After 7 GW’s across just 26 days we finally had the calm of an FA Cup weekend to put our feet up an relax. Unfortunately for us we went into the break off of the back of some rare red arrows. Cheers ‘Arry! To be fair December was kind to us. We started the month in 549k and finished it at 84k before dropping down to 95k following the first GW of January.
Before we get to our line up for the upcoming GW23 let’s go back just over a week to how we did in GW22.
In goal was Nick Pope and unsurprisingly he failed to pick up a clean sheet against free-scoring Liverpool. 4 clean sheets in his last 7 games so we can let him off.
At the back we doubled up on West Ham with their 2 games. Arthur Masuaku and Angelo Ogbonna got the nod but after conceding to WBA in their first game the hopes of any points were gone. That was until they had managed to hit 80 mins at Wembley with a clean sheet looking a real possibility. Then along came FPL Updates XI debutant midfielder Heung Min Son pinging a 30 yard worldie! The first time I can remember a goal from one of our players actually losing us points! FPL, it’s a funny old game. Christopher Schindler couldn’t replicate his 9pts from GW21 as he scored a solitary point but Phil Jones did what Phil Jones does and picked up his 11th clean sheet in 16 Premier League starts. Incredible value for money on his returns when he starts.
For our top scoring midfielder please see above! The South Korean’s 12pts led the way but was just 3pts ahead of Raheem Sterling, who scored his 14th of the season in the 3-1 win over Watford. That total puts him 2nd in goals for midfielders and it is actually double the amount of Alexis Sanchez in 3rd. Unfortunately the top scoring midfielder Mo Salah was stuck sitting on our bench as his groin injury meant he missed his first game of the season. In came Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and his pretty unhelpful 1pt. Last up was Wilf Zaha’s 2pts as he blanked in back to backs.
Up top you comprehensively voted Harry Kane as captain for the week and it was the sensible and obvious choice. Unfortunately for us and everyone else that captained him (or even triple captained) he blanked in both games. We had half expected him to start on the bench against Swansea but any minutes in that accompanied by a home game with West Ham he still looked a great option. It wasn’t much better up top as his strike partner Roberto Firmino played just 18 minutes and scored 1pt.
47pts on a weekly average of 45 isn’t dreadful, especially as we had Mo Salah and Jamie Vardy out, but we had got so used to green arrows it hurt a bit. We are already inside the top 100k, which was our season target, so now we need to step it up a bit and look towards the top 50k.
2 transfers made this week as we have a little post DGW shuffle.
Masuaku (OUT) – Alonso (IN)
Vardy (OUT) – Wilson (IN)
I know it’s a little risky taking a sizeable financial downgrade on a striker but with Chelsea’s upcoming run of games I had a real craving for some Marcos Alonso! The upgrade defensively outweighs the drop in quality up top so I think it actually makes our team better.
With the 2 new boys in let’s review the GW23 line up.
So in goal we start Rob Elliot knowing it’s highly unlikely he plays. A home game with Swansea is a game I will always start a keeper or a defender though. 13 goals in 22 games is attacking form that will likely get Swansea relegated so we can have our fingers crossed Elliot starts as I’m not convinced Burnley and Nick Pope keep a cleanie at Selhurst Park this week.
At the back we start with Marcos Alonso. I’ve never been a fan of spending £7.3m on a defender BUT it’s become very evident that he just isn’t one. He’s a left midfielder. Only 7 midfielders have scored more goals than him and the fact he picks up clean sheets for a solid defensive unit really makes him borderline ‘must-have’. There is an argument to made that we have missed the boat on his peak as he has scored 53pts over the last 6 GW’s but I think there’s plenty more to come. Especially given his upcoming run of games. He’s joined by 2 more defenders playing at home. Christopher Schindler is home to West Ham whilst Phil Jones plays a Mark Hughes-less Stoke City. The way Stoke have been playing of late I’m almost already counting the clean sheet points for Jones!
Our midfield hopefully welcomes money man Mo Salah. If Liverpool are going to defeat unbeaten City they are going to need their man of the moment. Incredibly he has lost a net ownership of 489,201 in the last GW alone! That actually hurts my head trying to comprehend. Who in their right mind is making that move? Either way I’m over the moon. It just means points for Salah aren’t now points for everyone, especially given that less there are at least 50% ‘ghost teams’ still in the game. Next we have Raheem Sterling who will be facing Salah in what could be the game of the season so far. 2 fantastic attacking teams but both with their defensive question marks. Cue a 0-0! Our last 2 mids are playing at home as Heung Min Son faces Everton at Wembley and Wilf Zaha is home to Burnley.
Our front line returns to a 3 this week, that is assuming Callum Wilson gets the nod for a start. He scored in the last game and given that Bournemouth have injuries to Josh King and Jermain Defoe I think he is a safe shout for a start. Although he plays Arsenal and Chelsea in the next 3 weeks the games around that are very appealing so hopefully he is the pick of the cheap 3rd strikers. Roberto Firmino benched against Burnley should be safe of a start this week. Although he blanked against City earlier in the season he has the ability to deliver in any game so if we can get ourselves a goalfest he could well be in the mix for points. Last up is Harry Kane. 18 goals so far shows how he stands alone as the main man in the striker category. Granted he blanked in the first DGW of the season but he has hit 5 doubles and 2 hat-tricks this season. He can explode like no other player so I fully expect him to get back to his goal scoring form soon.
We are set and hopefully primed for another set of green arrows. To help us get there we have the usual captain poll below so please feel free to vote. All votes greatly appreciated.
Thanks all for reading and let’s get back to Premier League action!
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru)