Euro 2024 Pointers for FPL 2024/25

As we speak, there are just about three weeks to go until the start of the 2024/25 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) season. As usual, we will be releasing a series of in-depth club reviews once we get closer to the season’s opening match on August 16th, and as a warm-up for that, we’re publishing a special EURO 2024 recap today. After all, the 2024 European Championship concluded a bit over a week ago with Spain getting the better of England in the final. In this piece, we are highlighting some of the players who stood out during the tournament and who are available selection in FPL as well. Plenty of managers will be looking for players who got a boost from their performances at the Euros and they might just give your squad that extra edge right from the start.

England vs. Spain: the 2024 final

Of course, seeing as England made the final of EURO 2024, it makes sense to start with them and their final rivals, Spain, who at the start of Euro 2024 were not as fancied as England with online betting firms like betpanda uk but due to their performances during the tournament were in the end favoured to win the final. No less than 24 of the Three Lions players are members of the Premier League, as are three Spaniards. If we are talking about confidence, the Spanish players should be bringing back sky-high levels to their clubs and the same will go for most of the England players, despite not lifting the trophy in the end. At the same time, do keep in mind that those same players might be a bit more tired than other non-EURO 2024 assets and that some of them might even get some additional holidays from their respective clubs.

SPAIN

At first glance, all three of the Spanish Premier League finalists look like more than decent fantasy picks. First one on the list is goalkeeper David Raya (£5.5m), who featured as a reserve behind Spain’s number one Unai Simon but is expected to start in goal for Arsenal this season. With a price tag of £5.5m, Raya is definitely not considered a bargain goalie, but he should provide a steady stream of FPL points throughout the season. During the last campaign, the Spaniard took 135 FPL points from 32 league starts, recording 16 clean sheets and conceding 24 goals in the process.

The brand-new European champions also provide us with an intriguing option in midfield in the person of Rodri (£6.5m). The nailed-on midfield engine of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City won “Player of the Tournament” at EURO 2024 after an exceptionally impressive season with 8 goals and 10 assists from 34 league starts, for a total of 159 FPL points. Will he be able to replicate such a season in terms of attacking returns?

The third and final EURO 2024 winner in the Premier League is Marc Cucurella (£5.0m). The Chelsea left-back came into the tournament after an up-and-down season in the Premier League, but rapidly consolidated his starting spot for Spain at the Euros. This culminated with a decisive assist in the final for Mikel Oyarzabal’s winner against England. In our opinion, it would be logical for new Chelsea manager Enzo Maresca to give Cucurella a run at the starting spot, but considering the criticism on the left-back’s performances last season, it remains to be seen what his situation will be come Gameweek 1.

ENGLAND

Seeing as the England roster featured 24 Premier League players, we will be highlighting a few of them according to position, with a special focus on playing time during the Euros.

In goal, Jordan Pickford (£5.0) was and is the main guy in goal, as he is for Everton as well. Despite conceding 51 goals last season, he still managed 153 FPL points, in great part thanks to his 13 clean sheets. Those fantasy managers looking for a reasonably price set-and-forget keeper undoubtedly have Pickford on their FPL radar.

In defence, we’ve got Manchester City stars John Stones (£5.5m) and Kyle Walker (£5.5m) who stand out, as they are expected to feature heavily for their club this season as well. Both men were integral to England’s EURO 2024 journey and can look back on a great run. Perhaps the most appealing Three Lions defender is actually Marc Guehi (£4.5m) though, who is still at Crystal Palace and still carrying an affordable price tag. Besides that, it’s also interesting that Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.0m), who did not feature at EURO 2024 as much as he would’ve liked, is still listed as a defender in FPL this upcoming season.

Following his largely disappointing performances during the Euros, we’re not sure how many fantasy managers will be opting for Phil Foden (£9.5m) in Gameweek 1. It should be noted though that he started every EURO 2024 game and had a magnificent 2023/24 campaign, scoring 19 goals and 8 assists. For those who like to bet on EURO 2024 for their GW1 squad, Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka (£10.0m) and Chelsea’s Cole Palmer (£10.5m) perhaps make more sense, though both come at a heavy price. More budget-friendly Three Lions midfield picks include Declan Rice (£6.5m) and Conor Gallagher (£6.0), whose goal threat is also considerably lower than the previously named players.

In attack, Ollie Watkins (£9.0m) looks set to run rampage once again this season. His relatively affordable price tag has already convinced more than 56% of FPL managers to bring in the Aston Villa striker for Gameweek 1. If Ivan Toney (£7.5m), who is currently still at Brentford, stays in the Premier League this summer, he should also be on your watchlist.

Outside of the final

With the Premier League amongst the very best football leagues on Earth, it only makes sense for us to take a quick look at interesting FPL prospects from EURO 2024 in other teams besides finalists England and Spain.

CODY GAKPO – Netherlands

The Liverpool attacker turned out to be semi-finalist Holland’s most valuable player, scoring 3 goals and giving 1 assist. It will remain to be seen how fast new Liverpool manager Arne Slot can make his mark on the Reds, but the stars seem to be aligning for a key role on the left flank for his compatriot.

BERNARDO SILVA – Portugal

Perhaps the best Portuguese player at EURO 2024, even though he managed just a single goal and no assists. Then again, no player on the Portugal roster was directly involved in more than one goal during the tournament. Bernardo Silva (£6.5m) got 6 goals and 9 assists from 29 league starts in the Prem last season though, and his price makes him an option worth considering.

WILLIAM SALIBA – France

William Saliba (£6.0m) was already a popular defensive pick last season and we don’t think that will change for this upcoming season. He was a nailed-on starter for France and on top of that boasted the highest completed pass ratio (96%) of any player at the Euros. His premium price tag has not stopped more than 41% of fantasy managers from bringing the Arsenal defender in already.

BART VERBRUGGEN – Brighton

Those managers looking for a budget goalkeeper who is coming off a great EURO 2024 and is set as a starter for his club don’t have to look further than Netherlands and Brighton number one Bart Verbruggen (£4.5m). He cemented himself firmly as Holland’s first choice and we would be extremely surprised if new Seagulls manager Fabian Hurzeler picks Jason Steele over him this season.

EBERECHI EZE – Crystal Palace

Not a starter for England at EURO 2024, but it was his debut at an international tournament, during which he still got about 100 minutes of playing time. We hope this will bring his already outstanding qualities to the next level as Eberechi Eze (£7.0m) is set to be Crystal Palace’s key man in the Premier League for the coming season.

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 38 preview

The end of the 2023-2024 Fantasy Premier League campaign is upon us and unlike many of the preceding years, there is lots still to play for in gameweek 38. Spotlight number one will, of course, be on the top of the Premier League table, where Manchester City and Arsenal are separated by just two points in the former’s favour, with both of them having a winnable home game coming up.

A few places further down the table, the Europa League and Conference spots are still up for grabs as well. Spurs and Chelsea are to battle it out for fifth place, with the former currently in the driver’s seat. Newcastle and even Manchester United could come into the picture at some point as well, but that would require a series of specific results. Don’t forget that the FA Cup final on May 25th between the Manchester rivals will also have a considerable impact on which English sides will qualify for Europe this season.

Finally, there is also the relegation battle. Sheffield United have been relegated for a while already, as have Burnley, who both have no longer have any chance to finish above the line. Luton Town looks like they will join them in the descent, though the Hatters do still have a very minimal chance of survival. They are currently three points behind Nottingham Forest and to secure another season of Premier League football, they will need to beat Fulham and hope for a Forest defeat against Burnley. The even bigger problem for Luton is that they also need to make up a goal difference swing of 12 in favour of Forest…

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 38 is set at 14h30 (UK time) on Sunday, May 19th, 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per May 17th, 2024)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKEderson (MCI), Pickford (EVE), Areola (WHU)Raya (ARS), Vicario (TOT), Leno (FUL)Ederson injury
DEFSchär (NEW), Dunk (BRI), Branthwaite (EVE)Gvardiol (MCI), Porro (TOT), White (ARS)Dunk injury doubt, Gvardiol form
MIDSaka (ARS), Gordon (NEW), De Bruyne (MCI)Havertz (ARS), Olise (CRY), Foden (MCI)All transferred-out players are injury doubts
FORIsak (NEW), Solanke (BOU), Watkins (AST)Mateta (CRY), Haaland (MCI), Jackson (CHE)All transferred-in forwards in good goalscoring form

Premium pick

Logic dictates that, when it comes to the final gameweek of the season, it’s wise to go with teams and players who still have something to play for. If that “thing to go for” is the Premier League title, all the better, especially when Manchester City is concerned. The reason for this is that we can wholeheartedly recommend Erling Haaland (£14.3m) as the stand-out premium fantasy pick for gameweek 38. If Pep Guardiola’s men want to win the title without having to depend on external results, they need to beat West Ham at home on Sunday and you can be sure that Haaland will spearhead the attack for the occasion. He actually has a very small chance to make it at least 30 goals in each of this first two Premier League seasons, seeing as last season he scored 36 times and he is sitting on 27 goals in the current campaign as we speak. On a day on which Manchester City can prolongate their title and Haaland could grab yet another record, is a hattrick for the Norwegian phenomena really that crazy to imagine?

Non-premium pick

“Yeah, he should be fine”, is what Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta answered last Sunday when asked about the fitness and injury status of Bukayo Saka (£8.9m). Therefore, despite him still carrying a yellow flag in the official fantasy game, we are selecting the England star as our non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 38. Much like Haaland and Manchester City, Saka and Arsenal can still win the title and to do so, they will in a big part be looking to their main man on the right flank. After a fantastic season with 14 goals and 12 assists from 37 league starts last season, he currently has 16 goals and 12 assists from 35 league starts in the current season. On top of that, Saka is also in good form at the moment, despite not getting a direct involvement in the only goal at Old Trafford last weekend. Prior to that, he got an assist against Chelsea in GW34, a goal and an assist against Spurs in GW35 and another assist against Bournemouth in GW36. The Gunners are facing an Everton side that no longer has anything to play for on the final matchday of the season, so it looks like the planets are aligning for a nice Saka haul this weekend.

The budget enabler

If you are using a Wildcard or a Free Hit in gameweek 38, for example, or if you need to free up some cash somewhere to bring in the player that will help you go out with a bang, a budget player can come in very handy for the final matchday. We have therefore gone with Michael Olise (£5.7m), who is combining good form with a decent fixture this weekend. Crystal Palace are facing Aston Villa at home on Sunday, with both teams no longer having anything to play for. We know what we said about picking players with an interest in gameweek 38, but when it comes to the ideal budget enabler, you want something of a high points ceiling as well. That is what Olise is offering, as the French youth international is priced at £5.7m while in good form. He got 12 FPL points for a goal and an assist versus Wolves last weekend and in the gameweek before, he scored a brace against Man United for 16 FPL points. Palace’s opponents Aston Villa just secured Champions League football with their mid-week draw against Liverpool, so we’re half expecting them to be well on their way to the beach when it’s time for the kick-off at Selhurst Park. Let’s see if Olise can make it three double-digit returns in a row.

The differential

Over the last seven gameweeks, no midfielder in the official fantasy game has scored more goals than Arsenal’s Leandro Trossard (£6.6m), who despite this impressive feat is still owned by just 2.6% of all managers at the moment of writing. Only Bruno Fernandes has managed to match the Belgian’s five goals in six appearances, which is even more impressive when you take into account that Trossard only played 80 minutes or more in the home game against Bournemouth in gameweek 36. It should be noted that he did start the last six league games in a row, which reinforces our belief in him as a stand-out differential for gameweek 38. We therefore expect him to start against Everton at home on Sunday as well, in a game that could bring Arsenal the title if they manage to win and Man City don’t win against West Ham. Trossard got a goal against Bournemouth in gameweek 36 and a goal against Man United in gameweek 37, so we’re hoping for a third match with attacking returns in a row for the Belgian attacker.

The (vice-)captaincy

Considering all of the factors in play during the upcoming final gameweek of the 2023-24 season, we are going with Erling Haaland as our captain. Manchester City need to win against West Ham to grab the title and Haaland is their main man up front, so yes… hattrick incoming.

For those not so confident in the Norwegian, you could opt for Kevin de Bruyne instead, though he is currently flagged in the official game. Outside of City, we’d go with Bukayo Saka as our captain, or perhaps Kai Havertz or Leandro Trossard if you’re looking for a differential armband pick on the Arsenal roster. Other options worth considering include Chelsea’s Cole Palmer at home to Bournemouth, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah at home to Wolves in Klopp’s fairwell and Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son for his visit to relegated Sheffield United.

FPL 2023-24: Double Gameweek 37 preview

We have now got just two gameweeks to go until the end of the 2023-24 Premier League campaign and the first of those is one of the season’s biggest double gameweeks. In gameweek 37, no less than six teams have two fixtures, including reigning champions Manchester City. Seeing as a lot of FPL managers have been planning for this moment in terms of their transfers, you can expect a high number of Wildcards, Bench Boosts, Free Hits and Triple Captain chips to be activated in the build-up to coming Saturday’s deadline.

DGW TEAMFIXTURE 1FIXTURE 2
BrightonNewcastle (away)Chelsea (home)
ChelseaForest (away)Brighton (away)
Man CityFulham (away)Spurs (away)
Man UnitedArsenal (home)Newcastle (home)
NewcastleBrighton (home)Man United (away)
SpursBurnley (home)Man City (home)

As far as the doubling teams go, Manchester City looks like the most appealing one on paper, though most of the other teams (such as Newcastle & Chelsea) have doubles worth considering as well. In our view there is no side with a truly stand-out double in terms of fixture difficulty, but the same kind of goes for the single gameweek teams this round.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 37 is set at 12h00 (UK time) on Saturday, May 11th, 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per May 9th, 2024)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKMartinez (AST), Neto (BOU), Leno (FUL)Petrovic (CHE), Pickford (EVE), Dubravka (NEW)DGW37, Martinez injury doubt
DEFSchär (NEW), Van Dijk (LIV), Maguire (MUN)Gvardiol (MCI), Burn (NEW), Porro (TOT)DGW37, Schär + Maguire injuries
MIDSalah (LIV), Saka (ARS), Bruno (MUN)Gordon (NEW), Son (TOT), Foden (MCI)DGW37, Bruno injury doubt
FORWatkins (AST), Solanke (BOU), Darwin (LIV)Haaland (MCI), Jackson (CHE), Isak (NEW)DGW37, all transferred-in forwards in goal-scoring form

Premium pick

4 goals in his last game, 5 goals in his last two games, 7 goals and 1 assist in his last five games, and 25 goals plus 8 assists in total from 26 league starts. With a double of away games against Fulham and Spurs coming up in double gameweek 37, Erling Haaland (£14.2m) is the absolute stand-out premium fantasy pick in our eyes. Not much to add to those numbers, right?

