It is the final matchday of the season, and we have some suggestions on who you should run with this week. Whether you are trying to clinch your title, make a late run at it, or just want to finish strong for the season, here is a list of players who you should keep an eye on as you build your final FPL side of the campaign!
Petr Cech (ARS) - The first of many Gunners that will grace this list, Arsenal is facing a horrid Aston Villa side who mailed it in....well....at the start of the season, really. With Arsenal hoping to somehow pip Spurs to second place, a clean sheet is not only likely, I'd bet money on it. A lot of money.
Tim Howard (EVE) - This is a gut pick for me. With Roberto Martinez out the door and Everton wanting to finish on a high note, I think we will see a shift in playing style for the Toffees. Gone is the tiki-taka style that the Spaniard preferred, and in comes a more direct, counter-attacking style that they can be so dangerous at. I think Everton comes out, plays well, and stifles a putrid Norwich City attack on their way to a positive note to end the season. Throw in the fact that it's Howard's final match, and the feel-good ending is in play.
David De Gea (MUN) - With fourth still a very slim possibility, the Red Devils must get a win. And that starts with their keeper, who will look to rebound from a rare poor showing against West Ham United in the midweek. De Gea is still one of the best in the world, and he rarely has two bad outings in a row.
Nacho Monreal/Hector Bellerin (ARS) - Two wide defenders who love to get forward, plus a team that is horrid at attacking, means that these two should be in for a great day. There should be little resistance for the two Spanish wingbacks in this matchup, which means they could easily rack up an assist--or even a goal--while keeping a clean sheet. Whether you take just one or both, having exposure to this duo is a good move to make.
Christian Fuchs (LEI) - It's going to be interesting to see if Chelsea celebrates performing a guard of honor the same way they celebrating Leicester winning the title after the Blues beat Tottenham. Somehow, I doubt it. For the second match in a row, Leicester will get to walk out second, and what better way to cap off a Cinderella run than to get a win for their manager against the club that said he would never win anything? If that is to happen, Fuchs will likely be involved. He has had a tremendous season, and his crossing ability has played a key role in the rise of the Foxes. Look for him to continue to push forward in this matchup, and a clean sheet is a possibility as well.
Patrick van Aanholt (SUN) - With safety assured, Sunderland can breathe easily again. Big Sam has this team playing well at the moment, and the play of van Aanholt has been a big reason why. His attacking runs and set-piece delivery has been important all season long. With a final match against a Watford team that has been wholly inconsistent this season, I don't see any reason for his performance to dip. An assist and clean sheet is a likely result.
Leighton Baines (EVE) - See Tim Howard. Everton are likely to want to rebound and end the season on a high note, and the English left back will want to make one last statement before the European Championships. Norwich City will provide little resistance, and if Everton sit back and counter-attack we could see Baines have some terrific chances to contribute to the attack.
Alberto Moreno (LIV) - With the Europa League final looming in the midweek, Moreno may be rested (or at least pulled after 60 minutes or so), so this is a player to keep an eye on. He has scored a few goals this season and is often involved in going forward, and West Bromwich Albion is unlikely to put much resistance up--especially when you consider that only Aston Villa has scored fewer goals than the 33 put up by West Brom this season.
Alexis Sanchez (ARS) - Hey, I warned you. That said, if you only take one Arsenal player this week, it has to be Alexis. Aston Villa have nothing for him, and his creativity, pace, and skill make him a nightmare for defenses everywhere. Look for him to get into the box often, especially with Danny Welbeck playing no part in this match due to injury. I will be making him my captain this week in the official game, and for good reason. I will be shocked if he does not walk away without having a hand in at least one or two goals.
Kevin De Bruyne (MCY) - City have a simple task this weekend: get a result. Any result. A draw or a win clinch fourth place for the Citizens, unless somehow Manchester United or West Ham United win and score about twenty goals. De Bruyne has been in solid form since returning, and was unlucky to score in the Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid. His creativity and his crossing ability--especially from corner kicks--make him a good option to get an assist, while his runs into the box and his shooting ability from long range make him a threat to score from almost anywhere. Playing a Swansea side that have struggled at times to defend, he's my #2 option in FPL this week.
