting the armband on Kevin “Breaking the PL record for assists in a single season soon” de Bruyne’s right arm. An in-form City side is facing Brighton at the AmEx and even though the Seagulls are in good shape, there will be opportunities for the Belgian. There will  be for his team mates as well, but the problem is the high risk of rotation.

Outside of ‘Pool and City, Vardy facing Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium is not a bad way to go. If you prefer a home game for your captain, any of Greenwood, Fernandes, Martial or Rashford is a wise pick for the home game against Southampton. Finally, if you’re in need of a seriously differential captain haul, go for Antonio against a Norwich side whose relegation to the Championship was all but confirmed at the end of gameweek 34+.

According to the FISO Forum poll on the FPL Captain for GW35, Fernandes and Sala lead the way at the moment.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for large prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s Premier League 50k Main Event and see discussions on the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants organised by FanTeam who also have a 100k GW38 Premier League comp to finish the season and will have another massive season-long Premier League comp for 20/21. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee.

FanTeam Premier League – GW34 €50K Main Event – Wednesday 8th July

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. This series will focus on FanTeam’s Premier League Main Event, a daily fantasy league based on the Premier League games. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for this weekly tournament to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) Main Event, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,500 participants. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 556 would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner takes home a cool €7,500. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner should get about €1,000) for those who prefer to play with lower stakes.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Finally, the Pursuit format is being applied to the upcoming FanTeam Weekly Monster. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2.5 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read about Pursuit in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 34 FanTeam’s Main Event is set at 18h00 (UK time) tomorrow Wednesday, July 8th, 2020. You can enter a team earlier and make changes right up to the deadline. This means you have an hour to check the starting line-ups for the early match.

Gameweek 34 Weekly Main Event matches

How did our team fare in gameweek 33+?*

*Finished 332nd out of 2432 players (and in the prizes for the 2nd consecutive week).
NAME (club) (opponent)RETURNSPOINTS
Pope (BUR) vs Sheffield United (H)2 saves3
Gomez (LIV) vs Aston Villa (H)Clean sheet, Impact+17
Tarkowski (BUR) vs Sheffield United (H)1 goal8
C SalahAssist, clean sheet, Impact+116

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 34+

Formation: 2-5-0 |  Budget used: 100.0m

General approach

There is a relatively big disparity in player prices for FanTeam’s GW34+ €50K Main Event this week. On the one hand, we have Man City’s and Liverpool’s assets facing favourable opposition (Newcastle at home and Brighton away, respectively). On the other hand, the likes of Sheffield United, Wolves, Burnley and West Ham are playing each other in relatively even match-ups, in the sense that it would not be a big surprise to see those four teams end up in low-scoring affairs on Wednesday.

Seeing as Brighton have actually conceded fewer big chances per game than any other side in the division since Project Restart, we’ve shied away from Liverpool picks and went all in on a Man City side in redemption mode with three players from their roster. Surprisingly, Sheffield United are the team conceding most big chances per game (2.6) since the return of football and they are not exactly scoring for fun either, so with Pursuit mode in mind, our team boasts 3 Wolves assets as well. Finally, with West Ham looking good going forward of late, our seventh and final pick is a Hammer playing out of position.

Manchester City

Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden

Last gameweek, Pep Guardiola decided to rain on the parade of more than a few fantasy managers by benching De Bruyne against Southampton and then bringing him on in the 59th minute for what ended up being the grand total of 1 point on FanTeam. They say though, that after rain comes sunshine, and after De Bruyne’s benching against Southampton comes De Bruyne’s return to the starting lineup against Newcastle at home. Despite having lost the title already, the general consensus in the fantasy football world seems to be that City will be wanting to make up this week for their slip-up against the Saints. The Magpies will almost certainly try and park a bus or two at the Etihad, especially with coach Steve Bruce hinting at a rest for man-in-form Allan Saint-Maximin, so we see a one-sided affair here, and one in which City hopefully will be less wasteful than they were last game.

As you can imagine, Kevin de Bruyne was the first name on our team sheet and he is also the captain of our team. The Belgian midfielder has been nothing short of spectacular this season, currently sitting on 11 goals and 20 assists and actually equalling Thierry Henry’s historic record of 20 assists in a single season back in 2002-03. As mentioned earlier, he was benched in gameweek 33+, so we are not worried about his prospects of starting this week. The Magpies are in decent form after taking 8 points from four games since the return of football, but they also let in 4 goals over that run, including versus Bournemouth and Villa, some of the least prolific outfits at this moment. After sitting out the major part of GW33+, we think De Bruyne can do some damage on Wednesday.

As we’re going all in on Cityzens this week, the Belgian is joined in the middle of our team by team mates Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden. Like the rest of his team, Sterling disappointed against the Saints, but he did look like one of their most dangerous men going forward and wasting all those chances. Foden then, like De Bruyne, was benched in GW33+, but the young Englishman is expected to start at home versus Newcastle after recording 14 and 13 FanTeam points in his last two home games against Burnley and Liverpool, respectively. Should any of our Man City picks not start, then we can change them based on the starting line-up plus the Safety Net would come into play if we missed doing this, seeing as our picks are more expensive then the likes of Mahrez, David Silva and Bernardo Silva this week.

Wolves

Joao Moutinho, Matt Doherty, Romain Saiss

With Pursuit mode in mind, we decided to complement our very expensive Manchester City trio with three more affordable picks from a Wolves side facing Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. While Wolves have not been particularly spectacular since Project Restart, they did manage to largely maintain their stability in terms of results, winning their first three games 0-2, 1-0 and 0-1. The GW33+ loss at home against Arsenal was a bit of a surprise, but with European football still being a very realistic goal for coach Nuno Espirito Santo’s men, we’re hoping for a decent response against Sheffield United on Wednesday. The Blades haven’t been very prolific in front of goal since Project Restart got under way (4 goals in 5 games) while they did concede at the same time, both in terms of goals (8 conceded in 5 games) and big chances per game (2.6).

As a result, we included two Wolves defenders with offensive tendencies in our GW34+ €50K Main Event team, namely right-back Matt Doherty and central defender Romain Saiss. Doherty is actually the highest-scoring defender after the Liverpool trio of Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold and Robertson, thanks to an impressive 10 clean sheets, 4 goals and 6 assists. Having Aubameyang as his direct opponent in GW33+ kind of stifled his attacking potential, but we’re expecting more involvement up the pitch from him on Wednesday. For exactly a million less, Saiss offers a lot of potential as well with him being among the defenders with most attempts on target this season. We’re hoping he will get a few opportunities to improve on one or more of his current tallies (9 clean sheets, 2 goals, 2 assists) when the Wolves visit the Blades.

In order to avoid a too harsh of a Stacking Penalty in case of a Wolves clean sheet, we opted to add a midfielder instead of a third defender. We currently have Joao Moutinho in our team due to the injury/fatigue concerns surrounding Adama Traoré, but fortunately we will know the starting lineup before the Main Event’s deadline. We are covering Moutinho here, but in case Adama starts on Wednesday, we will probably replace the Portuguese midfielder with the Spanish winger, based on the latter’s higher goal threat. Moutinho, though, isn’t a bad pick either. As he is on many set-pieces for Wolves, he has racked up 7 assists already this season, as well as a goal. He hasn’t recorded an attacking return yet since Project Restart got underway, but we’re hoping this could change when he faces an uncharacteristically obliging Sheffield United defence on Wednesday.

West Ham

Michail Antonio

Finally, our joker to fill the seventh and final spot of our selection for FanTeam’s GW34+ €50K Main Event, Michail Antonio. With 2 goals and 1 assist from his last two games, the West Ham forward looks to be in good form, but there is more. Since football returned, no single midfielder in the Premier League has registered more shots in the box than him, and only Martial and Mané have had more than his three big chances. Even when looking at expected goals and expected assists, Antonio comes out on top. Much of this has to do with the fact that he is registered as a midfielder on FanTeam, but deployed as a striker by coach David Moyes in real life. This will again be the case when a resilient Burnley side visit the Hammers on Wednesday. It won’t be easy for them, but if they get anything out of this one, Antonio will most likely be involved.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Premier League 50k Main Event and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 50,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 34+ Preview

“Thanks to a brace in GW33+, Leicester’s Jamie Vardy now has 101 Premier League goals to his name for the club.” (CC by 2.0). Image by CFCUnofficial London

It’s just non-stop at the moment for FPL Managers. With the final encounter of gameweek 33+, Spurs vs Everton, played last night at 20h00 (UK time), there are just 22 hours between the end of that round and the start of the next. Palace and Chelsea are kicking off today, Tuesday, at 18h00 (UK time). Obviously, these extremely quick turnaround times are already having their effects the FPL, especially in regard to starting lineups, and they will continue to do so until the very end. How else can you explain Pep Guardiola benching De Bruyne out of nowhere last weekend, for example? OK, well, the notorious Spanish rotator maybe isn’t the best example, but you get our point.

Including the upcoming GW34+, there are now just five rounds of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign to go and there is still plenty to play for, especially regarding European qualification and the relegation battle. The encounter of the week is probably taking place this evening when Arsenal host Leicester, but there’s plenty of other interesting action on this gameweek. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Chelsea, for example, will be hoping to confirm their European aspirations away from home against relatively favourable opposition, while 17th-placed Watford take on an all but relegated Norwich side. Like every week, we’ve made six fantasy picks plus a captaincy suggestion to help you navigate the very business end of the season.

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 34+ is set at 17h00 (UK time) on Tuesday, July 7th, 2020.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per July 6th, 2020)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKDe Gea (UTD), Henderson (SHE), Schmeichel (LEI)Pope (BUR), Martinez (ARS), Ederson (CIT)Managers making room for a third outfield United player, going for Ederson’s status as a nailed-on starter at City, and Martinez as a starting budget-enabler.
DEFLundstram (SHE), Chilwell (LEI), Wan-Bissaka (UTD)Azpilicueta (CHE), Wan-Bissaka (UTD), Söyüncü (LEI)Injuries to Lundstram and Chilwell, good form from Azpilicueta and Wan-Bissaka
MIDCantwell (NOR) Grealish (AST), Traoré (WOL), Fernandes (UTD), Willian (CHE), Martial (UTD)Cantwell injury plus ack of returns/form/starts/favourable fixtures in change for a few of the most in-form midfielders.
FORJimenez (WOL), Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Rashford (UTD)Greenwood (UTD), Ings (SOU), Vardy (LEI)Similar to the possible reasons for movements in the midfielders segment, while Rashford etc to Greenwood represents budget-enabling value.

Premium fantasy picks

Even the best need a rest sometimes, is what Pep Guardiola must’ve thought when he benched Kevin de Bruyne (£10.8m) out of nowhere in GW33+. The Man City maestro had already been spared back in gameweek 30+, which was a double one for City, so his absence from the starting lineup against Southampton surprised more than a few managers. Not as many as the home team’s 1-0 victory, though. The Belgian midfielder should be back from the start for the upcoming home game against Newcastle and he’ll be looking to flush away the taste of surprise defeat at Saint Mary’s, the same stadium where Leicester booked a 0-9 victory earlier this season. With 11 goals and 20 assists, De Bruyne is essential to City and he will be on Wednesday as well.

Our second premium fantasy pick of the week is maybe a bit of a knee-jerk, but not completely either. Yes, both Leicester and Jamie Vardy (£9.7m) had a bit of a rusty beginning of Project Restart as it took four games to get their first victory, but some of their earlier form finally showed again in GW33+ as they beat Palace at home, 3-0. Main man in that game was Vardy, who scored a brace in the final fifteen minutes of the game to get a nice 13 FPL points for himself and the 26.4% of managers who own him. That brought his total tally for the season to 21, which places him at the top of the Golden Boot ranking, two goals ahead of Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The relative knee-jerk aspect of this pick is the fact that the Foxes striker recorded just 6 FPL points from Project Restart’s first three games. Vardy is a proven goalscorer though (his goals against Palace were numbers 100 and 101 in the PL for him), and the Foxes boast one of the most talented squads in the division, so we feel the victory over Palace could work as a catalyst for them. Leicester are facing Arsenal and Bournemouth away in the next two, and you can be sure that there will be opportunities for Vardy.

Non-premium fantasy picks

Since the return of football a few weeks ago, Manchester United have been one of the most in-form teams in the Premier League. From four games, the Red Devils have taken 10 points, scoring 12 goals in the process and conceding 3 in the process. For perspective, two of those conceded goals came in the spectacular 5-2 home win over Bournemouth last weekend. The fantasy appeal of some of their assets has risen so fast in relatively little time that FPL managers have actually started wondering which combination of three United players is optimal for the final part of the season. With their upcoming fixture list looking good, the likes of De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Pogba, Fernandes, Martial, Greenwood and Rashford all deserve consideration.

For our gameweek 34+ selection, we have gone with the unstoppable Bruno Fernandes (£8.9m) and the extremely talented Mason Greenwood (£4.6m) whose FPL price has just risen last night from £4.5m to £4.6m. The former has been nothing short of impressive with 3 goals, 2 assists, a clean sheet, 4 bonus points and a total of 30 FPL points over the past two gameweeks, while the latter is enjoying the longest consecutive run of starts at his still very young age. The fact that he brought home 3 goals, 1 assist and 6 bonus points for a total of 25 FPL points over that same period only makes the 18-year old’s latest performances stand out more. As if that weren’t enough, Greenwood’s price tag sits at an ultra bargain level of £4.6 million. At current prices, you can get the aforementioned starting Man United duo of Fernandes and Greenwood into your team for just £13.4m with Villa away and Southampton at Old Trafford up next.

A differential fantasy pick or two

Since their surprise 3-0 win over Liverpool back in gameweek 28, Watford have won just one single point, so our first differential pick of the week is not based on team form. Instead, we’re putting our money on the fixture, as Ismaila Sarr (£6.1m) and his team mates are taking on all-but-relegated Norwich City at Vicarage Road. Like the rest of the Hornets, Sarr’s last moment of glory came back in GW28 when he scored a brace and gave an assist against Liverpool. Since then, the speedy Senegalese winger has been a nailed-on piece of coach Nigel Pearson’s starting eleven, unfortunately reeling in just 10 FPL points from five games. It should be noted though, that with away games versus Palace, Chelsea and Burnley as well as a home game against Leicester, Watford’s run wasn’t very favourable for an attacking fantasy asset like Sarr. We’re hoping to see considerable improvement in this sense against the Canaries tomorrow, and hopefully in the home game against Newcastle and the away match versus West Ham after that as well.

The same does not go for Michail Antonio (£6.9m), in the sense that the West Ham striker does combine relatively favourable upcoming fixtures with good individual form and a team form with potential. It’s alarm phase red for the Hammers as they are fighting relegation, so the 3-2 home victory against London rivals Chelsea in GW32+ and the 2-2 draw at Saint James’ Park after that were more than welcome for them. In both those games, Michail Antonio, who plays as a striker but is listed as a midfielder by FPL, played a major role. After 2 goals, 1 assist and 2 bonus points for a total of 19 FPL points from those two games, the Englishman has found himself in a bit of a purple patch. Still, his current ownership sits at just 1%. With homes games against Burnley, Watford and Villa as well as a home game against Norwich coming up in the remaining five gameweeks of the season, West Ham’s Antonio could prove to be a major end-of-the-season differential.

The captaincy

Our captain for gameweek 34+ is Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne. The Belgian was benched on the way to City’s unexpected 1-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton and will be back in the starting lineup for the game against Newcastle for sure as the Cityzens will look to redeem themselves. Within the City roster, the likes of Sterling or even Gabriel Jesus could be decent alternatives, but we’re sticking with the 11-goal-20-assist midfield maestro for this one.

In case you’re not convinced, GW34+ does offer a few good alternatives. Manchester United are playing at Villa Park, which automatically brings Fernandes, Rashford, Martial and even Greenwood into the mix. Liverpool’s Salah, Mané or even Alexander-Arnold could have a field day at Brighton. Or what about putting your faith in Jamie Vardy’s refreshed goalscorer’s instinct against Arsenal after becoming a Premier League centurion for Leicester? Finally, for the more risk-resistant managers among us, handing the armband to Deeney or Sarr for their home encounter with obliging Norwich could be a huge differential.

Do also check out the FISO FPL Forum Poll on the GW34+ Captain.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for large prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s Premier League 50k Main Event and the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants organised by FanTeam. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee.

FanTeam Premier League – GW33 €50K Main Event – Sunday 5th July

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. This series will focus on FanTeam’s Premier League Main Event, a daily fantasy league based on the Premier League games. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for this weekly tournament to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) Main Event, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,500 participants. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 556 would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner takes home a cool €7,500. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner should get about €1,100) for those who prefer to play with lower stakes.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Finally, the Pursuit format is being applied to the upcoming FanTeam Weekly Monster. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2.5 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read about Pursuit in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 33+ FanTeam’s Main Event is set at 12h00 (UK time) on Sunday, July 5th, 2020. You can enter a team earlier and make changes right up to the deadline. This means you have an hour to check the starting line-ups for the early match.

