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Five-time top 1k FPL finisher Tom Freeman on Bale, the Free Hit and GW33 captaincy

The Hall of Fame number 15, who has five top 1,000 Fantasy Premier League finishes to his name, addresses some hot topics ahead of Blank Gameweek 33.



“It is not a sport if success is guaranteed or if it doesn’t matter when you lose.”

Pep Guardiola

After one of the most hectic starts to a week ever in the game, football matches have felt a little irrelevant in the shadow of the European Super League.

However, as I type this, clubs are exiting en masse from the group and it does at least feel like there is hope that the project is now finished.

So, in this, my latest column, I’m going to press ahead and discuss Tottenham Hotspur and a player who I think may benefit from José Mourinho’s exit. I’ll also touch upon my own plans for the Free Hit chip, and then have a look at a couple of alternative captain options for Gameweek 33.

GARETH BALE

Despite seeing just 10 minutes of action during Spurs’ last four Premier League matches, the player who I think could benefit most from Mourinho’s departure is Gareth Bale (£9.1m) – especially if new interim head coach Ryan Mason goes with an attacking side.

The pair know each other well from the Welshman’s first stint at the club, and the schedule (see below) could allow him to thrive, given the longer rest periods between games.

If he can get enough minutes, I’m convinced Bale can become an option again. 

Amongst midfielders, his 0.48 expected goals (xG) per 90 minutes is second in the Premier League, only behind Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (£12.5m). His ‘big chances’ per 90 minutes average also ranks fourth. It’s a small sample size (562 minutes) from which to draw conclusions but we have seen what the 31-year-old is capable of between Gameweek 25 and 27, when he bagged 39 FPL points.

The match (and goal) against Southampton was a positive start and the clash with Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final will further allow us to scout the new set-up before they take on Sheffield United in Gameweek 34.

Dele Alli (£7.4m) is worth monitoring, too. Mason played alongside the 25-year-old under Mauricio Pochettino, and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if we see him starting games again soon.

WHEN TO USE THE FREE HIT?

The Free Hit chip is probably my favourite of the lot, as it allows us to think outside of the box and target some differentials. 

Gameweek 33 presents an opportunity to use it with four teams blanking, but for my own squad, I’m not convinced it’s worth it. For context, here’s how I’m currently set up, with one free transfer and £2.0m in the bank:

If I were to Free Hit, I would bring in a new goalkeeper given the uncertainty surrounding Edouard Mendy (£5.2m). I may also add a Wolverhampton Wanderers defender and possibly Marcus Rashford (£9.5m) or Mason Greenwood (£7.1m) for Jesse Lingard (£6.6m). However, my frontline looks okay, and I think I might gain more by saving it till Gameweek 35.

In this scenario, which has been put together by the awesome @Legomané, we would see eight teams double in 35, with four of those sides then blanking the following week. That would obviously be ideal, but let’s see how things play out once the schedule is confirmed.

GAMEWEEK 33 CAPTAINCY

Salah is probably the best captain option this week but it’s worth noting that Newcastle United are unbeaten in three matches and have lost just one of their last seven. Now up to 15th in the table, they have a nine-point cushion above the bottom three and are clearly benefitting from switching to a 3-5-2 formation back in Gameweek 30 (see below).

Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.1m) has been putting up some good numbers during that time, too, with seven goal attempts and eight chances created in just 116 minutes. 

Newcastle’s form probably won’t matter to a player as good as Salah, but what if you don’t own him or fancy looking elsewhere?

An alternative option, and one that I’m quite fond of, is to captain one of Leicester City’s frontmen. The Foxes’ forwards head into Gameweek 33 in wildly contrasting form, with Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.1m) on ten goals in seven games and Jamie Vardy (£10.1m) on just one since the turn of the year. However, Vardy has been unfortunate not to return more, with a -3.13 xG delta during that period, and I wouldn’t hesitate to hand either of them the armband against Crystal Palace.

FORM TABLE

Before I sign off, I’ll leave you with this Premier League 2021 form table, which focuses solely on results from Gameweek 17 onwards. I found it interesting, so I thought I’d share it here so you can have a look too:

So, thanks for reading all, and best of luck this week.


avfc82 https://fantasy.premierleague.com/entry/818/history”

633 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Bobby's Teeth
    • 5 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Hello

    1. Steve McCroskey
      • 8 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Morning

    2. Neo-Viper
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Shine em. On the pitch too.
      Bobbys Teeth.

      1. Bobby's Teeth
        • 5 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Haha, tbh, considering his form, would want him and his shiny teeth either on the bench or in the mid with Jota ahead

  2. Neo-Viper
    • 6 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    RMWCT
    Martínez Johnstone
    TAA Alioski Castagne Dunk Digne
    Salah Greenwood Trossard Jlingz Raph
    Vardy Nacho Kane

    1. Steve McCroskey
      • 8 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Very good. Is Raphinha fit?

    2. Neo-Viper
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Not fit for this week. I will bench him but definitely good to go from next week and the Fixtures look tasty

  3. Steve McCroskey
    • 8 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    I can currently get 10 players out this GW although that includes Jota and Creswell.

    A. Son > Salah (c)
    B. Creswell > TAA
    C. Gundo > Greenwood

    Scared of going without Salah this week as so many will captain him.

    1. Bobby's Teeth
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Wouldn't you want Son back for the next GW and Salah would be away to United anyway?

      1. Steve McCroskey
        • 8 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Yep, was thinking the old hokey pokey and bringing Son back in!

        1. Bobby's Teeth
          • 5 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Costing you two transfers though 😉 and then post the United game, you would want Salah back, wouldn't you? 😀

    2. Neo-Viper
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      A definitely

  4. CapK
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Martinez
      Azpi / Cress / Dallas / Dunk
      Jota / Lingard / Raph / Salah (C)
      Nacho / Bamford

      Pope / Stones / Son / Kane

      Is it worth a -8 to do Son > Greenwood (C) and bench Cresswell or Raph? Would also want son or bale in 34 against Sheff hence the -8 to get one of them back in,

      Need to catch 40 points in my Mini League! Thanks

    • unitednations
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Best moves here with 2ft and 0m itb. Will FH in either 35 or 36.

      Mendy --- Forster
      Rudiger Shaw Veltman TAA Holding
      Salah Bruno Lingard Jota -- Son
      Nacho -- Kane Davis

      A: Son >> Greenwood
      B: Jota (if inj) + Shaw >> Greenwood + Saiss
      C: Something else?

      1. CapK
          7 months, 13 days ago

          would you want Son back for 34 vs sheff united?

          Also wouldnt look to be loosing liverpool assets at the moment,

          Maybe use 1 FT to sort your keeper problem, if there is one

        • fish&chips
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Can you just do jota -> Greenwood? Confident in mendy starting.

          Your team looks pretty good for the double already so maybe look to bring in more doubles and plan for a blank 36 FH

        • The Knights Template
          • 8 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          C: Bogle

      2. fish&chips
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Mendy* Forster*
        Alonso*, rudiger, TAA, Shaw, veltman
        Salah, jota*, Lucas*, lingard, son*
        Kane*, nacho, vydra*

        1FT, 2.4M ITB

        going to struggle to put out 11 this week. Who out of the starred players absolutely must go?

        1. aapoman
          • 8 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          I'd say Lucas needs to go or sure. Not even nailed.

          1. Flynny
            • 6 Years
            7 months, 13 days ago

            Alonso out

            Jota out if injured

      3. beric
        • 9 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Is jota injured?

        1. Neo-Viper
          • 6 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          A slight knock and also didn't get pictured in the training too

          1. beric
            • 9 Years
            7 months, 13 days ago

            God dam it. Thanks

      4. Ha.
        • 6 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Dallas or Fofana?

        Will likely get Dallas for the last few anyway

        1. Neo-Viper
          • 6 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Dallas.

      5. vova
        • 11 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Hey guys, how does my team look like?

        Sanchez
        TAA Cresswell Coady Konsa
        Fernandes Jota Lingard Raphinha
        Watkins Iheanacho

        Ederson Kane Son Reguilon

        0.1 ITB
        0 FT

        Is it worth getting rid of Cresswell for a hit? Any prime candidates I should consider or just leave it?

        Thanks!

        1. Neo-Viper
          • 6 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          You will have only 9 players playing this week so might as well ship out Cresswell.

          Castagne is your man

      6. Cali
        • 1 Year
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Play ESR or Rudiger?

        1. aapoman
          • 8 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Rudi

        2. Cojones of Destiny
          • 3 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Rud

        3. Neo-Viper
          • 6 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Rud. don't see any side scoring

      7. aapoman
        • 8 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Hmmm thoughts on what to do? 1ft and 0.5itb. Considering even rolling a transfer to prepare for possible blank and doubles.

        Martinez
        Digne Azpi Rüdiger Konsa
        Bruno Salah Mount Saka
        Nacho Brewster

        Fabri; Kane, Son, Reguilon

      8. Cojones of Destiny
        • 3 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Jota(if injured) to Greenwood for free no brainer right?

        1. Miguel Sanchez
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Yes

          1. Cojones of Destiny
            • 3 Years
            7 months, 13 days ago

            thx MS which move do you fancy more:
            a. Jota to Green
            b. Stones to Veltman

            thing is I really wanna keep Jota for his run in for the rest of the season

            1. Miguel Sanchez
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              7 months, 13 days ago

              A if injured- just bring back when he’s fitc

              1. Cojones of Destiny
                • 3 Years
                7 months, 13 days ago

                gracias

        2. Neo-Viper
          • 6 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Yes. You can even go Trossard for the one week punt too.

      9. Donny_Rover
        • 6 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Wildcarded in 31 and decided to go Vardy over Iheanacho. Having watched Leicester’s last few games I think it’s impossible to ignore him; trouble is I have Maddison & Fofana as well. Best move to get him in?

        A) Maddison & Vydra -> Iheanacho & Lingard (yes, I ignored him as well)
        B) Fofana & Vydra -> Konsa & Iheanacho
        C) Fofana & Vydra -> Holding & Iheanacho
        D) Stick with what I have and hope that Maddison comes through as a differential and Fofana continues to play...

        Rest of the squad:
        Mendy Forster
        TAA Shaw Semedo Rudiger Fofana
        Salah Jota Son Maddison Neto
        Kane Vardy Vydra

        1. Wigflex
          • 7 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          I'd stick personally, but if I had to chose then A

      10. marcos11
        • 1 Year
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Best option for the rest of the season?

        a) Meslier
        b) Sanchez
        c) Get Sanchez and take a -4 to get Meslier in for 36-38.

        1. Miguel Sanchez
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          A

        2. Don Van Vliet
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          A

      11. LakhaneeFC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Did Son + Cresswell to Greenwood + TAA for a hit.

        Team now is:
        Martinez (Areola)
        TAA Shaw Struijk (Dias Regulion)
        Bruno Greenwood Salah Jota Lingard
        Kane (Davis)

        Currently planning to play with 10 players, need your views on:
        - Does the team look ok for the next few GWs as well?
        - If Jota is injured, worthwhile to take a -8 to take him out? And who would you bring in?

      12. The 12th Man
        • 8 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Alonso,Cresswell,Son, Lacazette >> Dallas,Holding,Salah,DCL -12?
        Gives me

        Mendy
        TAA,Dallas,Rüdiger,Shaw
        Salah, Fernandes,Lingard,Raphinia
        DCL,Iheanacho

        Lloris, ,Holding,Kane,Jota

        Worth it?
        Holding takes money out of defence and is cover for Raphinia this week just in case he doesn’t make it.

      13. Bobby_Baggio
        • 10 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Morning all. Guess need to get Moira out but to who? 0.2m ITB only. Cheers all

        Martinez
        Dunk - Coufal - Azpi - Alioski
        Lingard - Bruno - Salah - Jota
        Bam - Ihenacho

        (McCarthy) - Kane - Dias - Moura

        1. The 12th Man
          • 8 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Greenwood or Siggy

          1. Bobby_Baggio
            • 10 Years
            7 months, 13 days ago

            Cheers. Can do Siggy but can't afford Greenwood

      14. AlpoShearer
        • 4 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Do you use free hit on this team or take a couple of hits?

        Martinez
        Philips*-Shaw-Veltman
        Bruno-Salah-Lingard-Raphinha*
        Watkins-Iheanacho-Kane*

        Pope Aina*-Son*-Cancelo*

        1. Pukki Party
          • 4 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          I'd use FH if still available

        2. SINGH
          • 3 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Why waste FH. Make two transfers for -4 and you will have a playing team

          1. AlpoShearer
            • 4 Years
            7 months, 13 days ago

            Cheers both, if Philips and Raphinha are out, its -8...

      15. Sgt Frank Drebin
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Anyone else considering captaining Iheanacho vs CP next GW? With his numbers he must be the best player in PL currently...

        1. Flair
          • 1 Year
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Yeah, Palace are awful and not that much trust in Salah and Liverpool right now. Iheanacho putting up outstanding numbers and gets chances galore, can't see him not scoring vs a defense that I've noticed concedes a lot of chances to strikers recently.

          1. Sgt Frank Drebin
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            7 months, 13 days ago

            Btw. Ihranacho is even better than Kane in terms of non penalty xG +xA per 90 minutes. Maybe a bit small sample but still

        2. Il Capitano
          • 1 Year
          7 months, 13 days ago

          He's my (C) this week (no Salah)

      16. Jones Kusi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        What would you do here?
        2 FT 0.2 ITB
        No chips left

        Forster Mendy
        Rudiger Philips Fofana Coady Holding
        Lingard Jota Salah Son Bruno
        Nacho Kane Davis

      17. SHOWSTOPPERRR
        • 3 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Repost sorry

        Guys need help, don't know what to do here with 1ft 0.0itb

        Mendy
        Taa shaw veltman coady
        Salah bruno lingz jota
        Iheanacho vydra

        Forster Rudiger kane son

        I really have no clue what to do here. TIA

        1. Sgt Frank Drebin
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Maybe just save FT?

          1. SHOWSTOPPERRR
            • 3 Years
            7 months, 13 days ago

            Thanks. But gut says need to make a move somewhere.

      18. Karan14
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Martinez
        Shaw Rudiger Phillips Dias!
        Salah Bruno Jota Lingard
        DCL Nacho

        (Fabri Kane! Son! Struijk)

        Thoughts on these transfers?

        If Jota is fit:
        Phillips, Dias & Son ➡️ TAA, Veltman & Greenwood -8

        If Jota is not fit:
        Dias, Jota & Son ➡️ TAA, Greenwood & Maddison -8
        Or
        Dias & Jota ➡️ Saiss/Fofana & Greenwood -4

      19. Hunting for points
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        7 months, 13 days ago

        2 FT

        A) Son to Maddison and Stones to Castagne

        Or

        B) Son to Greenwood and Stones to Fofana?

      20. Rhodes your boat
        • 5 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Best defender up to 5.5 to replace stones?

        1. Taegugk Warrior
          • 3 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Fo

      21. Ian Davis
        • 11 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Which moves to make?

        A) Dias > TAA
        B) Gundo > Jota
        C) Dias/Gundo > Castagne/Jota
        D) Dias/Gundo > Castagne/Greenwood

        1. GE
          • 5 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          A

      22. McPollolocco
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Morning!
        What should i do with Mahrez?

        a) keep
        b) --> Pulisic
        c) --> Havertz
        d) --> Rodriguez?

      23. Diedhiou See That?
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Who to start:

        A) Alonso
        B) Holding

        1. Miguel Sanchez
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          A bit he won’t start

      24. Taegugk Warrior
        • 3 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Is cast price justify that he better choice than fofana...?

      25. GE
        • 5 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Son -> Greenwood a good move here and then bring Son in next GW for another player?
        Or other suggestions? 🙂

        (2FT, 0.3 itb)

        Mendy
        TAA/Shaw/Rudiger/Holding
        Salah/Bruno/Lingard/Jota
        Nacho/Vydra

        Bench: Forster, Kane, Son, Dias

      26. b91jh
        • 4 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Possible moves here?? 1ft, 0.4itb

        Mendy
        TAA Alonso Coady
        Salah(c) Bruno Jota Lingard Maddison
        Wood Nacho

        Forster Holding Cresswell Kane

        A) Alonso to Castagne
        B) Alonso to Dallas (start Holding)
        C) Cresswell to Dallas
        D) Jota (not pictured in training?) to Greenwood
        E) others