October 3, 2023


Gameweek 32 provides you with one of those classic FPL conundrums if you own multiple players from Manchester City and Liverpool – who do you bench, if anyone, for their blockbuster clash at the Etihad on Sunday?

I personally have triple Liverpool in the shape of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Mohamed Salah but no Manchester City assets at the moment.

Salah will definitely start for me despite just one goal in his last seven appearances for Liverpool in all competitions, which was a penalty in the 2-0 win at Brighton. He’s still the Premier League’s top scorer playing for the most potent team in the division and the memory of that mesmerising goal he scored against City at Anfield in October still burns brightly in the mind.

There’s a chance I could bench one of the full-backs though, more likely Alexander-Arnold given his recent injury coupled with Robertson’s sparkling form.

I don’t think either side will keep a clean sheet on Sunday although the argument always stands that we have these two players in our FPL teams for their attacking potential rather than the defensive returns.

It all depends of course on who would play in their place in your line-up and whether you think that player will have a better chance of harvesting more points for you.

I might go with a back three of Robertson, Reece James and Matt Doherty this weekend with Alexander-Arnold as first sub in case any of those missed out.

On the Manchester City front it would be difficult to leave out Joao Cancelo if you have him as there’s always a great chance he’ll pop up with an assist or a goal, but again if you have a defensive double-up with Aymeric Laporte for example then I might be tempted to leave him on the bench.

Any City midfielder should definitely start and Statman Dave picked out Ilkay Gundogan as his differential selection in the Fantasy 606 podcast this week – currently only owned by just 2.7% of managers.

As you’re making your transfers this week make sure you have an eye on gameweek 33 when we see seven teams with a double gameweek, and we now also have a good idea how the rest of the season is mapping out with the announcement of double gameweeks 36 and 37.

Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton and Leicester are all going to double in both of those gameweeks and if Chelsea aren’t able to turn the first leg deficit against Real Madrid around in the Champions League then there’s probably less chance of rotation to their Premier League starting line-up.

Statman Dave mentioned that Jamie Vardy could be a popular selection if he’s returned to fitness by then. Leicester will face home games against Everton and Norwich in gameweek 36 followed by trips to Watford and Chelsea in gameweek 37.

You could see managers switching him in for Harry Kane as Tottenham have a tougher double gameweek 36, with games against Arsenal and Liverpool, while also saving themselves a bit of money in the process.

Back to gameweek 32 though where Kieran Tierney owners are looking for a replacement amid the sad news that his season is over with a knee injury. Doherty looks like the obvious choice and still costs you just £4.9m.

He isn’t one of those who has a double in gameweek 33 but his potential points returns as an attacking wing-back in Antonio Conte’s system gets him the nod for me.

If you want someone who is going to play twice in gameweek 33 then I would consider the likes of Gabriel or Ben White, which would simply be a straight swap with Tierney for Arsenal’s games away at Southampton and Chelsea.

Other options are Matt Targett or Fabian Schar for Newcastle’s home games against Leicester and Crystal Palace, or possibly James Justin who’s started the last two Premier League games for Leicester and now faces Newcastle away and Everton away.

It’s worth having a look at Brendan Rodgers’ team selection though for the game against PSV Eindhoven in the Europa Conference League this week because you imagine there could be rotation between the competitions.

The captaincy choice is an interesting one this week – do you back the likes of Salah or Kevin de Bruyne to produce the goods in the big game or would you prefer to go with Son Heung-min or Kane away at Aston Villa, both of whom looked razor-sharp in Tottenham’s win over Newcastle?

I think it would be Son or Kane for me but I wouldn’t be surprised if Salah proves me wrong.


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