Fantasy Premier League – Key Notes & Lessons Taken From GW35
Written by: FPLijah
Gameweek 35 was one that split FPL managers into those that were absolutely ecstatic and thrilled with an amazing weekend of green arrows, and for others, it was the worst gameweek of their season (or in my case, the worst gameweek in my entire FPL history). Variance in terms of captaincy was the cause of this, due to the majority opting for the ever-consistent Mohamed Salah, who was benched by Jurgen Klopp, ensuring sufficient rest time for Liverpool’s upcoming UEFA Champions League Second Leg Semi-Final against Real Madrid, whilst others who had Son Heung-Min feasted with his 19 points and effectively 38 points due to Captaincy. What lessons can we take from the results of this past gameweek and hopefully take that into the biggest Double Gameweek of the season for Gameweek 36? Well, let’s dive into the article and go through some keynotes from all 10 Premier League matches.
Newcastle 0 – 1 Liverpool
The biggest thing to take from the first fixture of Gameweek 35, was the shock benching of Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold by Jurgen Klopp against an in-form Newcastle team who were at home (Newcastle was ranked 3rd in terms of form going into this fixture). It was fair to say that Klopp got it to spot on (as he usually does this season if we’re being honest), but that didn’t help us FPL managers. Salah came off the bench for a single point, whilst Trent was given a full rest and didn’t feature for a single second. Salah was the most captained player in the Top 10k, with 42.8% of his owners trusting him with the armband. Other than Liverpool fans, Robertson owners were the true winners from this fixture.
xG: 0.12 vs 2.73
Shots: 4 vs 24
Shot on Target (SoT): 2 vs 10
A clearly dominant display by the Reds to kick off the gameweek. Newcastle had zero shots from inside the box. Liverpool have now kept 8 clean sheets in their last 9 fixtures (showing us the importance of a double-up in defense). Jota impressed the most, taking 5 shots, 4 key passes, and coming away with 1 assist. If we’re assured that Jota starts, he’s a shoe-in to be in our squads due to his explosiveness, but as he, Diaz, and Firmino are likely to rotate (with Mane and Salah being safer picks), I cannot justify bringing him in over Robertson, who is the most in-form player and is also £1.0m cheaper. Liverpool’s midweek European fixture will give us an indication into who will likely be given reduced minutes for Liverpool’s Double Gameweek 36. For instance, if Robertson starts against Real Madrid, it is very likely that Tsimikas will play at least 1 fixture in Liverpool’s Double Gameweek. Enjoy the UCL Semi-Final, but do keep an eye out for these little things that will affect us in FPL.
— Ewan Harris (@ehbeepbop) April 30, 2022
Wolves 0 – 3 Brighton
Some FPL managers are surprised by the scoreline of this fixture, but Wolves not being able to keep a clean sheet should not come as a surprise. Wolves have not kept a clean sheet in their last 5 gameweeks, also failing to score in their last 3. In attack, Wolves aren’t showing any signs that we should invest in their assets either.
xG: 0.53 vs 2.91
Shots: 11 vs 17
Shot on Target (SoT): 1 vs 9
Wolves in a nutshell:
- No form in defense
- No form in attack
- Safe from relegation and therefore ‘on the beach’
- No upcoming Double Gameweeks
- Difficult fixtures against Chelsea, Manchester City, and Liverpool in their final 4
- Avoid their players
Watford 1 – 2 Burnley
Burnley have truly opened up this relegation battle and have dragged other teams into it, based on their amazing form, winning 3 consecutive matches and pushing themselves temporarily out of the bottom 3.
xG: 0.79 vs 1.37
Shots: 13 vs 17
Shot on Target (SoT): 1 vs 6
Weghorst owners were left annoyed and absolutely frustrated yet again after he was withdrawn in the 59th minute with a single point. It’s time to sell him (it actually was a time a very long time ago if we’re being honest).
Watford have now lost 11 consecutive home games in a row, which is now a new Premier League record, which I am sure no team wants to have. Dennis is a popular pick for Double Gameweek 36, but I’d honestly avoid it if possible. Nketiah, Pukki, Watkins, and Richarlison are far better options (famous last words as they say).
Southampton 1 – 2 Crystal Palace
Yet another display from Crystal Palace. If you read my article on ‘How to Approach the End of Season Run-In,’ you would’ve seen that one thing to target were players like Zaha who always performs at the back end of the season. Zaha scored yet again after coming off the bench, and he has now scored 6 goals in his last 7 away matches.
xG: 0.65 vs 0.76
Shots: 8 vs 14
Shot on Target (SoT): 3 vs 5
Southampton have now lost 26 points after scoring first, which ranks them 1st for most points dropped from a winning position this season.
I’d avoid Southampton players, and it’s worth a punt on someone like Zaha if on a Free Hit or Wildcard, with Palace in form and great fixtures until the end of the season.
— Parag Patel (@p_7_g) April 30, 2022
Aston Villa 2 – 0 Norwich
Expected more from Norwich, but Aston Villa have now kept back-to-back clean sheets in the Premier League. Watkins, a popular transfer in, provided a goal, with Matty Cash keeping a clean sheet as well. Coutinho was disappointing as he didn’t take a single shot on target.
xG: 2.31 vs 0.35
Shots: 21 vs 9
Shot on Target (SoT): 6 vs 3
Aston Villa have two Double Gameweeks in a row, so targeting their players is still a very viable strategy.
With Norwich relegated, I still feel Pukki is a great option going forward.
