Just two opportunities remain for FPL managers to activate a Free Hit. If used for Double Gameweek 37, here is a squad with high expectations.
In December, it was announced that all FPL managers would be given an extra Free Hit chip to cope with the unprecedented number of Covid postponements. It altered the chip strategy of many, allowing them to ride the winter wave and keep two Free Hits for the latter stages.
According to LiveFPL’s Gameweek 36 post-deadline data, 4,248 of the top 10k still have a Free Hit to use. 5.96 million overall. Therefore, with the next round including Double Gameweeks for five less-chosen sides, Gameweek 37 seems a good time for activation.
So below is our suggested Free Hit squad, with a budget of £103m.
Best Free Hit 37 squad
GK – Jordan Pickford (Everton, £4.8m), Jason Steele (Brighton, £3.9m)
Everton entered last Sunday five points adrift of safety yet already find themselves up in 16th place. Still, they will be determined to quickly secure Premier League survival and these fixtures will see many Free Hitters triple-up on the Toffees. They have kept three clean sheets from their last four home games, with Jordan Pickford still grabbing six points in Sunday’s 2-1 win at Leicester.
DEF – Matty Cash (Aston Villa, £5.3m), Aymeric Laporte (Man City, £6.0m), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool, £7.3m), Kostas Tsimikas (Liverpool, £3.7m), Brandon Williams (Norwich, £3.9m)
For budgetary reasons, the instinctive pair of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joao Cancelo make way for cheaper team mates. At Man City, Aymeric Laporte has the same clean sheet potential but just netted his fourth goal of the season. It’s tougher to predict Liverpool’s back line, with the trip to Southampton just three days after their FA Cup final. Both Andrew Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas are selected here in the hope that, should Tsimikas start instead, Robertson remains unused.
Since Steven Gerrard’s first game as manager in Gameweek 12, Aston Villa has the league’s fourth-lowest numbers for conceding shots on target and expected goals (xGC) – both better than Tottenham and Arsenal. Attacking full-back Matty Cash has two opportunities to deliver at both ends of the pitch.
MID – Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, £13.3m), Son Heung-min (Spurs, £11.0m), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace, £6.8m), Anthony Gordon (Everton, £4.7m), Josh Brownhill (Burnley, £4.3m)
For a Double Gameweek, it’s important not to be blinded by those playing twice. There are always single Gameweek players that rank amongst the highest scorers, so it’s good to have the only two players on at least 20 goals – Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min. Both have encouraging opponents and something to play for.
Anthony Gordon will likely be in the vast majority of Free Hits because he is a cheap enabler, yet a key part of Everton’s escape from relegation. A pair of home games against Brentford and Crystal Palace awaits. However, the Eagles have won their last two games because of Wilfried Zaha. Seven goals have arrived from his last ten outings, so the prospect of playing twice holds much appeal.
Josh Brownhill is a handy substitute to have. A tiny price but with three attacking returns and two double-digit hauls from the last four matches.
FOR – Harry Kane (Spurs, £12.4m), Richarlison (Everton, £7.5m), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa, £7.5m)
The price of Harry Kane could be off-putting, as having three premium attackers that only play once could restrict the chip’s benefits in other areas. But a home clash with Burnley is tough to ignore.
Meanwhile, Richarlison and Ollie Watkins are forwards that will have four home games between them. Whereas Watkins has just scored for the second successive match, Richarlison has excelled since Gameweek 31. No player has had more goal attempts, shots on target or expected goals in this period. With four recent goals, he is stepping up when Everton really needs him.
More Free Hit options
Elsewhere, putting faith in Eddie Nketiah (£5.6m) to follow his weekend brace with another goal at Newcastle will free up funds. The star performance of Emiliano Buendia (£6.1m) on Saturday not only removes Philippe Coutinho (£7.1m) from this draft but also pushes the former Norwich man as a contender.
In defence, Wolves are at home to Norwich – a team without a goal or point from their last three. And Crystal Palace kept another clean sheet at the weekend, making it their fifth in eight games. For these reasons, the likes of Jose Sa, Conor Coady and Joachim Andersen are on the radar.