Good hello! I hope you have survived the Fantasy Football onsalught that saw two game weeks complete within 3 days of each other. The Premier League waits for nobody at this time of year but I am happy to report news of green arrows after my horror show last time we spoke.
Gameweek 14 was particularly useful, my score of 71 obliterated the average of 49 and that more or less recovered my rank to where it was before the week we don’t speak of. The midweek round (GW15) was fraught with rotation but I managed to dodge some of the unlucky players to come up with a score of 64, again well ahead of the average of 45. All of that has seen my rank land at 37,707th which is spookily high for me and will surely now provoke a mighty drop.
To try and avoid that, let’s see what lies ahead in week 16.
The weekend starts with Bournemouth vs Liverpool, a bit of an FPL pickle but a good contest on paper. Liverpool played a blinder in midweek, changing most of the team and bringing on the likes of Salah and Firmino to make sure they got the job done against Burnley. On the plus side, that should mean we see a full-strength Liverpool here, with a slight caveat. There’s a vital Champions League game in midweek and I wouldn’t expect anybody to be risked here unnecessarily. Sadio Mane and Andrew Robertson missed out on the 18 all together on Wednesday and whilst Robertson has at least been seen training, Mane’s cut foot may see him saved for European duty. Bournemouth’s attacking returns have been the bargain of the season with Callum Wilson moving to 8 for the season on Tuesday. Really just your players playing in this fixture is a result.
Form team Arsenal are at home to Huddersfield and it’s hard to look past a home win for the Gunners. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the league’s top scorer and you’d have to think he’ll fill his boots here if Arsenal maintain their recent form. Given Huddersfield’s lack of goals, Arsenal players at both ends of the pitch should be good for points here.
Man Utd barely warrant a mention these days but they play host to Fulham, the one team without a clean sheet from the 92 football league clubs. Anthony Martial is a slight doubt so maybe Rashford will be the man but really it’s a risk, you have no idea what team Mourinho will pick.
The main event is Chelsea vs Man City, a game we can all look forward to but it’s another tough one from an FPL point of view. Pep, shockingly, was able to rotate his squad in midweek so you can pretty much guarantee Sterling’s place in the 11. Doubts remain over Sergio Aguero’s fitness whilst Leroy Sane continued his great form. Mahrez chipped in with a goal and an assist but will it be enough to keep his place in the team? It did cross my mind that he could play Sterling at the centre of those three but why waste words second guessing Pep? Chelsea have been awful recently and it’s becoming harder to justify Hazard and Alonso eating up my budget.
Tottenham are the last team under the spotlight and they are off to Leicester. It’s the same old story with Spurs – so many attacking options there’s only so many of them can partner Harry Kane. On form, Son and Eriksen seem certainties but Lucas Moura scored for the first time in a while on Wednesday whilst Erik Lamela is struggling with an injury. Dele Alli sat out midweek so does that mean he is certain to come back in? It’s hardly a gimme at Leicester anyway so I wouldn’t be in a rush to buy their players from an FPL point of view.
West Ham’s lovely list of festive games continues as they play host to Crystal Palace this weekend. Arnautovic has been ruled out for all of them, unfortunately, but does that open the door for Javier Hernandez (£6.2m), midweek hero Lucas Perez (£6.2m) or fit-again Andy Carroll (£5.4m)? You could of course just get Felipe Anderson in midfield for £7.2m who has shown signs of matching his price tag.
Southampton have a new manager! We will now see if it is possible to polish a turd. To be honest Southampton have good individuals and I expect a totally new approach will do them good. Nathan Redmond at £5.2m could come into the reckoning if he plays further forward whilst Danny Ings remain a bargain at £5.4m. They’re at Cardiff this weekend then at home to Arsenal next weekend so maybe just a watching brief for now.
Aubameyang is the obvious choice this week. Arsenal are huge favourites to beat Huddersfield who are not great away from home and with Auba top of the scoring charts, he’s obviously the form man. It’s frustrating that Lacazette has had to settle for a role from the bench recently as he is slightly cheaper but nevermind. Nobody else really stands out this week so as an outside bet Richarlison to upset his former fans and put in a performance against Watford might be an option to consider.
I got greedy and brought in Kane for Aguero and used my second transfer on Hernandez for Jimenez. Naturally, Hernandez did nothing and Jimenez scored. So we’re currently on this:
Fabianski, Robertson, Alonso, Wan-Bissaka, Doherty, Salah, Hazard, Richarlison, Hernandez, Wilson, Kane. Subs: Neves, Hughes, Duffy (banned), Begovic.
My plan had been to do Holding for Duffy but young Bobby got a bad injury on Wednesday so that’s off the table. Duffy is out for 3 games so I’d rather sell him but he’s quite cheap anyway so hard to replace. Auba to Kane would be a bit of a sideways move and really I’d like to find a way to get both but I have no Man City coverage at all and it makes it hard to sleep at night, to be honest. But as long as Pep is rotating I find it hard to risk. So in summary, I have no idea. Could be a rough week!
Hopefully, you have more ideas than me and whatever you do, I wish you good luck and may all your arrows be green. See you next week.