The first big Double Gameweek of the season is upon us and FPL managers around the world are dreaming of 150+ points totals.
After another painful international break, the Premier League is treating us to nine matchdays in the next ten days (starting on Saturday). A feast to follow the famine. It’s sure to be a rollercoaster ride as always.
The key for me in attacking the Double Gamweek is to target players who are likely to get close to 180 minutes of game time. Unlike previous Double Gameweeks, players from teams who have just one fixture are not very appealing. Arsenal do have a plum home tie against Newcastle but are you realistically going to opt for someone like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.8m) over a striker who plays twice? Loading up on 11 players times two to make 22 is a lot more fun.
With a lot of managers activating their Free Hit chip this week, there has been a lot of talk about the ‘template Double Gameweek 32 team’ and whether we should be including differentials to differ from the crowd.
It is easy to forget that the FFScout, Twitter and Reddit communities make up a tiny percentage of the overall number of people who play the game. If you scroll through Twitter this week, it feels like every man and his dog are playing the Free Hit chip, but this is not the case.
Being on Free Hit is a differential in itself, especially considering it was a heavily deployed chip in Blank Gameweek 31, so don’t go chasing differentials just for the sake of having a different XI to the teams you are seeing.
The so-called template is a template for a reason, it’s made up of the best players on paper for this Gameweek. Don’t overthink it.
Focus on picking the XI players you feel will score the most points, ignore what others are doing or saying. It’s your team. When Friday evening/Saturday morning comes, block out the noise and choose the team that you want.
To Kane or not to Kane is a big talking point this week. £12.5m is a lot of money. Liverpool away is a tough fixture and there is no guarantee that Spurs will hit the ground running in their new stadium, they struggled when they first moved to Wembley.
Crystal Palace are in a relegation scrap which is another reason I don’t want to fork out a large proportion of my budget on Kane. If it was a team like Huddersfield or Fulham, it would be much easier to justify the outlay.
The last five Premier League meetings between Spurs and Palace have all finished 1-0. If I go for any Spurs asset in my Free Hit squad, it will be either Dele Alli (£8.8m) or Heung-min Son (£8.6m) who are much more budget friendly.
The closer the weekend gets, the more I want to squeeze Gonzalo Higuain (£9.6m) into my team. The Argentine has registered 13 shots in the box over the last four Gameweeks, more than any other player.
Cardiff and Brighton are the ideal fixtures for him to get back amongst the goals. He could be an explosive differential at just 4.2% ownership. Will he start both games is the big question?
The third Manchester City spot is another hot topic this week. Sergio Aguero (£11.8m) and Raheem Sterling (£11.6m) pick themselves and are the standout captaincy options, but who fills the third spot?
Ederson (£5.6m) and Aymeric Laporte (£5.9m) seem the most likely to get 180 minutes but like with Higuain, I have a gut feeling that David Silva (£8.5m) will do well. City could easily score ten goals over the two games and if Silva gets significant game time, he’s sure to be involved.
There’s a lot more tinkering to be done yet!
Good luck for the Gameweek and enjoy your weekend folks.