With Gameweek 33, we return to the devastation wrought by Covid and cups after a rare, normal Gameweek of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) in which all 20 teams played only once.
In the following Gameweek, seven clubs double and three teams blank, while four teams compete in the FA Cup semi-finals before returning to Premier League play in midweek.
Whom to pick?
Son Heung-min (£11.1m) and Harry Kane (£12.6m) are leading the charge, with Dejan Kulusevski (£6.3m) a viable option if we wanted to save money in Friday’s Scout Picks.
Since the latter made his full debut in Gameweek 26, this trio has finished first, second, and third in FPL points. Son and Kane have been the leading points scorers in their respective Fantasy positions since Antonio Conte took over in north London.
Newcastle United’s ‘double’ is perhaps the best of those in Gameweek 33, as they play both games at home and face opponents who will be in cup action only three days before they arrive on Tyneside.
Only four goals have been surrendered by Eddie Howe’s men in their past six home matches, so Martin Dubravka (£4.4m) and Fabian Schar (£4.4m) – who haven’t been defeated by any defender in goal attempts over the last seven Gameweeks – enter the equation once more.
Allan Saint-Maximin (£6.8m) and penalty-taking Chris Wood (£6.7m) are less convincing options given their lack of goals, but with Ryan Fraser (£5.3m) and Joe Willock (£5.6m) both out with injuries at the time of writing, the focus must shift to the Magpies’ forward line.
This season, Palace and Leicester are near the bottom of the standings in terms of set-piece goals conceded, which could strengthen Wood and Schar’s claims.
Kasper Schmeichel (£4.8m) should be immune to that tinkering and now has a far stronger defence in front of him (when they aren’t rested! ), while James Maddison (£6.9m) and Harvey Barnes (£6.6m) may be worth the risk despite the possibility of controlled minutes.
Maddison is on a tear, with 14 attacking returns in as many starts — and another goal as a substitute in Gameweek 27.
What the experts say
Holly Shand – “This is a Double Gameweek to avoid since plenty of the sides involved lack form right now. Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) could surprise us with a big performance against Norwich City, and I’m tempted to bring in a Newcastle defender to replace the injured Matt Doherty (£4.9m), while there’s promise in the Leicester midfield should their European journey end this week. Beyond them, I plan to roll with my Arsenal triple-up and focus on the single Gameweek assets.”
Utkarsh Dalmia – “After beating Burnley, Norwich might be a bit more inclined to attack at Old Trafford, which could see Fernandes get plenty of chances. Chris Wood (£6.7m) is an outside shout, with both of Newcastle’s matches against Leicester and Crystal Palace coming against teams who will have just played in either UEFA Europa League or FA Cup matches.”