Considering I had free reign with the Differentials XI this week, I was hoping for a three figure score if I’m honest, though 76 points was pretty solid and there were plenty of highlights.
Annoyingly, Schmeichel picked up an injury against Burnley, meaning he missed out on a cleanie against Southampton. Lloris picked up five points on the bench even though he conceded four goals in two games and got booked – go figure.
My five man backline was largely disappointing, although Smalling’s goal and 16 points were very useful. Chilwell scoring eight was the only other thing of note from the defence.
In midfield, Hazard and Zaha were the stars, with three goals between them. The Belgian was captain and got 16, while the Palace man scored twice in the derby with Brighton, which I feel was inevitable for some reason.
Up front, Wood was a good choice with his goal on Saturday, but I’m reeling from leaving Giroud on my bench. I just knew he’d score – that’s easily my biggest regret of the week.
With the FA Cup semi finals this weekend, there’s a reduced calendar of matches in the league to follow the DGW just past. Here’s the players I think can make a difference this weekend.
Everton are up in the late game this week against an in-form Newcastle, but on their own patch their players, including Pickford (8.4%), will need to pull together and prove that the manager survey isn’t going to cause unrest for the remainder of the season. On the bench, Watford’s Karnezis (0.2%) takes the place although looking around for keepers (I often choose them last) I’m struggling a bit for clean-sheet-looking sides.
At the back, Kompany (2.6%) comes in to lead the champions out after their league title was sealed last weekend. Swansea at home is the perfect fixture for a party, and the Welsh side shouldn’t cause any issues for Guardiola’s men. With Liverpool in Champions League action, rotation could play a role in their selection, so Klavan (1.4%) will come in for the game with West Brom. For Arsenal, the opposite is true, with Wenger saying Thursday that he’ll pick a team that he hopes will take momentum into the Atletico Madrid game. That means strong, so Monreal (7.3%) is in for the clash with West Ham. On the bench, PVA (1.8%) is back for the Watford fixture, while Long (7.0%) – away to Stoke – completes the set after a goal/own goal combo in his two games last week. His upside is: at £4m, he’s very cheap.
With Arsenal going strong, Ramsey (3.7%) is in the team too. He’s only featured in one of their last five league games, but I get the impression the Newcastle defeat has made Wenger realise he can’t totally give up the league form for Europe. Mourinho did it last year, but his position was nowhere near as precarious as Wenger’s is right now. Two men remain from last week, with Zaha (6.3%) and Arnautovic (5.9%) back again considering their low ownership numbers. Also in the midfield is Bernardo Silva (1.2%), who I think will get a run in a favourable game with Swansea. On the bench, Shaqiri (9.6%) is the sub with Burnley his opponents. Basically, if Stoke are to stay up, he’s going to have to do something about it.
Stop what you’re doing and work out a way to get Gabriel Jesus (9.1%) in your team please. Aguero is done for the season and the Brazilian has Swansea, Huddersfield and Brighton to come at home, in a month in which he’ll be hoping to get sharp before the World Cup. Honestly, at £10m, it’s a no brainer and his ownership is still well under the threshold. Up there with him I’ve gone for Welbeck (1.2%), who notched two on his last league start when Arsenal welcomed Southampton. Finally, Tosun (2.4%) completes the lineup – he’s due a goal and Newcastle’s run has to come to an end at some point!
Good luck this getting those green arrows despite the fixture list being four games short.
Written by Joe McPhee (@JPMc99)