Three talking points ahead of FPL Gameweek 33
The business end of the FPL season is upon us with just six gameweeks left to make up ground in rankings and mini-leagues.
Ahead of GW33, the impending doubles are discussed along with the top transfer targets for the season's final gameweeks and the top captaincy options ahead of Saturday's 11.30am deadline.
With double gameweek 34 having been announced last month, DGW37 has finally been scheduled.
Arsenal, Southampton, Manchester United, Chelsea, Leicester City, Manchester City, Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford and West Bromwich Albion all have two sets of fixtures in the penultimate gameweek of the season.
Here's the full schedule from now until the end of the season: pic.twitter.com/BXcJ8uqcZ9— Ben Crellin (@BenCrellin) April 12, 2017
The Gunners and the Saints also have a double in gameweek 36, while United (along with Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough) play twice in GW34.
For those with a wildcard still intact, the big decision is when to play it. For those without, beginning to stockpile for DGW37 seems prudent considering the points potential it offers compared to the other doubles.
Managers who still hold the bench boost chip will likely opt to hold until the bumper double, though if you have also retained the triple captain chip things become a little less obvious. The big caveat is that you cannot play more than one chip per gameweek, with the wildcard designated as a chip.
Another warning for FPL bosses hoping to field 11 (or even 15) players that feature twice in DGW37 is time, or lack thereof, between games in GW37:
.@OfficialFPL Gaps between matches:— Ben Crellin (@BenCrellin) April 12, 2017
LEI - 5 days
SOT, TOT & WBA - 4 days
ARS, CHE, MCI, MUN, SUN & WAT - 3 days
Without question, rotation will bite. The extent of how much XIs change from the weekend to midweek will depend on injuries, importance of players to the team and most of all how much each club has left to play for.
For example, Jose Mourinho has admitted that if fourth place becomes an impossibility for United to reach, the club's main focus will become the Europa League if the Red Devils still remain in the competition.
Mourinho: "If we have no chances in the PL then people will have to accept I will focus on the Europa League but we aren't there yet." #MUFC— Man Utd Updates (@Utd__Updates) April 12, 2017
Choosing usually nailed-on players in sides that are still battling for the title, racing for the top four or attempting to stave off relegation should help managers trying to squeeze every drop out of the season's biggest double gameweek.
One big name back in the fantasy mix for the run-in is Harry Kane (£11.3m). The Spurs striker returned to action in GW32 and has been snapped up by over 120,000 managers ahead of ties against Bournemouth, Palace, Arsenal, West Ham, Man Utd and Hull City.
Only Kane's teammate Heung-min Son (£7.1m) has attracted more owners after a 19-point haul against Watford, though how the South Korean fits into Mauricio Pochettino's set-up with Kane back remains to be seen. Both players could experience a price rise tonight ahead of tomorrow morning's deadline:
Kane, Son & Lukaku looking very likely to 👆🏽in price— FPLTeamTalk (@FPLTeamTalk) April 14, 2017
Eriksen mighty close.
Grant/Pickford won’t be enough.
Costa, Sanchez & Siggy 👇🏽 #fpl
Between freeing up funds for the England striker and Arsenal's poor form, Alexis Sanchez (£11.6m) is being heavily removed from squads with over 66,000 owners getting rid of the Chilean ahead of the Gunners' trip to Boro on Monday.
Having posted three blanks in a row, Arsenal's star man has severely failed to justify his lofty price tag.
Those hoping that Arsene Wenger will revert to playing Sanchez in the striker's position should not hold out too much hope considering the Arsenal manager's comments at his press conference today.
Wenger says Sanchez "prefers to play wide than up front" because he can touch the ball more often.— Mattias Karén (@MattiasKaren) April 14, 2017
However, while both Sanchez and Arsenal are out of form, there is no questioning the 28-year-old's ability ahead of a trip to lowly Boro and two double gameweeks. A blank at the Riverside, however, and even the most faithful of owners may get an itchy trigger finger considering the amount of top-tier assets currently outscoring the Chilean.
Earlier in the season I held an underperforming Firmino for weeks, assuming he'd come good. I have that same feeling about Sanchez now. #FPL— Peter Blake (@artemidorus_1) April 10, 2017
Eden Hazard (£10.4m), Romelu Lukaku (£10.4m) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (£11.4m), along with Kane, are the luxury assets that fantasy managers are turning to amid Sanchez's worst points-scoring run of the campaign.
With United playing Chelsea at Old Trafford, a few of the usual suspects for the captain's armband are less popular this week. Those investing in the fit-again Kane are likely to captain the Spurs man, while the Premier League's top scorer Lukaku also represents an excellent choice against a travel-sick Burnley outfit.
Kane's teammate Dele Alli (£9.2m) will also attract serious captain traffic having scored five times in his last six games, while fellow Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen (£8.8m) has produced two goals and two assists in his last four fixtures. Tottenham's opponents Bournemouth have kept two clean sheets in the last four gameweeks but also shipped five goals across ties versus Liverpool and Chelsea.
Over 113,000 players have invested in Wilfried Zaha (£5.9m) ahead of Palace's DGW34, with the in-form winger representing a differential captain pick against a Leicester side that may well have one eye on Tuesday's Champions League quarter final second-leg against Atletico Madrid.
Shakespeare says the squad will be assessed ahead of the trip to Palace. Tempted to make changes with one eye on the Atletico tie. #LCFC— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) April 14, 2017
Sergio Aguero (£12.8m) away to Southampton, Philippe Coutinho (£8.5m) away to West Brom and (for the very brave) Sanchez away to Boro all offer further arrmband options.