Gameweek 32+ Captain and Player Picks
Holly Shand from Fantasy Football Community returns with captaincy corner and her three player picks in three positions for Gameweek 32+.
Gameweek 31+ brought plenty of captaincy returns, including double digits for my man Mo Salah, who was the most captained. Bruno Fernandes disappointed despite Manchester United thrashing Sheffield United 3-0. Gameweek 32+ looks much more difficult to navigate with the armband, given Liverpool face Manchester City. It’s a truncated gameweek spanning a week, due to eight teams being involved in FA Cup Quarter Final action this weekend. That means that we won’t have a full set of press conferences and some teams may suffer injuries in a game before their FPL involvement, with the deadline having passed. The eight teams involved in the FA Cup are Norwich, Man United, Sheffield Utd, Arsenal, Leicester, Chelsea, Newcastle & Man City. There’s also some tight turnarounds between games.
The shield pick is likely to be the most captained player of the week, allowing you to play safe and keep pace with the pack. The sword pick will be a less popular selection: if they perform it can shoot you up the overall rankings, but the risk from failure is higher.
Shield Pick: Raul Jimenez vs Aston Villa
Wolves have returned in fine form and are steadily climbing the table as Champions League football beckons. Jimenez has scored in both games since the restart: he now has 15 goals and six assists for the season. Up next it’s a struggling Aston Villa side who look like they’ll be playing Championship football next season. Wolves won the reverse fixture 2-1, with Jimenez getting himself on the scoresheet. He’s had five shots and created two chances in his last two games, which are encouraging numbers. He also rotates spot kick duty with Reuben Neves. He’s the most owned offensive player in the game outside of Liverpool and Manchester City assets, and so is likely to be a very popular armband choice this week. This is the first fixture of the gameweek so we will have press conference information and potentially some early team news too. Will you play it safe with the Shield Pick?
Sword Pick: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs Norwich
While Jimenez is the safe pick for the armband, there will be many managers, including myself, tempted to take the gamble on Aubameyang. Two blanks in the double haven’t exactly helped my confidence, and at the time of writing, the jury is still out for the Southampton fixture. However, I’ve held him in my own team for this fixture and providing we see a glimmer of form I’m prepared to back him in this game. He has an impressive 17 goals this season, including a brace in the reverse fixture which ended in a 2-2 draw. He’s also the main penalty-taker for Arsenal. His underlying statistics were encouraging in Arsenal’s defeat to Brighton: he had seven shots in that game, with three of them on target. Are you going to take a risk in selecting the Sword Pick?
I share my top three players for each Gameweek, selecting one defender, one midfielder and one striker. These are players that I’m tipping for the FPL Dream Team and they could also make intriguing differential captain decisions for you to consider too.
DEF: Matt Doherty vs Aston Villa
Doherty has demonstrated that he’s worth the extra outlay over his Wolves team-mates in defence, with ten attacking returns this season. He’s not blanked in seven consecutive games now, amassing one goal, three assists and six clean sheets. Up next it’s an Aston Villa side struggling for form, having scored just two goals in three games. Doherty has created three big chances in his last two fixtures. Can he achieve the holy grail of attacking return, clean sheet and bonus points once more?
MID: Heung-Son Min vs Sheffield United
A goal disallowed against West Ham hurt many in what was a tight call, but Son did eventually deliver with an assist for a Harry Kane goal. Next up for Spurs, it’s a Sheffield United team that have shipped six goals in two games. They have been uncharacteristic defensive performances from the Blades, with a couple of glaring errors and a shortage in their main personnel. Son is close to hitting double digits for goals and assists in a season for the first time in his Premier League career, with nine and ten respectively right now.
FOR: Marcus Rashford vs Brighton
Manchester United have looked like one of the better outfits for the restart and their list of appealing fixtures sees many managers loading up on their assets. Rashford fluffed a few chances against Sheffield United, but chipped in with two assists for Marcus Rashford, as their relationship improves again. The whole side looked better with Paul Pogba back in the heart of midfield. Rashford has had four shots and created four big chances since the restart and delivered a goal in the reverse fixture, which Manchester United won 3-1.
Until next time…
Find even more Fantasy Premier League Tips over on Holly’s website: Fantasy Football Community