Fantasy Premier League – Key Notes & Lessons Midway Through DGW36

MilosNS
May 11, 2022
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GW36 FPL

Written by: FPLijah 

The biggest Double Gameweek of the season has already taken shape after 11 fixtures were played at the time of writing this article. Gameweek 36 has seen an array of FPL Chips in play, the most common, especially amongst the Top 10k, was the Bench Boost (closely followed by the Free Hit chip). For some FPL managers, it’s been a gameweek resulting in smiles and green arrows, and for some, well, should I even say any more? 50-50 decisions and overthinking resulted in a huge swing in points, but we will dive into each fixture below, going through the key performers and the lessons we can take going into Gameweek 37.

Brentford 3 – 0 Southampton

This match was 1 that didn’t really impact the Premier League in terms of European spots or the relegation battle but did in fact prove to be an entertaining game nonetheless. Based on the shots and shots on target alone, one would consider this a very even fixture, however when looking at the expected goals, of 3.68 vs 0.99, it’s quite clear to see that Brentford had the better goal scoring opportunities.

xG:  3.68 vs 0.99

Shots:  18 vs 19

Shot on Target (SoT):  5 vs 4

Six different players were involved in the goals (either scoring or assisting), which is quite uncommon – however the usual suspects from Brentford were involved, with both Ivan Toney and Eriksen getting an assist each. On paper, Brentford has 2 good fixtures to end their 2021/22 Season, and I think it’s worth taking a punt on Toney or Eriksen, especially if you plan to Free Hit in Gameweek 38. A fixture difficult rating (FDR) of just 2 against Everton in Gameweek 37 is slightly misleading, as Everton is in form and fighting their way out of the relegation zone. I wouldn’t buy a Brentford player in GW37, as other players who play twice should be a priority. With regards to Southampton, I’d advise avoiding their players. They’re truly ‘on the beach’ and with no double gameweek in GW37, I don’t see the point in transferring in any of their players.

Burnley 1 – 3 Aston Villa

Before a ball was even kicked, the big talking point was that Phillipe Coutinho was benched by Steven Gerrard. Many FPL managers brought in the Brazilian, with Aston Villa’s double-double in mind (DGW36 & DGW37), but as we’ve seen time and time again from double gameweeks, these things happen.  The issue however, is that Coutinho’s replacement, Buendia, came in and scored one goal, whilst getting an assist as well. Apparently Coutinho was just given a rest (coming on in the final 10 minutes of the match), but after that performance from Buendia, could we see him start yet again in Villa’s second fixture in DGW36? The line-up, whether Coutinho gets any minutes and Gerrard’s comment following the match will determine whether he is a sell, keep or buy for GW37.

xG:  1.31 vs 1.81

Shots:  14 vs 12

Shot on Target (SoT):  6 vs 7

The match was evenly split as seen by the underlying numbers above. To the excitement of many FPL managers, Watkins came away with a goal. One of the biggest trolls amongst FPL managers this season was Digne, and he also came away with an attacking return in this fixture, earning himself an assist. Jacob Ramsey did not feature and is unlikely to feature in Villa’s second fixture against Liverpool in DGW36, as stated by Gerrard, which leaves Bench Boosters frustrated. Based on Villa’s first fixture in DGW36, both Watkins and Digne are standout targets ahead of their amazing DGW37 fixtures (especially Digne to those of us who went for Dias over Laporte, from Manchester City, but we’ll get into that fixture later in the article). With regards to Burnley, they are right on the cusp of the relegation zone and in the thick of a battle to stay in the Premier League for the 2022/23 Season – however, I wouldn’t advise bringing in any of their players, due to better options from other teams at a similar price point. If you’ve got Weghorst and no other issues in your squad, I would personally sell.

