A key Champions League fixture in mid-week could cause a ripple effect that changes the decision-making of Fantasy Premier League managers for Gameweek 36.
Manchester City travelled to Madrid where they tied 1-1 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final. Haaland did not score but battled hard for 90 minutes as City secured a tough away draw to the kings of the Champions League. With the second leg coming around quickly in the mid-week between gameweek 36 and 37, this could see Haaland feature for limited minutes at the weekend as Pep Guardiola eyes his first Champions League victory as Manchester City manager.
Adding to this, there is a small double gameweek with Newcastle and Brighton playing two fixtures. Brighton face tough away days at Arsenal and Newcastle while Newcastle face Leeds away and Brighton at home which could be prime for captaincy candidates.
With three gameweeks to go, it is time to decide if you want to go for glory and take a risk to close gaps in your mini-league or to achieve your overall ranking goals. Alternatively, if you are defending a lead after a strong season, playing it safe could be the best advice.
Whether you’re looking for a safe pick or a high-risk/high-reward option, we’ve analysed all the fixtures to help you make the best decision for your team.
Goalscorer and clean sheet odds for gameweek 36
Callum Wilson, Newcastle
Callum Wilson makes his debut as our top pick and is well deserved.
Wilson has hit a rich vein of scoring form with five goals in his last four fixtures with two of those appearances being off the bench. Wilson has been a very successful goalscorer (when fit) for years in the Premier League and the current Newcastle setup has allowed him to thrive.
There are question marks about his minutes that will be played but an expectation of one start and one substitute appearance with an aggregate of 120+ minutes will be enough time to do his best work.
Newcastle and Wilson will be gunning for a place in next year’s Champions League and we are expecting them to finish the season strong to continue their run of good form.
Leeds away and Brighton at home are a good set of fixtures considering Leeds have not been defensively solid at all this season and Brighton have conceded five to Everton and three to Nottingham Forest respectively in the past few weeks.
Wilson has been given a 68% probability by the bookies to score a goal across both fixtures and comes in as the most likely to score in Gameweek 36.
Alexander Isak, Newcastle
Isak will likely see a similar share of gametime as Callum Wilson would as described above. Isak has the flexibility to move to a wing position which could see him earn greater gametime but his threat is also reduced in a wider position which balances out the equation.
Isak himself has four goals and one assist across his last seven fixtures with one of those being a bench appearance. He has been in great form and is showing why he was worth his large price tag.
Isak this season has recorded 0.58 expected goals and 0.16 expected assists per 90 minutes. Very strong numbers. However, his counterpart Wilson has recorded 0.75 expected goals and 0.13 expected assists per 90 minutes. This is enough to make Wilson our top pick but if you don’t own Wilson, Isak is a well-deserved captain in his own right.
Isak has been assigned a 64% chance of scoring and we believe he should be in the points once again.
Mohamed Salah, Liverpool
Salah’s FPL output in recent weeks has been similar to the form that saw him break FPL records in previous seasons. Salah and Liverpool look full of confidence in attack as they chase a Champions League qualification position on the table. Manchester United faltering in recent weeks will only increase the drive of the players as their belief grows that they will take part in the Champions League once again.
Salah has 11 goals and two assists in the last eleven matches that he has started. Scoring a penalty against Brentford last week will give him the confidence and confirm his place and Liverpool’s penalty taker.
Liverpool face Leicester who have not kept a clean sheet since the World Cup and have conceded seven goals in the last two weeks under new manager Dean Smith. Leicester look out of sorts in defence and will likely try to win in a high scoring affair at home due to their defensive fragility. Perfect for Salah to exploit.
Salah has been given a 53% chance to score but is also likely to record an assist.
Kieran Trippier, Newcastle
Trippier has not been returning a great amount of points recently as Newcastle have been annoyingly conceding one goal on a regular basis. This differential choice is based on a small uplift in defensive form as well as a return of attacking returns for the full-back. A real risk that could be worth taking.
Newcastle face Leeds who have failed to score more than one goal in any of their previous six fixtures. Newcastle have the second best defence on the road this season according to expected goals against and are looking to secure a lucrative Champions League qualification spot on the table in the last few gameweeks.
Trippier has still been creating many chances for his teammates but their finishing has let him down of late. He has recorded three or more key passes in six of his last eight appearances and recorded 3.5 expected assists while only recording 1 assist. Severe underperformance.
Trippier’s assist and clean sheet potential are his avenue to points. Two appearances, one clean sheet, one assist and two bonus points would see the full back record 13 points which is a great captain return.
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Nick, also known as StatsmanFPL, is a qualified data analyst with a love for FPL. He analyses the data so you don’t have to. Make sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram.