Well, what a week it’s been, one way or another the Fantasy Premier League preview train has been put on hold, but we’re back for the gameweek 33. Chelsea have been busy since last time, progressing to a Champions League semi-final for the first time since 2014. Clearing out the current best team in the country, maybe the world, to enter yet another FA Cup final, oh, and then they tried to tarnish it all and entered a beastly, football killing prison cell along with the ally of greed and selfishness.
That’s all, relatively, in the past now though, isn’t it? The Blues are back to kick on with the top four race as they travel to the playground of David Moyes’ European Super League rejects.
Who’s the Kepa?
Maybe the small gameweek or two sized break did you good. It would have been high on the priority list to get Edouard Mendy into your team to face Brighton, that would have ended in tears. The Senegalese keeper was moved to the bench, where he watched the FA Cup final from.
In his place, Kepa Arrizabalaga continued his run of not conceding under Thomas Tuchel, although not tested much the Spaniard seems to have regained some of his long lost confidence. His barking at the defence was very noticeable in an otherwise forgettable pleasant evening with some determined Seagulls.
However, with Chelsea’s season on the line, it is likely that Mendy will return for gameweek 33 and the trip across the capital to Hammers. There’s reason for it as well, despite conceding a mammoth two whole goals in a week, yes two! Mendy is still the reliable number one. He is Tuchel’s main man between the sticks and should take the gloves once more on Saturday evening.
If you do go with Mendy, you’re getting a man that continues to go under the radar in his debut season in England. His fourteen cleansheets at the 33 game stage, with him appearing in just 26 of those, is five more than Kepa and Willy Caballero managed between them in the league last season.
Use the boosts!
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Look ahead to your fixtures, know what matchups are coming in the following weeks, who you may want to rotate out, bring in or bench for a week.
Looking at Chelsea, with their hard end to the season, these could be the final few chances to make the most of their solid defence. After West Ham, the Blues face Fulham before a daunting end to the season could rule out some of their defensive choices.
Therefore, recognising that Mendy, Antonio Rudiger and Thiago Silva may only have two weeks of shelf life left could be important for pre planning your team.
Gameweek 33: Pick of the week
It’s not fun, it’s not original, but Chelsea’s lack of goalscoring, point grabbing and Fantasy Football dominating forwards aren’t doing anyone favours right now. It’s the defence, lead by Mendy, that is driving the team at a snails pace towards Champions League football next season.
With that, the pick of the week is once again, Rudiger. The German has been arguably Chelsea’s best and one of the best centre backs in the league since Tuchel took over and reshaped the hierarchy of seniority in the team. Rudiger has benefited more than most.
The German’s stats read that 56 of his 73 points have come since Tuchel was in charge. He hasn’t yet scored a goal but the all dancing centre back remains a consistent ariel threat, plus he’s never shy of a lengthy pop at goal from open play.
Due to his delayed start to the season, he has only racked up 1350 minutes, compare this to the more expensive Matt Targett, who has 119 points but 2774 minutes, over double that of Rudiger.
Also, his 4.6m price tag is about as good as it gets for a consistent starter and clean sheet machine for a top four chasing team.
Written and edited by Tom Coley (@tomcoley49)
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