Ok, so anyone who follows me on Twitter will know I’m one of the first to question the ineptitude of the FPL’s official app but thankfully it came to the rescue for us this week. With Romelu Lukaku comprehensively winning last week’s captain poll I went on the app and selected him Saturday morning. Thanks to the apps inability to work during busing periods it failed to save and we kept Harry Kane as captain!! 11pts extra and green arrows achieved. You know what they say about a striker when he’s struggling, that he just needs one to go in off his arse, well this is our equivalent.
After gameweek 9’s horror show we bounced back a little here and scored a decent 59pts on a 29pt average. We saved the transfer and have now given ourselves a fairly decent platform to push on.
As good as the week was we ran into the old goalkeeper curse. Jack Butland got the start over Rob Elliot and it proved a bad decision. Stoke really are pretty atrocious as the back whereas Newcastle kept their third clean sheet in seven. I expected Palace to follow up on their Chelsea win with a half decent performance here. I was wrong. 1pt instead of 7 stung a tad.
Defensively we had an absolute howler. In all fairness only four of the 20 teams kept a clean sheet last week (Brighton, City, Newcastle, Southampton) so points were at a premium but we would still have liked more than a combined 4pts. Even Phil Jones on the bench couldn’t muster more than a single point.
In the midfield there was a little improvement. Assists from Ritchie and Choupo-Moting countered blanks from our two bigger names Henrikh Mkhitaryan and David Silva. Mkhitaryan now has just one attacking return in his last six and has failed to play more than 75 minutes in any of his last four. Now down to £8.3m he is a strong contender for the chop. 15pts across the four is only tolerable because of the very low weekly average.
Up top was the Harry Kane show. Inadvertently given the armband he delivered a Sunday afternoon masterclass. Blanking in all ‘home’ league games before gameweek 9 he put Liverpool to the sword with two goals and an assist to register his highest total this season. The rule with Kane seems to be that if he scores one he’s guaranteed to score a second. 16pts made him the highest scoring player of the week and made the 42% of managers who own him rather happy! Romelu Lukaku failed to score for the second consecutive game but did pick up an assist for Marcus Rashford’s goal. His fixtures are a real mixed bag over the next seven gameweeks so he too is another contender for a transfer out. What is worth noting with any Manchester United coverage is when Paul Pogba is likely back. He is often an easy target for scrutiny but so far this season United have averaged three goals a game with him and only two a game without him. It is clear their attacking players have more appeal when Pog is in the lineup. Last up Jamie Vardy and his 2pts. We are told he is fully fit but he has now failed to score more than 3pts in any of his last four games. With Roberto Firmino walking into a nice run of games there is certainly a good argument for that switch.
What has now put a spanner in the works is that literally as i’m writing this paragraph Harry Kane has been announced out. Thankfully no trigger had been pulled on transfers. So after a little deliberating I’ve gone with the following
Kane (OUT) – Morata (IN)
Mkhitaryan (OUT) – Salah (IN)
Can (OUT) – Richarlison (IN)
Initially I was reluctant to use the extra money from selling Kane as I will inevitably want him again, but I think there’s points to be had this week and I will have money from Lukaku or Morata to bring him back. We had two free transfers in the bank so a 4pt hit has been taken. With Kane out I think hits will be plentiful this week so I’m a little less worries about taking it.
Another tough decision in goal with both keepers away from home but as much as it pains me I just can’t trust Stoke. Rob Elliot gets the nod. Burnley goal expected but this is a decision based upon Stoke’s ineptitude as opposed to fancying a Newcastle cleanie.
At the back I’m giving Trent Alexander-Arnold the start. He hasn’t featured in the last four league games but given the abysmal performance last week I have a sneaky feeling he gets a start at home to Huddersfield. If he doesn’t we have Phil Jones as number one sub anyway. Alongside TAA is Harry Maguire at home to Everton and Sead Kolasinac at home to Swansea. Both have blanked for the last two weeks but I’m confident we see an improvement on that this week. Their attacking output, although not their primary concern, has been a little lower than expected so this week would be a good time for that to change.
Our midfield has seen a big overhaul with two new additions. One of which is a player I have really regretted not owning so far, Mo Salah. The fourth highest scoring midfielder in FPL has registered five goals so far this season and will fancy his chances of adding to that with the visit of Huddersfield. Admittedly they look mightily impressive against United last week but I think Liverpool bounce back from last week’s loss with a nice win here. Richarlison is the other midfielder making his FPL Updates XI debut. I was a little reluctant with him early on but with seven consecutive 90 minute outings he looks nailed on and settled. As part of a thriving Watford front line under Marco Silva he looks a bargain at £6.3m. Throw in the fact his next four games look quite nice (STO, eve, WHAM, new) he seemed a no brainer upgrade on Emre Can. David Silva starts of course. After starting the season with two straight clean sheets WBA have only had one in their last seven and with Manchester City in imperious form I fully expect it to be one in eight. Well, as long as they are playing with Pep Guardiola approved footballs! Matt Ritchie completes the four. Five assists so far this season he has been a fairly decent at the £6m price range. As mentioned previously though, it’s worth keeping an eye on his attacking output with Jonjo Shelvey taking a fair chunk of the team’s set pieces. I’m in no rush to drop him but definitely worth watching as there are some noteable mid range midfielders doing well.
So onto our front line. I won’t lie but I was probably 30 minutes away from dropping Romelu Lukaku yesterday until I heard news of Harry Kane being a doubt. Thankfully I held on and was able to avoid the move. Saying that, a home game with Spurs is far from a great match-up but it would have been a pain nonetheless. After scoring seven in his first seven gameweeks he has now gone two without a goal. He has seen a negative net transfer total in four of the last five weeks but still sits on 53% ownership so I won’t be alone in hoping for some early kick off magic from the Belgian! Jamie Vardy stays. He like Rom was a real consideration for transfer out this week but he gets a stay of execution. There are worse games than Everton right now so hopefully it’s a blessing in disguise. As mentioned above though, with Roberto Firmino’s fixtures improving and Jamie Vardy not delivering this could very possibly be the swap in the coming weeks. Last up is new boy Alvaro Morata. Expected to be out for 5-6 weeks he made a speedy comeback and played 60 minutes last weekend. Chelsea may have looked a little more of a threat with Michy Batshuayi on but Morata is definitely Conte’s man. Bournemouth sitting second bottom should be there for the taking.
At this point I can’t decide if Harry Kane’s injury has been good or bad for our team but I’m happy with the players in. Depending on the time he’s out we may need to adapt our plans next week but for now let’s just hope for our fourth set of green arrows in five weeks.
This may be the toughest captain decision of the season for our line up so please get your vote in below. Hopefully this week we get it right and don’t have to rely on the uselessness of the FPL app.
Thanks all for reading and have a great weekend!
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru)