Well that was a weird week! Hours were spent deliberating over which chip to use in GW35 and we have just got our answer! F*cking none of them.
In all fairness, at this point I’m far happier we used our Bench Boost than our Triple Captain chip though given how average the big names were. I won’t lie, I’m a little disappointed to not break 100pts this week but with Free Hit and Triple Captain left I am pleased we saw green arrows.
A move up to 34k leaves us nicely poised for a run at the top 10k.
In goal we had the Pope/De Gea duo. I’ll happily take the 15pts combined considering Pope conceded in both and United lost at home to WBA. As much credit as Nick Pope is getting pre-World Cup that is now just 2 clean sheets in 16 for the Burnley stopper. David De Gea on the other hand managed a semi-surprising clean sheet away at Bournemouth the same day that he made the PFA Team of the Year. A good Wednesday all round.
At the back we were stung by the Conte rotation game. I should have known better given that rotation prior to the FA Cup semi was likely. I will however say that I never expected just 1pt from Andreas Christensen. Although none of our back 4 were stunners the 8pts from Luke Chilwell and an assist from Lewis Dunk helped us enough. Especially given that there were only 6 clean sheets out of a possible 28 this week.
In midfield we struggled a bit. Paul Pogba and Heung Min Son led the way scoring a paltry 6pts, with just a single assist shared between the other 3 of Willian, Riyad Mahrez and Kenedy. Certainly not the returns we expected before the GW.
Up top was a lot better with all 3 scoring. Admittedly it was far from comfortable though as all 3 didn’t score until the 2nd half of their 2nd game of the double. You voted Romelu Lukaku as captain and it was a fairly decent shout. Only edged out slightly by Harry Kane we will take the 16pts from the Belgian. Ashley Barnes also registered 8pts so we finished the GW on a fairly respectable 92pts.
With less than 48 hours between the end of GW34 and the start of GW35 we need to get this Free Hit team sorted. We actually called the chip in earlier in the week but have been inundated with conflicting team news since so the team has changed at least 10 times. We still anticipate some late info that could change it further but as far as how we stand on Friday morning this is it.
At the back I have decided to keep Nick Pope in the deluded hope that Burnley can actually keep a clean sheet, but it makes sense to have Tom Heaton as our sub GK. Outside of Man City I don’t see much clean sheet potential and I don’t want to waste one of our City picks on Ederson.
At the back we go for some FPL nostalgia as Leighton Baines is back in the fold. It’s been a while since he’s been here but we welcome him in for this reduced GW. Although Newcastle are in fine form part of me thinks they take their foot of the gas this week and Everton could capitalise. With Baines very likely to be on his share of set pieces I quite like him as a pick. He lines up to one of the most impressive defenders this season Andrew Robertson. 50pts in his last 9 games he is doing exceptionally well and a bargain at £5.1m. Fingers crossed he starts and if he does he’s nailed on for our team. Last up is Shkodran Mustafi. I had absolutely no intention of picking him until Wenger revealed he will use this game as a set up for the Atletico game. If that is the case I suddenly feel a little more comfortable with Arsenal coverage. Mustafi may not fill Arsenal fans with copious amounts of confidence but he does have a 12pt and an 8pt return in his last 4 games.
In midfield we welcome back Mo Salah. It’s been a difficult couple of weeks knowing we were running naked without him but as he has only scored 8pts in that time I feel we’ve certainly done ok. Rotation potential before the Champions League but with a top 4 place needing to be secured and Mo after the Golden Boot and goalscoring records I think he’s a safe pick his week. He lines up next to a Manchester City duo of Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. With a party atmosphere expected for the home match with Swansea this could be an absolute Welsh piping! Take your pick with that midfield and although KDB is probably the best placed of all the mids to choose I really like the attacking potential from Sterling and Sane. Plus they are both a little friendlier on the wallet. Last up in midfield is Marko Arnautovic. This has been, and still is, a toss up between him and Wilf Zaha. Arnie was in as he was against an Arsenal team focusing on the Europa League but now Arsenal appear to want to take it seriously we may rethink. Partly because he conflicts with Mustafi. This may be an 11am decision tomorrow.
Up top I have picked and then dropped Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, who looked to be a nailed on Free Hit pick. In his place comes Dat Guy Welbz! I am aware this might be one of the daftest moves I’ve made this season but I’m sure Welbeck starts and for £7.3m he looks fairly decent value. Especially as there aren’t loads of appealing attacking options this week. West Ham are an utter shambles away from home and have conceded 16 in their last 6 away games. Alongside him we have brought in Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino. Firmino back in after a brief time out but Jesus in for the first time this season. It’s been a pretty underwhelming season for the Brazilian but now with Sergio Aguero out he looks a must have against Swansea.
I will be keeping an eye on all Friday press conferences today for any helpful team news but this is how we look for the time being. It looks like it’s got green arrows written all over it so fingers crossed we really benefit from being patient with this chip.
What we do need help with is the captaincy selection. Genuinely think we have 3 or 4 strong contenders this week so please feel free to vote below for this week. You’ve all been superb with your picks this season so it would be great if we can continue this through until the end. Especially as I still harbour hopes of a top 10k finish. Our pre-season aim of 100k has been comfortably achieved so let’s smash these last 4 weeks and see what happens.
Thanks to all for reading, good luck and as always both myself and the guys at FPL Updates are around to help with any last minute decisions!
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru)