I suppose the run had to stop somewhere. The recent charge of 3 green arrows and ascent up the rankings from 2.3 millionth to 1.1 millionth was halted by a return of 43 points in gameweek 17.
Here’s how the Differentials XI looked at the end of the week:
Captain Antonio bagged himself 12 points as he saw his assist and clean sheet points doubled. The ever reliable Luiz picked up a clean sheet to make it 9 in 11, and Rose got a goal and a bonus point. Apart from that, it was 1’s and 2’s all round!
Onto this week, and I’ve made a bit of a mistake. Checking the player ownership percentages to see who was above the 10% threshold, Sigurdsson was bang on 10.0% and Benteke was 10.6% (at the time of writing, 23rd December). After checking this, I went to transfer out the Belgian, but my silly brain got rid of Siggy instead. Apologies for this but next gameweek, Benteke will go. We shall round down percentages this week!
Starting XI: Forster (5.4%), Luiz (3.5%), Rose (6.0%), Coleman (4.4%), Antonio (9.3%), Willian (3.5%), Pedro (3.7%), Snodgrass (5.2%), Wilson (2.7%), Rondon (8.1%), Benteke (10.6%)
Bench: Stekelenburg (3.6%), Dawson (1.4%), Shawcross (1.8%), Pereyra (0.4%)
In the net I’ve gone for Forster. Stekelenburg is carrying a yellow and both keepers have tricky fixtures so I probably would’ve picked Forster due to the home advantage. Luiz will be looking to make it 10 clean sheets in 12 games, but with the absence of Kante in midfield due to suspension, the Brazilian will have to step up into a more tackling, stopper role. Hopefully Danny Rose can shake off the knock he gathered against Burnley to be fit for the trip to the Saints; if not, Dawson is a capable replacement off the bench. Away to Leicester, Coleman‘s fixture looks much more appealing than it would’ve last year. This time round, Leicester sit just 3 points above the drop zone and without Leicester’s Vardy to contend with, a clean sheet is all the more probable given the lack of pace Jagielka and Williams have. Everton’s backline will prefer the task of Okazaki, Slimani or Ulloa.
Antonio‘s done enough to keep the armband this week. Swansea are dreadful and are joint bottom of the league. West Ham on the other hand are beginning to climb the table on the back of two successive 1-0 wins. Willian is the new boy in the squad thanks to my brainfart regarding transfers. With Costa out suspended, its not out the question that Chelsea will play a front 3 of Hazard-Pedro-Willian. For the sake of the squad, I hope that comes true. Having both Pedro and Willian allows a guarantee of a start and sub appearance from both. Once it’s clear who is the preferred choice, the other will be axed upon wildcard time in the second half of the campaign. Snodgrass faces City, a hard game. I’m not expecting much from the Scotsman, although he’s just signed a new deal at Hull so you never know; the Tigers might be looking to cause an upset.
Up top I can imagine Wilson will be chasing shadows for large portions of the game, but like I mentioned earlier, with the suspended Kante likely being replaced by Fabregas, there’s potential that space will pop up in between the lines of midfield and attack, something which the pace of Wilson could exploit. Rondon might find himself in a similar situation against Arsenal. Pulis will set up in the same frame of mind as he did against Chelsea, looking to frustrate the opposition; I’m just hoping Rondon isn’t too isolated on his own. Finally, the illegal man, Benteke. He shouldn’t really be in the squad but I made a silly mistake. Away to Watford, I just hope he can give us a fond farewell.
Written by FPL Avids (@FPLAvids)