Game Week 32 – The International Fixture Pointers
GW32: The International Break
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With the international break in full flow and the Easter bank holiday drawing to a close there are just a few days to prepare our Fantasy Premier League teams for game week 32 – we take a look at any pointers we can take from the international games so far and see if they have any bearing on the rest of the Premier League campaign.
A few notable performances from the first round of matches with the most impressive perhaps being the performance of the French and the English. Both involved in 3-2 away victories, the attacking prowess of both teams has been praised by pundits and fans alike. Both of these games involved goals scored by players from the top 3 teams in the Premier League with Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane and Olivier Giroud all penciling their respective names on the score sheets with impressive displays and with other notable performances from the likes of Dele Alli and Dimitri Payet there were perhaps not too many surprises based on their club form – but the ease in which the former (in particular) has made the transition to the international stage will certainly cause the harshest critics to stand up and take note.
On the flip side of what has been a very positive international break for Premier League players so far with all the home nations enjoying pretty positive results is a potentially season ending injury for Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland which will cause plenty a headache for FPL managers for whom Butland has been a popular pick.
At this point in the international break and in the Premier League season, we ask the following questions:
Which players have cemented their place in our teams?
Are there any players who took the eye?
Have any players made us consider ditching them?
Who are the eye catchers so far?
There is no doubting the performance of the Spurs players for England were some of the most eye catching performances from the first round of international friendlies with BBC Sport ranking the performances of Harry Kane (8/10) and Dele Alli (9/10) as the best of the night in Germany. With many FPL managers concerned by the lack of a double game week for Spurs between now and the end of the season, the performances of the England duo will make them think twice before ditching them for perhaps a player who is in worse form with more games.
Jamie Vardy scored perhaps the goal of the week with a sensational finish to silence any critics who questioned whether he could play in a team on the front foot and at the very highest level.
Another player who some managers will have concerns over is Dimitri Payet. There is no doubting his importance to West Ham and he is playing for his place in this France team for the Euro’s. He did his chances no harm on Friday at the Amsterdam Arena. The blank game week 35 is what will be on many managers minds but he does of course have a very attractive looking double game week 34 with fixtures against Leicester City and Watford to look forward to ahead of that – I know I’d rather have him that not have him in my team.
Stoke City fans did have something to cheer during the first round of international fixtures as Afellay grabbed a goal against the French when showing he still has what it takes at the highest level – albeit in a friendly game. With only 1 goal all season in the league though, there will not be a glut of FPL managers looking to sign the £5.1m rated player – perhaps one to develop next season?
Who should we drop based on what we know so far?
We all know that the biggest investment should be made in midfield and attack in terms of the potential points return that FPL players give us. This is a good thing based on what we have seen from the defenders of the top teams in the Premier League so far. Perhaps some of the more notable performances were based on the 45 minute showing for Austrian pair Christian Fuchs and Kevin Wimmer of Leicester City and Spur respectively. Both players have looked solid of late in the Premier League and are worthy of a place in your team. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the likes of mega-priced Chris Smalling (£6.5m) and Gary Cahill (£6.1m) who looked anything but solid for England. With their domestic clubs not in great defensive form, they are two players that you could happily dispense with from your Fantasy Premier League defensive set up.
There is still a long way to go before we are making any firm decisions for game week 32, but do check out our double game week 33, 34 and 37 strategy that will start asking the right questions to get your mindset right as you head in to the most tactically demanding stretch of the season.