After each gameweek, Joseph Crilley is going to be writing an article reviewing all the Premier League games from a fantasy perspective. He will be providing some stats and a brief summary on the performances and prospects of a few of the players. This is the fantasy premier league GW32 review. Last year, Joseph finished with an overall rank of 13k.
FANTASY PREMIER LEAGUE GW32 REVIEW
For each game, I will be providing a stats table containing the following: Goals (G), Assists (A), Shots (S), On Target (OT), Key Passes (KP), Bonus points (BP) and fantasy points (FP). Any statistic highlighted in yellow signifies that the player leads that category for his team. Blue highlight shows the players that registered a fantasy return (goal, assist or clean sheet) and green shows any player that scored 10+ points.
The tables also include the Expected Goals and Expected Assists for each individual player. This is in addition to the expected goals for each team in brackets within the scoreline. BBC Sport provided a very useful piece to help explain this statistic. Essentially each shot is given a score between 0 and 1 as to how likely it is to go in the net. For example, suppose a shot taken from inside the box is worth 0.56; this will be added to the xG tally of the player who take the shot and added to the xA of the player who passes the ball to him. All underlying stats are from the brilliant website understat.com. References to average position come from the twitter site 11tegen11.
The stats tables are all available via the following google spreadsheet link and I will speak about a few key players during the gameweek.
It’s wildcard time for a number of managers and the inclusion of City players has been a strong topic of conversation with future rotation anticipated. The performance against Everton showed that they should still be considered as they simply blew away the opposition in the opening half. Silva was heavily influential throughout and picked up 2 nice assists thanks to a total of 5 chances created.
These assists were converted by Sané with a nice volley and Sterling with a back-post finish that has been typical of his season. Jesus started and got his goal after a cracking team move which was finalised by another De Bruyne assist.
As we can see, many of the usual suspects returned FPL points and it’s a tough decision for FPL managers about whether we should select their players for the season run-in. Pep has spoken about the potential for future rotation to concentrate on the Champions League, but surely there will be plenty more points available with some favourable fixtures from GW35 onwards.
Last season, we saw masses of rotation over the last gameweeks of the season for Man U as they chased Europa League glory and Arsenal seem to be following a similar route this year. It was the turn of Mkhitaryan to be benched and I expect this theme to continue for the remaining PL fixtures for Arsenal.
Much of the focus in the GW32 game against Stoke was on Aubameyang who responded with a late brace to reward those who placed the armband on him. His first goal came from the penalty spot, but he passed up the chance for his hat-trick by allowing Lacazette to take the second penalty. It seems this was just a good nature gesture and that Aubameyang will continue to be first choice on spot-kicks. He was shifted to the left after the introduction of his fellow striker, but was arguably livelier from this position and had his only clear open play chance from there.
The defence was shaky at times, especially in the first half, nevertheless they held on for a clean sheet. Monreal showcased his attacking threat with 3 shots, but Mustafi was the defender to collect bonus points.
The Reds came from behind to claim victory against Palace and the late winner was inevitably converted by the irresistible Salah. He had actually been kept quiet for the majority of the game, but he was still able to grab his 29th league goal to return a solid 7 points. It will be intriguing to see if managers continue to captain him despite the Merseyside derby being sandwiched between the two legs of the Champions League.
It was a rather more eventful game for Mané who was booked for simulation and had a goal rule out for offside in the first half. Following halftime, he scored the equaliser with a low finish, but he then could and arguably should have been sent off for deliberate handball after thinking he had been fouled.
Firmino was the one to blank out of the front three, but that was not through a lack of trying as no player had more than his 6 shots during the gameweek. Having said that, he struggled to fashion himself any high-quality chances as demonstrated by a low xG score of 0.21.
There was no clean sheet for the defence after a mistake from Karius resulted in the keeper giving a penalty away. Nonetheless, Robertson was still able to produce some decent points after collecting another assist along with maximum bonus. Van Dijk had another headed chance which he sent wide; he’ll surely get his first league goal for Liverpool before the end of the season.
An unsurprising 16th clean sheet for United, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine which centre backs will start. It was a shock to see Bailly on the bench which made it clear that selecting any Man U defender outside of Valencia has some risk. At least managers can still depend on De Gea who made a couple of cracking saves to preserve his clean sheet.
