Gameweek 32 would see us enter the final knockings of yet another enthralling Premier League season. The weekend kicked off with Southampton facing title-chasing Liverpool at St. Mary’s. Saturday would see Bournemouth host Burnley while Leicester travelled to Huddersfield and Newcastle faced Crystal Palace. Arsenal continued to chase a top four place as they faced Everton, before Chelsea ended the gameweek with a home fixture against West Ham United. Anyway, here’s the FPL Updates gameweek review…
Vicente Guaita – Crystal Palace have seen regular changes in net in the past few seasons but seem to have settled in recent weeks with Spaniard Vicente Guaita between the sticks. Palace seem set to survive relatively comfortably after much improved displays in recent weeks, especially away from home. Eagles fans will, however, curse their awful home displays this season, and wonder where they could have finished if they were more clinical in front of their home fans. Nonetheless, they will settle for safety yet again.
Phil Jagielka & Lucas Digne – Everton have recorded two big home wins in their last 3 games, first securing a win over Chelsea at Goodison. This time it was the turn of Arsenal to fall before the Toffees as they suffered a 1-0 defeat that will dent their top four hopes as we edge towards the end of the season. They went a goal down early on through Phil Jagielka, who only started the match after an injury in the warmup. While the Gunners created the occasional chance, Everton had many chances to kill the game off and may be disappointed it was this close.
Antonio Rudiger – Chelsea have had a relatively poor season under Mauricio Sarri, but still find themselves in with a chance of claiming a Champions League place come May. They may well be more worried about the prospect of a transfer ban that looms over the head of the Blues. This may mean that a number of youth prospects are forced to the forefront of the Blues plans, especially the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi should Eden Hazard depart for Real Madrid, which is beginning to seem more and more likely as the weeks pass.
Eden Hazard – Despite Chelsea’s below par season the shining light has, as always, been Belgian wizard Eden Hazard. The former Lille man has enjoyed his best season in a Blues shirt to date and has the most goal contributions in the Premier League this season. He opened the scoring against West Ham as he picked the ball up deep before weaving in and out of four Hammers defenders to calmly pass into the far corner. He would finish well again in second half stoppage time to seal a 2-0 win that sees the Blues remain in with a shout of Champions League football.
Ashley Westwood – Burnley picked up one of the results of the week as they secured a priceless win away at AFC Bournemouth to leave them five points clear of the relegation zone with time running out for Cardiff City the catch them. Sean Dyche’s side have really struggled after a brilliant season saw the Clarets finish seventh in the Premier League last season. For a long time, it looked like the Lancashire side may be returning to the Championship after three years, however a recent upturn in form will likely see Dyche’s men live to fight another day in the Premier League.
Jordan Henderson & Naby Keita – Liverpool secured a precious win over Southampton at St. Mary’s on Friday night as they look to secure a first Premier League title. They fell behind to a Shane Long strike just minutes in but equalised through Naby Keita half an hour later. Mo Salah netted to end his dry spell, before Jordan Henderson made the points safe with just five minutes remaining. With Manchester City out of action due to FA Cup action, it was vital for Jurgen Klopp’s side to get in the first blow.
Jamie Vardy – Leicester City have a wealth of attacking options, and frontman Jamie Vardy arguably tops the lot. One of the key men behind the Foxes famous title win, the England international was in fine form on Saturday as he netted a brace on the way to a 4-1 away win over Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium. It’s been a mixed season for Brendan Rodgers’ side, having started poorly. However, since taking over the former Liverpool boss seems to be getting the best out of the likes of James Maddison and Harvey Barnes.
Chris Wood – Burnley secured a monumental win towards Premier League survival on Saturday as they defeated AFC Bournemouth 3-1 at Dean Court. However, they would have to come from behind after Ashley Barnes’ early own goal. They had turned the game around, though, just fifteen minutes later courtesy of goals from Chris Wood and Ashley Westwood. Ashley Barnes atoned for his earlier error by adding a third after half time, as the Clarets eased to a win that sees them five points clear of the drop zone.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)