Gameweek 31 FPL Tips

Apr 1, 2024 | Gameweek Tips

Easter symbolises hope, redemption, and life over death.

Unless you’re Chris Milder, of course, in which case this post-Easter weekend simply symbolises despair, damnation, and just all-around pain.

The same can be said for Darwin Núñez owners. 

I look forward to him hitting the woodwork 23 times and amassing enough xG to choke a horse before getting a yellow and finishing on a one-pointer. Against Sheffield United. At Anfield.

But before I get into everything you need to know ahead of GW 31, I urge you to subscribe to the free LazyFPL newsletter. It only takes a few minutes to read, and tells you everything you need to know. 

Neat, eh?

Blank and Double Gameweeks

Gameweek 34 is a confirmed blank and double gameweek:

  • Arsenal: Wolves (A) + Chelsea (H)
  • Bournemouth: Villa (A) + Wolves (A)
  • Crystal Palace: West Ham (H) + Newcastle (H)
  • Everton: Forest (H) + Liverpool (H)
  • Liverpool: Fulham (A) + Everton (A)
  • Sheffield United: Burnley (H) + Manchester United (A)
  • Wolves: Arsenal (H) + Bournemouth (A)
  • Spurs: Blank

And I believe Spurs and Chelsea will double in gameweek 36 as opposed to 35 or 37:

  • Chelsea: West Ham (H) + Spurs (H)
  • Spurs: Liverpool (A) + Chelsea (A)

Why is this relevant, you may ask?

No, it’s not because I’m letting you dream of all those points you hope to get, only to see those hopes crash and burn in the form of a rotting red arrow, but because all my picks are for a four gameweek horizon.

So gameweeks 31–34.

And maybe also a little bit of the first. We can collectively suffer the pain.

Who to Buy in FPL Gameweek 31?

Gabriel and William Saliba

I was called boring once. I’m sure it didn’t have anything to do with my meal deal (a ham sandwich and a bottle of water, of course) or my perverse enjoyment of watching paint dry, but I intend to live up to that stereotype.

So if you don’t already have one, buy an Arsenal defender. Or just both, Gabriel and Saliba, who have npxG+xAG’s/90 of 0.16 and 0.06, respectively.

Arsenal’s xGA is also a whole 7.8 less than the next lowest.

Numbers haven’t been this intimidating since my girlfriend saw my neighbour’s marked ruler.

If you know, you know. I wish I didn’t know.

I’d avoid Rice and Kiwior because I don’t think their minutes are secure enough during what is a very congested run-in for Arsenal.

Joško Gvardiol

You know how they say, “One man’s pain is another man’s joy, happiness, and only reason to live?”

Or maybe that’s just what my sadistic friend says. 

Well, he’d be right if he used that about Gvardiol, after Ake’s injury.

Gvardiol’s minutes are now more or less secure. Of course, Akanji and Lewis playing LB are potential risks, but I wouldn’t spend much time worrying about that.

I’d instead spend time thinking about how Gvardiol plays for the second-best defence in the league, has fixtures of AVL, cry, LUT, bha in his next four, and often finds himself quite high up the pitch.

In an ideal world, I’m getting him next week, and I would get him this week if I could.

Other good defenders include:

  • Virgil van Dijk and Rúben Dias (as mentioned last week)
  • Akanji

Mohamed Salah

I mentioned Salah last week, and he’s the best asset this week for all the same reasons as he was last week.

I’ll go over him in the captaincy section, but, you know, you probably should have Salah in your FPL team.

By that, I mean Salah is as essential as blinking, breathing, or complaining about how unlucky your FPL team was.

“It’s not a skill issue, I promise!”

Martin Ødegaard

We know that Bukayo Saka is close to essential, but if you don’t want double Arsenal defence, there’s really only one viable option, in my opinion.

The best Norwegian in the Premier League, of course.

The markets predict Arsenal to score 3.40 goals vs. Luton this week, which is one of the highest projections of the season. Plus, Ødegaard’s data has slowly been improving, and he’s now up to an npxG+xAG/90 of 0.40 while being nailed on for 85+, on some set pieces, and maybe the occasional penalty.

He’s become more of an all-phases midfielder now, meaning he has more of the ball, hence he’s more likely to get bonus points.

Did I mention he’s playing the worst defence in the league this week?

Luis Díaz

Children like Superman, adults like Batman, and I like Luis Díaz, the hero of my double gameweek 25 team.

Realistically, Luis Díaz’s minutes should be secure enough, and he has fixtures of SHU, mun, CRY, and ful+eve in his next four.

Plus, his npxG+xAG/90 is frankly ridiculous at 0.59, and he has 7 returns in his last 8. 

Oh, and he plays Sheffield United (H) this week. A fun differential, if you will.

Pablo Sarabia

I know a good deal when I see one. It’s like that time I bought three day old eggs for 90% off. Was the salmonella worth the cost-savings? Absolutely.

Sarabia’s only £4.7m, nailed on, on penalties when Cunha’s not on the pitch, and has excellent fixtures including bur, WHU, nfo, and BOU + ARS.

To make things even better, his npxG+xAG/90 is at a harmonious 0.57, which is more than Eze, Foden, Toney, Maddison, and, well, a lot more people. 

Kylian Mbappe has played with a lot of the best players in the world – Messi, Neymar, Sarabia. And there’s only one competent footballer in that list.

Darwin Núñez

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Well, this is Darwin Núñez. He misses 100% of the shots he takes.

Well, there is some good news: he takes a LOT of shots. He has the highest npxG+xAG/90 in the league (1.00), which literally means he’s expected to get a goal contribution every game.

Luis Suarez allegedly wishes he was as good as Darwin. Charles Darwin wishes his version of evolution was as efficient as the one that led to the production of Darwin. And no boyfriend wishes to have the finishing skills of Darwin.

He is a slight minutes worry this week, but I still think he starts and gets ~70 against a poor Sheffield United side, where his goal projection will undoubtedly be sky-high.

  • As mentioned last week, Isak is still an excellent pick.
  • Toney and Mateta are also good, but I prefer a front three of Haaland-Darwin-Solanke.

Who to Captain in FPL Gameweek 31?

salah gameweek 12

Mohamed Salah

Liverpool have the single highest goals projection of any team in a single gameweek this week.

And FPL Review’s Massive Data Model projects Haaland to get 1.4 G+A this week. Oh, and also, Liverpool are top for xG over the season, while Sheffield United have the second worst xGA. 

I have a feeling Sheffield United won’t be very “United” this week, but rather “Cataclysmically Imploded.” No, seriously, this week may seriously disrupt the Sheffield United/Sheffield Wednesday power balance.

Salah’s haul may literally send Sheffield into Thursday.

Which is why he’s the standout captain for this week.

Bukayo Saka

This, of course, has to be caveated by your minutes expectations for Saka, given that he came off early with fatigue against City.

Saka’s had a stunning season so far, with an npxG+xAG/90 of 0.64, which is a whole 28% higher than his previous best season’s.

And Luton aren’t the type to sit back and defend. Meaning, Arsenal are going to get a fair few chances, as seen by Saka’s 1.1 projected G+A. 

Did I mention Luton has a terrible airport?

Erling Haaland

You really can’t go wrong with Haaland, can you?

Yes, Villa’s defence is quite alright, and Haaland has been slightly sluggish recently, much like my overheating computer after I put it through hour after hour of “Darwin Núñez Generational Miss” compilations, but his data is still ridiculously good.

If you don’t have Salah (uh oh), and don’t have faith in Saka’s minutes, Erling Haaland is the man for you.

Like the Norwegian salmon farmer with hair that’ll make any model jealous, he is.

FPL Challenge

This week, all of your forwards get double the points. So it’s best to have three forwards in your side this week.

In an ideal world, Haaland, Darwin, and Isak should be your three forwards, but Toney and Solanke are good alternatives.

Once again, I’d hedge my bets and go all in on defence;  triple Arsenal defence + double Liverpool seems like a viable route.

And remember, risk-maximisation is very viable—you want to finish in the top three in the world, after all.

As always, I’d like to end with a story.

You see, I met Ederson again this week. So, being the naturally frustrated Ederson-owner I am, I asked Ederson why he didn’t start vs. Arsenal.

He was meant to be fit, after all. Was he nervous? Was he still injured? Was he not tired of single-handedly destroying my hopes and dreams every week?

He nodded no and smiled, “I’m a part of the Lazy Revolution.”

And you should be too. Sign up for the free LazyFPL newsletter and join 49,000 FPL managers in winning more by doing less.

Adi Jalan
Written By Adi Jalan

Linking tactics to FPL since 2021. A Brighton predictor with a vendetta against De Zerbi’s rotation.

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