Your game week 30 starts right here! Don’t worry, I’m not Dermot O’Leary. He is probably better at Fantasy Football than I am though. Week 29 was not kind to me which we’ll come on to in a moment. The headline of week 30 will see Arsenal take on Man Utd but in FPL terms, managers will be eyeing up the home games for Man City and Liverpool. As ever, I’ll try and sniff out the value but first, let’s review a truly awful week.
My score of 32 was pathetic. It was well below the average of 40 and I also took a four point hit. Crikey. That saw my overall rank pretty much half to 22,821st – respectable, yes. But it’s a big fall and one we need to address.
Does the comeback start here? The odds are very much on no…
Arsenal and Man Utd is a big clash historically and there’s top four status on the line here. Both sides had contrasting European adventures in France. Man Utd will be on a high after knocking out PSG whilst Arsenal were humbled in Rennes.
For the Gunners, I expect Lacazette to start after his European ban. That might mean bench duty for Aubameyang who was not a happy bunny on Thursday night. I actually think Man Utd are better away from home in general.
Pogba was banned midweek so he’ll be raring to go here whilst they aren’t really in a position to rest players due to the huge amount of injuries. As a footnote, neither team have a game next weekend, but I’ll come to that.
Before that, Chelsea will welcome Wolves to Stamford Bridge. The Blues were able to rest Eden Hazard in their Europa League game which will be music to the ears of Hazard owners. Wolves are a dangerous opponent though and have troubled the top six all season home and away.
I’m personally giving this one a wide berth but Chelsea do have a game next week so anybody you do bring in will at least be useful next weekend. Wolves, on the other hand, do not.
It’s another tripleheader on Sunday as marriages everywhere feel the strain of another quiet Sunday. Liverpool vs Burnley looks like a comfortable home win on paper but quite what is happening with Liverpool’s front three, I just don’t know. To be fair, at home they haven’t really missed a step it’s just away from home where things are rough. Whether Salah, Mane and Firmino can find their touch here we’ll have to wait and see.
Burnley’s revival has hit the skids somewhat so the Reds will be overwhelming favourites to win but they could come into this four points adrift. Nevertheless, you have to fancy Liverpool to score here and I think Mane and/or Salah will be in the points. Liverpool have a game next week too, so keep them around.
Saturday teatime will see Man City host Watford. Obviously, Pep’s men will be heavy favourites and the only question mark is over which of his assets he chooses to field. Man City have the added distraction of a Champions League game on Tuesday but with a lead already, I think Jesus will play that game and it’ll be Aguero here.
As usual there’s an if and a but with the team selection but frankly, I’m not going to be able to second guess him. Listen to his press conference on Friday and see if there are any clues but City have the bit between their teeth at the minute and I wouldn’t expect rotation. No game for Man City next weekend though.
That just leaves Spurs, who travel to Southampton on Saturday. It’s been a rough week for Spurs domestically but they were imperious in Europe. Trippier is out injured but let’s face it, Kane & Son are the only assets people are considering at the moment.
Dele Alli is approaching a return, I would probably say it’ll be from the bench but Poch has shown with Kane, if you’re fit enough, you can play. Tottenham don’t play next weekend and then it’s Liverpool away so they’re not really on my radar at the moment. I have no doubt they’ll beat Southampton though so if you have them, hold them.
Let’s talk about chips
As I’ve mentioned, it’s a slimmed down fixture list next weekend. That’s because of the FA Cup quarter-finals sharing the limelight. The 10 teams without fixtures will have double game weeks later in the season. Many of them will be in week 32 but there’s been a delay in announcing that.
So far, only Wolves vs Man Utd has been scheduled but there’s a pesky international break after week 31, where the FA will do their thinking. My approach is to just make do and mend for week 31, I’ll probably have 8 or 9 players. Then I’ll use my free hit on week 32 to have a team of players playing twice. There’ll be another doubler later in the season for the FA Cup semi-finalists which is where the likes of my triple captain chip can be utilised, but that’s something for later. Another popular route is to use your free hit next week when there are few teams playing but due to the delay in announcing the week 32 games, I’ve aborted that plan.
Aguero is the obvious choice, assuming he plays he’ll probably score a hatful against Watford. Salah and Mane are also solid choices. For all of Liverpool’s away struggles, they scored six in their last home game. Southampton can’t defend which immediately makes Kane a contender. Overall, there are no earth-shattering conclusions here.
It would be easy to panic after a couple of bad weeks but I’m sticking to my guns. I’d love to have Aguero this weekend but I’m not prepared to shell out another -4 for him, so in Sterling we trust. Ideally, I’ll make no transfers so I can do two next week to bolster the depleted week 31 ranks.
Fabianski, Robertson, Wan-Bissaka, Digne, Pogba, Salah, Sterling, Anderson, Vardy, Rondon, Rashford. Subs: Foster, Shaw, Doherty, Camarasa.
By my count (and assuming they stay fit) I already have 7 for next week, plus two transfers. I think I’ll take 9 playing with only 10 teams in action.
That’s all for this week then. The deadline is Saturday 9th March at 11.30am. Good luck and may all your arrows be green!