GW-38, the final curtain call, is upon us. The exciting yet long-dreaded moment is finally here. While we might all have been looking forward to ending the season on a high and earning bragging rights in our private leagues, no one really wants a weekend that terminates Premier League football.
Normally, 2022 would at least give us a World Cup during the summer break, so our fellowship of footy fantasy would hardly have a break. However, this World Cup cycle slides into autumn (read all about it next season), so the end of our season heralds an eight-week break for FPL managers, a lull not welcomed by many, but it’s a seasonal gap that the old-timers have survived before (more times than some would like to admit).
Let’s take a last look at some players who can help us finish as high as possible.
PS: It may seem stupid to remind you of this, but if you have a chip left, any chip, you should play it! It can’t hurt you, and it might help.
Ederson (£6.2m MCI vs AVL)
Man City welcomes Aston Villa to the Etihad on the last day of the season knowing that there is little room for mistakes or slip-ups. Ederson has registered two clean sheets in the Citizens’ last four games, and a title decider against Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa seems like the perfect time to add to his total of twenty. Doubling up on the Citizens’ back line might not be a bad idea as Pep Guardiola will be eager to keep tight at the back to avoid surprises or upsets.
Hugo Lloris (£5.4m NOR vs TOT)
France captain Lloris has a chance to make it three clean sheets in three matches when Tottenham comes up against the league’s weakest attack. Norwich has scored only 23 times in 37 games, fully nine fewer than next-worst Burnley. Lloris has proved to be safe hands and a great leader in the Spurs back line in recent weeks. As with City, doubling up on the Tottenham back line might be smart due to the importance of the match and the quality of the opposition.
Emerson Royal (£4.6m NOR vs TOT)
Follow up on our earlier suggestion of doubling up on Spurs defense by adding Emerson to your back line. The right-back went close several times in his last two fixtures. Facing the league’s weakest defense looks like the perfect time to provide an attacking contribution.
Joao Cancelo (£7.2m MCI vs AVL)
We follow up on our advice to double up on Man City’s defenders by adding the second-best FPL right-back to our team of the week. Cancelo has provided two assists in the Citizens last four matches. His ability to attack with dangerous crosses means he’s always a threat going forward.
Andy Robertson (£7.3m LIV vs WOL)
Robertson is expected to return to Klopp’s Liverpool starting lineup after being given a well-deserved rest in the Reds’ fixture against Southampton, which the Reds won 1-2. Robertson has proved to be better than his more expensive teammate, Alexander Arnold in recent weeks.
Reece James (£6.4m CHE vs WAT)
James delivered his first attacking tally since returning from an injury that kept him out for almost a month. The right-back has been a revelation for the Blues this season, contributing five goals plus seven assists. A clean sheet looks likely against an already relegated Watford that got whitewashed 5-1 by Leicester last time out. It would also be wrong to rule out an attacking contribution against one of the league’s leakiest defenses.
Hueng-Min Son (£11.1m NOR vs TOT)
Tottenham has one foot in the Champions League after Arsenal’s 2-nil defeat at St James Park on Monday. Spurs know that a draw in this fixture will see them compete in the Champions League group stage next season. Son will have extra motivation due to being behind league golden boot leader Mo Salah by just a single goal. A game against the league’s leakiest defense seems like the perfect match for Son to increase his already impressive numbers.
Kevin De Bruyne (£12.1m MCI vs AVL)
Pep Guardiola will rely on De Bruyne to once again conduct his team when they face Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium. A win in this fixture will claim back-to-back league titles. De Bruyne has been impressive in recent weeks, his four-goal haul in GW-36 his best performance.
Luis Diaz (£8.1m LIV vs WOL)
Luiz Diaz has been a revelation since his January move from FC Porto to Liverpool. The attacker has helped add something extra to Liverpool’s attack in the second half of the season. Diaz has failed to provide an attacking return only once in the Reds’ last five matches, and that was when he rested. With Salah crippled, much of the Reds’ attack will depend on Diaz (or Jota) performing his magic.
James Maddison (£6.9m LEI vs SOU)
23 points in his last two appearances shows the kind of form Maddison is in right now. The England midfielder has been pulling the strings from the middle of the park while also scoring important goals upfront. Defeat in the semifinal of the Conference League released Leicester to enjoy an improved run in the league. A fixture against lower-half Southampton seems like the perfect match to continue this good run.
Harvey Barnes (£6.5m LEI vs SOU)
If you can’t afford Maddison, Barnes provides a reliable option at a much cheaper rate. The midfielder has fared better than Maddison in the Foxes’ last two matches, accruing 25 points. Despite being in and out of the team due to injuries and loss of form, Barnes has produced six goals plus nine assists in the league this season.
Harry Kane (£12.4m NOR vs TOT)
Kane scored twice against Arsenal and once against Burnley to put Tottenham in pole position to secure Champions League football for next season. Kane has once again successfully dovetailed with strike partner Son, scoring 16 goals and adding eight assists this campaign.
Jamie Vardy (£10.3m LEI vs SOU)
Springing back from an injury absence to score four goals in two matches shows the kind of form Vardy is in. The England international has recovered from a mid-season slump to reclaim his status as the Foxes’ first-choice striker ahead of Patson Daka and Kelechi Iheanacho. Vardy is no stranger to the headlines against big teams, so it would be a mistake to rule out a goal or two from the mercurial striker against Chelsea.
Romelu Lukaku (£11.4m CHE vs WAT)
Lukaku has stepped up in the last two Premier League matches to take back his spot as Chelsea’s first-choice striker. The husky Belgian has scored three goals in the Blues’ last two fixtures after 13 games without a goal prior to that. Chelsea is eager to end the season with a victory, and Lukaku will be once again expected to lead the Blues’ frontline.
What do you think of our picks this week? Can you recommend any players from West Ham, Man United, Leeds, Everton, Arsenal or Newcastle? If you have any chip(s) left, which will you use? What is your FPL strategy? Who will be a hit or a miss?
What did you learn this season that you wish you could transmit back in time to your year-ago self?
Please log in and let us know in the comments below!