FPL Season 2021/22: Gameweek 32 preview

At the moment of writing, the Burnley versus Everton relegation battle cracker at Turf Moor still needs to be played, but seeing as we’re not including any Toffees or Clarets in our FPL picks for our GW32 transfers, we’ve gone ahead and written a slightly early gameweek preview to support your planning of the season’s final stretch. With the double gameweek fixtures for GW35 and GW36 now announced, the complexity of the remaining part of the season has becomes more tangible and planning for all of it is already starting this week, especially for those with no, or almost no, chips left. As it looks now, only gameweeks 34, 35 and 38 will contain no doubles and no blanks, but it should be noted that there are still games to be arranged from postponements earlier in the season, while there is also still the likely possibility of postponements as a result of English teams advancing in domestic and international cup tournaments. In this piece, we’ll be focusing on what’s right in front of us though, gameweek 32.

GW32 is an interesting one in the sense that it might be the last time we see a regular, single gameweek without any off-pitch complications this season. The focus will be on Arsenal as they host a toothless Brighton side, on Manchester United visiting a struggling Everton side in serious danger of relegation and a free-scoring Spurs side rolling up to Villa Park. The home game of Leicester against Crystal Palace will attract attention as well, also because the Foxes have one of the more favourable DGW33 match-ups. In normal circumstances, we would’ve mentioned Chelsea earlier as well for their visit to Southampton, but the Blues seemed completely off the boil against Brentford and still have a tough Champions League clash with Real Madrid coming up this week. European obligations this week should also be accounted for when considering fantasy picks from Liverpool, Manchester City (both played on Tuesday), West Ham and Leicester (both play on Thursday evening).

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 32 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, April 7th, 2022.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per April 6th, 2022)

GKRamsdale (ARS), Sa (WOL), Mendy (CHE)Schmeichel (LEI), Sa (WOL), De Gea (MUN) 
DEFTierney (ARS), Reguilon (TOT), Alexander-Arnold (LIV)Doherty (TOT), White (ARS), James (CHE)Tierney and Reguilon injuries, Doherty form + no blanks
MIDCoutinho (AST), Salah (LIV), Bernardo (MCI)Maddison (LEI), Bowen (WHU), Son (TOT)Maddison fixtures + DGW33, Bowen fit again, Son form + no blanks
FORBroja (SOU), Jimenez (WOL), Dennis (WAT)Toney (BRE), Kane (TOT), Cucho (WAT)Broja can’t play v Chelsea, Jimenez suspended, Kane and Cucho form

Premium pick

Even though the premium assets from both Liverpool and Manchester City can haul at any time, this week sees them placed lower in the pecking order for this category as the two Premier League giants are facing each other at the Etihad on Sunday. We have therefore shifted our attention for GW32 to Harry Kane (£12.5m), who seems to be back to his best after a sub-par first half of the season. Tottenham’s Very Own has now returned in six consecutive league outings, totalling 5 goals and 5 assists since gameweek 27 for 55 FPL points, or just under 10 points per game. That’s true premium fantasy pick performance right there and we’re hoping that he can make the upcoming away game against Villa Park his seventh consecutive game in which he provides an attacking return. The Villains are no walkovers under Steven Gerrard and their 42 conceded goals rank them right in the middle of the table in terms of defensive solidity, but Spurs will be pushing to secure Champions League football for next season and we’re betting on a few goals from them as a result.

Non-premium pick

James Maddison (£6.8m) appears to have picked up some good form ahead of Leicester’s favourable run of fixtures on the short and medium term. With this weekend’s home game against Palace followed by a double against Newcastle and Everton (both away) in DGW33 and a home game versus Villa in GW34, Leicester actually boasts one of the best runs of all teams, on paper at least. As for Madders, he’s been a great differential asset over the past games as he scored against Brentford in GW29 from a wonderful set-piece and provided an assist against Man United last weekend as the Foxes drew 1-1 at Old Trafford. The Eagles will provide a stern test for Maddison and his teammates though, as Patrick Vieira’s men have not conceded a goal in their last three games (against Wolves, City and Arsenal, no less). Then again, only seven teams have scored more than Leicester’s 43 successful attempts, so everything points at an interesting clash of styles at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.

The budget enabler

For our budget category this week, we’re looking at an Arsenal defender as the Gunners face goal-shy Brighton this weekend before dealing with a relatively OK double gameweek 33 against Southampton and Chelsea, both away. Contrary to previous season, Arsenal represent decent defensive solidity this season with just four teams conceding more than the 34 goals they have conceded so far, and three of those four teams are above them in the table currently. We’re going with Ben White (£4.6m) as our budget enabler of the week as he’s preparing to face what’s probably the most ineffective attack of the entire Premier League right. Opponents Brighton have shockingly managed just a single goal in their last seven league outings, back in gameweek 28 at Newcastle, so they must not be relishing the prospect of facing one of the league’s best defences this season. White is not the most exciting pick of the bunch, but he’s a nailed-on starter and he sits on 13 clean sheets for the season already. Fingers crossed for a fourteenth shut-out against the Seagulls on Saturday.

The differential

One of the best things for a fantasy manager is to have a differential asset going into a favourable fixture in great form, preferably even goal-scoring form, and that is exactly what Jack Harrison (£5.5m) is offering us this weekend. The Leeds winger, who is listed as a budget midfielder in FPL, has back-to-back goals to his name against Wolves & outhampton and Leeds are now visiting Championship-bound Watford. The Whites seem to have picked up a bit of resilience and form as a whole under new manager Jesse March, with them currently on a mini-streak of three games without a defeat. In Watford, they are facing a team that is currently battling for its last chances of Premier League survival, which means that this can go either way, in our opinion. Either Leeds makes quick work of the Hornets by scoring quickly and all but securing their Premier League status, or the game drags on as Watford turn up tightly organised and looking for the counter. However it ends up going though, Harrison will be one of the form players on the pitch and he looks likely to be involved in any potential Leeds goals.

The captaincy

As we wrote earlier, the Manchester City – Liverpool clash has removed their players from the picks pool for us this weekend, but that definitely doesn’t mean that none of their players are worth considering. The likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Mo Salah and Sadio Mané can score in any game at any time, and they could definitely haul this weekend, but we’re giving the armband to Harry Kane instead. The England captain is playing away at Villa Park and while this is no easy game on the road by any stretch of the imagination, we feel he has a considerably higher chance of hauling than most other premium assets this weekend.

Besides the Spurs main man, you could also opt for his partner in crime Heung-Min Son, who has scored 3 goals and given 1 assist over his last two games. Even Spurs’ new team addition Dejan Kulusevski is worth considering with his 5 assists in his last five games. Elsewhere, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo away at Everton could deliver big, as could Raphinha away against Watford. For those who prefer a form player at home, James Maddison against Crystal Palace on Sunday could be the way to go.

The European Countries Full Of Fresh Footballing Talent

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Eden Hazard, and most of the world’s best male players aren’t getting any younger. Therefore, football fans are always on the lookout for potential successors to the world’s current best players. Thankfully, there is an abundance of footballing talent in Europe, so it is safe to say the future of football is in safe hands. Most of these players are already making headlines week in, week out, so it is surely not long until they are crowned the best. According to Betway research, here are some of the European countries full of fresh footballing talent.

  • England

England has produced some of the world’s finest players like Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney, who have achieved a lot at the club and international levels. Modern-day English football fans have a lot to smile about since the amount of talent the Three Lions have is astonishing and could even rival the famous “Golden Generation” in the long run. Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Chelsea’s Reece James are already looking like the best right-backs in the world and clearly have their best years ahead of them. Phil Foden, arguably the best young talent globally, is also dazzling football fans every week and is surely destined for great things. Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, Manchester United’s Jadon Sancho, Chelsea’s Mason Mount, and West Ham United’s Declan Rice are also players to watch out for.

  • France

Kylian Mbappe is so magical and influential that it is often easy to forget that the Paris Saint-Germain superstar is 22 years old. The French international seems to have already done it all. At just 19, Mbappe was one of the key players for France at the 2018 World Cup, scoring crucial goals en route to lifting the trophy. He has also won several trophies at the club level, and his stunning weekly performances make him a favourite of punters who win football bets thanks to him. Furthermore, Dayot Upamecano seems to be Raphael Varane’s long-term successor in Les Bleus’ centre-back role, and he will only get better at Bayern Munich. Kingsley Coman, Ousmane Dembele, Ibrahima Konate, Houssem Aouar, and Real Madrid’s Eduardo Camavinga will also make French football fans happy for a long time to come.

  • Spain

Every football fan knows that Spain is a force to reckon with, and the next generation of Spanish talent is poised to keep this truth a reality. Barcelona’s Ansu Fati, Pablo Gavi, Riqui Puig, Ferran Torres, and Pedri are being tipped by many to restore the Spanish national team to its former glory since these youngsters are making waves at the club level. RB Leipzig’s Dani Olmo, Tottenham’s Sergio Reguilon, and Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio also constitute the next generation of Spanish stars to keep tabs on.

  • Germany

The sky is definitely the limit for Germany’s young superstars, and there is no doubt that this crop of players will make Die Mannschaft proud again. At just 22 years old, Kai Havertz is already making headlines at Chelsea, scoring winning goals in the Champions League final and Club World Cup. Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry is also one of the best wingers in the world, evident by his frightening pace and finishing. Germany can also rely on Timo Werner, Jamal Musiala, and Florian Wirtz in the years ahead.

Tottenham’s worst transfers: Benjamin Stambouli

Tottenham are a team that take a very responsible approach to every deal. However, this does not mean that it is immune from failures in the transfer market. By the way, all the football today with the participation of this team are covered in detail on the website of sports statistics.

The signing of Benjamin Stambouli is among Tottenham’s major transfer failures. The French midfielder joined the team in 2014. He costed the club only 5 million pounds. However, the expectations from this transfer were high.

Stambouli won Ligue 1 with Montpellier just a couple of years before. By the way, today’s football in France can be easily followed on the sports statistics website. So, Stambouli was one of the best supporting players in Ligue 1. Therefore, Spurs expected to seriously strengthen the center of the field with the help of this player.

However, Stambouli did not play good at all in the EPL. He played 12 games and only 4 times was in the starting lineup during the whole season. He did not perform any successful actions.

When the player entered the field, he was quite useless. He often made mistakes and could not prevent opponents’ attacks. Stambouli failed to interact with other performers. All this led to the fact that a year later he left the ranks of “Spurs”. To the surprise of many, in the summer of 2015, Tottenham not only managed to sell the midfielder, but even made money on him. He moved to PSG for £6 million.

Why didn’t the midfielder play good in the EPL?

The EPL is a championship where the speeds are noticeably higher than in France. Stambouli was not ready for them. By the way, if you are interested in the Premier League Table, then visit the sports statistics site.

Returning to Stambouli, it can be noted that the main reasons for his failures in the EPL were:

  1. Lack of confidence from the head coach. Mauricio Pochettino quickly became disillusioned with the Frenchman. After that, if he ever put him on the field, it was for just a short period of time.
  2. Injuries. Due to them, it took a long time for the player to gain his form. He lost his speed and tenacity. Because of this, the player could not show all his strong qualities on the field.
  3. Lack of chemistry with the other players. There was a lack of understanding between Stambouli and the other players, which led to falls and losing the ball.

