We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Thursday’s final three Double Gameweek 37 fixtures in our Scout Notes summary.
GOALS, ASSISTS AND BONUS
INJURIES AND BANS
Kai Havertz (£7.9m) was among the returnees from injury on Thursday evening, coming off the bench for the last 12 minutes of Chelsea’s draw with Leicester.
Brendan Rodgers hopes to have Youri Tielemans (£6.4m) back available on the final day after the Belgian missed out at Stamford Bridge, while James Justin (£4.9m) was another absentee due to illness.
Matthew Lowton (£4.4m) will miss Burnley’s final match of the season after being sent off at Villa Park for serious foul play but Mike Jackson hopes to have “maybe a couple” of his currently sidelined players back for Gameweek 38, having recovered James Tarkowski (£4.9m) on Thursday.
FPL TALKING POINTS
RESTED FOR GAMEWEEK 38?
There were a number of notable omissions from the teamsheets on Thursday evening which would, you’d think, increase the chances of Gameweek 38 starts for the players affected.
Mason Mount (£7.7m) was an unused substitute in Chelsea’s draw with Leicester, while Danny Ings (£7.7m) and Philippe Coutinho (£7.1m) were handed second-half cameos off the bench in Aston Villa’s clash with Burnley. Conor Gallagher (£6.0m) was also benched by Patrick Vieira at Goodison Park.
Five of the six teams in action on Thursday night have, wait for it, “nothing to play for” on the final day of the season, so you’re not quite sure what the respective managers may do in Gameweek 38; we have already seen the head coaches of the comfortably mid-table Villa and Palace hand run-outs to squad players in the run-in, for instance.
Turnarounds of less than 72 hours may also have to be considered, with the likes of James Maddison (£6.9m), Reece James (£6.4m), Marcos Alonso (£5.7m) and Richarlison (£7.6m) all handed 90-minute run-outs on Thursday and Jamie Vardy (£10.3m) and Ollie Watkins (£7.5m) both getting 78 minutes.
Fatigue may be less of a concern than normal given that a summer’s breather follows but there is still the nagging uncertainty over what Messrs Vieira, Gerrard, Tuchel, Rodgers and Lampard will do in Gameweek 38 as a result of their sides being out of any final-day scramble to avoid the drop or seal a European spot.
While the extended game-time might be a minor concern, Reece James (£6.4m) delivered a beautifully timed Gameweek 38 audition.
Registering four goal attempts and three chances created, he had the highest expected goal involvement (xGI) figure of any player on show at Stamford Bridge. The England international was even pushed into a more advanced central midfield role for the final half an hour.
Above: Reece James had more final-third touches (67) than the entire Leicester team on Thursday
It was his ‘pitching wedge’ assist for Marcos Alonso (£5.7m) that brought the scores level in west London and owners of the Chelsea defenders ought to feel miffed that they didn’t have clean sheets to go with their attacking returns, as the Foxes registered only two shots on goal all match – one of which, from James Maddison (£6.9m), found the back of the net – and Jamie Vardy (£10.3m) was restricted to three touches in the opposition half.
Elsewhere, those managers with Mount and Havertz in their squads will have been encouraged to see disappointing displays from Christian Pulisic (£7.9m) and Romelu Lukaku (£11.4m) in their steads.
Maddison meanwhile made it 20 attacking returns in his last 22 appearances, a run that dates back to Gameweek 13. His average points tally per start in that time (7.1, below) is one of the best in the division:
AND THEN THERE WERE TWO
Everton’s dramatic win over Crystal Palace has now made them mathematically safe and means that it’s a straight fight between Leeds United and Burnley for the final relegation spot.
The Toffees supplied two of the five biggest scorers of Gameweek 37 (the other three are on Leicester’s books), with the most-captained player in the top 10k, Richarlison (£7.7m), notching his ninth attacking return in 10 games.
Moving to the flanks to accommodate Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.5m) hasn’t really done his goal threat much harm, as nine goal attempts were registered across the two Double Gameweek fixtures.
Above: Richarlison’s touch heatmap in Gameweek 37 shows him plenty involved in central areas and inside the opposition box, despite the move to a wing role
Calvert-Lewin’s season meanwhile is neatly bookending: having scored in Gameweeks 1-3 and done precious little since in an injury-ravaged campaign, he’s now bagged back-to-back goals going into the final weekend and looked back to his old self against Palace. He’s a candidate for our summer Sleeper series ahead of next season and it’ll be interesting to see how he is priced in FPL for 2022/23.
Anthony Gordon (£4.7m) owners had scant reward, however, with the young winger barely making it to 60 minutes before being hooked. After another display lacking in end product, and with substitute Demarai Gray (£5.4m) having an impact, a Gameweek 38 start would have to be called into question.
If you’re looking for a cheap-o forward for the final day of the season, perhaps as an emergency bench option on a Free Hit, then Ashley Barnes (£5.2m) – don’t laugh – might be worth a look.
On penalties and again given the nod ahead of Wout Weghorst (£6.3m) up top, the long-serving striker converted from the spot to hand Burnley an early advantage at Villa Park. Yes, that was his first goal in 15 months – but he’s barely been on the field in that time due to injury. He had also been centrimetres from scoring against Spurs on Sunday, seeing an effort from range thwack the upright.
The Clarets may need to beat Newcastle in Gameweek 38 to survive; currently, all they have to do is match Leeds’ result.
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