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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. Prison Mike
    • 5 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Best option?

    A) Greenwood

    B) Maddison

    C) Mount

    1. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      A.

    2. Magic Zico
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      B for few fixtures, A for potential to be explosive this GW

  2. ZAWAd25
    • 4 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Mendy to:

    A) Martinez
    B) Schmichael
    C) better options?

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

      Mendy isn’t dropped. Kepa just played to get his confidence up, same as when he played vs Newcastle

      1. DA Minnion (Legendary manag…
        • 9 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        How can you be so sure?

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

          Many people are using the earlier FA cup games as the example. Why would he drop Mendy?

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

      what happen with mendy.

  3. andres
    • 10 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Could greenwood be a good option?

    1. Magic Zico
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Martial out so yes I guess

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

    RMWCT please. 0 ITB.

    Martinez Forster

    Castagne TAA Saiss Dunk Holding

    Lingard Jota Salah Raph Greenwood

    Kane Nacho Vardy

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

      Change Vardy and Raph to DCL and Maddison? If chasing. I'm thinking about doing that

  5. Magic Zico
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Prospect of Jota and Raph to play folks?

    1. Sloane426
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Jota 0%

      1. Werner Brothers
        • 7 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Link?

          1. Werner Brothers
            • 7 Years
            7 months, 13 days ago

            Thanks m8

  6. gryffsonofarthur
    • 3 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    1 FT:

    A) Stones for Castagne/Periera

    B) Kane for Vardy

    1. Magic Zico
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      A

    2. Astronaut
        7 months, 13 days ago

        why is A a choice.

    3. Brunsvigeren
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Which teams are likely to have DGW on gw35?

      1. Magic Zico
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        On top of my head AVL EVE SOU CRY ARS CHE MUN LEI you need to check

    4. Little Red Lacazette
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      1.0 ITB 1FT.

      Switch out Phillips or roll FT?

      Martinez
      Rudiger Shaw Phillips* Coady
      Bruno Jota Lingard Salah
      Watkins Nacho

      Lloris Mitchell Son Kane

      1. Magic Zico
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Any appealing replacement? I would use the transfer.

        1. Little Red Lacazette
          • 5 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          No appealing rep.

          1. Magic Zico
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            7 months, 13 days ago

            If Jota is not playing you may end up 9 players? As long as you’re fine with it.

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

        Roll it, unless Klopp says Phillips is out for a long while.

    5. Sterling Archer
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Hoping Raphiniha is going to good to go! otherwise its a -4 to get 11 players,

      Leeds have some OK fixtures left

    6. 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)

      If Jota is not fit which one of these looks a better option?

      A) Dias, Jota & Son ➡️ TAA, Greenwood & Maddison -8
      B) Dias & Jota ➡️ Saiss/Fofana & Greenwood -4

      1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        B for me

    7. Sloane426
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Already done Bamford > Iheanacho
      Would you do Jota > Maddison/Greenwood -4?
      Jota looks like he won’t be in the squad and I have no playing bench this week.

      1. dbeck
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        whats the jota news?

    8. ZAWAd25
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Will Greenwood rise in price before the deadline?

      1. Honourvolley
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        No. Deadline is today. Next price change is about 8 hours after the deadline.

      2. Sloane426
        • 2 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Impossible

    9. Tmel
      • 10 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      I currently have 10 players (or 9 if Raphina isn't fit). Best move?

      a) White > Castagne
      b) White & Raphina > Fofana & Greenwood (-4)

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

        B if Raph isn't fit.

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

      Good day lads. Advice needed here lads, have 2ft. No chips left. Can field 10 players.

      mendy (foester)
      taa rudiger coady lowton (mitchell)
      bruno salah jota lingard (son)
      ihenacho (kane davis)

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

      Is Mendy >> Schmeichel worth an FT??

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

        Wait to see what Tuchel says first.

    12. AzzaroMax99
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Greenwood or Rashford?
      I have Bruno also.

    13. tibollom
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Thinking of WC this team guys, what do you think?
      Current team
      LLoris Areola
      AWB Dias Veltman Cresswell Struikj
      Jota Bruno Raph Lingard KDB
      Watkins Ihenacho Kane

      WC team
      Jonhstone Ederson
      AWB Struijk Veltman Saiss Castagne
      Salah Bruno Greenwood Lingard Raph
      Ihenancho Kane Watkins

    14. AD2110
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Holding no longer certain of starts with Luiz coming back?

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

      any information about mendy situation..?

    16. Donster
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Best replacement for Laca?

      A: DCL

      B: Cavani

      C: Suprise me!

    17. Pointless
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Is there a Spurs presser today please?

    18. DA Minnion (Legendary manag…
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Can we get someone to hack Tuchels press conference and ask him directly about the goal keeping situation.

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

        It's the cool rotation know, the last piece in the fk up FPL jigsaw. Not even counting injuries, suspension, COVID etc. No Number 1 is Number 1 anymore. Ederson benching imminent.

        1. DA Minnion (Legendary manag…
          • 9 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          All we need is another bald fraud wanabee.

    19. Hristo Letchkov
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Is Smith-Rowe first choice? I see he hasn't had many minutes recently just unclear if that was due to injury? Is he likely to start next couple or rotation risk?

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

        I think so but need a Gooner to confirm. I like watching him play, such a smart footballer.

    20. Machine_Gunnerz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Suggest a 5.1mil defender for long term.
      Already with Semedo, Shaw, Rudiger, Veltman and removing Betrand.

    21. faux_C
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Son to who for 1 week?

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

        Playing 4-5-1 like this:

        Salah, Jota, Fernandes, Lingard, X
        Iheanacho

        Solve for X.

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

          Thanks chaps

        2. Heiro
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Greenwood

      2. GreennRed
        • 10 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Greenwood.

        1. THFC4LIFE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Greenwood or Pulisic

    22. Johnny too hotty
      • 10 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Veltman or Philips. Who would you sign in the draft league

    23. THFC4LIFE
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Mendy
      James Semedo Phillips Shaw
      Bruno Jota Lingard Son
      Kane Iheanacho

      Forster Dias Gundogan Mitrovic

      1ft 6.3itb

      Time to FH?

    24. Gudjohnsen
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Is Saiss nailed?

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

        yes

    25. Gudjohnsen
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      So Lacazette misses only the Everton game or are fpl just guessing?

    26. Tango74
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Morning all
      Dam injuries!!

      Laca and moura to

      Vardy/marinelli or nacho/ Greenwood

      Or ?

      1. Heiro
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        B