GW31 Squad Review
It’s official, gameweek 31 was our worst score this season!
We knew it was going to be tough to get a big score only using free transfers, but this turned into a very tough week for managers.
Here is our squad’s points:
GW Score: 24 points (-4) = 20 points
GW Rank: 3,171,597
Overall Points: 1,786
Our overall rank fell from 82,000 to 115,000, a painful week! However, we are fully aware that many of the big scorers were those managers that had used their free hit. With the plan of free hitting in GW32, we hope to claw back some of the rank loses we had this week.
Sadly, in regards to reviewing the team, there is very little to talk about. Of ALL the players, Anderson was the only one to have any attacking returns, and that was a single assist. Our transfers of both Hazard and Azpileuceta were big fails, both returning blanks and the Chelsea defence throwing some question marks ahead of the DGW.
Salah once again didn’t get on the scoresheet, and that is now 5 league games without a goal. We are looking forward to getting him out of the team in our free hit side, but we haven’t decided on the future of him afterwards.
GW32 Free Hit Thoughts
We have planned on free hitting in GW32 for the past few weeks, but Man City tried their best to ruin these plans against Swansea. Thankfully, the victory for City was enough for us to move ahead with the strategy and now it’s about drafting teams.
Some of the double fixtures have been officially announced by the Premier League, and these include:
Wolves v Man United; Spurs v Crystal Palace
The other ones we have to predict, and thankfully for the FPL community we have Ben Crelin who dedicates time and effort into helping managers plan their chip strategies. While these haven’t been officially announced, Ben predicts that the fixture schedule for GW32 will look something like this:
**Before managers make their moves, please remember that the above fixtures created by Ben Crelin are only rumoured, which he has clearly stated.**
We haven’t confirmed any players in our team, but we are looking at the following teams and players:
3 x Chelsea (Kepa, Luiz, Rudiger, Hazard and Higuain)
3 x Man City (Ederson, Laporte, B.Silva, Sterling and Aguero)
3 x Man Utd (Lindelof, Pogba, Rashford and Lukaku)
1 x Spurs (Kane)
The fixtures for the first 3 teams are too good to ignore, and it seems a triple up on each could be a profitable move. When creating a free hit side, we like to add a budget player in the goalkeeper, defence and midfield positions. Then we add the essential premium players that we deem the best players to own in that week. From there, it provides a clear picture of how much you have left to spend and the areas you think you need to strengthen in.
When creating a free hit side, in order to get the most value from the team, the budget bench is a great strategy. It enables you to invest the maximum budget into your starting 11. However, if you have a cheap bench it is essential to have a starting 11 with players that are certain to play. Rotation risks can be heavy during double gameweeks, therefore a focus on gametime should be an important factor when picking your side.
The Free Hit can be activated any time before the deadline and enable you to make as many transfers as you please without a points hit. It is worth managers monitoring the price changes in players, and buying any important player before they rise to gain value. The same principle when you plan on selling a player, aiming to do so before a price fall. Especially ahead of GW32 and the international break, the 2-week period could see significant price changes and opportunities to cash in.
With the favourable fixtures and free scoring form, we think that a double up of Man City attacking assets is key. The problem is you are buying a ticket to the Pep roulette, but with a double gameweek it’s a risk worth taking. Aguero will not be playing for Argentina over the international break, whereas Jesus will be away with Brazil. While there is a chance for rotation, this rest for Aguero can only support the argument to own him.
The midfield is where plenty of managers have been burnt this season, especially those Sane owners. Sterling is the stand out option for City, having already scored 15 and assisted 13 goals. Gametime is the problem like most of the midfielders, Sterling having started 3 of the last 5 league matches.
Bernardo Silva has been the trusted man for Pep, having played the most minutes of any midfielder. While he doesn’t have the high points ceiling like Sterling, he should offer the minute’s security for those managers who seek it.
Unlike City, Chelsea don’t have a wealth of attacking options for FPL managers to choose from. Hazard is the clear option, although he hasn’t been in sparkling FPL form recently. With the fixtures in GW32, you can’t ignore the Belgian and if Chelsea are to win both games, you’d expect Hazard to be at the heart of it. He also offers the game time security for managers in comparison to the Man City risk.
It looks like the value could be found in the Chelsea defence, who have conceded the 4th least league goals. Chelsea face Cardiff and most probably Brighton, who are the 2nd and 5th lowest scorers in the league. The attacking double up of Man City assets could be well balanced with a potential double up of Chelsea defenders.
Kepa is the clear number 1 in the team, and would be one of the easiest and cheapest ways into the defence. Azpilecutea leads minutes played for defenders, however at a premium price Luiz or Rudiger could be a cheaper and equally secure option.
Manchester United’s honeymoon period is now certainly over, losing back to back games in the league and FA cup. It is the first time the questions have been asked of Solskjear, but with these double gameweek fixtures they are still the team to target.
For managers looking at their defence, it’s worth noting that Luke Shaw is 1 yellow card away from a ban. Priced at £5.1m, it would not be worth taking the risk and instead Lindelof would be the better option at the same price. Lindelof has played more minutes than any other United defender and looks to have the game time security.
An important factor when doing our strategy of free transfers up until the blank GW31 was ensuring we didn’t lose value in players we wanted to own in the future. Pogba was a perfect example of this, who we decided to hold throughout his blank fixture. Pogba will be a popular name in many free hit sides and we think he is the main player to own from United.
He is on penalties, plays 90 minutes every week and has been in great form under Solskjear. As mentioned with value, we had gained over £0.5m when owning Pogba therefore selling and rebuying would have been a problem.
While the midfield choice picks itself, the interesting decision will be who to choose from the attacking department. Rashford has been one of the value players of the season, while Lukaku has experienced an indifferent season. However, Lukaku has scored 4 goals in his last 5 games, in comparison to Rashford who has not scored over this period.
Lukaku has benefitted from the injuries to Lingard and Martial seeing the team formation changed and an opportunity for the Belgian to lead the line. It isn’t clear what Solskjear will opt for when he has all of his players available, but on writing this Lukaku is an injury worry having been sent for a scan on his foot. Monitoring this progress will be important over the break, but if confirmed fit at only a 5% ownership he could be the differential of the game week.
Speaking of differentials, Harry Kane could be an important player after the announcement of their double game week. Currently owned by 14% of managers, Kane has quietly gone under the radar, scoring 3 goals in his last 4 games.
Tottenham’s first fixture against Liverpool away is far from an ideal match for Kane owners. However, Spurs do have the second best away record (behind Liverpool) and are the leading goalscorers on the road. While we don’t expect Spurs to neccesarily win, the stats suggest that Spurs and Kane will have an opportunity.
GW32 Free Hit Draft Team
While we haven’t decided on an official free hit side, our current draft is looking like this:
We have created this team with an eye on ensuring we get game time security. Personally, we imagine Sterling would be included in the final team but it seems that the decision is between owning Sterling or Kane. Sterling could well be the highest points scorer over the fixtures, but it is just assessing the risk to his minutes.
We will have plenty of draft teams posted on our Twitter account including a final free hit team article nearer the deadline, so be sure to check that out. We hope that this has provided some information on some of the popular players and teams, and helped with your planning. If you have any questions about your team or general FPL quieres, don’t hesistate to contact us on our Twitter page where we answer regularly.
A reminder of our FPL league:
League Code: 2297733-525881
League Name: Footballadvice.co.uk