An intriguing round of Cup football comes to an end with Manchester City playing Wigan on Monday night. The weekend has brought no shortage of talking points. 1: Why were people so upset the draw was on Saturday night? 2: When is a straight line not a straight line? 3: Just how unprofessional and an overrated arrogant wideboy is Alan Pardew if Gareth Barry starts becoming Robert De Niro after 3 months of playing for him?
More importantly it brings us some blank fixtures for GW31 as the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup are played on the same weekend. Assuming Tottenham beat Rochdale at Wembley in the replay the only four games on in Gameweek 31 will be:
Liverpool v Watford
Stoke v Everton
Huddersfield v Palace
Bournemouth v West Brom
The other six games will be moved to GW34 onwards to create some double game weeks.
Gameweek 31 is easier to plan for in the draft game than the normal version. On the week of 31 you can slot players in and easily disgard them the week after at no points hit.
Of the 8 teams playing only Liverpool are a stand out team and as such Salah, Firmino, Mane will all be out of contention for selection in all leagues. The rest of the teams could however provide some hidden gems.
Read below for six tips for GW31 and a best 11 of likely streamable/free agency players.
Dont sell current 31ers!
If you own any players of the 8 teams playing don’t trade or release them into free agency unless you’re swapping for a better, fellow 31 player.
Assess the Gameweek in terms of your league position.
This is vital. If you are playing a normal points league, are you ahead? If so don’t go crazy for people playing. The teams involved aren’t great and doesn’t justify selling the players who have got you top of the league. Make sure you have a few players so you can tick over, make other managers gamble and chase you.
If you are a chaser…..GAMBLE! This could be a great way of getting you into contention again. All the teams involved have players more than capable of getting big points in a one off scenario. It may be easier to gain points in picking players in the blank than in the double week when everyone will have star players in double matches.
If you are in a head to head league monitor your opponents team and pick your team accordingly. Try and start sliding 31ers in now so when it comes to the match day all the best players are yours.
You’ll never blank alone.
Try and get Liverpool players in now. Liverpool play West Ham and Newcastle at home in week 28 and 29 before they play Watford at home in 31. Salah, Firmino, Mane will probably all be gone but Liverpool’s defence could be worth investing in now to get you ahead of the game. In terms of attacking options you’re probably limited to Can as a midfield option.Embed from Getty Images
Howe can I get back into this title race?
Bournemouth are the most hit and miss team in the league. In 31 they host WBA. It could be a drab nil nil but if you’re behind in a league it may be worth gambling on Bournemouth and their attacking options. They are liable to batter anyone at home and Pardew has had no impact at West Brom at all (Catalan holidays aside). A good omen can be found in the corresponding weekend last season in GW28 when Bournemouth beat West Ham 3-2 with a Josh King hat trick, he also missed a penalty. A repeat could be on the Pards, sorry cards.
Do not sell Double Gameweekers.
Anyone not playing in 31 will have a double in 34 and possibly 37. Don’t go overboard with GW31 players at the expense of selling players who will double up. There’s no point in having a good 31 if you’ve sold your rival someone who is doubling up 3 weeks later.
Most importantly enjoy the challenge! This is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the FPL game negotiating blanks and doubles is what we wait for so enjoy it now.
Gameweek 31 streaming 11.
FPL Robinson is on Twitter as “@ismyCAPplaying” Click to Follow @ismyCAPplaying on Twitter!
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