Chelsea 2 – 2 Wolves

Despite the Wolves’ lack of form in recent gameweeks, both in defense and attack, they came back from 2 goals down to draw level with Chelsea. It’s been quite evident that Chelsea has taken their foot of the gas, with one eye on the FA Cup final against Liverpool – however, the Top 4 isn’t as secure as they’d like it to be. Arsenal is now just one point behind, with Tottenham 4 behind. Arsenal faces Tottenham in the second round of DGW36 fixtures, which will help Chelsea, but Chelsea has to be careful of dropping out of the Top 4.

xG:  1.82 vs 1.68

Shots:  19 vs 14

Shot on Target (SoT):  6 vs 4

Chelsea rotated their squad as expected, which saw their highly owned mids benched (Mount and Havertz). Lukaku came back into the starting XI, and his performance may warrant another start, scoring both of Chelsea’s goals. Havertz came on in injury time, with Mount not featuring at all.

Beyond the miraculous Wolves comeback, the huge talking point was Marcos Alonso. He was substituted off at half-time, with rumors floating about that he had a very heated argument with manager Tuchel, that led to him not featuring again for the rest of the match. Speculation after the match continued, with many journalists stating that it is very unlikely that Alonso will play again for Chelsea (much to the disappointment to all Alonso owners in FPL), however in the most recent press conferences, Tuchel came out and said that it has been resolved and did not go beyond the first half and into halt-time. Since then, Alonso has been pictured in training, and those of us FPL managers that do own him will be hoping that he starts against Leeds, since Chelsea surely has to go stronger to secure the Top 4. A reminder that the FA Cup final is this weekend, so their key players should likely get reduced minutes to prevent injury.

Crystal Palace 1 – 0 Watford

A dominant display from Crystal Palace, saw them come away with a well-deserved win over Watford. The result meant that Watford are now officially relegated from the Premier League, but if we’re being honest, we will surely see them come up again.

xG:  2.49 vs 0.26

Shots:  15 vs 6

Shot on Target (SoT):  7 vs 1

Ben Foster and Dennis were popular players heading into this fixture, especially those FPL managers on a Bench Boost. Unfortunately, there was no cleansheet for Watford, and Dennis was subbed off after 72 minutes. In a new twist, according to Roy Hodgson’s most recent press conference, he confirmed that Ismailia Sarr, Emmanuel Dennis, Tom Cleverley, Imran Louza, Juraj Kucka, Kiko Femenia, Josh King, and Nicolas N’Koulou are out of Watford’s second DGW fixture against Everton. Cucho Hernandez (hamstring) is still out with a long-term injury and unlikely to feature again this season, with Joao Pedro having an outside chance after completing one session in training. Dennis owners can count themselves unlucky (Sidenote: I did advise you not to buy Watford players just by the way, but I could have never predicted these sudden injuries). Richarlison could be feasting when he plays this Watford team. As mentioned in other articles, Zaha usually comes alive and is a player to target at the back end of the season. He is proving that yet again, with another goal after scoring the penalty in Crystal Palace’s win. I expect him to comfortably in the Top 5 most transferred in players ahead of Gameweek 37, as he is in form and Crystal Palace has a juicy double gameweek.

Brighton 4 – 0 Manchester United

Arguably the most shocking result of the gameweek thus far! Manchester United, with a European spot to play for, and Brighton having nothing to play for really; this result was definitely not one that was anticipated.

xG:  2.83 vs 0.93

Shots:  17 vs 15

Shot on Target (SoT):  6 vs 5

Manchester United have just one fixture left in the 2021/22 Season and are at risk of losing their European spot to West Ham. With a blank gameweek in Gameweek 37, I’d 100% avoid all their players and would sell if I did own any. With regards to Brighton, we often joke about their ‘xLiveliness,’ since they always rack up their expected goals statistics, without converting their chances, but that was not the case against Manchester United. Trossard, who has been one of my biggest trolls this season, giving me 3 points in 3 gameweeks, which included a double gameweek as well, always seems to turn up when none of us own him in FPL. He showed no mercy against Manchester United, scoring 1 goal and earning himself 2 assists as well. A punt on a Brighton player going forward would be too reactionary in my opinion, as they don’t have a double gameweek in Gameweek 37, with options from teams that do double around a similar price bracket.

Liverpool 1 – 1 Tottenham

An incredibly frustrating game to watch if you’re a Liverpool fan, with the Premier League title on the line. Despite Liverpool’s 22 shots at goal, just 3 were on target, which summarizes the game as a whole. Spurs defended deep and came up with a game plan to get a result against 1 of the best teams in world football at present. The result was fair in my opinion.

xG:  1.05 vs 0.98

Shots:  22 vs 8

Shot on Target (SoT):  3 vs 3

Son Heung-Min continued with his incredible goal-scoring form, chasing down Mohamed Salah for the 2021/22 Premier League Golden Boot. Son is now just 2 goals behind ‘The King’ with Salah blanking in the first fixture of DGW36. Salah has an EO (effective ownership) of 181.8% in the Top 10k according to LiveFPL.net, with many relying on the Egyptian as their captain, and Triple Captain for some. If you took the punt on Luis Diaz, congratulations! Manchester City were the favorite to win the Premier League Title this season before this game took place. With this result, I’d say the league is completely in their favor going forward, but when it comes to football and especially the Premier League, anything can happen. Kane disappointed his owners yet again, always being involved in the goal, but being the creator, rather than the scorer, and so often getting the pre-assist, which is frustrating due to his FPL price tag, being a premium forward. Son is definitely the better option going forward. He is cheaper, in form and going for the golden boot.

Arsenal 2 – 1 Leeds

The only thing that mattered to Arsenal and their fans, was to come away from this fixture with 3 points, as Arsenal look to secure a Top 4 finish in the Premier League this season.

xG:  2.72 vs 0.70

Shots:  19 vs 3

Shot on Target (SoT):  9 vs 2

Eddie Nketiah scored both goals against Leeds and if you’ve been reading all my articles prior to this, you would know that he was my standout budget enabling pick. Some FPL managers tried going more differential, with options that were a little more expensive, in Pukki and Dennis, but that has well and truly ended in tears. Arsenal scored two early goals, but was unable to score again against a 10-man Leeds team after Luke Ayling received a red card. Leeds then scored, to the dissatisfaction of many FPL managers who own Ramsdale in goal or Arsenal defence. Arsenal have a Top 4 deciding fixture still to come in DGW36 against Spurs. It should be entertaining both from a fan perspective and with regards to FPL.

Leicester 1 – 2 Everton

Everton absolutely refuses to be relegated! Goals from Holgate and Mykolenko, saw Everton continue on their amazing run, to find themselves out of the relegation zone at present. Since Gameweek 32, Everton has only lost 1 game, which was against Liverpool, winning against the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea in the process.

xG:  1.47 vs 1.56

Shots:  16 vs 10

Shot on Target (SoT):  9 vs 4

Harvey Barnes only featured for 1 half of football, whilst Maddison missed out completely. Richarlison, who is a very popular pick in GW36, came away with an assist. Everton face a Watford team, missing almost their entire first-team attack, in the second fixture of DGW36, and I foresee Richarlison getting on the scorecard, which is great since I own him as well. Leicester players have been disappointing, but with a double gameweek in GW37, I’d probably hold onto their players, if you do in fact own them.

Norwich 0 – 4 West Ham

This result came as a surprise, to be honest. West Ham played in the Europa League Semi-Final during the midweek, so rotation to some extent and tired legs were expected – however, the West Ham from earlier in the season returned! Antonio scored one, Benrahma scored two, and Bowen came away with three assists.

xG:  0.78 vs 3.26

Shots:  8 vs 13

Shot on Target (SoT):  2 vs 5

With Manchester United failing to win against Brighton, West Ham now have a chance of grabbing the final European spot from them, if they are to win their final 2 fixtures, one of which is against Manchester City just by the way, which adds an extra element to the entertainment of this final stretch of the Premier League Season. Norwich are officially relegated, Pukki seems off it at the moment, and with no double gameweek to come, I’d avoid all Norwich players. I’d avoid West Ham players as well with no DGW and better options at their price bracket.