Gameweek 33 Weekly Main Event matches

How did our Weekly Monster team fare in gameweek 32+?*

NAME (club) (opponent)RETURNSPOINTS
Holgate (Everton) vs Leicester (H)Impact +13
Richarlison (Everton) vs Leicester (H)1 goal, Impact +17
Lascelles (Newcastle) vs Bournemouth (a)Impact +13
Saint-Maximin (Newcastle) vs B’mouth (a)3 assists, clean sheet, Impact +113
VC Bellerín (Arsenal) vs Norwich (H)Clean sheet, Impact +110.5
C Aubameyang (Arsenal) vs Norwich (H)2 goals, 1 assist, Impact +128

*Finished 37th out of 2,432 players.

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 33+

General approach

The FanTeam GW33+ €50K Main Event has presented us with four interesting matches. Liverpool and Man City are obviously the hot favourites for big victories on Sunday, against Aston Villa at home and Southampton away, respectively, but their most-promising assets are also priced accordingly. As a result, we have decided to opt for a bit more differential approach this week by selecting just 2 Liverpool players, complemented with 3 Newcastle assets as they take on West Ham at home and 2 Burnley defensive picks as they host Sheffield United. At the same time, this has left us with 17.48 bonus points in Pursuit mode, which hopefully will prove to be valuable in trying to break into the Main Event’s top 100 for a second consecutive time.

Newcastle

Allan Saint-Maximin, Matt Ritchie, Jamaal Lascelles

Not Liverpool or Man City, but Newcastle United are the most represented club in our fantasy selection for FanTeam’s GW33 €50K Main Event Sunday. The Magpies passed the 40-point mark in the Premier League with their emphatic 1-4 victory over Bournemouth, but they don’t seem to be suffering from premature holiday symptoms at all. Their current unbeaten run of five games is their longest since the 2015-16 season and, believe it or not, since the return of football, only Man City have scored more goals than Newcastle (8 goals in 3 games). Over that same run, they conceded just twice. As a matter of fact, and to put things in perspective a bit for Steve Bruce’s men: with six games to go, including three against current bottom-six opponents, the Magpies are just three points away from equalling their points tally under the immensely popular Rafa Benitez last season.

With 25 FanTeam points since Project Restart got going, courtesy of 1 goal, 3 assists, 2 clean sheets and 3 impact points, forward Allan Saint-Maximin (who is classified as a midfielder on FanTeam) has played a huge role in Newcastle’s outstanding recent performances. In the last game against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, the Frenchman was spared after 61 minutes and an impressive 3 assists, so we’re fairly certain he will start in the upcoming home game against West Ham. The Hammers booked a great victory over London rivals Chelsea in their fight to avoid relegation, but the game at Saint James’ Park is going to be a different affair. Not only are Newcastle much more stable defensively than the Blues, but they have also seriously cranked up their goalscoring average at home since football returned.

That’s also why we opted for a season-first Newcastle triple for gameweek 33+, with defender-turned-midfielder Matt Ritchie and defender Jamaal Lascelles joining ASM in our team. The former had a spectacular restart of the season with a goal, an assist, 2 clean sheets and an impact point from gameweek 30+ and 31+ before being rested during Newcastle’s last game. The latter practically immediately became a nailed-on starter again in Steve’s Bruce defensive set-up after returning from injury. Lascelles recorded a clean sheet and 1 impact point over the past three weeks for a total of 10 FanTeam points. At home against a West Ham side involved in a full-on relegation battle, we can see returns for both of these players.

Liverpool

Mo Salah, Joe Gomez

With their recent and long-awaited Premier League title followed by a kind of surprising 4-0 drubbing against Man City at the Etihad, Liverpool have suddenly become a bit of a hard-to-gauge provider of fantasy assets. Are they going to keep performing? Is coach Jurgen Klopp going to increase rotation? It remains to be seen, but we do believe there are still a few certainties in regard to the Reds. One of them is the fact that forward Mo Salah is still in the midst of a tense battle for the 2019-20 Golden Boot (as is Sadio Mané, to a slightly lesser extent) and another is that the injuries of central defenders Lovren and Matip have enormously increased Joe Gomez’ already high chances of starting games. That’s also why these two are part of our GW33 €50K Main Event selection. Mo Salah failed to return anything for his backers in gameweek 32+, but he was one of the more threatening Reds. Who knows how the match would’ve gone down if his early attempt on the post had gone in? The Egyptian talisman is two goals behind Aubameyang in the Golden Boot ranking and against Villa, who boast the division’s joint-worst defensive record, he will be looking to close that gap. Also, Villa’s first-choice left-back Matt Targett is out injured for this one.

Joe Gomez then, is our way of getting a piece of the Liverpool defence against the Villans. On FanTeam, he is the least expensive of the expected starting defenders and a clean sheet looks more than possible here. Villa have actually scored just 2 goals in their four games since football returned. Against a Liverpool side undoubtedly motivated to redeem themselves after the City disappointment, we find it hard to see the Villans add to their current tally.

Burnley

Nick Pope, James Tarkowski

The final spots in our fantasy selection for GW33+ are filled by defensive Burnley assets, starting with one of this season’s outstanding goalkeepers all around, Nick Pope. With 153 points, he is actually the highest-scoring goalie on FanTeam at this moment. The 5-0 loss at the Etihad upon the return of football in gameweek 30+ was painful, but Pope and the rest of the Clarets didn’t let it affect them. In the two games between then and now, the English shot stopper recorded 17.5 points, courtesy of 2 clean sheets, 7 saves and 2 impact points. Sunday’s opponent Sheffield United are resilient, but they haven’t scored on the road since February, which must be music to the ears of the Golden-Glove-chasing Nick Pope.

The Blades’ shyness in front of goal on the road combined with Burley’s joint-best defensive record in the division convinced us to add James Tarkowski to our team as well. After a -1 in gameweek 30+ against Man City, the English international helped his side to two clean sheets and himself to a decent 13 FanTeam points. As a matter of fact, Burnley are unbeaten in five home games (3 victories, 2 draws) and a victory against Sheffield Utd would see them equal the club’s historic record of 14 victories in a single Premier League season. On top of that, a victory on Sunday would move them within a few points of a European spot with five games still to go. A lot will depend on their defensive stability and Tarkowski could be one of the main fantasy benefactors of this.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Premier League 50k Main Event and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 50,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 33+ Preview

Citizens 3-1 Tigers
“This week, last season’s champions Man City are welcoming recently crowned champions Liverpool to the Etihad for the clash of the gameweek” (CC by 2.0). Image by Dom Fellowes.

At the time of writing this preview for gameweek 33+, which starts on Saturday, the final two games of gameweek 32+ are still to be played tonight, including the clash between Man City and Liverpool at the Etihad. Despite GW32+ being stretched out over six days, this still shows just how hectic the current Premier League schedule really is. The quick turn-around of games, plus the fitness consequences of the three-month break and the fact that more and more teams will have little left to play for as the season advances, further increases an already high risk of rotation for FPL managers. As a result, secure starters and an ample bench are rapidly growing in importance in the official game.

With Leicester, Man United, Wolves and Chelsea all given potentially favourable home games, and with Man City playing Southampton at Saint Mary’s, GW33+ has all the ingredients for a high-scoring round with multiple hauls causing plenty of green and red arrows all around. For those chasing in their mini-leagues, this means that it’s not too late yet. For those in the lead, it means it would be unwise start relaxing. Meanwhile, we have once again selected seven promising picks for your fantasy Premier League team.

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 33+ is set at 11h30 (UK time) on Saturday, July 4th, 2020.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per July 2nd, 2020)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKLeno (Arsenal), Henderson (Sheffield), Schmeichel (Leicester)Pope (Burnley), Martinez (Arsenal), De Gea (Man United)Leno is injured while Henderson and Schmeichel have not delivered for a while. De Gea and Pope are good performers, whil Martinez is a cheap starter at Arsenal.
DEFLundstram (Sheffield), Kelly (Palace), Baldock (Sheffield)Wan-Bissaka (Man United), Doherty (Wolves), Saiss (Wolves)Sheffield United have a rough run of fixtures coming up and are not in great form, while Wolves and United boast two of the best defences in the league.
MIDGrealish (Villa), Maddison (Leicester), Traoré (Wolves)Fernandes (Man United), Martial (Man United), Pulisic (Chelsea)Non-delivering assets out, in-form United assets in, plus Pulisic has a good run coming of fixtures coming up.
FORVardy (Leicester), Aubameyang (Arsenal), Calvert-Lewin (Everton)Greenwood (Man United), Ings (Southampton), Rashford (Man United)Form plays a clear role in this trend, plus the appealing upcoming fixtures for United.

