“My eye test told me they were very comfortable”
Another game week has passed and a certain amount of normality returned. Kane and Son returned the favour AGAIN, Salah hit double digits for the first time since game week 4, KDB matched Salah with 14 points but could have easily been in the 20s, Vardy hit a late winner and Bruno Fernandez once again showed his worth despite starting on the bench. But the game week wasn’t without its hiccups the Covid related cancellation of the Newcastle Vs Aston Villa game meant many FPL teams had 10 or even 9 players this week. Wilson, Martinez and Grealish are all heavily owned and most seemed to have held on hoping for a double game week sooner than expected.
So an interesting thing surfaced after the Tottenham Vs Arsenal Game this week. Troy Deeney talking on Talk Sport after the game discussed the view, that Sky Sports had, that Spurs were poor and their fans won’t enjoy games like this. Last week I mentioned my love for watching football and going with what I felt about a game rather than what that stats before, during or after told me. Troy Deeney said “My eye test told me they were very comfortable” maybe he sees football the way I do. Watching this game my feeling was Spurs were in complete control not once did I worry about not winning the game. Spurs allowed Arsenal to have the ball in the areas that suited Spurs and were more than happy for them to send as many crosses into the box as they like as Lloris, Dier and Alderweireld were more than comfortable cleaning up.
As I mentioned Grahame Souness and Sky could only look at the negatives whereas on Talk Sport and Match of the Day we got a more positive look at this game management with even Ian Wright having nothing bad to say about it. Before the game I was confident, during the game I was confident and after the game, I sat back and said: “We deserved that win”.
Football can be more than stats and so can FPL when making your choices check the fixtures, plan your transfers look at the historical information but if you love football and have a gut feeling on something then go with it you will feel better for it.
Aston Villa Vs Newcastle
With the game called off it did throw up some pertinent questions like will it be added back into this game week should I keep the assets if I have them will player values drop off the back of this etc. There has not been a confirmed date for the game as of yet but we know when it comes it will bring with it an early double game week. I did pull Grealish out (For Jota sadly) I would like him back but the lure of Salah the KDB is too strong I think.
FPL Pick @Benfield13 (BenfieldXi rank currently 34,085)
Jack Grealish has to be the pick he will have 2 double game weeks at some point and that is separate to the ones that pop up around Christmas time.
I am very keen on Callum Wilson now he is a cheaper option than Vardy allowing some money to get Salah back in my side for their game Vs Fulham then Salah to KDB the week after. Newcastle has the most favourable attacking fixtures coming up as highlighted below by https://fantasyfootballhub.co.uk/fixture-ticker/ :
Fan Pick Aston Villa
From @VillaTogether... Got to be Jack atm. obviously our best player but he is in great form atm.
Fan Pick Newcastle
From Nick... 100% Wilson he is going to get some goals in the next few games.
Burnley Vs Everton
Going into this game both Burnley and Everton were in similar form both teams with 1 win in the last 5 games. Nick Pope being back for Burnely was a boost add to that Everton losing another Wing Back to injury this looked like a low scoring game. With Everton, though they have an in-form and confident striker in Calvert Lewin so goals are always possible and when Richarlison is in-form they look very dangerous. Everton probably should have had at least one more goal in the 2nd half but Burnley are great at keeping scores low (except Vs City) and with Pope back he kept them in it. I think Everton are in for a tough couple of weeks if they cannot find a system to compliment Rodriguez, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin. Burnley will continue to fight as they do try to keep games tight with Pope back in they may be able to pick up a few more points.
My FPL pick
Rodriguez very much the assist to the assist, cutting in regularly to feed it to one of the wingers. He only shoots in low XG chances and even though he is a creative mastermind, Rodriguez currently isn’t fantasy relevant at nearly 8m. DCL on the other hand is the focal point of the Everton attack with all crosses aimed at the England international. He could well be fixture proof, though the worry is the form of the team around him. He’s a solid hold.
Fan pick Burnley
@TurfCastPodcast...Matthew Lowton played really well and Robbie Brady. But Pope was standout mate.
Fan Pick Everton
From @talking_toffees the system is killing us but I think Rodriguez and Richarlison will excel in a 433.
Manchester City Vs Fulham
I think we knew city could get a result here but Fulham were coming into this of the back of a good win Vs Leicester and city surprisingly haven’t won back to back games in the EPL this season. Parker named an unhanged side of the back of the last win and Fulham for the opening stages seemed to stand up to City but City struck with an early goal Stirling getting only his 3rd goal this season thanks to the wonderful KDB showing why he is a must in any FPL Team. Fulham had some chances through Anguissa, Lookman and Cavaleiro but ultimately after the goal went in they wanted to keep the score down. Even once the score went to 2-0 their heads didn’t drop and kept their shape showing since they have plenty of fight for the rest of the season.
Fulham have Liverpool next but then a run of 3 games where they will be looking to get points. City have Manchester united up next I think we can see goals there then a run of 4 games they will be expecting to win.
