The Fixtures Are Announced – Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 32 Preview

It’s been a while since we had a proper FPL GW to get our teeth stuck into, but now we have GW32 coming up fast!

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It’s been a while since we had a proper FPL GW to get our teeth stuck into, but now we have GW32 coming up fast! There have also been developments on fixture scheduling since we last previewed FPL, and it hasn’t all gone quite the way I expected (all the teams I predicted to get to the semis have made it, but the fixture rescheduling is a little different). For a full analysis of the DGW/BGW fixtures then look here, and my opinion hasn’t really changed with the new fixtures, as I’ll go over below.

For now, though, it’s a normal gameweek with Man City just 2 wins away from the title, West Brom just 4 losses from relegation and all the other battles to be won and lost. We’ve missed you FPL!

FIXTURE RESCHEDULING

DGW34 has been announced, while the FA Cup semi-final line-up is fixed, meaning we know who will blank in GW35. The teams with doubles in GW34 will be:

Bournemouth–Liverpool (a), Man United (h)

Brighton–Crystal Palace (a), Spurs (h)

Burnley–Leicester (h), Chelsea (h)

Chelsea–Southampton (a), Burnley (a)

Leicester–Burnley (a), Southampton (h)

Man United–West Brom (h), Bournemouth (a)

Southampton–Chelsea (h), Leicester (a)

Spurs–Man City (h), Brighton (a)

While the teams without a fixture in GW35 will be

Bournemouth

Brighton

Chelsea

Huddersfield

Leicester

Man United

Southampton

Spurs

And finally, the double gameweek teams in GW37 will be (note these are not yet listed in the game due to TV scheduling, but they should all appear in DGW37)

Arsenal–Burnley (h), Leicester (a)

Brighton–Man United (h), Man City (a)

Chelsea–Liverpool (h), Huddersfield (h)

Huddersfield–Man City (a), Chelsea (a)

Leicester–West Ham (h), Arsenal (h)

Man City–Huddersfield (h), Brighton (h)

Man United–Brighton (a), West Ham (a)

Newcastle–Watford (a), Spurs (a)

Southampton–Everton (a), Swansea (a)

Swansea–Bournemouth (a), Southampton (h)

Spurs–West Brom (a), Newcastle (h)

West Ham–Leicester (a), Man United (h)

This presents a dilemma for those people with all their chips still to use as the conventional wisdom is Bench Boost in the week with the most DGW teams available as this offers a bigger pool of players. However, the league could be almost all wrapped up by then, and certain teams will focus elsewhere.

Arsenal will most likely have 6th place and, if they make it that far, will throw all their eggs into the Europa League basket, while Man City will be champions and Pep could give game time to youngsters or fringe players. Other teams will also look forward to the summer, or making sure they stay fit for the World Cup (nobody will want a big injury on May 5th.)

Therefore, I think it still makes sense to play Bench Boost in DGW34 and save the Triple Captain for DGW37, especially as Harry Kane scored a hatful of goals in the last 3 games of last season and he will play West Brom and Newcastle.

Do what is right for your team, and if you think there are more points to be had in DGW37, then go for it. Personally, I hit the wildcard button the minute GW31 kicked off, gleefully binning Walcott, Wilson, and Choupo-Moting. This was before the DGW fixtures were announced. If I had held on, then maybe my theory would be different, but as it stands it’s far easier for me to load up on DGW34 players than to plan for a full 15 DGW37 players (14 plus Salah who is going nowhere).

FIXTURES

Best: Arsenal–Stoke (h), Southampton (h), Newcastle (a), West Ham (h), Man United (a), Burnley (h)

Arsenal may not have a DGW until 37 but look at those fixtures! 3 of the bottom 4, all at home with a trip to Old Trafford the only stumbling block. The difficulty is that they will put the league second behind the Europa League and a shot at an unlikely Champions League place.

Worst: StokeArsenal (a), Tottenham (h), West Ham (a), Burnley (h), Liverpool (a), Crystal Palace (h)

Stoke are fighting relegation and Paul Lambert has his work cut out. They face 3 of the top 6 in the coming weeks and the games against West Ham and Crystal Palace will be relegation dogfights!

MAIN MEN

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (FWD, 10.6m, Stoke at home)

I mentioned above that Arsenal will focus their efforts on the Europa League, but one player is cup-tied in Europe, and therefore is practically rotation proof for the Premier League! Not only that, he is a world-class striker with an eye for goal (3 already in 5 league matches, plus an assist). Aubameyang might be the only player without a double in GW34 that makes it into my wildcard squad because he is guaranteed to start, and those fixtures are mouth-watering.

Mohamed Salah (MID, 10.7m, Crystal Palace away)

Who else but the Egyptian hero of GW31? That only 8 teams were playing was barely noticeable as anybody who captained him was instantly on 58 points! He has hit 266 points already and I really believe we could see the first 300+ point season. It helps that their fixtures are almost as good as Arsenal’s, with Chelsea away in 37 the only real difficulty. You should load up on DGW players, but this man should be the centre of your team.

Romelu Lukaku (FWD, 11.4m, Swansea at home)

This is partly a double gameweek play, partly coverage and partly the hope he is back in form. Lukaku has 3 goals in the last 5 for Man United and netting for Belgium in the international break. His price is prohibitive, but with 2 double gameweeks coming up and a clear fixture schedule after the Manchester derby, Lukaku is a must own for the rest of the season.

POTENTIAL GAMBLES

Ashley Young (MID, 4.9m, Swansea at home)

I’m surprised I haven’t seen more chatter about him on Twitter. Admittedly, he is playing out of position the wrong way (listed as a midfielder but deployed at left back), but Young is a cheap bench player with attacking potential and is also involved in 2 DGWs. His price allows you to leave him on the bench and not stress too much if Mourinho rotates, but he has played 90 minutes in 3 of the last 4 games.

Chris Wood (FWD, 6.2m, West Brom away)

Burnley are getting a lot of interest for a very simple reason. They are the only team with a double in GW34 and a fixture in GW35. Every other DGW34 team blanks in 35. Therefore, unless you are planning on using your Free Hit in GW35 (as I am), Burnley are the team to target.

Wood has recently returned from injury and hit the ground running with a brace in 29 minutes against the hapless Hammers. His record is a little spotty but, as with Young, he’s cheap enough that you need not rely on him.

DEFENSIVE PICKS

David de Gea (GK, 5.9m, Swansea at home)

You might notice I’m focussing heavily on Man United. I don’t enjoy doing it but a golden rule of FPL is head over heart. Another golden rule is own DDG. The Spanish keeper is immense, nailed on to start when fit and playing behind Mourinho’s big red bus. Looking at their fixtures I would be very surprised if he doesn’t bag a double clean sheet in DGW34, it’s that simple.

STEER CLEAR

Willian (MID, 7.1m, Spurs at home)

I really don’t enjoy picking out Willian either, but for a different reason. I think the little Brazilian is a great player with magic feet and heaps of potential. Antonio Conte thinks he is a fringe player to be rotated in and out on a whim. He has started the last 3, but before that, he played less than 45 minutes in 3 games. Another golden rule of FPL is to choose consistent starters, which he isn’t. As soon as he appears to be nailed on in that squad I will bring him straight in, but not until then.

Arsenal (except Aubameyang)

It’s very rare that I recommend avoiding a team with fixtures like these. Arsenal should walk through their remaining games and provide plenty of returns for FPL managers, except for one thing; the Europe League.

Wenger will prioritise a shot at European silverware and a place in the Champions League, so their bigger stars like Ramsey, Koscielny, Ozil and Mkhitaryan could all be rested and rotated frequently in the coming weeks. If they get knocked out, then everybody should jump on that train, otherwise, it’s just Aubameyang for now.

KEY ABSENTEES

Definitely Out

  • Rob Elliot
  • Phil Jones
  • Gylfi Sigurdsson

Maybe Out

  • Sergio Aguero
  • Harry Kane
  • Alexandre Lacazette

 

Let us know who your transfer will be this week, or ask for advice from our FPL team in the comments below.

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