As a result, the player did not help the team take a high place in the table of the English Premier League. The leave after just one year seemed to be a logical decision.

If you are still interested in the matches with the participation of this club, be sure to go to the sports statistics website. Verified data, which are important for all the fans, are available here.

The evolution of fantasy football

Chances are that, at some stage or other in your life, you would have been invited to play in a fantasy football league. Of course, fantasy football wasn’t always the rage and the hobby has evolved massively over the years. So, how exactly did this craze develop into a global phenomenon and where did fantasy football originally find its roots?

In the beginning

The basic concept of fantasy sports began in 1962 when a guy by the name of Bill Winkenbach created the first fantasy football league in a hotel in New York. At the time, Winkerbach designed the league around the NFL and the rules were more or less what we know today. Essentially, chosen players for any fantasy team would earn points based on their performances in real life. Admittedly, it was a simple idea and not very streamlined at the time, given that players had to use the postal system to submit their picks and then wait for a return letter confirming the points they had won.

It sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? Can you imagine doing that during the build-up to a weekend fixture nowadays and even then, where would you begin? Punters at the time seemed more than happy to put the hard yards in and, over the resulting years, the popularity of fantasy sports grew exponentially. The craze had even spread across the pond with football enthusiasts, in particular, taking part in fantasy football leagues in the UK in ever-increasing numbers over the decades that followed

Then came the early 2000s when fantasy football and the internet combined to send this much-loved pastime into the stratosphere. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, fantasy football became automated and, let’s be honest, a whole lot easier to play. Unsurprisingly, the numbers swelled, which meant the stakes were dramatically raised with hundreds of thousands of pounds now on offer to the players who were able to top the leaderboards at the end of a season. This development meant only one thing: punters got serious. 

Is there skill or strategy involved?

As the stakes increased, so too did the homework. With such lucrative rewards on the line, for the players aiming to take home a life-changing sum at the conclusion of the Premier League season, there could be no room for a happy-go-lucky attitude as there were millions of punters now researching all the available stats in order to maximize their points return at the end of every weekend. Ultimately, fantasy football became about skill as much as it did anything else, and if you were willing to put the hours in, your chances of success became a lot more realistic. 

Extensive forums were also dedicated to how teams attacked and defended, which meant that glory was within reach if you could formulate the correct strategy with the available information at hand. Of course, given that the up-to-date sports data was there for all to consume, teams inevitably looked quite similar as punters rushed to include the players with the best numbers on their sides. Given that this was the case, there was also room for inspired picks and hunches that would ensure that players were able to pull away from the chasing pack. So, you could say that luck, to a lesser degree, still played its part.

The world can’t get enough 

In many ways, this turned fantasy football into a relentless battle between friends and even strangers that centred on proving who the best fantasy manager was. Of course, the best manager was oftentimes a matter of the individual who could best digest the relevant statistics, and who had the most astute eye for an inspired pick became the two questions facing every punter vying for fantasy football glory in the Premier League.

Looking back, it has been a conundrum that has proved exceptionally popular as there are over 60 million people who now take part in fantasy football every season. Needless to say, it is no longer a game that is played in downtown hotels in New York and can be found in almost every corner of the world these days. 

In a bid to correctly explain fantasy football’s remarkable global appeal, perhaps most tellingly of all is that almost every sports betting app now offers a subsection for fantasy sports alongside all the traditional sports you can bet on. So along with being able to bet on a regular Premier League fixture between, say, Manchester United and Chelsea, you can now also punt on fantasy football. 

For those unfamiliar with sports betting and how important the addition of fantasy sports has been to it, think instead of the classic online casino games of old like roulette, poker and conventional slots and how they have typically dominated the online casino landscape as far as options go. These days, however, you have new online offerings like megaways slots, which is one of the biggest developments in the world of online casinos over the past couple of years and is providing as much excitement as the traditional options. 

In essence, the difference is down to megaways slots being played with up to 6 reels where the number of symbols on each reel changes with each spin. So you can see how this revolutionary mechanic has changed the gambling industry and in the same way, so too has fantasy football with both products now one of the best additions to online wagering in recent years.

The best is yet to come

There is, of course, no sign that this online gaming revolution is going to slow down anytime soon either as millions of punters continue to sign up to play fantasy football leagues at the start of every new campaign.

If you haven’t been invited to play one yet then it is only a matter of time; when the call does come in, make sure you’re ready to crunch some numbers.

Gambling Know-Hows: A Beginners Guide to Casinos

Are you out of town and don’t have anything to do? Try going to the nearest casino! It’s a fantastic way to spend your night with its fun and noisy atmosphere. These places have bright lights, loud music, cheers, and money. It truly is an exciting place to enjoy a weekend.

Winning the jackpot on your first try (as shown in movies) may be far from the reality of casino gambling. So, before entering the venue just yet, be sure to read this beginner’s guide to improve your chances of winning.

Play Within your Budget

Gambling is all about entertainment; it’s not a cost-effective way to earn money. So, set a fixed amount that you won’t mind losing. Ensure that you’re willing to bet your chances on the designated amount and that it won’t leave a dent in your finances when you lose. Just ensure that the budget you set for your time in the casino is an amount that you’re comfortable spending.

To ensure that you stick within your budget, take out cash from the ATM and leave your credit card. You won’t be tempted to withdraw some money again if you don’t have any money left to gamble.

However, if you withdraw money, a good rule would be never to withdraw more than the cash you have lost. Set clear and strict boundaries for yourself. You wouldn’t want to leave the casino penniless. Thus, take necessary measures to keep yourself in check.

Hot Streaks Don’t Last

Have you noticed that you keep on winning and have twice as much money? Then, it may be time to stop. Hot streaks don’t last forever. Eventually, you may lose focus, gain false confidence, and lose your hot streak. You might even be frustrated with your recent loss.

