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Pro Pundits - Zophar

The best FPL teams and players target in Gameweek 31 fixture-swing

Fantasy Premier League managers should keep an eye on the upcoming fixture-swing as we head into the home-stretch of the 2020/21 season.

Thankfully, the international break gives us an opportunity to pause, reflect and prepare for this period in great detail; a welcome change from the non-stop football schedule of the last four months.

During the last quarter of the campaign, we are often presented with chances to make up ground in mini-leagues and these usually involve a fixture-swing of some kind.

In this article, I am focusing on teams and players to target from Gameweek 31 onwards, whether or not you have a Wildcard.

I have chosen this particularly Gameweek (rather than Gameweek 30) not just because the fixtures change more drastically then but also because it can be hard to predict rotation and injuries in the aftermath of an international break, especially in the current climate.

LIVERPOOL

Who has the best and worst upcoming FPL fixtures? 18

Despite sitting seventh in the Premier League table, there is a lot of potential surrounding Liverpool between now and the end of the season.

Their assets could offer great captaincy potential between Gameweeks 31 and 38, barring the trip to Old Trafford in Gameweek 34.

While some might consider Mohamed Salah’s (£12.4m) price tag too steep, I still feel he could be gold in this run but there is no denying the value offered by Diogo Jota (£6.7m).

It is worth mentioning that they have been granted a more favourable UEFA Champions League schedule, with their two quarter-final legs taking place on a Tuesday and Wednesday in that order, rather than on Wednesday then Tuesday. It makes a huge difference having three days rest either side of the weekend league fixture rather than just two. 


In defence, Fabinho (£5.4m) anchoring the midfield boosts the potential of Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m) at both ends of the pitch. Dropped from the international squad, the right-back will be well rested and ready to prove a point.

WOLVES

It has been a difficult season for Wolves in the absence of their talisman Raúl Jiménez (£8.1m) but their fixtures run Gameweeks 31 and 35 offer potential to remedy their 13th place league position. 

No defender has been afforded more big chances than Conor Coady (£4.8m) (three) over the last six matches and the centre-back is absolutely nailed-on for 90 minutes every week. 

Pedro Neto (£5.7m) has gone under the FPL radar too. No Wolves player has taken more than his 14 shots over the last six matches. 

ARSENAL

Blank Gameweek 28 Scout Picks built on assets from the capital

Investing in Arsenal is a bit tricky. While they are nine points off a Champions League spot, qualification through the Europa League is very much still a possibility. 

However, they have drawn a tough quarter-final opponent in Slavia Prague so rotation seems likely in the Premier League.

Kieran Tierney (£5.3m) is the obvious option in defence but I worry about his minutes with the European schedule and the game-time he is likely to rack up with Scotland, all against a backdrop of muscle injuries this season.

I still do not trust Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.4m) as there are always doubts about his position while Alexandre Lacazette (£9.3m) has been in fine form.

WEST HAM

Soucek's threat, Lingard's form and Auba out wide: the FPL lessons from BGW29

Out of all the teams mentioned so far, I would feel the most confident investing in West Ham, which is, in itself, a strange thing to say. 

Jesse Lingard (£6.2m) is arguably the best budget midfielder in the game at the moment with three goals in his last four appearances. I am looking at him as a replacement for Ilkay Gundogan (£6.3m) with Manchester City set to blank in Gameweek 33.


Aaron Cresswell’s (£5.8m) credentials do not need repeating while Michail Antonio (£6.7m) has been unlucky not to find the back of the net more often. Motivation is a key factor in the tail end of the season and the Hammers have it in abundance with European positions a realistic target.

LEEDS

On paper, Gameweeks 31 to 33 look tricky for Leeds but, barring the Manchester City fixture, I still see a potential for goals against Liverpool and Manchester Unitedd before they embark on a great run. 

Raphinha (£5.8m) and Patrick Bamford (£6.7m) could still find joy against these sides and the Brazilian especially is a great eighth attacker in case you suffer rotation in other areas. 

MAN UNITED

The Complete Guide to FPL Gameweek 30 2

Motivation is a big factor for Manchester United with a Champions League spot up for grabs so, despite the Europa League schedule, Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) and Luke Shaw (£5.2m) should still see regular game-time in the Premier League. 

The left-back has been in the form of his life, over the last six matches only Raphinha (21) has created more chances than his 16. 

While many will be tempted to part with Fernandes given his recent lack of FPL returns, I would still advocate holding with the fixture run.

CONCLUSION

There has been a lot of talk about effective ownership recently and there is no doubt in order to make serious ground, you need to bet against the template.

There will be plenty of opportunities to shoot up the ranks but I would, once again, like to repeat a phrase I use often on the FPL Wire pod: “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. 

That means do not sell good assets just for the sake of differentiating. Calculated risks are the key to ‘upside chasing’. 

Good luck and enjoy the international break.

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234 Comments Post a Comment
  1. zon
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 27 days ago

    Afternoon lads, care to RMWCT?

    Mendy Forster
    TAA Dias Cresswell Shaw Rüdiger
    KDB Bruno Jota Lingard Raphinha
    Kane Adams Iheanacho

    1. Zen Arcade
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      Looks good however I don't love the Che Adams pick. In general very solid though.

      1. Zen Arcade
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 27 days ago

        Am I right in thinking Adams - as it stands - does not have a game in either of 32 or 33? I know 32 could see a game get slotted in.

        Think I prefer Bamford, Antonio, Watkins (based on a future double). I also like Lacazette but obviously, he's more expensive.

        1. zon
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          5 months, 27 days ago

          Thanks for your thoughts! I'll take a closer look at my striker picks

    2. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      A modest fan here

      Do think though that I'd get Bamford this week just for SHU and then downgrade to one of the budget forwards.

      I'd also consider Konsa in defence for the DGW and money itb to upgrade elsewhere - possibly turning KdB into Mo in 33 when Konsa is also good. You already have a strong first and second bench for City no shows.

      1. zon
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        5 months, 27 days ago

        Good points, will certainly have a look at those. Cheers!

    3. Homer21
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      Great but a real benching headache

  2. NoThomasNoPartey18
    5 months, 27 days ago

    Chances of burn or phillips (liv) playing in GW33? (Bottomed)

  3. 2EyedTurk
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 27 days ago

    Afternoon all, thought on this WC team?
    Mendy Areola
    Shaw TAA Rudiger Konsa Cresswell
    Bruno Salah Mahrez Lingard Jorginho
    Kane Ihenacho Bamford

    1. Geordie19
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      Like it!! But little bit of a benching headache each week

      1. 2EyedTurk
        • 6 Years
        5 months, 27 days ago

        Yeah, but the bench isn't particularly expensive. Will help with rotation, covid etc mind. Thanks

    2. TB303
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      Like it ! I want to do mine now 🙂

  4. Terry Tibbs: Top Pundit
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 27 days ago

    GW31 wildcard:
    Not sure whether to get in my long term team or factor in the GW31 fixtures.
    A) have De Bruyne vs Leeds for one week then swap for Bruno for remainder.
    B) just get Bruno in from the start.

    1. Geordie19
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      A for me as exciting

      1. Terry Tibbs: Top Pundit
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 27 days ago

        Yep.
        Forgot to say that it meant going Rudiger instead of Azpi to fit KDB in. Think that putting me off slightly.

    2. Qaiss
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      If De Bruyne plays Leicester, Dortmund, which he will, then he could be a risk for that Leeds game.

      1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
        • 11 Years
        5 months, 27 days ago

        Also throw in Wales two days ago, Czech Republic tomorrow, and potentially Belarus next week before Leicester (all qualifiers/no friendlies)...

        1. Flair
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          5 months, 27 days ago

          Mahrez (C)

        2. Qaiss
          • 5 Years
          5 months, 27 days ago

          Basically whoever doesn’t play Dortmund is the best shout for cap in 31.

