37 Gameweeks and 370 PL games later, we’re fast approaching the final GW of this season. There is so much excitement around the final GW amongst FPL managers as we try to finish as high in the OR as possible and also win those mini-leagues. A lot of managers, myself included, have preserved our Free hit chip until the very last game of the season and this could come in handy as there are a great set of fixtures to target in GW38. In this blog, I’ll cover the ideal Free hit strategy and the best team to choose along with a few alternative options.
Free hit Chip usage statistics:
1680 Managers in the top 5K still have their Free hit chips ahead of the GW38 deadline. This means one in three managers in the top 5k have FH and it is important to put it to good use.
Free hit formation strategy:
As teams have played a lot of fixtures over a short span and the last game week traditionally known to have a lot of goals in them with each of the last three seasons recording more average goals compared to the season average, going 3 at the back is the best decision. Now that we have got the defense sorted it should be a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 formation. I’ll be going 3-5-2 as I feel there are great midfield options and I’ll give up an extra forward spot for a midfielder on my FH team.
Best Free Hit Team for GW38:
The goalkeeper choice is fair enough a straight forward one. Nick Pope should be the best option. Pope(£5.1M) has registered the most clean sheets(15) recording 169 points making him the highest-scoring GK this season. Burnley have kept four CS since restart- A record bettered only by Wolves(5) and Man City(6). Adding to it Brighton have scored a mere five goals since the restart which is the third-lowest in the league.
Pope has also earned the maximum bonus points for a GK(23) this season. The Burnley shot-stopper is chasing a golden glove and Burnley will defend at their fullest to ensure Pope collects the golden glove. Button(£3.9M) should do as the second keeper so that we can release funds elsewhere.
If you do not have funds for Pope or wanting to go with two Burnley defenders then Arsenal shot-stopper Emi Martinez(£4.4M) who is up against Watford could be a good option.
Start: Pope Bench: Button
Going 3 at the back seems to be the best option and I have gone with Robertson(£7.0M), Serge Aurier(£5.0M) and Pieters(£4.3M) as my three starting defenders. Man Utd full-back Brandon Williams(£3.8M) and Spurs defender Tanganga(£3.9M) are two budget defenders who’ll be bench fodder to complete the defensive lineup.
Robertson (£7.0M) has had five attacking returns since the restart, two more than TAA. He is up against an injury-hit Newcastle side, essentially securing a clean sheet already. Newcastle have the third-worst xGA(14.13) since the restart with only Norwich and Brighton fairing worse meaning there is good enough chance for Robertson to get an attacking return as well.
Serge Aurier(£5.0M) has registered 3 CS in the last five games including 4 bonus points and is up against a palace side who have got nothing to play for. The Eagles have also remarkably scored just 4 goals since the restart and have conceded 17 in the same period making Aurier an attractive option. Pieters(£4.3M) is the second player from Burnley in the FH team and is a decent option as they look to seal a CS to give Pope the golden glove. Pieters also has 4 assists to his name so far this season and perhaps an attacking return could also be a possibility.
Start: Robertson, Aurier, and Pieters. Bench: Tanganga and Williams.
Going three at the back seems to be the best strategy and tripling up on City midfielders seems to be a no brainer. City vs Norwich is a no-match, Man City have scored 29 goals and conceded just four goals since the restart. Whereas, Norwich have scored just one and have conceded a whopping 18 goals in the same period. David Silva(£7.4M) is set for his play his last PL game and is likely to play 90 minutes, on penalties and free kicks in his last game. Silva has 30 points from the last 2 starts, 42 points from the last four.
Sterling(£11.9M) is probably the best FPL asset after restart scoring 66 points from the last 6 averaging 11 points per game with starting just 4 games. KDB(£10.7M) has already registered a whopping 19 assists so far this season and is just one shy of Henry’s all-time record of 20 assists in a season. He’ll be looking to break it and is too good of an option to ignore.
West Ham’s Michail Antonio(£7.1M) leads the charts for the highest xG(7.39) and goals scored (8) since the restart. Antonio also took the penalty against Man Utd ahead of, the big man could be a nice differential option to have in the FH team. The fifth pick is non-other than Bruno Fernandes (£9.1M), the Manchester United attacker has had 9 attacking returns(G+A) since the restart registering 68 points at an average of 8.5 points per game. He is up against a Leicester side who are without three of their regular defenders.
Start: David Silva, Sterling, KDB, Antonio and Bruno Fernandes
Having gone with a five-man midfield, there are two strikers spots to fill upfront.
Harry Kane(£10.9M) has hit form towards the end of the season having scored back to back braces over the last two GW’s. He is up against a palace side who are injury-hit and already on the beach. Palace have conceded 12 goals from the last 5 games, 17 from the last seven(both worst in the league), and have zero points from the last 7 games.
Danny Ings(£7.6M) has had a stellar season so far scoring twenty-one goals for the Saints this season and he is just two off Vardy on the race to the golden boot. He’ll be surely looking to take his chances against a Sheffield United side who have pretty much nothing to play far and aren’t as defensively strong as before having conceded 21 big chances since the restart. Also, Danny Ings has registered 3 bonus points on 10 separate occasions, making him the highest bonus points scoring player this season. If he gets on the score sheet then a 3 bonus points for a record 11th time this season is guaranteed.
Man Utd teenage sensation, Mason Greenwood(£4.8M) who is having a stellar season fills in as the third striker and will be the first sub just in case one of the players in the main 11 missout.
Start: Kane and Ings Bench: Greenwood
The captain option is fairly a straight forward one, there isn’t a better player to put your captain armband for one last time season than Man City attacker, Raheem Sterling(£11.9M). Since the restart Sterling has been a beast registering the most G+A since the restart with 8 goals and 4assists to his name which got him 4 double-digit hauls since the restart. He’s even better at home with 12 PPG in the last 3 home starts and is up against the worst defense in the premier league this season.
FPL GW38+ FreeHit Squad:
Captain: Sterling, Money in the bank: £0.1M, Squad value: £102.7M)
Alternative options & other players to consider:
Gabriel Jesus, Aubameyang could also be viable alternatives to Kane. If you’re looking to have one of Mane/Salah then a move over KDB is the logical option, this also means you’ll have to give up on Antonio and start greenwood in a 3-4-3 without a good first sub, which might come in handy as there is a higher chance of rotation for the final game week.
Further Read: All things FPL GW38+