In this weeks FPL Guest Q&A article, we are joined by FPL Canuck and regular LetsTalkSoccer who will be sharing their thoughts on the most popular questions ahead of blank GW33. This week we will be discussing Anderson replacements, Leicester midfielders, best captaincy picks and Arsenal value.
Thanks to all those people that sent in their questions to us, we have picked out the most popular ones that have been asked. Like always if you enjoy the content, please give our Twitter account a follow along with our FPL guests this week.
“Which is the best choice: Vardy & Fraser or Rondon & Sigurdsson?”
This slightly depends on where you sit with respects to rank, mini league rivalry and overall goals and the whole “swords vs shields” debate. The “safer” route would be Vardy/Fraser as they have the higher ownership and will be in more squads for the run-in.
Vardy is in great form, with only one blank in his last five and a haul of 5 goals and 1 assist in that span. The Foxes as a team are quietly rolling and have some good fixtures until GW36. Fraser’s been quieter but with Wilson back and a beautiful set of fixtures ahead, I expect more hauls to come.
But I’m going to go with Rondon/Siggy here and not just because you’ll save 2mil pounds. I like a couple of punts when you’re setting up a season run-in and Rondon/Siggy have actually bettered Vardy/Fraser over the last four gameweeks in some key areas like penalty area touches, goal attempts and set piece threat.
While Newcastle are far enough from the drop zone, they can’t really afford to take the brakes off and the Venezuelan will be key to their final push for safety. The Toffees are on the beach statistically but three wins in 5 including a cheeky 2-0 win over Chelsea and 0-0 draw to Liverpool show they’re not applying the sunscreen just yet. The Viking is a bit pricey but as the nailed-on fulcrum of that attack he’ll be banging in the goals over the next six gameweeks.
Shield or sword on this one.
Vardy — Huddersfield (A)
- ICT index = 182.7
- Recent form (last 3 games) = 3 goals, 1 assist, 24 FPL points
- xG over last 3 games = 2.11
- xA over last 3 games = 0.76
- 4.6 points/match
- Opponent’s form from last 3 games: Lost all 3 games and conceded 8 goals in those same games. Huddersfield have the 3rd worst clean sheets record (only 5 CS kept) and conceded the 2nd most goals this season (tied with 2 other teams). And, they’ve already been relegated: Is there anything left to play for? Might they start younger players to give them experience? This could be a walkover for Vardy and Co.
- In the reverse fixture this season, Vardy had 1 goal, 1 assist and 11 FPL points
Fraser — Burnley (H)
- ICT index = 231.3
- Recent form (last 3 games) = 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 clean sheet, 17 FPL points
- xG over last 3 games = 0.47
- xA over last 3 games = 2.56
- 4.5 points/match
- Opponent’s form from last 3 games: Won 1 game and lost 2. Burnley (tied with Huddersfield) have conceded the 2nd-most goals (59) and have kept just 7 clean sheets in 32 games. Burnley are currently in the 17th spot on the table, just 5 points outside of the relegation zone. So they have much to play for. While the might score more goals than they’ll concede, they will almost certainly allow goals.
- In the reverse fixture, Fraser blanked – earning just 2 FPL points
Rondon — Crystal Palace (H)
- ICT index = 180.3
- Recent form (last 3 games) = 2 goals, 1 assist, 21 FPL points
- xG over last 3 games = 0.30
- xA over last 3 games = 0.37
- 4.5 points per game
- Opponent’s form from last 3 games: Palace had 1 win, 2 losses. They’re tied for 4th in clean sheets kept (10).
- In the reverse fixture earlier in the season, Rondon played just 45 minutes and earned 1 FPL point
Sigurdsson — Arsenal (H)
- ICT index = 259.1
- Recent form (last 3 games) = 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 clean sheets, 14 FPL points
- xG over last 3 games = 2.20
- 4.8 points/match
- Opponent’s form from last 3 games: Arsenal are on 2 wins and a draw in their last 3 matches. They’ve kept just 7 clean sheets, with only 1 of them being kept on the road. Arsenal are fighting to maintain a Top 4 spot, so expect them to press Everton’s defense, leaving themselves open to the counter.
- In the reverse fixture, Siggy played a full 90, but could only yield 2 FPL points
The combination of expected goals from Vardy and expected assists from Fraser, in addition to the opponents they each face in Week 33, make this pair our choice above Siggy-Rondon.
All 4 of the mentioned players have had good seasons, with Sigurdsson leading the way for FPL points. For gameweek 33, each player has the following game:
- Huddersfield v Leicester
- Bournemouth v Burnley
- Everton v Arsenal
- Newcastle v Crystal Palace
As we know, Huddersfield have officially been relegated however we don’t know whether this will have a positive or negative effect on them. What we can analyse is their home defensive form, in which they have conceded 24 goals in 16 home league matches.
Vardy has scored 5 goals in his last 5 league matches, while Leicester have won 3 games on the bounce. Vardy also faces Newcastle (H) and West Ham (A) in the following league matches, so he could prove to be a great player to own of the coming gameweeks.
Fraser on the other hand hasn’t been in the best form of late, only scoring and assisting 1 goal in his last 11 league games. However, his underlying stats remain positive, averaging 1.21 sh90 and an impressive 2.40 kp90. Bournemouth have been at their best at home, and after their poor display last GW we expect them to bounce back against Burnley, who have a poor away defensive record.
For us, we think the combination of Vardy and Fraser is the better of the two options. Rondon has been in fine form, however Newcastle haven’t been banging the goals at home, scoring 19 in 16 games. Sigurddson has also been his teams star man this season, but a tough test against Arsenal doesn’t suggest an urge to buy.
“Best Felipe Anderson replacement?”
Timely question as I’m considering dumping the broken down Brazilian for BGW33 myself. I’m going to be looking no further than one of Leciester’s midfielders of the moment, James Madison or Youri Tielemans, and right now, the numbers (and price tag) point to the Belgian.
Over the last four gameweeks, Tielemans has the edge in total touches, passes received, goal involevemnt, attempts, distribution, set piece threat, BPS and most importantly FPL points. All that for £0.7m less and an ownership base hovering around 1%. With hud/NEW/whu ahead, now is the time for You to go YOUri.
With no goals and just 2 assists in his last 13 games, Anderson’s form has fallen on the face of the Earth. A massive waste of £7.1m these days. For a similar amount – maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less – there’s no shortage of appealing options. There are some options that are good specifically for GW33. And then there are players that are worth holding onto for a couple/few weeks, or even for the rest of the season. Options include:
Fraser (£6.2m) – Facing Burley at home in GW33, Bournemouth have a very favorable schedule for the remainder of the season. In their final 6 games, 5 of them have an FDR of 2, with the other having an FDR of 4. With Wilson back and King already in place, Fraser has two excellent targets to serve assists to.
Milivojevic (£6.3m) – Specifically, Palace play away at Newcastle. Newcastle have allowed 20 of their 42 goals at home. Being on penalty kicks and set pieces helps increase his desirability. But as his fixtures begin to get more difficult, he’s a 1-week option.
Maddison (£6.8m) – Starting Huddersfield away, has three tasty fixtures in a row before things get ugly and it’s time to drop him. While he still hasn’t unleashed his full potential, he could at any minute, which makes him so tempting.
Mkhitaryan (£6.8m) — If he can get the start against Everton in GW33, he could be a potentially big differential. The question is: Are you willing to take the gamble? We’re not, especially at this point in the season. But, if Emeri comes straight out to say that Miki is a certain starter, our mindset will change.
From the above list, we prefer Fraser. With the highest expected assists (xA) at 2.56 over the last three games, combined with his strong schedule for the remaining 6 games (an average FDR of just 2.33), he’s not only a great investment for Week 33, but for the rest of the season.
Anderson has been a troll for many managers over the past few months, and now seems the best opportunity for many to sell. Priced at £7.1m, there are a number of options available with decent fixtures in gameweek 33.
As mentioned Leicester have a great fixture against already relegated Huddersfield, and have a number of great midfield options. These include Maddison, Tielemans and Barnes and we have created a table highlighting their stats this season, including further information in our recent article:
|Tielemans (£6.1m)||Maddison (£6.8m)||Barnes (£5.5m)|
|Points per Game||4.9||3.8||2.9|
Although Tielemans has been the top performer over the past few gameweeks, we fancy Maddison as a pick for GW33. He has the underlying stats and set piece potential that you want from a midfielder with money still in the bank.
Outside of the Leicester players, Fraser is the one that we think could be a great option both short and long term. We discussed his stats in the previous question, and he too offers the gametime and set piece potential similar to Maddison.
“Best goalkeeper replacement for Fabianski?”
Ah yes, the infamous set-and-forget save magnet who you can neither set or forget about since he’s posting abysmal FPL numbers week in and week out. I like England international and alleyway pugilist Jordan Pickford (£4.9m) as a like-for-like swap.
Top of the charts with for clean sheets over the last four gameweeks (3) while being fourth for saves made (15) tells an interesting story of the once-laughable Toffee defence. Keeping the ball out v Chelsea and Liverpool are no mean feat but that’s just what Pick has done, and with limp away attacks from Arsenal and United coming to Goodison over the next three, there’s a decent chance more clean sheets and save points will be posted. Not to mention trips to Fulham, Palace and Burnley.