          1. No Professionals
            • 4 Years
            5 months, 27 days ago

            and then that person doesn't play anyway

            1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
              • 11 Years
              5 months, 27 days ago

              Or Leicester smash city by 5 goals like last time 😉

              1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
                • 11 Years
                5 months, 27 days ago

                Sorry we're talking GW31 not GW30

                Ignore!!!

            2. Qaiss
              • 5 Years
              5 months, 27 days ago

              2 Dortmund games, FA Cup semi straight after that... seems pretty reasonable.

  5. Geordie19
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 27 days ago

    What transfer would you make this week

    Martinez to Mendy
    Watkins to Richy
    Or both -4?

    1. Terry Tibbs: Top Pundit
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      Villa have Fulham? Not gaining so much with the goalie swap. Think I'd change the forward out of the two.

  6. TB303
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 27 days ago

    Hi all!

    Should I play my WC with this current team?

    I'm chasing 100 points and running out of time to use it. Is there a better time to play it? Also have BB

    Many thanks 🙂

    Martínez - Ryan*

    Stones- Dias- Dallas -Dunk - Holding*

    Gündogan- Raphinha- Fernandes- Lingard- Bale*

    Antonio- Kane- Bamford

  7. Noam Jacobi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 27 days ago

    No word on any Chelsea players

  8. The 12th Man
    • 8 Years
    5 months, 27 days ago

    Dump Dias on WC > Stones/Tierney to afford Coady as 5th defender over Struijk?

    1. Little Red Lacazette
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      Will you be playing your 5th defender much?

      1. The 12th Man
        • 8 Years
        5 months, 27 days ago

        To be honest its the City defender. Having Dias forces me to play him every week even when they don't have a good fixture. E.g this week Dias would be on my bench v Leicester and has a blank in 33 so wouldnt really need one until after the blanks, even then its questionable with the likes of Cresswell,TAA,Shaw,Chelsea defender flying about whether I really need one.
        Stones as back up, maybe but im siding with going a cheaper option.
        The 5 th defender would only be cover.

        1. Little Red Lacazette
          • 4 Years
          5 months, 27 days ago

          I have both Stones & Dias. Looking to dump Stones. But I believe if City wrap up the title early, then 0 City defenders may be the way to go.

          1. The 12th Man
            • 8 Years
            5 months, 27 days ago

            Yeh I’m looking at TAA,Rudiger,Shaw,Coady,Tierney

  9. Tango74
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 27 days ago

    So if spurs has a DGW 32. I will have a headache in 33?

    I would Bench Dias , Gundogan Kane and 1 more spurs probs son?

    1. Major League Shocker
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 27 days ago

      You'll have to take one out since you can't bench 4 outfield players. That shouldn't be a big deal, just use your transfers.

  10. pingissimus
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 27 days ago

    Looking at cheapest possible rotation with Martinez

    Foster if he's nailed actually rotates sort of ok with Martinez from 31 if you can stomach Southampton defence. Just 35 very poor but that's a likely DGW for one team anyway. The lure is two matches with both Palace and WBA and two possible DGWs in 35 and 37.

    31 WBA
    32 Palace/Spurs (50/50 chance but if it isn't Palace here there's a DGW in 35/37 with them)
    33 WBA
    34 Everton (away is better than home)
    35 Liverpool or United but high probability of DGW for one of Villa or Southampton
    36 Palace
    37 Leeds/Spurs (another possible DGW for Southampton or Villa)
    38 West Ham

    1. The 12th Man
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      Look at Leno if you want to rotate.
      I’m going Mendy/Martinez.
      Martinez will only play for me in a double gameweek.

      1. pingissimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 27 days ago

        TV relatively modest and no WC. Though could perhaps do it if I hold off KdB in 30.

        Looking at running with KdB Mo Bruno Son Lingard/Jota as my midfield from 33 with TC on Son in 34 to balance no Kane. Strongish defence but naff all up top really. Good enough first bench to provide steady points in event of KdB no show with luck.

