Happy international break (Not)! With the double gameweeks officially announced for Gameweek 34 and 37 it’s time to start preparing! This weeks stock market will be focused on those enjoying doubles before the end of the season. Let’s go!
Double Gameweek Contenders
Newcastle – If you’re looking at positives, a double chance is just about the only one when it comes to Newcastle right now. Avoid at all costs, even if they scrap their way to safety I couldn’t pick a viable option.
Man City – A few months ago we would have been scrambling to squeeze 3 City players in for their double gameweek. The fact is that they’re in extremely poor form, and that has reflected in their FPL options. Kompany is injured AGAIN, so once again City’s defence is off the radar thanks to their rotating full backs. With away games against Chelsea and Newcastle I’m not confident about clean sheets anyway. I haven’t seen David Silva so out of form since arriving in England, De Bruyne’s absence is clear. Let’s hope he’s back after the international break.
The real problem is that the usually rampant Sky Blues have scored multiple goals just once in their last 7 games… Incredibly in 3 of the last 4 they have been held goalless. You have to wonder how that Guardiola announcement has not only affected Pellegrini but the team. Either way it’s hurting Aguero! I’m backing him in as everyone else should, whether he will be my triple captain is still up for debate… No other City players for me at this stage.
West Ham – On the other end of the scale, West Ham are in crazy form. I had my doubts, but they’ve been well and truly silenced now that they’re genuine top 4 challengers. The biggest dilemma selecting West Ham players is their blank gameweek in GW35. With Everton and Man United in the same boat, we have to be careful not to load up too early for the first double and leave our squads short. It will be essential to carry at least a couple on your bench in GW35 though, so don’t let it bother you too much. I see Payet as a must have, find a way to get him in. Another player I love the look of is Lanzini. Injury has hurt his season but currently owned by just 0.5% of managers, I love him as a differential. He’s coming in for me this week!
Watford – Ighalo aside, Watford were relevant thanks to their strong clean sheet record at home. Back in 2015. They’ve won just 2 games in their last 13, managing just 2 clean sheets in that time. Amazingly, Ighalo has scored just ONCE in his last 11 appearances. Eleven! With 2 away games during their double I’d avoid Watford completely.
Liverpool – If you can fit any Liverpool players into your team, don’t hesitate! They have 9 games to play and no blank gameweeks to worry about! Firmino was high on our watchlists, and importantly he still should be. He’s a doubt for after the international break after suffering a hamstring strain, but I’d expect him to be back by GW34. Funnily enough, it was no surprise to see Coutinho score in Firmino’s absence. It’s amazing how those 2 take points of each other, I don’t think it’s co-incidence. If Firmino misses, Coutinho’s stocks rise. Watchlist both for now. Sturridge is back to full fitness, but for how long is the question. Would he play a full 180 minutes? Will he even make it to the double gameweeks? Unlikely. As far as their defence is concerned… Mignolet might be worth a gamble, but honestly I’m happy to avoid them. Considering the Merseyside derby aligns with DGW34, it’s probably be best to stick with their attackers.
Everton – The Toffees have been exciting to watch this season, but their fans will have become sick and tired watching their frankly horrible defence. Roberto Martinez plays a great brand of football for the neutrals, but go and ask any Everton or Wigan fans on their thoughts and I’m sure you’ll hear the real story. Anyway, the point is I’d be avoiding Everton defenders. Even Coleman. RIP Baines. Going forward is whole different story. Lukaku is a must have no matter which way you look at it, he has taken his game to an elite level. Barkley is capable of massive scores on his day, he managed 32 points in a 2 game spell earlier this season! The potential is clearly there, but the form is not. Ross has scored in just one game since November, and has attacking returns once in his last 10 appearances. Of course that was a huge 16 point haul. He’s owned by 30% of the competition, but many of those will be ghost ships. Don’t write him off just yet. Lennon is another option to consider if you’re on a tight budget, or perhaps as a 5th midfielder who you can bench and sub on during his doubles.
