35pts in a week where 47 was the average is not the sort of thing that get’s you in the festive mood. Thankfully alcohol is there for that and seeing as I decided to start drinking approximately 19 seconds after Diego Costa got booked I don’t really recall feeling too down about our week last week.
Every year this busy fixture pile up can either make or break fantasy teams and at this rate we are going to need a Herculian effort to recover. Games come thick and fast so at least it’s a quick turnaround from a bad week. But before we move onto how we set up for Boxing Day let’s have a quick recap of GW 17.
Ben Foster isn’t the first and certainly wont be the last to concede to Ibra. In the first of several tricky fixtures for WBA he came away with just 2pts. The 13th time in 17 games that he has scored 3pts or less. Can’t help but think we have the wrong bargain basement keeper.
Our back three started with the almost obligatory Marcos Alonso clean sheet. I’m sure most are aware but that’s now 10 out of the last 11 that he has registered at least 6pts. Dejan Lovren posted his second clean sheet in a week. It might be a little too convenient to say it coincides with the two games Loris Karius has been benched but worth noting. Erik Pieters and his zero points made up the back line. Two goals conceded and a booking weren’t ideal as he heads into a horrid looking Christmas fixture list. He might need to get used to that bench.
Another week and another poor midfield performance. Mesut Ozil, Roberto Firmino, Gylfi Sigurdsson and captain Eden Hazard all blanked and it’s now three game weeks since any of them even had an assist to show for their efforts. With £36m tied up in the four it’s maybe time for a change.
Up front our week started a little mixed. Diego Costa FINALLY got booked but did manage to score the only goal of the game. I’m not even going to comment on the fact he was nowhere to be seen with bonus but will comment on how he is conveniently now back in Brazil for Christmas! Funny that. Divock Origi blanked for the first time since GW12 whilst Kelechi Iheanacho must have slept with Pep Guadiola’s daughter. Not one of my finest FPL transfers in I’ve ever made.
Once again we find ourselves having to make serious decisions given the ineptitude of our team. We left our transfer last week so we have used the free transfer this week along with an extra one for a 4pt hit. It’s a risk but he who dares…
Costa (OUT) – Ibrahimovic (IN)
Ozil (OUT) – Walcott (IN)
Iheanacho (OUT) – Benteke (IN)
As it’s Christmas I thought why not treat ourselves to a big Swede! Zlatan is in. Granted we have missed a few weeks of decent points but with a run of games as good as United’s we just had to bring him in. Sunderland, Middlesbrough and West Ham the next three, he should be good for a few points. Mesut Ozil has just been a little too frustrating and I have a slight feeling he could be benched for a game over Christmas. Theo Walcott comes in and hopefully the money saved is a wise move. Our last switch sees Kelechi Iheanacho depart for Christian Benteke. Iheanacho has played just 64 minutes across three games that Sergio Aguero has been absent. Benteke comes in off the back of two blanks but a fantastic set of upcoming games. Aside from Arsenal in GW19 Crystal Palace don’t play another genuine top six contender until March. A lot can happen in that time but it’s nice stocking up on players you know you can leave for a while.
So with the transfers done early and the team selected we are ready to go. Considering the ridiculous amount and also speed of price increases/decreases this season we had to swoop early. In all fairness it’s probably for the best because i’m going to be too drunk and in too much of a food coma to do anything at the weekend.
Ben Foster in goal. Arsenal will score. He will score 1-3pts.
Dejan Lovren will be looking for his third consecutive clean sheet. Stoke at home is an unpredictable one. John Stones is in courtesy of his match against Hull whilst Marcos Alonso obviously starts and has a nice match up at home to Bournemouth.
It was a tough decision to bench Etienne Capoue with Crystal Palace at home but he only makes it as first sub. Our four midfield starters are all playing at home here, starting with new boy Theo Walcott. With Mesut Ozil taken out I still feel it’s imperative to have some part of Arsenal given their next six games. If we could afford Alexis Sanchez he would be in but Theo will have to do. Roberto Firmino will be hoping it’s 7th time lucky following six games in a row with a goal or an assist. It’s starting to look a lot less of a coincidence that it has happened with Coutinho’s absence. Good to know he is back in full training and looking towards a New Years eve return. Gylfi Sigurdsson looks to bounce back from two games without return as he plays West Ham at the Liberty Stadium. Seven of Siggy’s 10 returns have come at home. Last up is our current captain choice Eden Hazard. As it stands we are giving the armband to the Chelsea man. With the majority of FPL gaffers captaining Zlatan we are looking for a differential but this is certainly subject to press conferences and team news nearer game time. Home to Bournemouth looks a great match up though seeing as the South Coast team have conceded three goals in four of their last five matches.
We have Dared to Zlatan. Following 23pts in his last two games and a cracking upcoming run he just had to come in for Diego Costa. Part of me feels he must be due a rest given the fact he seems to play every minute but that is countered by Jose Mourinho saying he finds it almost impossible to rest the 35 year old. He get’s the vice captaincy in his debut for us but there is every chance that changes to captain over the next couple of days. Next up is fellow new boy Christian Benteke. Well, I say new boy but he actually featured for us between GW4 to GW6, scoring twice, so hopefully he can show the FPL Updates XI faithful a little of the same. Last up is Divock Origi, making it a trio of Liverpool players again. A rare blank last week he will be hoping to bounce straight back. The minor concern being the return of Daniel Sturridge. This could see his playing time reduced over the fixture pile up so worth keeping a watchful eye on.
So there we have it. Another week I say I really like our line up and probably end up seeing red come the end of the game week. Frankly I’ll be stunned if we don’t break 40-50 this week and see green arrows.
With GW18 starting on Boxing Day we will see Premier League games played over nine of the 10 days following it. Make sure you have an eye on deadlines and an idea of moves you want to make. Mini leagues aren’t won in December but they can certainly be lost.
Have a fantastic Christmas everyone and if ever there was such a thing as a Christmas miracle we could really do with seeing it. Anyway, I need to shoot, Pards has just turned up. Apparently he’s managed to get some time off. Those girls in Sugar Hut aren’t going to pull themselves.
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru_)