My FPL pick
I will start this by saying that KDB should be in every FPL team for the season he will return plenty of points and is a great captain choice week in week out. But I would currently say that Stirling might be a shout he looked good and despite minimal returns this season he can be quite patchy and maybe a good patch is coming. Dias continues to be one of the few players immune to Peps rotation so remains a good choice and barring the Manchester United game coming up I can see a few clean sheets.
From Fulham there are a few who we know will pay every week but hard to make a pick on current form. Anguissa looks solid and if Fulham hit some kind of form he might be able to return some low-cost points.
Fan pick Manchester City
From Zach... My pick is always KDB but Stirling looked more confident he might be worth looking at.
Fan pick Fulham
From @Fulham_Focus the players that are pretty much guaranteed to start if fit at the moment are Areola, Robinson, Adarabioyo, Andersen, Anguissa and Lookman. Anguissa is a very good player and has 2 assists so far. Not sure he will get many goals though. He rarely gets in those positions to score goals. Don’t pick any Fulham player for the Liverpool game would probably be the best bet. Then Lookman vs Brighton
West ham Vs Manchester United
Manchester United come from behind to win again this is the fifth time in a row they have done this! Bruno Fernandes starting on the bench was a scare to many FPL managers but the tight game worked in our favour and he was soon brought on to work his magic. This is a time I will use Xg to show a point Bruno Fernandes entered the game on 43 minutes and United’s chances of scoring grew exponentially:
West Ham would feel right to be upset at not getting a result the Hammers were unfortunate to not be two, or even three, ahead at half time and, perhaps in recognition of that, Manchester United introduced Fernandes and Rashford from the bench at half-time. Bowen and Fournals were lively all game but just couldn’t get that finishing touch. Manchester United have a key Champions League game midweek then City at the weekend both will be difficult but with Bruno Fernandes, they will always be dangerous. After the City game, they have favourable games but goals could be hard to get. West Ham have been great and should see this as a blip they have games they will be looking to win coming up including Leeds and Crystal Palace.
My FPL pick
From West Ham it is really hard to look past Soucek at £4.9m he is cheap and already has 40 points this year a decent return for a cheap player. From Manchester United, I would only say Bruno Fernandes he is just a point’s machine and was unlucky not to get some bonus points also.
Fan Pick West ham
From @Jon06WHUFC Ogbonna is a good shout. Souček is a fairly cheap midfielder but usually chips in with a goal.
Fan pick Manchester United
From @ben_Crook Cavani is my pick if not banned he has looked good recently.
Chelsea Vs Leeds
Chelsea have been in fine form this season after investing heavily in the summer we wondered when we might see the new stars really click. What we actually saw was an old hat come to the front Olivier Giroud finally getting a start after his 4 goals midweek showed why he should still be in the first 11. Chelsea showed their squad depth again by making 8 changes from that thrashing of Sevilla in the Champions League. On the whole, Chelsea again looked sound in defence and Kurt Zouma again showed his worth to FPL managers Zouma has also helped the Blues claim five clean sheets and scored 4 goals. As a result, he has totalled 67 points over his 10 Game week appearances. Leeds looked lively and an early Bamford goal was there reward but an injury to Robin Koch dented their early form. Bar that first goal and early pressure Leeds struggled to break Chelsea down and as they opened up Chelsea was able to get through them. Leeds now only have 1 win in 5 and will look to the next two games to get some points on the board.
My FPL pick
For Chelsea I would say go for the defenders in attack the goals and assists are being shared and it is hard to know who will perform in each week. In defence we know Zouma, Chilwell and James will play and are all likely to return clean sheets and the odd goal/assist. From Leeds I would get Bamford in he looks like a great player he is experienced and has a real quality about him. Bamford is £6.1m and has some great fixtures over the coming weeks.
Fan pick Chelsea
From Jonathan Bryant… Mount has looked great on set pieces and is creating loads. But going forward Pulisic is hard to ignore Especially with Ziyech injured. Werner is fluffing loads but I think he’ll start returning more.
Fan pick Leeds
From @leedsthat… Might see a reshuffle or could be that he thinks Llorente has gained enough match fitness.
West Brom Vs Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace came into this game of the back of some two disappointing defeats where the loss of Zaha was really felt. Despite my reservations on having Zaha in my FPL team he is still the main man for Palace and is a big part of everything they do. West Brom on the other hand came into this in slightly confident mood having won their last game and been relatively tight at the back losing to both Manchester United and Spurs by only 1 goal. The game started badly for West Brom with Furlong scoring an own goal but it was the sending off that really changed the game. Matheus Pereira, who has been in good form for the Baggies, was rather harshly sent off just after West Brom had equalised. This gave Hodgson a rare option to tell his side to go and attack in the 2nd half and it was that man Zaha who took the chance. Goals and assists were shared out by the Palace attack with PVA and EZE getting involved the real surprise was Benteke getting 2 goals we haven’t seen his name in a while. This was the first time Palace have scored 5 goals in a top-flight game and I do think it will not be the last high scoring game they have having scored 3 against united, 4 against Leeds and now 5 vs West Brom it seems when Palace want to they can really go for it.
