We’re almost there. It has been one exhausting season because of the sheer number of Double Gameweeks we’ve had. Before we move into the final stretch, I thought I’d take on some of your questions.
Q) Sadio Mane (£11.8m) v Harry Kane (£12.4m) v Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m) on a Free Hit in Gameweek 37? (From @pras_fpl)
Thanks for the question, Pras. Out of the three that you have mentioned, my least preferred option is De Bruyne, primarily because Manchester City travel to a West Ham side who now have no European distractions. With David Moyes’ first-choice centre-backs fit, City will be facing a strong Hammers side for whom it is the last home game of the season. I fully expect a tight performance from the east Londoners, who definitely know how to sit back and frustrate opponents.
The other two players have a lot more haul potential in my opinion. With Liverpool, you can judge which of the cheaper midfielders is going to be benched in the FA Cup final, which handily takes place before the Sunday deadline – so you don’t need to spend more than £10.0m on your differential Liverpool attacker, in my opinion. This is why Mane falls behind Kane in the pecking order, for me.
It also helps that Kane is on penalties and in games in which I expect Spurs to keep the majority of the possession, I do like the England international as a pick. It’s also the Lilywhites’ last home match of the season and because of how we’ve seen Kane finish seasons in the past, I think the haul potential here is quite high. So because of the reasons I’ve mentioned, my order would be Kane, Mane and then De Bruyne.
Q) Last-day-of-the-season hits – what’s your feeling on them? (From @BakerFPL343)
Thanks for the question, Baker. I’ve actually had great success with hits on the final day of the season. There are always some games that have more than a few goals in them. Historically, we’ve seen an unusually high number of goals scored in Gameweek 38 which is why I think it is okay to take a hit on the final day if you feel like you’ve identified certain match-ups which you really like and have ‘bloodbath’ potential. If this involves captaincy, it’s worth it even more.
Given the season we’ve had, I wouldn’t mind a hit for a premium attacker/defender given the opposition they face are notoriously poor at the back and don’t have much to play for (Norwich/Watford/ Southampton/Wolves). It just so happens that four teams capable of scoring more than a few goals play these sides in Gameweek 38. As things stand, I don’t mind a hit for a Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea or Leicester player on the last weekend, given the very high upside on offer, but you need to be absolutely sure of their expected minutes.
Q) A Manchester City defender or a second Aston Villa defender on a Free Hit? (From @McGrawFPL)
If the Manchester City defender you are talking about is Joao Cancelo (£7.2m), it becomes a slightly more difficult question because he was so good versus Newcastle United, clocking incredible underlying numbers and looking back to his underlapping best. He was very advanced on the pitch but I’m not here to sit on the fence with my answers and given that Manchester City travel to West Ham, who will no doubt play their first-choice team, I would roll the dice and go without a City defender. The fact that Manchester City have only three fully fit defenders at the moment further strengthens the case for this.
The thing about both the Aston Villa full-backs, Matty Cash (£5.3m) and Lucas Digne (£5.0m), is that they have the potential for points at both ends of the pitch. The underlying numbers for Cash are well documented but Digne did look like he was playing further forward in the game against Norwich City.
Q) What on earth do Phillipe Coutinho (£7.1m) owners do? (From FPLRichard)
This is a tricky one and it is worth mentioning that I am writing this article before Aston Villa play Liverpool. My opinion could change before the deadline but at the moment, my thinking is that now that we’ve made our bed with him, we hold him as a pick in Gameweek 37. He still has haul potential in both home games and Steven Gerrard did mention that they are playing a lot of matches in quick succession at the moment, which is why he was rested against Burnley.
Villa have two home fixtures in Gameweek 37 and you’re guaranteed – in theory, anyway – that he starts at least one match, potentially both. There’s also the fact that Gerrard has mentioned that he wants Coutinho to stay at the club after his loan stint and that has me thinking there is a fair chance that he plays both games. Ideally, you really want him to start in the Burnley match and the chances of that increase given the fact that the Brazilian made the line-up in Tuesday’s clash with Liverpool. If Gerrard is rotating him, he could be rested for the more difficult-on-paper home game against Crystal Palace.
That’s it from me this week, so good luck this Gameweek. Sitting on an overall rank of 1,174th at the time of writing, I hope to see you soon inside the top 1k!
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