Blank Gameweek 31 is firmly on the horizon, but do we need to look back to aid our preparation?
As Fantasy Premier League managers look ahead to Gameweek 31, they will see what will be the largest blank gameweek of the season, with between four and five fixtures going ahead.
We will know the exact number following Spurs FA Cup 5th Round replay against Rochdale will takes place on Wednesday 28th February. For the purpose of this article, I’m making the assumption that Spurs v Newcastle will be a blank.
As many of you will be aware, this season the fixtures have been uniquely scheduled so that each of the gameweeks in the second half of the season, is the exact home/away reverse of an earlier Gameweek.
The dream team and results for each week are regularly posted on our Twitter account, and often used as another source of captaincy influence.
Blank Gameweek 31 is the reverse of the opening day of the season, all the way back in Gameweek 1. Here is the Dream Team and results. Just four players from the Dream Team have fixtures in Gameweek 31.
While Fantasy Premier League is a challenging game, with a unique set of circumstances in each match, there’s still plenty to be learnt from these results. Managers and players may come and go, but this is the best model that we have.
With such a small number of fixtures, predicting the outcome of each game and therefore the high points scorers could catapult you up the rankings.
Back in Gameweek 1, the reverse result for this one was a narrow West Brom 1-0 win. This is just one of three wins for the Baggies this season. They have won just once away from home, against Burnley in Gameweek 2. They are currently bottom of the league.
Bournemouth are fairing slightly better this season and their home form is stronger. Goals can sometimes be difficult to come by for the Cherries, but they have managed to score in most home games in recent weeks.
This is one of the more challenging results to call. I can’t see West Brom winning, so I’d avoid the attack. Defenders could be a good bet in this one, Hegazi has the history in this fixture, but the Pulis days are long gone. If Bournemouth get a narrow win, expect Callum Wilson to be involved.
Score Prediction: 0-0 or 1-0
Reverse Pick: Ahmed Hegazi
Transfer Tip: Callum Wilson
Huddersfield v Crystal Palace
Huddersfield got a resounding win away from home back in Gameweek 1 and look capable of repeating the performance with the advantage of home comforts in Gameweek 31. Huddersfield have pulled off some fantastic results at home this season and it could be the same again here.
Crystal Palace have had an unfortunate season, blighted by injury and have also had a change of personnel. Benteke and Zaha always have the capability of delivering, the fitness of the latter remains to be seen.
Huddersfield should dominate this one, like they did back in Gameweek 31. Clean sheets are a rarity for the Terriers, but Zanka managed big points in the reverse fixture. Mounie is well fancied after a brace on opening weekend.
Score Prediction: 2-1
Reverse Pick: Zanka
Transfer Tip: Steve Mounie
Stoke v Everton
Home advantage prevailed in Gameweek 1, which was a strong start to the season for the Toffies. Ronald Keoman is long gone, and the lack of central striker has caught up with Everton. Their away form has been woeful, so they aren’t we’ll fancied.
Stoke have had a lot of change since Gameweek 1, but seem to be moving steadily since Hughes departed. Their home form is far stronger than their away form, but clean sheets are hard to come by.
Everton have won the most amount of penalties this season, so Rooney has a slim chance of points returns for the reverse pick. Shaqiri is the in form player for Stoke and can spark at any moment.
Score Prediction: 2-1
Reverse Pick: Wayne Rooney
Transfer Tip: Xheradan Shaqiri
Liverpool v Watford
If Gameweek 1 is anything to go by, expect goals in this one. Those favouring an attacking Liverpool triple up, over a defender, will find the statistics pleasing. This will be a goal fest.
Those looking at Watford assets will be encouraged here, despite the absence of Marco Silva. Watford have done reasonably well on the road in terms of scoring goals, but they should be well beaten here.
It has to be all about the attackers, in the climax to Gameweek 31: the more goals the better in the Saturday evening kick off. Salah is the main man as always, but the rest of the attack shouldn’t be forgotten.
Score Prediction: 4-2
Reverse Pick: Mo Salah
Transfer Tip: Roberto Firmino
BEFORE YOU DISAPPEAR, don’t forget to check out the Blank Gameweek 31 Targets. There’s three suggestions from each position in the game.