Pro Pundits - Zophar

What the EFL Cup final means for FPL teams in Blank Gameweek 28

Fantasy Premier League managers will have to factor an EFL Cup final between Aston Villa and Manchester City into their plans for future Gameweeks.

The Wembley encounter clashes with the Sunday of Gameweek 28, forcing Villa and City’s matches to be postponed to a later (or potentially earlier date).

What does it mean for our Fantasy teams? Well, not only will the players of those two clubs be fixtureless that weekend, the assets from Sheffield United and Arsenal, their respective Blank Gameweek 28 opponents, will be out of action too.

SCREENSHOTS FROM THE MEMBERS AREA ARE FREE TO THE PUBLIC AS PART OF OUR LATEST MEMBERS ARTICLES UNLOCKED SERIES

Investment in the Gunners generally has remained at a minimum this season (although many are considering Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.7m) in for Jamie Vardy (£9.9m) right now) but assets from the other three teams – Kevin De Bruyne (£10.6m), John Lundstram (£5.1m), Dean Henderson (£5.0m) and Jack Grealish (£6.7m) are all in a large number teams. Furthermore, many of us have value tied up in them too.

That means that you will find it hard to sell these types of players as they will likely have a corresponding Double Gameweek in the future and it could cost a lot to buy them back in. There have been murmurs of a possible Double Gameweek 25 or Double Gameweek 26 but I am ignoring that for now as there is nothing concrete at the time of writing.

With Blank Gameweek 31 expected to ravaged by FA Cup postponements, as detailed by this article, the Free Hit chip is probably best saved for then. So the challenge for Fantasy managers is how to best position themselves to take advantage of Blank Gameweek 28 using only free transfers and the odd hit(s).

Personally, when it comes to Blank Gameweeks, I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity. Rather than take hits to field a full 11, I try to look for the assets that can go big. Getting just one or two points for showing up is not a significant advantage.

Using the Season Ticker in the Members area, I have deleted the fixtures for the four blanking teams (Villa, Sheffield United, Manchester City and Arsenal).

As expected, Liverpool sit top of the pile and it goes without saying that you should look to optimise your quota of three players. Leicester’s Gameweek 28 fixture at Norwich means that Vardy is a potential captain candidate that week and should probably be retained despite his dip in form. Defensively though, the Foxes’ fixtures do not look very promising.

Southampton seem a great team to target at both ends of the pitch after their visit to Anfield in Gameweek 25 is out of the way. Not much needs to be said about Danny Ings (£7.0m) but the likes of Nathan Redmond (£6.2m) could be a good pick as he tops the expected goal involvement (xGI) (1.05) amongst their midfielders.

Newcastle, sitting second in the ticker, are unpredictable at the best of times but, in attack, Miguel Almirón (£5.8m), at under 5% ownership, could be an effective differential.

The fit-again Jamaal Lascelles (£4.2m) looks a better bet though, with the Newcastle captain carrying significant goal threat from set-pieces as detailed by Tom Freeman in his article this week.

Elsewhere, Burnley have decent fixtures leading up to Gameweek 28 and have rediscovered their mojo.

Chris Wood (£6.2m) has the potential to deliver across this run, only Gerard Deulofeu (£6.1m) (12), Raul Jiménez (£7.6m) (12), Gabriel Jesus (£9.5m) (15) and Roberto Firmino (9.6m) (17)  have taken more shots in the box than the Kiwi (11) over the last four Gameweeks amongst forwards.

Only Sergio Agüero (£12m) (six) has scored more goals than his three too. The Gameweek 27 fixture against Bournemouth looks the best time to hop on an emerging Wood bandwagon.

Chelsea are another team with a great fixture in Gameweek 28 (Bournemouth away) but the preceding fixtures are not the best. Bit of a ‘don’t buy don’t sell’ situation there at the moment with form also not the best, especially at home. Tammy Abraham’s (£7.7m) injury is a concern as well.

While the likes of Brighton and Palace have good fixtures on paper, they are inconsistent and don’t score many goals so I see the ceiling for their attackers as quite low. Wolves’ Europa League campaign resumes after the Leicester game and given how badly it dented their reliability early on in the campaign, I’m a bit wary of their assets as well. This might be overthinking on my part though, admittedly.

In summary – don’t be worried if you can’t field 11 during Blank Gameweek 28. It’s not worth shipping out reliable assets such as De Bruyne or Henderson for. Lundstram might be expendable though, depending on whether he loses his spot full-time to the resurgent Muhamed Bešić (£4.4m).

In terms of my own team, I am inclined to ship the injured Sadio Mané (£12.3m). Though he is tipped to be back for the Norwich game in Gameweek 26, Liverpool play Atletico Madrid away on the Tuesday. The turnaround time between fixtures is the shortest possible so I really don’t think Klopp risks aggravating the Senegalese’s hamstring by starting him twice in a space of 72 hours.

Firmino’s aforementioned stats of late have been great so switching to the Brazilian using the two free transfers is an option with someone like Redmond or Adama Traoré (£5.8m) to come in midfield. I’m more inclined to double-up in defence though with Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) coming in for Çaglar Söyüncü (£5.0m) and Son Heung-min (£9.9m) for Mané.

Only Salah (16) has taken more shots than the Korean’s 13 amongst midfielders for the past four Gameweeks. Robertson has created just one fewer chance (seven) than Trent Alexander Arnold’s eight over this period as well.

That would still leave me with two Manchester City players, Lundstram and Grealish, as well as Kelly which is not an ideal situation, but still manageable with three free transfers to use before the Gameweek 28 deadline. This is how I’m currently setup before the weekend’s team news.

Which FPL assets topped goal threat, creativity and clean sheets this month?

Become a Member and access our data

Memberships for the rest of the 2019/20 campaign are now available for the discounted price of £9.99 or the monthly price of £2.99.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.

ALREADY A USER? CLICK HERE TO UPGRADE YOUR FREE ACCOUNT

NEW TO SCOUT? CLICK HERE TO START A MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNT

1,016 Comments Post a Comment
  1. g40steve
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 3 days ago

    Bench order correct?

    Play Ings or Traoré?

    McCarthy,
    Trent, Robbo, Holgate,
    C Salah, KDB, Maddison, Martial,
    Vardy, Ings, Jimmy

    Martin, Traoré, Soy, Lundy

    1.7 bank.
    All chips available

    1. MattysFantasyFooty
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 3 days ago

      Traore

    2. The 12th Man
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 3 days ago

      Tough playing Ings against double Liverpool defence.

      Yeh bench right if you want to play Danny

      1. baps sniffer
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 3 days ago

        It's a win or win situation 😉 Worst case scenario being So'ton goal without Ings involvement.

    3. g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 3 days ago

      Decisions?

  2. BT31 - WE ARE ALL TINKERMEN…
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 3 days ago

    Aubameyang or Firmino?

    Richlarson or Martial?

    1. Freddiebell
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 3 days ago

      Aub + Martial

  3. Tempestic
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 3 days ago

    I've been out of the loop all week so any thoughts on what I could do here is appreciated.
    1FT, 0.0ITB
    McCarthy (Button)
    TAA Digne Lund (Soy Tanganga)
    Salah Mane* KDB Martial Grealish
    Vardy DCL (Greenwood)

    Tempted just to save although I have no real replacement for Mane this week..

  4. EL tridente
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 3 days ago

    Who to start? Have double pool defence
    A) Rico
    B) Ings

    1. Monya Meow Meow
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 3 days ago

      Would still start Ings

    2. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 3 days ago

      Ings

      Liverpool defence isn’t simply cs after all - unless you have Gomez.

  5. Monya Meow Meow
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 3 days ago

    Looking for a Tammy replacement, is Wood a good differential shout?

    1. Jarvish Scott Talent
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 3 days ago

      Yes - plus you get to use the "I've got Wood" joke as often as you like, which is an added bonus.

      1. in sane in de bruyne
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 3 days ago

        Wood only be fun once

    2. Flat track bully
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 3 days ago

      I Wood

    3. Monya Meow Meow
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 3 days ago

      Lovely and funny comments guys, appreciate it!

