Gameweek 37 Free Hit drafts: Template to differential

Managers planning to play their Free Hit in Gameweek 37 can look forward to exploiting a Double Gameweek which promises big returns from attractive fixtures.

There are six teams with Double Gameweeks: Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur.

Free Hit team I: Mostly ‘template’

Man City travel to Fulham, who have not won at home since Gameweek 29, and then visit a Spurs side who have lost four on the bounce. With a fourth title in five seasons in sight, the champions can definitely smell blood.

After four goals last time out, Erling Haaland (£14.2m) is a no-brainer so then it’s a question of targeting players most likely to avoid the ‘Pep roulette’. Having returned on each of his last three starts for 41 points and having racked up four double-digit hauls in his last seven appearances, Phil Foden (£8.4m) gets the nod. The third slot goes to Josko Gvardiol (£5.1m). He has returned in four straight matches – no defender has been able to match his 39-point tally across that period.

Newcastle are scoring for fun and looking forward to two appealing fixtures in Brighton (a) and Man Utd (h). Alexander Isak’s (£8.4m) form is unignorable. Since Gameweek 27, no forward has recorded more than his 10 goals, 12 attacking returns, three double-digit hauls and 73 FPL points. Only Haaland (8.3) can beat his 8.1 points per start in that timeframe.

Anthony Gordon (£6.4m) is the very definition of a home banker. He has blanked just once at home all season, has averaged 10 points over the last five at St James’ Park and he has returned in three of the last four Gameweeks.

Since getting tonked by Arsenal, Chelsea have stumbled on a rich vein of form and there are a number of attractive assets you wouldn’t have touched with a bargepole a month ago. The Blues have trips to Nottingham Forest and Brighton, from which returns can be expected from the best value player in the game in Cole Palmer (£6.3m). The midfielder has returned in eight of his last nine appearances, so is a shoo-in. 

The second Chelsea slot goes to Nicolas Jackson (£7.0m) who has found his scoring boots at last with back-to-back returns and two double-digit hauls in five outings. The last slot goes to Marc Cucurella (£4.8m), who has returned in three of his last five appearances including his last two and is benefitting from a more advanced role in the team.

Spurs have been having a rotten time but that hasn’t stopped Son Heung-min (£9.9m) from delivering for his managers. He has produced five attacking returns in the last eight Gameweeks and notched in each of his last five home matches; not bad for someone supposedly out of form. That bodes well for the visit of Burnley, who have the league’s third-worst defence. Son also scored 20 points at Turf Moor in the reverse fixture.

In a week where goalkeepers are struggling to make much of a case, Guglielmo Vicario (£5.3m) is also included ahead of Burnley’s visit.

The only other Double Gameweeker here is Lewis Dunk (£5.2m), who gets the nod ahead of Diego Dalot (£5.2m). Brighton’s fixtures are slightly better than Man Utd’s, for whose defence you fear the worst against Arsenal and Newcastle. The Brighton defender also occasionally weighs in with a set-piece goal.

It’s important not to completely overlook single Gameweek players in a Double Gameweek, as they can often outperform the doublers, hence the inclusion of Gabriel Magalhaes (£5.0m) and Bukayo Saka (£9.0m). Arsenal have an atrocious record at Old Trafford but this Man Utd side is there for the taking. Saka is the game’s leading points scorer, is on penalties and has returned in each of the last three Gameweeks. He will look to exploit a Man Utd defence that has conceded 14 goals in six matches, while Gabriel can ensure the Gunners keep yet another clean sheet, while offering a set-piece goal threat.

The only difficulty now is deciding who plays in the XI and we’ve taken the painful decision to go with a 3-4-3 and bench in favour of Son, who scored a hat-trick against Burnley earlier this season. Of course, Saka could always get the nod ahead of Jackson, but we’re leaning towards the Double Gameweekers here.

Team (3-4-3)
Vicario; Gabriel, Cucurella, Gvardiol; Foden, Palmer, Gordon, Son; Jackson, Haaland, Isak
Subs: Saka, Mitchell, Dunk

Free Hit team II: De Bruyne + Richarlison

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Given that most FPL managers do not have the Free Hit chip at their disposal (Gameweek 29 flashbacks anyone?) they will have been preparing for Double Gameweek 37 in advance, perhaps with the help of a late Wildcard or by saving their Bench Boost.

So managers looking to steal a march in their mini-leagues ought to consider a slightly more left-field Free Hit team that includes differentials unlikely to appear in rival line-ups.

In this iteration, we have gone with Kevin De Bruyne (£10.5m) who has been overlooked by many a manager due to his high price. With a Free Hit price is not really a problem, especially in this case as we are suggesting some bargain differentials too.

De Bruyne is FPL royalty and is sure to return against a leaky Burnley and Spurs defence. He has produced three returns in his last five outings including three goals and three assists. 

Richarlison (£6.8m) is another player unlikely to feature in many managers’ teams, but the Brazilian appears to have shaken off his injury worries and is likely to be rewarded by Ange Postecoglu for his bright appearance from the bench last time out. 

