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Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 38

Preview
If we have learned one lesson from the past week in football, it’s that it really is never over until it’s over. One more gameweek of Fantasy Prem to go, which means your last opportunity to finish as high up the numerous mini-leagues you’re in as possible. And, pleasingly, all games kick off at exactly the same time: Sunday at 3pm.

The obvious place to start is with the title race, of course. Leaders Manchester City travel to Brighton knowing that a win – their 14th in a row in the Premier League – will see them retain the title for the first time in their history. Any slip, however, and Liverpool would secure their first ever Premier League with a win over dangerous Wolves at Anfield.

The rest of the European places look to be sorted: Champions League incumbents Chelsea and Tottenham face Leicester and Everton respectively, while Europa League finalists Arsenal visit Burnley and Manchester United host relegated Cardiff. With little else to play for elsewhere, goals and thus fantasy points could be in numerous supply – Southampton host Huddersfield, Bournemouth visit Crystal Palace, West Ham go to Watford and Fulham welcome Newcastle to Craven Cottage.

It’s back to the title race for our final captain’s pick, however – although perhaps not the obvious choice.

Captain’s pick

It’s rare that we would advise selecting a defender as fantasy captain, but then it is not for his defensive capabilities that we are going for Trent Alexander-Arnold. A clean sheet would be lovely too, of course, but the young Liverpool right-back was superb against Barcelona in midweek and offers a serious attacking threat as the Reds welcome Wolves to Anfield on Sunday.

When Nuno Espirito Santo’s men are in a mid-block, they use their wing-backs to press the opposition full-backs. On their left, that means Jonny, with Willy Boly coming across to deal with the wide attacker and everyone else bumping along one as well – as seen below, in the recent victory over Arsenal.

The issue here is that Liverpool frequently drag their central midfielders out into false full-back positions, push their full-back higher and their wide attacker either further up or inside. This rotation creates the potential for two-on-one opportunities in wide areas – as indicated in the graphic above – and ultimately situations from which Alexander-Arnold could add to his already impressive assist total. Of particular interest in this area may be runs on the opposite side from Sadio Mane, or direct forward runs from the attacking central midfielders.

Value selection

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Crystal Palace have won only one of their previous six home games, while Bournemouth forward Callum Wilson has been deadly on the road in recent weeks – in his last four Premier League appearances away from the Vitality Stadium, he has racked up four goals, four assists and eight bonus points.

Wilson has 14 goals and nine assists so far this season and, with Palace’s full-backs likely to push on, there may be spaces in behind for the likes of Ryan Fraser and Josh King. Two of Wilson’s last three goals have come from Fraser assists in transition, including his late equaliser at Southampton two weeks ago (above). It would be no surprise at all if he were to sign off an excellent season in goalscoring fashion on Sunday.

Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 38

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