Gameweek 31 would see a limited programme of Premier League action, with FA cup semi-finals meaning that many sides wouldn’t have a fixture. AFC Bournemouth would host Newcastle, who made the long journey South on Saturday. Meanwhile, Burnley hosted Leicester with Huddersfield travelling to West Ham United at the London Stadium. Sunday would see a massive clash at the top as Liverpool faced Fulham at Craven Cottage. The weekend would come to an end as Chelsea travelled to face Everton. Anyway, here’s the FPL Updates gameweek review…
Kepa Arrizabalaga – It’s been a difficult time of late at Chelsea for summer arrival Kepa. Having broken the world record transfer fee for a goalkeeper just weeks after Liverpool had done so to sign Alisson heaped pressure upon the former Bilbao man, who has featured heavily in Spain prior to his move to England. Following his refusal to be substituted in the Carabao Cup final his future has been thrown up into the air, as well as that of his manager Mauricio Sarri, who appeared at one stage to walk away from his side down the tunnel. It remains to be seen if their relationship can be salvaged.
Wes Morgan – Brendan Rodgers upset many a football fan in Glasgow as he left Celtic after one of the most successful spells in the club’s history this month. While the Celtic fans appreciated his time with the club, they were left bitter and angry by the former Liverpool boss’ decision to depart the club during the season as opposed to waiting until summer. Rodgers seemed set to secure the club’s tenth league title in a row but could not resist the call of a return to the Premier League with Leicester City, who will be looking to secure their position as ‘the best of the rest’.
Seamus Coleman – Everton secured an impressive win to ease the pressure on Marco Silva as we come towards the end of the Premier League season. While they remain comfortable in mid-table it’s probably been a season to forget for Everton. However, they showed grit and desire to secure a 2-0 home win over Chelsea at Goodison. They opened the scoring when Richarlison headed home the opener in the second half. They doubled the lead when Gylfi Sigurdsson converted a rebound when he saw his penalty saved by Kepa.
Angelo Ogbonna – It seems to be one step forward, two steps back for West Ham United in recent seasons. Since moving to the London Stadium, they seem to find it hard to shake the toxicity of the atmosphere when in poor form and were arguably fortunate to record a late 4-3 win over Huddersfield Town on Saturday. Manuel Pellegrini lamented the Hammers’ poor defending in the victory while claiming that they would be punished more in future for the same lapses in concentration where it matters.
Sadio Mané – With Mo Salah in something of a slump at the moment Sadio Mané has really stepped to the fore as Liverpool continue to chase down their first Premier League crown. The Senegal international opened the scoring for the Reds at Craven Cottage. A mix up between Virgil van Dijk saw Ryan Babel slot into an empty net to level the scores, before Sergio Rico hauled down Mané shortly after to give James Milner the chance to net the winner. He did so confidently to give Liverpool another vital three points.
Ryan Babel – It’s been a truly dreadful season for Fulham on their return to the Premier League. They might have learned lessons from other clubs being promoted and spending ridiculous money only to secure an immediate return to the second tier. However, this seems like a very real prospect for Scott Parker’s men, and planning may well be turning to next season and trying to shift some of these big earners. The purse strings may have to be tightened ahead of next season, that’s for sure. However, first they will be looking to do the seemingly impossible and secure an unlikely survival.
James Maddison – A player who has impressed massively in his debut Premier League season, James Maddison was in fine form as Leicester City secured a late win at Burnley on Saturday afternoon. He opened the scoring as he bent home a stunning freekick from all of twenty-five yards. This came after Harry Maguire was sent off early on. Dwight McNeil levelled, and Burnley looked set to push for a winner, however as the time ticked down Wes Morgan stretched to head home a late winner much to the delight of Brendan Rodgers in the dugout.
Juninho Bacuna – It’s been a difficult season for Huddersfield Town, who may look back on their recruitment over the past two seasons and wonder if it could have been different. All too often it’s been spirited defeat for the Terriers, and it seems like they are set to drop back down to the Championship after two seasons in the top flight. They will be planning for next season, after defeat late on to West Ham all but secured a relegation that has always seemed likely. In the end it seems like the Terriers may have just lacked that bit of star quality to secure survival.
Karlan Grant – There were 7 goals in the fixture between West Ham and Huddersfield, with Karlan Grant picking up 2 of them for Huddersfield. The Terriers have been struggling for goals of late and although Grant hasn’t scored too many since joining in January, hopefully he can be a source of goals going forward.
Joshua King – Favoured by 6.6% of fantasy managers, but sold by more than 35,000 managers, King rewarded his owners with a brace against Newcastle. Often overshadowed by Wilson, the 13 points will reassure those who have him in their team with some favourable fixtures in the coming weeks.
Chicharito – Similarly to Grant, the Hammers forward also managed to score a brace, but he did only play 45 minutes, meaning he did score a point less. Owned by just 1.9% of FPL managers, the £6.1m striker does not blank in the remaining fixtures, but does have a tough run.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)