Nik Argiropoulos

Weekly Picks

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AM's Week 38 Player Picks

Friday, May 09, 2014

This is it. Week 38, the final week of the 2013/14 season, the final chance to hit your fantasy target - be it a finish in the top 100, top 10000, winning your private league or just finishing ahead of your annoying mate. I hope the majority of you all have something to play for, no matter how small.


Before I get started, a quick word on the RW PL Final results from Week 37. The gameweek was still in progress as I began writing this column and it may take a few days to allow the points to settle, so my aim is to have the standings calculated and posted next Tuesday. Make sure you check back here on Rotoworld if you're one of the 102 teams still in with a shot of cup glory.


Now, Week 37 will go down as one of the most disappointing double-weeks in fantasy history, with injuries, rotation, difficult captain selections and no clean sheets for Manchester United having a big impact on weekly totals. I'd specifically like to apologise for recommending David De Gea as the "only keeper choice" - advice which hit me as hard as it hit you. AM FC had a bad one, ending on 90 points, dropping down to 647th overall, and with only one week remaining my target of a top 500 finish is drifting off in to the sunset.


But let us forget about Week 37, and instead look forward to the final fixtures of the 2013/14 Premier League season.

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Week 38 Fixtures
Cardiff v Chelsea
Fulham v Crystal Palace
Hull v Everton
Liverpool v Newcastle
Man City v West Ham
Norwich v Arsenal
Southampton v Man Utd
Sunderland v Swansea
Tottenham v Aston Villa
West Brom v Stoke


Firstly, it's worth noting that all games kick off at the same time, 3pm BST on Sunday 11th May, which means a 12:00 BST Sunday deadline.


The important teams to focus on in the final week of a season are those with something still to play for, be it the title, European places or relegation avoidance. A team having something to play for doesn't guarantee the players from that teams will perform above and beyond those who don't have anything up for grabs, but it does mean we have a far better idea of potential starting line-ups, as you're likely to see the strongest XI possible out there on the pitch for the vital final game.


So who are these teams? Well, Manchester City and Liverpool can both win the title, so we can be sure that we'll see full strength teams, and they both have very winnable home games against West Ham and Newcastle respectively. The same can be said of Tottenham as they look to secure 6th place and Europa League football with a result against Aston Villa at White Lane.


And sadly, that's it really. Nobody else has anything specific to play for other than league position, and some don't even have that to worry about.


The relegation places are already sewn up, with Norwich doomed to join Cardiff and Fulham due to their hugely inferior goal difference in comparison to West Brom. At the top, Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton are guaranteed 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively, while Manchester United's recent line-ups suggest they aren't too bothered about challenging Spurs for 6th, allowing them to avoid the slog of the Europa League and focus on league recovery in 2014/15. Southampton are guaranteed 8th, Crystal Palace can't move from 11th .... you get the idea.


So aside from Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham, there isn't too much to get excited about. Chelsea have a great fixture at Cardiff, but nobody knows what sort of team Jose Mourinho will field. Crystal Palace are in form and travel to relegated Fulham, but the Cottagers are capable of pulling out a performance in front of their own fans as they say goodbye to the Premier League. Arsenal at Norwich would normally be worth a look, but Arsene Wenger will be tempted to rest players ahead of the FA Cup final. It's for this reason that Everton are quite interesting, as they visit a Hull side who will understandably have one eye on Wembley. I'd expect resurgent Sunderland to beat Swansea on current form, but Southampton v Manchester United and West Brom v Stoke could go either way.


One final thing to remember, is that this is the last opportunity for individual players to impress international managers before World Cup squads are finalised - English players in particular - so I've taken that in to consideration too.


With that rambling analysis in mind, click over to the next page to view the Week 38 player recommendations.

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Nik Argiropoulos is a London-based soccer writer for Rotoworld and co-founder of Never Manage Alone. You can find him on Twitter @nikarg.
Email :Nik Argiropoulos

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