Spoiler alert: he is our captain for double gameweek 37 as well.

Non-premium pick

Our non-premium fantasy pick for double gameweek 37 is a forward as well and we could actually write this one in almost exactly the same format as our premium fantasy pick Erling Haaland. After all, Alexander Isak (£8.4m) is back in form again, scoring 3 goals and providing 1 assist in his last two league games, and 10 goals and 2 assists in his last nine league starts. The Swedish international now sits on 20 goals and 2 assists from 24 league starts, for a total of 154 FPL points. That comes down to 6.4 FPL points per game or just over 18 FPL points per million of his current price tag. For a striker in particular, Newcastle’s double-up this week looks juicy with a home clash with Brighton followed by a visit to Manchester United. Not the easiest fixtures on paper, but for a striker with the qualities and the current form of Isak, they represent a decent opportunity to try and get his sixth double-digit haul of the campaign.

The budget enabler

Despite Chelsea’s sub-par season overall, the Blues are still contenders for a spot in the top six. Mauricio Pocchetino’s men currently find themselves in seventh place, just two points behind number six Newcastle United and six points behind number five Spurs with three games to go. Coming off back-to-back victories versus Spurs (2-0) and West Ham (5-0), Chelsea are approaching the tail end of the season with confidence and with Conor Galagher (£5.4m) in good form. The academy graduate is a nailed-on part of Pocchetino’s starting eleven and he has been directly involved in 3 goals in the last three league games. He scored against Aston Villa and then provided an assist against Spurs in double gameweek 35, followed by a goal against West Ham last weekend. That brought his tallies to a very decent 5 goals and 8 assists, and we can see him building on them in DGW37. Chelsea have two away games on the agenda, against Forest and Brighton, and while these are definitely not guaranteed victories for this Blues squad, we do see potential for another attacking return or two for Galagher.

The differential

Are you looking for an affordable differential fantasy pick, for example as part of your perfect Bench Boost for double gameweek 37? We admit, it’s always a bit extra risky to go for Man City assets in a double, considering Pep Guardiola’s love for rotation, but we think/expect/hope it won’t be as bad now that the Cityzens have been kicked out of the Champions League. In any case, our differential fantasy pick is Bernardo Silva (£6.2m), whose current ownership level of 2.6% falls well within our 5%-limit for this category. While his attacking output in terms of FPL returns has been limited of late, he does already have 6 goals and 5 assists to his name from 26 league starts. City are playing Fulham away and Spurs away in double gameweek 37, and with them still in full chase of the Premier League title, there could well be goals on the menu for the Sky Blues. Our hope is that, in that case, Bernardo will be involved in at least one of two.

The (vice-)captaincy

We spoiled this one at the start of this article already: Erling Haaland is our captain for double gameweek 37 in which City are facing Fulham at Craven Cottage and Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Excellent alternatives to the Norwegian goal-scoring machine are his teammates Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden, and Chelsea star Cole Palmer. Riskier picks for the armband include Newcastle’s Alexander Isak, Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son and Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes.

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 36 preview

In support of the ancient FPL wisdom that one should not become too fixated by double gameweek teams simply because they are double gameweek teams, the DGW35 Team of the Week features a handful of popular fantasy assets that had just one fixture. These include Bukayo Saka (12 FPL points, 55.4% ownership), Alexander Isak (13 FPL points, 36.1% ownership) and Kevin de Bruyne (11 FPL points, 16.5%). This shows once again that fixture quality can matter as much as fixture quantity or more, and player quality and form should practically always influence your decision-making. As a matter of fact, Noni Madueke is the only double gameweek player so far who managed to find his way into the Team of the Week, thanks to a goal and an assist at Villa Park last Saturday.

At the same time, it should be noted that the only two teams with a second fixture (Chelsea and Spurs) still need to play that second fixture at the moment of writing. The two London sides are set to meet tonight at 19h30 at Stamford Bridge, so keep that in mind when going over the data and picks in this article.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 36 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, May 3rd, 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per May 2nd, 2024)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKMartinez (AST), Ederson (MCI), Neto (BOU)Pickford (EVE), Dubravka (NEW), Raya (ARS)Martinez + Ederson injury doubts
DEFSchär (NEW), Van Dijk (LIV), Gusto (CHE)Gvardiol (MCI), Branthwaite (EVE), Walker (MCI)DGW37, Gvardiol attacking form, Schär + Gusto injury doubts
MIDSalah (LIV), Diaz (LIV), Eze (CRY)De Bruyne (MCI), Gordon (NEW), Foden (MCI)DGW37, all transferred-in players in good form, Eze injury doubt
FORSolanke (BOU), Darwin (LIV), Haaland (MCI)Isak (NEW), Haaland (MCI), Watkins (AST)DGW37, all transferred-in forwards in good form,

Premium pick

It shouldn’t really feel like a surprise anymore at this point, but Erling Haaland (£14.1m) is finding the net quite easily at the moment. Partly due to injury issues, the Norwegian forward went through a relatively less productive patch earlier this season, but his totals after 34 gameweeks are still excellent. From 25 league starts, Haaland has taken no less than 21 goals and 8 assists for a total of 179 FPL points, which comes down to roughly 7 FPL points per start. Possibly even more important though, is his current form in the league, where he produced 3 goals and 1 assist in his last three starts. The reason we are returning to the Man City attacker as our premium fantasy pick of choice for GW36 is that we feel that the upcoming home game against Wolves is a perfect opportunity for him to make it 4 goals in four starts. At least. And to top it off, Manchester City also have a double gameweek coming up after, consisting of games against Fulham and Spurs (both away).

Non-premium pick

It took Kai Havertz (£7.5m) about half a season to get settled at Arsenal, but the German seems to have really found his groove by now. He is currently sitting on 12 goals and 8 assists from 27 league starts, and the best part of it is that he recorded 8 of those goals and 7 of those assists in the last thirteen gameweeks. This actually makes him one of the top performers in the second half of the season and what makes him an even better non-premium fantasy pick is his immediate form. In his last two league starts, he got 3 goals and 1 assist: a brace against Chelsea at the Emirates and a goal and an assist a few days later away at Tottenham in the North London Derby. Unfortunately, Havertz has no more double gameweeks this season, but with Manchester United away in gameweek 37 and Everton at home in gameweek 38, the German could very well be a set-and-forget option for the remainder of the season, at a very decent price.

