Fantasy Football tips for gameweek 38

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May 21, 2021
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    Alistair Bruce-Ball

    One of our regular listeners to the Fantasy 606 podcast got in touch this week to tell us that he's patiently kept hold of his Free Hit chip all season to unleash it in gameweek 38 and hopefully go shooting up the rankings with a mammoth score.

    I'm very envious but on reflection it almost feels like a blessing and a curse. The choice of players is limitless, while obviously working within the budget, but it's quite tricky to predict who is going to start these games and who is going to go out with a bang on the final day. You can easily tie yourself up in knots!

    Take Harry Kane for example – potentially playing his last game for Tottenham away at Leicester with European football on the line. He's also neck-and-neck with Mohamed Salah in the race for the Golden Boot, but Spurs are coming off the back of a poor performance and the toxic atmosphere that followed the home defeat against Aston Villa.

    It's a brave manager who backs against Kane but it feels like there's a lot of uncertainty there. I'm not saying 'sell him if you've got him' but I'm probably saying don't buy him.

    So let's have a go at putting a Free Hit team together to help our loyal listener out and, even if you're only making one or two transfers this week, it might just offer up a couple of suggestions for you along the way.

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    Free Hit XISubs: Bernd Leno, Matheus Pereira, Aaron Cresswell, Vladimir Coufal

    First things first, I would be avoiding the big hitters from Manchester United such as Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw because Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is surely going to be resting them before the Europa League final just three days later.

    Manchester City and Chelsea have three further days before they meet in Porto in the Champions League final and the London club know they still need to win at Aston Villa on Sunday to guarantee a return to the competition next season.

    That means Thomas Tuchel has to go with a strong line-up, so I'm going to opt for Edouard Mendy as one of our goalkeepers, but I'm going to choose Ferran Torres in midfield over the likes of Mason Mount or Christian Pulisic.

    Manchester City will be playing in front of their fans against Everton and they've witnessed at first hand what sort of stirring effect that had on Brighton's performance against them on Tuesday. Torres only got 15 minutes at the Amex Stadium before having to make way after Joao Cancelo's sending-off, so he's a likely starter on Sunday and will be chomping at the bit, particularly after his hat-trick at Newcastle in gameweek 36.

    Timo Werner, Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero, depending on his fitness for that potential fairytale farewell, are all potential options up front but I'm sticking with Kelechi Iheanacho to continue his superb form against Tottenham in a game Leicester have to win.

    I've opted for three Liverpool players in the team and I've gone for the premium options in Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson and Mo Salah. They're worth it. Liverpool need to beat Crystal Palace to make it almost impossible for Leicester to overtake them in the top four and you know what the atmosphere will be like at Anfield.

    I'm also going for three Leeds players in Stuart Dallas, Raphina and Patrick Bamford for their home game against West Brom, hoping that Marcelo Bielsa sticks to his tried-and-tested line-up and Leeds can produce one more sparkling performance in front of their fans to cap off a superb season.

    West Ham only need a point to guarantee themselves Europa League football next season but you know they'll be positive at home and go for the win against Southampton – so Michail Antonio is going to be my third striker in this Free Hit squad with Aaron Cresswell and Vladimir Coufal taking two spots on the bench.

    The Hammers haven't kept a clean sheet in their last 10 games but these two are in the squad for their attacking threat having provided 19 assists between them this season.

    Joe Willock and Matheus Pereira take the last two spots in midfield and are, barring injury, certain starters for Newcastle at Fulham and West Brom at Leeds. They just have to be in on form alone. They've done me some real damage in a few of my mini-leagues in recent weeks by not owning them and it would be nice to have them on board for the final roll of the dice this weekend.

    Bernd Leno is my back-up goalkeeper for Arsenal's game at home to Brighton and that's your lot. It comes in at a total of £95.5m at current prices, so there's plenty of wriggle room if you want to tinker.

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    May 21, 2021
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