United have a very promising DGW34 from an attacking perspective and key players showed some form against Swansea. Lukaku got his 100th PL goal after a slight deflection and could have easily had a couple more goals, but his shots were well saved. An intriguing differential could be Sanchez, albeit an expensive one, who got his first double figure haul as a United player following a goal and an assist.
However, the player that stood out the most for me was Lingard who had 4 shots and an assist in a lively performance. He has the friendliest price tag of the United attackers at just 6.0mil and will be looking to secure a starting position in the England World Cup side with some strong displays in the remaining weeks. It’s been enough to intrigue FFG as he lines up in his wildcard teams.
Spurs were finally able to break their Stamford Bridge curse and they managed to do it without Kane who was a surprise inclusion in the squad. He emerged from the bench in the second half and I imagine that he’ll start next weekend which poses an interesting dilemma for our FPL teams. Something to consider is that Spurs have done rather well without their main man so perhaps Poch will feel that he doesn’t need to risk his fitness.
For similar reasons to Lingard, I had been expecting Alli to end the season well as he now has a fight on his hands to start at the World Cup. He certainly started off with a bang after his brace against Chelsea which included a great touch and finish for his first goal. There was a fantastic strike from Eriksen for the equaliser, though he does seem to rely on long distance efforts for his goals recently.
The popular Spurs asset has been Son who started up front but struggled at times so was shifted to the wing after half-time. He played a key part in the third goal, though he was a little fortunate to receive the assist points, and he also had a fine curling shot saved.
There was little joy for managers who invested in Chelsea players on their wildcard, though Alonso came close on several occasions to bringing home attacking returns. He had a goal correctly disallowed and had a couple of other shots from inside the box. That’s more than can be said for Hazard who didn’t have any attempts on goal, though he did have 6 key passes.
The most popular Chelsea attacker seems to have been Willian and he did have one deflected shot well saved, but it was a quiet game in general for the Brazilian. In the end, it was FPL favourite from earlier in the season, Morata, who got the goal, but it would be a surprise to see him gather much interest in the upcoming weeks.
There seems to have been a rather toxic atmosphere under Conte in recent weeks following 5 losses in their last 7 games. Those holding Chelsea assets will be eagerly watching their performance next weekend against West Ham to see if there are improvements.
For those without a free hit, Burnley are the key team as they have a double gameweek in GW34 and a fixture during GW35 and they picked up their 6th away win at West Brom. Popular striker Barnes scored for his 4th successive game with an acrobatic effort, but Gudmundsson was absent with a slight calf strain; he should be back next week. There was no clean sheet after a late goal, but they did only concede an xG score of 0.38.
Vardy continued his fine form although his goal came extremely late on while Brighton were pushing for an equaliser. His partner in attack, Mahrez, had one of his quieter games with just the one shot and no chances created. There was finally a clean sheet for Leicester with an assist from budget option Chilwell, but it will be interesting to see how many games he is rotated for.
The highest scorer of the gameweek was Arnautovic as he grabbed a brace from the striker role thanks to 6 shots against his former manager. Meanwhile, Hart kept his place in goal and registered a clean sheet which could present a cheap double gameweek option at 4.2mil.
Southampton were awful against the Hammers and it may be best to avoid them in spite of their two double gameweeks. The only positive was the return of Austin who did have 3 shots, but the Saints need a quick turnaround to save their season.
Another penalty for Milivojevic meant he scored his 9th goal of the season, only 5 midfielders have scored more. It could have been a much better result for Palace if it weren’t for Benteke missing more great chances.
For those looking to bench boost in DGW37, Kenedy looks a great cheap option following a run of 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 7 games. He collected an assist at the weekend after showing some good composure in the box. He is ineligible v Chelsea in GW38 though.
Watford may not have any double gameweeks, but I have been intrigued by the OOP status of Kiko who scored against Bournemouth and is priced at just 4.3mil while playing as a right winger.
The Cherries came from behind twice in that game, but the struggles for Wilson continued and he again failed to take a single shot on goal. Stanislas was lively in the first half but was then forced off through injury and Howe didn’t sound too optimistic about his prospects.
There has been some interest in Brighton due to their upcoming double gameweeks and things started off rather disappointingly. Murray failed to convert when sent clean through on goal by Gross and then proceeded to miss a penalty to return 0 points.
That concludes the GW32 review. Feel free to post any questions or feedback in the comments section or you can find me on Twitter.
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