Pro Pundit Teams

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

    Assuming all fit, which one would you prefer only for this GW?

    A) Raphinha
    B) Jota -4
    C) Greenwood -4
    D) Maddison -4

    I have Vardy, Nacho, Salah and Bruno if that matters.

    1. Salan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      (A) Raphinha if fit.

    2. Holmes
      • 8 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      B

    3. Runaway
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      I think Jota news is more serious than I thought, best to wait until pressers of course but any opinion would still be appreciated. Haven't watched Greenwood or Maddison lately, would you bring them over Jota?

  2. TKC07
    • 2 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Stones replacement for a hit. Max budget: 6.0, already have: AWB, Rudiger, Semedo, Konsa.

    A) Castagne
    B) Dallas
    C) Dunk
    D) N Phillips
    E) anyone else?

    1. DRIZ ✅
      • 10 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      B

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

      Think you need TAA for remaining matches

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

        didn't see max budget . A or B , then

    3. Runaway
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      A for next 3 but B until the end of season and not for a hit unless you have 11 to play this week.

      1. TKC07
        • 2 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Waiting for Jota update.. I would have 11, if Jota is fit.

    4. John Nerdelbaum
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      A

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

    Mendy
    TAA Shaw Rudiger
    Son* Salah Jota Fernandes Lingard
    Kane* Iheanacho

    Forster Holding Vydra Kilman

    0.3 itb, 2FT

    1. Mendy Son >> Schmeichel Greenwood
    2. Son >> Greenwood (save FT)

    Thanks.

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      On 1 why not Patricio and Greenwood?

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

        I don’t fully trust Wolves and Leicester have a good run ?!

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

    Stones to?
    A) saiss
    B) evans/ fofana
    C) other 5.5 defender

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Is Semedo a better pick?

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

        Maybe but 2 assists all season?

  5. AC/DC AFC
    • 6 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    What is the one must have defender, midfielder and attacker you would have on a wild card?

    What punts would you make?

    I'm second in a couple of tight mini leagues so willing to make a few calculated risks away from the template.

    So currently have Greenwood and Vardy, dropped Bruno for Salah and got TAA back in my team.

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

      Taa, greenwood, vardy/iheanacho!

      1. AC/DC AFC
        • 6 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Cheers.

        On those.

    2. Steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Trent
      Salah
      Nacho

      Punts: Traore, Ramsdale, Firminio

      1. AC/DC AFC
        • 6 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Thanks Steve.

        On the top 3. Will work through the punts today.

  6. Zlatan F.C
    • 1 Year
    7 months, 13 days ago

    5-4-1 at the moment. 01m in the bank 1FT

    Should I do Son to Greenwood this GW and bring him back the next?

    Mendy
    TAA Rudiger Holding Coufal Coady
    Salah Jota Bruno Lingard
    Nacho

    Forster Vydra Kane Son

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Yes.

      What's not to like about that.

  7. Mr Ozil
    • 7 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Current team for this GW: 1FT, 0.0 itb

    Mendy
    Coady Rudiger Robertson Fofana
    Bruno Salah (c) Jota* Bowen
    Iheanacho Vydra

    Subs: Forster Son Kane Holding

    What is the best move for this gameweek?

  8. Slitherene
    • 3 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Best Everton defender to get?

    1. how now brown cow
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Digne if you can afford? Or keane

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

        How is Keane's attacking threat?

  9. Henning
    • 7 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    what to do here?
    Tempted to do Dias to Dunk but think Castagne is a better pick Long term right?

    Mendy Forster
    Coady Azpi Dias Holding Dias
    Son Salah Fernandes Lingard Jota
    Kane Wood Iheanacho

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Son to Greenwood is the zeitgeist.

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

        Is what ? : )

  10. how now brown cow
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    On a WC and need a cheap 5.0 or less mid that will def play 36 with a good fixture (ie not arsenal, chelsea, Leicester, utd)

    Any ideas?

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

      Lookman

    2. Runaway
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Lookman seems to be the only one but not sure he will def play 36

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

    If Jota is confirmed out would you do the below for -4?

    Moura + Jota > Maddison + Bowen

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

    (McCarthy) - Kane - Dias - Moura

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

    Any feedback?

    Martinez, Guiata
    TAA, Veltman, Coady, Dallas, Castagne
    Greenwood, Salah, Jota, Maddison, Lingard
    Kane, DCL, Nacho

    G2g? Chasing ML with 100 points

    1. FPL ElasticO
      • 7 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Is this your WC team?

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

        Yeah

  13. FPL ElasticO
    • 7 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    G2g for this BGW33? No transfers.

    Leno
    TAA / Rudiger / Saiss / Coufal
    Salah(c) / Bruno / Lingard / Jota
    Iheanacho(vc) / Vydra

    Bench:: Forster / Son / Kane / Amartey

    1. Hand of Dog
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      I have the same keepers. You not worried about neither playing again?

      1. FPL ElasticO
        • 7 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        No Leno will surely start against EVE.

        1. Hand of Dog
          • 4 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          I'll hold you to that! I reckon you're gtg then

  14. g40steve
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Those with no Salah who you C this week?

    If Jota is out could get him in with several hits?

    1. tbos83
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Bruno is due

    2. FPL ElasticO
      • 7 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Nacho
      or
      TAA (differential)

    3. Holmes
      • 8 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Iheanacho

    4. g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Cheers guys

    5. estheblessed
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      I'm wondering the same currently Nacho, Bruno VC

  15. tbos83
    • 1 Year
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Any chance Mendy will start? Areola not playing so he's my only hope

  16. Igz08
    • 4 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Jota out for a hit?

    Have K.Davis as my only sub

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

      Depends on how sure the rest of your team is to start I suppose?

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

    Do we think Pulisic is worth starting? Bit concerned by the fact he played a full 90 vs Brighton and then has Real Madrid on Tuesday.

    I have Bertrand Traore or Rayan Ait Nouri I could sub in instead.

  18. estheblessed
    • 6 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Who would you captain?

    a) Bruno
    b) TAA
    c) Nacho

    1. g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      All very good.
      Bruno overdue but how many weeks have we been saying that.
      Trent really needs the CS to get huge haul
      Nacho on fire, missed at least three yesterday

      Chasing Nacho

  19. Our Tiny Servant
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Is this free hit team looking reasonable?

    Martinez
    Dunk Trent Shaw Castagne
    Salah Jota Greenwood
    Iheanacho Welbeck Greenwood

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

      U got 2 greenwoods!

      1. Our Tiny Servant
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        That’s how I win.

      2. Our Tiny Servant
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        (It’s supposed to be Watkins up front)

    2. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
      • 11 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Dunk > Greenwood

    3. Runaway
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      I don't know who is second Greenwood but I would get an attacker over Dunk in FH team regardless

  20. FPL ElasticO
    • 7 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    What is about Jota?

    1. g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Not seen training awaiting presser

  21. Hryszko
    • 4 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Guys, what are the most sensible moves here? I'm 159 points ahead in my ML so not as concerned about that, but I'm at just over 11k OR and want to try get into the top 10k (never been there)... Currently thinking of Mendy & Son > Patricio & Greenwood for -4, thoughts?

    Mendy
    Trent - Coady - Rudiger - Veltman
    Salah (c) - Bruno - Jota - JLingz
    Vydra - Nacho

    Bench: Forster - Coufal - Kane - Son

    1. g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Keep an eye on Pool presser

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

        What time is it?

        1. g40steve
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Friday Press conference times

          Smith - 9:30am
          Bruce - 9:30am
          Bielsa - 9.30am
          Nuno - 1pm
          Dyche - 1pm
          Moyes - 1.30pm
          Tuchel - 1.30pm
          Klopp - 1.30pm
          Solskjaer - 1.30pm

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

    Hey guys, got 1 FT (0.6) but a few issues to sort out.. 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

  23. waltzingmatildas
    • 11 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Best defender up to 5.7?
    A) Castagne
    B) Dallas
    C) Coufal

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

      A

    2. John Nerdelbaum
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Castagne of those

      1. waltzingmatildas
        • 11 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Any other options I haven't considered?
        Current defenders are:
        TAA Shaw Alonso Veltman Holding

    3. Vjm6891
      • 1 Year
      7 months, 13 days ago

      For the next few gameweeks - A

      However, Leicester don't seem to be reliable for clean sheets though!

  24. RamaJama
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Cresswell to che or bri def worth -4?

    Max 5.7

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

      Or Castagne

  25. mynameisq
    • 8 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    One thing to note on the Salah (C) is that most likely he will be fasting as Fofana was yesterday

    1. Ⓙⓐⓡⓥⓘⓢⓗ CMIUK
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Hopefully he is hungry for goals

    2. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
      • 11 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      I think he can eat at night though, right?

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

        Choice between eating and sleeping then

        1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
          • 11 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          He may have mastered the notoriously difficult art of eating then sleeping too

  26. Our Tiny Servant
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Thanks for feedback all.

    Better?

    Martinez
    Trent Shaw Castagne
    Salah Jota Greenwood Fernandes
    Iheanacho Welbeck Watkins

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

      This looks good.
      Be wary of Jota though, might be injured

      1. Our Tiny Servant
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        7 months, 13 days ago

        Ah! I’ll sort my bench

  27. Goonerly
    • 3 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Tempted to take a hit here.. But any advice would be welcomed!

    A) Gundo --> Trossard
    B) Gundo + Bruno --> Salah + ESR (-4)
    C) Bruno + Dias --> Rashford + TAA (-4)

    Any suggestions?
    Rest of team is:
    Mendy / Areola
    Dallas - Targett - Saiss - Rudiger - Dias*
    Bruno* - Son - Lingard - Saka - Gundo*
    Vardy - Kane - Watkins

    1. waltzingmatildas
      • 11 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Would rather lose Son before Bruno. Can you do Son, Dias to Greenwood, TAA?

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

        I could, yes.
        But losing Son before they face Sheffield? Could be a massive score for him there.

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

    Good day lads. Advice needed here lads, have 2ft and 0m itb. No chips left.

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

    son+mitchell -> greenwood/maddison+defender?

  29. G B
    • 10 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Petition made by the mayors of Manchester and Liverpool to move towards the 50+1 rule. Get your name down! https://t.co/wu2kD1egej

    1. Ⓙⓐⓡⓥⓘⓢⓗ CMIUK
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Ironically 50+1 is one of the questions Wayne Rooney got wrong on his GCSE maths exam.

  30. Tinfoil Deathstar
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Likely going to be bringing in Trent + Holding in this week for a -4.

    What TWO out of these three should I sacrifice (bearing in mind future fixtures/rotation, etc.)?

    Dias, Reguilon, Alonso.

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

      Dias + Alonso