Fantasy Football Shambles

Hello! Welcome along to this week’s FPL preview where we look ahead to the points potential this weekend. The Premier League takes a break for the FA Cup next weekend so at least rotation shouldn’t be an issue. Unless you are Harry Kane, where rotation of the ankle seems to be very much an issue.

First, though, we must talk about last week. My score of 62 comfortably beat the average of 49 but still resulted in red arrows as we fell to 30,570th. We’ll circle back to this later but guess who has played their wildcard?

On to this week then and the big fixture is Arsenal vs Chelsea on Saturday evening. The question on everybody’s lips though is…what are you going to do with that £12.5m hole Harry Kane has left in your team? Let’s dig in.

The dilemma

We might as well address the elephant in the room and discuss Tottenham. With Kane injured and Son away on International duty, it’ll be interesting to see what happens. Fernando Llorente is cheap but clearly not fancied by Pochettino, which might open the door to Lucas Moura playing as a striker or maybe even Dele Alli. Either way, they play Fulham away who aren’t exactly equipped to deal with anything so if you have any of Spurs’ available attacking outlets, you’ll probably be fine.

Earlier on Sunday is Man City’s trip to Huddersfield. This was a 6-1 thrashing back in August and with Huddersfield parting company with David Wagner this week, it’s very hard to see anything other than a similar result. As usual, the question is over which City assets to own. Gabriel Jesus was seemingly preferred to Sergio Aguero against Wolves and scored twice, so is the shirt now his? Personally, I’m staying clear of that bun fight until there’s some clarity and will most likely opt for Sane or Sterling instead. As ever though they are susceptible to the Pep wheel of rotation so tread carefully.

The crunch game is, of course, Arsenal vs Chelsea. The battle for the top four has intensified with Man Utd now hot on their heels and neither team can really afford to slip. I’m bored of Chelsea, to be very honest, but Eden Hazard has every chance of bamboozling whichever fools Arsenal parade in defensive positions. Too harsh? I like Arsenal’s attack though, Aubameyang vs Luiz in a foot race could be interesting. He’s probably the best premium option to replace Kane but their fixtures aren’t wonderful. Having said that, it’s Cardiff at home next week so fill your boots.

Man Utd host Brighton in their new invigorated state. Rashford and Pogba are having the time of their lives and I’m interested to see how they get on against a traditionally organised side. Martial, Lingard and Shaw represent reasonable budget options but for the time being, it looks like Rashford and Pogba are the form men.

That brings us to league leaders Liverpool, who actually have a similar assignment this weekend. They’re at home to Crystal Palace and are, of course, overwhelming favourites. Palace have a good defensive record though and although Liverpool will probably win, I wouldn’t expect it to be a thrashing. Salah has been in tremendous form recently and whilst Mane and Firmino remain dangerous, they notch with far less regularity than Salah. That is why they are considerably cheaper though…

Bargain bin

I’m enjoying Southampton at the moment but I say that every week. Danny Ings is meant to be back and he offers a £5.5m striking option. Elsewhere, Wolves vs Leicester throws up a lot of bargain potential but nobody really knows which Leicester we’ll get. Ricardo Pereira is attracting a lot of interest as a £5.3m defender who plays on the wing quite often, whilst Raul Jimenez is a £6.4m striker for Wolves, who generally attack.

Captain

I think Salah will be the popular choice this week. The league leaders at home to a bottom-half club is probably all the invitation you need. I do think City will win by a huge margin but I couldn’t tell you who the scorers would be or even what the team will be, which dilutes their vote somewhat. There’ll be a lot of love for Rashford and Pogba but I’m not convinced they will thrash Brighton, probably more of a forceful shove over.

My team

The wildcard is out! Earlier than planned, but Kane’s injury really forced my hand. £12.5m is a lot to have lying around and normally I’d have put Aguero straight in but I don’t know if he’ll start. I, therefore, went to Rashford but wanted Pogba too to be greedy. I had to make room for a City midfielder…basically I see this as the chance to turn a crisis into an opportunity. Crisortunity. I’m not settled on it yet but my team will be something like:

McCarthy, Fabianski
Robertson, Digne, Wan-Bissaka, Jonny, Pereira
Pogba, Salah, Sane, Hazard, Richarlison,
Rashford, Ings, Llorente

By picking five strong midfielders, I will only ever need a maximum of two strikers for the foreseeable future. Most of my defenders can offer attacking returns too so I can always play one up front – that might seem negative but I have the option to downgrade Hazard if he doesn’t pick up so I can strengthen up front.

Clearly, there is work to be done there but that is future Dave’s problem. The deadline is Saturday 19th January at 11.30am. All that is left to do is for me to wish you good luck and may all your arrows be green.