Premium fantasy picks

Even with Liverpool just becoming champions for the first time in 30 years and us not knowing the result yet of their game against City at the Etihad tonight, Mo Salah (£12.6m) has to be in your team or at least on top of your watchlist for next Sunday’s home game against Aston Villa. Especially when you consider the Egyptian forward is a prime candidate for this season’s Golden Boot. At the moment of writing, he sits on 17 goals, two less than leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and two more than team mate Sadio Mané. To the dismay of many an FPL manager, Salah missed the Merseyside Derby in gameweek 30+, but he made up for it with a goal and an assist against Palace a week later. Tonight’s game is definitely a challenging one for the Reds, but the Villa game should be a whole story. The Villans boast the division’s joint-worst defensive record (60 goals conceded in 32 games, like Norwich), while 2 goals and 2 points from four games since the return of football doesn’t indicate much form either. It’s true that they looked defensively more stable of late, but we’re still not betting against a Salah haul for this one.

We’re sticking to Liverpool for our second premium fantasy pick, as we feel Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.8m) could have a field day at Anfield on Sunday as well. Villa don’t just concede a lot of goals, they also score few goals themselves (36 goals in 32 games). At the same time, as part of the Liverpool backline this season, Alexander-Arnold has been part of 13 clean sheets. On top of that, he has 14 (!) assists and 3 goals to his name, as well as 21 bonus points. He is already more of a midfielder than a right-back at times and we expect him to get plenty of freedom on the right side against Villa, especially now that first-choice left-back Matt Targett is injured. We all know that freedom leads to opportunities and that’s what we’re hoping for with TAA, at both ends of the pitch.

Non-premium fantasy picks

Where Liverpool’s most popular fantasy players have been part of the premium category since match day 1, Manchester United’s assets have not. As a result of this and with the Red Devils quickly building up some serious end-of-season momentum, our two non-premium fantasy picks for gameweek 33+ belong to the red side of Manchester. They play a woeful and very relegation-threatened Bournemouth side on Saturday, and it’s just hard to not see them book a comfortable and possibly goal-laden victory there. The Cherries are currently nineteenth in the league and they haven’t won since Project Restart got underway. Equally worrying is the fact that they have scored just a single goal over that run, a 90th-minute consolation at 0-4 down against Newcastle in gameweek 32+. A trip to Old Trafford to face an in-form United side is about the last thing Eddie Howe’s men need right now.

That’s why we’re recommending Bruno Fernandes (£8.8m) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.4m) this round. The former has been nothing short of sensational since his arrival from Sporting Lisbon last January, hitting the English ground running with 5 goals and 3 assists from 8 games. The latter made a similar big-money move to Old Trafford, but half a year earlier, and he’s been a mainstay in the starting lineup since his first day as well. Both players are also coming into Saturday’s game in great form. With 2 goals and 15 FPL points, Fernandes delighted the 21.9% of managers who own him, while a clean sheet and an assist (his second since football returned) made it 6 clean sheets and an amazing 57 FPL points from the last eight games for Wan-Bissaka. We don’t expect Bournemouth in their actual form to be the side that brings the accelerating United train to a halt.

A differential fantasy pick or two

When talking about differentials in the post-coronabreak era, Christian Pulisic (£7.0m) should be around the top of every serious FPL manager’s scouting list. Due to injury trouble and fluctuating form (both on personal and club level), the young American has maybe not yet made the impact he would’ve wanted this season, but he did show his extraordinary qualities at times. Since the return of football though, he has been in sensational form for Chelsea and the 6.6% of FPL managers who own him. In his last three games, he’s been good for 2 goals and 2 assists (both of them against West Ham in gameweek 32+), and a decent 22 FPL points. Up next is a home game against struggling Watford for the Blues. The Hornets disappointed at home to Southampton on Sunday, but so did the Blues by losing 3-2 against relegation candidates West Ham. Offensively though, Chelsea impressed for periods of the game and Pulisic was the main danger man, winning both the free kick and the penalty that resulted in Willian’s goals. Let’s see if he can lead the way again at Stamford Bridge coming Saturday.

Our second differential fantasy of the week is Brighton striker Neal Maupay (£5.7m). Admittedly, we’re a bit of a fan of the French forward, but there’s more to this one. First of all, the Seagulls are visiting a leaky and almost-relegated Norwich side. Second of all, Brighton have had a more than decent return to Premier League action with a win over Arsenal in GW30+ (with a last-minute winner by Maupay), a draw against Leicester after that (where Maupay missed a penalty) and a loss against a confident Man United side last gameweek. And third of all, in a heavily-rotated side, Maupay is coach Graham Potter’s most-used forward. On top of that, among the Brighton faithful the rumour goes that Potter kept his striker on the bench for the first half against United in GW32+ to spare him for the upcoming game at Carrow Road. After all, a victory against the Canaries could all but confirm Brighton’s continued presence in the Premier League next season. The stakes are high for this and we feel Maupay could be an appealing differential pick.

The captaincy

As we wrote earlier, gameweek 33+ is offering us a few attractive fixtures and subsequently, more than a few promising captaincy candidates. What to think of Mo Salah and Sadio Mané against Aston Villa at home, for example? We’re going with the Egyptian this week, but as we all know way too well, it could very well be the Senegal international who hauls this time. Or one of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford or Bruno Fernandes for United’s home clash with struggling Bournemouth?

For those in need of a bit more of a differential captain to try and make up ground in your mini-leagues, the likes of Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham, or Man City’s Kevin de Bruyne against Southampton at Saint Mary’s are worth considering. As a matter of fact, even Neal Maupay against Norwich and Raul Jimenez at home to Arsenal could be gutsy, but very rewarding punts. Do also check out the FISO FPL Forum Poll on the GW33+ Captain.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for large prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s Premier League Main Event and the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants organised by FanTeam. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee.

Fantasy Premier League 2019-2020 3 gameweeks into Project Restart

Considering the unprecedented nature of the Premier League’s Project Restart and the impact it has had, not only on the competition itself but on FPL as well, we figured the nearing end of gameweek 32+ is a good moment to stop for a moment and look back at the first three gameweeks after the coronabreak. In order to do so, we identified three ongoing races in the league: for Champions League qualification, for Europa League qualification and to avoid relegation. We’ll take a brief look at each of these battles and how they should be taken into account when planning for the very business end of this crazy season.

Heads up: this piece was written before the start of the 4 matches on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020.

The race for the Champions League

It’s a special race this year, one because Liverpool have won the title six rounds before the end, and two because current 2nd placed Manchester City are running a real risk of being excluded from international European competitions after repeatedly treading on the Financial Fair Play rules and reportedly misleading European football’s governing body UEFA. In this scenario, fifth place equals Champions League qualification as well, while the 6th place will get a ticket for the Europa League. Man City have filed an appeal against their exclusion, but for this article, we will assume that the UEFA will finally manage to stick with a serious sentence for a “big club” this time.

With Liverpool crowned champions, the teams currently sitting in a CL spot are Leicester in third, Chelsea in fourth and Manchester United in fifth. Wolves are tied with United at 52 points, though, while Spurs and Burnley follow at some distance with 45 points each. Of course, the Premier League is the Premier League and anything can happen, but with six to seven games to go this campaign, it looks likely that the battle for the Champions League spots will be between the teams in the current top six.

One of the reasons for this is that the upcoming fixture schedules for Wolves and Man United are among the most favourable ones going forward. The former are facing just one club from the current top six (Chelsea in the final gameweek), while the latter’s only top-six opponent is Leicester in that same round. United’s calendar looks a bit easier on paper, but both teams boast FPL assets that could well last for the rest of the campaign. The likes of Raul Jimenez, Matt Doherty, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire all possess the qualities and/or form to finish the season with a nice run, clad with FPL points.

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The battle for Europa League tickets

In a scenario where the UEFA manages to uphold Man City’s expulsion from European football, the sixth spot in the Premier League represents entry into next season’s Europa League. Wolves are currently occupying this spot, though they are on the same number of points (52) as Manchester United in fifth. The chasers are at some distance at the moment, with Spurs and Burnley on 45 points and Sheffield United behind them with 44 points.

