With only a few teams set to face off during GW35, we expect a large portion of managers to utilize the free hit chip. This week, we think that the best matchups are Liverpool (WBA), Arsenal (WHU), and City (SWA). With City already crowned champions, rotation risks are expected to be at their peak for the remainder of the season. Technical considerations: City (have won the league, nothing to play for outside of thrashing domestic opponents), Liverpool (champions league), Arsenal (hanging on to dear life in the sixth place battle), FA Cup: United, Tottenham, Southampton, Chelsea.
Forwards this week, we are giving the captaincy to Aubameyang. Arsenal are set to face Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals which could give hints to how Wenger wants to line up. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ineligible to play in the Europa League, so it is expected that he will get the start here. Arsenal are undefeated in 22 of their last 24 home matches but cannot pickup a point on the road. Arsenal have scored at least 3 goals in 5 of their last 6 home matches, which bodes well for Auba. Jesus and Perez flank Auba. With think City could just go on to relentlessly steamroll teams given they have nothing left to play for. We do expect them to utilize a fair amount of fresh players and test ideas for next season. Perez and Newcastle put Arsenal under last week in a 2-1 win. Rafa has put together a nice run of form, winning 4 games in a row.
In midfield, Salah, Sterling, Zaha, and Iwobi make up our side. What more can be said about Sterling and Salah that hasn’t been said already. While the big risks here are related to rotation, the two have solidly been two of the best players in the game. We actually think the opportunity at Liverpool is much more with the defense at this point in the season given Klopp may need to focus more on Europe. WBA is likely to be relegated here but shockingly the side has managed to scrap together wins against top sides this season. Sturridge cannot play against Liverpool due to the terms in his loan agreement. Liverpool are undefeated in 23 of their last 25 matches and West Brom have failed to win 15 of their last 16 home matches. Iwobi is making our side almost purely out of lack of other choices.
Finally, for cleans this week we just favor the majors. City will be all out attack but that still leaves room for them to keep a clean sheet if they completely dominate Swansea in possession. Swansea have failed to win their last 6 away matches. Liverpool have scored at least 2 goals in 14 of their last 17 matches.
Arsenal are focused on winning the Europa League, which will be reflected in their starting XI but they also likely have the easiest of fixtures for the remainder of the season.