Fantasy Premier League – Key Notes & Lessons Midway Through DGW37
Written by: FPLijah
We are into the FINAL GAMEWEEK OF THE SEASON! A crazy season indeed. It was one filled with variance, due to the sheer amount of last second postponements, resulting in the most Double Gameweeks, and Blank Gameweeks that we’ve ever seen in a season! Some FPL managers absolutely loved it, whilst others were left drained. Since Gameweek 20, there have been just 3 Single Gameweeks to date, with GW38 being the 4th, which is nearly half the season in Double Gameweeks. Transfer and Chip strategies became solely focused on getting a Double Gameweek player, instead of choosing the best player in the field of FPL options for a particular Gameweek or for a certain run of fixtures. With all that said, it’s been a season that will go down in FPL Folklore for its twists and turns, and for the last time this season, we will go through the previous Gameweek’s matches, going through some key moments, the performers and if certain players are an option going into the final gameweek of the season.
Tottenham 1 – 0 Burnley
With so much on the line for both teams, this was a match of utmost importance. For Spurs, a lifeline to get into the Top 4, with pressure shifting onto Arsenal for that final UEFA Champions League spot, and for Burnley, it was all about survival and trying their very best to get a result in their fight to remain in the Premier League for the 2022/23 Season.
xG: 2.39 vs 0.63
Shots: 21 vs 8
Shots on Target (SoT): 8 vs 1
This match only went in one direction. Tottenham came into this fixture with tremendous attacking form, but Burnley remained tight at the back, not allowing Spurs to score from open play, despite their 21 shots at goal. Nick Pope saved two shots from Son-Heung Min that looked likely to be goals. Harry Kane scored a penalty, in what was the winner. If you did read my Captaincy article for GW37, you would’ve read that I picked Kane to be the better captaincy option ahead of Son, due to the opposition that the Spurs faced, and it was proven to be true.
Harry Kane took six shots at goal with an xG of 1.42, versus Son’s two shots and an xG of 0.52. From the seven fixtures that were played on the first day of the Gameweek, Spurs were the only team to keep a cleansheet. Sessegnon impressed again and will 100% be a player I will look to target for GW38, with Spurs facing Norwich. Son and Kane will be popular captaincy picks, with more leaning towards Son as he is still just one goal behind Mohamed Salah in the race for the Golden Boot award.
A beautiful moment 💙
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) May 15, 2022
Wolves 1 – 1 Norwich
A fixture that did not get the most attention, due to both teams not having anything to play for. Norwich came into this fixture after confirmation of their relegation from the Premier League, and Wolves with safety from relegation and no chance of a European spot with Top 10 likely to happen, were essentially ‘on the beach.’
xG: 1.00 vs 1.53
Shots: 17 vs 11
Shot on Target (SoT): 4 vs 2
Nonetheless, this match was fairly even between the two teams, who went blow for blow in underlying stats, as well as actual goals. Pukki, Coady, and Ait-Nouri were the popular picks in this fixture in terms of FPL. Pukki grabbed himself a goal (much to the disappointment of so many FPL managers who Free Hitted Pukki out of their teams). Ait-Nouri did not keep a cleansheet, but made up for it with a goal. Coady blanked, unfortunately.
Aston Villa 1 – 1 Crystal Palace
This was a huge match in the context of the gameweek! Aston Villa and Crystal Palace both have a Double Gameweek, and the majority of FPL managers targeted their assets, either using transfers or their second Free Hit Chip. Popular picks are Coutinho, Ings, Watkins, Digne, Cash, and Zaha.
xG: 0.80 vs 1.39
Shots: 13 vs 16
Shot on Target (SoT): 4 vs 4
The end result was one that was disappointing. A 1-1 scoreline definitely did not live up to the expectation of this fixture, but that’s football. Watkins scored for Aston Villa, with Digne assisting (I actually own Cash and Ings, so not ideal for many managers alike). Zaha was not involved and was considered a trap going into this fixture. I think if you had space for Zaha, it was worth the punt. Hindsight will always be there, but for all those popular picks for the Double Gameweek, there is still one fixture left for each player, so there is still hope of some good returns in Gameweek 37.
— Football24/7 (@foet247europa) May 18, 2022
Leeds 1 – 1 Brighton
This was a massive fixture with regards to the relegation battle. Anything less than a point was not an option for Leeds, with 3 points being the target. In terms of FPL, assets from both teams weren’t widely picked amongst active teams.
xG: 2.22 vs 2.26
Shots: 19 vs 15
Shot on Target (SoT): 5 vs 6
The result looked to be a fair one, but with both teams accumulating an xG of more than two, it’s quite easy to say that more goals should’ve been scored. With Leeds trailing to a Danny Welbeck goal, going into injury time, Pascal Struijk came up with the goods and scored for Leeds to take them level, for a much-needed point to help Leeds stay within touching distance of escaping the relegation zone.
Watford 1 – 5 Leicester
Going into DGW37, many FPL managers looked to target Leicester assets with the aim of targeting this specific fixture and it absolutely delivered. The only concern FPL managers faced was the rotation of popular Leicester City assets, but to our delight, the likes of Vardy, Maddison, and Barnes all started for Leicester.
xG: 2.59 vs 2.27
Shots: 13 vs 13
Shot on Target (SoT): 5 vs 7
I was quite surprised when looking at the underlying stats of the fixture, which shows an evenly matched game, despite what the scoreline says. Watford even recorded a better xG of 2.59 versus Leicester’s 2.27. A goal and two assists for Maddison; two goals for Vardy; and two goals with an assist for Barnes, saw Leicester absolutely demolish Watford. The advantage to all Free Hitters after this fixture was concluded.
Wednesday ⚽ ⚽
Sunday ⚽ ⚽
— Leicester City (@LCFC) May 16, 2022
West Ham 2 – 2 Manchester City
Arguably the biggest game of the weekend, after Chelsea and Liverpool, squared off in the FA Cup Final. Both teams absolutely need to win this fixture. For Manchester City, it was all about retaining a strong lead above Liverpool in the race for the Premier League title. A loss would mean that Liverpool could close the gap to equal points at the summit of the Premier League Table, with only goal difference separating the Top 2 teams. For West Ham, a win would put them in a strong position to finish above Manchester United and into the final place to enter the Europa League for next season.
xG: 1.01 vs 2.15
Shots: 6 vs 31
Shot on Target (SoT): 2 vs 8
The game kicked off brilliantly by West Ham, going a goal up after 23 minutes (goal scored by Bowen). Bowen has gone a little under the radar in recent gameweeks, with FPL managers focusing on bringing in Double Gameweek players into our teams. After scoring the second goal for West Ham, Bowen took his tally up to 33 points in the last 3 gameweeks. This 2-goal lead was huge, with both Liverpool and West Ham fans in absolute excitement at the prospect of what this meant, with both the Manchester team’s fans sent into a panic. As it always goes, Manchester City showed their class by coming back to claim a point against West Ham. Jack Grealish scored their first after a deflected shot went in, with Coufal scoring an own goal. Sometimes you just need luck in football to go your way.
Although it seemed like luck was in favour of Manchester City, they were awarded a penalty, which was taken by Mahrez. The penalty was then missed by Mahrez, with Fabianski making a great save! Based on the context of the game, the result was fair, with Antonio missing a big chance as well when West Ham was 2-1 up. The title race and the race for the final Europa League spot is definitely on going into GW38 (assuming Liverpool wins their GW37 fixture against Southampton).
Everton 2 – 3 Brentford
Everton went into this fixture, without a guaranteed safety net away from the relegation zone. A win would absolutely seal it for Everton, which is what was required. Many of us FPL managers jumped onto the bandwagon of getting Everton assets for their DGW37, bringing in the likes of Richarlison, Gordon, and Mykolenko.
xG: 2.70 vs 1.82
Shots: 11 vs 18
Shot on Target (SoT): 6 vs 7
Everton scored first, and the goal was initially credited to Richarlison, with Gordon getting the assist, which set the FPL Community on Twitter alight. The error was then rectified, as Calvert Lewin was then awarded the goal, with Richarlison being credited for the assist. A captaincy attacking return was still very welcome for all Richarlison ‘cappers.’ I did lean towards Richarlison as the best captaincy option for GW37, and if you read my GW37 Captaincy article or read my advice given on Twitter or watched my GW37 YouTube video, you would’ve reaped the rewards, assuming you went in the same direction, as Richarlison scored Everton’s second goal of the match (converting a penalty). Before the penalty was awarded, Branthwaite received a red card, sending Everton down to 10 men, and matters were made worse as Seamus Coleman scored an own goal.
After Richarlison’s penalty, Brentford scored 2 goals in 2 minutes, earning themselves all 3 points. On a sidenote, something crazy that did happen in the final minutes of this fixture was that Rondon was substituted on for just 3 minutes before receiving a red card, which sent Everton down to 9 men. Not an ideal situation for Everton, after losing the lead twice, receiving 2 red cards and losing the match, but as FPL managers, we were left quite okay with the main asset in Richarlison delivering us 12 points (24 if you’ve captained him), with 1 fixture to go for him in DGW37.
Everton 2-3 Brentford FT:
— PL News (@PLNews5) May 15, 2022
Newcastle 2 – 0 Arsenal
This fixture was everything for both Arsenal and Tottenham fans. An Arsenal win, and they are in pole position to seal a Top 4 spot in the Premier League for the 2021/22 Season. A loss would mean that Spurs would be one point clear of Arsenal with a GW38 fixture against Norwich, which is a guaranteed win in my opinion, especially with Son chasing the Golden Boot award.
xG: 1.68 vs 0.49
Shots: 16 vs 11
Shot on Target (SoT): 4 vs 2
This was also a fixture that was huge with regards to FPL, which was essentially Free Hit teams versus Non-Free Hit teams. I’ve not come across a single Free Hit team on social media with any Arsenal coverage, so players like Ramsdale, Saka, and Nketiah would play a huge role in DGW37. Arsenal failed to score, in what seemed like Newcastle were going for a Top 4 spot instead of them. Newcastle have only lost 1 fixture at home in the calendar year of 2022, which was just a 0-1 loss to Liverpool. It’s safe to say that something miraculous needs to happen on the final day of the season for Arsenal to claim a Top 4 spot.
At the time of writing this article, we still have 1 more fixture (Southampton vs Liverpool) before the second round of fixtures commences for Double Gameweek 37. This concludes the Key Notes and Lessons Midway Through DGW37. Free Hitters are currently in the lead for GW37, but anything can still happen. A few games to go for the gameweek and just 1 gameweek to come until the season ends. Enjoy it and have some fun! If you have any questions regarding your team or for more information regarding all things Fantasy Premier League, as well as maximum interaction, follow/subscribe to FPLijah on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit.
GOOD LUCK AND REMEMBER TO FPL RESPONSIBLY!