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Premier League 2020/21: FPL Gameweek 38 Fantasy Forecast


Ahead of each Gameweek in the Premier League, The Hype Train's team, Robert Austin, Sam Austin and Phil Jones, duel for FPL and league supremacy in predicting Premier League scores, as well as going head to head in picking a Scout Picks squad for each round of games. With the 2020/21 Premier League season starting tomorrow, we provide our Gameweek Forecast predictions, speculating how we think the latest round of games will be played out. Welcome to the Forecast. All aboard.

Premier League 2020/21: Gameweek 38 Fixtures

Premier League 2020/21: FPL Gameweek 38 Forecast

Enjoy our FPL Forecast article, with each of our team forecasting how we think the Premier League will shape up this upcoming Gameweek. If you agree or want to challenge us on our point of view, get in touch with us on our main Twitter account, @RealHypeTrain.

Fixture Predictions: Gameweek 38

Arsenal 1-2 Brighton

Aston Villa 1-3 Chelsea

Fulham 4-1 Newcastle

Leeds 1-0 West Brom

Leicester 1-1 Spurs

Liverpool 3-0 Crystal Palace

Man City 3-0 Everton

Sheffield United 0-0 Burnley

West Ham 2-0 Southampton

Wolves 1-2 Man United


FPL Forecasting: Gameweek 38


Top FPL player targets ahead of the upcoming Gameweek:

GK: Ederson (MCI, GK, £6.1mil, 9.3% ownership)

DEF: Trent Alexander-Arnold (LIV, DEF, £7.8mil, 26.5% ownership)

MID: Joe Willock (NEW, MID, £4.9mil, 3.2% ownership) FWD: Michail Antonio (WHU, FWD, £6.7mil, 10.1% ownership)


Who are the teams to look out for and avoid?:

Man City (Watch): The only reason I am pointing this out, even if I don’t need to, is that the ‘brains’ behind the FPL listing this fixture as a 4 out of 5 on the difficulty scale. Everton…a dangerous team. Laughable. Everton are barely a 3, only because they continuously existing outside of the top six, and even that is a huge pitch, more like struggling to keep a place in the top ten. City are going to dominate them. 4, just…no.


Liverpool (Watch): Before Burnley I said that Liverpool were going to do what seemed impossible six Gameweeks ago…saving their season and getting back into the top four, and as of right now, they are ninety minutes from doing it. Liverpool bulldozed Burnley, and with the longest unbeaten streak in the Premier League, I can’t see it being broken.


Newcastle (Avoid): Now that the season is over, I can see Steve Bruce’s true colours showing on the final day, once again leaving a sour note on his time at Newcastle so far. I can see Fulham having nothing to lose on the final day, and why not, Bruce doesn’t deserve to be a Premier League manager.


Arsenal (Avoid): Last year Brighton did the double over Arsenal, and then the Gunners broke a five-game curse against the Seagulls when they beat them 1-0 in December courtesy of a Lacazette goal. I still see the problem though…Arsenal’s standards have dropped ever since Wenger left, and then further after Emery, and now under Arteta, there isn’t a level it can go. If you’re thinking of a few players to put into your team for the final do, look elsewhere.


Gameweek 38 – FPL Differential Picks:

ARS/BHA: Leandro Trossard (BHA, MID, £5.5mil, 1.8% ownership)

AVL/CHE: Thiago Silva (CHE, DEF, £5.6mil, 2.8% ownership)

FUL/NEW: Joe Willock (NEW, MID, £4.9mil, 3.2% ownership)

LEE/WBA: Jack Harrison (LEE, MID, £5.6mil, 6.8% ownership)

LEI/TOT: Gareth Bale (TOT, MID, £9.2mil, 4.5% ownership)

LIV/CRY: Nat Phillips (LIV, DEF, £4.2mil, 4.3% ownership)

MCI/EVE: Riyad Mahrez (MCI, MID, £8.1mil, 6.6% ownership)

SHU/BUR: Chris Wood (BUR, FWD, £6.5mil, 4.9% ownership)

WHU/SOU: Craig Dawson (WHU, DEF, £4.5mil, 0.9% ownership)