Man United – United have turned it around recently, nobody could have seen this coming a month back. I’m not convinced getting Rashford in your fpl team is a wise move, and they haven’t exactly been setting it on fire in the forward third. It’s in defence that they’ve returned to form. They’ve managed two 1-0 wins in their past 3, putting guys like De Gea and Smalling back on the radar. Importantly their double gameweek fixtures are golden. First up they face Villa and Palace at home (!!!), then have two away trips to Norwich and West Ham. United’s Gameweek 34 fixtures are as tasty as it gets, and I’m getting at least 1 defender in. I’m still deciding whether I trust Rojo, because I certainly don’t trust Darmian. Both could be value, but both could end in heartbreak thanks to LVG’s rotation. Either way have them high on your watchlists.
Remember you can’t really afford to have more than 3 players from United, Everton and West Ham for GW34 unless you have a wildcard handy for GW35. Wildcards are a completely different ball game, you’ve got a power play up your sleeve if you’ve been stringent! Payet and Lukaku are hard to turn down, so be careful…
Crystal Palace – Not only have they not won in 2016, they have a blank in GW35. They’re also away to Arsenal and United. Next please.
West Brom – Pass!
Norwich – The Canaries have a blank before their double in GW37 so avoid for now. If they’re still in the relegation dog fight you’ll be surprised to find how relevant they could end up being. With 2 doubles to come before the end of the season, watch this space.
Sunderland – Another relegation battler to keep your eyes on. Defoe is obviously their key to survival, although they do play Chelsea and Everton in their DGW 37. Pass again.
Arsenal – Boom. Jackpot! Arsenal play Crystal Palace and West Brom at home in GW34. Does it get any better?! Their form seems to have turned around (Although this happens a lot) and they look a great investment for the double. At the moment I’m planning on 2 Arsenal defensive assets. I’m already a Bellerin owner, and with Cech due back after the international break he’s also a possible in. I like Welbeck’s form and expect him to start for the Gunners up front, so he’s a great differential. Sanchez also looks to be getting more involved, but I’d still say he’s nowhere near last seasons form. Another to consider, we know he can go big on his day! With no blank in GW35 either it’s safe to load up on Arsenal.
Chelsea – They’re slowly becoming more relevant, but I still can’t seem to find room for a Blue in my squad. Man City (H) and Bournemouth (A) are decent fixtures, but not tempting enough for me to load up. Their defence has conceded in each of their last 6 outings, Hazard is done for the season, Costa is suspended when he’s not struggling with injury and Fabregas had 1 good week. Costa is the most relevant option, but good luck finding the $$$ to get him in!
Seeing as two thirds of teams have at least 1 double gameweek to enjoy, it’s time to get rid of the players who have carried us throughout the past few blank gameweeks. Or is it?
Tottenham – Let me make this perfectly clear. If a player and their team is in-form, you are taking a huge risk to trade them out. Unfortunately last year I found out the hard way that sometimes the risk can pay off in a big way. I was left miles behind during the double gameweeks because I stuck with my guns. So will I be trading the likes of Kane, Alli and Alderweireld? At least not until GW34 is upon us. I think there are players that can do a job similar to Alli and Alderweireld, so I expect I’d be trading them. The other move I’m tossing up at the moment is bringing in Welbeck for Kane in GW34. I’ll take a raincheck on that one!
Leicester – It seems crazy to be trading out your Leicester assets, but if you look closely their attacking form has subsided, having scored just 7 times in their last 6 games. Mahrez is still damaging and I’d hold onto him seeing as he has gone up so much in value. Vardy on the other hand hasn’t scored for 5 weeks and is on my chopping block for Lukaku ASAP. Their defence must be invested in, as I said a month ago Fuchs is the way to go. What a pick that has been! Schmeichel would be handy to rotate in goals when there’s no double.
Southampton – Yeahhhh… We were way too late on the defensive bandwagon. No double gameweeks = No reason to own a Saint!
Arnautovic – He has been a great option during the blanks, but I’d be less inclined to keep him now. He plays Swansea at home after the international break, so hold him this week… Then unload.
Sigurdsson – Siggy is in the same boat. He’s been a brilliant pick lately, but Swansea’s fixtures are taking a turn for the worse. It’s risky trading a player in-form, but my plan was always to hold him until they played Villa. There’s plenty of alternatives who have more games remaining!
That’s it as far as GW 34 and 37 are concerned, hopefully this has helped you with your double gameweek planning. Things are going to heat up quickly! Bring it on…