Bonjour, hola, hello. It’s Friday and the Premier League is here once again to entertain you. Fantasy football managers have been trying to digest Harry Kane‘s injury and what it means. I’ll tell you what it means – one less headache. I don’t have to find £12.5m for a start. Anyway, we’ve got a full round of fixtures and a bonus game to look forward to in week 34. First, though, let’s review week 33.
YES! IN YOUR FACE SPACE COYOTE. The move to bring in and captain Eden Hazard yielded 32 points and helped us towards a score of 79. That comfortably beat the average of 36 and saw a rise in the rankings up to 6,782nd. A season-high and not far from my best ever. Call me negative but the only way is down.
Here are my inane ramblings about how I’m going to try and not suffer a massive red arrow. Do with them what you will.
Goodness me, it’s Liverpool vs Chelsea. I hope you like seeing montages where Steven Gerrard falls over. In the here and now, this is obviously a massive match in the title race and top 4 picture. Mo Salah returned to goalscoring form last Friday and he’d love to get one over on his former employers. Typically these matches are difficult to predict. I think it’ll be tight and from an FPL point of view, I’m not keen on it. Of course, most teams at this stage of the season will have probably two or three players in this match and that’s fine. I’d hold what you have but I wouldn’t bring anybody in for this match specifically.
Now that I’m off the fence, the earlier game on Sunday sees Manchester City travel to Crystal Palace. A lot will be made of the fact that Palace beat City in December. At Selhurst though, Hodgson’s men are a less threatening proposition. Whilst this will be like an away game in terms of possession, it’s not going to suddenly turn them into goal scoring machines. Man City though, dare I say it, have looked laboured in their previous two games – albeit cup games. Agüero was a little bit off the pace on Tuesday and I do wonder if he’ll start here or whether we’ll see Gabriel Jesus. It’s basically the same problem we’ve faced with Pep all season but multiplied. There’s a vital game on Wednesday which City need to overturn a deficit. Some of the players who were afforded small roles on Tuesday will likely get starts here – De Bruyne, Stones, Mendy…maybe even Leroy Sané. Bernardo Silva remains an injury doubt. Again, with the selection doubts persisting I think there are better value options than Man City players this week.
Saturday evening sees Manchester United host West Ham. Is there a stranger team than West Ham? They were utterly terrible against Everton and for one half against Chelsea but looked better once Arnautović shifted up front. Man Utd are in poor form, let’s be honest. Poor against Watford, beaten by Wolves, beaten by Barcelona. It all seems to focus on Paul Pogba. His form seems to determine how his side play. Rashford and Lukaku were both withdrawn early against Barcelona but Lukaku has an incredible career record against West Ham. There’s a question over who, if anybody, Solskjær will save for the Barcelona return. I don’t know. There seems to be a lot of injuries being managed at the moment and I don’t like to gamble. Oh, and Luke Shaw is banned. There are no breaks to be caught here.
Back to the Harry Kane thing then and he’s out, seemingly for a long time. Son is here. We all love Son. He’ll probably play up front in Kane’s absence with Llorente in reserve. Spurs are playing Huddersfield so they will be overwhelming favourites. Is there a risk Son will be rested for Man City in midweek? Possibly. Even Llorente could beat Huddersfield. Dele Alli has broken his hand but is still expected to play. I think I’ll be bringing Son in but I am wary of a bench spot or an early withdrawal.
That leaves Arsenal, who away to Watford on Monday night. No away clean sheets and strikers who are rotated. Having said that, both Aubameyang and Lacazette started against Napoli and neither scored. I have no idea who still start here and the Gunners have no away clean sheets. Probably avoid.
Three words. Brighton double game week. Gameweek is one word. I’ve spent a lot of this week considering Brighton, who have home games to Bournemouth and Cardiff. Bournemouth have been woeful recently with one win in 10 whilst Cardiff are one of the few teams below Brighton in the table. Glenn Murray is an option but at his age, will he play both games? I’m not sure. Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk will likely play both games and there’s a decent chance of two clean sheets. Then there’s their goal threat. Call me stupid, but I’m actively considering captain Shane Duffy. Someone throw cold water on me.
Other than my insane Duffy proposition, I think the best chances of points will come from a Tottenham player. All things being equal I’d say Heung-Min Son, but there’s some love for Eriksen and Lucas Moura. Jamie Vardy is in good form as Leicester welcome Newcastle but I’m not keen on a Friday night captain. Duffy.
So at the moment…
Foster, Robertson, Doherty, Digne, Hazard, Salah, Mané, Camarasa, Rondon, Vardy, Wilson. Subs: Felipe Anderson, Wan-Bissaka, Shaw, Fabiański.
It’ll be Duffy for Shaw and then if I want to take a -4 it’ll be Son for Mané. Let the fun begin.
That’s all for one of the least convincing previews of all time. The deadline is Friday 12th April at 7pm. All I can do is wish you good luck and may all your arrows be green.