WOL/MUN: Edinson Cavani (MUN, FWD, £8.0mil, 7.0% ownership)


Differential Captain: Nat Phillips (Liverpool)

The final Gameweek of the season typically sees me pick a completely random as differential captain, and this year it is the Liverpool central defender Nat Phillips who fills that role. Due to the worst defensive injury crisis in the Premier League era, Phillips has played a key role in salvaging Liverpool’s season. Since GW25 Phillips has only been only out of the team three times, and in the last four weeks Phillips has picked up three fantasy returns. The peak of that emergence happened last Gameweek in GW37 when he scored, kept a clean sheet, and made an amazing goal-line clearance to keep his clean sheet, amassing 13pts. The final game sees Crystal Palace travel to Liverpool in attempt at thwarting their attempts of securing a top four place. Phillips has played an integral part of that late season journey, and hey, Liverpool versus Palace with everything on the line, what could go wrong? Wait…



Have you enjoyed FPL this season?:

No. This season has been arguably one of the worst in the Premier Leagues history. Covid-19 has killed the standard. Most games are dull, low scoring, and flat affairs. Emphasis on the word FLAT. The standards have dropped, and guess what, the one team that has spent more money than everyone else has ‘risen to the challenge’ to win the league. What a joke. Bar Leeds causing quite a stir, I can’t think of anything I didn’t already know at the end of last season all the way till now. Kane and Salah are still competing for the Golden Boot, City have galvanised competition in the league, the top six has barely changed, and the teams that went up have gone done bar Leeds, and the one team to go with West Brom and Fulham has been Sheffield United who offered absolutely nothing this season.


Then, the league was tainted by the corrupted taint of the six entitled clubs who wanted to breakaway into their own ridiculous Super League which nearly destroyed football. All this taints the FPL game, as the love of the game is tied correctly to that of the FPL. This year there has been no real consistency of players and has been tough to pick a winning team. I used to compete at the top end of FPL rankings, and now, I am just an average player with no idea about what is happening. It is all about luck. And I don’t even care, it has been a trying and testing year without fans in stadiums, or normality in football, and everything that crept into the game has made it a tough watch. I have barely watched games this year because they are all the same. I used to rush to watch games, but now, I try and just stick to the team I support.


I shouldn’t forget, but this one was important. The pricing structure of the FPL finally reached a head this year and killed it. Every team had the same backbone this year, with differentials scattered around. Captaincy was king this year, and that isn’t a good thing. The FPL needs a revamp as next year I am already dreading it.


Other Gameweek Comments:

I am happy that this season is over.


FPL Scout Picks: Gameweek 38

Formation: 3-4-3


Starting 11


GK: Edison (MCI)


DEF: Stuart Dallas (LEE)

DEF: Trent Alexander-Arnold (LIV)

DEF: Andrew Robertson (LIV)


MID: Joe Willock (NEW)

MID: Phil Foden (MCI)

MID: Mohamad Salah (LIV) - (C)

MID: Bruno Fernandes (MUN)


FOR: Michail Antonio (WHU)

FOR: Harry Kane (TOT) - (VC)

FOR: Edinson Cavani (MUN)


Substitutes


GK: Kiko Casilla (LEE)

MID: Mason Greenwood (MUN)

DEF: Aaron Cresswell (WHU)

DEF: Ruben Dias (MCI)

Fixture Predictions: Gameweek 38

Arsenal 2-1 Brighton

Aston Villa 0-2 Chelsea

Fulham 2-1 Newcastle

Leeds 3-0 West Brom

Leicester 2-1 Spurs

Liverpool 3-0 Crystal Palace

Man City 2-0 Everton

Sheffield United 1-0 Burnley

West Ham 3-2 Southampton

Wolves 1-1 Man United


FPL Forecasting: Gameweek 38


Top FPL player targets ahead of the upcoming Gameweek:

Goalkeepers: Ramsdale (SHU), Ederson (MCI), Casilla (LEE), Mendy (CHE), Alisson (LIV)

Defenders: Alexander-Arnold (LIV), Dallas (LEE), Phillips (LIV), Alonso (CHE), Dias (MCI), Coufal (WHU)

Midfielders: Lingard (WHU), Harrison & Raphinha (LEE), Pepe (ARS), Salah (LIV), Havertz (CHE), Willock (NEW)

Forwards: Firmino (LIV), Bamford (LEE), Antonio (WHU), Vardy (LEI), Kane (TOT), Iheanacho (LEI), Aguero (MCI)


Who are the teams to look out for and avoid?:

Burnley (Avoid): As I’ve been saying for a while, Dyche’s team have been on the beach for a while. Sheffield will probably bow out of the league with a win here.