Leno (£4.8m) is also worth a look, consecutive clean sheets and no Top 6 opponents left, including a tasty double hosting Palace and away to Wolves in GW35.
At a cheaper price point, Ryan (4.4m) is a decent shout. Only Arsenal and City have conceded less goals over the last four gameweeks and after BGW33, Brighton have consecutive doubles including Bournemouth and Cardiff at home.
We recently had to say “goodbye” to the Fab Man. With as many extra points as he earned from saves, he was a great value to own. But, West Ham are on a collision course with very difficult fixtures, so it was time for us to part ways.
We already have a good backup on the bench in Dubravka, so we decided to upgrade to Ederson as our Number 1. Remember that some potential options – like Etheridge, Ryan, Foster and Patricio – don’t play in GW33. In terms of like-for-like replacements for Fabianski, we have…
- Dubravka (£5.0m) – He has 9 clean sheets, which is towards the very top among budget/mid-priced goalkeepers. Newcastle play at home against Crystal Palace in GW33. Crystal Palace have scored 25 of their 38 goals while playing away, while Dubravka and team have conceded 17 home goals.
- Pickford (£4.9m) – He sits one spot above Dubrabka with 10 clean sheets after 32 games. Everton play at home against Lacazette and gang in the coming gameweek. Of Arsenal’s 65 total goals scored this season, 26 of them came from away goals. Pickford has allowed 21 home goals.
- Schmeichel (£5.0m) – 8 clean sheets for the Leicester City’s man between the sticks. He plays away to Huddersfield coming up. Huddersfield have scored just 7 goals at home this season (out of their total 18 goals) and Leicester City have allowed 24 goals on the road.
While Schmeichel has seen a number of balls fly by while away, he faces a defeated Huddersfield side that already had trouble scoring goals at home. Couple that with the relegation hangover, and we think Leicester stand a good chance at a clean sheet.
As an added benefit, they have favorable fixtures in Weeks 34 and 35 too. For those looking for a short-term fix, he’s the goalkeeper we recommend. If you’re looking for a cheap(wish) goalkeeper as a potential rotation player, Dubravka is worth a look.
Both Fabianksi and West Ham have struggled over the past few gameweeks, and with a tough fixture schedule ahead:
Although Fabianski has gathered plenty of save points across the season, we don’t think he is the best FPL investment till the end of the season. In fact, there are a few goalkeepers that managers should be considering, both short term and long term.
For GW33, we think that the best option within budget is Bournemouth’s Begovic who face Burnley. While Bournemouth haven’t been the best defensively, neither have Burnley been scoring the goals away from home. Burnley average 1 goal every away match and we fancy Bournemouth to bounce back after the loss in GW32.
Although Brighton do not have a fixture in GW33, those managers that plan on a long term replacement could look at Matt Ryan. Brighton have two double gameweeks, including favourable fixtures against Bournemouth and Cardiff, and will look to seal their safety over these fixtures.
With an eye to the long term fixtures, we will probably be owning Ryan as one of our goalkeepers with those great double gameweek matches.
“Best captaincy pick for GW33?”
You can sleepwalk the armband on Salah and likely come away disappointed again or you can give the weekend’s two most in-form players a try and likely get rewarded.
Mane and Vardy both come into the gameweek with 5 goals and 1 assist each a piece over their last five gameweeks, and if that doesn’t convince you, their away opponents, Southampton and Huddersfield respectively, are 6th and 5th for goals conceded at home this season.
Because 8 teams are off in GW33, teams from which to choose are somewhat limited. But, fortunately, captain options are not – especially for differentials. There are two ways to look at captain options: 1) Stick to the more-popular captains or 2) select a differential.
- Van Dijk
- A. Barnes
The decision that rests with each manager is whether he/she wants to rise (or fall) with the masses or loves taking a risk where one lives by the sword or dies by the sword.
There are so many ways to analyze statistics and underlying stats to help with the decision: goals, assists, xG, xA, reverse fixtures, recent form, opponents’ form, and on and on. But, with all those numbers appearing in black and white, a captaincy decision seems to come down to “feel” more than anything else. So we’re going do this based on feel. We’ll choose from each of the categories above.
Popular: Salah and Vardy. Mo has not been on his best form recently. But a player of his caliber is going to find it at some point. A game against Southampton feels like a good place for it to happen. And when it does happen, it’s not going to be pretty for his opponent. Mo is due for a haul. And, he’ll almost certainly be the most-chosen captain for Week 33, so there’s safety in numbers.
For Vardy, he plays at Huddersfield – a team down on their luck. And a striker is just the kind of player to take full advantage of that. With Tielemans adding to the assisting threat that Maddison already provided, Jamie could be served some tasty big chances.