You never know what’s going to happen in the casino. Thus, it would help if you controlled yourself to stop when you think you might be getting out of hand. It’s always a must that you know when to stop and to be in control of your emotions.

Practice Casino Etiquette

Entering the casino is always a good idea; it’s enjoyable and exciting! However, as a beginner in casinos, it can be somewhat daunting. Don’t worry; it’s natural to be a little nervous on your first visit, especially if you aren’t aware of what to do. Just calm yourself down and follow casino etiquette, the unwritten rules, the dos and don’ts in casinos.

There are also some special rules for specific games that you need to take note of. For example, in Baccarat, it’s always good etiquette to keep quiet when winning, especially if you’re going head to head. You can always observe a couple of games. Pay attention to what the players do and apply your learning when you play.

Play with Slot Machines

Are you still nervous about participating in games? Don’t worry! You can play with slot machines until you get comfortable in the venue. It doesn’t require any skills, and it can test your reaction to winning and losing. It won’t last long, but it’s always a great place to start in a casino online.

Rewards Cards are a Must!

Do you plan on visiting the casino more than once? Then take advantage of rewards cards! Ask employees where you can sign up so you can win points for hotel stays rewards like complimentary meals based on how much you play!

Rewards cards are a fantastic way to earn back your money, even if you haven’t won any matches in the casino! Be sure to tell employees that you have a reward card.

Get to Know Casino Terminologies

There are terminologies used in casinos that may confuse beginners. Indeed, some of these terms can be easily understandable, but some are not that obvious. Before entering the casino, go on Google and search the casino terminologies every beginner should know.

Learn the Rules of Skill-Based Games

Are you getting bored of slot machines? Then it may be time to set your eyes on the table games! Indeed, skill-based games can be nerve-wracking. As such, it’s essential to learn the game first before playing.

It would be confusing and frustrating playing a game that you have no idea of playing, especially when there’s money involved. Thus, ensure that you know and understand the rules of the games. As mentioned above, don’t be afraid to observe games! Nobody starts a professional in these casino games. Of course, you can also read about the games and their rules online.

Fortunately, many casinos gladly welcome new customers by explaining the game’s rules. When you’re ready to take on the table games, choose a table that isn’t too crowded. Don’t be afraid to tell your dealer if you’re a newbie in these table games and ask them questions regarding the rules. You can always move somewhere else when they aren’t as helpful as you would hope.

In Conclusion

You only get to experience your first casino experience once. So it only makes sense to make every moment count, right? Movies tend to depict casinos as a place where you can either win it all or lose it. However, authentic experiences aren’t that dramatic. Just be sure to set realistic expectations and learn to control yourself. Have fun, but with limits!

FPL Season 2021/22: Gameweek 31 preview

With the final international break of the 2021-22 season now behind us, we can truly and well say that we’ve reached the final stretch of the current FPL season. On top of the usual rotation and fatigue worries around this time of the year, the FA will also need to find spots in the schedule to organise the remaining twelve games that unexpectedly became blanks earlier in the season. The result of this is a run of eight gameweeks to end the FPL season in which practically every gameweek will be either a double gameweek, a blank gameweek or a hybrid of the two to some extent. In other words, a LOT can happen still.

In the upcoming GW31, just two teams are doubling and no team is blanking, making it one of the calmer gameweeks between now and the end of the season. Additionally, it’s Burnley and Everton who are doubling, as they first play Man City (home) and West Ham (away) respectively before facing each other in the last encounter of the gameweek. Not the best of doubles for either of them, which is why we expect more fantasy focus this weekend to be on the likes of Liverpool at home against Watford, Chelsea at home to Brentford and Manchester City away at Burnley.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 31 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, April 2nd, 2022.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per April 1st, 2022)

GKRamsdale (ARS), Sa (WOL), Schmeichel (LEI)Pope (BUR), Alisson (LIV), Schmeichel (LEI)Ramsdale injury
DEFAlexander-Arnold (LIV), Dias (MCI), Coady (WOL)Robertson (LIV), Cancelo (MCI), Van Dijk (LIV)TAA injury, Cancelo vs Burnley, Dias injury
MIDBowen (WHU), Coutinho (AST), Son (TOT)Havertz (CHE), Saka (ARS), Salah (LIV)Havertz and Salah favourable fixture, Bowen injury
FORJimenez (WOL), Dennis (WAT), Antonio (WHU)Weghorst (BUR), Kane (TOT), Toney (BRE)Weghorst DGW, Kane form + fixture, Jimenez red card

Premium pick

Yes, we know that Mo Salah (£13.3m) just lost a second all-important international game in quick succession against Senegal and it once again remains to be seen how he will turn up this weekend, but despite this, the Egyptian wizard is still the stand-out premium fantasy pick for GW31. Liverpool are welcoming Watford on Saturday for the gameweek opener, which is simply too favourable of a fixture to pass up from an FPL point of view, even if Salah runs the risk of having his minutes managed. He did, after all, go through an exhausting 120-minute ordeal on Tuesday. Then again, so did he when Egypt lost the Africa Cup final to Senegal and a few days later, he led the line for Liverpool in the Premier League after reports of the star man being raring to go from minute one after his return to the club. The man is a fitness wonder and besides that, what better way to start processing missing out on the World Cup than, say, scoring a hattrick for his club the very next game?

