The Gameweek 32+ Preview
Written by @FPLHints
It was only just over a week ago when the Premier League restarted. Yet, in the blink of an eye, it now seems all but over as Liverpool ended their 30 year wait and became champions of England on Thursday night. Have a bit of that, Sir Alex! Cue the assortment of punditry clichés that the top two teams now have ‘nothing to play for’. We might as well go on a socially distanced one-day staycation trip somewhere safe now. But we can’t get complacent as we still 80 Premier League matches to complete and plenty of FPL mini-leagues are still up for grabs. Here are my picks for Gameweek 32.
ED: Many thanks to my friend Ash aka @FPLHints for writing the preview for GW32+.
We’ve known each other for the best part of a decade and despite threatening to retire 4 times per year on average he’s still kicking about as one of the founders of this community and an all round good guy.
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Goalkeeper – Spurs, Hugo Lloris (3.8%) – £5.3M
Think Spurs and you automatically set eyes on their front line. I’m asking you to case your eyes further back… a bit more… to the man between their sticks. Part of Spurs league struggles this season and lack of clean sheets has been due to the absence of their World Cup winning goalkeeper. To put things into context, Spurs only kept their second clean sheet since Gameweek 5 which isn’t exactly the kind of form that you’d expect from a Champions League competing outfit. They face a Sheffield United team that has lost all of their pre-lockdown momentum. The Blades have failed to score in any of their three league games in June and I can’t see how that will change with a Spurs team that is desperate to make up lost ground. Lloris also has a good run of games from now till the end of the season.
Defender – Crystal Palace, Patrick Van Aanholt – (5.6%) – £5.6M
I’m under no illusion that it’s going to be a hard sell to talk up a defender that was part of a backline that shipped in four goals in his last game. But Van Aanholt was up against champions-elect Liverpool at Anfield after all and in some ways we should just pretend he didn’t play in Gameweek 31. The Netherlands international had clocked up 41 FPL points in his previous 4 league games before that thrashing. He does have a tendency to end the season well with some great individual superlatives. He also plays FPL which can’t be a bad thing, right? Many would say that Palace have nothing to play for. But often with the Eagles when the pressure is off they seem to play some of their best football. Up next for them are the Clarets who have been blighted by injury and contract wrangles. I wouldn’t put it past Van Aanholt to get back to where he left off.
Midfielder – Manchester United, Anthony Martial – (13.1%) – £8.0M
It took a few years in the making, but the France international is finally showing the promise that United hoped he would fulfil when they signed him back in 2015. To date, he’s scored more goals in this campaign than any previous season. Wearing the Number 9 shirt and at times playing out of position as a de facto striker made him viable from an FPL perspective. He’s now scored 6 goals in his last 6 games and seems as good as nailed on to start United’s remaining games. His hat-trick on Wednesday showed us that he has a foot like a traction engine whenever he’s able to connect deftly with the ball. Of course, Martial’s attacking output is shared with the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford. But rather than being a threat to Martial’s fantasy returns they enrichen him and all three certainly complement each other.
Forward & Captain– Wolves, Raul Jimenez – (34.9%) – £8.3M
The standout FPL forward in my estimation for Gameweek 32 is Raul Jimenez. He has scored in each of his games since the restart and has failed to find the back of the net only once in his last 5 games. Wolves are still in the hunt for a Champions League spot and I can’t see their talismanic striker taking his foot off the pedal anytime soon. Wolves face an Aston Villa team struggling at the wrong end of the table. I really can’t see how Villa will keep a clean sheet against their West Midlands rivals. Jimenez is also the stand out armband pick for me. The only concern is that he seldom registers double digit fantasy hauls – only 3 this season. But that shouldn’t put you off him.
Differential – Arsenal, Eddie Nketiah – (1.9%) – £4.4M
Remember during the end of the 13/14 season when Harry Kane cost less than £5M and burst onto the scene? Well, it may be a bit premature to compare Eddie Nketiah to him but I will do that anyway. Both have experience of picking up youth level caps and clocking up playing time with loans elsewhere. Arsenal seem to be in a transitional state at the moment and their FPL assets flatter to deceive at the moment, but Nketiah is different. He has started five of Arsenal’s last six league games and has shown his capabilities. It would be somewhat of a shock for Mikel Arteta to bench him after he scored against Southampton. His minutes in the FA Cup fixture will be telling. But he’s definitely worth considering for the match against Norwich and beyond that can make a good case for prime ‘sub one’ material.