SOCCER - A.Klagenfurt vs Southampton, test match KLAGENFURT,AUSTRIA,18.JUL.22 - SOCCER - ADMIRAL Bundesliga, Premier League, SK Austria Klagenfurt vs FC Southampton, test match. Image shows a ball. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxAUTxSUIxSWE GEPAxpictures/xFlorianxMori

Hello! Remember me? I’m the guy who was last here talking about fantasy football about seven months ago before the last round of FA Cup games. My word that was dull wasn’t it? Fortunately, the Premier League is back and it’s full throttle from here. Except for a week in March when there are pesky internationals, but ignore that.

Last time out my team scored 90 (NINETY) points which frankly battered the average of 57. That was enough to move us up to the dizzy heights of 9,881st. I doubt my rank will ever be in only four figures ever again. Somehow though, we’ve got to find a way of backing that up. There are only 8 fixtures this week, so that’s probably the first concern. Let’s start with four of the “big six” who are playing this weekend.

The Dilemma

Man Utd vs Liverpool is a big game at the best of times. This season though it feels meteoric. I don’t think there’s any doubt Man Utd would rather Man City win the league than Liverpool. The rivalry is bigger with Liverpool and all the ingredients are there for this to be a spicy game.

From an FPL point of view, the temptation is to rely on the likes of Pogba, Salah, Rashford and Mane to run wild. There is, of course, a chance it’ll be a cagey affair but without Man City and Chelsea playing this weekend, it’s not worth sacrificing any of the big hitters for one week. The chances are you’ll lose value on them if you want to get them back straight away. For example, if I sold Rashford I’d get £7.5m for him but I’d have to buy him back for £7.8m. In summary, my advice would be to hold what you have in this fixture. It might mean you have 4 or 5 players in one fixture but with some messy weeks ahead, you want to be saving transfers rather than wasting them.

Now, to massively contradict myself, Arsenal seem like the most likely candidate for a captain this week. I imagine the most popular transfer will be Aguero (no fixture) to Aubameyang (Southampton at home). I don’t know if I’m over thinking things but I’m tempted by Lacazette. He had to sit out the Europa League game due to suspension so he must be a candidate to play the full 90 here. If it is to be a one week binge then take your pick.

Tottenham away at Burnley will likely see a high percentage of Son worshippers. See what I did there? There’s a possibility of a return for Harry Kane but it won’t be at Son’s expense (sorry Fernando). Burnley have been a lot better in recent weeks and this won’t be a walk in the park for Spurs by any means. I’d probably wait a gameweek for Kane – Spurs have Chelsea and Arsenal coming up so I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t play the full 90 here with a view to him being 100% for those two games.

With Man City and Chelsea not having fixtures, that also means Everton and Brighton have the weekend off. With the likes of Digne and Richarlison also well selected, the main battle this week is getting 11 men on the pitch.

Plan B?

West Ham at home to Fulham is probably your main focus of picking up value this week. The likes of Arnautovic and Anderson are well priced and can slot in for some of those not playing. Leicester also have a nice run of games, starting with Crystal Palace. The Foxes are just so inconsistent though, it’s hard to back them with any conviction. Ricardo Pereira at £5.3m is a defender who has played quite far forwards at times but that’s not particularly cheap for a midtable defender.


Aubameyang will doubtless be the most popular option. If you are chasing points then Lacazette is perhaps worth a punt. Elsewhere though you could take a gamble on Arnautovic or Felipe Anderson. A home game with Fulham should mean goals for the Hammers but are you brave enough to hand either the captaincy?

Double Trouble

The FA Cup quarter-finals are causing some consternation. These fixtures will take place in week 31 which will only have 5 fixtures. It does mean that week 32 will have plenty of teams playing twice. Your strategy will either be to make sure you have a full team for the blank week 31 or lots of players for the double game week. You can then use the free hit chip for the week you don’t focus on. Keep an eye on the double gameweeks being announced.

My Team

I’ve never been happier to hear Aubameyang was ill. That persuaded me to stick with Aguero who went mad again. Of course now this week we have the same problem, whether it be Auba or Lacazette for Aguero I have yet to decide.

Fabianski, Shaw, Robertson, Wan-Bissaka, Doherty, Pogba, Salah, Son, Camarasa, Rashford, Aubameyang. Subs: Foster, Llorente, Digne, Richarlison.

I have two transfers so I will probably also do Felipe Anderson for Richarlison.

That’s all I have for this week. The deadline is Friday at 18:45 then there’s a quick turnaround for gameweek 28 which starts on Tuesday. Blimey. Good luck and may all your arrows be green!