Non-premium pick

As we briefly mentioned earlier, one of the stand-out fixtures from a fantasy point of view this weekend is Chelsea versus Brentford at Stamford Bridge. There could very well be points at both ends of the pitch for the home side in this one and we’re opting for a bet on the Blues’ attack in the person of Kai Havertz (£7.9m). The German international featured for his country during the mid-week international friendlies, but he was taken off in the 69th minute against the Netherlands on Tuesday evening. He should be fit and ready to go against the Bees on Saturday afternoon. Havertz has been in red-hot form of late in the Premier League with 4 goals and 1 assist in his last three outings, and he’s started as a striker in the last four games. The German looks like a very high-ceiling pick this weekend.

The budget enabler

For our budget fantasy pick of the week, we are looking at one of the two teams doubling this gameweek, Burnley. The Clarets are playing Manchester City first followed by Everton, both at Turf Moor, and while the first game represents more or less the season’s most difficult fixture, the second game has all the makings of a doozy. Or in other words: bet on the favourable Everton fixture and hope for a very unexpected Man City bonus. That’s what we’re doing with Wout Weghorst (£6.4m) this weekend, at least. The Dutch striker has so far scored 1 goal and given 2 assists in nine starts for Burnley in the Premier League, though it should be noted that this included encounters with the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs. While a goal against City looks unlikely, a return or two against Everton would be much less surprising. Though the Toffees did keep a clean sheet against Newcastle last time out, they also conceded 9 goals in the four games prior to that feat. Burnley vs Everton is going to have a huge impact on the relegation battle and we’re hoping that new boy Weghorst can rise to the occasion.

The differential

Even though Gabriel Martinelli (£5.3m) missed out on Arsenal’s last league game due to non-COVID19-related illness, we are touting him as a good differential fantasy pick for gameweek 31. On Monday night, the Gunners are visiting Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace. The Eagles are far from walkovers this season under new coach Patrick Vieira, they conceded just 5 goals in their last four home games (which included Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City), but Arsenal are currently displaying some of their best form in years as well. As far as Martinelli goes, he’s been a starter for Mikel Arteta since about gameweek 14, and he has so far rewarded that trust with 5 goals and 4 assists. One of those goals and one of those assists were recorded over his last three league outings, which indicates some decent form from an attacking viewpoint. Palace will definitely provide a stern test for Martinelli and co, but at a price of just £5.3m and with an ownership of just 4.2%, the Brazilian provides more than interesting differential potential.

The captaincy

We could see this week’s captaincy debate being a heated one if it wasn’t for Mo Salah (again). This weekend, the Premier League’s best attacker, who is listed as a midfielder in FPL, is facing Watford at home and despite his recent national team exertions and disappointments, we’re backing him to deliver for the Reds on Saturday. He got a goal and an assist for 13 FPL points against the Hornets at Vicarage Road back in GW8, so we’re hoping for at least a matching of that haul this time out.

Fortunately for those not able to field Salah or not entirely sure of his starting spot on Saturday, there are other options for your GW31 Captain. Joao Cancelo away against Burnley could be an interesting option, though Kai Havertz at home to Brentford looks a better bet in our opinion. In the premium segment, both Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes could deliver at home to a leaky Leicester side, while Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min should not be overlooked for their home game against Newcastle on Sunday.

A Way Too Early 2022 Summer Transfer Window Preview, and How it Could Affect Your Fantasy Team

We are getting to the business end of the 2021-22 Premier League season, and we are in for a grandstand finish, with the title race, the battle for European qualification, and the relegation fight all still wide open. Still, for many Fantasy Football players, their season is dead in the water and they have no chance of winning their league against friends and co-workers. So, for those who already have an eye on next season, we are looking at potential arrivals in the summer that could be must picks for their fantasy teams next season. With Premier League clubs ready to spend big after some down years thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the transfer window this summer is set to be a huge one. Fantasy Premier League has been growing in popularity in the UK as an alternative way to up the stakes when watching, but more akin to free bets in the UK rather than wagering money. So here is your way too early summer 2022 transfer window preview, and how these potential incomings could propel your Fantasy team to glory next year.

Erling Haaland

The Erling Haaland transfer saga is one that fans from all of Europe’s elite clubs will have a keen eye on. It’s not very often that one of the world’s best centre forwards is available at a relatively low price considering their ability, but thanks to Borussia Dortmund’s release clause of €75m (£62.7m) for Haaland, that is absolutely the case. Moreover, at the age of just 21 he still has room to improve, and will be a valuable asset to whichever team he goes to for a long, long time. The Norwegian’s record speaks for itself – the man just loves scoring goals. He’s scored 16 goals in 17 Bundesliga appearances this season, backing up his 27 goals in just 28 league games last season. He’s already the finished product at such a young age, and it’s scary to think just how good he could become.

Much of the talk around Haaland’s next club has revolved around Manchester City. There is no doubt that they are in desperate need for a striker, and they won’t have any issues getting the funds together to secure his signature. Additionally, there’s the sentimental link to the club, given Haaland’s father Alf Inge, who now serves as his agent, played for City between 2000 and 2003. With Kylian Mbappe seemingly destined for Real Madrid, and Barcelona’s finances still up in the air, it seems as if City are the obvious front runners to win the Haaland stakes. If that were to happen, he should be an absolute Fantasy Football pickup. His goal scoring record is absurd, and if he were to be lining up alongside the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling as well as being under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola, who knows how many goals Haaland would score.

Paulo Dybala

The recent news that Paulo Dybala is set to become a free agent in the summer having decided not to stay at Juventus is huge. Juventus CEO Maurizio Arrivabene recently confirmed that Dybala would indeed be leaving Turin in the summer, ending a seven-year stint with the club. The opportunity to pick up such an exciting player for free doesn’t come around often, and it is certain that Premier League clubs will be sniffing around for the Argentinian. The 28-year-old has 19 direct goal involvements in 29 appearances in all competitions this campaign and would be a valuable addition to any team looking to boost their creativity.

The early favourites to sign Dybala are Tottenham Hotspur. This is due in part to Spurs’ Managing Director Fabio Paratici’s links to Dybala. During his time at Juventus, Paratici became famous for his love of free transfers, and he knows the player well. Dybala has also been linked to Spurs in the past, and according to reports, nearly joined them two summers ago. If Antonio Conte decides to stay in north London, Dybala could be swayed by playing for the Italian. There is no doubt Dybala will be in contact with Spurs new boys Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur to see if he believes it is a good fit. Given the fact he would improve almost any team in the world, don’t count out Manchester United, Arsenal or even Newcastle to fight for Dybala’s signature though, as well as some of Europe’s elite teams. If he were to join an English side, he would be a valuable Fantasy Football asset, due to his large volume of assists at his time in Italy, as well as the ability to chip in with a useful goal tally every season.

Darwin Nunez

Darwin Nunez doesn’t have the big name profile of the other two players on this list, but at the age of just 22, the future looks bright for the Uruguayan. The centre forward has scored 20 goals in 22 league appearances for Portuguese side Benfica this season, and has impressed in the Champions League run to the quarter finals. It seems as if he has outgrown the Portuguese league, and he is destined for a move away in the summer.

West Ham were reportedly close to reaching an agreement to sign him in January, but couldn’t agree on a figure, and according to reports coming out of Uruguay, Benfica are asking for £67m to sign him this summer. With Michail Antonio as their only recognised striker, it is clear West Ham need to sign someone to lighten the load on the 31-year-old, and Nunez fits the bill. Arsenal are also reportedly very interested in signing him as a replacement for Alexandre Lacazette, and he would fit in with their transfer strategy of signing young, exciting talent. It’s always hard to tell how a player who has dominated in a lower standard of league will perform in the Premier League, but given how Luis Diaz has taken so quickly to life at Liverpool having joined from Porto in January, it is expected Nunez would be just fine if he were to come to England, and would be a valuable Fantasy asset from week one.

Why Is Paul Townend So Popular At This Year’s Cheltenham Festival?

The Cheltenham Festival is a leading horse racing-based meeting in the United Kindom’s National Hunt racing calendar. The Grand National is the only horse racing event in the UK that offers more prize money than Cheltenham. This four-day festival takes place every year at the Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire. It typically takes place around Saint Patrick’s Day, so it is popular with Irish fans. The Cheltenham Festival features many Grade I races like the Champion Hurdle, Stayers’ Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, and Gold Cup. Superstar Jockey Paul Townend is one of the jockeys who many punters will back due to his great odds of winning. Here’s why he’s so popular at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

Who Is Paul Townend?

Ruby Walsh is indisputably Cheltenham’s most successful jockey of all time, with 59 wins. However, another Irishman, Paul Townend, shows similar potential and catches up fast. Townend undoubtedly has a long way to go to surpass Walsh’s tally of wins, but he took great strides towards achieving this by scoring numerous festival wins last year. Therefore, it is no surprise that Paul Townend became the Mullins yard’s tip jockey after Ruby Walsh’s retirement. In 2019 Towend famously gave legendary Irish trainer Willie Mullins his first ever Cheltenham Gold Cup winner with Al Boum Photo. After his Gold Cup Triumph last year, Townend spoke with the Irish Examiner’s Daragh Ó Conchúir about the winning feeling.

He revealed that he had never felt anything like that before, and the experience elevated winning to an entirely new level. He added that rewatching his Gold Cup victory felt like watching it as a third person. He disclosed the extra pressure accompanying Ruby Walsh’s absence in this same interview. According to him, he was always in the hot seat and rode through injuries when Rudy didn’t ride that much last season. However, he added that Walsh’s didn’t ride that much in the last couple of seasons, so it wasn’t a big change.

Paul Townend was born in Midleton in south-east Corky country on September 15, 1990. He initially joined Mullin’s stable as an apprentice Flat jokey. To date, he rides mainly for Willie Mullins’ stable. This rich horse racing tradition seems to run in the Townend family, as his younger sister Jody is also an accomplished jockey. Nowadays, Paul Townend also participates in National Hunt racing and emerged Irish jump racing Champion jockey for four seasons: 2010-11, 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21. His precise net worth is unknown, but his career earnings as a jockey are around £8,500,000.

What Has Paul Townend Accomplished At Cheltenham?

Townend’s many victories at the Cheltenham Festival make him incredibly popular with ardent fans of the events. Also, this makes him a huge favourite of many punters who want to back the most likely winners. He rode his first Cheltenham Festival winner, What a Charm, at the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle in 2011. Currently, he is the winner of  15 Festival titles, which include the following:

  • The Cheltenham Gold Cup (2x), riding AlBoumPhoto (2019,2020)
  • Queen Mother Champion Chase (1x), riding Energumene (2022)
  • Arkle Challenge Trophy – (1x), riding Duc des Genievres (2019)
  • David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle – (1x), riding Glens Melody (2015)
  • Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle – (2x), riding Penhill (2017) and Monkfish (2020)
  • Stayers’ Hurdle – (1x), riding Penhill (2018)
  • Triumph Hurdle – (2x), riding Burning Victory (2020) and Vauban (2022)
  • Broadway Novices’ Chase – (1x), ridingMonkfish (2021)
  • Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – (1x), riding Appreciate It (2021)
  • Ballymore Novices Hurdle – (1x), riding Sir Gerhard (2022)
  • Champion Bumper- (1x), riding Ferny Hollow (2020)
  • Liberthine Mares’ Chase – (1x), riding Colreevy (2021)
  • Ryanair Chase – (2x), riding Min (2020) and Allaho (2022)
  • Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase – (1x), riding Irish Cavalier (2015)
  • Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle – (1x), riding What A Charm (2011)
  • County Handicap Hurdle – (3x), riding Wicklow Brave (2015), Arctic Fire (2017), and State Man (2022).

Paul Townend- A Cheltenham Favorite

As mentioned above, many punters turn to Paul Townend during Cheltenham to improve their odds of winning. On March 17, ahead of the event’s third day, the story was no different. According to the bookmakers, all of Townend’s mounts in Thursday’s Grade 1s were popular in numerous bets, so the Paul Townend factor is a thing.

He enjoyed a great Wednesday, scoring his first wins of the meeting, riding Energumene in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Sir Gerhard in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. Therefore, it is no surprise that the highly esteemed jockey’s top-notch book of Thursday rides attracted a lot of backing from punters. He kicked off the day riding Galopin Des Champs in the Turners’ Novice Chase. Then, he rode Winter Fog in the Pertemps Final, Allaho in the Ryanair Chase, and Klassical Dream in the Stayers’ Hurdle.

Ladbrokes reported that numerous bets on Townend were popular throughout the morning. According to a Ladbrokes spokesperson, punters backed Galopin Des Champ, Allaho, Klassical Dream, and Winter Fog immensely. This is because everyone wanted Townend to be in their multi bets after his successful previous day. Also, given that it was St.Patrick’s Day, it was nice to see the Irish back one of their own for the win. However, Wednesday’s heavy rain and unspecified ground conditions resulted in uncertainty, with many firms reporting no huge bets. However, Star Sports reported taking a £40,000 wager and two £10,000 bets on Galopin Des Champs in the Turners Novices’ Chase.

FPL Season 2021/22: Blank Gameweek 30 preview

Just four fixtures in round 30 of the 2021/22 Premier League season this time, with no less than twelve teams blanking this gameweek. After consecutive double gameweeks and with another major blank gameweek coming up soon-ish in round 33, you can expect more than a few teams to be dealing with some degree of disarray. We’re expecting chip usage to peak again this weekend as many fantasy premier league managers will be looking to bridge what could end up being the biggest blank gameweek of the season with either a Free Hit or Wildcard. This decision is, of course, entirely team dependent, but considering the very limited pool of available players for BGW30, we’re going out on a limb here and suggest that if you can field about nine players this weekend, simply going with it could be an option.

The focus for Free Hitters and Wildcarders alike will probably be on Spurs as they host a West Ham that’s dealing with some injuries to key players, followed by Wolves and Leicester for their respective home games against Leeds and Brentford. These are not the most outstanding match-ups possible though, and practically any pick from any of these teams can be considered a differential, bar maybe Harry Kane (owned by 23%) and Heung-Min Son (24.9%). There’s going to be relatively predictable templates this weekend, especially for GW30 Free Hitters, so it’s up to you to judge to what extent you feel your team can deal with (heavily) deviating from that template this weekend.

Below are the four FPL fixtures for blank gameweek 30:

Friday, March 18thWolves – Leeds
Saturday, March 19thAston Villa – Arsenal
Sunday, March 20thLeicester – Brentford
Sunday, March 20thSpurs – West Ham

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 30 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, March 18th, 2022.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per March 17th, 2022)

GKDe Gea (MUN), Sanchez (BRI), Ederson (MCI)Sa (WOL), Ramsdale (ARS), Schmeichel (LEI)Fixtures in BGW30 for Wolves, Arsenal, Leicester
DEFCancelo (MCI), Dias (MCI), James (CHE)Coady (WOL), Cash (AST), Saiss (WOL)Fixtures in BGW30 for Wolves, Villa
MIDBowen (WHU), Salah (LIV), Jota (LIV)Saka (ARS), Kulusevski (TOT), Coutinho (AST)Fixtures in BGW30 for Arsenal, Spurs, Villa
FORDennis (WAT), Antonio (WHU), Broja (SOU)Toney (BRE), Kane (TOT), Jimenez (WOL)Fixtures in BGW30 for Brentford, Spurs, Wolves

Premium pick

Seeing as we consider a premium fantasy pick to be priced at £9.5m or higher, we really have just two options for this gameweek and both play for Spurs. While Heung-Min Son is always a good pick as one of the very best players in the league, we feel that we can’t look past Harry Kane (£12.4m) for this one. The Spurs striker is in red-hot form with 7 goals and 1 assist in his last six league outings, and he hasn’t blanked since Tottenham’s shock 1-0 loss to Burnley back in gameweek 26. Looking at his fixture for blank gameweek 30, we’re expecting Kane to be the number-one captaincy pick this weekend, though this is a bit of a relative claim, considering that he sits in a bit less than a quarter of all FPL sides. Perhaps it’s better to say that we expect anyone who has Kane to captain Kane. In any case, Tottenham’s Very Own is facing West Ham on Sunday and the Hammers are likely to be without their starting full-backs Vladimir Coufal and Aaron Cresswell, while Angelo Ogbonna remains side-lined as well. Harry Kane versus a depleted Hammers backline might just be what gives the upcoming very blank gameweek a bit of a spark.

Non-premium pick

For our non-premium fantasy pick of the week, we’re sticking with Spurs as Kane’s new teammate Dejan Kulusevski (£6.2m) has been making waves since coming into the Premier League from Italian giants Juventus in January. In seven starts since gameweek 25, the Swedish international has managed 2 goals and 5 assists for a total of 45 FPL points, which comes down to exactly 5 points per game. Not a huge average, but more than decent for a winger classified as a midfielder whose priced at just £6.2m. He looks to have conquered a spot in Antonio Conte’s starting lineup and we feel he will also feature in plenty of Free Hit and Wildcard squads this weekend. Kulusevski has returned attacking points in his last four league outings, including assists away at Old Trafford and the AmEx in his last two. Next up are West Ham who will likely be missing their first-choice right-back Aaron Cresswell, who would also be Kulusevski’s direct opponent. It will be an interesting encounter at the New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and we’re hoping Kulusevksi will be among the points for it.