Wolves and especially Man United look to be in good form and we don’t feel that they will be dropping many points over the coming weeks. This obviously doesn’t make it easier for the previously mentioned clubs just below them who are still eyeing a European ticket as well. From an FPL point of view though, this does not necessarily need to be a bad thing. That’s because, in theory, the longer teams have something to play for, the more reliable fantasy picks from their rosters are in terms of starting and motivation. If this ends up being applicable to this season as well, then Spurs, Burnley, and even Sheffield United could prove to be valuable sources of starting and performing fantasy picks.

Of those three outfits, newly-promoted Sheffield United have the hardest finish to the season. In combination with their underwhelming start to Project Restart, that makes us think that it’s probably wise to stay away from any Blades assets over the coming weeks. The same goes for Burnley players to a certain extent, as the Clarets are facing Sheffield United, Liverpool and Wolves over the next four. With Norwich away and Brighton at home, the very tail of their campaign looks a lot more appealing, though.

Of the chasers, Spurs probably boast the most interesting fantasy assets, in part thanks to their Project Restart schedule. Also, a public interest announcement: Don’t let a possible Arsenal sign of life against Norwich tonight (they are up 2-0 as we’re writing) fool you, they have been frustrating this season and their fixtures take a turn for the worse from next gameweek onwards. Back to Spurs: with Everton at home, Bournemouth away, Arsenal at home and Newcastle away in their next four games, Spurs offer us some interesting picks. While Harry Kane might be too much of a risk at the moment due to his price tag and the available alternatives, Heung-Min Son is an excellent midfield choice. The relatively affordable Serge Aurier could be as well, thanks to his drive forward. We recommend to watch the Sheffield United vs. Spurs game this Thursday to see how José Mourinho’s men show up against one of the most resilient sides in the Premier League.

The fight against relegation

It’s towards the bottom of the table where things are getting really tight. The relegation zone consists of the three last spots and currently, five teams are in the drop zone or located just a point outside of it. These are Norwich (21 points), Aston Villa (27 pts), Bournemouth (27 pts), West Ham (27 pts) and Watford (28 pts). Brighton sit on 33 points in fifteenth and definitely can’t switch off yet, while we consider fourteenth placed Southampton safe from relegation with 40 points after their 1-3 victory over Watford on Monday.

Out of these six teams, Norwich’s outlook is probably the grimmest. The Canaries look bound for a return to the Championship and we don’t recommend any of their players, unless you’re looking for a budget-enabler in the style of Todd Cantwell or are still hoping for a Teemu Pukki after-party. Having said that, things don’t look much better for Bournemouth and Villa either. The Cherries have had a horrid return to football and are 0-3 down at home against Newcastle at this very moment, while the Villans have returned in slightly better form. Still, like Bournemouth, Villa have a harsh schedule to deal with from now until the end of the 2019-20 campaign:

 GW33+GW34+GW35+GW36+
BournemouthMan United (a)Spurs (H)Leicester (H)Man City (a)
Aston VillaLiverpool (a)Man United (H)Crystal Palace (H)Everton (a)

Our verdict? If you REALLY want a Cherry or a Villain, Villa’s form and schedule look slightly better than Bournemouth’s, which kind of brings Grealish into the picture (but not really). Completely out of form and with a nightmare run of fixtures ahead, for the Cherries things aren’t looking great.

Brighton have Norwich at home coming up in GW33+, followed by home games against Man City and Liverpool. After that it’s Southampton, Burnley and Newcastle for the Seagulls, so apart from gameweeks 34+ and 35+, the likes of Ryan and Dunk could be decent defensive punts. Striker Neal Maupay is an interesting differential pick and very budget-friendly.

Out of all bottom teams, it’s Watford and West Ham who have the most appealing run of fixtures coming up, though.

 GW33+GW34+GW35+GW36+
WatfordChelsea (a)Norwich (H)Newcastle (H)West Ham (a)
West HamNewcastle (a)Burnley (H)Norwich (a)Watford (H)

Apart from Watford’s game in gameweek 33+, all of these fixtures are potential good sources of points for these teams. The ghost of relegation clearly looms over these teams, so some investment in them could be wise. Of course, they are not towards the bottom of the league after 32 rounds for nothing, but both the Hornets and the Hammers do have decent quality within their ranks. From GW34+, for example, Troy Deeney or Ismaila Sarr could be a good Watford punt, while Kiko Femenía could be perfect as a fourth or fifth defender. At West Ham, Fabianski is of proven quality, while the likes of Manuel Lanzini and Michael Antonio could be considered risky but very differential picks and with them in their team they could even upset Chelsea later tonight.

Overall though, when looking at the fight against relegation, we’d say Brighton boast a few options worth considering. It’s Watford though, thanks to a combination of favourable fixtures and them still being at a very real of relegation, where we believe the most interesting fantasy picks can be found for the upcoming weeks.

FanTeam Premier League – GW 32 €50K Main Event – Wed 1st July

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. This series will focus on FanTeam’s Premier League Main Event, a daily fantasy league based on the Premier League games. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for this weekly tournament to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) Main Event, which has a maximum entry limit of 3,500 participants. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 556 would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner takes home a cool €7,500. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner should get about €1,100) for those who prefer to play with lower stakes.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Finally, the Pursuit format is being applied to the upcoming FanTeam Weekly Monster for gameweek 31+. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2.5 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read about Pursuit in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 32+ FanTeam’s Main Event is set at 18h00 (UK time) on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020. You can enter a team earlier and make changes right up to the deadline. This means you have an hour to check the starting line-ups  for all 3 games.

Gameweek 32 Weekly Main Event matches (times UK+1)

How did our Main Event team fare in gameweek 31?

NAME (club) (opponent)RETURNSPOINTS
Calvert-Lewin (Everton) vs Nor (a)Impact +14
Jota (Wolves) vs Bou (H)Impact +13
Jimenez (Wolves) vs Bou (H)1 goal, Impact +17
Richarlison (Everton) vs Nor (a)Clean sheet, Impact +14
Traoré (Wolves) vs Bou (H)Clean sheet, assist, Impact +17
Fernandes (Man Utd) vs Sheffield Utd (H)Clean sheet, Impact +14

Our team suggestion for the Main Event in gameweek 32

Formation: 3-2-1 |  Budget used: 73.0m

General approach

Seeing as gameweek 32 was spread out over a period of six days in order to accommodate for the FA Cup quarter finals, we’ve all had to wait a few days for FanTeam’s Main Event, but our patience is rewarded. The GW32 €50K Main Event will revolve around the schedule for Wednesday, July 1st, consisting of just three games. These include an unreliable Arsenal side hosting prime relegation candidates Norwich, a tightly contested Everton-Leicester encounter at Goodison Park and a struggling Bournemouth welcoming a virtually safe Newcastle. For our gameweek 32 selection, we’ve gone with 2 Arsenal aces, 2 Newcastle assets and 2 Everton players, in part to follow what seems to be a developing post-coronabreak trend of low-scoring games, and to play the Pursuit mode odds a bit more as well.

ARSENAL

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Hector Bellerín

For this week’s FanTeam GW32 €50K Main Event, Arsenal are, on paper at least, the team with the most favourable fixture as they are hosting last placed Norwich. The Gunners are having a season to forget, but we’ve still opted to select and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for this one. The Gabonese forward hasn’t scored or assisted since his brace and subsequent 13-point haul back in gameweek 27, partly due to his team’s performances and partly due to some bad luck over the past few rounds. In any case, if there was ever a game and a moment for a soon-to-run-out-of-his-contract worldclass striker, it’s this one. Despite his recent goal drought, Auba still sits on 17 goals and 3 assists for this season, while only Aston Villa have conceded more than the Canaries’ 56 goals in 31 games.

The combination of relatively high price tags and coach Mikel Arteta’s love for rotation made us hesistant about the likes of Pépé, Nketiah or Lacazette, while the Arsenal defence is, well… the Arsenal defence. Still, we feel a Gunners victory is on the cards here, so we wanted at least one other player of theirs. In the end, we went with right-back Hector Bellerín. Between gameweeks 1 and 23, the Spaniard played just 268 minutes of Premier League football due to injury, but since GW24, he’s got his trusted starting spot back. As part of the backline against Southampton last weekend, he got 7 points on FanTeam and we don’t see why he would not be able to repeat that feat coming Wednesday. Opponents Norwich are the least prolific side in front of goal in the entire division, scoring just 25 goals in 31 games. In combination with their awful defensive record and Bellerín’s tendency to support his side’s attacking moves, we’re hoping for a positive showing and some decent points from the Arsenal defender.