My FPL Pick
From Palace Zaha is always a shout but performances will be up and down, I really like Eze he has the quality and when Palace play teams they can get at he will step up. Palace have a tough run over the next 3 games but I wouldn’t rule them out of getting a result. From West Brom it is tough they are struggling and with Pereira now suspended they will have lost some of the attacking threat. Mathew Phillips could cause teams problems but I wouldn’t be picking any West Brom currently.
Fan Pick West Brom
From Andy… other that Pereira I can only say Gallagher if you had to pick one.
Fan Pick Crystal Palace
From @fpl_chi… Eze looks decent as a differential and Clyne at £4.5 nailed attacking full-back.
Sheffield United Vs Leicester
With only 2 “big chances” in this game, there was little hope of a goal-fest however it did throw up some classic FPL names with Ayoze Perez (His first start since September), James Maddison and Jamie Vardy all returning points. Sheffield United are still searching for that first win and look a shadow of the surprise team they were last season. The main issue is they have no real goal-scoring threat and when a goal does come it tends to be from a well-worked set play. With Leicester already qualified for the Europa League, they will again make several changes going into their game with Brighton. Sheffield United have Southampton away up next and I can only see things getting worse.
My FPL pick
From Leicester Vardy is someone always worth looking at although there are much cheaper forwards with similar or better returns. I would look at Ayoze Perez he is getting back to full fitness and will be involved. From Sheffield, I am afraid I would stay away I just cannot see where the points are coming from currently.
Fan Pick Sheffield United
From @aidey02lee... Hopefully Jack O’Connell will be back by January/February time. If he hadn’t been injured we wouldn’t be where we are
Fan pick Leicester
From @SmuelMartinFPL... Maddison played well I think he will return some points.
Tottenham Vs Arsenal
Tottenham so far this season have been a team of quick fixes they lost Against Everton then made some changes and haven’t lost since. They conceded 3 late goals against West Ham then Jose made some changes and have only conceded 1 goal since. Against City, Chelsea and now Arsenal we witnessed an incredibly well organised and compact Tottenham add to that the sheer quality of Kane and Son and you have a team who could really challenge. With Arsenal, we saw a team low on confidence and without any real cutting ideas. Aubameyang continues to play out wide Lacazette seems afraid of getting in the box and facing the goal. The wonder boy Thomas Partey was lively until he pulled up walked of then probably damaged himself more by running back on to stop the 2nd goal.
The result leaves Arsenal in the bottom half of the table, and winless in their last four league games. Spurs are now unbeaten in 10 league matches and have navigated a tricky period.
My FPL pick
From Tottenham again I would say it might be time to look at defenders Dier is 100% going to pay every game and might be due to a goal soon. From Arsenal, I think it is still an option to take a defender also with Bellerin or Gabriel being the obvious choices.
Fan pick Tottenham
From @LDrivalryaside (Spurs)… Dier for spurs. Cheap and holding clean sheets
Fan pick Arsenal
From @LDrivalryaside (Arsenal)… Partey for arsenal when he is fit will be a solid player and get a few assists.
Liverpool Vs Wolves
Off the back of last season many questioned whether Liverpool could cope with their top players missing… well we have seen so far this season they really can. Salah was in top form and caused problem after problem for Wolves. Liverpool left Jota on the bench which would have angered many an FPL manager. Wolves offered very little real threat to the rookie keeper Kelleher who does look like a solid young player. Liverpool have qualified for the Champions League next round so will rest many players mid-week the question will be can Jota play when both Salah and Mane do? I think I will keep him for now but will also jump out if he misses another game.
My FPL pick
From Liverpool, at £5.3m Wijnaldum is a good pick he is cheap and seems to be playing regularly and returning recently but Salah is who I wanted back and I got him. From Wolves I still think Neto will come good for them he was probably their best player in this difficult game.
Fan pick Liverpool
From @LDrivalryaside (Liverpool)… Wijnaldum for Liverpool. Underrated and playing well
Fan Pick Wolves
From @OscillateWWFC… Neto would be a good shout. Will play nearly all the time, is often on set pieces and has started to notch a few goals.
Brighton Vs Southampton
Southampton again battled to the end and with the returning Ings, they showed they are contenders for the European places. Brighton started the game well and went ahead with another Gross goal from the spot but had also missed 3 good chances. Southampton levelled the game from another great Ward-Prowse set piece and another towering Vestergaard header. Unfortunately, VAR popped up to spoil the game for Brighton Gross judged to have fouled KWP in the area a very tight call indeed. Things do not get easier from Brighton as they have Leicester up next whereas Southampton travel to bottom place Sheffield United.
My FPL pick
From Southampton, I would say the obvious pick is Ings but Ward-Prowse is the really inform player and at £6.2m it might be good to get him in before the price goes up. From Brighton Pascal Gross is the man to return anything although Lamptey is a great choice when fit.
Fan pick Southampton
@TotalSaintsPod… Jannik Vestergaard was immense get him in now.
Fan pick Brighton
From @LDrivalryaside… Lamptey is someone everyone should have, fearless and will defend well and get some assists as well.
Thanks for reading please leave any comments. Stats retrieved from https://understat.com/ and https://fantasyfootballhub.co.uk/ both are fantastic sites go check them out! And remember to follow @fplmerch and stock up on some great products for your FPL mini-leagues.