The penultimate Gameweek of the season brings us another Friday evening deadline in FPL – 19:00 UK Time – and with it the chance to consolidate a lead or find that last-minute differential in a valiant attempt to push for glory.
The tactic for many in recent weeks has been to back whoever Huddersfield are playing. After double-digit returns for Gerard Deulofeu, Lucas Moura, and Jamie Vardy it was no surprise that Liverpool duo Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah continued the trend in Gameweek 36.
This week Huddersfield take on top-six side Manchester United. For those considering United assets, Neale uncovered a persuasive nugget in his members-only analysis of the key underlying stats:
35 goals conceded by Huddersfield Town in 11 matches against the “big six” this season. Cardiff City have shipped 33 goals in their own 11 meetings with the top half-dozen clubs so far. Both teams face Manchester United in the final two Gameweeks of the season and have yet to gain a single point between them in a combined 22 matches against this elite group.
At the time of writing Pogba is the fourth-most-bought player ahead of the deadline. Curiously, he’s also the fourth-most sold. It’s a classic form vs fixtures dilemma. Zoumas Bloomers neatly summarises the conundrum in this week’s FPL Question Time.
Pogba has excellent fixtures, gets a lot of penalties, and is nailed on. The main issue has been his lack of attacking intent in some games this season, and it’s hard to know which Pogba will turn up.
Excluding spot-kicks, Pogba has 0.88 expected goals over the last ten Gameweeks. Not exactly a confidence-boosting number. However, can we really ignore penalties?
Huddersfield and Cardiff have conceded 15 spot-kicks between them this season… and no team has been awarded more spot-kicks than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troops.
So perhaps the fact Pogba hasn’t scored from open play since Gameweek 26 shouldn’t be a huge concern. In our FPL Digest Neale presents both sides of the argument to help you make your mind up. Interestingly Pogba is not one of the players included in the Scout Picks.
Buying Pogba depends partly on who you are selling. Az observed on the Scoutcast – Son to Pogba could be a really clever move, or it could be the most idiotic move ever.
Spurs are going through a difficult patch with injuries and fatigue affecting their performances. A hot topic from Gregor asked what managers are planning to do with their Spurs assets. Gregor himself plans to keep Son but is considering selling Eriksen. Ben McNair agrees:
I see the logic in selling Eriksen. He looks tired and there are doubts about how many minutes he will play against Bournemouth on Saturday ahead of the Champions League semi-final second leg in Amsterdam.
A player at the opposite end of the form v fixtures debate to Paul Pogba is Jamie Vardy. The Leicester man is in red hot form but has an awful-looking fixture in Manchester City away. For Holly Shand, however, it’s an easy decision to keep him:
Vardy loves playing top-six opposition… Manchester City are definitely the sort of team he thrives against with the space that will be available behind the high line that their defence plays.
Manchester City provide our two stand-out captain picks this week in Raheem Sterling and Sergio Agüero. Neale quipped in this week’s captaincy video that it’s really a coin toss between them – Agüero has Fantasy returns in every single match he has started at the Etihad Stadium this season, however in the 10 home matches that both Sterling and Aguero have started this season, the Englishman has outscored his colleague on six occasions.
David’s Captain Sensible article goes into its usual detail for those struggling to separate the pair. A possible differential captain highlighted by David is Eden Hazard. To quote from David’s article:
The case for Hazard is strengthened somewhat when we look at what Watford’s defence has been up to in the last four away matches. No team has conceded more big chances than them in such fixtures, the 15 they have shipped keeping them level with the likes of Huddersfield and West Ham. In fact, the Hornets have allowed more big chances than any other Premier League side in 2019.
Compelling stuff. Reduced minutes in last night’s Europa League tie means the Belgian should be fresh for Chelsea’s home match against Watford. Jafalad is one FPL manager who is tempted by Hazard’s differential appeal.
Elsewhere on FFS, top-100 manager Grey Head brought us his regular take on The Great and The Good, which this week includes a look at how these elite managers used their chips this season. Meltens looks ahead to Gameweek 6 in Fantasy Allsvenskan, while Hutch_James predicts good things for Manchester United and Liverpool in the Wisdom of the Crowd. Manchester City and Arsenal are preferred in the DS stats, fixtures and clean sheet odds brought to us by G-Whizz.
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 FFS Cup final, site moderator Rotation’s Alter Ego will take on LOKOMOTIV after both managers successfully navigated their semi-finals. Closely matched inside the top 2,000 overall, it promises to be a tightly contested affair. Neale outlined the differentials in his cup final preview – a victory for Arsenal would be good news for LOKOMOTIV, while Jota continuing his fine form would help Rotation’s Alter Ego.
Losing semi-finalists Skogen89 and Ibra-gum will contest the third-place play-off.
The safety score for Gameweek 36 in TorresMagic’s Last Man Standing was 104, this saw 18 managers eliminated. Congratulations to the four managers who made it through to the final: Alan Robertson, Peter Guss, Sekhar Anand, and Daniel Hall.
Alan Robertson was the highest-scoring manager with 118 points and also the only manager to make the final who didn’t play his Triple Captain chip in Gameweek 36. Uniquely among the finalists, Alan doesn’t own either Sterling or Agüero. Although he has two free transfers to use should he wish to get one, or both, in.
Another manager who didn’t own either City player in Gameweek 36 is world number one Adam Levy. Adam still heads both our main FFS League and our FFS Members League, and has been world number one for eight Gameweeks in a row. He increased the gap at the top to 68 points in Gameweek 36.
Like a long-distance runner breaking away from the field, Adam is now chasing world records. He needs 119 points over the last two Gameweeks to beat the current high-water mark set by FFS member Jon Reeson (aka Westfield Irons) in the 2009/10 season. Impressively, Jon recorded his mammoth points total when the only chip available was a single Wildcard.
Adam has two free transfers available and it would appear he has used one of them to transfer in Sterling for Salah.
Mark remains top of the FFS Mods & Cons and moves back into the top 1,000 at 696th position after Triple Captaining Salah for his third century of the season. Rotation’s Alter Ego still occupies second spot after Triple Captaining Mané, also for his third century. Mark has an 18-point lead going into the final two Gameweeks.
Andy Sullivan holds onto first place in RedLightning’s Top 10k Any Season mini-league despite slipping a few places to 55th overall. Grey Head has regained second place from Luke Aiello after Triple Captaining Mané for his second century of the season. Grey Head briefly moved top of the league during Gameweek 36 and now only trails Andy by 5 points.
Vimal Krishnan has regained the lead in RedLightning’s January to May League, having last led in Gameweek 32. Previous leader, JOZ V, drops to seventh. This is Vimal’s eighth FPL season, his best finish of 7,632 came in 2016/17. He’s had 13 green arrows in 15 Gameweeks, rising from 95k in Gameweek 21 to his current position of 3,796.
Ted Maw (aka Rotation’s Alter Ego) leads RedLightning’s The Last Ten Gameweeks mini-league. His excellent end of season run comprises 8 green arrows in the past 9 Gameweeks, he’s risen from 46k in Gameweek 27 to 1,280 in the overall standings.
These mini-league leaders have now played all their chips.
If you are running a community tournament and would like the latest scores included in future Community Round-Ups, please email us a summary of the current leaders and a link to your league, spreadsheet or head-to-head competition at firstname.lastname@example.org.