West Ham (Watch): They’ve still got a Top 6 finish to fight for, so they’ll go all out in this one. Can see a few goals for both sides as Southampton’s attackers should have space to break West Ham’s defensive line.


Man City (Watch): They’re lifting the trophy so I expect their best team out there – if not, Pep truly hates his players.


Liverpool, Chelsea & Leicester (Watch): I’ve got a feeling that all the teams competing for a Champions League place will win and it will be comfortable, which means Leicester will probably miss out on the UCL again unless Christian Benteke haunts Liverpool at Anfield (again).


Wolves & Man United (Avoid): The away side already have an eye on the Europa League final in Poland, whilst Wolves are parting ways with Nuno as Manager. This will be a weird game to predict, so I think a draw is the safe bet given the permutations.


Leeds (Watch): Ending the season strong, this home game against West Brom, with a small crowd allowed back in to Elland Road, should result in a big home win for Leeds, as well as a final damning defeat for a West Brom team that offered virtually nothing this season. You have seen the two sides of a coin with promoted teams – Leeds have attacked and played some goo football. West Brom have just defended and bored everyone and their dog. Good riddance to The Baggies, especially after Bilic for the boot after the 1-1 draw at The Etihad.


Arsenal (Watch): If there’s one game that won’t make sense tomorrow, the laws of averages land heavily on The Gunners with this one. Two teams with nothing to play for looking for some attention on the final day, it just makes sense that this game is either 0-0 or 4-3.


Gameweek 38 - FPL Captaincy Picks:

Essential: Mohamed Salah (LIV)

Alternative: Patrick Bamford (LEE)

Differential: Michail Antonio (WHU)


This answers who I think is walking away with the Golden Boot. Kane’s got one mammoth game against Leicester, whilst it is clear that Salah is good for a goal or two against Crystal Palace in Roy Hodgson’s last game for the club – at Anfield no less against another former side!



Have you enjoyed the Premier League or FPL this season?:

The best thing to happen this season, besides a few brilliant moments, is that it’s coming to an end. This isn’t coming as a fan of Newcastle United, this is coming from a neutral stance watching games regularly throughout the season, with my patience ground to nothing and my soul ripped of much of its joy for the game.


The factors that made my eyes-roll on a weekly basis when purely watching Premier League football play-out were numerous:

1) VAR and poor officiating have really pushed the limits of my patience and care. League officials need to be re-trained, and failing that, removed from their positions. It’s clear they lick too much toxic paint in their spare time.

2) The fixture list schedule, spreading out matches so no two games were on at the same time, a move by broadcasters, has made Gameweek’s never-ending. Too much of a good thing can be bad.

3) There were games postponed due to Covid-19 that impacted on the fixture list, which gave teams like Spurs and Aston Villa cramped schedules over the Xmas period.

4) No spectators in stadium for most matches has hurt, dramatically. Steve Bruce would have not retained his job, no chance. Certain teams like Liverpool and Palace need home support, whilst fans would have destroyed the Super League in stadiums. No spectators changed the variables so more away wins were registered.

5) The Super League’s emergence was the cherry on top of a miserable season for most. The big clubs at the top exposed themselves as anti-supporter and purely more profit driven. Despite the proposed league now on ice, this isn’t the end of the tale.

6) Man United and Liverpool’s game postponed over protests over United’s ownership and the Super League also put United in a tight situation with 3 games in 6 games that impacted the race for Champions League football.

7) All of the above issues have been more prevalent that the football itself and that’s not good.

