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02 May 2019 by Colm Hayes

FPL Gameweek 37 – Fixture Analysis: Rested City, Firmino minutes, Man Utd schedule & Hazard home form

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With just two rounds of games left in the season, Manchester City and Liverpool assets continue to dominate FPL thoughts as the title race edges towards the finishing line. Manchester United have a classic case of fixtures versus form, Chelsea need points in the top-four battle and Wolves could secure seventh place with a victory against Fulham this weekend.

GW37 FIXTURES

Friday 3rd May

Everton vs Burnley (20:00)

Saturday 4th May

Bournemouth vs Spurs (12:30)

West Ham vs Southampton (15:00)

Wolves vs Fulham (15:00)

Cardiff vs Crystal Palace (17:30)

Newcastle vs Liverpool (19:45)

Sunday 5th May

Chelsea vs Watford (14:00)

Huddersfield vs Man Utd (14:00)

Arsenal vs Brighton (16:30)

Monday 6th May

Man City vs Leicester (20:00)

PEP IN THEIR STEP

Man City are in incredible form, with 12 wins and 27 goals scored from Gameweek 25. Pep Guardiola’s men also have the added FPL bonus of not playing European football this week ahead of fixtures against Leicester (H) and Brighton (a).

The Foxes’ clean sheet at home to a ten-man Arsenal in GW36 was their second since Brendan Rodgers took over in Gameweek 29. The other shut-out was recorded at home to Bournemouth in GW32. Leicester have not conceded more than two goals in a game under their new manager. They have allowed their opponents 38 shots over the last four gameweeks, with 28 of those taken inside the box. Rodgers’ team gave up five big chances over those four fixtures.

Brighton went from conceding seven goals over DGW34 to just one in DGW35, keeping a clean sheet in the process away to Wolves. The Seagulls’ backs-to-the-wall performance at Molineux was similar to how Burnley set up against City in GW36. Guardiola’s outfit struggled for end product at Turf Moor, though certainly created enough chances to win the game. Brighton’s plan in GW38 could hinge on whether or not they have secured Premier League safety before the final round of games.

Sergio Aguero (£11.9m) has yet to blank when named in Guardiola’s starting XI for Etihad fixtures this season, a phenomenal record going into City’s final home game of the season. The forward has returned an average of 8.8 points across his last six starts on home soil. That includes two 17-point hauls gained from hat-tricks in GW25 and GW26. Raheem Sterling’s (£11.6m) average in the same parameters is a huge 10.3 but does include one blank, when Tottenham visited the Etihad in GW35. For those who own both players and plan on giving one the armband, or even using the triple captain chip, it is undoubtedly a marginal call.

In defence, Aymeric Laporte (£6.2m) has recorded back-to-back nine-point scores and should prosper against Brighton’s lethargic attack at least. Bernardo Silva (£7.7m) created the most chances at Turf Moor in GW36. He also bested both Sterling and Leroy Sane (£9.3m) for touches in the box and goal attempts. It was Bernardo’s ball into Aguero that ended in the striker narrowly scoring, though it was not deemed an assist for the Portuguese midfielder. He continues to look very secure in Guardiola’s XI with injury doubts over Kevin De Bruyne (£9.6m) and Fernandinho (£5.3m), while Sane failed to impress after being drafted in on the left flank.

RACE TO THE KLOPP

Liverpool lost 3-0 to Barcelona on Wednesday night despite putting in a largely positive performance. Joe Gomez (£4.8m) made his return at right-back as Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.7m) spent the evening on the bench. Owners of the latter will be pleased that his rotation occurred in the Champions League. For those investing in the Reds’ defence, TAA offers a cut-price route over nailed-on pair Andy Robertson (£6.8m) and Virgil van Dijk (£6.7m).

Roberto Firmino (£9.4m) was brought on in the 78th minute at the Nou Camp and saw an effort cleared off the line. Speaking about the forward before kick-off, Jurgen Klopp said: “Bobby wants to [play] and the medical department told me, ‘yes, it’s good’, but then you have to make sure – I’m not sure if 90 minutes or whatever. So he doesn’t have to start, that’s why we start like we start. Bobby is on the bench, that’s good news.”

Mohamed Salah (£13.3m) hit the post with a rebound effort after Firmino’s shot was stopped, while Sadio Mane (£10.2m) also missed a big chance in the UCL semi-final first leg. Back in the Premier League, Liverpool were last kept scoreless at Goodison Park in GW29. Since that 0-0 draw with Everton, Jurgen Klopp’s side have scored 20 times on a seven-match winning streak. Salah bagged a huge 19-point haul against Huddersfield in GW36, while Mane was just a post away from recording a hat-trick of headers last Friday.

The Reds take on Newcastle in GW37 before a visit from Wolves on the final day. The Magpies have conceded just three goals in the last four gameweeks, keeping a clean sheet away to Leicester in GW34. Newcastle allowed their opponents 39 shots (27 inside the box) over that period, with six of those opportunities considered ‘big chances’. Rafa Benitez’s side have conceded in each of their past three home games. Wolves, meanwhile, have a good record against the top six this season. However, their only clean sheets in the past eight gameweeks were in home ties against Cardiff and Brighton.

GARDEN OF EDEN

Chelsea welcome Watford in GW37 before travelling to play Leicester in GW38. For those with budget to spare or seeking a ‘premium differential’, this weekend’s home fixture in particular promotes investment in Eden Hazard (£10.9m). The Belgian has averaged 10.5 points per match over the Blues’ last six Stamford Bridge fixtures.

Watford are without a clean sheet in their last ten league games, while the aforementioned Leicester are far from watertight. Hazard’s away record is poor – he has managed just one assist over his last eight starts on the road – but there is a chance the King Power clash could be his final league game for the Blues. Interestingly, the midfielder’s most recent away goals came in the form of a brace at Vicarage Road in Gameweek 19.

Chelsea play Eintracht Frankfurt away on Thursday night, with Hazard a very likely starter. Potential investors and captainers have some time to play with before making final decisions ahead of Friday’s 7:00pm deadline. Our predicted line-ups article, which will have press conference quotes from Maurizio Sarri and the other 19 PL managers, will be live on Friday morning.

HAIR OF THE POG

Manchester United have looked hungover in recent weeks after a merry start to life under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. A trip to take on Huddersfield could be just the cure that Paul Pogba (£8.5m) and his team-mates require. The Red Devils end the season with Cardiff rolling up to Old Trafford.

Despite failing to record a shot or a key pass at home to Chelsea in GW36, Pogba was heavily involved in a much-improved display from Man Utd over the first 45 minutes. As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted post-match, the Red Devils were unable to recreate the same level of performance in the second period at Old Trafford. The United boss told Match of the Day: “The boys started fantastic, created chances, got in behind and got the lead. Then, in the second half, we never managed to get the quality and tempo back up again. It was a good game of football, both could have won it but probably a draw is fair result. They're probably happier than we are with the draw, it's one of those days and we must dust ourselves down and win the next two – you never know as points are being dropped left, right and centre.”

United’s top-four fate is out of their hands now but six points from their final two games will at least give Solskjaer’s men a fighting chance. Gameweek 29 was the last time Huddersfield conceded less than two goals in a match, as they lost 1-0 at Brighton. Since then, the Terriers have shipped 23 times over seven fixtures. They have allowed 72 shots (48 inside the box) in the past four gameweeks, giving up 15 big chances in the process. Cardiff’s motivation in GW38 will hinge on results this weekend as the Bluebirds teeter on the brink of relegation. Neil Warnock’s men have kept two clean sheets since Gameweek 30.

Ninety-minute man Pogba has been substituted just once since OGS took over, after 73 minutes against Fulham as United led 3-0. FPL bosses investing in the Frenchman can at least be assured of pitch time, while the midfielder also has penalty-taking duties in his locker. Pogba’s only attacking returns over United’s last eight league ties have come from spot-kicks, though Huddersfield’s miserable defence should offer United attackers plenty of opportunities.

Marcus Rashford (£7.3m) was pictured in training on Wednesday after a shoulder problem forced him off after 65 minutes against Chelsea in GW36.

Reports suggest Romelu Lukaku (£10.7m) could be sidelined in GW37 due to a hamstring injury, with Solskjaer set for a pre-match press conference tomorrow.

DIOGO ON, GO ON, GO ON

Diogo Jota (£6.3m) leads the way for transfers in this week after a 12-point haul in GW36. The attacker set up Raul Jimenez (£6.9m) for Wolves’ first against Watford before volleying in the winner past a stranded Ben Foster (£4.6m).

With Nuno’s men welcoming Fulham to Molineux on Saturday, it is no surprise to see Jota being bought. The Cottagers still have the league’s worst defensive record but are on a run of three consecutive clean sheets. Fulham allowed 52 shots (42 in the box) in their last four fixtures. Scott Parker’s men also gave up 11 big chances, with only Watford (2) managing to convert those opportunities against the relegated side.

Gameweek 38 does present a conundrum for owners and investors in Wolves assets, however, as they face a daunting trip to play Liverpool. The Reds have let in just ten goals at Anfield this season and have kept three clean sheets in a row. Wolves do have an encouraging record against the top six this season [P11 W4 D4 L3]. One of the defeats was a 2-0 home loss to Jurgen Klopp’s team in GW18.

WRECK-IT RALPH

Nathan Redmond (£5.4m), James Ward-Prowse (£5.1m) and Shane Long (£4.6m) all returned attacking points in Southampton’s 3-3 home draw with Bournemouth in GW36. Now safe from relegation, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men face West Ham (a) and Huddersfield (H) to end the season. The Saint are without a clean sheet in their last five fixtures, though both Southampton’s defenders and attackers offer easy routes to freeing up cash along with the bonus of a very favourable fixture in Gameweek 38.

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