Fantasy Football Shambles

Well, that was a giant waste of time, wasn’t it? The Premier League didn’t really live up to the hype this weekend. Fantasy managers were left frustrated by managers who simply don’t care about FPL. Never mind though. After a rough week, it’s always good to get straight back on the horse. In this scenario, the horse is a midweek round of games. Welcome to gameweek 28.

It’s tradition to take a brief look back on the previous week. My score of 36 was nothing to shout about. It beat the average by 1 point and saw us take a small fall to 11,641st. It could have been worse and I’m happy to dust myself off and start thinking ahead.

There’s not much time to think, admittedly. Tuesday night will see the next deadline but on the plus side, all 20 sides are in action. On the negative side, this weekend was like an episode of Casualty. What now?

The dilemma

All of the “Big Six” are actually in action on Wednesday, not that it helps us much. The highest-profile clash is Chelsea vs Tottenham. It’s a shame for Chelsea that all the Kepa nonsense overshadowed a fine performance against Man City. Many had written them off and Sarri had one foot out the exit door. He might still but they at least resembled a football team again.

From an FPL point of view, I’m still not sold and certainly not for this game. After this, things pick up for Chelsea and we’re waiting to see how their double-gameweek fixtures fall, so whilst they aren’t much FPL fun at the moment that might change. Tottenham meanwhile need a performance. The loss to Burnley once again has the “Spursy” doubters circling. Harry Kane returned and scored which puts paid to Llorente as a differential. Everybody has Son now but their fixture list is not great. Arsenal and Liverpool (plus a blank) to follow in three of the next four weeks. Maybe it’s time to sell?

Man City, of course, won the Carabao Cup final on Sunday at the cost of Laporte and Fernandinho. We know Pep loves to rotate at the best of times but I dread to think what he’ll do three days after a 120-minute final. West Ham are the visitors and you’d be surprised if they were able to get at Man City, regardless of the lineup. Seeing as Sane only appeared as a substitute he is probably a safe bet, whilst Gabriel Jesus appears to still be injured which might mean Aguero lives to fight another day. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen Pep’s press conference as of this time of writing so the picture may be clearer on Tuesday.

Table-toppers Liverpool have a home game against Watford. Mo Salah went mad in this fixture last season but looks a shadow of himself at the moment. Liverpool look likely to be without Roberto Firmino which might unsettle them further and Watford are in good form themselves. I still expect Liverpool to win but it won’t be the 6-0 we saw last year. FPL favourite Andrew Robertson is a doubt with an arm injury picked up in the 0-0 draw with Man Utd.

Speaking of injuries, Man Utd suffered four of them in that game. Lingard, Mata and Herrera all departed and Rashford somehow played on on one leg. All four seem likely to miss out on Wednesday’s trip to Crystal Palace. With Martial already injured, things are looking stretched for Solskjaer at the moment and it would take a brave man to back Lukaku and Sanchez to come up with the goods. Pogba should be fine though, he has been FPL gold recently and the defence has held up well too.

Unai Emery has a lot to answer for. He left Aubameyang out of his starting lineup to face Southampton. That was down to tiredness so he should return for the visit of Bournemouth. He and Lacazette are the obvious attacking purchases from Arsenal but Kolasinac plays so far forward from left back/wing back he’s hard to ignore as an option.

There may be doubles ahead…

Wolves vs Man Utd has been confirmed for GW32, with many more fixtures expected to be rescheduled into that week. This should be a double-gameweek, so if you’re building a squad of players playing twice maybe think twice about selling an injured Rashford. There’s some hold up with other fixtures due to European commitments and such to sort out.

Captain

Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal all have favourable fixtures this week. The obvious Man City problem is that we don’t know who will be playing. If Jesus is confirmed to be out then Aguero is as good a choice as you’ll get. Salah for Liverpool would normally be obvious but he looks out of form and the injury to Firmino may disrupt him. Aubameyang, at home to Bournemouth and rested, looks to be a cast-iron choice if you can forgive him for Sunday’s failure. Surely he will earn a recall?

My team

Everything was going so well but I feel like it’s falling apart a bit. Injuries to Wan-Bissaka, Rashford and possibly Robertson have me on the ropes. Camarasa hasn’t played for a while whilst Llorente is now a dead weight. With only one free transfer to use, I have a decision to make.

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

My main aim is to get 11 on the field. I’m thinking Rondon for Llorente. I’d prefer Jimenez but I can’t afford him. Going without a Man City player at home to West Ham looks suicidal but other than doing Son to Sane (I have £0.8m in the bank) or sacrificing Auba for Aguero, I don’t think it’s possible. Besides, Auba might keep up with Aguero? He won’t, will he?

Whilst I fret over trying to avoid a disaster, all that is left to do is for me to wish you good luck and I hope all your arrows are green. The deadline is Tuesday 26th February at 6.45pm. I’ll be back on Friday for the postmortem. Bye for now.