GW37: Transfer Plans

How did I fare in blank GW36?

Thanks to a number of key differentials, I managed to recover from the GW35 horror show, moving back from 298th overall to 130th. According to, I am now only 4 points away from returning to the top 100 – the tier I would love to finish the season in.

Notable returns from Jack Harrison, Stuart Dallas, Hugo Lloris, Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold helped secure a score of 70(-4) in GW36. The quintet have given me an excellent platform to kick on into the top 100, and hopefully now I won’t need to make too many punts to make up ground.

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Bad luck:

- Diogo Jota chose an unfortunate week to get injured as I had nobody on the bench to deputise in his absence. Fortunately, he is owned by the majority of managers in my rank tier, so I’m hoping it didn’t affect me too much.

- My decision to go Joel Ward over Tyrick Mitchell in GW34 for his security of starts has rather backfired, as the left back has started every game since the GW34 fixture against Manchester City. Had I known he was back in Hodgson’s favour, I’d have gone for Mitchell to save money and ultimately earned his 13-point haul this weekend, rather than Ward’s depressing zero.

Good luck:

- In general, I was fortunate that most popular assets blanked in GW36, as it made Jack Harrison’s 16-pointer against Burnley all the more meaningful. I also felt very fortunate to come away with a Dallas clean sheet after the multitude of Burnley chances in Saturday’s early kick-off.

Bad judgement:

- Concentrating my funds on attack in recent weeks may leave me slightly short at the back, especially if Luke Shaw misses one of the last two games in preparation for the Europa League final. Whilst I still have bench players to cover, there are still some question marks over Rob Holding’s security in Arteta’s first team, and I certainly don’t want to rely on Joel Ward against Arsenal or Liverpool.

Good judgement:

- Keeping captaincy simple has worked really well in recent weeks and I’ve continued to earn captain returns most weeks this season. I’ll certainly continue to avoid the allure of differential captain picks, unless of course I am a long way off my top 100 goal in GW38.

What to do with Diogo Jota?

It has now been confirmed that Jota will miss the rest of the season with a foot injury and will therefore miss Liverpool’s final two fixtures against Burnley and Crystal Palace.

Priced at an interesting £7.0m, Jota is the definition of a mid-priced midfielder and therefore can open up a number of possibilities in terms of replacements.

Here is the list of players I would consider when it comes to Jota alternatives:

Riyad Mahrez (£8.1m) / Phil Foden (£6.1m) – the duo, as always, come with a major health warning. Neither are certain to start but they have the potential to explode in any game. Both Mahrez and Foden missed the Newcastle game in GW36, and Pep could be keen to build up their match rhythm ahead of the Champions League final. I’d slightly favour Mahrez over Foden if you have the additional funds.

Mason Greenwood (£7.2m) – the youngster is in fine form in front of goal and takes plenty of shots in the box, whether he starts or comes off the bench. Whilst this is again a guessing game, I would expect Greenwood to start in the next two fixtures to allow Cavani the rest time he needs to prepare for the Europa League final. I don’t think Greenwood is in Solskjaer’s ‘best’ eleven, which could be excellent news for FPL managers betting on him.

Raphinha (£5.5m) / Jack Harrison (£5.5m) – the Leeds pair have been sensational this season, thanks mostly to the attacking style of play Bielsa champions. Having just returned from injury, it was hard to judge Raphinha against Burnley as he may not have been performing at full fitness. Personally (although I own him), I feel Jack Harrison is just as explosive, so I would probably side with the Englishman on the off chance Raphinha is still carrying a minor niggle.

Mattheus Pereira (£5.4m) – it’s impossible to leave this man off the shortlists any longer, as he has been so consistent since the turn of the year, even in tougher fixtures. With West Ham and Leeds still to play, they are not the easiest games but Pereira has proved he can score points against anyone. To add to the narrative, he’s the talisman for West Brom and knows he’s relegated, so this is the perfect time for him to step up and attract potential buyers this summer. Definitely worth an outside bet for me if you need a differential.

Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.1m) / Joe Willock (£4.7m) – with arguably the two best fixtures left (Sheffield United and Fulham), Newcastle could score plenty of goals, particularly considering the fine scoring run they’ve experienced since GW30 (scoring 15 goals in 7 games). In my opinion, these two offer the best attacking threat at Newcastle – but there is still part of me that’s cautious about the team’s consistency.

What are my plans for GW37?

Despite Jota’s injury, I’m fairly well set up for GW37 and I will likely bank a transfer.

I am still able to field a strong front seven with solid fixtures, and banking a transfer will enable me to make two changes ahead of the final day of the season.

As a result, my bench is rather thin this week but I’m hoping Rob Holding is primed and ready to deputise for any absentee against Crystal Palace – most of my players are reliable even with midweek fixtures, so hopefully few will miss out.

My toughest decision this week is with captaincy and I’m currently tempted by three players: Salah, Kane and Fernandes. Whilst Fernandes has arguably the best fixture, Salah and Kane tend to pose a greater threat from open play, thanks to the volume of shots they take.

Right now, the armband is on Salah away at Burnley, but this could easily change before the deadline.

Likely team for GW37: Lloris (AVL); Dallas (SOU), Alexander-Arnold (BUR), Shaw (FUL); Salah** (BUR), Fernandes* (FUL), Lingard (WBA), Harrison (SOU); Antonio (WBA), Kane (AVL), Calvert-Lewin (WOL)

** Captain

* Vice-Captain

Good luck everyone!

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