Saturday 31st March
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool (12:30)
Brighton vs Leicester (15:00)
Man Utd vs Swansea (15:00)
Newcastle vs Huddersfield (15:00)
Watford vs Bournemouth (15:00)
West Brom vs Burnley (15:00)
West Ham vs Southampton (15:00)
Everton vs Man City (17:30)
Sunday 1st April
Arsenal vs Stoke (13:30)
Chelsea vs Spurs (16:00)
This weekend’s games are the reverse fixtures of the matches contested back in Gameweek 2, with some of FPL’s most coveted assets of the moment producing returns that would be rapturously embraced were they to be repeated in GW32.
Marcos Alonso (£7.1m), who lest we forget is still the leading points scorer among defenders despite not picking up more than two points in a game since Gameweek 24, produced his best display of the season in Chelsea’s 2-1 win at Spurs, scoring twice and with it securing maximum bonus points.
Eric Bailly (£6.0m), perhaps Manchester United’s first-choice central defender now following his return from a lengthy injury lay-off, scored in United’s 4-0 routing of Swansea, while Leicester’s Harry Maguire (£5.6m) produced an identical performance of a goal, a clean sheet and three bonus points in the Foxes’ victory over Brighton.
Maguire’s teammate Riyad Mahrez (£8.9m), the second-most transferred-in midfielder ahead of GW32, laid on both goals in that 2-0 win over the Seagulls in August.
Last week’s much-anticipated Premier League fixture announcement means that eight teams will now definitely play twice in Gameweek 34, with an anticipated 12 sides also having a bumper Gameweek 37 – though there is a slim chance that these as yet unscheduled matches could be squeezed into the calendar elsewhere.
Opinions differ on how best to negotiate the final seven gameweeks of the season – particularly on when to use the bench boost chip now that it appears that GW37 will have the most fixtures – but wildcards will be widely deployed over the next two gameweeks in preparation for the doubles in GW34.
Six teams – Brighton, Chelsea, Leicester, Manchester United, Southampton and Tottenham – will almost certainly have two double gameweeks to contest, and it is players from these sides who appear to be the most sought-after going into Gameweek 32.
David de Gea (£5.9m), an ever-present for Jose Mourinho’s side in the league this season, is perhaps the only defensive asset who is rotation-proof for United going into their final eight games of the season. A home fixture against Swansea this weekend offers the very real prospect of an immediate dividend against a side with just ten away goals to their name all season – only West Brom and Brighton are more anaemic on their travels. De Gea has more clean sheets (15) than any other EPL ‘keeper this season, while United have the division’s best home defensive record (seven goals conceded in 15 games).
Also with a ‘double double’ on the horizon is Brighton’s Mathew Ryan (£4.5m), just behind De Gea as the gameweek’s most purchased goalkeeper, who is proving to be better value this season than his more exalted Spanish counterpart. Ryan has returned 25.56 points per million of his purchase price, over a point more than De Gea (24.41).
Romelu Lukaku (£11.4m) has gained more than 170,000 new owners since GW31 came to a close. Not only does the Belgian striker have a plum GW32 fixture against Swansea and two double gameweeks in the offing, but injuries to Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero over the past fortnight have left a gaping, premium striker-sized hole in many FPL managers’ forward lines. Lukaku has three goals and two assists in his last five Premier League games and is almost as ‘undroppable’ as De Gea – United’s number nine has started all but one of the Red Devils’ 30 league games this season.
Along with the aforementioned Harry Maguire and Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy (£8.8m) is currently the most popular route into a Leicester side with bumper GW34 and GW37s – as well as decent fixtures in and around those gameweeks. Vardy has five goals in his last seven league games, while Mahrez already has as many assists (11) as he recorded in the whole of Leicester’s title-winning season of 2015-16. Maguire meanwhile offers his own attacking threat, as well as possible clean sheet points from those kind-looking forthcoming fixtures:
With four goals in his last two league games and Harry Kane’s vacated striking berth set to become his own for the next fortnight at least, Son Heung-min (£8.3m) is in high demand. Almost 100,000 managers have purchased Son in the lead-up to Gameweek 32 – that’s more ‘transfers in’ than the rest of the Spurs squad combined – despite Tottenham’s tough-looking away fixture at Chelsea to come on Sunday. This meeting of the Champions League-chasing London rivals is somewhat ill-timed given that FPL managers will be planning to stockpile assets from both clubs ahead of GW34, with Son and the in-form Willian’s (£7.1m) appeal to some extent diminished for this gameweek at least.
These prized DGWs all too often lead FPL managers into ignoring assets from teams without a double gameweek, who otherwise have a strong set of fixtures.
Arsenal’s only double gameweek is now likely to be staged in GW37, while Liverpool will not contest a DGW in 2017-18 at all – yet these sides have the best run-ins of all 20 Premier League teams, with a fixture difficulty rating of 2.5 and 2.6 respectively. Contrast this to two sides with ‘double double’ gameweeks – Brighton and Southampton – who have ominous-looking schedules between now and May (FDRs of 3.5 and 3.3 respectively).
Cast off Roberto Firmino (£9.7m), Mohamed Salah (£10.7m) and Sadio Mane (£9.5m) at your peril; Liverpool have scored 16 goals in their last six league games, while the gung-ho attacking trio have now racked up 50 Premier League goals between them this campaign – that’s more than any of the sides outside of the top six have managed in total all season.
Though progression in the Europa League means rotation is a real risk for most Arsenal assets, one Gunner who is pretty much guaranteed a starting spot between now and the end of the season is the cup-tied Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.6m). Back-to-back home games against Stoke and Southampton offer the Gabonese forward a massive chance to add to his solid start of three goals in five appearances for Arsenal; Stoke indeed possess the league’s worst defensive record.
Our GW32 coverage continues over the coming days with the regular Projections and Line-ups features.