DOUBLE Gameweek 34: Team Selection: Bench Boost Activated!

9:28am Apr 11 2018

The debate over when to play your Bench Boost has been interesting, but @_FPLTips have opted to play it in Gameweek 34

Having played their Wildcard in Gameweek 33, the @_FPLTips team has activated their Bench Boost chip for DOUBLE Gameweek 34, so let’s see what their plan of action is this week.

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Goalkeeper

David De Gea was carried by on the bench in the Gameweek 33 Wildcard team, ready to be utilised for Gameweek 34’s Double Gameweek, when Manchester United take on West Brom at home and Bournemouth away.

Jose Mourinho’s side have kept 5 Premier League clean sheets in 2018; only Spurs have managed more, with 6 and the Spaniard appears to be the safest way into the United back line, now that Smalling, Bailly, Jones and Lindelof are all available at centre-back.

Defenders

In defence, it’s Wes Morgan, Jan Vertonghen and Marcos Alonso and like De Gea, the trio each have two fixtures to play in Gameweek 34.

With 4 clean sheets in 2018 for Leicester and 3 clean sheets for Chelsea in that time, fixtures against Burnley and Southampton offer reasonable potential, especially considering that only Huddersfield (8) and Stoke (7) have scored fewer goals than Southampton (11) this calendar year.

Spurs were just one mistake away from keeping Stoke from scoring last weekend and no Premier League team have kept more than their 6 clean sheets in 2018.

Midfielders

The midfield also remains unchanged from last Gameweek’s Wildcard team, with the double Spurs midfielders of Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son keeping their places alongside Riyad Mahrez and Willian.

The big absence here is of course Mohamed Salah and despite having just the one fixture in Gameweek 34, it is an attractive-looking home encounter with Bournemouth.

For now, though, it’s a gamble on Dele Alli matching the Liverpool man over his two fixtures, against Man City and Brighton.

His tally of 4 big chances created over the last 6 Gameweeks is joint highest amongst all players, matching Liverpool’s Andy Robertson and surprisingly, Theo Walcott.

Only Mohamed Salah has directly contributed to more goals than Alli over that period too, with 9 FPL involvements to the Spurs man’s 6.

Forwards

There will be the one transfer made amongst the forwards, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is set to make way for Romelu Lukaku, to complete the full house of Double Gameweek players.

Arsenal have a single Gameweek, travelling away to Newcastle, whilst the big Belgian takes on his former club, West Brom and then a second fixture against Bournemouth – two teams he boasts a very good scoring record against.

Lukaku has scored 6 goals in 5 Premier League appearances against Bournemouth and 5 goals in 8 against West Brom.

The Manchester United forward will be joined by Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, who scored for a 3rd consecutive game, when Leicester were beaten by Newcastle last weekend.

Ashley Barnes may have failed to score against Watford last weekend but he’s bagged 4 goals in the previous 4 league games and faces back-to-back home fixtures in Double Gameweek 34, so is a handy enabler, priced at £5.4m.

Only Aubameyang (5) and Salah (7) have scored more goals than the Burnley man, over the last 6 Gameweeks.

Captaincy Thoughts

The big absence here, of course is Harry Kane. The plan is definitely to get him in by Gameweek 36 at the latest, because he’ll be going all-out for the Golden Boot in these final games of the season. Whilst it’s a huge risk to go without the Spurs man, there is some logic to it.

Firstly, it allows for a double up on Spurs midfielders and the pair have directly contributed to 17 goals this calendar year, over 11 Gameweeks.

It also means the decision to captain Romelu Lukaku is a fairly easy one, amongst this group of players and although many would agree that Kane is the better overall FPL option between the two, Manchester United’s fixtures are perhaps more appetising for this specific Gameweek.

Spurs face Brighton and Man City, two teams that have conceded the joint fewest amount of big chances during 2018.

But the final reason for omitting Kane was that the balance of the team is better with only one of the two key forwards, Kane and Lukaku and it allows for a stronger bench.

Bench Boost Activated!

With that in mind, the Bench Boost chip has been activated for Gameweek 34, meaning that Brighton’s Mat Ryan, Man Utd’s Jesse Lingard and the double Burnley defence of Lowton and Tarkowski will all give to the points tally, over their potential 8 fixtures collectively.

After deciding to use the Wildcard last Gameweek, playing the Bench Boost here was a fairly straightforward choice, since it’s a Double Gameweek – with each of the players carrying the potential to play in two fixtures and there’s a very short space amount of time between playing the Wildcard and playing the Bench Boost, so the chances of players remaining fit and in form are as high as possible.

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