Finally a week where we break 50pts and still see red arrows! It’s like taking home a worldie from the bar only for her to fall asleep when you get there. In all fairness the fact we took a 12pt hit fo the FPL Updates XI probably answers that. On a positive note at least our team is starting to look like it can deliver some points.
With Charlie Austin’s injury happening after our big hit we had to run without him and go with an unfamiliar 3-5-2. If only I paid attention to my own tweets about not using transfers before all European games are over.
So having Ben Foster away to Chelsea wasn’t a complete disaster. For once they looked the tough and organised Tony Pulis type team we expect, but it was still the 11th game in their last 12 that they have conceded.
The back three was let down by Dejan Lovren again. Well, more like Loris Karius again but the zero points next to Lovren’s name don’t care who’s fault it is. It’s the 3rd time in the last five games that Lovren has delivered a big fat zero. Isn’t it meant to be fun owning a cheap starter for a top four team? We started Michael Dawson against Crystal Palace and typically it was yet another goalfest involving Palace. 1pt wasn’t great but was 1pt more than John Stones scored on our bench. Last up was Marcos Alonso. This was a no brainer and unsurprisingly he grabbed a cleanie in his first game for us. With their December fixture list I strongly suspect this wont be the last time he delivers.
Our midfield was a mixed bag. Unfortunately captain Eden Hazard blanked but we did get 10pts from Mesut Ozil in what was the second week in a row he has hit double figures. We also got 13pts from Gylfi Sigurdsson as he registered a goal and an assist against Sunderland. Roberto Firmino made it four blanks in a row and Etienne Capoue also blanked but for the 9th time in 10 games.
Up front we had to deal with the injury to Charlie Austin so we ran with just Kelchi Ihenacho and Romelu Lukaku. Iheanacho was subbed on 59 mins but Lukaku finally delivered. To be fair to the City forward it was his first league start for a while so although it was disappointing I’m still confident he can have an impact in Aguero’s absence. Lukaku on the other hand scored his first goals since GW 10 against West Ham. His brace took his overall points to 85 but now faces a couple very tough matches.
With just two days between GW’s we have made a couple decisive swaps, with one player rightly feeling a little hard done by with his exit from our squad.
Lukaku (OUT) – Costa (IN)
Austin (OUT) – Origi (IN)
We say goodbye to Lukaku with a very heavy heart but needs must. His next two are Arsenal and Liverpool whilst Diego Costa is staring at one of the most favourable December’s you could hope for. Can anyone say ‘5th yellow’.
Ben Foster as always. Swansea at home isn’t a terrible fixture but with Sigurdsson in our team we have a small conflicting issue.
At the time of writing Dejan Lovren is an injury doubt but we will start him against Middlesbrough. I’ve given up expecting Liverpool clean sheets so we will just sit and hope. John Stones comes back in as City face Watford. City are another team seemingly completely incapable of a clean sheet right now but we can’t not select him. Last up is Marcos Alonso. Sunderland away isn’t easy but there’s certainly potential at both ends for him.
Our midfield reverts back to a four this week, with all of them playing away. Roberto Firmino, overshadowed by both Sadio Mane of late will be hoping for his first attacking return since his goal and two assists against Watford last month. We will conveniently ignore the fact we brought him in after that match. Gylfi Sigurdsson fresh from his big performance against Sunderland faces WBA. As mentioned it’s a minor inconvenience he faces our keeper but we would far rather the points come from our Icelandic playmaker. Mesut Ozil, looking to make it a hat-trick of double digit returns plays Everton whilst Eden Hazard only gets the vice captaincy this week against Sunderland.
Our front line looks a little better than last week as we welcome Divock Origi into the fold. Looking more assured of starts we have brought him in and a game against Middlsebrough isn’t terrible to start. Kelechi Ihenacho starts his second game for the FPL Updates XI and I’m going to stick my neck out and say he picks up at least a goal. Last but not least is a player that has probably cost us at least a couple hundred thousand places by not owning him, Diego Costa. So far you could have filed me nicely into the ‘I’m not bringing him in until he’s seen that 5th yellow card’ camp. 10 games since his last yellow and I’ve bitten the bullet. With Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Stoke his last four games of 2016 he’s in.
So there we have it. A 4pt hit isn’t ideal but the team looks ready to go for December. With rotation inevitable we have several strong captain choices every week now on and a bench full of nailed on starters. Our aim for the whole season is top 50k but I’m setting a target of top 750k for the end of the calendar year.
Good luck to everyone and don’t forget that our first midweek GW of the season starts tonight. Deadline is 6.30 GMT so make sure all transfers and line up changes are done and if you have time, make sure you lump on Diego Costa getting booked tomorrow night. It’s just the kind of effect I’m having on players this season. Thanks for reading.
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru_)