Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 36 hints, transfer tips and captain picks as Liverpool face Spurs

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Our Top 2,000 FPL manager offers his strategy advice, planning ideas and transfer tips ahead of Gameweek 36.

Welcome to our weekly Fantasy Premier League advice column – fresh from the mind of our very own high-flying manager, Matthew Gregory, who’s currently sat just outside the global Top 1,000.

This week, he’s forced to write ahead of the end of Gameweek 35 thanks to Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur’s Thursday showdown – so hopefully his hints and tips won’t be ruined by a sudden Cole Palmer injury or something, but do forgive kindly forgive him if they are. Stay healthy, Cole, for our author’s sake. Anyway, before we hand you over, we’ll also remind you that there’s a Friday fixture between Luton Town and Everton and that means that your transfer deadline is 18:30 BST on 3 May. Don’t forget!

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Doubles and differentials

I’m going to start by stating the obvious – your preparation for this week is really about Gameweek 37. Six teams will have doubles, and you’ll need to maximise the amount of players you can sign who’ll be playing twice, which means going all-in on Chelsea, Spurs, Brighton, Newcastle and the two Manchester clubs.

I’d strongly recommend trying to roll a transfer this week to give you as much room as possible to work around late injuries or suspensions, but if you are making a move, I’d focus on Chelsea, Newcastle and Manchester City players first, given the games they have against an out-of-sorts West Ham, Burnley and Wolves respectively.

That means the likes of Cole Palmer, Alexander Isak, Phil Foden and Erling Haaland are the absolute priorities, but there’s still room for manoeuvre and space to find some differentials, and that’s largely what I’ll be looking at this week, given that the big decisions are mostly quite straightforward.

I covered the art of identifying the best differentials a few weeks back in detail, but today I’m going to skim through a few options which could spice up your team if you need to play catch-up in your mini-leagues – but remember, the further ahead of the game you are, the less creative you need to get. Sticking with the ‘template’ team is the right thing to do if you’re winning.

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Let’s start with the three teams I’ve already recommended we prioritise. Over at Chelsea, the template tells players to have Palmer (who is an absolute must), goalkeeper Đorđe Petrović and striker Nicolas Jackson. The latter, however, has hit a really rough patch of form and missed another presentable chance at the weekend, making him rather less appealing – meanwhile, Noni Madueke is in form, in the starting line-up and owned by just 0.2% of players. That’s ideal differential territory.

For Manchester City, you may want to go for Kevin de Bruyne if you find a lot of your rivals have Foden (or vice versa) and make sure you pick a different defender – an injury to Ederson has made Stefan Ortega an intriguing option, but the chances that the first-choice returns are too high for me to recommend that particular roll of the dice.

Over at Newcastle, meanwhile, the permanent injury crisis means that there aren’t many especially exciting options, but once you get past Isak and Anthony Gordon there’s at least some justification for taking a flyer on Harvey Barnes. He’s a bit of a feast-or-famine option, but that’s the kind of gamble that’s necessary sometimes.

Elsewhere, Bruno Fernandes and Alejandro Garnacho are arguably worth a punt (although Manchester United’s recent form and challenging fixtures make their assets look pretty unappealing), while I like Richarlison at Spurs a lot – with Timo Werner out for the season, he’s almost certain to be a focal point of the attack come the double gameweek. I’d wait a week on him, however, as a trip to Anfield is relatively unlikely to yield big returns even with Liverpool on a rather low ebb.

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As for Brighton players? I mentioned Pascal Groß last week but honestly, I’m steering clear this week. Their form has been pretty woeful and they have a string of key injuries to deal with. I can’t see the Seagulls doing much between now and the end of the season, which makes me wary of banking on attacking returns for their players.

As for the players you should be transferring out, I’d be looking to move Liverpool assets on (which sounds odd given my advice in the last paragraph, but I’m not banking on either side pulling up trees), while I’d hold Arsenal players for another week. If you any Crystal Palace players you’re looking to get rid of, I don’t mind keeping them until next time either – they’re on form and United really, really aren’t.

As for this week itself, if you’ve engineered your team to point towards GW37 already then your choices should most be straightforward, but the captaincy chip is still worth a bit of consideration. Cole Palmer is an obvious choice and Alexander Isak is tempting too, but I think Haaland and Foden need a look as well. I can see Burnley battling really hard at Turf Moor and keeping Isak’s chance count a little on the low side, while City are purring. Palmer is still the form choice, however, especially with West Ham seemingly on the beach and preparing for a post-Moyes world already.

3 Added Minutes FC

It’s not often I show off my example team in the middle of a gameweek, but with six players left to go on Thursday night I’m effectively on 55 points with Haaland coming off the bench, good enough to have me just outside the top 1,500 for now. Another small green arrow on the way, hopefully, to a Top 1,000 finish.

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Fantasy Premier League

This week, I’m not planning on making any transfers, as I only have one freebie. I’ll roll it over – barring injuries, I’ll be going with a line-up of Petrović, Schär, White, Walker, Son, Gordon, Palmer, Foden, Haaland, Jackson and Isak, and I’m leaning towards Palmer as captain as the option with the highest upside.

That’s all for this week – best of luck, and may all of your differentials do their duty down the home stretch. And if you have Jackson as well, may he find his shooting boots once again…

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