Bench Boost GW35 FPL Squad Preview

GW34 Review

After using our wildcard in GW34, we ended up finishing the week on a very disappointing 47 points. A 9,000 place red arrow wasn’t as bad as expected, however we had much higher hopes with the wildcard chip being activated.

We had more villains than heroes it seemed this week, with a handful putting their hands up for the worst performance. Shane Duffy was the talk of the FPL community over the past week, with Brighton’s supposed ‘great’ home fixtures against Bournemouth and Cardiff.

We decided to captain Duffy with these double fixtures, and like many managers know, were incredibly underwhelmed with a 1-point return over 180 minutes. A truly forgettable week for us in regards to the captaincy pick, and one that reminds us the value of premium assets and teams.

It’s easy to get frustrated with the decision when getting a choice soo wrong, but we think there was logic in the decision. Brighton’s home record prior was the best outside of the ‘top 6’, while Cardiff had scored the least away goals and Bournemouth’s form was poor. Although managers can be disappointed in the result of the decision, don’t forget the reasoning’s behind them in the first place.

Another villain in the team, and one that has affected our bench boost plans, is Troy Deeney. His red card against Arsenal after 10 minutes has seen him banned for the double gameweek – must be mentioned that Watford have appealed the red card, so managers might want to hold fire until selling. Another bad wildcard pick going the wrong way, and a negative points score to add insult to injury.

The highlights for the side was the differential returns of Kevin De Bruyne. After a Sterling brace, it was positive to see De Bruyne with two assists and get the maximum bonus points. We think that he will play a key role for the remainder of the season, and while none of the players are exempt of rotation, he is in good form.

Mane was the other notable scorer, grabbing a goal and single bonus point in a home victory against Chelsea. The decision to bring him into the team over Salah was based upon both form and price. It was great to see him outscore Salah over GW34, and hopefully he can continue to show this form until the end of the season.

GW35 Preview

So as mentioned in previous team articles, our plan has always been to wildcard in gameweek 34 and bench boost the following gameweek. While rolling the transfer is the ideal situation, the red card to Deeney has caused problems if it isn’t reversed. With £0.5m in the bank, the replacement options are not broad, however to maximise the bench boost we need a playing 15.

So Deeney will be our main priority, and we have a few replacements under consideration. The first is possibly a direct replacement in the team, Andre Gray. Gary (£5.9m) has been limited to minutes this season, scoring 5 goals and 2 assists in only 1063 minutes, averaging 2.6 points per match. The main reason for the original selection of Deeney was the great double gameweek fixtures, including Huddersfield away and Southampton at home.

It isn’t clear yet whether Gracia will opt for him, but as a straight swap for price he could be a good option. We will be waiting on the press conferences for more information on the availability of the frontman before making a decision on Gray.

Outside of Watford, another team that has a double gameweek this weekend is Southampton. Shane Long (£4.6m) has scored 2 goals in his last 2 league matches, however only started one of these matches. Danny Ings (£5.4m) is the other Saints option, who started the other match over this period and bagged an assist before being substituted for Long.

Southampton face Newcastle and Watford both away from home, and while they have a double gameweek the rotation is a worry. Unless more information is provided in the press conferences, we wouldn’t be surprised if the minutes are shared between the two strikers.

Talking of rotation risk, a left field pick that has become a realistic option is Tottenham’s Fernando Llorente. At £5.1m, after the injury to Kane he is the only recognised striker at the club, however the likes of Moura and Son have played in this position in the past.

Llorente started 3 of the 4 games that Kane missed midway through the season, scoring 1 and assisting 3 over this period. There are question marks over the rotation risk of Llorente, with the likes of Son and Moura – off the back of a hat trick – capable in the striker role. We already own Son and Eriksen, and a triple up on Spurs wouldn’t be our main priority for the squad, especially a rotation risk.

While the preference is to own a double gameweek player, our eyes have been turned by Newcastle’s fixture against Southampton. Rondon (£6.0m) hasn’t been in goalscoring form of late, but has registered 9 shots and 7 key passes in his last 3 league matches. He’s one that we will be monitoring and deciding whether his FPL potential over this one fixture is better than those with two matches.

 

Aside from Deeney, the only other worry for the team is the potential injury to Valery. We will be waiting on the press conferences for the full information and extent, but we will likely move to Yoshida or Bednarek if he misses the gameweek. At £4.1m, the options are limited, especially for those teams that have a double gameweek.

Captaincy Pick

Captaincy will be an interesting decision for many managers this gameweek. Man City are usually highly owned assets, however their double gameweek includes Tottenham (H) and Man Utd (A). Man City have proved that they can score against any of the ‘top 6’, scoring 17 goals in 8 league games this season. Of these goals, Aguero has scored 8 and Sterling 3.

Rotation is always a risk with both of these players, but with an incredibly tight title race, we think both will start and have FPL value being captained. For us, we own Aguero and he is firmly in our thoughts as our captain pick.

As mentioned, Spurs face Man City in their opening fixture followed by a home match against an out of form Brighton. We expect both Son and Eriksen to feature in both games, however the match against Man City offers little hope of FPL points. The Brighton fixture on the other hand could be a big return from both players, so for us, to captain either player would be on the basis of just the Brighton match.

Jimenez has two home matches against Brighton and Arsenal, games that we expect Wolves to do well in. Jimenez has scored 12 goals and 10 assists this season, and at home he has scored 8 of these and assisted 6. He has a great home record against a Brighton side who have conceded 30 goals in 16 away matches.

Arsenal meanwhile have only kept 1 away clean sheet, which came last gameweek against the 10 men of Watford. Jimenez looks to have the best double gameweek fixtures in our team, and will be one of the front runners for the armband.

Aside from the double gameweek players, although their FPL point ceiling is higher, Liverpool have a favourable away fixture against Cardiff. Mane has scored 18 goals this season, however only 4 of these have come away from home. Cardiff have conceded the most home goals in the league this season, but have kept 5 clean sheets in 17 matches.

We haven’t decided on our captain for GW35, however both Aguero and Jimenez look to be the best options for our side.

 

We will be making our transfers after all the press conferences and European matches have finished, to avoid any late injuries. Here is our team without any changes, considering we will be playing our bench boost:

GW35 Bench Boost Squad

 

We will provide updates on our final GW33 team in a later article and follow our Twitter for more regular updates.

 


 

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