Here we are again. The phrase “when one door closes another door opens” was not designed for Fantasy Football but that’s what it feels like. No sooner have we left Week 28 behind we’re preparing for week 29. I’m at the point of the season where things are falling apart. The last thing we need is a weekend with two big derby games and a striker who has been described as ‘exhausted’. Let’s review week 28 before we worry about that.
It’s a small red arrow. It’s tough at the top. My score of 51 was marginally below the average of 53. We still sit 14,078th in the overall charts so it is reasonable but it could be better. Aubameyang only scoring one when Arsenal get five was pretty annoying. Anyway, let’s put that behind us. It’s all about week 29 now. There are two big derbies plus whatever Fulham vs Chelsea is. This might get worse before it gets better.
The North London derby gets Saturday off to a bright start. Tottenham have had a rough week it’s fair to say but a win here would perk them up somewhat. Harry Kane was fortunate not to be sent off but that means he is almost certain to score here. He generally does well against Arsenal anyway but adds some potential irony into the mix and there you go. Arsenal haven’t really changed. They are very good at beating average opposition but away to a fellow top six side is not their speciality. I think both teams to score is likely so the forward options remain your best bet.
Man City stuttered a little bit on their way to beating West Ham. That was never a penalty. Their next stop is a trip to Bournemouth. Guardiola has described Aguero as “exhausted” but it would appear Gabriel Jesus is still injured. Raheem Sterling has a good record against Bournemouth so I wouldn’t be surprised if he plays as the striker, that’s if Aguero is as tired as he’s being made out. You never really know with Pep do you? Bernardo Silva looks like a certainty to start having come off the bench and changed the game on Wednesday. I haven’t heard the press conference as of this writing but it’ll be interesting to hear the team news. This looks like the banker of the weekend but the uncertainty over the starting 11 makes it trickier. I’d probably say Sterling looks like the man to get having come off the bench in midweek, he will surely start here.
Manchester United made light of their injuries when defeating Crystal Palace on Wednesday. Romelu Lukaku stepped up with two goals and even with Marcus Rashford expected to return, I think both will play here. Southampton are their visitors and it should be a comfortable home win. Southampton will look at Burnley taking a point here as a blueprint but I don’t think the Saints have the same physicality. There must still be a doubt over Rashford’s fitness but Paul Pogba seems to be fixture proof at the moment. His European suspension means he won’t be rested regardless but I don’t think even the most optimistic Man Utd fan expects them to overturn that deficit in Paris. That should mean all guns blazing for a top-four finish.
Chelsea have gone from crisis to normality in double quick time. The Kepa problem has been dealt with and the win over Spurs was fairly routine in the end. Fulham away will surely see the Blues win again, even if Fulham do have a new manager. Unless Scott Parker can work miracles I don’t think he will have taught his side how to defend in two days so that should bring Eden Hazard and maybe even Gonzalo Higuain into your thinking. Higuain is looking sharper with every game and was unlucky not to score against Tottenham. Hazard was afforded an early rest so should be raring to go here. No matter which way you spin it you can’t see past a Chelsea win.
That takes us to Goodison Park. Liverpool found their scoring touch in the 5-0 demolition of Watford. Everton haven’t been particularly good at home but this is a derby. I think Everton will come out on the attack but that will suit Liverpool. Sadio Mane has six in six in the league which has come at a time where Mo Salah isn’t exactly at his best. He’s always involved though and he could burst back into life at any point. It was Liverpool’s defenders who took centre stage against Watford, with Van Dijk, Robertson and Alexander-Arnold all getting double-figure hauls. You should probably have at least Liverpool players already.
Without hearing what Pep has to say, I’m putting Raheem Sterling forward as my first choice. He’s followed by Eden Hazard and then finally Paul Pogba. If you have all three, I envy you greatly. My outsider pick is Raul Jimenez. Cardiff can’t stop conceding at the moment and Wolves will be desperate to put things right after losing to Huddersfield on Tuesday.
As it stands…
Foster, Shaw, Robertson, Doherty, Pogba, Salah, Son, Anderson, Rondon, Rashford, Aubameyang. Subs: Fabianski, Digne, Camarasa, Wan-Bissaka
I think I’m resigned to taking a points hit. At the moment I’m thinking Son & Auba to Sterling & Vardy. I think Leicester will pick up under new management and they have a good run of games, albeit Watford away is tricky. My team is actually ok it just lacks a captain. Sterling could be that captain. I’m £0.1m short of being able to do Auba to Aguero but even if Aguero doesn’t get rested this week, it’s coming. We’ll see what Friday’s chat brings.
That’s all from me this week. All that is left to do is for me to wish you good luck and may all your arrows be green. The deadline is 11.30am Saturday 2nd March and I’ll be back next Friday to review it all. Goodbye!