How did I fare in GW32?
I’ve managed to reach a gameweek score of 73 so far, with Kelechi Iheanacho currently playing against West Brom in the last fixture. Let’s hope for a hattrick!
Jokes aside - after what looks like another great gameweek, my overall rank has continued to rise into the stratosphere; I woke up on Thursday morning with a global rank of 54!
Although Jamie Vardy, Leicester defence and autosubs could hurt me on Thursday night, I’m fairly confident of another healthy green arrow, after Rudiger, Alexander-Arnold, Lingard, Son and Kane contributed with returns.
- Comically, my double gameweek goalkeeper Lloris, who failed to keep a clean sheet in either game, was outscored by Sanchez on my bench after Brighton’s resolute draw against Chelsea on Tuesday. I actually thought Lloris played well in both fixtures and did well to earn save points across the double – who knows, on another day, he may even have saved that Sigurdsson penalty in the Everton match.
- Along with most FPL managers this week, I was delighted to see Kane miss the second game. Despite his role as captain in my team, Kane had a staggering effective ownership of 216.78% in the Top 10k, which meant actually I lost rank each time he returned. For him to pick up a knock and miss the Southampton game was a blessing, especially as Son ended up taking the late penalty.
- I opted to keep Bruno Fernandes on my wildcard, but since GW31 I’ve started to lose some faith in the Manchester United midfielder and feel I may have made a mistake. Although he’s still a solid premium option (because of his penalty taking duties and talismanic status in the team), I can’t help but wonder whether he’s been worth it recently or if he’ll continue to be until the end of the season. I’ll watch him carefully in United’s GW33 matchup against Leeds before making a final decision.
- I’ve had successive green arrows since activating the wildcard, so I feel I’ve been rewarded for all of the planning and tinkering I did before GW31. Planning for the long term certainly paid off, as I’m now in a strong position heading into blank GW33.
How do I plan to manoeuvre through the remaining double and blank gameweeks?
All fixture speculation for this section, including the spreadsheet, has been produced by Ben Crellin (@BenCrellin).
As many of you will already be aware, the Premier League are considering a number of fixture rearrangements in the final two weeks of the season to allow each team one home game in front of their supporters.
Whilst nothing concrete has yet been announced, Ben is confident these rearrangements will only affect the FA Cup finalists and their GW36 opponents.
Therefore, Chelsea, Leicester, Arsenal and Manchester United could (according to Ben’s predictions) have doubles in GW35 and blanks in GW36, as illustrated on the spreadsheet.
The likelihood is that Aston Villa, Everton, Southampton and Crystal Palace, who each have a fixture to rearrange between now and the end of the season, will also double in GW35.
At the moment, I’m planning on acting upon this information cautiously, as nothing has yet been set in stone. However, as an owner of 1x Chelsea, 2x Manchester United, 1x Arsenal and 2x Leicester, I need to keep an eye on the potential blank in GW36.
What are my plans for GW33?
With two free transfers in the bank, I have maximum flexibility heading into blank GW33. As I’m pretty content with the shape of my team, I feel this may be a good week to take a luxury calculated risk or practical long-term move.
Both Mason Greenwood and James Maddison are tempting me; they have shown they are capable of scoring double digit returns this season and both have a solid set of fixtures in the medium term. If I opt for either of them, I’ll likely say a brief farewell to Heung-Min Son with the intention of getting him back in GW34 for Spurs’ plum fixture against Sheffield United.
Rumours have circulated recently after Diogo Jota’s exclusion from Liverpool's training photos, which has led many to speculate whether he is injured ahead of GW33. If I receive injury news from Klopp tomorrow, I could replace the midfielder with either Maddison or Greenwood, but it would require an extra transfer to raise the necessary funds. In this event, I’d probably have to burn the extra free transfer by swapping Matej Vydra to Keinan Davis.
I have also considered Adama Traore, Bertrand Traore, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli as Jota replacements, but I have reservations about all of them as they’ve either struggled for minutes and/or consistency this season.
Similarly, if Harry Kane's injury is deemed major by Ryan Mason, I'll swap him for Jamie Vardy and look to get Kane back at a later date.
The final transfer plan I’m considering is a boring long-term move, bringing in an upcoming double gameweeker in preparation for the future. Therefore, Aston Villa and Everton assets are of particular interest to me, and I may be tempted to swap Antonio Rudiger to Ezri Konsa.
Although it looks a strange move on the surface, I’m not expecting a Chelsea clean sheet against West Ham this week, and Rudiger begins to look rather expendable after Chelsea’s game against Fulham anyway. Chelsea are still in plenty of competitions and we’ve seen Tuchel loves to rotate his squad.
In contrast, Konsa has a decent game against West Brom in GW33 and is due a double gameweek before the end of the season. I could always evade Konsa’s poor fixtures by benching him, as I have a relatively sturdy defence as it stands.
I’m fairly set on Mohamed Salah for captain in GW33. He’s had his rest now and faces Newcastle, who’ve played more expansively in recent weeks and should leave space in behind.
What do you think I should do? Give me your thoughts on Twitter (@back_four_FPL) and feel free to share your dilemmas too!
Good luck everyone!