NEWCASTLE

Jamaal Lascelles, Miguel Almirón

When discussing surprises and extraordinary performances this season, the likes of Sheffield United, Leicester and Wolves are often mentioned, and rightly so. But with 39 points from 31 games after a by now traditional underwhelming summer transfer window, Newcastle United have had a more than decent season so far, as well. After a 3-0 win over Sheffield United in GW30 and a 1-1 draw against Villa, the Magpies now find themselves in 14th place, 12 points above the drop zone and with 7 games to go. Coach Steve Bruce can be proud of his men and himself for this achievement, though a few more points would really seal the deal and the next away game against toothless Bournemouth could be the perfect opportunity to do so. The Cherries were in bad form before the coronabreak and they still are now. Two games into Project Restart and they are still to get their first point or indeed score their first goal.

That’s also why we’ve picked Jamaal Lascelles first. The Newcastle defender got injured in gameweek 12 and didn’t return to PL action until gameweek 23, but he immediately became a nailed-on part of Steve Bruce’s defence again. He has recorded a clean sheet and 1 impact point on FanTeam for a total of 7 points, though it should be noted that he also got a yellow card in each game.

We decided to have his team mate Miguel Almirón join Lascelles in our team for this week’s €50K Main Event. The Paraguayan is a secure starter for Newcastle and also their most advanced midfielder, which in theory should lead to increased goal involvement. The Magpies are notoriously shy in front of goal though, which explains Almirón’s current 2 goals and 2 assists for this season (or maybe it’s other way around). In any case, one of those assists did come recently in the victory over Sheffield United in GW30+. Thanks to an assist, a clean sheet and 1 impact point, the forward has recorded 9 FanTeam points since the return of football and we’re hoping for a few more points on top of that this week.

EVERTON

Mason Holgate, Richarlison

Despite the considerable difference in terms of their respective league positions, we feel that Everton against Leicester at Goodison Park might very well end up being a tightly contested match. Everton’s mostly disappointing season took a turn for the better after bringing in coach Carlo Ancelotti back in GW8, while Leicester’s flying start to the campaign seems to have fallen a bit flat of late. Neither team has come out of the coronabreak a flowing attacking machine, but unlike Leicester (1-1 vs Watford and 0-0 vs Brighton), the Toffees did book the better results up until now: a 0-0 vs Liverpool followed by a 0-1 victory at Norwich. The Foxes are having some trouble finding the net for the moment and Everton haven’t yet conceded a goal since Project Restart got underway while scoring just one themselves, so we figured a low-scoring affair could be on the cards here.

As a result, we have included young Mason Holgate in our team for the GW32 €50K Main Event. Ancelotti has shown that he’s not afraid to shuffle around his defensive set-up regularly, but Holgate has been an extraordinarily consistent mainstay in the Italian’s starting lineups. As a matter of fact, since GW10, the English central defender has completed the 90 minutes in all Premier League games bar one and we don’t see why that should change. On top of that, he’s got 2 clean sheets and 1 impact point over the past two weeks, good for a nice 13 points on FanTeam, so his form is in order.

Instead of doubling up on Everton defenders and risking a stacking penalty (or a disappointment, they’re still playing Leicester, after all), we opted to strengthen our midfield with Holgate’s team mate Richarlison. Like the young Englishman, the Brazilian forward is a key cog in Ancelotti’s football plans for Everton, as well as the team’s MVP with 10 goals and 5 assists. He’s got 8 points on FanTeam since the return of the Premier League, courtesy of 2 clean sheets and an impact point, but like the rest of his team mates, his form hasn’t been scintillating yet. Against Leicester, he will have his work more than cut out for him, but the hopes of many an Everton fan will be on his shoulders. We feel he has the kind of qualities needed to decide this type of game.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Premier League 50k Main Event and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 100,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum where we have a FreeRoll for those that want to learn a bit more about the game.

4 Tips for Successful Sports Betting

As you’re probably well aware, sports betting is increasingly popular both in the UK and in many other regions of the world. In fact, in the UK, every second, gamblers wage an average of £600, and the amount continues to rise as bookmakers are switching to digital platforms. 

Approximately half of the bets revolve around football since it’s the most loved sport here. If you’re reading this article, most likely you’ve already had some experience with betting. Maybe it’s not going very well, and that’s why you’re looking for tips and strategies. Are you tired of losing money? 

Unfortunately, most bettors tend to lose a lot of their hard-earned cash, especially at the beginning. It can come from a lack of experience and poor decision making. Either way, you’re not alone. By its very nature, gambling is risky. However, when done sensibly, it can be a great way to fill your time, add some excitement to watching sports and even make some money. 

But how? How do you make the most out of sports betting? Keep reading to find out. 

Learn as Much as You Can About Your Favourite Sports

This should go without saying. The majority of people who place bets are fans anyway. It’s a way for them to get more involved in the action of the game. To feel like they have something at stake. But to win at betting, you need to know more than your average sports fan. It’s all in the details. Savvy betters even take weather conditions into account when making their decisions. 

Let’s say your favourite sport is football. Knowing which team won their last six games isn’t enough. You need to look into how they play offensively and defensively, how good they are at keeping possession, the strengths and weaknesses of each player and then compare these factors to the opposing team. If one of their star players is missing then who is likely to step up to be the playmaker or take the corners and free-kicks?

We need to note that it also pays to follow less popular sports. A good example is MMA. Bookmakers are always expanding their market, and when you get into a sport like MMA, you have fewer variables to take into consideration.  

Get Organised 

Our next tip is to keep a record of your bets. If you really want to take your betting to the next level you need to stay organised. What exactly should you keep a record of? For starters, which bets you won and which ones you lost, the amounts you waged, your overall profit or loss and which bookmakers you used for each bet. This will give you a platform to analyse your strategies and see patterns. You’ll have a clearer idea of which decisions led to profit and which to loss. At the end of the month, put everything together and, depending on your betting goals, see if you’re in the green or red. 

If you’re in the green, it means that your current approach may be working for you. Start from there and see what improvements you can make for even higher wins. However, if you’re in the red, your strategies are not working out. See which bets made you lose the most money and identify the reasons why. 

To keep track of your bets, you can use a spreadsheet or, for a more comprehensive solution, there are many apps designed specifically for this purpose. Maybe jotting down all your bets isn’t the most exciting activity but it gives results. 

Since we’re on the topic of organisation, you’ll also want to keep a record of your bookmaker account information. We imagine you’re using several. No? Well, you should. More on that later. People who are serious about winning at sports bets usually have at least 50 accounts which makes it difficult to remember all the information. It’s not recommended to use the same credentials for all your accounts so you’ll have 50 different usernames and passwords. You can store them through another software, so you only have to remember one password. 

Don’t Stick to Just One Bookmaker

Our third tip is to shop around and switch between multiple bookmakers often. We already hinted at this in the previous point. Bookmakers place a lot of emphasis on loyalty because it’s such a competitive market. There are hundreds of online betting websites, and they all push special offers and loyalty schemes to reel you in. This means that it’s more profitable to switch between them. 

Do your research and check what offers are available for specific bets. Pay attention to free bet promotions in particular. Bookies are always coming up with free bets and other types of promotions for new or existing customers. If you have multiple accounts, you’ll have special offers you can take advantage of on a daily basis. Sign-up promotions are by far the best. It’s free money on the table. When you stick to just one bookmaker, you miss out on all of that. 

As you get more experienced in sports betting, you can try betting exchanges. They offer some significant benefits such as better odds, low commission rates, and they accept any kind of bettor. With traditional bookmakers, if you win too much, they may restrict your account. When you use betting exchanges, you’re unlikely to encounter such problems. 

Remain Objective – Don’t Bet With Your Heart

Our fourth and final tip is the classic “don’t bet with your heart”. You really want your favourite team to win. You’re cheering so hard that you even start to convince yourself that the odds are in their favour. Then you go and place your bet. 

Remember you are no longer just a sports fan. You’re a serious bettor. And betting boils down to mathematics. You need to stay in control of your emotions and make decisions using your analytical brain. Amateurs usually rely on their emotions. The thing is that for them, betting is just part of the fun. If they lose they’re not that bothered and if they win they see it as a bonus, as something they can talk about with their friends. Bookies love them because they convince themselves that their team will win no matter what. 