The budget enabler

Blank gameweek 30 is offering a rather large selection of less expensive fantasy picks, ranging from mid-price picks to total budget enablers. Seeing as a full starting eleven this weekend will inevitably contain at least a few low-price players, we did our best to find a few that really stand out in terms of their friendly price tag and we ended up going with Jonny (£4.5m). The 28-year-old Spanish full-back missed the whole season up to gameweek 28 due to injury, but he is back now and seems to have secured a berth in Bruno Lage’s starting eleven. While the left-back spot is covered by Aït Nouri and Marçal, the right-back spot is undermanned with both Nelson Semedo and Ki-Jana Hoever out injured. As a result, Jonny has been deployed on the right side during the last three games and this saw him record 2 clean sheets and a total of 14 FPL points. On Friday, Wolves are hosting Leeds at Molineux and we’re expecting the Spaniard to line up again from the start. He will be on Leeds’ right flank, which is not Raphinha’s flank and which tends to be positive for the defender in question, as most of Leeds’ attacking moves flow through the Brazilian. On top of that, the Whites are not in good shape at all, losing six games in a row before beating Norwich in the last minute in gameweek 29. Wolves are favorites here and at least a clean sheet is far from out of the question, which would make it three clean sheets in a row for Jonny.

The differential

In the absence of a truly fixed number nine, Harvey Barnes (£6.5m) has become Leicester’s main attacking threat of the past few weeks. He has posted decent numbers so far this season, scoring 3 goals and providing 7 assists in seventeen starts for a total of 83 FPL points so far. What’s more interesting though, is that the young Englishman has returned attacking points in all of his last seven league outings (2 goals and 5 assists), and he will be starting against Brentford at home in BGW30 as well. Manager Brendan Rodgers has kept him on the pitch for 90 minutes every game since gameweek 25 (he didn’t play in GW26) and with good reason, because no Leicester asset has been more effective in an attacking sense than him. The Foxes are actually favourites at the bookies to score at least three goals this week, which bodes well for Barnes. In a very depleted gameweek, his current 3.8% ownership could represent exceptional differential value.

The captaincy

As we wrote earlier, Harry Kane will likely be the most popular pick for the captain’s armband this weekend and we are following suit. West Ham have lost a bit of the spring that they had in their step during the first half of the season and with several key figures doubtful for their visit to Spurs, we can definitely see Kane returning some sweet, sweet FPL points for this one. You might not be able or willing to bring him in on a (free) transfer, but keep in mind that for any fantasy manager activating a Free Hit or Wildcard, slapping the band on the Hurrikane will be a no-brainer.

Those who are brave enough to go without the big man can also opt for his slightly less expensive teammate Heung-Min Son or even the in-form Dejan Kulusevski if you’re feeling really pumped. Other options can be Harvey Barnes against Brentford or Leicester’s starting striker for that game, if you can guess him. Raul Jimenez at home to Leeds could be a differential captaincy option as well, just like Philippe Coutinho at home to a sturdy Arsenal defence. The same can be said for Bukayo Saka and even Alexandre Lacazette for their visit to Villa Park on Saturday.

Sports betting in the UK. Why go for a non-UK betting site?

Since the very beginning of the rise of the mainstream internet several decades ago, online sports betting in the United Kingdom has been growing in popularity at a soaring pace, just like in the rest of the world. In order to keep this growth under control and to ensure a safe online playing environment for British gamblers, betting sites have been fully regulated by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for years. While this is a good and more importantly much-needed development overall, measures like, for example, the removal of the option to deposit money via credit card at betting sites in the UK, can feel over-restrictive for those players who do not suffer from gambling-related problems and who are comfortable with occasional gambling. As a result, some British players are opting to play at non UK betting sites that are not subject to the strict UKGC rules.

While this is a perfectly acceptable work-around, it should be noted that sites regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, though more restrictive, might also offer more security and transparency in comparison to some of the popular non-UK betting sites out there. Having said that, let’s have a look at some of the major advantages that come from betting at non-UK sites.

More choice

For many players who end up exploring the world of non-UK betting sites, it’s the search for new and exciting games that has brought them to that point. The games offered in the United Kingdom represents only a fraction of what’s really out there in terms of games and betting possibilities. In terms of online sports betting, for example, you might find bets on events, leagues and teams that are not available in the UK. In such cases, a non-UK betting site offers a quick fix.

More options for depositing funds

One of the most common “complaints” when it comes to UKGC-regulated betting websites is that the number of options to deposit funds into an account are too limited. The money flows are something the UKGC pays extra attention to in connection with anti-money laundering practices and such, but for simple UK gamblers it can make it a pain in the neck to deposit funds into their accounts via their preferred methods. This can range from credit and debit cards that are not common in the UK to online payment services that are not available in the UK and even deposits in the form of cryptocurrencies. In contrast, many non-UK betting sites do accept some or all of the funding options that can’t be found at betting sites regulated by the UK Gaming Commission.

Better bonuses

Another aspect on which the UKGC has been clamping down over the past years is bonuses at UK betting sites. As part of their policy to protect vulnerable players and minors against the dangers of gambling addiction and other gambling-related problems, heavy restrictions have been placed on the way in which legal UK betting sites can set up bonuses and other promotions to attract (or indeed seduce) people to bet money with them. As a result, bonuses and promos have become a lot less attractive. This does not apply to many non-UK betting sites though, as they often have more freedom to promote their services and reward their players than websites under supervision of the UK Gambling Commission. It’s therefore not uncommon to see British players search for maximum bonus benefits at non-UK betting sites.