  6. Manani
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 3 days ago

    thinking Mane+Tammy > Auba+Grealish

    is that too much, considering they both blank in GW28
    can also get Richarlison instead of Grealish, but then I won't have enough fund to do Soyu>Robertson later on

  7. The Wizard of Ozil
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 3 days ago

    Any thoughts on Almiron? Nice run of fixtures coming up

    1. Cadenza
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 2 days ago

      Stay clear, so many better players in the same price area. Traore, Barnes, Tielemans, Perez etc..

      1. Annie
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 2 days ago

        Not the time to be buying Leicester playerd

  8. grooveymatt65
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 3 days ago

    Hi guys!

    What would you do to this team with Manes injury or would you hold fire?

    McCarthy Button

    Basham TAA Rico Lundstrum Kelly

    Alli Salah Mane De Bruyne Stephens

    Vardy Ings DCL

    1.0 itb 1ft

    1. Mane to Son for free
    2. Mane to Martial for free
    3. Mane to Martial and Lundstrum to Lascelles for -4
    4. Lundstrum to Lacelles for free
    5. Mane to Richarlison for free
    6. Other
    7. Save

    thanks guys 🙂 🙂

    1. Cadenza
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 2 days ago

      Sterling an option? Looked really fresh against Man Utd. Could/Should have scored three.

  9. manu4life99
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 3 days ago

    Is Mane likely to be back GW26?

    No value tied up (in fact I'm down £0.1m) but can't see an obvious replacement?

    Ryan
    TAA Sidibe Lund
    Salah Mane* KDB Grealish Traore
    Vardy DCL

    McGovern Maupay Williams Soy

    1. FPL_DON
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 3 days ago

      I'd hold

  10. manu4life99
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 3 days ago

    Rank these in order of 1st to last preference to start

    A) Soy(CHE)
    B) Williams(WOL)
    C) Sidibe(wat)

  11. G Banger
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 3 days ago

    Is it pretty likely that Kelly has lost his place, and if so best replacement:

    1) Yes place lost
    2) No

    a) Lascellles
    b) Other

    1. FPL_DON
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 3 days ago

      2 and a, did the same

  12. FPL_DON
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 3 days ago

    Evening guys,

    TC Mane really wasn't an enjoyable experience, however big bounce back needed so trying not to dwell (although hard), any help on the below would be amazing 🙂

    2 FT 1.3m ITB

    McCarthy (4m)
    Lund TAA Soy (Lascelles Rico)
    Salah mane kdb martial (dend)
    Ings DCL vardy

  13. Danno - Emre Canada
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 3 days ago

    What do we think of a big up top WC?

    McCarthy/Button

    TAA/Robertson/Baldock/Stephens/Lascelles

    Salah/KDB/Fleck/Traore/Hayden

    Aguero/Auba/Deeney

    Deeney can become Ings and I can filter out a couple of GW28 non-starters.

    Opinions much appreciated, make or break time.

    1. Fit_to_drop
        2 months, 3 days ago

        Working backwards from your power front 3. They will all play. And all 5 of those defenders are good enough to play (though not a point scoring formation) so that leaves two midfield spots in theory with midfield looking the weakest sector. I think you should be thinking 3-5-3 ideally so weaken 2 defenders and strengthen your mid or all you will have each week is a selection headache. FWIW.

    2. Tsparkes10
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 3 days ago

      Maupay and Alli... What to do? Exact money for Jimi and Greal

      1. Monya Meow Meow
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 3 days ago

        2 FTs? Would do this in a heartbeat!

    3. fatty100kg
        2 months, 2 days ago

        Comments or suggestions on my team? Ready to take a hit for the long run.

        Ramsdale
        Robertson, VVD, TAA (C)
        Traore, Son, De Bruyne, Martial
        Vardy, Auba, Aubraham

        McCarthy, Lundstram, Williams, Dendoncker

      • Tube!!
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 2 days ago

        GTG or Soy > VVD for -4?

        Ryan
        TAA Soy Kelly
        Salah (c) KDB Traoré Grealish
        Vardy Auba Ings

        Martin Rico Lund Cantwell

      • Garfield1001
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Consensus on whether Lundstram starts or not?

        1. lindeg
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 1 day ago

          he starts