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. ChickenTikkaMoSalah
    • 6 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Son+Davis to Greenwood+Watkins for free??

    1. tbos83
      • 1 Year
      9 months, 6 days ago

      I would

  2. Flynniesta
    • 7 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    In a bit of a quandary. I’ve got my FH, BB & WC available. When’s the optimum time to use each guys?
    (Had a mare of a season so I sort of gave up thinking of using the chips)

    1. Holmes
      • 8 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      WC next week
      FH in some double or last GW
      BB in 35 or 36

      1. Holmes
        • 8 Years
        9 months, 6 days ago

        if current team is not good, then WCing this week is an option but we may not know about Kane this week

        1. Flynniesta
          • 7 Years
          9 months, 6 days ago

          Cheers mate

    2. Flynniesta
      • 7 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Initial thought was WC now setting up to cover this weeks blank & DGW 35, BB in 35 & FH in 36?

    3. Vjm6891
      • 1 Year
      9 months, 6 days ago

      I'm FH this week as I have 5 man city/spurs players

      1. Vjm6891
        • 1 Year
        9 months, 6 days ago

        SOrry then WC before BB if enough time is given by the rearranged game announcements (i.e Double GWs)

        1. Flynniesta
          • 7 Years
          9 months, 6 days ago

          Cheers pal

    4. Runaway
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      WC 33 OR 34 (depending on your team), BB35, FH36

  3. tjostolv
    • 9 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    any news on Phillips?

    1. Lindelol
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Need to know this too

    2. Vjm6891
      • 1 Year
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Has started the last few games for West Brom so should be starting again I suspect 😉

  4. Lindelol
    • 3 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Captain
    1. Vardy
    2. Jota
    3. Salah but with -8
    4. Bruno

    1. Pipermaru
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Bruno or Vardy.

    2. Saint Tim
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Vardy

    3. Runaway
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      1

  5. Mookty
    • 6 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Struggling to figure out who to sell here. 2FTs. £0 ITB.

    Mendy
    TAA, Coady, Rudiger, Coufal, Holding
    Lingard, Salah, Jota, Fernandes
    Iheanacho

    Forster, Vydra, Kane, Son

    1. TheDragon
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Wait for press conferences to see who is / isn’t fit and whether Mendy will start.

      Then you’ll know the transfer

      1. Mookty
        • 6 Years
        9 months, 6 days ago

        Ok. Thanks. That should make it easier.

  6. Lindelol
    • 3 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Any Goal keeper worth a hit to replace Pope this GW (have Johnstone as second GK)

    1. Holmes
      • 8 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Play Johnstone

      1. Lindelol
        • 3 Years
        9 months, 6 days ago

        Isn’t pope better this GW if pope fit?

        1. Holmes
          • 8 Years
          9 months, 6 days ago

          If he is fit, then yes, Pope. I thought he is out for couple of more weeks

  7. LloristheHounds
    • 4 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Are jota and raphinia injured?

    What chance are they of playing this Gw?

    1. John Nerdelbaum
      • 9 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      If only there were press conferences to clear up these things

      1. G-Whizz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 4 Years
        9 months, 6 days ago

        😆

  8. TheDragon
    • 3 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Is DCL now fit?

    1. jimbobmij
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Yeah he should start, wasn't a big injury

  9. jimbobmij
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Is 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.

  10. andymck
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Need to sell Digne for a budget defender to free up funds, who would be better out of Saiss and Coufal?

  11. FCSB
    • 5 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Is Mendy >> Schmeichel worth a FT?

    I mean even if Mendy starts this week, Kepa could play Fulham next week?!

  12. Arteta
    • 6 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    GR 1.255 out of 8.195.022 total players.

    I'VE PEAKED!!!!

  13. Henryyy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Play one

    A Holding (eve)
    B Vydra (wol)

    Cheers

    1. Saint Tim
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Holding

  14. user.n
    • 5 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Guys, Bruno to Rashford?

    1. waltzingmatildas
      • 11 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Not for me

  15. Tinfoil Deathstar
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Bottomed/re-post.

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

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

    Dias, Reguilon, Alonso.

  16. YoungPretender
    • 7 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Only got 8 playing;

    Kane, Son & Cresswell > Vardy, Salah & Fofana (-8)?

    1. John Nerdelbaum
      • 9 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      What about the others that aren't playing and you won't want back?

  17. FPLord
    • 12 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Mendy Forster
    Phillips Rüdiger Shaw (Dallas Dias)
    Salah Jota Lingard Fernandes (Son)
    Nacho (Kane Davis) 2FT 1.9

    Should I take the hits now regarding the future DGW or play it safe? TAA really hurts me atm...

    A. Dias, Phillips, Jota > TAA, Veltman/Holding, Greenwood -4
    B. Dias, Jota > Castagne, Greenwood

  18. Obamawang
    • 2 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    I'm struggling to know what to do - I have 2 free transfers and 1.6m in the bank, but would really like to roll one over.

    I was going to field:

    Mendy
    Rudiger Holding TAA Coady Phillips*
    Bruno Salah Lingard Raphina*
    Iheanacho
    (Forster Son Kane Davis)

    Would Phillips to Holgate in preparation for Everton's DGW make sense? Any other ideas?

    Cheers.

    1. FPLord
      • 12 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Raphinha (if out) > Greenwood or Mendy > Martinez

  19. hogree
    • 4 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Castagne or Pereira?

    1. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Cast

    2. g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Ricc vs Palace

    3. John Nerdelbaum
      • 9 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Probably the one that played last night

    4. Saint Tim
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Sorry, I asked exactly the same question further down the page. I’m torn. Castagne feels more nailed. But, if he plays, Ricardo feels like has more upside

      1. g40steve
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        9 months, 6 days ago

        This

        1. Saint Tim
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          9 months, 6 days ago

          You prob don't care but after much deliberation, I went with the cheaper safer option and my namesake: Castagne

  20. Lindelol
    • 3 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Captain
    1. Salah (required double hit)
    2. Vardy
    3. Bruno

    1. matiakez
      • 11 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Vardy I'd go for

    2. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      2

    3. Saint Tim
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      2

  21. matiakez
    • 11 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Feel in a tricky spot this week.

    Kasper Forster
    TAA Rudiger Coady Ayling Alonso
    Son Bruno Salah Jota Lingaard
    Kane Nacho Davies

    Have 2 FT but not sure where to go. Ideally wanted to keep Son but there's a danger could be down to 9 or 10. Alonso I think I will have to lose due to the uncertainty.

  22. gers23
    • 10 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    53 points behing in mini league and they have Salah?

    Is it worth me putting him in or at this point do i have to go somebody different ie Mane?

    1. Vjm6891
      • 1 Year
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Suppose it depends how different your other players are?

      If you're teams are similar, you need some different ones to catch up. Having said that, if you think Salah's going to score more than mane, go with him!

      1. gers23
        • 10 Years
        9 months, 6 days ago

        great thanks

    2. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      I think it's worth getting Salah still, you might be able to make it up elsewhere.

    3. Mr_Barbs
      • 4 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Mane. 5/6 games left. Make or break time!

  23. lifes a pitch
    • 8 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Salah or Mane ?

    1. Saint Tim
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Salah

  24. Wılly
    • 8 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    I have 4 players without a fixture this week,
    plus Jota, Phillips and Aubameyang

    A. Auba to Bruno
    (risk having two players not playing)

    B. Auba, Jota to Mane, Greenwood (-4)
    (differential, risk having one player not playing)

    1. Saint Tim
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      B

  25. jimbobmij
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Should I start Pulisic? I have Bertrand Traore or Rayan Ait Nouri I could sub in instead.

    Bit concerned by the fact he played a full 90 vs Brighton and then has Real Madrid on Tuesday.

    1. Vjm6891
      • 1 Year
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Midfield has been similar in the last 2 games (i think) so I suspect some sort of rotation. However Chelsea have become a bit like Man CIty where you don't really know who is going to play.

      I thought Mendy was nailed to start every game.....now he isn't!

  26. Ginola
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Best defender to get for next GW's?

    A. Konsa
    B. Dallas
    C. Saiss

    1. jimbobmij
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Dallas

    2. Saint Tim
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Dallas

    3. Vjm6891
      • 1 Year
      9 months, 6 days ago

      I'll be different and say Saiss for the next few.

      However, Dallas always has a chance to score

    4. Poison Apple
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Saiss then transfer for Dallas

  27. Nightcrawler
    • 2 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Sell kane for vardy or keep?

    YOU DECIDE!

    1. DA Minnion (Former great)
      • 9 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      I can't decide. That's the problem.

    2. Saint Tim
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      9 months, 6 days ago

      Keep

  28. ‘Tis the Season
    • 3 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Is Phillips and Bruno to Greenwood and TAA good moves. At 39k and trying for top 10k. Current team is: Mendy Phillips* Rudger Shaw Coufal Bruno* Salah Jota Lindz Nacho DCL (Holding Son Kane)

  29. Saint Tim
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    A) Castagne or
    B) Ricardo Periera

  30. lespaul
    • 12 Years
    9 months, 6 days ago

    Re: Scout tweets,
    Fofana came off in the 61st minute, otherwise he wouldn't have banked the clean sheet