FPL 2021/22: Gameweek 30 – Free Hit Team

Aadit Mehta
By Aadit Mehta
16 Min Read
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This weekend, Fantasy Premier League managers are likely to be split into two camps: those who have methodically planned their transfers around a shortened schedule for Gameweek 30 and those who have only now learned that their most treasured FPL favourites are abruptly fixture-less.

Owing to the FA Cup quarter-finals taking place at the same time, just four Premier League matches will be played this weekend. Arsenal, Aston Villa, Brentford, Leeds, Leicester, Tottenham, West Ham, and Wolves are the eight teams competing in the Premier League this week.

FPL managers may be enticed to employ Free Hit in order to get a full squad out, with Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City among those not facing league football. Considering the current status of your team, there are benefits and drawbacks to adopting the temporary, quick-fix chip.

If you’re one of the unwitting managers who has flinched in terror at the sight of a major portion of your team being momentarily wiped out, it’s a good idea to use Free Hit to restock your squad, particularly if both of them are still accessible. After all, it is for instances like this that it exists.

GOALKEEPER

JOSE SA (£5.3M) [LEE, (H)]

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When Wolves meet Leeds under the lights at Molineux on Friday night, one of the league’s toughest defences will confront one of the league’s most inefficient offences. Bruno Lage’s team has the league’s fourth-best defensive record, and Josa Sa is a big reason for it; the Portuguese goalie has the highest save rate (84%) of any keeper in the league. Meanwhile, Leeds has underperformed its expected goals (xG) by a full six goals, which helps describe their present situation.

With an xGC of 38.3, the West Midlands team has only conceded 23 goals (4th) (7th). This campaign, they’ve also kept 11 clean sheets (5th).

Leeds haven’t been the same offensive threat this season, and their last-third performance has put them in risk of relegation. The Whites have only scored 31 goals with an xG of 39.2, putting them in 15th position (9th). Bruno Lage’s team did not waste many opportunities, and they have the benefit of playing at home.

DEFENDERS

CONOR COADY (£4.8M) [LEE, (H)]

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Wolves’ Conor Coady has started every league game this season. He’s also scored three goals with an amazing xG of 1.55.

Wolves have one of the better gameweek games, hosting Leeds United at Molineux. In my perspective, one of their defenders is a necessity, particularly given how great their defence has been. With an xGC of 38.3, the West Midlands team has only conceded 23 goals (4th) (7th). This campaign, they’ve also kept 11 clean sheets (5th).

Leeds have just not been the same attacking threat this season, and they’ve underperformed in the last third, putting them in danger of relegation. With an xG of 39.2, the Whites have only scored 31 goals, putting them in 15th place (9th). Bruno Lage’s team does not give up many chances, and playing at home offers them an advantage.

Coady likewise poses a goal threat, but more significantly, he provides the security of a definite start, something that Saiss, Kilman, and Boly do not.

GABRIEL (£5.3M) [AVL, (A)]

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Gabriel has had a successful season with Arsenal, scoring three goals in the process. With an xG of 2.05 and an xA of 1.25, he has attempted 18 Shots in the Box and has produced 7 Chances.

In Blank Gameweek 30, the North London side travels to Birmingham to face Aston Villa. This game is difficult to predict because both teams appear to be strong on defence and offence. Arsenal, however, has had one of the finest defences in the league, surrendering only 29 goals (5th) and having an xGC of 34.8. (4th).

Gabriel also possesses an attacking threat and poses as a nuisance in the box from corners and free kicks. They’ve made significant progress and have now kept 12 clean sheets (4th). Only Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City have accumulated more points, and they have also played more matches.

CAGLAR SOYUNCU (£4.9M) [BRE, (H)]

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In Blank Gameweek 30, Leicester City will host Brentford at the King Power Stadium, which will be a relatively favourable match. The Foxes haven’t been particularly strong in the back this season, with a slew of injuries to their backline, but they do have a favourable fixture this week. Brentford have produced 32 goals (14th) and have an xG of 37.0 (12th) in attack, putting them in the bottom ten.

Soyuncu is Leicester’s most nailed-on defender (among those available), and they’re also the most probable to secure a clean sheet. The Bees have enjoyed a solid run in recent games, but haven’t been very successful in front of goal this season.

From now until the end of the season, Brendan Rodgers’ side will have very few easier opportunities to keep a clean sheet than this.

MIDFIELDERS

HEUNG-MIN SON (£10.9M) [WHU, (H)]

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At the moment of penning this article, Heung-Min Son has an outstanding 11 goals and seven assists. Additionally, he has an xG of 10.35 and an xA of 6.10. This season, the South Korean has been consistently trustworthy, and he is the only premium midfield candidate with a match this week.

Spurs host West Ham United in Gameweek 30. Tottenham will have the home edge and have the stronger attackers, but the Hammers have surrendered 36 goals (8th) and have an xG of 44.7 (6th), so I don’t foresee this game being a cakewalk for them.

Antonio Conte’s side have also scored 42 goals (6th) with an xG of 47.3 (5th), indicating that they have more than adequate to score here, and Son has played a key role in their final-third success. This is a game I like for Son, and based on his underlying metrics, he’s one of the best selections for Blank Gameweek 30. He is also on corners and free kicks, with a goal involvement percentage of 46 per cent (1st among midfielders).

He and partner Harry Kane will be the most captained players this week, with only five matchups in play.

BUKAYO SAKA (£6.6M) [AVL, (A)]

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Bukayo Saka has enjoyed a fantastic season, scoring eight goals and assisting on six occasions. The England international has the top xG and xA in the Arsenal attack, with an xG of 6.34 and an xA of 5.92.

In Blank Gameweek 30, Arsenal travels to Aston Villa for a difficult match. The Villains have allowed 39 goals (10th) and have an xGC of 39.4 (11th) since Steven Gerrard took over as manager.

The Gunners, on the other hand, have also been terrific this season and are currently in contention for a top-four finish. With Saka, Martinelli, Odegaard, and Lacazette, they have scored 43 goals (5th) and have an xG of 40 (8th). They currently have a very strong offence.

Although being away from home, the North London team will be favourites, and this is a match I expect to see a lot of goals in. Both sides have strong attacking players, and I don’t think either will be able to hold back.

Saka has the highest underlying metrics of any Arsenal player, and he’s one of the strongest assets for Blank Gameweek 30 based on his pricing and predicted minutes.

HARVEY BARNES (£6.5M) [BRE, (H)]

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In his 18 starts this season, Harvey Barnes has three goals and seven assists. With an xG of 5.70 and an xA of 4.25, he has 36 Shots in the Box and 25 Chances created.

In Blank Gameweek 30, Leicester City seem to have the best matchup. Brentford, who have surrendered 45 goals (15th) and have an xGC of 43.9, will meet them.

Even though the Foxes have struggled defensively, they appear to be a different proposition when it comes to scoring. They have only played 26 games, which is two to three lesser than most teams, and have produced 40 goals (7th) with an xG of 37.1 (11th).

Barnes has the best xG among Leicester’s midfielders, and he appears to be the safest choice this week. Due to his continuous injury difficulties, James Maddison (£6.7m) is a slight concern, and it’s unclear which of the forwards, Daka (£7.1m) or Iheanacho (£6.9m), will start.

PHILIPPE COUTINHO (£7.5M) [ARS, (H)]

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Philippe Coutinho has enjoyed a fantastic start to his career with Aston Villa. He has four goals and three assists in nine starts, with an xG of 2.63 and an xA of 2.54.

In Blank Gameweek 30, Villa host Arsenal at home. This is a tricky matchup to predict, but I believe the Villains will score at least once.

Arsenal have only allowed 29 goals (5th) with an xGC of 34.8 (5th), while Villa have scored 27 goals (6th) with an xG of 22.1 (13th) since Gerrard took control (Gameweek 12), winning eight games in the process.

Coutinho appears to be their strongest creative option at the moment; he is the man in charge of the midfield and has already demonstrated his ability to score goals.

FORWARDS

HARRY KANE (£12.4M) [WHU, (H)]

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Harry Kane has 11 goals and three assists as of writing this, with six of those goals coming in his past five games. Among all forwards in the game, he has the greatest xG (13.97) and xA (7.53).

In Blank Gameweek 30, Tottenham Hotspur will face London rivals West Ham United. Spurs will not have an easy game, but they will have the home edge and are unquestionably one of the favourites to strike this week.

Spurs have been one of the top five offensive sides in the league, scoring 42 goals (6th) and having an xG of 47.3 (5th), thanks entirely to Kane, notably in the second half of the season.

The England player appears to be in one of his uncontrollable moods right now. His output, as well as his underlying statistics, are all on top. He has the ability to score and assist while also being a penalty killer. He’ll very likely be the most captained player in a Gameweek with only five matchups.

ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE (£8.4M) [AVL, (A)]

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With an xG of 5.76 and an xA of 3.34, Alexandre Lacazette currently has four goals and eight assists for Arsenal this season. Since Aubameyang’s departure, Lacazette has emerged as a potential FPL option, capable of both scoring and assisting.

In Blank Gameweek 30, Arsenal travel to Aston Villa. Villa have allowed 39 goals (10th) and have an xGC of 39.4 (11th), putting them in the middle of the table in terms of defensive quality.

The Gunners, on the other hand, have been outstanding in the final third and will be favourites going into this match. They have 43 goals (5th) and an xG of 40 (8th), but they have only played 26 games, so they should be higher in the rankings.

The Frenchman is currently Arsenal’s primary striker, and he has little competition. He’ll almost certainly start, and he’ll also be the first-choice penalty taker in a dangerous attacking lineup. He’s also improved his creativity this season, and he’ll profit from the presence of players like Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.

RAUL JIMENEZ (£7.6M) [LEE, (H)]

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With 39 Shots in the Box and an xG of 6.49, Raul Jimenez has six goals and four assists. With an xA of 3.53, he has also generated 33 Chances. He hasn’t been the same player since his head injury, but he’s been getting by, and he has a great matchup this week.

This week, Wolves host Leeds United at Molineux, in what is perhaps the most favourable matchup of the Gameweek. The Whites have given up 65 goals (20th) and have an xGC of 56.5 (19th) and can’t seem to tighten up their defence.

Bruno Lage’s team hasn’t been particularly great in attack, but they will be big favourites to score and win this match.

Notwithstanding this, the Mexican is one of the favourites to score this week, as well as one of the most valuable FPL alternatives. Over the last four seasons, he has 40 goals and 22 assists in the Premier League, and he has been Wolves’ talisman in recent years.

Jimenez remains Wolves’ leading scorer and has the greatest Goal Involvement percentage (32 percent ). He’s also the league’s primary penalty taker.

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