Manchester City 5 – 0 Newcastle

After Manchester City’s surprising exit from the UEFA Champions League, 1 of 2 things could have happened against Newcastle as a reaction; either Manchester City absolutely smashes Newcastle or Newcastle manages to grab a result against the current PL Champions, and the former is exactly what happened.

xG:  4.06 vs 1.00

Shots:  21 vs 7

Shot on Target (SoT):  9 vs 3

Newcastle had the chance to grab a goal very early on, but Chris Wood was only able to head the ball directly into Ederson’s gloves, missing a huge chance. Manchester City then punished the Geordies, scoring 5 goals. Some FPL managers took punts on captaincy, going with the likes of Cancelo and De Bruyne, and they did not disappoint, well to some extent. Cancelo got himself a clean sheet and an assist, which is brilliant for his owners, but Kevin De Bruyne had just 1 assist, which was a tad disappointing, considering Manchester City scored 5 goals. Jesus and other players were just always a fraction away from converting De Bruyne’s crosses and low drives. Sterling scored 2 and Foden came off the bench to score 1 as well. The big dilemma before the GW36 deadline was whether to go for the more attacking Laporte or the more nailed asset in Dias. Laporte is generally considered extremely nailed in Pep’s best starting XI, but in the second leg fixture against Real Madrid, in the Champions League, Laporte had a little injury but played the entire 120 minutes. Pep Guardiola was not asked about Laporte in his press conference prior to the GW36 deadline, which left FPL managers trying to predict whether Laporte was injured or not, which led to many managers opting for Dias, as the safer pick. Dias should have scored Manchester City’s second goal, but his shot was saved and the rebound was scored by Laporte. Dias was substituted at half-time, missing out on a clean sheet, with Pep confirming that he sustained an injury and will miss the rest of the season. Crazy amount of variance here with regards to a 50-50 decision for us FPL managers. Lesson learned here? Sometimes it’s better to think like a casual FPL manager and not over-analyzing and overthinking every little thing. Laporte was the better option, which we all knew, but went for Dias based on overthinking the decision.

Aston Villa 1 – 2 Liverpool

To round up, Villa vs Liverpool was the final fixture played at the time of writing this article, making both these teams the only 2 to play twice during DGW36. MOHAMED SALAH BENCHED!  That was by far the biggest talking point when the teamsheets were released for this fixture. Andy Robertson was also benched for Tsimikas, but that was expected, which is why I suggested going for Luis Diaz as a punt over Robertson if you were on a Free Hit.

xG:  1.45 vs 1.75

Shots:  9 vs 17

Shot on Target (SoT):  4 vs 6

Aston Villa scored first, which gave all Liverpool players and supporters a scare. Liverpool then hit back, with goals from Matip and Mane, ensuring a comeback and a vital 3 points to take the Premier League title race down to the wire against Manchester City. Watkins went off injured, which is a slight concern for FPL managers who own the forward with his DGW37 in mind. Coutinho started ahead of Buendia, despite Buendia’s incredible performance in the previous fixture. Danny Ings looked fit and in great form, and would be a target transfer ahead of DGW37. Mo Salah came off the bench and almost scored immediately, but his shot was blocked. Salah finished DGW36 with just 3 points, shockingly, with many managers relying on him as their Captain and Triple Captain. If you’ve went differential with captaincy, relying on De Bruyne, Cancelo, Richarlison, etc., this is a huge chance to make up massive ground on those FPL managers above you in your mini-leagues and overall rank. I hop it goes in your favor and you see a big green arrow come to the end of DGW36.

Final Thoughts

This concludes the Key Notes and Lessons Midway Through DGW36. This gameweek has it all at present for FPL managers: luck, punts, differentials, pain, frustration, and excitement. Enjoy it and have some fun, with just 5 matches left in DGW36 and 2 more gameweeks to come. For information regarding all things Fantasy Premier League, as well as maximum interaction, follow/subscribe to FPLijah on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit.

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Author MilosNS

MilosNS is our senior content writer, SEO guru, and first ever tipster who started working with us, and he is still here. He is a well-known name in the sports betting industry, and his knowledge about anything betting related is vast. If you have any questions, or doubts, MilosNS has the answer for you.

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