        Wondering whether the trend for budget mids outperforming premiums is simply a passing phase.

        1. pingissimus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          5 months, 27 days ago

          Also going against the grain by slightly doubting that City are an avoid once the title is all over. They crushed it last season towards the end despite there being no interest in the title with no excessive rotation.

        2. The 12th Man
          • 8 Years
          5 months, 27 days ago

          Maybe. I’m planning on having KDB with Bruno with Jota,Lingard and Raphinia who will turn into Saka in 31.

          KDB > Salah in 33.

        3. The 12th Man
          • 8 Years
          5 months, 27 days ago

          That’s some midfield.

          1. pingissimus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            5 months, 27 days ago

            It is isn't it? 🙂

            Haven't worked through it precisely but hope to be get to something. close to it anyway if I go that way.

            It feels like a bit of a Hail Mary play but in any other season I suspect most would be looking to max out in midfield around now. The gamble is that we revert to the norm.

            1. The 12th Man
              • 8 Years
              5 months, 27 days ago

              I’ve just done a WC draft with that MF.
              Mendy
              Rudiger,Shaw,Coady
              Salah,KDB,Fernandes,Son,Lingard
              Kane,Ineacheo

              Martinez,Phillips,Struijk,Davis.

              1. pingissimus
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                5 months, 27 days ago

                Oh well done

                You get Kane as well. Bit of a compromise in defence/bench I guess there with dodgy KdB appearances.

                1. The 12th Man
                  • 8 Years
                  5 months, 27 days ago

                  I can always downgrade one of the keepers to get a better 4th defender.

      2. ThisTimeNxtYrRodney
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        5 months, 27 days ago

        Same here. Mendy and Martinez and saving Martinez for dgw.

    2. The 12th Man
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      If Forster was definitely nailed then that would be a goer.

  11. Slitherene
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 27 days ago

    Last hit before I WC in 31!

    Martinez ¦ Forster
    Reguilon Cancelo* Coufal
    Bale Auba* Bruno Lingard
    Kane Bamford Antonio
    ¦ Saka Veltman Holding

    Cancelo, Auba -> Alonso, KdB (-4)

    Any moves you'd suggest?

    1. DannyDrinkVodka
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      Are you captaining KDB? Otherwise it's an odd move

  12. Jerse
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 27 days ago

    Leics players seemingly being ignored when Ihneacho is scoring for fun along with Vardy assisting for fun with good fixtures after GW30 (Man C, although they will suit Leicester's style). Just listened to a couple of "experts" on the FPL show and their top 5 must haves did not include one Leicester player and even included Jota on the strength of 1 goal upon his return. Their list also included Antonio (!) whose hamstrings are about as reliable as mine !!

    1. The 12th Man
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      I’m planning Bamford > Ineacheo in 32.
      I’m on Lacazette. Can easily find 2m to get to Vardy if needed.

      Midfield. Waiting on Barnes and Maddison for fitness.
      Defence. Whom do you pick?

    2. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      Not convinced City suit anyone's style tbh.

      Leicester look good primarily because of SHU. The 2-1 win at Brighton the week before was against the run of play (it was Brighton after all) and they got firmly beaten by Arsenal before that.

      A lot rides on how you read that SHU match. I put quite a lot of weight on the comments from Billy Sharo afterwards that anyone would have beaten them 5-0 that day.

  13. Avery
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 27 days ago

    Hey all, thoughts on this WC from 31 onwards?

    Martinez | Mendy
    TAA | Shaw | Tierney | Coady | Killman
    KDB | Gundo | Bruno | Jota | Lingard
    Kane | Bamford | DCL

    No matter how I begin to tweak it’ll give benching headache but I’m ok with that rather than more expensive flopping.
    Cheers

    1. Avery
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 27 days ago

      I was thinking Bamford to a 4.2 and then upgrade DCL to Vardy ??

