No time to lose this week, with games on Tuesday and Wednesday night. That means a quick turnaround on the article and team, so here’s how things went at the weekend.
Mixed weekend at that the back, with Lloris and Sanchez letting me down in both playing key roles in one of the slowest finishes I’ve ever seen. The Colombian was barged off the ball by Rondon, who then rolled (and I mean rolled, and rolled) a ‘shot’ down to Lloris’ right. Mental. Thankfully, Smalling and Mustafi contributed clean sheets from their matches.
It was an average weekend in the midfield, with Hughes the sole participant of relevant points until Alexis held his nerve with his last minute penalty. My forwards were a real let down – I forgot Austin was a natural finisher and my decision to pick Gabbiadini there sensationally backfired!
Rotation is surely going to play a factor this midweek, with a full fixture list in place across the two days. It means changes ahoy, and those below are the ones I hope can make a difference for you this week.
Ederson (5.1%) let me down weekend just gone, conceding an Otamendi own goal just before half-time. Back on their own patch, I like the idea of City keeping Southampton out. Before the Everton game, the Saints were badly struggling to find the net, but let’s be frank; City are no Everton. On the bench, I’m going back to Begovic (4.5%), who faces Burnley at home. Options for good fixtures and reasonable prices were scant this week I’m afraid.
At the back, Mustafi (2.7%) remains, with the Gunners at home to Huddersfield. Last week I said that Arsenal were 5/6 for clean sheets this season when the German starts, so you can make that 6/7 having made it through the Burnley game unscathed. Christensen (0.8%) is back in my side, though I’m cautious here, because there’s a chance he’s given a rest at home to Swansea. Still, he’s cheap and Chelsea have an almost banker of a clean sheet on their hands, so he’s in. Gibbs (0.3%) hasn’t exactly set the world alight points wise, but I see him as a guaranteed 90 minutes man and Newcastle are having a torrid time right now. The Baggies were improved against Spurs and I fancy them at home here. Completing my starting lineup is Tomkins (0.4%), who is cheap, keeping Scott Dann out of the Palace team and has a nice run of games starting with the derby against Brighton tomorrow. Rose (0.3%) gets a spot on the bench on the basis that I believe he’ll be back in the Spurs lineup that travels to Leicester.
As the striking options are so bad, Alexis Sanchez (2.8%) remains and Hazard (7.4%) joins him. I know this isn’t wholly realistic for most, but I’d highly recommend one of the two. Both Arsenal and Chelsea have favourable fixture runs, and I expect both men to kick on with their season’s and shoot well above the 10% threshold in the coming weeks. I promise that this is the final week for Zaha (5.5%) too. As stated above, Palace have Brighton on Tuesday night, and Wilf knows what it means to the Eagles fans. He scored twice against them in a crucial playoff semi final second leg a few years back, and I fully expect him to thrive at the Amex. On the other side of the coin, Izquierdo (0.1%) is in for the match as a bit of a wildcard option, having scored in his last home outing and then being rested at Old Trafford. Oxlade-Chamberlain (1.6%) is on the bench with a goal and an assist from his last two starts. Liverpool are at hapless Stoke on Saturday.
Completing a Palace treble (I know…) is Benteke (2.1%), who completed another 45 minutes on Saturday. Though he didn’t score and looked rusty still, Palace improved with him as the focal point up top and again, their nice run offers an opportunity to get him in. His draught surely won’t last too much longer, will it?! He’s up front with Rondon (0.6%) who has Newcastle at home and scored at Wembley on Sunday. Finally Wilson (5%) lines up as a sub, with Burnley visiting the south coast. He’s probably got a couple more weeks of life in him before the Cherries encounter a tricky patch of games.
Good luck this midweek.
Written by Joe McPhee (@JPMc99)