Well that was a bloody enjoyable gameweek! Not only did GW23 bring us our biggest weekly score of the season it also moved us up to our highest position so far. 90pts against a GW average of 58 means we moved up 36k places to 59k. It also stopped us seeing back to back red arrows, something we haven’t had since GW’s 4 and 5.
I have mentioned our aims a fair few times this season within these articles and it had always been a top 100k finish. With us now well within that the aim is cementing a top 30k place. I like the line-up we have and we have all of our chips intact, so I think it’s very achievable.
So let’s have a look at how we did last weekend. We gambled on a Rob Elliot start. He didn’t. They conceded. We were happy. Nick Pope replaced him and as expected he conceded. 2pts scored meant that it is now just 1 clean sheet in their last 5 games. Fixtures are not kind to Burnley over the next few weeks so I’m not convinced that things will change too soon.
At the back it was a mixed bag. We started Christopher Schindler and Huddersfield got twatted. 0pts to show for it but thankfully ‘new boy’ Marcos Alonso had him covered. We brought the Chelsea man back for his 2nd FPL Updates XI stint and he duly replied with a lovely 8pt performance. Phil Jones closed out our week with his 12th clean sheet in 17 starts and 6pts.
Our midfield was also a varied mix of monsters and shitters. The GW started poorly for the midfield 4 as Wilf Zaha blanked again. That’s now just one assist and no goals in his last 5 games. With Arsenal, Spurs, Man Utd and Chelsea in his next 7 games he is starting to look like a favourite to be the next player out. Thankfully Saturday improved dramatically as Heung Min Son lit up the evening game with his goal, assist and all-round performance. 13pts scored and with 3 back to back 90 minute games he’s looking good. The last 2 faced each other in one of the games of the season as Liverpool beat City 4-3. Raheem Sterling blanked, Mo Salah didn’t. 1pt for Sterling was eclipsed by Salah’s 11pt score. I won’t bore you with too much about Salah BUT how in the f*cking world did he lose 500k owners in the 2 GW’s prior to this? What are people doing? His City performance was his 10th double figure tally this season. In 22 games! He hits at least 10 in nearly half his games. What a ridiculous season he’s having.
Up front was where the real magic happened though. 46pts combined for our front 3 was just 1pt shy of what we scored total in GW22. It started with New boy Callum Wilson. A transfer I’m very pleased with. We brought him in for Jamie Vardy and he rewarded us with a goal and an assist in an impressive come from behind win against Arsenal. In my opinion double figure scores from your cheap 3rd striker exceed most other emotions in FPL. He was joined by Roberto Firmino’s 8pts and captain Harry Kane’s 26pts. I’ve said it before and will continue to do so but i think Roberto Firmino has to be the most underrated forward in Europe. His work rate is second to none and he has now started adding goals to his play. His finish was top quality and given his relatively cheap price tag I can’t see him leaving our team unless he’s injured. He’s now the second highest FPL scoring striker and I don’t really expect to see that change for the foreseeable. The only striker to have scored more than him, unsurprisingly, is Harry Kane. I’m not going to bore you with Kane stats but he scored 26pts, I bloody love him, it hurts my head trying to understand how his ownership is under 50% and he better do this in Russia.
A great week and let’s hope it can continue. I actually think the most pleasing part of the week was that our first points hit in 12 GW’s was a massive success. Masuaku and Vardy went out and scored 4pts whilst Alonso and Wilson came in and scored 20pts. I’ve tried to be more sensible with transfers this season and it’s paying off. With that said I have made just the one this week and it’s one that hurts me to my core!
Zaha (OUT) – Arnautovic (IN)
It’s not Zaha out that bothers me it’s the fact I’m bringing in a guy I cannot f*cking stand. I don’t rate him, he’s a tit and I’ve always tried to avoid having him anywhere near my FPL teams. BUT sometimes you have to just swallow your pride and pull the trigger. He’s in one hell of a purple patch, he has a great run of games and we could afford him to the penny.
So with GW24 being the reverse of GW20’s fixture list we will be hoping we can match our score from that week of 81. We start with our usual GK between the sticks. Nick Pope gets the nod and I simply cannot see anything other than save points here.
At the back it’s an away day for our 3 but favourable looking for all. Andrew Robertson has been excellent since cementing himself as the starting left back. The points have been good but not amazing yet but he’s looking like he’s settling well and could be a great option going forward. Not afraid to attack and with Virgil van Dijk’s signing he has potential for points both ends of the pitch. Talking about points at both ends of the pitch we also start Marcos Alonso. He has now returned at least a clean sheet or attacking return in 7 straight games. Stunning form and more than justifying his price tag. For me I don’t think there’s a more important ‘defender’ to own right now. Last up is the clean sheet magnet Phil Jones. As mentioned above, he now has 12 clean sheets in 17 games that he has started. Now up to £5.7m he still looks great value but an ownership of just 16.3% is remarkable.
So our midfield welcomes Marko Arnautovic, reluctantly. Part of me wants him to bomb so I can take him back out but with 52pts in his last 5 games it’s difficult to ignore him if we want to maintain our overall climb in the league. What I find baffling is his FPL points pre and post David Moyes’ appointment. In GW’s 1 to 11 under Bilic he scored just 7pts. In GW’s 12-23 since Moyes took over he has 68pts. I’m not sure what Moyesy is doing to him behind the scenes but it’s working. With 5 of his next 6 games against Bournemouth, Palace, Brighton, Watford and Swansea those points are likely to continue rolling in. We have Heung Min Son in of course. 35pts from his last 2 GW’s he has also managed to play 90 mins in 3 games back to back. This may not seem impressive but considering he had only managed to complete 90 mins in 2 of the previous 21 GW’s it’s possibly showing that Pochettino is starting to really trust him. That in itself makes him look a massive pick at £8.2m. Although saying that after this weeks away game at Southampton he will face Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal in consecutive weeks. So we may not be expecting quite the same kind of returns. I’m not sure if the same can be said of Mo Salah. 11pts in his return last week he now looks onto a very nice run of games. Excluding Spurs in GW the run through until mid-March is great. Surely only a matter of a time before he smashes through the 200pts mark. Last up is Raheem Sterling. The second highest scoring midfielder has 5 goals and 3 assists in his last 7 GW’s and with Newcastle at home this week there’s plenty of hope his run continues.
Our front line is unchanged and we start with Harry Kane, who faces a Southampton team he hit for a hat-trick last time out. A repeat of that will be ideal. He isn’t the only one of our strikers to play a team he scored against in the reverse fixture. Roberto Firmino plays Swansea, a team he scored twice against in December whilst Callum Wilson plays West Ham who he scored against in the 3-3 too. With all 3 in fine form I’m quietly hoping for points. There might not as many as the 6 combined goals of last time though unfortunately.
We are GW24 ready! I’m happy with the line up and the march up the rankings continues. As always we have the captain poll below so please add your vote for our line up. You guys are having a blinder with it so all votes are appreciated. The last 5 winners of the captain poll have scored 26/6/28/22/26. Funnily enough the only poor week was Harry Kane’s DGW score of 6pts. FPL is weird.
Thanks for reading and good luck to you all. Well, except anyone else inside the top 100k!
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru)