Gameweek 34 FPL Tips – Free Hit Special

Apr 19, 2024 | Gameweek Tips

I’ll get into the best players to buy, captaincy, and my free hit draft in just a second, but first, let’s talk about gameweek 33.

Where would Chelsea be without Cole Palmer? Actually, where would our FPL teams be without Cole Palmer?

In a sea of red arrows, I reckon.

But I’m here to help you avoid this pain. And so is LazyFPL. So, you know, subscribe to LazyFPL’s free newsletter to win more by doing less, as you’ll get all the relevant FPL information in your inbox every gameweek.

Blank and Double Gameweeks

For some context, 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

Who to Buy in FPL Gameweek 34?

Goalkeepers

The best goalkeepers for this week are more obvious than the sun setting, being punched in the face by a pigeon in Trafalgar Square, or seeing Ederson wipe out your clean sheet in the 91st minute.

  • Raya
  • Alisson

But since you may already be tripled up on Arsenal and Liverpool, I have a few alternatives for you:

Dean Henderson

Dean Henderson has gone from the Theatre of Dreams to Crystal Palace in a matter of weeks.

The only issue is that it was a Theatre of Dreams only for Manchester United’s defence. 

No, seriously, their numbers are relegation-quality.

On the other hand, Palace are fifth for xGA over the season and are especially good at home.

Plus, Crystal Palace have the third-highest chance of keeping at least one clean sheet this week, according to FPL Review.

Palaces back in the good ol’ days used to be guarded by moats and iron-clad knights. Now, they’re guarded by a man with Bradley as his middle name.

Jordan Pickford

My nephew begged me to take him to see Jurassic Park. Who can blame him? How can you not love dinosaurs?

Imagine how excited he was when I took him to Goodison Park to see a T-Rex, arms and all, in the flesh!

Everton are actually pretty good defensively—they’re seventh for xGA across the season—and Pickford has to make more saves each game than a Word document, because who really trusts Autosave?!

His fixtures may not look like they’re the best, but they’re both at home, and Forest are 15th for xG over the season, so it’s not all that bad.

Defenders

I’ll get the clear picks out of the way:

  • Gabriel
  • Saliba
  • Virgil

Gabriel is a must for this week, as is arguably Virgil van Dijk.

Liverpool have the highest clean sheet odds for this week, and I’m not too sure of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s minutes. But if you’re on a free hit, I think TAA and Robertson could be excellent differentials.

But more on that soon.

Daniel Muñoz

Tyrick Mitchell may be the flavour of the week, but Crystal Palace’s wing-back situation isn’t that obvious.

You see, Tyrick Mitchell is an excellent dueller. He’s incredibly solid defensively. 

And West Ham and Newcastle both attack primarily down their right flank, meaning towards Tyrick Mitchell’s flank.

Meaning that’s Palace’s defensive side. And with some quick maths, that means Muñoz is free to go forward.

He often plays like a winger and should frequently overlap to create width for Olise. Plus, Muñoz was excellent going forward for Genk.

I don’t mind Mitchell and Andersen, but I much prefer Muñoz, which brings me to a fun tongue-twister:

How many Muñoz’s could a Muniz (Fulham’s striker) Muniz if a Muniz could Muniz Muñoz?

Tarkowski

First things first: Tarkowski has a big head. 

It’s like a pillow for footballs.

So much so that, in fact, his attacking data is hilariously good at an npxG+xAG/90 of 0.14.

Essentially, he’s Everton’s primary target from set-pieces and plays for a relatively solid defence.

If Ait-Nouri isn’t fit and you’re on a budget constraint while dead-ending into a gameweek 35 wildcard, Tarkowski’s a really solid option.

Just don’t ask him for tips on how to flirt. Who’s idea was it to release that one clip onto the internet?

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

Midfielders

I think this trio should form the core of your free hit or dead-end teams:

  • Salah
  • Saka
  • Eze

Eze is most likely on penalties, takes some set-pieces, and maintains a stupendous npxG+xAG/90 of 0.55. Plus, his minutes should look good, which cements him as an excellent FPL asset.

Martin Ødegaard and Kai Havertz

Whenever Havertz plays as Arsenal’s CF, Arsenal usually press in a 442, meaning Ødegaard is a CF out of possession. 

In possession, however, he often roams as a deep playmaker, making box-crashing runs when possible.

What does this equate to? A lot of bonus points, for one. And a positive uptake in his underlying data.

Plus, he’s also nailed on for at least 80 minutes and plays for one of the best attacking sides in the league.

If you can’t afford Ødegaard, Havertz is a fine alternative at £7.4m.

He’ll play as the CF, or as an advanced LCM (akin to a 10), and has an npxG+xAG/90 of 0.47. 

Is he “just what we need?” I prefer silken tofu, but I suppose the silky German works too. 

Michael Olise

In my workplace, we celebrate Bastille Day.

My coworkers got some croissants, and they painted a few French flags. I walked in wearing an Olise jersey. HR wasn’t happy.

But you will be when Olise hauls this week.

He certainly has the potential to, at least. His underlying data is astonishing—an npxG+xAG/90 of 0.64 says it all—plus, he takes some set pieces and has recently started playing as more of a 10 than a RW.

He’s also cheap, at £5.6m, and has two good fixtures this week: West Ham (H) and Newcastle (H).

I really, really like him as a pick, and the markets do too. If a differential is what you’re after, look no further.

Other picks include:

  • Pablo Sarabia
  • Dwight McNeil
  • Ben Brereton Díaz

But I prefer the previously mentioned players, for the aforementioned reasons.

Forwards

I think Solanke is a must for this week. 

He’s nailed on for 90, Bournemouth’s talisman, on penalties, with fixtures of Villa (A) + Wolves (A) and has maintained a healthy npxG+xAG/90 of 0.58.

Matheus Cunha

Yes, Cunha plays Arsenal this week, meaning his ceiling is already relatively lower than one would hope, but he also faces Bournemouth (H).

Not to mention, he’s Wolves’ first-choice CF and has 17 G+A in 27 appearances. 

His underlying data is healthy, he’s still very low-owned, and he’s Brazilian.

So basically, he’s R9 with a more sensible haircut.

Jean-Philippe Mateta

I expected 2024 to be a year full of surprises.

Maybe this would be the year Arsenal won the Premier League. Maybe this would even be the year that Chelsea escaped mediocrity. What I didn’t expect was for this to be the year where Mateta became a viable FPL option.

His npxG+xAG/90 is average, at 0.39, but he’s a cheap option at just 5.0m, and he’s nailed on. 

He’s actually been slightly underperforming his data, but he’s simply improved (as an FPL asset) in the few weeks we’ve seen Palace play under Glasner.

My Free Hit Draft

I’m not free hitting this week (instead, I enjoyed Reguilon’s red card on my FH 29), but if I was, this would be my draft:

Notes:

  • Darwin’s inclusion is simply based on the possibility that he starts both games of the double. I’m currently on the fence regarding this, but if you think he starts one, I’d avoid him and start Cunha instead.
  • The same can be said for Trent, but I don’t think he starts both, which is why he isn’t in my draft. I trust Robertson’s minutes more than Trent’s, though.
  • I don’t trust the minutes of any of Liverpool’s attacking assets (except Salah’s), which is why they’re not in this draft. 

But, if I had to rank them:

  1. Salah
  2. Luis Díaz
  3. Darwin
  4. Jota

Who to Captain in FPL Gameweek 34?

salah gameweek 12

Mohamed Salah

Okay, okay, Salah’s not set the world alight in recent weeks. But I don’t think this is the week to overthink captaincy.

Salah’s fixtures are good – Fulham (A) + Everton (A) and his underlying data has been good over the season, at an npxG+xAG/90 of 0.97.

Fulham are 15th for xGA, and Liverpool are top of the league for xG.

Furthemore, Salah’s minutes have been limited recently, meaning he’s nailed on, and he’ll take any penalties Liverpool get.

Bukayo Saka

Arsenal’s fixtures are also pretty good from an attacking standpoint, facing Wolves (A) + Chelsea (H), and Saka’s nailed on, as well as Arsenal’s primary penalty taker.

Even though it may not seem like it, his xGI has been incredible over his last five league games (0.52/90) and it’s even higher across the season, at 0.64.

The markets think Saka will do well, and Arsenal don’t have anything but the league to play for, so I expect Arteta to put out a strong, attacking side.

Alternatives

In order of preference:

  • Solanke
  • Ødegaard
  • Eze

FPL Challenge

  • This week, Burnley, Luton, and Sheffield United players get double the points.
  • I like quintuple Sheffield United for this week, given that they effectively start with a base of 8 points.
  • Ben Brereton Diaz would be my captain.
  • And I’d load up on double gameweek players as opposed to Burnley and Luton Town players.

As for my last tip of the day? It comes from personal experience, actually.

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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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