The budget enabler

Are you in the market for a budget forward? But we mean, a serious option for your forward line, with guaranteed minutes and a decent points ceiling, at an absolute bargain price? Then Chris Wood (£4.8m) might be exactly what you’re looking for. The Nottingham Forest striker started every league game since gameweek 28 and with good reason, because the New Zealander got 4 goals over that period. In total, Wood has already scored 12 goals and provided 1 assist in 17 league starts this season, which for a £4.8m-priced attacker is nothing short of excellent. Forest’s schedule until the end of the season only adds to the big man’s appeal as a stand-out budget fantasy pick, as the Tricky Trees are traveling to Sheffield United on Saturday, followed by a home game against Chelsea in GW37 and a visit to Turf Moor in GW38. Based on his price tag, Wood is the perfect budget forward, but based on the rest, the real question will be whether or not you can afford not including him in your starting lineup in the final weeks of the season.

The differential

More than a few pundits and “experts” raised an eyebrow when West Ham decided to pay £38 million to Ajax Amsterdam for Mohamed Kudus (£6.7m) last summer. Now, about half a year and almost one full football season later, we can safely say that, while £38 million is a lot of money, the Hammers used it to bring in an extremely talented attacking player. The Ghana international has already recorded 7 goals and 8 assists in 24 league starts, which are great stats for a player in his first Premier League season at a non-top-six team, and with a bit of luck, we can see him adding to those stats in the last three games of the 2023-24 Premier League season. We base that on the fact that West Ham have got the following schedule until the end of the season: Chelsea away on Sunday, Luton at home in gameweek 37 and Manchester City away in gameweek 38. Kudus provided a wonderful assist for Jarrod Bowen’s opening goal at Anfield last weekend, where West Ham drew 2-2, and we’re hoping that he can take the confidence from that performance into the upcoming clash with the Blues. If he can, his current ownership of just 3.3% will surely get a boost before the final gameweek of the season.

The (vice-)captaincy

Like the debate for the stand-out premium fantasy pick for gameweek 36, we also debated our armband pick. The decision between Manchester City stars Erling Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne is a difficult one, as both are in good goal-scoring form, but seeing as we went with the former as our premium fantasy pick, we are going with consistency and picking him as our captain for gameweek 35 as well.

Besides his teammate De Bruyne, the likes of Bukayo Saka at home to Bournemouth, Cole Palmer at home to West Ham and Mo Salah at home to Spurs provide good alternatives. More risker captaincy considerations include Jean-Philippe Mateta at home to Manchester United and Chris Wood for his visit to Sheffield United.

Fabio Borges: One of Fantasy Football’s Best Managers of All Time

In the history of Fantasy Football, where millions compete for glory and bragging rights, one manager stands above the rest throughout the game’s history. His name is Fábio Borges, and he’s regarded by most as the most successful Fantasy Football manager ever.

Borges’ journey to the top is a testament to his passion for the beautiful game, and his strategic insight and unwavering dedication to Fantasy Football are well-renowned among other managers. Sure, Borges doesn’t have it his way every season, with other well-known managers like Mark Mansfield, Ben Crellin and Cak Juris regularly challenging him, but Borges’ level of Fantasy Football consistency stands alone.

 His reputation has led players in other football sectors, like sports betting, to follow his picks and use his experience to fashion their wagers in individual betting markets. Those wanting to use the knowledge and nous of top Fantasy Football managers to guide their wagers should also consider the betting sites best suited to provide their ultimate gambling experience.

Ian Bruce, the Editor of SafestBettingSites, explains why his betting guide site is among the best:

“Safest Betting Sites is your guide to the best and safest UKGC-regulated betting sites. We strive to bring you information about the best bonuses, promotions and odds while keeping you safe from non-licensed online bookmakers.” (source: https://safestbettingsites.co.uk/)

Some online gamblers may prefer to use other sites but, whichever you fancy, you can be sure that applying some of the top experts and Fantasy Football managers’ knowledge can give you an added edge when considering your next play in online gambling and sports betting realm.

What makes Fábio Borges elite in Fantasy Football circles? Let’s take a brief look.

Borges’ success predominantly lies in his deep understanding of player statistics, tactical nuances and team dynamics. Unlike the casual fantasy manager who uses popular opinion or gut instinct, Borges delves into the minutiae of player performance by studying match data and analysing trends. By doing so, he regularly identifies hidden gems that others overlook.

Borges’ success certainly isn’t from his analytical prowess alone, however. Equally important is his strategic foresight, enabling him to make some canny calls before each game week starts. Whether making astute transfers, choosing the perfect captain, or tweaking his formation to most effectively use his squad, Borges demonstrates his keen understanding of Fantasy Football’s intricacies, adapting his tactics to stay one step ahead.

Clearly, Fábio Borges spends a lot of time staying informed and engaged. While some fantasy managers lose interest or allow complacency to set in, the Portuguese manager remains dedicated to his craft. Borges will follow news updates, scouting reports, and expert analysis to maintain his competitive edge.

Borges’ consistency demonstrates an ability to thrive under pressure. He’s had some poor starts to certain Fantasy League seasons but invariably changes his fortunes by exhibiting a cool head that ensures his reputation as the game’s best manager remains. Like the best managers in physical professional football, Fabio Borges’ steely resolve to make calculated decisions that improve his lot is admirable.

FPL 2023-24: Double Gameweek 35 preview

Gameweek 35 represents a second double gameweek in a row, though it’s a considerably smaller double compared to DGW34. Just two teams are doubling this week, including Tottenham Hotspur, who were the only side to blank in FPL double gameweek 34. Unfortunately, we feel that neither of the doubling teams’ fixture combinations look particularly attractive from a fantasy point of view.

TEAMFIXTURE 1FIXTURE 2
ChelseaAston Villa (away)Spurs (home)
SpursArsenal (home)Chelsea (away)

Before we continue, we also want to mention that, at the time of writing, there is still one game of double gameweek 34 left to be played. Tonight (Thursday), Brighton will be hosting Manchester City in a game that could see the visitors go 2 points clear at the top of the Premier League table after Liverpool’s shock defeat in the Merseyside Derby. Keep an eye on developments in and around that game, especially if you are considering transfers that involve City and/or Brighton assets.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 35 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, April 27th, 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per April 25th, 2024)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKAreola (WHU), Dubravka (NEW), Neto (BOU)Onana (MUN), Vicario (TOT), Petrovic (CHE)DGW35
DEFUdogie (TOT), Van Dijk (LIV), Bradley (LIV)Schär (NEW), Gusto (CHE), Dalot (MUN)DGW35, Bradley injury, Udogie injury doubt
MIDSalah (LIV), Saka (ARS), Diaz (LIV)Son (TOT), Fernandes (MUN), Gordon (NEW)DGW35, Salah/Saka too few returns to justify price
FORDarwin (LIV), Haaland (MCI), Solanke (BOU)Isak (NEW), Jackson (CHE), Watkins (AST)DGW35, Haaland injury doubt

Premium pick

Even though Mo Salah and Erling Haaland have relatively favourable away games this weekend, against West Ham and Nottingham Forest respectively, we are going with Son Heung-Min (£10.1m) as our premium fantasy pick this week. The South Korean forward might not have as favourable-looking fixtures coming up as the other two mentioned previously, but he does have a double this gameweek. First, there is the North London Derby against Arsenal at the Emirates, followed by a visit to Stamford Bridge, home of possibly the most incomprehensible Chelsea team we have seen in a long time. No easy games by any stretch of the imagination, but picking Son means we’re picking a world-class attacker who can deliver against any opponent. As far as his returns go this season, he has managed 15 goals and 9 assists in 28 league starts so far, and we can see him add a few in DGW35, especially against Chelsea later in the week. Oh, and he’ll be starting both games as well.

Non-premium pick

To be honest, we are a bit surprised that it took so long for Cole Palmer (£6.2m) to break out of our budget fantasy pick category, or in other words, for his price tag to grow beyond the £6.0m mark. Just to refresh your memory: the youngster transferred from the Manchester City bench to Chelsea’s heap of multi-million signings on the final day of the summer transfer window for about £ 42 million, got a starting price tag of £5.0m from FPL Towers, and proceeded to bang out 20 goals and 10 assists in just 23 league starts. Only Ollie Watkins has scored more than Palmer’s current 208 FPL points, whose average per league game so far sits at no less than 9 FPL points. We haven’t looked into the FPL history books in great detail, but we’re pretty sure the Chelsea attacker is one of the best-value fantasy assets to ever grace the official fantasy game. He now has Aston Villa away and Spurs at home coming up in DGW35, and despite Chelsea’s shocking lack of reliability in terms of performances and results, Palmer has shown this season that we can count on him. Therefore, that’s what we are doing by making him our stand-out non-premium fantasy pick for double gameweek 35.

The budget enabler

Though not as dramatic as Chelsea’s 2023-24 campaign, Manchester United’s season so far has not exactly been fantastic either. Manager Erik ten Hag’s men do manage to grind out results most of the time, but truly convincing performances have been few and far between this season. At an individual level though, there have been a few highlights and one of those is the definite breakthrough of Alejandro Garnacho (£5.0m). The Argentinian winger started the season on and off the bench, but managed to clinch a spot in the United starting eleven around gameweek 10, which he has managed to hold on ever since. In 25 league starts so far, Garnacho has delivered 7 goals and 7 assists for a total of 120 FPL points, which is not bad for a player carrying such a light price tag. What makes him particularly interesting as a budget enabler, on top of him being a nailed-on starter with proven points potential, is the fact that United have two very favourable fixtures coming up. First up is a home game against Burnley on Saturday, followed by a visit to Crystal Palace next weekend. In other words, we don’t think there are many better budget enablers in the official fantasy game than Garnacho at this moment.

The differential

At the moment of writing, Jean-Philippe Mateta (£5.1m) is still just within the limits of our differential fantasy pick category, so we’re including him this week. The Crystal Palace has been on fire of late, scoring 5 goals and providing 1 assist in his last four league games, while managing 8 goals and 2 assists in his last ten league outings. Overall, the Frenchman has already scored 11 goals and provided 6 assists from 21 league starts this season, which already constitutes the best Premier League season of his career so far. The run-in for The Eagles is not the easiest, but at the same time, we do see opportunities for Mateta to add a few more to his impressive totals. In gameweek 35, Palace travel to Craven Cottage, which is followed by a home game against Manchester United. The remaining two matches after that are Wolves away and finally, Aston Villa at home on the final matchday. If you’re looking for a cheap forward with considerable differential value, Mateta is definitely worth looking into.

The (vice-)captaincy

As mentioned earlier, the doubles for those teams playing twice this week are not great in terms of fixtures, but we still think captaining a double gameweek player is the way to go here. That’s why we have put the armband on Heung-Min Son for double gameweek 35.

In terms of double gameweek players, Chelsea’s Cole Palmer also feels like a perfect choice. If you are not convinced and are prepared to captain a player with a single fixture, the likes of Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon at home to Sheffield United, Bruno Fernandes at home to Burnley and Erling Haaland away at Forest are worth considering.

FPL 2023-24: Double Gameweek 34 preview

Double gameweek 34 is marking the start of a run of three FPL double gameweeks in just four rounds. This week, seven teams are doubling (see table below), in GW35 two sides have a double and in GW37, another six teams play twice. You can therefore expect chip activation to explode over the coming gameweeks, also because we have just six gameweeks to go in total. Keep this in mind when interpreting the transfer stats in the build-up to the DGW34 deadline. The teams doubling this week are:

TEAMFIXTURE 1FIXTURE 2
ArsenalWolves (away)Chelsea (home)
BournemouthAston Villa (away)Wolves (away)
Crystal PalaceWest Ham (home)Newcastle (home)
EvertonForest (home)Liverpool (home)
LiverpoolFulham (away)Everton (away)
Sheffield UnitedBurnley (home)Man United (away)
WolvesArsenal (home)Bournemouth (home)

On top of that, and this one is especially important for the (few) Spurs-heavy fantasy squads out there, Spurs will be blanking this week. The likes of Son, Maddison and Porro are without a game in double gameweek 34, though it should be noted that they are also one of the only two sides to then double in both DGW35 and DGW37.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 34 is set at 13h30 (UK time) on Saturday, April 20th, 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per April 18th, 2024)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKAreola (WHU), Kelleher (LIV), Vicario (TOT)Pickford (EVE), Raya (ARS), Henderson (CRY)DGW34, Areola injury doubt
DEFPorro (TOT), Bradley (LIV), Trippier (NEW)Schär (NEW), White (ARS), Mitchell (CRY)DGW34, Bradley injured, Porro + Trippier injury doubts
MIDSon (TOT), Bowen (WHU), Foden (MCI)Gordon (NEW), Saka (ARS), Diaz (LIV)DGW34, Son blank, Bowen injury doubt
FORToney (BRE), Muniz (FUL), Haaland (MCI)Isak (NEW), Cunha (WOL), Solanke (BOU)DGW34, Toney benchings, Isak, Cunha + Solanke form + fixtures

Premium pick

Liverpool disappointed enormously in gameweek 33 as they lost at home to Crystal Palace at a moment in which they could have taken the Premier League lead by themselves. Instead, Jurgen Klopp’s side dropped to third place, tied with Arsenal and two points behind current leaders Manchester City. So, despite last weekend’s disappointment, Liverpool are still very much in the title race, which is why we feel we can’t look past Mohamed Salah (£13.5m) for the upcoming double gameweek 34. Liverpool are playing away from home twice in a row, including a Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park, which is not ideal. Nevertheless, both the visit to Everton and the preceding visit to Craven Cottage count as favourable fixtures for the Reds and perhaps more importantly, as crucial fixtures for them to keep their title dreams alive. As far as Salah himself goes, the Egyptian attacker is still in the race for the Premier League Golden Boot, having already scored 17 goals in 24 league starts so far. He also provided another 9 assists in those games. It’s redemption time for the Reds and hopefully Salah will be the one to deliver it.

Non-premium pick

Players qualify for our premium fantasy pick category as soon as their price exceeds the £9.0m mark and luckily for us, Bukayo Saka (£9.0m) has not met that threshold yet at the time of writing. Even though the Arsenal star has not really been delivering returns of late (just a single goal in his last four league starts), we can hardly say that he is having an underwhelming season. Saka has already managed 14 goals and 10 assists from thirty league starts overall this 2023-24 campaign, bringing him 193 FPL points. To put those stats into perspective: only the on-fire Cole Palmer (208 FPL points) and Ollie Watkins (208 points) have collected more points than Saka at this point. The England attacker is a nailed-on part of manager Mikel Arteta’s starting lineup and he has got plenty of set-piece duties in his pocket, including some of the penalties. All of this makes him an almost obligatory inclusion in your fantasy squad for double gameweek 34, as Arsenal have a relatively promising double coming up against Wolves (away) and Chelsea (home).

The budget enabler

After his poker of goals (that means, 4 goals in one game) against Everton in gameweek 33, Cole Palmer has finally (and we expect, definitely) left the budget fantasy pick territories. Instead, we decided to highlight a player who could be perfect for those FPL managers still looking for a cheap midfielder who is a guaranteed starter (preferably for a top-six team) and has a good ceiling. In his first season as a Red, Alexis Mac Allister (£5.9m) did not take long to grow into a key cog in Jurgen Klopp’s footballing machine. He is not the most prolific Red in front of goal, currently sitting on 4 goals and 5 assists from 26 league starts, but that is also reflected by his current price tag. We see potential for him to build on his numbers this week though, in which Liverpool play Fulham away first, followed by a visit to arch-rivals Everton. As we wrote before when talking about Mo Salah, the Reds are still in the title race despite losing to Palace at Anfield last weekend, and we expect them to come out guns blazing during DGW34. Mac Allister might very well benefit from that once FPL points-wise or twice over the next two games.

The differential

Now, for our double gameweek 34 differential fantasy pick, we are breaking our own threshold rule, but hear us out. Usually, we consider a player a differential when he is owned by less than 5.0% of managers, which is not the case for Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.4m). The Liverpool right-back slash midfielder sits in 8.7% of all teams currently, but the reason we consider him a differential for the season run-in is that we strongly suspect that a majority of the teams that contain TAA at the moment are actually inactive teams. We are confident that the England man’s real ownership percentage amongst active managers sits well below 5.0% at the moment, due to his elevated price and the fact that he was injured for the past 10 games or so. Having said that, we are recommending him as a serious differential fantasy pick for double gameweek 34, in which he will be facing Fulham and Everton, both away from home. We all know what Alexander-Arnold is capable of by now, and we see points potential at both ends of the pitch in both games for the 25-year-old. If you can afford him, for example on a wildcard, then he could be a very shrewd pick for the upcoming double as well as for the rest of the 2023-24 campaign.

The (vice-)captaincy

With a double of away games against Fulham and Everton coming up this double gameweek 34, we have decided to make Mo Salah our captain. Seeing how the gameweek has turned out fixture-wise, we expect more than a few other managers to make the same armband decision.

Luis Diaz and Darwin Nuñez provide interesting alternatives to their Egyptian teammate, as does Bukayo Saka for his double versus Wolves (away) and Chelsea (home). More differential captains for double gameweek 34 include Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard, Dominic Solanke for his double against Villa and Wolves (both away) and Wolves forward Matheus Cunha, who just scored a brace against Forest in GW33 and now has home games against Arsenal and Bournemouth coming up.

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 33 preview

Gameweek 32 gave us a matchday full of fantasy points with an average score of 56 FPL points and it saw a couple of big fantasy names return to the Team of the Week. Both Ollie Watkins and Kevin de Bruyne made it into the gameweek’s eleven of highest-scoring players, with the latter even taking the title for Player of the Week. Not so surprising, after a brace and an assist at Selhurst Park. The big (BIG) differential in the GW32 Team of the Week was Luton midfielder Jordan Clarke, who scored against Bournemouth and sits, as we are writing this, in exactly 0.0% of all squads.

Unfortunately for Clarke, his chances to make it back-to-back gameweeks with an attacking return (or indeed a defensive return) look rather slim this week, as the Hatters are visiting Manchester City on Saturday. On paper, we’d say this is perhaps the juiciest fixture of the weekend from an FPL point of view, together with Liverpool versus Crystal Palace at Anfield and Brentford at home to Sheffield United. From a neutral point of view, the most anticipated clash of gameweek 33 takes place on Sunday, when leader Arsenal host fifth-placed Aston Villa.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 33 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, April 13th, 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per April 11th, 2024)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKAreola (WHU), Martinez (AST), Leno (FUL)Pickford (EVE), Raya (ARS), Onana (MUN)DGW34, Areola injured
DEFTrippier (NEW), Walker (MCI), Aké (MCI)White (ARS), Gabriel (ARS), Porro (TOT)DGW34, all transferred-out defenders are injured
MIDLuiz (AST), Bowen (WHU), Son (TOT)Palmer (CHE), De Bruyne (MCI), Diaz (LIV)DGW34, Luiz suspension, Bowen injury doubt, Tottenham blank in GW34
FORSolanke (BOU), Isak (NEW), Toney (BRE)Watkins (AST), Darwin (LIV), Isak (NEW)DGW34

Premium pick

After not scoring or assisting in three consecutive gameweeks, Erling Haaland (£14.3m) got back into his scoring boots against Palace in GW33, scoring one goal and netting 8 FPL points. We know, a single goal in four matches is not exactly great, but if you’re doubting about his chances of scoring against Luton at home coming Saturday, just look a little bit further back. Haaland, as we know, is one of the very best strikers in world football, which explains why he already has 19 goals and 7 assists to his name from 24 league starts this season. Luton, on the other hand, have already conceded 65 goals in 32 league games, of which 38 goals were conceded on the road. The Hatters are giving it all they’ve got this season and merely the fact that they are still very much in the race for Premier League survival is impressive, but we feel that the upcoming visit to the Etihad Stadium will be too much for them.

Non-premium pick

Now, Ivan Toney (£8.1m) does not have a double gameweek 34, but his upcoming schedule is almost just as good. The first stop is Brentford’s own Community Stadium, where Sheffield United are coming to visit on Saturday afternoon. In gameweek 34 the Bees have a single fixture away at Luton Town, followed by a visit to Everton and then a home game versus Fulham. In other words, looking at that run of fixtures, we feel it’s reasonable to bank on Toney getting at least three attacking returns over the next four. Starting, of course, with the plummest fixture of all, in front of their own crowd against a Sheffield United side that looks destined to relegate at the end of the 2023-24 campaign. The Blades have conceded 16 goals in their last five games and an unacceptable 82 goals in 31 league matches in total. We admit that Toney, on the other hand, has been quiet of late, providing just a single assist in his last eight games. Since returning from his ban though, back in gameweek 21, he recorded 4 goals and 2 assists, and every manager knows how instrumental he is to the side overall. On top of that, he is on penalties, which only adds to his appeal.

The budget enabler

More than a few managers were badly burned by Sergio Reguilón (£4.4m) back in blank gameweek 29, especially those managers on a Free Hit at that time. The Spaniard found himself in lots of teams, thanks to the combination of his attacking playing style and the fact that he had a game in a gameweek consisting of just four games. Eight minutes in though, he got a red card and about 85 minutes after that, his -3 FPL points was confirmed. If that hits a bit too close to home for you, we suggest you forget about that disaster ever happening and put Reguilón on your budget player watchlist, at least. Where the previously mentioned Ivan Toney failed to get a return in gameweek 32 at Villa Park, his Spanish teammate came away with a 9-pointer, courtesy of 2 assists in the 3-3 draw. That made it 5 assists in total in the league so far, on top of 3 clean sheets. We know, not exactly earth shattering, but with the run of fixtures that Brentford have coming up (see Toney’s piece above), starting with Sheffield United at home on Saturday, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Spanish left-back adds a few more returns to his totals.

The differential

At the moment of writing this, Kai Havertz (£7.3m) is still just within the threshold of what we consider a differential fantasy pick, i.e. a player with an ownership of maximum 5.0%, and that’s exactly where the German is at right now. That is in itself quite surprising when you consider that he managed 5 goals and 6 assists in his last nine league games. That is in great parts thanks to him having conquered a spot in manager Mikel Arteta’s starting eleven at last. The Gunners have an interesting fixture this week, at home to an Aston Villa that is having a fantastic season but that has slumped a few times in away games already. Arsenal, on the other hand, are flying as they are going into gameweek 33 as leaders on goal difference. They also have a double gameweek 34 (Wolves away, Chelsea at home), which makes integrating Havertz into your squad perhaps a bit easier. He is not cheap after all, but at his current ownerships, he is perhaps the biggest differential in the official fantasy game right now.

The (vice-)captaincy

As far as we are concerned, with Manchester City playing at home against Luton Town, the captain’s armband is for Erling Haaland.

If you think he has lost his scoring touch a little bit or if you simply can’t afford him at the moment, his teammate Kevin de Bruyne is a good alternative, as is, of course, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah at home to Crystal Palace. The risker captaincy fantasy picks include Ivan Toney at home to Sheffield United, Dominic Solanke at home to Manchester United, and Kai Havertz and Bukayo Saka at home to Aston Villa.

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 32 preview

We’ve got two gameweeks deadlines in about five days this week, so the turn-around is a bit shorter than usual. As a result, we have opted to write our gameweek 32 preview today already. This means that, at the time of writing, the Liverpool – Sheffield United and Chelsea – Manchester United games have not been played yet. Keep this in mind when reading through our fantasy picks for GW32.

As far as fixtures go, Liverpool’s visit to Old Trafford naturally stands out this coming weekend, though not necessarily from a fantasy point of view. In that sense, many eyes will be on Manchester City’s visit to Crystal Palace, as well Aston Villa’s home game against Brentford, Chelsea’s visit to Sheffield United and Spurs home encounter with Nottingham Forest to close the weekend. When making your transfer considerations, also keep in mind that FPL gameweek 34 is set to be the biggest double gameweek of the season and is just three deadlines away (including the upcoming GW32 kick-off).

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 32 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, April 6th, 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per April 4th, 2024)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKAreola (WHU), Ederson (MCI), Alisson (LIV)Raya (ARS), Onana (MUN), Ortega (MCI)All transferred-out goalkeepers are injured
DEFTrippier (NEW), Aké (MCI), Walker (MCI)Ait-Nouri (WOL), White (ARS), Gabriel (ARS)Ait-Nouri form + fixtures, all transferred-out defenders are injured
MIDSaka (ARS), De Bruyne (MCI), Maddison (TOT)Foden (MCI), Salah (LIV), Palmer (CHE)Foden and Palmer form + fixtures, Saka injury doubt
FORWatkins (AST), Haaland (MCI), Alvarez (MCI)Isak (NEW), Solanke (BOU), Darwin (LIV)Solanke form + fixture, Isak form, Watkins injury doubt

Premium pick

Mo Salah and especially Erling Haaland both have good fixtures in gameweek 32, but both with the downside that they are playing away. Heung-Min Son (£10.1m), on the other hand, is playing at home against Nottingham Forest in what can be considered a favourable fixture, on paper at least. Son has been in decent form of late, scoring 3 goals and providing 2 assists in his last five league starts for a total of 38 FPL points, or an average return of just under 8 points per game. On Sunday, the Korean attacker and his teammates are facing one of the less sturdy defences in the league. Forest have conceded 53 goals in 31 games and 30 of those goals were conceded on the road. Spurs have been kind of up and down this season, but this one looks like a three-pointer for the home side, or at least like a game in which goals could be flowing. And if they do, the roughly 35% of all managers who currently own Son could be sitting very pretty.

Non-premium pick

Normally, we would have recommended Ollie Watkins here, but seeing as the Aston Villa striker is marked as an injury doubt in the official game and Villa’s game in GW33 is against Arsenal away, we think it’s wise to bring in Watkins after that game. Instead, we have gone with Dominic Solanke (£7.2m), whose 2023-24 campaign just seems to get better every week. The Bournemouth striker started the season with a £6.5 price tag, but with 16 goals and 3 assists from thirty league starts, he has kind of made a mockery of that price. Solanke is one of the most consistent attackers this season and he’s on penalties as well, which is always a big FPL plus. On top of that, the Cherries visit Kenilworth Road on Saturday afternoon, where Luton have conceded 26 goals in 15 games so far. His blank in the home game versus Crystal Palace a few days ago was disappointing, but the encounter with Luton Town feels like a perfect opportunity for the in-form forward to make up for it.

The budget enabler

The rare occasions on which we repeat fantasy picks, it usually occurs in the premium fantasy pick category, because it has the fewest players who qualify. This season though, it’s our budget enabling category that’s been seeing the same name in more than a few gameweek previews. In fact, we could practically rename this category “The Weekly Cole Palmer Recommendation”, simply because Cole Palmer (£5.9m) just keeps delivering despite starting the season with a bottom-bargain price tag of £5.0m. In twenty league starts this season, the Chelsea midfielder already recorded a very impressive 13 goals and 9 assists, making him the highest-scoring Chelsea asset by some distance. That is in part thanks to penalty duties, which are all firmly stored in his locker. Of course, Palmer does still have a game to play in GW31, so keep an eye on team and injury news, but if you don’t own him yet and are in need of a budget enabler, he’s the outstanding option. Especially with a visit to Sheffield United and a home game against Everton coming up after the GW31 clash with Man United.

The differential

The Wolverhampton Wanderers have a relatively good fixture list until the end of the season and their squad is basically built up of budget players and differentials, so our differential fantasy pick for gameweek 32 is a Wolf. For a long time, we figured Matheus Cunha would feature here, but we ended up going with Rayan Ait-Nouri (£4.7m) instead. Where the former only just returned from injury, the latter is actually one of the form players for Wolves. In the last five league games, RAN recorded 1 clean sheet, 2 goals and 1 assist for a total of 32 FPL points. What stands out as well, underlying data-wise, is that the Moroccan’s Expected Goal Involvement has been over 0.35 in four of his five last league matches. Based on Wolves’ upcoming schedule on the short and medium term, which includes home games against West Ham (this weekend), Bournemouth and Luton Town, and a visit to Nottingham Forest in DGW34, there could be FPL points on the horizon at both ends of the pitch for Ait-Nouri.

The (vice-)captaincy

We are placing the armband on Heung-Min Son this weekend, instead of Mo Salah away at Manchester United or Erling Haaland away at Palace, for much the same reason as why we picked him as our premium fantasy pick for gameweek 32. Spurs are playing at home against Nottingham Forest in what could be considered the optimum fixture this weekend and Son has shown good form of late.

Good alternatives for Tottenham’s South Korean star are the previously mentioned Mohamed Salah and Erling Haaland, as well as Ollie Watkins at home to Brentford (IF he is declared fit before the GW32 deadline), Cole Palmer away at Sheffield United and Dominic Solanke for his visit to Luton Town. Riskier captaincy picks include Leon Bailey at home to Brentford, Alexander Isak for Newcastle’s visit to Craven Cottage and Nicolas Jackson away at Sheffield United.

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 31 preview

Lots of FPL action this week with two deadlines in about five days’ time. We have got a midweek gameweek 31 coming up in about 24 hours, barely 48 hours after the final whistle of gameweek 30, and then the gameweek 32 deadline on Saturday. The turn-around between games should be enough for most teams to manage in terms of fitness, but do keep an eye on fixture charts and, of course, any trustworthy early team news.

As usual though, we are taking it one game at a time, so let’s shift our focus back to the preparations for gameweek 31. With current leaders Liverpool playing at Luton Town and current number two Arsenal playing at home to Sheffield United, the captaincy debate is going to be an interesting one, especially when you consider that third place Manchester City are playing at home as well. Sure, the Cityzens are playing a stronger opponent in Aston Villa, but the Villans have not been as reliable as they’d like to be on the road this season and City is City. From a fantasy point of view, Newcastle at home to Everton will likely attract some interest as well, while the clash of the weekend overall will be played on Sunday evening, when Manchester United roll up to Stamford Bridge.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 31 is set at 18h00 (UK time) on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per April 1st, 2024)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKAreola (WHU), Alisson (LIV), Ederson (MCI)Kelleher (LIV), Raya (ARS), Onana (MUN) 
DEFWalker (MCI), Cash (AST), Doughty (LUT)White (ARS), Bradley (LIV), Van Dijk (LIV)Walker + Cash injured, Doughty injury doubt
MIDGordon (NEW), Maddison (TOT), Luiz (AST)Salah (LIV), Palmer (CHE), Son (TOT)Gordon suspension, Palmer form
FORWatkins (AST), Morris (LUT), Haaland (MCI)Isak (NEW), Darwin (LIV), Muniz (FUL)Watkins injury doubt, Isak coming off brace + good fixtures

Premium pick

With Mohamed Salah (£13.3m) just coming off an important goal against Brighton and with Liverpool preparing for the home game against Sheffield United, we figured that we had no option but including the Egyptian as our premium fantasy pick for gameweek 31. The likes of Arsenal (at home to Luton) and Manchester City (at home to Villa) present several excellent options as well, but we feel there is no going against Mo Salah facing the worst defence in the entire league, in front of his own crowd. No team currently comes close to the 77 goals conceded by the Blades in 29 league games and that defence is now facing the best forward line in the league, bar Man City. As for Salah, he just scored the winning goal against Brighton to make it a two-point gap between them and chasers Arsenal and City. Overall, the Reds talisman has already scored 16 goals and provided 9 assists in 21 league games, and the coming encounter with Sheffield United looks like the perfect opportunity to further boost those numbers.

Non-premium pick

Including Alexander Isak (£7.7m) honestly feels a bit like chasing the points after his 15-point haul against West Ham on Saturday, while at the same time it makes sense to consider the Newcastle forward right now. He has been bringing in the points for his owners for a little while now, recording attacking returns in each of his last three league games: a goal and 8 FPL points against Wolves in GW27, a goal and 6 points at Stamford Bridge in GW 28, a blank in GW29 and 2 goals plus 1 assist last Saturday at home to West Ham. With Callum Wilson out injured for the foreseeable future, Isak has become pretty much nailed-on in the Magpie attack and with a run of decent fixtures coming up, that’s bound to be worth something. Newcastle are playing Everton at home tomorrow, followed by encounters with Fulham, Palace, Sheffield United, Burnley and Brighton spread over the remaining eight games of the campaign. When looking at it like that, Isak might actually enter the conversation as a potential fantasy hold until the end of the season.

The budget enabler

The ongoing absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold due to injury provides us with the chance to enjoy the budget benefits of Conor Bradley (£4.2m) a bit longer. “It’s going well now. [I’m] in the final stages and just excited to get back out there. I think a couple of weeks if everything keeps going well and there are no setbacks”, is what TAA himself said about his own injury yesterday, which makes us think that Bradley is a safe budget pick for at least another two to three gameweeks. For Liverpool, that means a home game against Sheffield United on Thursday, followed by a visit to Old Trafford on Sunday and then a home game against Crystal Palace. Not a bad run for an offensive right-back like Bradley, who already managed an impressive goal and 3 assists from just seven league starts so far this season. Bar a miracle recovery ahead of expectations for TAA, Bradley definitely belongs to the most appealing budget fantasy picks ahead of gameweek 31.

The differential

Anthony Gordon was on fire against West Ham on Saturday, as he conjured up a hattrick of assists (including two won penalties) to help his side claim a 4-3 victory of the visitors. In spite of that, right around the time his Man of the Match award was being announced, the winger also managed to get a second yellow card for timewasting, meaning a red and therefore a ban (of one game). Fortunately for manager Eddie Howe though, in that same game, another winger came off the bench around half an hour earlier who made an immediate impact with 2 goals. Harvey Barnes (£6.2m) has had a disappointing campaign so far, playing just 375 Premier League minutes (in which he did manage 4 goals and 1 assist by the way!), but his brace against the Hammers was a sudden reminder of what he is capable of. That’s interesting from an FPL point of view as well, because he now looks likely to replace the earlier mentioned suspended Gordon for the upcoming home game against Everton. Looking back at the season so far, bringing in Barnes is not a move for the long term, but on the short term it could bring you some serious differential value.

The (vice-)captaincy

Our captain for gameweek 31 is Mo Salah as he prepares to take down the shaky Sheffield United defence. He is expensive and still sitting in “just” 32.5% of all teams, but if you can, you should probably try to bring him in right around now.

Fortunately for those not convinced by the Egyptian, or not flush enough to be able to afford him, gameweek 31 is offering plenty of appealing captaincy options. Bukayo Saka at home to Luton stands out, as does Salah’s teammate Darwin Nuñez for Sheffield United’s visit to Anfield. With Manchester City playing at home against Villa, the likes of Erling Haaland, Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden also automatically enter the discussion. More differential captaincy picks include Alexander Isak at home to Everton, Rodrigo Muniz away to Nottingham Forest and Dominic Solanke at home to Crystal Palace.