Gameweek 38 is finally upon us and managers have one final chance to catch up to their mini-league rivals in this extraordinary FPL season. The final weekend of the year has always been high-scoring with most teams already on the beach and having very little to play for in terms of league position. In the years gone by, we have seen West Brom and Manchester United share a 5-5 draw and Tottenham being involved in fixtures with 5-1, 7-1 and 5-4 scorelines between 2016 and 2018 and similarly, we can expect plenty of goals this year as well on the final day of the season.
👑 GW38 @budfootball Kings to Watch 👑
— Fantasy Premier League (@OfficialFPL) May 20, 2021
Given that it’s the last gameweek of the season, all long-term planning goes out the window you have to be bold and go after differential options to make up ground. Here are the best fixtures to target and differential players to look for in the final gameweek of the season.
Liverpool vs Crystal Palace
One of the main fixtures for FPL managers to target is Liverpool’s game against Crystal Palace which could make or break their season with Champions League qualification on the line. Mohammed Salah (£12.9m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.8m) should be in most people’s team by now considering their brilliant form in the past 7 matches but Diogo Jota’s injury opens up space for one more Liverpool asset. The main differential option to look at for this final game is Sadio Mane (£11.8m). Mane’s ownership is only 7% and while he has largely been poor in front of goal this season, his underlying numbers have improved over the past few weeks and a double-digit haul could be possible on the final day of the season.
West Ham vs Southampton
Just like Liverpool, West Ham need all three points to guarantee Europa League football next season and their opponents Southampton, have very little to play for in the league. The best option for FPL managers from this fixture is Michail Antonio (£6.7m) who ranks fourth for shots (21) and second for shots inside the box (17) in the last 6 league games. Antonio is also expected to be on penalties this week and has the added motivation of becoming West Ham’s all-time top PL goalscorer with a brace against Southampton.
Leeds vs West Brom
Leeds United arguably have the easiest fixture on the final day, taking on a West Brom side that will be without their talisman, Matheus Pereira.
Since they have been relegated, West Brom have conceded the most Expected Goals amongst all teams in the league while Leeds have created the third most Expected Goals during that same spell. Looking at the numbers, a thrashing could be on the cards for Sam Allardyce’s side and the likes of Patrick Bamford (£6.6m), Raphinha (£5.6m) and Stuart Dallas (£5.5m) present great value. Other differential options to consider from the Leeds United side include Jack Harrison (£5.6m) and wing-back Ezgjan Alioski (4.4m).
Apart from these three prime fixtures, other players managers could look to bring in for one final punt on the last day of the season are Joe Willock (£4.8m) and Chris Wood (£6.5m). Both players face relegated opposition in gameweek 38 and have performed incredibly over recent weeks with Willock scoring in each of his last 6 games for Newcastle and Wood finding the back of the net 8 times in his last 10 appearances.
My Team Selection
As it is the last gameweek of the season, here is how my current team shapes up ahead of the deadline. My current overall rank is 12,440 and I’m hoping to jump into the Top 10k with one final push in gameweek 38. While my armband is almost certainly going to be on Mohammed Salah, my transfer decisions are far from clear. The main bone of contention for my team at the moment is that my Manchester United assets (Fernandes and Greenwood) are expected to be rested against Wolves with the Europa League Final being played only three days after the final game week of the season.
The players that I will most likely bring in to replace those Manchester United assets are Sadio Mane and Raphinha as midfield options or Stuart Dallas in defence.
[Header Image Credit: Premier League]