Just as we bang out two consecutive weeks of green arrows we had another pesky International break to deal with. Granted, it’s was actually quite enjoyable and full of drama with so much at stake for qualification but no one likes to see a break when you’re on a positive FPL run. Thankfully, touch wood, we have managed to avoid any injuries to our squad so it’s now just a case of trying to maintain this run.
Gameweek 7 saw us post a respectable 59pts, a score which moved us from 1.5m to 1.2m. It may only be baby steps at this point but after four green arrows between GW2-GW5 I’ll happily take it and run.
Jack Butland’s first start for the FPL Updates XI since the start of 2016 ended with a frustrating 2pt blank courtesy of a fairly late Maya Yoshida goal, meaning he has now scored 3pts or less in six of his seven games this season. Although to be fair, Butland could throw the ball into his own net twice and defecate in my mums lap and I’d still have him in my FPL squad.
At the back it was a devilishly good performance with 6’s across the board from Harry Maguire, Phil Jones and Sead Kolasinac. What made it sweeter was I fully expected Bournemouth to score against Leicester and Phil Jones was pretty much declared out. We kept the faith and were repaid accordingly.
Unfortunately our midfield was as useful as tits on a fish and couldn’t match the efforts of the back three. Matt Ritchie, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, David Silva and Henrikh Mkhitaryan could only muster a solitary assist between them. 13pts combined is not going to cut it going forward.
Part of the reason we saw green arrows even though our midfield had an absolute stinker was because of that man Harry Kane. There is absolutely no point me sitting here and telling you everything you already know about him. He loves scoring goals and unless he gets injured he isn’t moving from this team. What does surprise me though is that of 5.2m teams playing FPL only 1.6m owned him going into GW7. His ownership is low even if you factor in his price. He hit a first half brace and maximum bonus which helped us tally 13pts from him but unfortunately the readers captain poll got it wrong for once. Not that making Romelu Lukaku captain can be blamed. A home game with Palace is as favourable as they come and to be fair he did notch a late goal to bring us home 12pts. Last up was Roberto Firmino and after singing his praises last week I was rewarded with seeing him named as one of the subs. His 16 minute cameo was only good for one solitary point. With United and Spurs next and no Sadio Mane available it might be the end of the road for Bobby.
Firmino (OUT) – Vardy (IN)
Well, you didn’t have to wait long to find out the conclusion to that rubbish cliffhanger. Firmino is out! He has become a little bit too ‘boom or bust’ from a fantasy standpoint and with two tough matchups next and Sadio Mane injured i’m worried it might be more bust than boom in the immediate future. From a points perspective he has scored 27pts in the four(ish) games him and Mane have been involved and just 6pts in the two and a half games Mane was out. Not only does Mane being out affect how good Liverpool are it significantly affects the role and position Firmino has in the team. Love him as a player but going forward over the next few weeks Jamie Vardy looks a slightly better option.
I think there is more chance of Palace scoring than there is of one of our GK’s keeping a cleanie. As much as I want to start Jack Butland I simply cannot. Away to a Manchester City team that have averaged over three goals a game this season is unfortunately the quickest way to a benching. So we have to run with Rob Elliot. Admittedly, Southampton have only scored five goals so far this season but a home tie with Newcastle is one I think they’ll feel confident of scoring in. Anything upwards of 2pts will feel like a real bonus.
We’ve made a change at the back and a risky one at that. Phil Jones has dropped out and is being replaced by Kyle Naughton. Jones is a slight injury doubt and with a trip to Liverpool I’m pretty confident that United will concede. Naughton comes in with a home game against Huddersfield. Although the newly promoted team started the season with a bang they have now scored just one goal in their last five and looked far from a Premier League team last time out against Spurs. Throw in the fact that their best player Aaron Mooy played 120 minutes in Sydney midweek I think Swansea will fancy their chances here. Next to him is Sead Kolasinac away to Watford and Harry Maguire at home to WBA. Both have cleanie potential but also have massive attacking appeal.
Our midfield is unchanged and if I’m completely honest I’m a little concerned that this is our achilles heel this week. Matt Ritchie carrying a knock has a tough away game at Southampton whilst Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has a horrid game away to Manchester City. It has been touch and go with who to start out of him and Emre Can but we are going with EMCM purely given that he will be part of a front three, whereas Can will likely sit a lot deeper. Assuming he even starts. Our main hope of points comes from the two most expensive of our midfielders, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and David Silva. Mkhitaryan started the season on fire with 21pts in his first two games. He has followed that up with 22pts across the next five, which isn’t terrible but does concern me a little. Looking at it closer he managed five attacking returns in four games WITH Paul Pogba but only one in the three games WITHOUT him. It’s an underlying stat that I will certainly keep an eye on. David Silva on the other hand can certainly make a case for midfield bargain of the season. Yes he’s over £8m so bargain is maybe not the right word but six assists, 8 bonus and 44 total points so far is a fantastic return for that price. A home game with Stoke looks like one he will be licking his lips over. Could really do with that Sergio Aguero fella back though!
Up top we look in really good shape. New boy Jamie Vardy is in. A home game with WBA isn’t an always an incredible match-up but certainly one in which the pacey front man could thrive. Speed isn’t an attribute that the WBA defenders are known for so I think Leicester will be looking to exploit that. He lines up next to Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane. Lukaku kicks off in the early Saturday game against a Liverpool team that look an absolute shambles at the back. 12 goals conceded so far is actually more than Bournemouth, Brighton, Swansea and a fair few more. In fact there are only two teams to have conceded more. Our only worry here is that Mourinho decides to go and do what he does in most big away games and kills it as any form of spectacle. Last up is Sir Harold Kane. Personally I don’t really like Spurs but the whole time he is hitting braces he can be called whatever he and the Spurs fans want him to be. Bournemouth at home looks a bloody blinder of a match and to put this into perspective of quite how blinding, his odds of scoring a hattrick are 9/2! Outside of Messi and Ronaldo I’ve never seen hattrick odds that low before. The downside is it’s at Wembley and as many of you are more than aware his stats this season don’t make pretty reading there. Three games at home with no goals, four games away with six goals. Surely this is the one to break that.
So there we go, our GW8 team is locked and loaded. Can we make it a hattrick of green arrows? The odds are probably higher than Kane’s, but we with a little bit of luck we can hope to move up from 1.2m.
Many thanks for reading and the best of luck to you all. As always please feel free to vote below for our current GW captain. I’m certainly not going to tell you who to pick but it would be blooming fantastic if his name rhymed with Larry Pane!
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru)