There’s an early deadline for Gameweek 36 – 19:00 UK Time – ahead of an enticing encounter for Liverpool at home to already-relegated Huddersfield Town. Fantasy managers are licking their lips. The main debate this week has centred around which Liverpool players to fit in and who is the best captain, or even Triple Captain, pick.
To help you find answers to those questions and more, the Fantasy Football Scout Gameweek Guide includes contributions from several FPL luminaries and experts. Sadly though we aren’t able to bring you the opinion of our much loved FPL dullard Joe, who has suffered a bleed on his brain. The entire FPL community is united in wishing Joe a speedy recovery.
In Gameweek 35 his beloved Brighton produced two dogged and determined performances, only a late Christian Eriksen goal prevented them from collecting two clean sheets. A significant improvement on their two matches in Gameweek 34, when they conceded seven goals. There’s no rhyme or reason to FPL at the best of times but not many would have predicted that outcome.
Managers will now be considering starting any assets they still hold at home to Newcastle, who achieved Premier League survival last weekend with a win over Southampton. Brighton hold a 3 point advantage over Cardiff and have a superior goal difference. With fixtures against Arsenal and Manchester City to come, this is a crucial match for the Seagulls in their battle to avoid relegation.
However it’s the battle at the opposite end of the table that is of most interest to fantasy managers. Liverpool dominate the Scout Picks and there are arguments to be made in favour of a number of their players both in terms of transfers and captaincy.
Mané has been very productive in front of his own fans this season with 14 of his 18 goals coming at Anfield.
Observed the FPL General in his regular opinion piece. Many veteran FPL managers have transferred him in already, as FPL Transfer Spy reveals, although a price rise last night may have forced their hand early. However deciding on the best Liverpool option is far from being a cut and dried decision, as former FPL winner Ben Crabtree pointed out:
[Mané] has one return in four games so Salah may have the greater influence on this game out of the two of them after four returns over the same period.
In his members article, David highlighted how a change in Henderson’s role in the Liverpool midfield has not only improved his output but also benefited Salah. However the Egyptian made us all a little nervous with a trip to New York earlier in the week, thankfully Klopp was swift to allay any fears about rotating their line-up this evening:
I will not push that wrong mindset with a fresh line-up or whatever, no chance for that. We had enough time to recover from the last game, we have enough time to recover for the next game. Barcelona has nothing to do with the game on Friday.
If there’s one element that will give managers a slight cause for concern it’s that Salah’s quality of chances – his expected goals – are lower than Mané’s, as David pointed out in the captaincy video. Although over their last four matches even Firmino, despite missing a glorious chance against Cardiff, ranks higher than Mané for shots on target. Firmino has also created the most chances out of the trio.
Whoever you decide to pick or captain, our experts are in agreement that Huddersfield could not be a more favourable opponent. Lee from FPL Family notes that:
Huddersfield have conceded 18 goals in their last six matches, against teams with far less potency up front than the Reds.
While G-Whizz revealed that:
The Doosra Stat spreadsheet shows Liverpool at a whopping 946DS, a season-high for any team.
Liverpool’s defenders should be not be completely overlooked either.
Andrew Robertson or Trent Alexander-Arnold may even be worth a shout given that they are almost certainly starting on six points and will likely spend a lot of time in the final third.Ben Crabtree, FPL Question Time
Huddersfield have only scored five goals in their last six matches.
Liverpool players occupy the top five places in our captain poll, David’s Captain Sensible article examines their credentials and takes a look at some alternatives for those managers, like the FPL General, fearing a miraculous 1-0 Huddersfield win.
The FPL gods haven’t been kind to the FPL General, whose season is turning into something of tragi-comedy. Not only did his decision to captain Kevin De Bruyne backfire but he was cruelly reminded of his decision at every turn.
But he wasn’t alone in his suffering this week: jia you jia you managed only 46 points which meant he dropped from 1,061 to 5,899 overall. This also cost him the lead in RedLightning’s January to May League.
Hopefully both managers will fare better in Gameweek 36.
One group of managers did much better in Double Gameweek 35: eight out of ten in The Great and The Good hit the century this week with only Niemi and David missing out. There were green arrows all round. Greyhead himself continues his stellar season, he’s now 76 in the overall standings.
If you’re a member and are yet to get to grips with the custom statistics tables, you can view this movie for an explanation of how they work. Also, remember to tag them so that people can find the tables with ease.
In the quarter-finals of the Fantasy Football Scout Cup the lowest-ranked manager was the highest-scoring manager: Ibra-gum’s tally of 123 took him up to 101,067 overall and sealed his spot in the semi-finals. When the FFS Cup began in Gameweek 28 he was ranked a lowly 505,470 overall.
Neale brought us all the drama from the quarter-finals in his cup round-up. In the semi-finals Ibra-gum will take on LOKOMOTIV, while FFS moderator Rotation’s Alter Ego faces Skogen89. Good luck to all four remaining teams. The final is scheduled for Gameweek 37.
In TorresMagic’s Last Man Standing competition the safety score in Gameweek 35 was 104, this saw 22 managers eliminated. 22 teams are through to Gameweek 36, only the top four teams (or equal) will make the Gameweek 37 final.
Adam used his Wildcard in Gameweek 34 yet still took an 8 point hit ahead of Bench Boosting in Gameweek 35. Deeney’s ban prompted a reshuffle. However, he still doesn’t own any City attacking players and only Salah from Liverpool. Instead he’s invested in the defences of the two title challengers: Laporte, Robertson, and Alexander-Arnold his preferred options.
Adam needs 230 points to beat the record points total set by FFS member Jon Reeson (aka Westfield Irons) in the 2009/10 season. That’s an average of 77 points per Gameweek. A few goals from Salah tonight will help!
Mark was another to take an 8 point hit going into Double Gameweek 35 but that wasn’t enough for Rotation’s Alter Ego to catch him in the FFS Mods & Cons. In fact Mark increased his lead by one point, he’s now 14 points ahead. Both managers still have their Triple Captain chips available, Mark could possibly use his on Salah this week.
Andy Sullivan remains at the summit of RedLightning’s Top 10k Any Season mini-league after playing his Bench Boost, although he’s dropped a couple of places to 39th overall. Former leader, Luke Aiello, moves back up into second place. He last topped the mini-league in Gameweek 25.
JOZ V has regained the lead in RedLightning’s January to May League. He has risen from 110k in Gameweek 23 to his current position of 3,276. As mentioned, Phil O’Connor (aka ‘jia you jia you’) had an extremely rough Gameweek – having played his last chip in Double Gameweek 32, he took an 8 point hit in Double Gameweek 35 and plummeted from first in the league to 22nd.
Ted Maw (Rotation’s Alter Ego) is the new leader of RedLightning’s The Last Ten Gameweeks mini-league, with previous leader Karen Goh down to second. In Gameweek 35 both used their Bench Boost chip, but Ted was arguably better set up as he played his Wildcard in Gameweek 34 whereas Karen played hers in Gameweek 29. Seven green arrows in the past eight Gameweeks have taken Ted from 46k in Gameweek 27 to 1,716 now.
All the new mini-league leaders played their Free Hit in Double Gameweek 32, Wildcard in Gameweek 34 and Bench Boost in Double Gameweek 35, while those who didn’t lost their leads. Apart from Mark and Ted – who have yet to use their Triple Captain chip – Adam, Andy and JOZ played theirs in Double Gameweek 25.
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