It’s finally here. The double gameweek FPL managers and pundits alike have been talking about for weeks, if not months. The biggest double gameweek of the season. Double gameweek 36. Between this coming Saturday afternoon and the evening of Thursday, May 12th, no less than sixteen matches will be played, with an unprecedented twelve teams doubling. See the table below for a quick overview of which teams have a double gameweek coming up and who their respective opponents are.
|Arsenal||Spurs (away) + Leeds (home)|
|Aston Villa||Liverpool (home) + Burnley (away)|
|Chelsea||Leeds (away) + Wolves (home)|
|Everton||Watford (away) + Leicester (away)|
|Leeds||Chelsea (home) + Arsenal (away)|
|Leicester||Norwich (home) + Everton (home)|
|Liverpool||Aston Villa (away) + Spurs (home)|
|Manchester City||Wolves (away) + Newcastle (home)|
|Norwich||Leicester (away) + West Ham (home)|
|Spurs||Arsenal (home) + Liverpool (away)|
|Watford||Everton (home) + Crystal Palace (away)|
|Wolves||Man City (home) + Chelsea (away)|
As you can see from the above table and as you have probably known for a while already, there are a few teams with very interesting matchups. Liverpool and Man City stand out in that sense, and especially because they will be focusing entirely on the Premier League until the end of the season. It should be noted that the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool will take place on Saturday, May 14th. The Blues in particular are expected to rotate considerably for their second match of their DGW36 against Leeds. The same, to an extent, goes for Leicester, who have two great games on paper, but have largely be focusing on their Europa League exploits these weeks. Besides that, the Arsenal double is not bad, whilst relegation battlers Everton and Watford face a decent double gameweek as well, on paper at least. As a result, and taking into account the considerable expected chip activation (Bench Boosts and Free Hits, in particular) for the upcoming gameweek, it’s no surprise that our DGW36 fantasy picks are dominated by assets from teams with two encounters.
Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 36 is set at 13h30 (UK time) on Saturday, May 7th, 2022.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per May 5th, 2022)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Sa (WOL), De Gea (MUN), Sanchez (BRI)||Schmeichel (LEI), Pickford (EVE), Foster (WAT)||DGW36|
|DEF||Reguilon (TOT), White (ARS), Coady (WOL)||Alonso (CHE), Matip (LIV), Cash (AST)||DGW36, injuries to Reguilon and White|
|MID||Coutinho (AST), Maddison (LEI), Mount (CHE)||Saka (ARS), Son (TOT), Foden (MCI)||DGW36, Maddison and Mount rotation risk|
|FOR||Toney (BRE), Broja (SOU), Antonio (WHU)||Jesus (MCI), Nketiah (ARS), Richarlison (EVE)||DGW36|
It’s hard to imagine what Man City manager Pep Guardiola was thinking when he decided to take off Kevin de Bruyne (£11.9m) in the 72nd minute against Real Madrid in their return game of the Champions League semi-finals. Perhaps it was tactical. Perhaps he figured the final was a done deal by that time and that it was best to preserve his star player for the thrilling title race in the Premier League. Whatever the Spanish manager’s reasoning, it definitely did not work for his side and now the Cityzens have just the domestic league to focus on. Not so great news for City fans, but an excellent development for FPL managers. City’s elimination from Europa and their 1-point lead over Liverpool in the league have us thinking that rotation will be relatively minimal for Pep standards over the final three gameweeks. As their most influential player, we expect De Bruyne to start all games from now on, which has immediately catapulted him to the top of our premium picks list for DGW36. He blanked against Leeds in GW35, but managed 4 goals and 4 assists in the six games prior to that, and now has a double Wolves and Newcastle coming up. That prospect has us picking him over even Mo Salah as the best premium fantasy pick for double gameweek 36.
Bukayo Saka (£6.7m) was a bit of an injury doubt in the build-up to gameweek 35, but he made it in the end to the joy of the almost 30% of FPL managers who own him. He ended up picking up 4 FPL points at West Ham, the result of an assist and a yellow card, which followed back-to-backs in which he returned handsomely (1 goal in GW33, 1 goal and 1 assist in GW34). With a total of 168 FPL for the season already, the English international has by far surpassed his best FPL season as he has become an integral part of Mikel Arteta’s starting eleven. In DGW36, the Gunners are playing the North London derby at Spurs and a home game against Leeds, games they will need to win if they want to stay in the race for fourth place in the league. Saka is probably the best pick from the Arsenal roster, especially now that he seems to have taken penalty duties onto himself as well. We expect him to be part of lots of Free Hits and Bench Boosts this week, also because his £6.7m price tag easily allows for his inclusion, so we recommend to bring the winger in if you can.
The budget enabler
There are a few interesting budget fantasy options on our radar for DGW36, but it’s hard to look past Anthony Gordon (£4.6m). The young Everton winger has conquered a starting spot under manager Frank Lampard and with a double gameweek coming up against interesting opposition, he is the ultimate budget enabler for this upcoming gameweek. Of course, Everton’s struggles this season are a known fact, but the Toffees look to have found a bit of spirit in their fight for Premier League survival of late. Over the last four league games, they beat both Man United and Chelsea at home (1-0 both times), drew 1-1 with Leicester and lost 2-0 in the Merseyside Derby. Results to take some hope from, at the very least. Up next are fellow relegation candidates Watford at Vicarage Road for a game that can really go either way and a visit to Leicester just two days after the Foxes played their all-important Europea League semi-final return against José Mourinho’s AS Roma. Who knows, Everton might just be able to take 3, 4 or even 6 points from these games. If they do, any returns that stand-out budget fantasy pick can add to his current 4 goals and 3 assists would be a massive bonus.
With Liverpool facing Spurs at home on Saturday followed by Aston Villa at Villa Park on Tuesday for their double gameweek 36, we can’t write up a gameweek fantasy picks article without including at least one of their assets. This time, it’s Luis Diaz (£8.0m), who made it in our differential fantasy pick category. The Colombian international has made quite an impact on the Reds, which he underlined by completely turning around the Champions League semi-final return against Villareal this week after coming on at half-time. In the Premier League, he has already recorded 3 goals and 2 assists for a total of 47 FPL points from eight starts. Rotation is a risk when it comes to Diaz, as he competes with Mo Salah, Sadio Mané and Diogo Jota for one of the three forward spots, but he has looked worthy of a starting berth lately. That’s why we would not be at all surprised to see him rack up at least 100 playing minutes over his double gameweek 36 and likely considerably more. His current ownership of 3.8% therefore makes him a fascinating differential prospect for the final weeks of the 2021/22 season.
As far as the captaincy goes this week, there are a few very good options on offer. We made our mind up a while ago already though, around minute 72 of the Champions League encounter between Manchester City and Real Madrid to be exact. That’s when Kevin de Bruyne walked off the pitch in the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu and right into our squad for gameweek 36, armband proudly around his Belgian upper arm. A City side on a quest for revenge, fighting for the last change of silverware, facing on-the-beach Wolves and Newcastle; KDB is our captaincy pick for DGW36.
If you can’t fit the Belgian in or if you feel like rotation risk is still too much of a factor, you can easily shift your attention to Mo Salah. This season’s top points-scorer is hosting Spurs on Saturday before visiting Aston Villa three days later, and if there is one player who can haul in such circumstances, it’s the Egyptian. Other interesting options for the armband this week are Bukayo Saka against Spurs and Leeds, Sadio Mané, and one of Harvey Barnes or James Maddison for their double against Norwich and Everton.