If your goal is to make money through betting and you wage on your favourite team, you’ll be doubly as disappointed. First because your team lost and second because you also lost your money. We strongly advise you not to place any bets unless your research and analysis suggests that you should.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 32+ Preview

“Liverpool are the 2019-2020 Barclays Premier League champions!” (CC by 4.0). Image by Rodhullandemu.

So it’s finally happened! After clinching the 2018-19 Champions League title about a year ago, Liverpool FC have now conquered the English Premier League for the first time since the 1989-90 season. Not even a global epidemic could stop them. Winning with a record number of games remaining and also as late as 25th June which will be a difficult record for any other team to beat.

Congratulations Liverpool and Reds all around the world!

They did so with a resounding 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace, though it was Manchester City’s away loss versus Chelsea last night that sealed the deal. In a fantastic turn of fate, both teams are now facing each other in gameweek 32+ in what surely will be a very interesting match to watch.

Apart from that, the upcoming round offers several other fascinating match-ups as well. Chelsea, Man United, Arsenal and Wolves all have favourable fixtures, on paper at least, and Wednesday brings us Everton vs Leicester. And what about the high-stakes relegation battle? In any case, we’re at the business end of the season now, so let’s move to our fantasy picks for gameweek 32+.

Finally, don’t forget that the FPL deadline for gameweek 32+ is set at 11h30 (UK time) on Saturday, June, 27th, 2020.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per June 26th, 2020)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKHenderson (SHE), Leno (ARS), Pope (BUR)Martinez (ARS), Schmeichel (LEI), Pope (BUR)Sheffield United’s upcoming fixtures in combination with cheap Martinez replacing the injured Leno.
DEFLundstram (SHE), Kelly (CRY), Baldock (SHE)Wan-Bissaka (UTD), Doherty (WOL), Aurier (TOT)Again Sheffield’s upcoming fixtures, combined with the form and fixtures of the transferred in defenders.
MIDGrealish (AST), Cantwell (NOR), Richarlison (EVE)Martial (UTD), Traoré (WOL), Pulisic (CHE)United, Wolves and Chelsea have interesting fixtures coming up, especially for Out Of Position players.
FORAguero (CIT), Vardy (LEI), Aubameyang (ARS)Rashford (UTD), Jimenez (WOL), Kane (TOT)Big name and expensive strikers are being transferred out, plus the injury of Aguero who’s just had knee surgery.

Premium fantasy picks

This week, we’re starting with a controversial pick as our first premium recommendation. Controversial, because we’re giving Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m) a final chance. Or better said, we’re giving Arsenal a final chance to prove that they are at least somewhat reliable in terms of fantasy football, because Aubameyang himself hasn’t done bad at all, so far. We currently find him in the thick of the Premier League Golden Boot battle, courtesy of his 17 goals, but he has been an extremely frustrating asset to own, not in the last place due to his hefty price tag. The Gabonese forward has underwhelmed after the forced football break with just 6 points from three games despite playing 90 minutes in all of them. Sounds like a great FPL recommendation, right? Well, to start his blank against the Saints is a bit misleading, seeing as he hit the bar once and was robbed off the ball once with a red card-worthy tackle as well. Plus, up next is a home game for the Gunners against a Norwich side bound for relegation. Only Aston Villa have conceded more than the Canaries’ 56 goals and Arsenal could REALLY use the points, hence Auba’s last chance (for real, this time).

Our second premium pick for gameweek 32+ is Wolverhampton’s Matt Doherty (£6.4m). The marauding Irishman is currently the fourth-most expensive defender in the game, behind the Liverpool trio of Alexander-Arnold, Robertson and Van Dijk, and also the fourth-highest-scoring defender in the official game, behind… you guessed it, that same Liverpool trio. In other words, in a parallel universe kind of way, take out Liverpool and Doherty becomes this season’s best performing defender in FPL. In the five gameweeks before the coronabreak, Doherty recorded an incredible 40 FPL points, courtesy of 4 clean sheets, 2 assists and 1 goal. In the two gameweeks after the break, he basically just continued to impress: 2 games played, 2 clean sheets, 1 assist, 3 bonus points and 18 FPL points. The Wolves right-wing-back is in great form and up next is a struggling Aston Villa side that has taken just 2 points from three games after the break, scoring just 2 goals over that period. At the same time, the Villains have already let in 59 goals this season, more than any other outfit in the league, so there might be returns at both ends of the pitch in this one for Doherty.

Non-premium fantasy picks

We’re just going to get it over with: yes, Raul Jimenez (£8.3m) is part of our gameweek fantasy selection once again. His consistency in terms of attacking returns puts him amongst the very best FPL has to offer this year, yet his price tag is still more than affordable. There has naturally been a lot of talk about the underpricing of Lundstram at the start of the season, but a player with the quality of Jimenez starting at a price of £7.5m probably falls into that same category. The Mexican scored the only and thus winning goal in GW31+ at home against Bournemouth for his 15th goal of the season, and he’s got 6 assists on top of that as well. For the upcoming game at Aston Villa, who have conceded more goals than any team in the division, we’re betting on him to delight his owners once again before parental duties have a ‘bearing’ on Jimenez.

Coming off a hattrick, and with Brighton, Bournemouth and Villa up next, it’s hard to ignore Anthony Martial (£8.1m) for this week’s fantasy picks. It’s been a bit of an on-and-off season for the Frenchman, in part due to injury troubles, but he was at his poaching best in GW31+ against Sheffield United. His three goals brought his season total to 14 and he could’ve easily added at least one assist to his current total of three as well. With the return of Paul Pogba to create a central midfield block with Bruno Fernandes, the Red Devils have gained in quality and even though it’s just been one game, it seems like Martial could be benefiting from it in a big way. Let’s see how they turn up when they visit Brighton on Tuesday.

A differential fantasy pick or two

One of the in-form post-coronabreak players is one who might’ve slipped under some FPL managers’ radars, possibly in part due to the fact that he got just 35 minutes of playing time in gameweek 30+. Still, Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic (£6.9m) scored a goal that week and he repeated that feat in GW31+ against Manchester City to make it two out of two. Over that same short period, he brought the 4.5% of managers who own him a decent 14 FPL points. It’s also interesting that Pulisic is used mostly as a winger by coach Frank Lampard, which provides the American international with some added out-of-position appeal. It should be kept in mind that Lampard is not afraid of a bit of rotation, though we’d be very surprised if he drops Pulisic from his starting eleven for the away game at Watford.

Our final pick for gameweek 32+ is Newcastle’s Jamaal Lascelles (£4.3m), who represents a starting player owned by just 6.1% of FPL managers and priced like a budget-enabler. The English defender started the season as a nailed-on part of coach Steve Bruce’s defensive set-up, but an injury in GW12 kept him sidelined for 10 rounds. He returned in GW23 and has recorded 32 FPL points since then, thanks to no less than 5 clean sheets. One of those clean sheets and six of those points are the result of his two games since the return of the Premier League and we feel the upcoming away game against Bournemouth could be an opportunity to build on those numbers. Only Norwich, Watford and Palace have scored less than the Cherries this season and they haven’t yet netted since football returned. Even though Newcastle are virtually safe from the drop while Bournemouth are still very much in danger, we think Newcastle can grind out another clean sheet here.

The captaincy

OK, so we’re doubling down on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at home against Norwich. We know the risk, we know he’s been blanking since the return of football and we know that we don’t know what to think of Arsenal, but Auba is one of the best strikers in the Premier League facing one of the worst defences. His blanks look bad and his double gameweek 30+ was very disappointing, but as we wrote earlier, his blank against Southampton in the last round was harsh. It could’ve easily been a decent haul. It’s last chance saloon for Aubameyang this week, so he’d better deliver for the 24.9% of FPL managers who own him.

Not sure of Auba? We can understand and fortunately there are some other good options for the armband as well, starting with Raul Jimenez at the Vitality Stadium. He was our captain in GW31+ and rewarded us with 18 points. At Man United, Fernandes, Rashford and Martial are alternatives for their visit to Brighton, while Abraham and Pulisic look interesting away from home against West Ham. Finally, a punt on De Bruyne or Gabriel Jesus could be fun for their home game against Liverpool, just a few days after the Reds took their Premier League crown.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for large prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s Premier League Monster. FISO members could also win a free ‘Weekly Monster’ entry (worth 20 euros) via the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee.

FanTeam Premier League – GW 31 €60K Main Event – Wednesday 24 June 2020

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. This series will focus on FanTeam’s Premier League Main Event, a daily fantasy league based on the Premier League games. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for this weekly tournament to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€60k prize pool) Main Event, which has a maximum entry limit of 5,000 participants. Every week, we’ll report back on how our team performed in the previous week. A finish in the top 667 would see us win part of the prize pool of which the winner takes home a cool €10,000. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool (of which the winner should get about €1,500) for those who prefer to play with lower stakes.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Finally, the Pursuit format is being applied to the upcoming FanTeam Weekly Monster for gameweek 31+. In this game mode, you get more bonus points the cheaper your players are (you gain 1 point for every 2.5 million euros underspent). Your captain will get double points, but he will also cost twice as much. Your vice-captain will get 150% more points, but he will also cost 150% more. You can read about Pursuit in more detail on the FanTeam website.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 31+ FanTeam’s Main Event is set at 18h00 (UK time) on Wednesday, June 25th, 2020. You can enter a team earlier and make changes right up to the deadline. This means you have an hour to check the starting line-ups  for the four 18h00 games, so you can change your selections accordingly up until the 18h00 deadline, but not after.

Gameweek 31 Weekly Monster matches (times UK+1)

UK+1 times

How did our Weekly Monster team fare in gameweek 30+?

Formation: 1-3-3|  Budget used:  63.7m|  

NAME (club) (opponent)RETURNSPOINTS
Van Aanholt (Palace) vs Bournemouth awayClean sheet, 1 assist, impact +110 x 1.5
Barnes (Leicester) vs Watford awayClean sheet3
Moutinho (Wolves) vs West Ham awayClean sheet, impact +14
Jimenez (Wolves) vs West Ham away1 goal, impact +1 7 x 2

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 31

Formation: 4-3|  Budget used: 96.6m

General approach

With the first gameweek of Premier League football after the coronabreak now behind us, we don’t even have 24 hours before the start of the next round and its looking like another promising one. FanTeam’s Weekly Main Event is focused on Wednesday’s 5 games (see earlier table) and is offering us an  attractive set of fixtures, including from a fantasy football point of view. We have decided to stick to mainly two teams, complemented with a bonus pick from a Manchester United and Aston Villa, respectively. The spine of our team for gameweek 31+ includes a midfielder and two forwards from Wolves (at home vs Bournemouth) and a midfielder and a forward from Everton (away vs Norwich).

WOLVES

Raul Jimenez, Adama Traoré, Diego Jota

Wolves’ opponent Bournemouth disappointed in gameweek 30+ with a 0-2 loss at home against Crystal Palace, who, up to that point, had scored just 26 goals overall this season. Only Norwich netted fewer times.  The Cherries dominated possession for parts of the game, but rarely managed to become really threatening, which will have delighted Wolves coach Nuno Espirito Santo. Only six teams in the division have a better defensive record than his team (34 goals conceded in 30 games) and they are just coming off a relatively comfortable 0-2 over West Ham in London. Besides the victory though, Wolves did not wait to show good form immediately after the coronabreak.

That is, as usual, partly thanks to the qualities of their main man up front, Raul Jimenez, who is also our first of three Wolves picks for this week. With a goal and one impact point from the game against West Ham, he got off to a good start on FanTeam with 7 points. This has brought his totals for the season to 14 goals and 6 assists, and even though the Mexican did not record any returns in the reverse fixture back in gameweek 13, we feel his chances of scoring or at least assisting are considerable in this game.

That’s also why we opted for an attacking Wolves double-up with Diogo Jota joining Jimenez in our attacking set-up for gameweek 31+. The Portuguese forward’s tallies for the season (6 goals, 3 assists) are not even close to those of his partner in attack, but he looked dangerous against West Ham in GW30+ and his pre-coronabreak form was one of the best in the entire league. The 23-year old did not return anything in the last gameweek before the break, but in the two gameweeks prior to that, he scored 3 goals and provided 2 assists for a sweet total of 24 points on FanTeam. On top of that, we feel that the majority of people will opt for Traoré over Jota, which could turn the Portuguese dribbler into a nice differential.

Still, Adama Traoré is in our selection as well, as the Spanish powerhouse helped turn the previous game versus West Ham around. Up until his introduction from the bench in place of Dendoncker, Wolves were drawing with the Hammers. Together with Pedro Neto, Traoré entered in the 64th minute and it took him less than 10 minutes to provide the assist for Raul Jimenez’ opener. That was his 8th assist of the season already and he has 4 goals to his name as well. Based on his substitute appearance in GW30+ and the way in which he influenced the game subsequently, we would be surprised if Traoré did not start for Wolves’ home game against the Cherries on Wednesday.

EVERTON

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison

Everton are the reason Liverpool will not be crowning themselves champions against Crystal Palace in GW31+ yet. The Toffees were not particularly buoyant and a 0-0 was possibly a just reflection of the game. Still, playing Liverpool immediately after a break of three months was about the most difficult task imaginable for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, but they ended up putting in a decent shift. Up next is Norwich at Carrow Road, and we feel there could be goals and a nice result on the cards here for Everton.

In that light, we have chosen to include Everton’s starting attacking duo for our FanTeam Weekly Monster team. First off is Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who was in excellent form before the break and showed flashes of brilliance against the Reds as well. The young striker sits on 13 goals and an assist already, and five of those goals (as well as the single assist) were recorded in the last seven gameweeks before the season’s forced interruption. Apart from Aston Villa, no team in the Premier League has conceded as many goals as Everton’s opponent Norwich have (55 goals in 30 games) and the Canaries also look like the most likely candidate to be the first to confirm their relegation in the coming weeks, though there are still eight rounds of PL football to go.

Still, we figured the context of the clash between Norwich and Everton justified doubling up on Everton’s attack, which is why Richarlison is joining DCL in our selection for the gameweek 31+ Weekly Monster. The Brazilian is a nailed-on part of Carlo Ancelotti’s starting lineup and it’s not too hard to see why: in a relatively disappointing season for the Toffees, he still managed to get 10 goals and 5 assists from 2,442 minutes of Premier League football. That’s a direct involvement in just over 40% of all of Everton’s goals this season. Richarlison hasn’t missed a second of game time since gameweek 20 (he was injured in rounds 23 and 24) and we expect more of the same against Norwich on Wednesday evening, as well as a few attacking returns hopefully.

MANCHESTER UNITED

Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United have shown this season that consistency of form and results is not yet the name of the game at Old Trafford, but there have been definite signs of evolution and improvement. One of the most tangible of those improvements is the winter signing of midfielder Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon. The Portuguese creator hit the ground running at United and as a result, he has missed just three minutes of Premier League football since his arrival. He has six league games to his name already, and he delivered big in those games: 3 goals, 3 assists and 4 clean sheets. In gameweek 31+, United are facing a Sheffield United side who will need to find a way to cope with the suspension of John Egan, the possible injury of Jack O’Connell and the ineligibility of Dean Henderson to play against his parent club, the three of them being defensive mainstays in Chris Wilder’s starting eleven. We’re not saying the Blades are suddenly easy prey, far from it, but we can imagine them turning up a bit a bit more cautious than usual. Let’s see if Fernandes will find a way to take advantage of their troubles and mediocre post-corona form.

ASTON VILLA

Jack Grealish

Our final pick for gameweek 31+ is a bit of a returning feature in our team selections, but there is a good reason for that. You see, when Aston Villa have a (relatively) favourable fixture, their captain Jack Grealish should always enter your considerations as a fantasy manager. His price is usually quite acceptable (9m this week, for example) and he is the main focal point for everything that has to do with a Villa attacking move. The reason for that is his extraordinary quality on the ball, which is also illustrated by the fact that he is, by some margin, the most fouled player in the league. Still, this hasn’t kept the young Englishman from scoring 7 goals and providing 7 assists this season, which amounts to a direct involvement in exactly 40% of Aston Villa’s goals. The opponent on Wednesday is Newcastle at Saint Mary’s, which is not an easy fixture by any stretch, but one where we could see Grealish shine. Besides that, by beating Sheffield United in GW30+, the Magpies are now virtually safe from relegation, while the Villains are still in very real risk of losing their Premier League status. These different mindsets may have an effect on the game’s evolution as well.

As we said this team has been entered into the 20 euro FanTeam Premier League 60k Main Event and we hope to report back next week that we’ve shared part of the 100,000 euros prize pool. You can also follow discussions about FanTeam games on FISO’s FanTeam Forum where we have a FreeRoll for those that want to learn a bit more about the game.