Hold on to Liverpool’s Coutinho!!

#FPL Gameweek 34 Preview

Written by @CraigHazell

 You can also listen to Craig, Tom and Ash on their Fantasy Football Podcast – The Gaffer Tapes


It’s here! It’s finally here! The behemoth that is DGW 34 is here and then we can never talk about it again! Much like your parents’ divorce, you knew it was coming, you know it will be bleak and the rest of your season (childhood) will be pretty much over. And much like my Christmas’ from 1995 onwards, there will be very few surprises in some of my picks.



I’m going back to an old faithful for this season in defence. Back in gameweek something or other*, I dubbed Chris Smalling the new media darling of centre backs and it might be the only insightful thing I have said all season.

If Leicester had a double game week I would of course be picking Huth, Fuchs or Morgan who have been outstanding of late but United have Villa and Palace at home and should be worth at least one clean sheet, if not two. I’m not saying they will win both games necessarily but they aren’t afraid of a 0-0 and Smalling could easily come away with 10-12 points this week. Now, quick put up that photo of him with an afro.

*Ed: Ah- GW5. It was a simpler time. Here you goLINK




Another week, another love in with the curly haired magician that is Phillipe Coutinho. Yes, Liverpool have Europa League aspirations but as I write this they may have already been put to the Dortmund sword.** Also, games against a horribly out of sorts Everton and an already safe Bournemouth might be a goldmine for Coutinho regardless of what’s left to play for. I still sometimes wonder how Liverpool have managed to hold onto him, with the likes of City or Chelsea being prime suspects for this kind of lazy transfer policy but alas he is at Anfield and has 114 points this season so far.

**Ed: Liverpool won. Sakho and Lovren both scored in a 4-3 thriller. Literally, cannot make it up.


If I could be sure he would start, I would pick Marcus Rashford here. He’s scored 6 goals in 11 starts and his finish against West Ham int he FA Cup was frighteningly good. However, Rooney is back and will surely start at least one of United’s matches this gameweek. I am still, though, going for a player who could easily slot into the outsider pic this week. Danny Welbeck is 1.4% picked and yet will almost certainly start for both Arsenal and England this Summer. He is as much of an assist threat as he is a goal threat and you cannot ignore any team with two home games in a DGW. Giroud hasn’t scored since mid-January and with Joel Campbell the only other option I think Welbeck will be leaned on heavily if Arsenal are to get 6 points against WBA and Palace.



I’ll be sticking with Arsenal here and also telling you I will be using my triple captain chip on Mr Alexis Sanchez. His last 5 games (5,6,6,14,7) haven’t gone unnoticed and in truth I was hoping they kind of would! 3 goals and 3 assists in 5 matches was the kind of level of performance that made him an FPL mainstay in the past and at 14% not everyone is convinced he is worth the 10.9m. If, like me, you’re in mid table obscurity then it’s now or never. Aguero will be most people’s picks but Sanchez could move you up your league faster than Jack Wilshere on his way to the toilet with a fiver.



A hat trick of Arsenal picks and the first mention of the season for Alex Iwobi. He has 26 points in 3 games and only got his first 90 minutes last week. I see no reason why Wenger won’t give him two more full appearances given the lack of showing elsewhere in the side. Not only does he offer the potential of Obi Wan Iwobi being your FPL team name next year but he is a genuine positive in what could be a disappointing season for Gooners worldwide. Another plus is that all those Arsenal friends you have who spend matchdays on Instagram or voting in online polls won’t have the slightest clue of who is is or what he looks like. Sure they’ll say “why doesn’t he play Iwobi more?” but it’s likely they think that’s a formation.


Written by @CraigHazell

 You can also listen to Craig, Tom and Ash on their Fantasy Football Podcast – The Gaffer Tapes

gaffer tapes


Craig Hazell is a television professional, writer and Heart of Midlothian fan who makes up one third of the popular FPL podcast The Gaffer Tapes. As a student, Craig won the BBC Sports Broadcaster and Comedy Broadcaster of the year, before going onto to be a regular on the London open mic comedy circuit. He now writes about anything from TV & Movies, to food and of course football, providing he can shoehorn a 90s pop culture reference into just about anything.

Check out The Gaffer Tapes Podcast Here


Posted on 15 Apr 2016, in Player Selection and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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