Dimitri Payet (WHU) - One kick is all the French midfielder needs to make it a successful week for fantasy owners. He did not get that kick in the midweek match against United, but Stoke City provide him with another favorable matchup. His free-kick prowess make him a threat around the box, and with the offense often running through him he is always a good choice for an assist or two. With the Euros coming up, he also will be looking to make sure that he gets a place in what looks to be a very crowded French midfield.
Wahbi Khazri (SUN) - Khazri has been in terrific form as of late, and his cost has stayed low, so he is a solid choice for FPL managers this week who want to maximize their budgets. He is doing a great job of getting involved in the attack, and many could argue that he is one of the big reasons why Sunderland avoided the drop. His goal against Chelsea last weekend was the stuff of legend, and he played a big role in winning that match and the vital three points that came along with it.
Riyad Mahrez (LEI) - Leicester want to go out with a win to cap off their amazing season, and Mahrez will be involved as he always is. He will be going up against the left side of Chelsea, so he might be required to help out with Hazard a bit, but it should not stunt his attacking duties. Look for Mahrez to try to help a certain English forward steal the Golden Boot (more on that later) and maybe get a goal himself.
Juan Mata (MUN) - With fourth place a very unlikely proposition at this stage, LVG knows he has to unleash the attack to have a chance. Hosting AFC Bournemouth should give Mata an opportunity to shine in what may very well be his final match in front of the home fans--if a certain Portuguese manager is brought in. Mata has free kick duties from the right side, and he will be involved in the attack in multiple ways. Look for him to get an assist or possibly a goal as United throw the kitchen sink at the Cherries and try to put pressure on City.
Jamie Vardy (LEI), Harry Kane (TOT), & Sergio Aguero (MCY) - Remember how I said Mahrez would be looking to help someone get the Golden Boot? Well, Vardy is one of three players vying for the title of top goalscorer in the BPL this year. As it stands heading into the final match, Kane sits one goal ahead of Vardy and Aguero, with 25 tallies on the season to their respective 24. Kane, by virtue of his matchup against Newcastle and the fact that he has the lead, is the betting favorite at the moment. But let's not rule the other two out. Chelsea's defense is in shambles at the moment, and Swansea isn't much better, so both Vardy and Aguero will get their opportunities. Add the fact that Newcastle has actually played well at home lately, and nothing is certain for anybody in this race. Grab at least one of them for your team--two if you can afford it--and watch the fireworks begin.
Marcus Rashford/Anthony Martial (MUN) - Forget about United's purpose in this match, forget about the matchup, forget about all of that. Marcus Rashford has a big reason to perform well this weekend. The young English striker knows that there is an open seat on the plane to Euros, and he wants it. The unfortunate injury to Welbeck has left an open spot in the English attack, and Rashford is looking to cap off a magical run these past few months with a surprise spot on the team. As for Anthony Martial, is there a striker in better form right now? Cristiano Ronaldo recently came out and said that the French striker "reminds me of me", which is very high praise, and he also is looking to make sure he gets to play in the Euros this summer. I don't think his spot is in question, but I'm sure adding another goal or two, after scoring two in midweek, would help cement it.
Olivier Giroud (ARS) - Another striker who may be wanting to make a statement before the Euros, Giroud has finally gotten a league goal and has a great matchup to try to get another one. With Welbeck out (this is becoming a theme here), the striker position is his alone this weekend. Aston Villa have been awful at defending in the air, and Giroud's meaty forehead should get plenty of chances to connect with balls in the box. It's just a matter of whether he can get them on target or not.
Daniel Sturridge (LIV) - Oh look, another guy trying to get to Euros. The striker has been in terrific form since returning from his injury, and he also wants to make sure he gets one of those spots on the pitch for England this summer. As mentioned earlier, Liverpool have the midweek Europa League final so he may not play or play very long, but if he does take the pitch he is always a threat to score.
So there it is. Your final suggestions on who to put into your team for the final matches of the season. Hopefully one or two of you are able to use these suggestions to clinch--or maybe even steal--your title this season. It has been a pleasure to help all the owners out there this season, and we hope that you guys will hang around for the Euro game coming up. Congratulations to everyone this season, and enjoy the finale!