Leeds 0 – 4 Manchester City
This result was expected. The current Premier League Champions are showing no signs of slowing down as they compete against Liverpool for the 2021/22 Premier League Title.
xG: 1.04 vs 3.01
Shots: 7 vs 19
Shot on Target (SoT): 2 vs 6
Leeds actually didn’t play all that bad, except their finishing, was poor, and could’ve assisted those FPL managers without any Manchester City defenders, but it was not to be. Sterling owners were left disappointed after he had no attacking returns in a match that saw Manchester City score four. Jesus, the most popular transfer in, was expected to be benched after his outing in the UEFA Champions League, but surprisingly started, and continued his hot scoring form. Jesus is yet again the most transferred player ahead of DGW36, but I don’t anticipate that he will start both Manchester City’s fixtures, with a midweek UCL Semi-Final Second Leg fixture in the mix. Pep Guardiola’s line-up and substitutions will give us an indication.
Phil Foden has shown his importance, starting in 12 of Manchester City’s last 13 fixtures, taking the most shots in the box as well. Definitely, one to consider for DGW36. Prime targets will be De Bruyne, Cancelo, Laporte, Dias and Foden.
Tottenham 3 – 1 Leicester
This was a fixture a lot of us FPL managers tried to target, but the split in captaincy depending on who you owned was massive.
Kane was the most captained player in this fixture, coming away with a goal and no bonus points, taking his tally to just 6 points. Son owners were the true winners in Gameweek 35, scoring 2 goals, 1 assist, 1 clean sheet point (since he was substituted out before Spurs conceded a goal), and all 3 bonus points, taking his points tally to a massive 19 points. If you captained Son, you would’ve gotten 38 points alone from 1 player, which is a Gameweek Score far higher than many teams with all of their 11 players combined.
xG: 1.65 vs 0.27
Shots: 13 vs 6
Shot on Target (SoT): 7 vs 2
Kulusevski came off the bench to claim himself 2 assists, setting up Son for both goals. If you own Spurs players, I wouldn’t sell them. On paper, their DGW36 fixtures look difficult against Liverpool and Arsenal, but these are fixtures that suit Spurs’ playing style by going on the counter-attack. Son and Kane are viable captaincy shouts.
Everton 1 – 0 Chelsea
Possibly the biggest result of Gameweek 35, but one that was not shocking. Everton are in the fight of their lives to avoid relegation, who came up against a Chelsea side that have looked out of sorts in recent gameweeks.
Chelsea players and fans may have seemingly felt like Top 4 was safe, but I don’t think that is the case anymore. Both Arsenal and Spurs are truly going all out to claim a Top 4 spot and Chelsea needs to respond in DGW36. Two victories will ensure a Champions League spot, and although they face Liverpool in the FA Cup final 3 days after their second fixture in GW36, if they are to lose or draw against Wolves, I suspect they’d have to go full strength in the second fixture. If they win and 1 of Arsenal or Spurs drop points (which is very realistic as Spurs face Liverpool), we are likely to see a rotation from Chelsea.
xG: 1.12 vs 1.21
Shots: 9 vs 17
Shot on Target (SoT): 4 vs 5
Mount owners can consider themselves unlucky as he struck both posts with a single shot. If you have Chelsea players, I’d probably hold, but I’m not against selling them either despite their great DGW36 fixtures, due to likely rotation. It all depends on how you reinvest that money.
Pickford single-handedly saved Everton in this fixture. Richarlison has continued on his hot streak in saving Everton from relegation, scoring 4 goals and 1 assist in Everton’s last 5 goals. Richarlison owners were a little nervous as there was talk of him being possibly banned for at least one fixture due to throwing a flare, but it has since come out that he will likely get a warning and a fine, so he should be good to go for DGW36 and he is definitely a candidate for the captaincy.
Zero minutes for Romelu Lukaku today vs Everton. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel: “I didn’t bring on Lukaku because we brought Jorginho off. We only had three changes”. 🔵 #CFC pic.twitter.com/C36BPZGcRl
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 1, 2022
West Ham 1 – 2 Arsenal
Arsenal have continued on their winning form in a tricky fixture, on a charge to claim a Top 4 spot.
Nketiah and Saka impressed again. Saka is essential in our FPL teams, with 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 3 fixtures. Nketiah took 6 shots, but was unlucky to come away with just 1 point. He is by far the best budget enabler.
xG: 0.45 vs 0.96
Shots: 8 vs 13
Shot on Target (SoT): 3 vs 7
I wouldn’t target any West Ham players, with difficult fixtures to come, no double gameweeks, and with them still being in the Europa League, they aren’t completely focused on the Premier League.
Saka and Nketiah are the Arsenal options I would look at.
Manchester United 3 – 0 Brentford
A brilliant performance by Manchester United. Ronaldo just isn’t stopping with regards to his goal scoring form. He is now just 4 goals behind Mohamed Salah, and I won’t be surprised if he scored 1 more hat-trick before the season ends.
xG: 1.84 vs 0.68
Shots: 9 vs 12
Shot on Target (SoT): 5 vs 4
In a 3-0 loss, you wouldn’t anticipate that Brentford would’ve taken more shots, but that’s exactly what happened. If you watched the game though, it looked comfortable for Manchester United.
I wouldn’t target players from either of these teams. Manchester United have just 2 fixtures left this season, compared to Aston Villa for instance, having 5 to go.
The European fixtures midweek will give us an indication into possible line-ups for DGW36. If targeting Leicester assets, you’d actually hope that they’re knocked out of Europe, to focus on the Premier League. If through to the final, expect rotation from Leicester. I’d even look to sell my Leicester players if that is the case. Manchester City will rotate regardless, but watching out for the minutes of key assets is 1 to definitely look out for. Liverpool should go full strength after Salah, Trent, Thiago and Fabinho were rested against Newcastle. Roberston however could be rested for 1 fixture inDGW36, with Tsimikas coming in (likely to be against Aston Villa). Hold off on your transfers until Thursday night/Friday after all European games are concluded and after we hear from the manager’s press conferences.
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