By MATTHEW PETERSEN @Matt_Petersen13
Gameweek 34’s two big focuses were the title race and the race for the top 4. Man City and Liverpool both picked up crucial wins over Watford (5-1) and Everton (2-0) respectively to stay one point apart from each other. In the top 4 race, Arsenal beat long-time rivals Man United 3-1 to maintain 4th spot, as Spurs disappointingly drew 0-0 at Brentford. Chelsea picked up a good 2-0 win over London rivals West Ham to put a dent in their top 4 race. The relegation battle is also getting intriguing as Burnley’s win over Wolves coupled with Everton’s loss has left the Merseyside team in 18th, albeit with a game in hand over 17th placed Burnley.
FPL** saw an average of 40 points in a week where not all the top points scorers performed. Spurs blanked in attack and neither of Man City or Liverpool’s most-owned returned significantly. As the season closes, those lucky enough to still have chips will need to use them very wisely to move up their mini-leagues. A GW35 WC and GW36 Bench Boost/Triple Captain is the suggested play to try and maximise points
Gameweek 34 top 3 performers: **
1. Gabriel Jesus – 24 points (90 minutes, four goals, one assist, 3BPS)
2. Andrew Robertson – 15 points (90 minutes, clean sheet, one goal, 3BPS)
3. James Ward-Prowse – 15 points (90 minutes, two goals, 3BPS)
Let’s take a look at this week’s picks, reviewing their GW34 performance and previewing their GW35 points potential based on recent form and favourable fixtures
**Prior to the Man United vs Chelsea fixture
1. Diogo Jota – £8.3m (MID); 17.8% ownership
GW34 review – 3 points (81 minutes, clean sheet)
GW35 preview – Newcastle (A)
Don’t let Luis Diaz’ (£7.9m) arrival in January make FPL managers forget that Diogo Jota has still managed 20 goal contributions for the season (15 goals/five assists) and 161 FPL points. Jota was on the bench for their Champions League game midweek and with Klopp making full use of his squad depth, will likely rotate with Jota coming in, especially with Roberto Firmino (£8.7m) still nursing a foot injury. Newcastle won’t be an easy game but Liverpool know they need to win to keep the pressure on Man City.
2. Kevin De Bruyne – £11.8m (MID); 8.9% ownership
GW34 review – 9 points (56 minutes; two assists, 2BPS)
GW35 preview – Leeds (A)
Despite Man City playing an intense midweek Champions League game, Pep Guardiola knows he can ill-afford dropping points with only five games left of the season. When KDB starts, City play well and will need to make sure they can get on the front foot against Leeds. I expect KDB to start the game and play longer minutes at least until the result is secured and Pep is satisfied. The Belgian has 11 goals and six assists this season with 158 FPL points to his name.
3. Emiliano Martinez – £5.5m (GK); 11.3% ownership
GW34 review – 6 points (90 minutes, clean sheet)
GW35 preview – Norwich (H)
Villa haven’t quite been the same defensive unit as last season, yet they’ve still managed to keep 10 clean sheets and Martinez has been a mainstay in the team with 111 FPL points this season. They will fancy their chances to get a good result against a Norwich side who are only one loss away from relegation. Villa kept a solid clean sheet against Leicester last week and will hope to at the very least keep up their defensive showing.
4. Marcos Alonso – £5.6m (DEF); 10.9% ownership
GW34 review – 10 points (10 vs West Ham; TBC vs Man United)
GW35 preview – Everton (A)
Chelsea are hoping to secure their spot in the top 4 once and for all and know they will have a tough game on their hands as former boss, Frank Lampard, faces Chelsea for the first time since getting sacked, while also knowing he has to get a result to keep them out of the relegation zone. Alonso, with 102 FPL points, will have an important role to play on both ends of the pitch, especially in an attacking sense where he’s proven to get goals and assist regularly.
5. James Tarkowski – £4.9m (DEF); 1.7% ownership
GW34 review – 7 points (90 minutes, clean sheet, 1BPS)
GW35 preview – Watford (A)
Tarkowski has been a mainstay in the Burnley defence for a long time now and knows the demands that it takes to survive a relegation battle. Despite the harsh sacking of Sean Dyche, Burnley have been very impressive and will have a wonderful opportunity against fellow strugglers, Watford, to get a needed result, and stay clear of Everton, who do have a much tougher fixture this week. Tarkowski has helped the team to seven clean sheets, with a goal, two assists and 82 FPL points.
6. Eddie Nketiah – £5.5m (FOR); 2.4% ownership
GW34 review – 2 points (90 minutes)
GW35 preview – West Ham (A)
Since Alexandre Lacazette (£8.3m) has been out with sickness, Nketiah has come in and led the line very well, returning 13 points vs Chelsea in GW33 and doing a stern job against Man United last week. I expect him to keep his place as West Ham have a serious centre-back problem and Arsenal will take great confidence to be able to beat West Ham on their way to securing a top 4 place.
*Prices and ownership statistics correct as of 27 April 2022*
To see the picks of last week, click the link below: