Saturday 7th April
Everton vs Liverpool (12:30)
Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace (15:00)
Brighton vs Huddersfield (15:00)
Leicester vs Newcastle (15:00)
Stoke vs Spurs (15:00)
Watford vs Burnley (15:00)
West Brom vs Swansea (15:00)
Man City vs Man Utd (17:30)
Sunday 8th April
Arsenal vs Southampton (14:15)
Chelsea vs West Ham (16:30)
This weekend’s games are the reverse fixtures of the matches contested in Gameweek 16. Bargain-basement players dominated the GW16 Dream Team, but a clutch of pricier assets – ones that will be presently at the forefront of FPL managers’ thoughts – also posted decent returns that weekend.
Son Heung-min (£8.3m), whose ownership is now at a season-high of almost 17% going into this weekend’s fixtures, top-scored in GW16 with a goal, two assists and three bonus points.
Form, fixtures, two double gameweeks and a short run as Tottenham’s makeshift centre-forward have increased Son’s stock over the last week or so, but the quicker-than-expected return to fitness of Harry Kane (£12.7m) somewhat diminishes his appeal. Kane himself returned two goals and 12 points in Spurs’ 5-1 demolition of Stoke in December, and may be leading the line once again this weekend when Tottenham head to the bet365 Stadium.
Mohamed Salah (£10.7m) was on target in the last league meeting between Liverpool and Everton, as was Nicolas Otamendi (£6.4m) in the most recent Manchester derby. David Silva (£8.1m) also netted in City’s 2-1 win at Old Trafford.
Riyard Mahrez (£8.9m) collected two bonus points for his strike in Leicester’s 3-2 win at Newcastle, while Marko Arnautovic (£6.9m) scored his first West Ham goal in their 1-0 home win over Chelsea.
Gameweek 33 is sandwiched between two-legged UEFA Champions League and Europa League ties for Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal, so rotation is a strong possibility this weekend – perhaps more so for Liverpool and Arsenal than for Pep Guardiola’s side, who can seal their third Premier League title with victory over their cross-city rivals at the Etihad on Saturday evening.
A derby fixture may also limit the amount of changes Jurgen Klopp makes to his Liverpool line-up, but Tottenham’s win over Chelsea last weekend means the Reds now have a ten-point cushion over the Blues in the race for a Champions League spot; local pride may be all there is at stake at Goodison Park on Saturday lunchtime.
Interestingly, and perhaps ominously, Klopp has previous for resting some of his star players in a Merseyside derby amid fixture congestion. Roberto Firmino (£9.7m) and the now-departed Philippe Coutinho were only substitutes in December’s 1-1 draw at Anfield, while Mo Salah was hooked after 66 minutes. Salah’s early withdrawal from Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final is now a major cause for concern too.
Arsenal entertain CSKA Moscow this Thursday before travelling to Russia for the return leg a week later, and FPL managers are already starting to feel the effects. While a cup-tied Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.8m) is rotation-proof, the likes of Laurent Koscielny (£6.0m), Hector Bellerin (£5.9m), Aaron Ramsey (£6.9m) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£7.8m) have all been preserved for Europa League action by Arsene Wenger over the last few gameweeks, and further team changes are very likely this Sunday when Southampton visit the Emirates.
Aubameyang’s brace against Stoke last weekend, incidentally, means he is now second only to the injured Sergio Aguero (£11.7m) among strikers for points per appearance.
With Champions League qualification now looking distinctly unlikely and an eminently winnable FA Cup semi-final against Southampton on the horizon, suddenly Chelsea assets look far from appealing – despite being one of six clubs with two double gameweeks between now and May. More worrying still is their form (see above). Indeed, their malaise set in long before GW27; of the ten league games they have played in 2018, the Blues have won only three.
Eden Hazard (£10.6m) has only one assist to show for his last four league starts, while Marcos Alonso (£7.2m) hasn’t accrued more than two points since Gameweek 24.
Burnley’s abrupt turn in form – they were without a league win in 2018 until March – comes at an opportune time for FPL managers planning for GW34 and beyond. Ashley Barnes (£5.4m) has scored in his last four league games, while strike partner Chris Wood (£6.3m) has hit the back of the net four times since returning from a lengthy injury lay-off, despite two of his three appearances coming as a substitute.
FPL managers looking for similarly cut-price, in-form assets will no doubt be aware of Newcastle’s current good run of results. Kenedy (£4.8m) has averaged 5.57 points per game since his loan move from Chelsea, while the Magpies’ mean defence is the best outside the current top seven and indeed tighter than Arsenal’s. The back four of DeAndre Yedlin (£4.4m), Paul Dummett (£4.2m), Jamaal Lascelles (£4.8m) and Florian Lejeune (£4.3m), plus goalkeeper Martin Dubravka (£4.5m), have remained unchanged for Newcastle’s last five league games and are offering excellent returns for little investment.
Finally, Wednesday afternoon brought rescheduling news of the six remaining outstanding Premier League fixtures, with FPL bosses as expected set for a bumper Gameweek 37.
The Stats Zone’s GW33 coverage continues over the coming days with the regular Projections and Line-ups features.