And we made it… We have just one more Fantasy squad to pick, one more captain to appoint in the 2017-18 season., Congratulations!
I must be honest with you: The final Premier League game-day is one of the saddest moments of the whole year for me. If you are a Fantasy or a Premier League addict in general, we are here to spend this day together, enjoy the energy and say “until August” to the Premier League entertainment and teams. Now, I know we have a World Cup bonus this year to soften the blow, but nothing can compare to Premier League, will you agree?
For the final time this season we are studying Ben Dinnery’s injury reports, listening to the final managers’ thoughts, and trying to divine what motivation remains for likely starters, so let’s get right to it.
In essence, double game-week 37 answered, if not all, maybe 99% of the Premier League’s open questions. Here are the quick facts:
- Manchester City got their Premier League cup and are on course to break another record if they reach the 100 point mark. Beware Southampton!
- Tottenham secured a spot in the next season’s Champions League.
- Antonio Conte made his career intentions clear when he benched Eden Hazard for a must-win game at home against Huddersfield. Chelsea now needs a miracle to qualify for the Champions League (read it as not happening).
- Arsenal didn’t win a single away game in Premier League in 2018.
- Stoke and West Brom were officially relegated, while Swansea are almost certain to join them on Sunday.
- Mo Salah leads Harry Kane in a golden boot race, and the Englishman will need at least a hat-trick at Wembley on Sunday to pull even with the Egyptian.
With that done, what is left to play for, and who can give your Fantasy score a final lift? Options are extremely limited:
- Manchester City will want to break a 100 points record — City attack
- Swansea need to score as many as possible — Swansea attack
- Liverpool need a result to secure Champions League football next season and have conceded 2nd fewest number of goals at home (after Manchester United) — Liverpool players in general
- Spurs may give Harry Kane a final push in pursuit of Mo Salah and will be playing their final game at Wembley before christening the new White Hart Lane — Tottenham players in general.
Based on the thoughts above, here are the final recommendations:
Loris Karius — read above about the motivation and underlying stats.
Sergio Romero — David de Gea secured his Golden Glove during the midweek, so Mourinho hinted that the Argentine will start.
Trent Alexander-Arnold — What a first season he had, and what potential. His crosses have great conversion rate, while his free-kicks left great memories. There will be goals at Anfield and he will contribute.
Virgil van Dijk — Liverpool still can’t properly defend, but I won’t blame the Dutchman. For as long as your partner is Dejan Lovren, you are in danger. He has been solid since his transfer and should end a season with yet another home cleansheet.
Marcos Alonso — expensive, but could have scored 2-3 goals in midweek. He is the most attacking defender in the league, so he deserves a note all the time.
Ben Davies — last home game, demotivated Leicester visiting, Harry Kane willing to score a poker. What else?
Patrick van Aanholt — has been in great scoring form recently and will have a comfortable final game at home and against relegated West Brom.
Leighton Baines — just a hunch, as I expect goals in the London game.
Mo Salah — no comment, but needs to be mentioned.
Sadio Mane —
Almost same as above, as Anfield witnessed a creation of a formidable trio this season. Shall we call them SFM? Klopp will field a strong line-up in my view... , so his spot should be safe. [Now a doubt due to new injury — Danny Ings is expected to deputize.]
Raheem Sterling / Leroy Sane / Kevin de Bruyne — record-breakers. Sterling and De Bruyne rested in the latest game, so should be relatively safe, despite all the Pep’s rotation.
Wilfried Zaha — he deserves more than Crystal Palace and is now playing for his future contract and market value. I expect another electrifying performance.
Paul Pogba — He finishes the season strongly and should get a nod in Mourinho’s experimental line-up. They don’t want to lose a final home game, right?
Son Heung-min — his form has cooled down, but I have a feeling that he may burst onto the scene just one more time. And he loves scoring at home.
Marko Arnautovic — I kept him for the past two months and will keep doing so. There is no question to his work rate and team spirit, but man, I wish he could have converted at least 50% of his chances so I could still fight in my mini league. Final home game, emotions, farewell, you know…
Harry Kane — I still believe in him, despite his recent meh form. He doesn’t look fit (surprisingly), and this should worry Gareth Southgate. Nevertheless, it’s his home ground versus inconsistent Leicester. My captain.
Roberto Firmino — he is 1/3 of Liverpol’s SFM and should enjoy himself on Sunday.
Gabriel Jesus — lacks sharpness, but lacks competition too after Kun Aguero’s injury. Should get another start and help City’s record pursuit.
Marcus Rashford — Lukaku is still out, and Mourinho hinted to field an experimental team. He fits the bill and will want to make a positive final impression.
Jordan Ayew / Tammy Abraham — surprised, right? If Swansea are to make a miracle on Sunday, they will need goals. No one else can score there.
Alexandre Lacazette / Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang — Both are red hot these days and will have their final game to improve the stats. Huddersfield are tough to crack, but they just secured their spot in a top flight, so they may want to entertain the home supporters with some more open football.
Those are my thoughts for the final game-week. I lost my mini-league by roughly 50 points, as I failed to recover from Harry Kane’s back-to-back hat-tricks back in December. #Kaneexit wasn’t the best idea after all. I’m still positive, as it was my first season in official format. I will take away my lessons and feel that there is only one way from here, and it’s up!
Here is my final line-up:
- Alonso / Vertonghen / Baines
- Pogba / Arnautovic / Zaha / Sterling (V)
- J. Ayew / Kane © / Jesus
Thank you for reading us, and have a great summer! (And don’t forget that NMA will have a few activities to tide us over until next season!)
So what are your thoughts on the official FPL game as we head to finale Sunday? Do you see any other motivated players to be good fantasy candidates? Have you heard any late team news? Please tell us in the comments below!