Greetings to you, happy Friday and welcome to another Fantasy Football preview ahead of the Premier League fixtures this weekend. For those who are a fan of marginal success, I scored 57 points last week and beat the average of 52. Whoop de doo. It was enough to result in green arrows for my team to rise all the way up to 480,625th. Great times. It was a textbook FPL weekend with great news all round for high ownership assets. Clean sheets for Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City were supported with goals for Salah, Aguero, Kane and Aubameyang. Obviously other players and teams also did good things before you take umbridge, but my point is a lot of the “favourites” scored but only scored once. That meant the captain choices were all much of a muchness. Pointless analysis aside, let’s get on to this week.
As an early disclaimer, I’m dreading this week. For starters, Chelsea play Liverpool, which means four of my players are in the same match. It means FPL favourites Robertson, Alonso, Salah, Mane and Hazard are all in the same game and the odds of them all doing well are slim to none. Here’s hoping for a 3-3 draw with the fullbacks being heavily involved in the goals. It’ll be a good match but an FPL nightmare, in my opinion.
It should be a clearer cut affair at the Etihad, where Man City host Brighton. All logic here suggests a heavy Man City win and as Sergio Aguero sat out the League Cup win in midweek, I expect he will start here and get his fair share of armbands. The negative is they have a trip to Germany in the Champions League on Tuesday which may see an early withdrawal AGAIN so just hope Sergio does the damage as soon as possible. David Silva’s number came up last weekend on the Pep wheel of rotation so he should be safe for a few weeks at least but as ever, I have no idea. Guardiola could play Stonesy up front for all I know.
Arsenal continued to take baby steps under Unai Emery, scoring a useful win over Everton and with it their first clean sheet of the season. Watford’s good start has stalled somewhat after the draw at Fulham last weekend but I’ve been impressed by their general play. If anybody can ruffle those Arsenal feathers, it’s Troy Deeney. I’ve been singing the virtues of Aubameyang and Lacazette for weeks now and both got on the scoresheet last weekend. Lacazette is cheaper and plays the more central of the two though so I would say him if you forced me. Which you are.
Tottenham are off to Huddersfield just a week after securing an impressive win over Brighton. I’m so low on Huddersfield I absolutely expect Spurs to win and that means it’s time to think about getting Harry Kane in. He’s £12.4m but with this fixture followed by Cardiff at home next weekend, it’s a great chance to get his season up and running. If you can get a Spurs defender too, this looks like a couple of clean sheets in waiting though the rotation of Davies/Rose is a worry. Serge Aurier is ruled out though so Trippier seems a safe pick. There’s no Christian Eriksen though which only slightly eases the Lamela/Alli/Moura/Son conundrum.
That leaves Man Utd from the so-called big 6, but quite what is happening at Old Trafford at the moment beggars belief. Lukaku loves a goal against West Ham but it’s not a happy house right now and it will be interesting to see how that effects the performance. Pogba owes a performance but the situation isn’t good. It didn’t help on Wednesday, whereas West Ham won 8-0, albeit against worse opposition. I’d probably avoid Man Utd options until this all blows over. To the Winchester!
The other thing I have about this week is that Bournemouth and Palace play each other. That’s another 4 of my players in the same match. It’s Monday Night Football too, a great motivation at the start of the working week. Anyway, Wolves are at home to Southampton and I’m backing them as this week’s low price potentials. Somebody like Matt Doherty (£4.4m) will offer a threat at both ends of the pitch, or Boly is £4.6m if you think a Wolves set piece is the way forward. Cardiff vs Burnley is the Sunday 4pm game. Yes, really. Get me Sol Bamba.
I’m going for Aguero, he was taken off after an hour last week and similar might happen here. If that is to happen Man City have got to have a few goals in the bank and hopefully the little Argentinian can provide them. Lacazette would be my second choice, he’s been elevated thanks to Kabasele’s red card for Watford, who I think will be a big miss. Then there’s Harry Kane, who I will never call a punt but he looked very sharp against Brighton and I’d back him to build on that. Failing all that, Richarlison against Fulham. Now that is a punt.
I’m worried. I picked Begovic (0 points) over Fabianski (11 points) last week and now have a similar dilemma. At least if I pick Fabianski it helps alleviate my “8 players in 2 games” problem but if that number is lowered to 7, is it really any better?
Fabianski, Wann-Bissaka, Alonso, Robertson, Bellerin, Salah, Hazard, Walcott, Zaha, Aguero, Wilson. Subs: Begovic, Neves, Hughes, Peltier.
I have £0.9m in the bank so I want to do Richarlison for Walcott. I hate doing a sideways move he is just a better player. I’ll just have to take this week on the chin and accept that the odds of Robertson, Salah, Alonso and Hazard all coming out of Saturday with more than a couple of points is very slim. I may well do Neves for Wann-Bissaka though and hope Bournemouth vs Palace is a Monday Night treat.
This has been very rambly this week but I make no apologies. You know what you’re getting with this column – utter nonsense. Whatever you decide to do this week, I wish you good luck and may all your arrows be green. Until next time…