You’ve got to think for yourselves. You’re all individuals. You’re all different.– Brian, The Life of Brian
The concept of the template has come under the microscope ahead of Gameweek 33+. But with managers agonising over differential transfers, Pro Pundits Simon and Andy reminded us that our teams – however template they may appear – are wonderfully unique.
Welcome to the Fantasy Football Scout Guide to Gameweek 33+.
An 11:30am BST deadline begins a sequence of Saturday-Tuesday cutoffs in FPL, as the season-end draws ever closer.
Indeed with six Gameweeks to go, transfer decisions assume a greater importance for many:
Anyone I buy now will have to be justified as someone I am happy to have in my team until the end of the season.— Pro Pundit Ash
No pressure then.
Conscious that home advantage was largely nullified in the Bundesliga, Pro Pundit Ash is treating the fixture ticker with caution. Although a reduction in home victories from 44.8 per cent to 41.7 suggests that Premier League teams still benefit from familiar surroundings.
Perhaps of greater significance will be the quickfire turnaround times between games, as rest periods between matches vary significantly. Pro Pundit Zophar was on the case this week, revisiting the findings he shared over the busy festive period.
Recent research has shown that muscle injury risk increases by almost 20% when recovery time is reduced from six to three days.– The British Journal of Sports Medicine
So who are the winners and losers in the scheduling lottery?
Man City and Liverpool, in contrast, have particularly compressed schedules, while Everton and Spurs fare worst of all.
Bournemouth were absolutely terrible, they made Jonjo Shelvey look like Iniesta.– Lee Bonfield, Scoutcast
Things are looking good for Man United. Not only the best rest periods between fixtures but an enticing encounter against Bournemouth to start things off. The question recently has not been whether to triple up on Man United assets, but rather which three should we buy?
Writing in his regular Captain Sensible article, David revealed that Martial’s underlying numbers mark him out as the best candidate from the quintet of United attacking options (Fernandes, Rashford, Greenwood, and Pogba the other four).
The out-of-position midfielder averages a shot every 31.4 minutes and a big chance every 62.8 minutes, putting him ahead of his teammates.
However, there’s a split in the Fantasy Football Scout boardroom.
Still reeling from his last minute decision to switch the armband from Bruno Fernandes to Marcus Rashford before the Gameweek 32+ deadline, Neale is adamant he will select the Portuguese on this occasion.
His mind was made up when Fernandes was withdrawn early against Brighton, ensuring he is rested for this weekend’s encounter.
But TheFantasyFreÆK fears Neale could be setting himself up for further disappointment:
Will Fernandes continue to outscore Rashford and Martial? I would think the Brighton game was the exception rather than a new norm – past trends show that Rashford and Martial will be involved more regularly which is why I’m hesitant on putting the armband on a Man United asset this week fearing that points might be spread.– TheFantasyFreÆK
All three main attacking assets are included in the Gameweek 33+ Scout Picks.
An alternative for the armband, if you find choosing between the Red Devils too dicey, would be Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mané.
Comments on Friday from Jurgen Klopp suggest Liverpool will be fielding a strong side against Aston Villa, who have tightened up defensively since the restart. But as David pointed out, that might count for little at Anfield on Sunday:
Facing a stiff defence is not always an issue for the Liverpool pair, Salah’s 11-point haul against a supposedly resolute Crystal Palace side in Gameweek 31+ proves that point perfectly.– David
The Egyptian has seven goals and one assist across his last six home league matches.
Despite their compressed schedule, Manchester City have an appealing fixture run. Although picking the right players to take advantage of it is unlikely to be straightforward.
Kevin De Bruyne, following his recent exertions, is not included in Neale’s predicted line-up for the trip to Southampton. Whereas a midweek rest sees Riyad Mahrez handed a place in the Scout Picks XI. The Algerian has attacking returns in every match he has started since Gameweek 30+.
Another City player who is again being talked up is Phil Foden. Pro Pundit Tom Freeman was ahead of the curve when he picked out the Man City youngster as a differential back in Gameweek 29 and he is considering him now as a fifth midfielder.
Whilst many see Foden as a no 8 and David Silva’s long-term replacement, his versatility is appealing. We’ve seen him through the middle, coming in off the right against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup final, and now on the left against Burnley.– Tom Freeman
Among his three differential picks this Gameweek, Tom selects Allan Saint-Maximin. The elite FPL manager notes that the upturn in the Frenchman’s form has coincided with Steve Bruce’s decision to switch from a defensive 5-4-1 system to a more attacking 4-2-3-1 in Gameweek 28.
Although when it comes to making transfers, Pro Pundit Simon March challenges the idea of template and differential. He argues that if you consider the specific combination of players in your team you’ll discover that it’s essentially unique, no matter how highly-owned the individuals are.
However complicated we make FPL, it ultimately still comes down to picking the players who will score the most points. There is a potential benefit to a good differential, but it’s important to ask yourself; are they ‘good’, and not just ‘different’. Will they really outscore the more popular alternatives?– Simon March
A player who is both good and different is 8.0%-owned Christian Pulisic. The American has impressed since the restart and did so again at the London Stadium on Wednesday night.
While the Chelsea winger is challenging for a precious midfield slot in our FPL squads, one player who has failed to live up to recent expectations is forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Three successive blanks is testing the patience of his loyal ownership – the Everton striker still features in 10 of the 12 squads among The Great and The Good – but David suggests that their patience could be a virtue:
The recent obliging nature of Spurs’ defence, which has conceded 31 shots in the box over the last four matches, could offer some last hope for Dominic Calvert-Lewin owners.– David
ReindeerHotdog set the scene for the next round of fixtures in Norway. He delved into goal and shot statistics to highlight the over and under performing teams in the league.
A full round-up of Community Competitions will follow this article.
The Head-to-Head leagues have been updated for Gameweek 32+, results and tables are currently showing on the main Head-to-Head page.
The fixtures for Gameweek 33+ are below:
Best of luck in Gameweek 33+
FPL Lessons Learned from Gameweek 32+
- Aston Villa 0-1 Wolves
- Watford 1-3 Southampton
- Crystal Palace 0-1 Burnley
- Brighton 0-3 Manchester United
- Arsenal 4-0 Norwich City
- Bournemouth 1-4 Newcastle United
- Everton 2-1 Leicester City
- West Ham United 3-2 Chelsea
- Sheffield United 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur
- Manchester City 4-0 Liverpool
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