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. Vjm6891
    • 1 Year
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Who is going to start upfront for Arsenal? Martinelli or Nketiah? Or do I just go Saka for a more definite start (and probbably just as good?)

    1. Saint Tim
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Saka

    2. Weak Become Heros
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Saka for definite mins. I do think Nketiah will do well if he starts.

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

      I think Arteta will go for Nketiah but might also start Martinelli on the wing.

      Martinelli will start IMO

  2. Weak Become Heros
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Veltman or Dunk on FH?

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

      Dunk

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

    Mendy
    TAA Holding Rudiger Shaw
    Jota Fernandes Lingard Maddison
    Vardy Vydra

    Forster* - Masuaku Kane* Son*

    1 FT, 3.2 itb

    Son to Salah and captain, right?

    1. Wee Jinky
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 12 days ago

      Right!

  4. Mr Arsenal
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    So with Jota being rumoured to be missing and potentially out for weeks (Az and Mark hinted at that last night)...is it worth the gamble to sell and get a Maddison or Greenwood in..?

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

      Wait for press conference

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

        I wish Klopp will be asked about it but I suspect most questions will be around the SL fall-out, squad reaction etc...

        No respect for FPL these journos!

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

      Both nice differentials - Maddison more rotation proof so I'd go with him

    3. gmando2011
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      where is the link to say he is out for weeks?

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

        No link - not pictured in training and Az & Mark mentioned there were rumours of him being out for weeks on their podcast last night.

        His injury record is not great so very possible.

    4. antis0cial
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      I guess we wait until the Klopp press conf at 13:30 and hope he reveals the extent (if any) of Jota injury. I'm leaning towards Greenwood for a -4 if Jota is out.

  5. ‘Tis the Season
    • 3 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Bottomed, apologize.
    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)

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

      Could go both ways, but TAA probably more important than Bruno at this point. But Bruno has likely DGW coming up

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

    Raphinha out against MU.. That's (hopefully) good news for Shaw and MU in general.

    1. antis0cial
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Goes from bad to worse, is this confirmed?

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

        From Bielsa himself.

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

      Damn, was hopeful he would recover

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

    Current team going into GW33, already taken a -4 to get TAA for Stones:

    Martinez
    TAA Holding Konsa Rudiger
    Salah Lingard Fernandes Raphina*
    Nacho Bamford
    (Areola* Kane* Son* Dallas)
    0 FT, £0m itb

    Defense rather weak, and Holding and Rudiger rotation risks I guess.
    Would you free hit this team to bolster defense and bring in a couple of differentials (e.g. Vardy Greenwood) ?

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

      You're team is OK and could have 11 players. I suppose it depends when you were thinking on using your free hit if not this week?

      The 4 not playing you could definitely upgrade some players in your first 11

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

        If not using FH this week, it would be either possible DGW35 or BGW36. But DGW35 looking kind of meh, so taking advantage of possible BGW could be smarter

  8. Pep Roulette
    • 4 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Jota and Pereira to Greenwood and Saka for -8?

    1. The VAR Team
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      If Jota confirmed out yeah

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

    Too far fetched
    My wc team:

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

    1. Pep Roulette
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Jota might be out

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

        what is wrong with Jota???

    2. The VAR Team
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Kane and Jota a bit worrying. Wait and see after pressers, otherwise I'd want another defender for possible DGW35

  10. The VAR Team
    • 2 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    What do you think of this WC? Have money for Vardy to Kane, and 8 doublers and 11 for the likely blank:

    Martinez Forster
    Trent Rudiger Dallas Coufal Holding
    Salah Son Maddison Greenwood Lingard
    Vardy Nacho Watkins

  11. damiang2233
    • 11 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Few injury concerns and just like you thoughts.

    Have no bench this week as city and spurs players on it.

    Thoughts on Creswell, Nat Phillips and Raphinha chance of playing this weekend?

    Have 1 FT

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

      Looks like Raph's out, Phillips should be okay and I think Cresswell won't return until GW34, keep ears out for the pressers for Phillips & Cress.

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

    GTG or Son to Maddison/Havertz for a hit?

    Martinez
    TAA Castagne Dallas Konsa
    Salah(c) Greenwood Lingard Raphinha
    Bamford Iheanacho

    Pope Coufal Kane Son

    1. The VAR Team
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Keep Son!

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

        ^this
        Spurs got SHU coming up in GW34, don't waste transfers on hokey cokey

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

    A or B?

    A) Save FT & play this 11
    B) Kane & Son --> Salah (C) + Iheanacho (-4)

    Martinez
    Dallas Veltman Shaw Targett
    Jota Bruno Lingard Raph
    Vardy(c) Watkins

    McCarthy Kane Son Holding

    1. The VAR Team
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      A
      But also C) Watkins > Nacho

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

    Neto and Jota to Greenwood and Saka, seem good?

    Martenelli over saka?

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

      Jota is playing Newcastle this GW.

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

        unofficial reports suggest he is out, will wait for klopp presser to confirm

  15. Street Friend
    • 10 Years
    7 months, 13 days ago

    If the Jota long term rumours are true. I’ve got myself in a bit of a bad spot and replacement would have to be 7.0 Mil. (No Greenwood or Maddison). P.s I have Mendy Forster

    Who would you get
    A) Saka
    B) Siggy
    C) Tielamans
    D) -4 to get maddi/Greenwood (Mendy would fund it)

  16. DavidBadWillie
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    7 months, 13 days ago

    Anyone selling Dias??

    Thinking of getting Castagne in for him...

  17. Lacikasz01
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Do you think it would be worth it to own Bruno Fernandes and Vardy for GW33 (as I do now) and then swap them for Son and Kane for a -4 in GW34 and keep them 'til the end of the season?

    • Slitherene
      • 3 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      How is Keane's attacking threat?

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

        Good from corners

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

        It’s likely who I’ll be bringing in, cheap enough, nailed on, good threat (although concerning my all his goals are from early in the year).

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

      Raph not going to play, not sure if a hits worth it as not much available at his price!

      Might just go in with 10

    • Sarri-ball
      • 12 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      On a freehit happy with team apart from a 4th midfielder gamble. Dont own any from any of these teams

      A) Saka/pepe
      B) mount
      C) Havertz
      D) traore

    • Steirish
      • 7 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Is Soyuncu expected to start now? can't afford other Leicester defence

    • ZAMUNDA
      • 4 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      So Raphinha is out?

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

        yes, hasnt even trained yet

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

          Trained fully yet. May still have a chance.

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

            So I had basically 11 starting but with Raph a doubt along with Jota rumors and Chelsea defence rotation. I can end up with 8 players.

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

      On WC:

      Digne Ayling

      Or

      Coleman Dallas

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

        CD

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

          Cheers. you think CD have higher ceiling than AD?

    • Edge
      • 12 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Dias & Cresswell
      >
      Dunk & Robertson (-4)
      ?

    • Steirish
      • 7 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Soyuncu or Keane?

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

        Soy or Evans

    • Poison Apple
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Miles from leader who is also 7 pts ahead for manager of the month. Trying to get some pride back with the latter.
      So need to gain 8pts on him this GW33.

      He gt sanchez n I got Leno n Forster.
      He got Masuaku n I got N.philips
      He got Vydra vs Diagne for me

      So what should I do

      A. Forster to Sanchez
      B. Diagne to Vardy
      C. N.Philip to Dunk
      D. A+B (-4)
      E. B+C (-4)

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

        B

        1. Poison Apple
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          7 months, 13 days ago

          Tks

    • Bobby_Baggio
      • 10 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      If Jota out which shall i go for a -4 please?

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

      (McCarthy) - Kane* - Dias* - Moura*

      A) Jota + Moura > Maddison + 6.5m
      B) Jota + Moura > Siggy + 6.9m
      C) Jota + Moura > Greenwood + 6.6m
      D) Moura > 6.8m (have no bench)

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

        C

    • Wardinator
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Moura to Maddison for -4
      Or
      Play Dallas

    • The VAR Team
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Do we think Vydra will start against Wolves?

    • FCSB
      • 5 Years
      7 months, 13 days ago

      Is Mendy >> Schmeichel worth a FT?

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