    2. ThisTimeNxtYrRodney
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      You will need a strong bench to cover KDB and gundo rotation. My wildcard draft has maguire instead of shaw, saiss instead of kilman, Salah instead of KDB and raphinha instead of gundo. Otherwise same as you. I think it's time to leave city assets as they are so near to winning league and fighting on 3 cup fronts. You may miss the odd haul but may also have the odd benching, or even worse 1 point cameo. Good luck.

      1. ThisTimeNxtYrRodney
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        5 months, 27 days ago

        Sorry, I have azpi instead of Tierney as well.

  14. Flair
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 27 days ago

    I wonder at what point I start capping Son over Kane as a differential with Sonny being a brilliant asset in his own right. It's so difficult though with how outstanding Kane has been for me captaincy wise, such a reliable flat-track bully.

    1. DannyDrinkVodka
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      If Son is fit, he is a great captain shout for GW30.......I expect the assets that avoided international duty (due to minor injury or perceived lack of form) to come out firing. Son, Bamford, TAA........

    2. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      Very much thinking along the same lines.

      Kane it is almost certainly for me in 30 but if we see a reversion to Kane provider Son finisher model I may well move off Kane as default Spurs captain and even send him into midfield to play for Liverpool - especially if the DGW falls in 32 before BGW33.

      Know he wants that transfer really.

    3. Major League Shocker
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 27 days ago

      Son is looking like becoming a differential even if not captained. I'm seeing very few WC with any Spurs assets other than Kane. Of course, you can captain Son as well for even more differential power if you see him scoring more.

      On one recent BlackBox, someone mentioned the "chaos" anticipated in relation to BGW33. I thought they were just having a bit of fun with some hyperbole, but it sounds like a lot of people are taking BGW33 far too seriously. Those who hold onto more City and Spurs assets in defiance of the crowd could set themselves up for significant gains.

      A BGW with 2 missing fixtures, announced many weeks in advance, is a minor event. People survived GW18/19 and 26, where the fixtures were announced very late, and many did not even use wildcards to optimise their teams for these gameweeks. That was maximum FPL "chaos". BGW33 is something we have lots of time to prepare for, with good knowledge well in advance.

  15. AK ⭐
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 27 days ago

    It's International Break, so I decided to look into how Tuchel has transformed Chelsea after taking over and what to make of it all for FPL. Give it a read lads.

    https://twitter.com/FFScout/status/1353817574291734529

    1. AK ⭐
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      Messed up the link

      Here it is

      https://twitter.com/AK_FPL1/status/1375505191252856834

  16. Camzy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    5 months, 27 days ago

    Toying with a no Kane WC31 plan.

    I have just 0.1m value stored in Kane so it could actually be an opportunity to ditch him. Unless he gets a double in GW32 and I reckon that's less likely than Southampton just playing CPL, he has MUN eve BLANK as his next 3 fixtures. Seems like an opportunity to pick up Vardy or Lacazette as strong differentials and then switch back in GW34.

    Mendy Forster
    Dias Rudiger Shaw Coady Phillips
    Salah Fernandes Mahrez Havertz Gundogan
    Vardy Iheanacho Antonio

    I have 1.5m ITB.

    1. Flair
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 27 days ago

      Spurs get a DGW - Kane and Son locked in for WC31

      Spurs don't get a DGW - mun EVE blank looks very unappealing so I go without both and look to make gains by playing the fixtures.

    2. Major League Shocker
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 27 days ago

      Camzy with a full playing 15 on WC post BB!

      (insert "THE END IS NEAR!" meme here)

  17. FPL Virgin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 27 days ago

    This website has become almost unusable on tablet/mobile devices since they started adding lots of massive images to their articles.

    1. The 12th Man
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      Mines ok on I pad.

  18. g40steve
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 27 days ago

    What keeper do we see keeping most clean sheets till the end of season?
    Keep Martinez for the long awaited double & upgrade second keeper?
    Double Chelsea defence the new defender double up to have?

    1. g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 27 days ago

      New article !!!!!