FPL GW 35+ Preview: Best captain, Optimized squad and more

There are not many FPL gameweeks until the end of the season. Gain an advantage over you mini-league rivels while you can. Here is a short guide with tips for GW 35+.

Tips for FPL GW35+

Best captain picks for GW35+

We have similar 3 suspects for an armband in GW 35+ like in previous gameweek, just in different order. They are among best players of 2019/20 FPL season and it is hard to find a quality captain pick elsewhere.

3. Mohamed Salah (BUR(H))

Liverpool was not very convincing in last matches, but they were able to get the job done against Aston Villa and Brighton. Mohamed Salah has scored 63 % of his FPL points in home matches (with an average of 8.81 ppm) and blanked only in 3 home games so far, what shows his great consistency at Anfield. On the other hand Burnley have been defensively very strong this season.

Burnley have kept 14 clean sheets (only Liverpool have kept more – 15) so far this season – 6 of these clean sheets came in away matches and 2 against big six teams.  It is mainly Burnley defensive quality that put as off from picking Salah as our number one captain pick in GW 35+. It could be very tight game with small amount of goals, but Salah’s home record suggests, that if there are goals, he should be involved.

2. Kevin De Bruyne (BHA(A))

It’s hard to look past Kevin De Bruyne when picking a captain among Manchester City players. Together with Mohamed Salah, he is the top scoring player in the game and after the Premier League break, he even improved his underlying statistics.

Before the break, he was averaging 3.18 shots per 90 minutes, 3.89 key pass per 90 minutes, 0.22 xG per 90 minutes and 0.61 xA per 90 minutes. After the break it is 3.65 shots per 90 minutes, 4.10 key passes per 90 minutes, 0.56 xG per 90 minutes and 0.72 xA per 90 minutes – so after the break, De Bruyne improved in all this four important stats.

Brighton has been defensively solid after the break with only 5.57 xG conceded (5th best from all teams), but it is hard to see them resist Man City goalscoring machine.

1. Bruno Fernandes (SOU(H))

Bruno Fernandes has four double-digit hauls and only 2 blanks in his first 10 games for Manchester United. He is is averaging more points per match than Kevin de Bruyne – 9.40 compare to 6.97, and his 94 points in 10 games are equivalent to 357 points in 38 matches.

On the other hand, he is overperforming his expected statistics – 7 goals from 4.79 expected goals and 6 assists from 2.23 expected assists. Based on these stats, he probably will not be scoring FPL at this amazing rate forever, but he has momentum and form on his side.

According to the one statistical theory – Theory of cluster – extreme values are allocated in ‘clusters’  in series of observations. We definitely see a cluster of extreme values in his FPL points when all his high scores are very close to each other (2-6-14-10-6-9-3-15-15-14). It is hard to predict how big this cluster could become, and he could easily add another double-digit haul to it in gameweek 35+.

Differential captain pick: Jamie Vardy (BOU (A))

Jamie Vardy is our differential captain pick for the upcoming gameweek. Despite that he is leading the race for the golden boot with 22 goals, he has not been in great form in the second half of season.

But this captain pick is more about opponent rather than player. No team conceded more goals (12) after the Premier League restart than Bournemouth. They are struggling defensively, and Vardy could easily exploit weaknesses in their defense.

You can compare underlying statistics from Understat of our captain picks in the table below:

PlayerShots per 90Key Passes per 90xG per 90xA per 90
Vardy2.420.840.540.15
Fernandes3.682.420.50.24
Salah3.981.890.620.28
De Bruyne3.253.920.270.62

Differentials for GW35+ and beyond

Gabriel Jesus (BHA(A))

Alongside Roberto Firmino and David McGoldrick, Gabriel Jesus is one of the most underperforming players this season based on expected goals statistics. He has third highest xG (17.30) this season only behind  Mohamed Salah (18.12) and Marcus Rashford (17.82). But Jesus turned it only in 11 goals and not in 17 as his expected goals suggests.

He is probably not the best finisher in the Premier League, but according to xG stats he is getting tons of chances. With 4% overall ownerships and with nice run of fixtures until the end of season, he could be differential that your mini-league rivals are overlooking.

Antonio (NOR (A))

Michail Antonio showed glimpses of good form in matches against Chelsea and Newcastle, where he scored twice and assisted once. He is currently playing as a lone striker for West Ham (he is classified as midfielder in FPL) due to Haller’s injury.

Antonio has been very offensive this season and he has good underlying stats – 3.19 shots and 1.29 key passes per 90 minutes. His xG of 8.4 suggests underperformance, because he turned it only in 4 goals. West Ham face Norwich in GW 35+ and Antonio will be ready to lead the line against canaries’ defense.

GW35+ clean sheets probabilities

In order to help you manage a defence of your FPL team, we converted bookies odds into probabilities of keeping a clean sheet in GW 35+ for all Premier League teams.

TeamProbability of CS
Man United49 %
Liverpool48 %
Man City45 %
Chelsea44 %
Leicester38 %
Watford38 %
Wolves38 %
Aston Villa31 %
West Ham30 %
Tottenham26 %
Everton25 %
Crystal Palace24 %
Arsenal21 %
Newcastle19 %
Norwich19 %
Bournemouth15 %
Sheffield15 %
Southampton9 %
Brighton8 %
Burnley8 %

It is not surprised to see Man United, Liverpool and Man City at the top of the clean sheets odds table due to their defensive qualities. On the other side, bookies do not favor Burnley, Brighton or Southampton to keep a clean sheet, so maybe if you have a benching headache, you might consider bench some defenders from these three teams if you own some.

According to clean sheet probabilities, expected number of clean sheets in gameweek 35+ is 5.89. So far in this season there has been 5.48 clean sheets per gameweek, which means that bookies are expecting GW 35+ to be a little bit more goalscoring than an average gameweek.

Top scoring FPL squad within the budget

The optimized squad has not changed much since we last calculated it. However, we can see some new names there. Optimized squad is an optimized combination of 11 FPL players that has most FPL points within the budget of 83.5m. Scores from gameweek 34+ are not included. You can read more about how we calculate it in one of our first articles.

Goalkeeper

Pope

5.0 m | 149 points

Defence

TAA

7.8 m | 193 points

van Dijk

6.5 m | 163 points

Baldock

5.0 m | 127 points

Lundstram

4.6 m | 134 points

Midfield

De Bruyne (C)

10.8 m | 216 points

Willian

7.2 m | 148 points

Martial

8.3 m | 162 points

Salah

12.6 m | 205 points

Attack

Jimenez

8.3 m | 168 points

Ings

7.3 m | 168 points

Defense of the optimized FPL team remains the same as last time with Pope in goal and 4 defenders TAA, van Dijk, Baldock and injured Lundstram. So formation with four defenders is still the best suit for the most scoring team.

No change in two premium midfielders Salah and De Bruyne. Thanks to recent brilliant performances Willian is currently sitting on 148 FPL points for this season what is his best FPL output ever and our algorithm included him in the top scoring team. Martial is the last midfielder in the 4-4-2 formation and Ings and Jimenez fill two forward spots.  

Conclusion

The deadline for FPL gameweek 35+ is here soon. Hopefully our tips will help you get some data-driven insight before the first kick-off and to make informed decision about your transfers.