With Spurs 4-0 down to Liverpool, Richarlison produced a goal and an assist to threaten an unlikely comeback. The north Londoners need to change something to arrest their poor form and although facing Man City will be a tall order for Tottenham, they did score three goals in the reverse fixture. Burnley, meanwhile, represent a great opportunity for points and Richarlison’s return to form could be just what Angeball and FPL managers need.

Another player who is being overlooked due to an embarrassment of midfield riches is Noni Madueke (£5.3m). Anyone who has seen Chelsea play lately will recognise what an exciting attacking player he is. His underlying stats are also very impressive. The midfielder has returned in four of the last seven Gameweeks and across the last two Gameweeks no midfielder has produced more than his four attacking returns, his two double-digit hauls or his 28 FPL points. 

Goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic (£4.7m) makes a compelling case for inclusion, with three returns in his last five matches and a Double Gameweek against a Forest and a Brighton side who are finding goals hard to come by. Nottingham Forest have failed to score in two of their last three matches while Brighton have scored two in their last six.

Single Gameweek defenders Ben White (£6.0m) and Jarrad Branthwaite (£4.5m) make the team here as they are in brilliant form. Branthwaite has returned in five of his last six matches and faces a relegated Sheffield United side low on quality and enthusiasm. Since Gameweek 32, no defender has accumulated more FPL points than White’s 43. He has returned in nine of his last 10 matches and, with Man Utd on their uppers and Arsenal still in with a title shout, a clean sheet and more attacking returns are not out of the question.

Team (3-5-2)
Petrovic; White, Branthwaite, Gvardiol; Madueke, De Bruyne, Palmer, Gordon, Richarlison; Haaland, Isak
Subs: Burn, Gabriel, Mateta

Free Hit team III: Wholly differential

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If you really feel like you’ve got nothing to lose then you could always draw from this team made entirely of differentials – ie players selected by 10% or fewer FPL teams. If nothing else, the above team might help provide you with more ideas for players your mini-league rivals have overlooked.

At £4.0m, Tino Livramento is a very cheap way into Newcastle’s defence ahead of their Double Gameweek. The defender has impressed for Eddie Howe’s side, has the licence to get forward and has been unlucky that convincing wins have not come along with clean sheets in the last two matches. At least one shut-out can be expected against Brighton and Man Utd.

Andrew Robertson (£6.5m) has been one of Liverpool’s best performers in recent matches. Although Jurgen Klopp’s men only have one match in Gameweek 37, they have rediscovered their attacking verve with Robertson key to their front-footed approach. The Scot has produced back-to-back returns to the tune of 22 FPL points and will look forward to scoring more against a fatigued Aston Villa.

Manchester City are in ominous form and have picked up two clean sheets in their last three matches. While many managers have either Kyle Walker (5.4m) or Josko Gvardiol (£5.1m), Nathan Ake (£5.0m) represents another route into the City backline, having started each of their last three matches, and he also represents a threat on corners and free-kicks.

Another largely overlooked Man City star is Rodrigo (£5.5m). Often ignored due to his reputation as a no-nonsense defensive midfielder, and attractive choices elsewhere, he nonetheless weighs in with his fair share of FPL points. He has returned in three of his last five appearances, including two double-digit hauls and produced two assists last timer out against Wolves.

Conor Gallagher (£5.4m) has returned in five of his last seven matches, and in his last three appearances, producing two goals and an assist. In the last two Gameweeks, of all midfielders in the game, only Noni Madueke (£5.3m) has produced more than Gallagher’s 23 points, his three attacking returns or his 7.7 points per start.

He may not have a Double Gameweek but Kai Havertz (£7.5m) is among the best assets in the game. Since Gameweek 25 he has recorded more FPL points (105), double-digit hauls (six) and bonus points (15) than any midfielder. In that time only Cole Palmer (£6.3m) has scored more than his eight goals or his 15 attacking returns and only Anthony Gordon (£6.4m) has edged his seven assists.

Alejandro Garnacho (£5.0m) has returned in four of the last eight Gameweeks, producing six attacking returns in the form of two goals and four assists. He is Man Utd’s second-highest points scorer with 124 FPL points and was unlucky to have a goal disallowed for a marginal offside in the reverse fixture against Arsenal.

Callum Wilson (£7.8m) has returned from injury to score in back-to-back matches and become Newcastle’s second-highest Premier League goalscorer. Eddie Howe has played the forward up front alongside Isak in the last few matches, the two of them starting together in Gameweek 36, and the Magpies have scored nine goals.

Jean-Philippe Mateta (£5.1m) has enjoyed an extraordinary revival under new manager Thomas Glasner. Since Gameweek 27, Isak is the only forward to have outscored his 65 FPL points and the Frenchman has returned in three of his last four matches. He is also facing a Wolves side who have conceded 14 goals in their last six matches.

A 3-5-2 formation is fancied here with the majority of goals expected from the midfielders and weighting afforded to the Double Gameweekers, with the exception of Havertz and Mateta.

The goalkeepers are the obvious issue, with neither assured of two starts. They are included here for their low ownership and having not been mentioned already but Vicario and Petrovic are more secure alternatives.

Team (3-5-2)
Dubravka; Cucurella, Ake, Livramento; Madueke, Rodrigo, Gallagher, Havertz, Garnacho; Hojlund, Wilson
Subs: Mateta, Robertson, Dalot

Haaland Foden