Gameweek 37 sees the long-awaited return of fans to football stadiums and gives us plenty to ponder with appealing captaincy options and intriguing differentials.
To help you decide what’s best for your team, the Gameweek Guide covers the main talking points and the best nuggets of expert opinion.
We have an earlier cut-off time than normal with a Tuesday deadline of 16:30 BST today, before the final deadline of the season on Sunday at 14:30 BST.
The 12th Man
Up to 10,000 home supporters will be present at all matches for the final two Gameweeks – and no away fans are allowed. Will this galvanize the home team?
Everton lost to Sheffield United at Goodison Park on Sunday evening but, with the crowd cheering them on, Joe feels it could boost their chances against Wolves tomorrow evening:
When they play the Z-Cars music, the roar at Goodison is absolutely huge, it takes your breath away, and that must have an impact on them, in a favourable way.– Joe, Scoutcast
And there are reasons to be hopeful: Nuno Espírito Santo’s side conceded five big chances in Gameweek 35, two more than any other side, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.6m) ranks among the top four players for such gilt-edged opportunities over the last six matches.
Az is among the managers thinking of holding the Everton frontman for one more match before a final-day switch when the Toffees travel to Manchester City.
Greenwood No 1 Jota Replacement
The bigger question facing Az ahead of Gameweek 37 is – what to do with Diogo Jota (£6.9m)?
The Portuguese had been red flagged for the remainder of the season with a foot injury, although comments from Jurgen Klopp today suggest that might not be the case:
Nonetheless, Mason Greenwood (£7.3m) would be the number one target for Az. The 19-year-old has returned in five of his last seven games, producing three double-digit hauls.
He’s even considered the second-best option for the armband by our Captain Sensible writer Jan, chosen ahead of team-mate Bruno Fernandes (£11.4m).
Az explained his decision:
As my captain for last week’s chaotic Triple Gameweek he really delivered for me and now goes up against a Fulham side who are conceding a big chance every 27.7 minutes, the worst in the league.– Az
And Scoutcast regular Seb had further words of encouragement:
Over the season, Fulham have conceded 87 chances from the centre … 84 from their right flank, but 118 from their left flank. If we think Greenwood starts, we think he probably starts there, and we know the type of goal he’s going to score, it’s not too dissimilar to the Mo Salah, come inside, try to put it across the goalkeeper, so maybe there’s a little edge for Greenwood there.– Seb, Scoutcast
Seb wasn’t alone in highlighting the deficiencies in the Fulham rearguard, with David pointing out their decline over the last three matches – Scott’s Parker’s men conceded seven goals in that trio of games.
Fulham’s defensive statistics between Gameweeks 23 and 32 (left) compared with Gameweeks 33 to 35 (right)
Compared to their previous 12 matches, David observed that Fulham’s shots in the box conceded per game rose from 6.5 to 8.5, while their big chances conceded per game went from 1.7 to 3.0, and shots on target conceded per game increased from 3.0 to 5.0.
Greenwood may be Jan’s top pick from his beloved Manchester United, but our double-points maestro acknowledged that Fernandes, in the number ten role, has less competition for his spot and is the safer option of the two.
The Race for the Golden Boot
Taking top billing in the captaincy is Golden Boot-chasing Mohamed Salah (£12.8m). The Egyptian is tied with Jan’s third choice for the armband, Harry Kane (£11.8m), on 22 goals.
In addition to personal motivation, Liverpool have team motivation on their side – Alisson’s magnificent last-minute header keeps Champions League qualification in their own hands.
Salah, who has produced attacking returns in each of his last six starts, offers all-round attacking potential:
Not only did [Salah] record four goal attempts at the Hawthorns, but he also created four chances for his teammates as well as.– Jan
Meanwhile, Kane – who will be performing in front of home fans – was unlucky to score only once against Wolves, hitting the post twice. As Neale noted, Tottenham Hotspur have become far more attack-minded under interim head coach Ryan Mason:
Spurs had 24 shots and 13 attempts on target in this match – both figures surpassed any amount they had in a single Premier League fixture under [Jose Mourinho].– Neale
Their upcoming opponents Aston Villa endured a torrid time in the lunchtime kick-off at Selhurst Park, especially in the second half, conceding a Gameweek-high 15 shots from inside the box.
Seb offered further insights on the Scoutcast, highlighting a potential opportunity for Kane’s team-mate Son Heung-min (£9.7m):
So looking at Villa for where they’ve conceded their chances: it’s 24 from central locations, 20 from the left, and 27 from the right, so that would be Spurs’s left, so maybe a Son Heung-min shout there.– Seb
But, looking at recent form, Neale picked out Dele Alli (£7.4m) over the South Korean:
Since [Dele Alli’s] return to the starting XI in Gameweek 34, he actually trumps Son for shots (eight v five) and efforts in the box (five v three).– Neale
A decision backed up by Tom in his differentials piece.
Alli is enjoying a decent run of form under Mason, and for those in search of a real midfield differential, could be worth a look.
Joe’s FPL Nightmare
The one player Joe doesn’t own that he fears the most is Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.7m). Understandably so:
Alexander-Arnold has been particularly good at converting his underlying statistics into points of late, scoring once and providing five assists in his last seven Premier League appearances. Over his last six, no player in the division has created more chances than him either (22).– Jan
Joe’s co-host on the Scoutcast, Seb, tried his best to help him get a good night’s sleep but ultimately the glaring weakness down Burnley’s left flank isn’t going to dispel those bad dreams:
Trent Alexander-Arnold, firstly you need a clean sheet from Trent, to be a safe captain – Liverpool are ninth in the league for xGC over the last six with 8.07 expected goals conceded, so not great from that perspective. And Trent’s xGI is actually 2.49, which is pretty good for a defender, but the thing that caught my eye, if you really wanted to punt it, is that Burnley have conceded 82 crosses from their left hand side, which is the most in the league by a mile, and that’s where you’d expect Trent to be putting them in, so maybe there’s an assist there for him.– Seb
Seb joined Az and Tom in praising Joe Willock (£4.8m), who, to quote Az, has “a rather incredible five goals in his last five games played, despite only starting two of them”.
With matches against Sheffield United and Fulham to come, he is a genuine contender for our starting XIs. Over the last two matches, he has more penalty area touches (eight) than any of his team-mates. And his budget price tag, as Tom pointed out, would allow more flexibility with transfers.
While Willock remains an option for Tom’s side, potentially for Diogo Jota, his more likely switch is that of Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.2m) to Michail Antonio (£6.6m).
Despite a blank against Brighton & Hove Albion, Tom was encouraged by his performance and underlying statistics. He noted that:
No forward with substantial game-time to their name has a better rate of expected goal involvement (xGI) per 90 minutes this season [than Michail Antonio].– Tom
Community Competitions and Head-to-Head Fixtures
RedLightning brought us his regular update on the community competitions.
In the Head-to-Head leagues, the relegation battles are hotting up as we enter the final two rounds of matches. Seven managers will be hoping to escape the drop in League 1 with six teams already relegated and four spots still to be determined.
The Head-to-Head fixtures for Gameweek 37 can be found below.
The scores and tables update every night on the Head-to-Head Leagues main page so you can keep track of the action as the Gameweek unfolds.
May your arrows be green!
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