Hello! Welcome to Fantasy Football Shambles, your weekly breakdown of all things FPL. Gameweek 32 was a real test of patience as managers rotated without a single care for our fantasy fortunes. We’re now left with the scraps week 33 has to offer – just six games to get stuck into and a load of blanks. More on that later. First though, let’s review last week.
After playing my free hit with the express purpose of having all 11 players playing twice, that didn’t really go to plan. Only four of my team actually managed to start both matches and I was thankful for solid single performances from Agüero, Sterling, Hazard and Son. My score of 95 beat the average of 73 and ensured a green arrow and an overall rank of 10,608th. With the top 10k in sight, how do we get there?
With just three of the big six in action, we might have to look further afield for points this week. Allow me to ramble…
The weekend kicks off on Friday evening as Liverpool travel to Southampton. Obviously, Liverpool will be favourites but they are less than convincing at present. Due to the paucity of games, I expect most teams will want at least two Liverpool assets, if not three.
Salah’s lack of form has been much discussed but he did at least get the assist against Spurs. Mané suffered a rare blank there but Firmino is quietly in good form. Southampton are much improved and beat Spurs at home recently to underline their threat. They struggle for goals though and Danny Ings is ineligible to play his parent club, which won’t help.
We have to wait until Sunday afternoon for our next dilemma. Arsenal are going well at the moment and travel to Everton. This game looks a lot tougher for Unai Emery’s men than it did a few weeks ago. It seems to be Lacazette or Aubameyang for Emery at the moment which is an FPL worst case scenario, especially in a week like this.
Mesut Özil (£9.7m) made a man of the match appearance on Monday night behind Lacazette and alongside Iwobi. Whether Emery lets both of his strike duo loose on Everton remains to be seen. I doubt it as I think he will have one eye on Napoli on Thursday. This is a tough one to call and I’m not putting any great hope in it from an FPL perspective.
Lastly, Chelsea host West Ham on Monday evening. West Ham were a total shambles against Everton last weekend and it would be impossible for them to be worse. Chelsea are in the hunt for a top-four place and whilst they have the Europa League on Thursday, Eden Hazard has had his rest last weekend and will surely play from the start here. Right? Who knows. Sarri is driven by cigarettes and I just hope Benson & Hedges guide him in the right direction.
Best of the rest
Leicester must be confident of victory as they travel to relegated Huddersfield. I don’t think that big R next to their name will really change the way they play. They’ve been marooned at the bottom for a long time and have generally been more open under Jan Siewert.
At least there’s little chance of Huddersfield sitting in and trying to claim a point, which would be a waste of everybody’s time. Ideally, they will try and impress their fans and play on the attack and leave lots of space for Vardy, Maddison and co. to exploit. That would be excellent.
Newcastle and Palace looks too tough to call whilst Bournemouth and Burnley is an odd one. Bournemouth look a bit out of ideas whilst Burnley are scrapping to stay up. Normally you’d say Bournemouth would win easily but they are crawling to the finish line whilst Burnley are on the verge of saving themselves.
My personal preference is Eden Hazard. He was excellent against Brighton on Wednesday and of the fixtures this weekend, this looks like a good source of points. There’ll be a lot of support for Mané & Salah but I see that being quite a tight affair, whilst Vardy at Huddersfield would be my “non-top six” option.
The careful planning of recent weeks has me with 10 players this week and one free transfer.
Fabianski, Wan-Bissaka, Digne, Robertson, Salah, Mané, Anderson, Rondon, Vardy, Wilson. Subs: Shaw, Pogba, Doherty, Foster.
With £2.6m in the bank, I can afford to do Hazard for Pogba, which I am favouring at the moment. The sensible move would be to sell Shaw, who has a two-game ban starting in GW34 when Man Utd next play. But sensible is boring. It might be time for Eden.
The deadline this week is Friday 5 April at 19:00. Don’t be caught out! All that is left to do is for me to wish you good luck and may all your arrows be green.