8) The actual football itself in the Premier League has largely been devoid of entertainment and excitement. It’s not been fun viewing and slowly but surely, the longer the season has gone on, the less I have watched.


Spilling over into the FPL game, the ramifications meant that people using chips when games were postponed were screwed, whilst the game in m experience has become about making last-minute decisions due to the unstable nature of the season.


The game is supposed to be a reflection of the game, but those who are making the rules and adjudicating over the game are absolutely clueless and infuriating at home. By awarding assists that should never be given, they are just taking the micky with every single player – awarding Bruno Fernandes assists when he doesn’t even touch the ball, like against Fulham during Gameweek 37, and earlier on in the season when his pass gets the most wicked, ball-altering passes, it just makes me like the game that little bit less.


This season has been my least enjoyable to date and one that I wrote off around Gameweek 17 (the start of 2021). I wrote about it in length in an earlier Forecast that goes into depth the issues of Covid and the Premier League.


Aside from that, members of the supposed ‘FPL Community’ on social media who are analytical and financially driven, have been acting like nothing is wrong and the game is perfect in its current capacity despite the thousand and one bumps the season has taken – this of course is being done as a business strategy to maximise profits and attention. In my opinion a lot of the ‘content’ supplied this season has been premature and ill-advised, all because analytics matter more than the content itself, which ignores the constant threat, particularly around November and December, that any game could be called off due to Covid… You then have the wider issue of the FPL Community becoming proliferated and treated like a customer base and a number, rather than a person, despite the content on the whole being a redundant factor.


The FPL game has unfortunately suffered from the real world, but I also see the game having real challenges in the future – the rise of fantasy gambling games, profit driven individuals and groups cannibalising and shutting down opinions other than their own that make money, and the shady people that circle the game’s large player base like sharks, are of a real concern to me. I would love to advocate for an independent regulator to come in and assess the situation of fantasy football, much like how I think all football needs this level of government intervention due to the Super League rearing its head from the boardrooms of venture capitalists.


Lastly, the FPL price structure has made the game inflexible and rigid, leaving millions of basic template teams. Decisions aren’t your own as there are limited choices based on form and fixtures. This will continue as long as the likes of Salah, Kane, KDB and more kept at £12-13 million and the chasing pack earning more value too.


Other Gameweek Comments:

With one eye to the future, I’m hoping and praying with everything I have that next season isn’t the same for my beloved Newcastle. It’s been a testing period for us Magpies supporters and we need some relief from the endless wave of neglect from the club’s ownership and the media circus that has dragged us through the dirt.


The final few weeks of the season have been refreshing to watch, even in defeat. Joe Willock is an essential buy from Arsenal, though in reality he is good enough to be a key player in Mikel Arteta’s team next season. The club have to retain Saint-Maximin, Almiron and Wilson, building on that with a few additions and a capable coaching to get the best out of these players for longer periods of the season.


Do I think the club will get in new ownership this summer? There’s more chance of a human landing on Jupiter’s surface as things stand as the entire process drags on. Can I ever see it happening? Unfortunately, we are stuck with Mike Ashley in the medium term.


FPL Scout Picks: Gameweek 38

Formation: 3-4-3


Starting 11


GK: Edouard Mendy (CHE)


DEF: Trent Alexander-Arnold (LIV)

DEF: Ruben Dias (MCI)

DEF: Stuart Dallas (LEE)


MID: Riyad Mahrez (MCI)

MID: Mohamed Salah (LIV) – (C)

MID: Bruno Fernandes (MUN)

MID: Jack Harrison (LEE)


FOR: Michail Antonio (WHU)

FOR: Patrick Bamford (LEE) – (VC)

FOR: Roberto Firmino (LIV)


Substitutes


GK: Kiko Casilla (LEE)

MID: Joe Willock (NEW)

DEF: Vladimir Coufal (WHU)

DEF: Antonio Rudiger (CHE)

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.

We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.

In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles. We won both Goal of the Season Awards in the Berkshire and County FA regions, with Callum Parr-Jones winning the Berks & Bucks FA award, whilst Martin King won the PlaySport UK award.

The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.

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