Hello to you all and welcome to another weekend of Fantasy Football headaches courtesy of the Premier League. Arsenal vs Liverpool is perhaps the main attraction but there are plenty of other talking points to get your tinkering fingers all riled up, which we’ll get to in a moment. Firstly though, let’s review last week. I scored a lovely 74 which beat the average of 58. It sounds impressive but it was barely in the top million for the week – that’s mad really when you think about it, isn’t it? Nevertheless, it was enough for the much sought after green arrow and a rise to 68,414th. My fall is coming, I’m just waiting for it. Let’s get down to business.
As mentioned, Arsenal host Liverpool on Saturday evening. It’s a really intriguing game because both sides are in pretty good form and both only know how to play one way. It’ll be a good test of how much Arsenal have evolved under Emery as to my untrained eye, I can just see Liverpool’s front three running riot as Arsenal’s full-backs maraud upfield. Likewise, though, I feel as though Liverpool’s defence has improved, it is not infallable and for that reason, I wouldn’t be worried if you own attacking options on either side. Even the defenders, they might not keep a clean sheet but they’re just as likely to pop up with an assist. Just sit back and enjoy this one.
The weekend starts with Bournemouth against Man Utd. It’s a strange old world when Bournemouth have been a better set of FPL picks than Man Utd but that’s where we are now. Wilson, Fraser and Josh King (if fit) have terrorised many sides already this season so I’m intrigued to see how they get on here. From a Man Utd point of view, I’m sticking with my suggestion from last week that Martial is worth having at the moment, backed up by his goal against Everton. He was also robbed of an assist by Pogba’s stupidity. Otherwise, though I’m still not sure what to make of Man Utd. Their assets are mostly expensive and I guess floundering at best so far.
It’s a tricky one to call at Molineux. Saturday night football is still not something I can get on board with but it’s where we find Wolves vs Tottenham. Wolves have stalled a bit in recent weeks and Spurs start as favourites in my opinion but Pochettino has a bit of a conundrum in his attacking options. Son scored twice in the cup win over West Ham, Alli and Eriksen have returned to fitness whilst Lamela and Moura have been fairly productive so far this season. Only 3 of them will feature behind Kane (unless Poch mixes things up) so I’m really on the fence. Spurs have a tough run coming with three aways in their next four (even the home game is against Chelsea) so I’m not overly struck on them at the moment. Trippier should be a safe bet still at the back but personally, I’m considering selling him due to their tough fixtures ahead.
Into Sunday and Man City are in action though not on TV at home to Southampton. Obviously, we all expect a home win and the real question mark is over where Pep’s wheel of rotation will land. Judging from their Carabao Cup success on Thursday, I expect Aguero will continue his run of league starts even if he will inevitably be withdrawn after an hour with the Champions League looming. Kevin De Bruyne departed with an injury which should spare the Silva’s from rotation for another week but we’ve been here so many times with Pep and I’m left looking like a tit come team news time. I’m eyeing up Benjamin Mendy as City’s defence has been watertight, but there’s always a chance he’ll wear the wrong colour shoes to training or something and find himself on the sidelines.
Chelsea are the last of of our “Power 6” in action as they host Crystal Palace at 4 PM. As of this writing, Eden Hazard looks set to be fit but a few people were stung by the same rumours last week so see what Mr Sarri suggests in his presser. Like Man City, I think we all expect Chelsea to win and that feeling will only be stronger if Hazard is fully fit. Willian is also an option, he seems to be ahead of Pedro in the pecking order whilst the form man is Ross Barkley at just £5.8m. Is it a flash in the pan or is it 2013 all over again? We’ll discuss captaincy later.
A lot of my usual bargain binners have been mentioned in the dilemma spiel but as a one off this week, West Ham at home to Burnley might bring Arnautovic into your thinking. He’s only £7m and is the talisman for the Hammers so what can go wrong? Well, his knee might flare up or he might still be unwell. In terms of nice fixtures, both Newcastle and Huddersfield play three of their next four fixtures at home against “not the big 6 I talk about every week” clubs, but let’s face it, neither win games or score goals. When is a bargain not a bargain?
If everybody was fit and firing, I’d say Hazard was the man for this week. It’s Europa league for Chelsea in midweek whereas Man City have the Champions League so Aguero will be primed for a rest after an hour no doubt. It really depends how much of a recovery Hazard has made. If he can do 90 minutes, captain him and hope for the best. If not, play it safe with Aguero. He’ll probably score.
I didn’t make any transfers last week and captain Salah came up trumps. Now though I have two to use and the current plan is to shed Bellerin (injured) and Trippier (difficult fixtures) for Mendy and somebody cheaper, probably Dunk or Duffy from Brighton. I was contemplating them last week and whilst I don’t think they’ll be up to much this weekend, they have a good run coming up.
Fabianski, Mendy, Alonso, Robertson, Salah, Hazard, Hughes, Walcott, Aguero, Wilson, Jimenez. Subs: Duffy, Neves, Wan-Bissaka, Begovic
That also crucially frees up some funds to upgrade Jimenez next week as I have quickly realised he is not the lynchpin I thought he was. Oh and it continues to dangle the carrot of replacing Walcott with Richarlison, my dream for many weeks.
That’s your lot for this week so whilst I continue my internal debate over who to captain, all that is left to do is to wish you good luck and may all your arrows be green. Bye for now.