Fixture Changes

Navigating the double game weeks 2017

In this article, I shall construct a team for the two double game weeks coming up: Gameweek 34 and Gameweek 37. My method of doing so will be to construct a team for GW37, then construct one for GW34, before working my way backwards from the GW37 team to GW34, in order to connect the dots. I have used a starting budget of £103m and allowed two transfers per Gameweek between GW34 and GW37, meaning six changes total between the two teams. For the purposes of this article, I’m assuming every player’s value is fixed at their current price.

Gameweek 37

The fixtures for GW37 are as follows:

Everton v Watford
West Brom v Chelsea
Man City v Leicester
Bournemouth v Burnley
Boro v Southampton
Sunderland v Swansea
Stoke v Arsenal
Palace v Hull
West Ham v Liverpool
Spurs v Man United
Chelsea v Watford
Arsenal v Sunderland
Man City v West Brom
Southampton v Man United
Leicester v Spurs

Leading me to pick the following team:

  • GK: Courtois CHE (£5.9m) Pickford SUN (£4.1m)
  • DEF: Bertrand SOU (£5.5m), Jagielka EVE (£4.7m), Monreal ARS (£5.8m), Sakho CRY (£4.8), Vertonghen TOT (£5.7m)
  • MID: Alli TOT (£9.2m), Sane MCI (£7.6), Sterling MCI (£7.6m), Townsend CRY (£5.8), Zaha CRY (£5.9m)
  • FOR: Aguero MCI (£12.8m), Gabbiadini SOU (£6.5m), Kane TOT (£11.3m)

Courtois
Vertonghen Bertrand Monreal
Townsend Zaha Alli Sane Sterling
Kane Aguero

Bench: Pickford, Sakho, Jagielka, Gabbiadini

Game week 37 Goalkeepers

Looking at Chelsea’s fixture list, a home game against Watford and a trip to the Hawthorns with only three games to go seemed like a couple of ground out 1-0 wins against sides on their holidays. Chelsea will probably be wrapping up the title in one of these games, but there’s every chance they won’t quite be able to take their foot off the gas, so I strongly suspect at least one clean sheet. As for Pickford, at £4.1m he’s purely a money-saver, but a money-saver that can jump straight into action if required. He’ll more than likely rack up lots of save points at the Emirates, and a home game against Swansea is a chance for Sunderland to keep a clean sheet.

Game week 37 Defenders

Jan Vertonghen is the defender that I almost always pick for just about any FPL team, given that he’s only £5.7m yet a stalwart in the best defence in the league. Spurs were one of the teams I felt investing heavily in was important, as they have a home game against Man United, and a trip to Leicester, both games that I expect them to win comfortably.

My other two starting defenders are Ryan Bertrand and Nacho Monreal. Bertrand because in Middlesbrough and then Man United Saints are likely to keep at least one clean sheet and Bertrand is a dangerous attacking full-back, again cheap at just £5.5m. Monreal is another cheap defender at £5.8m, and whilst Arsenal are in a bit of disarray at the moment, Sunderland at home and a Stoke team on their holidays will be a great opportunity to keep a clean sheet.

The other options available were about maximising quality for price on my bench. Palace’s home game was a fixture that I highlighted as being a good one for a Palace team that are flying, and could well still need three points to avoid relegation. Hence Mamadou Sakho. And Phil Jagielka looks set for a run at the heart of Everton’s defence, and at just £4.7m, was a good bench option.

Game week 37 Midfielders

When I looked at the fixtures, my first thought was investing heavily in Man City. Leicester and West Brom will both be secure in mid-table and if City have to still fight for third place, then they’ll run through both. As such, both Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane, City’s two in-form wingers were selected for just £7.6m a piece.

As mentioned, I also fancy Spurs to run riot, hence why the cream of their crop in 2017, Dele Alli, has been selected. Sanchez was considered but his price tag, coupled with his general poor attitude in recent weeks, has excluded him. My final selections were based both on price and form, as Townsend and Zaha have been terrific for Palace, and look set to continue that fine form, despite costing just £11.7m between them.

Game week 37 Forwards

Again, looking at the front two, I considered Spurs and City to be the two teams I was banking on, hence the selections of two of the league’s hottest goalscorers: Aguero and Kane. Despite taking a massive chunk out of my budget, I felt that both would make a good enough return on their investment to justify selection. My back up striker was Gabbiadini, who has made a sensational impact for Southampton since his signing in January, and is just £6.5m with a good pair of fixtures.

Gameweek 34

These are the fixtures for Gameweek 34:

Bournemouth v Middlesbrough
Hull v Watford
Swansea v Stoke
West Ham v Everton
Burnley v Man United
Liverpool v Crystal Palace
Chelsea v Southampton
Arsenal v Leicester
Middlesbrough v Sunderland
Crystal Palace v Spurs
Man City v Man United

With up to six changes allowed between Gameweeks 34 and 37, this is the team that I’ve picked (changes in bold).

  • GK: Courtois CHE (£5.9m) Pickford SUN (£4.1m)
  • DEF: Gibson MID (£5.0m) Jagielka EVE (£4.7m), Mee BUR (£4.7m), Monreal ARS (£5.8m), Vertonghen TOT (£5.7m)
  • MID: Alli TOT (£9.2m), Coutinho LIV (£8.5m), King BOU (£6.0m) Sane MCI (£7.6), Sterling MCI (£7.6m),
  • FOR: Kane TOT (£11.3m), Llorente SWA (£6.3m), Lukaku EVE (£10.4m)

Game week 34 Goalkeepers

No changes were made at goalkeeper because Chelsea are one of the best defensive sides in the league, and have decent fixtures between now and the end of the season. Pickford remains as back-up keeper for similar reasons.

Game week 34 Defenders

The two defenders dropping out are Ryan Bertrand and Mamadou Sakho. Both are for fixture reasons: Southampton travel to Chelsea and have other tough games coming up whilst Sakho’s Palace play both Liverpool and Spurs in this Gameweek. The defenders brought in were Ben Mee, whose Burnley side face Man United, a game I fancy them to pick something up in, and Ben Gibson who has two decent fixtures, against Bournemouth and more crucially, Sunderland at home. Mee was primarily selected as a bench option, but has a solid fixture set between GWs 34 and 37.

Game week 34 Midfielders

The two midfield changes made involved dropping Palace’s options: Zaha and Townsend. Palace have a terrible run of games, with a bad double in GW34. To replace them: high flying Josh King, who has 11 goals in 2017, and Phillipe Coutinho, as Liverpool face Palace with the Brazilian in red hot form.

Game week 34 Forwards

Aguero is very much going to be flying out of the traps in later GWs, but with City’s only fixture a game against Man United, it makes sense to drop at least one of their three attacking juggernauts, and Aguero frees up money to be used elsewhere, replaced by the explosive Romelu Lukaku, who faces a West Ham side that doesn’t understand the concept of defending.

The other change sees Gabbiadini, whose only game is away at Chelsea, replaced by Llorente, as Swansea are at home to Stoke, a game which should be bread and butter for a player of Llorente’s quality.

The Transition from game week 34 to game week 37

Game week 35

Coutinho and Lukaku – OUT
Aguero and Townsend – IN

Whilst I didn’t fancy Aguero for Gameweek 34, I wanted him in immediately for Gameweek 35, as City travel to Middlesbrough, whilst Everton have to play Chelsea, and Lukaku has a poor record against top teams. In order to facilitate this change, funds had to be freed up, hence the switch from Coutinho to Townsend. This however, is also bolstered by the fixtures, as Palace have a visit from worst away team in the division Burnley, whilst Coutinho’s Liverpool face a potentially sticky trip to Watford.

Game week 36

Llorente and Gibson – OUT
Gabbiadini and Bertrand – IN

In terms of finances, the GW34 squad costs £0.4m less than the GW37 squad, leaving £0.4m of extra value. The GW35 transfers should have added another £0.3 in value, leaving £0.7m to upgrade the squad in GW36. That money is going to be used, £0.5m on upgrading Gibson to Bertrand, as Boro travel to Chelsea, and bringing in Gabbiadini to replace Llorente, as Swansea face Everton.

However, the main reasoning for doing the transfers this way round is to keep both Josh King and Ben Mee in the squad for one more Gameweek, as Bournemouth have Stoke at home, whilst Burnley have West Brom at home. In comparison, Mamadou Sakho and Wilf Zaha both have to travel to the Etihad, a game that spells disaster for Palace, hence pushing back their addition to the squad.

Game week 37

Mee and King – OUT
Sakho and Zaha – IN

And finally, bring in the two remaining Palace boys for their game against Hull. Transition completed.

Conclusion

These two teams will help you utilise the two remaining double Gameweeks, and navigate the fixtures in-between. The crucial players are Aguero and Kane, but the likes of Dele Alli, Vertonghen and Courtois can all be big point-scorers when used properly. Hopefully these teams also contain enough quality individuals for usage of the various chips still remaining.

Let us know your plans.

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TomLFC1109

A master of philosophy with a passion for football and a potential future in sports journalism. Loves tea, Doctor Who and Harry Potter.


25 thoughts on “Navigating the double game weeks 2017

  1. Interesting strategy, one that I really hadn’t considered with 3 from Man City, but it appears to work well with my current plan. However, I am having a difficult time moving Eriksen for a third Man City asset for GW35. Fixtures are better for City and if I sacrifice Eriksen, then Vertonghen will enter in GW36 to keep me at 3 Spurs.

    • @Sir Tinkerman I am not sure Palace can keep a CS against either. He might rack up a few save points, but just how many Palace will give up is anyone’s guess. I think the safe play is Jakupovic. I have him, but am considering Valdez and his DGW vs BOU and SUN.

    • @Sir Tinkerman @STOUMI Agree CS potential is not good for PAL, but they kept ARS out the other day so you never know.

      I have a similar quandary. Was planning to ship Grant out for Hennessey (partly for the DGWs; partly because Butland may be back soon), but am now thinking I may just play Heaton at home against Utd and get a PAL mid for DGW cover instead. If I already had Hennessey though, then I would probably play him.

    • @Sir Tinkerman yeah saw that match the other day, they looked sharp on defense or it was Arsenal looking poor on offense. I am considering Van Aanholt possibly for the DGW in hopes of a goal, but not sure I can make it happen, which means I miss his DGW and bring him in for GW35. Also up in the air on Valdes for GW34, on paper the match up looks good; BOU (A) and SUN (H) or else I start Jakupovic.

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