Differential: Fraser is our pick. He’s looked good, and with a healthy King and Wilson, he has his two favorite targets to go against Burnley. He’s a playmaker that, as a midfielder, also benefits from clean sheets.
GW33 is an interesting set of fixtures that could see a range of players being captained. We imagine that the popular picks will be Mane, Salah, Hazard and a differential option in Vardy.
Understandably Liverpool assets will be the go-to captaincy picks with the club mounting their title charge. For those debating between captaining the two, here is a quick table highlighting their performances over the past 5 league matches:
Salah: 0 goal, 2 assist, 21 shots, 4 key passes, 1.87 xG
Mane: 5 goals, 1 assist,13 shots, 5 key passes, 3.48 xG
Clearly the stats are showing that Mane has been the star player over this period, with his expected goal far superior to Salah. Salah is showing that he is getting attacking chances, his shot count still very high, but it is clear that they are not in better areas than Mane.
In days gone by we would say ‘always captain Salah’ but based on these stats and recent form, we think Mane is the best pick of the two.
Hazard is the other premium player that deserves to be in the conversation, facing a West Ham side that have been in indifferent form. Hazard is averaging 6.3 points per game, scoring 14 goals and registering 12 assists so far this season.
West Ham have notably conceded 7 goals in their last 3 league games, and have only managed 2 clean sheets away from home this season. We fancy Chelsea to get a positive result against the Hammers and if so, Hazard is usually at the heart of it all.
Our differential pick would be in form Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy. We highlighted Vardy’s impressive stats since the appointment of Rodgers in our first question, and we think he has a great chance to add to his tally against Huddersfield.
Against the three other his ownership would be very low, and in turn we would only recommend this pick if you need to climb rank. If that’s the case, we think he is a solid pick with the stats to back it up!
“Is there any Arsenal players that managers should be considering?”
I mentioned Leno above but if you’re not sold on the Gunner keeper, you should definitely consider Kolasinac, who brings with him a fairly decent attacking threat, kind price point and low ownership.
Beyond Kola, it’s down to one of Arsenal’s strikers, Auba or Lacazette. Halfway through the season this was a no-brainer, as the Gabonese marksman was on a wicked tear through the Premier League defenses, but lately, it’s the Frenchman who’s got the hotter heel.
Over the last four gameweeks, he leads Auba in touches, passes received, goal threat, distribution and FPL points, with 2 goals 3 assists. That’s two more assist then Auba at £1.5m less – yes Laca has played about 90 minutes more in that time but if anything, that’s an even better reason to choose him for the run-in.
They’re both good picks for the final six weeks, but Laca might edge it on current form and price.
Arsenal have a few desirable assets worth a look – not only for GW33, but for the rest of season. They have no blank weeks, have a double in GW35, and don’t have a game with an FDR above 3. The Gunners’ strike pair are quite tempting.
- Aubameyang: Despite playing less minutes than he’s accustomed to over the last several weeks, he still has the stats to back him. Over the last 3 games, his expected goals per 90 minutes (xG90) is 1.66 (not too shabby).
- Lacazette: He’s been more of Emeri’s go-to man for the past couple of games, where he’s brought in a goal and 2 assists. His xG90 over the previous 3 games is 0.72, which is much lower than Auba’s.
Despite coming off the bench, Auba can make big gains in a small number of minutes. And when these two play together, it can spell disaster for opposing defenses.
In terms of which to choose, Lacazette is the more-tempting option for us. He’s £1.5m less than Auba and he’s seen more playing time too. And his production has been a bit better in the last three games: 1 goal, 2 assists for Laca vs. 1 goal, 1 assist for Aubameyang.
Arsenal now have a run of fixtures that consists of no blanks, a double gameweek in GW35 and no other ‘top 6’ side to play:
Aubameyang recently being benched in the last gameweek shows the potential risk in targeting their attacking assets. We don’t think that there are any midfielders that are showing the form to be considered for managers.
Lacazette has started 10 of the last 11 league matches, scoring 7 and registering 3 assists over this period. If managers don’t fancy the rotation risk of Aubameyang, then at £9.3m and only 8.7% ownership, Lacazette could be a nice pick in a wildcard squad.
Outside of the attack, Arsenal haven’t been water tight in defence, keeping 7 clean sheets. However, they have managed back to back clean sheets against both Man Utd and Newcastle. Of the defenders, we think the best option is their attacking wing back Kolasniac. He has managed 7 assists and averages 1.60 key passes per 90. Priced at £5.0m, he is a decent price and with the upcoming fixtures and wing back role, has the ability to finish the season very strong.
If you haven’t already, you need to check out our latest article where we discuss our FPL team and look into detail at both Maddison and Tielemans.
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