Am I the only one who feels like it was forever ago that we had some FPL action? Although the last gameweek seems a distant memory what certainly hasn’t been forgotten is that we helped ourselves to some green arrows! Picture Gazza celebrating against Scotland and you are some way to understanding how pleased I am right now.
Maintaining that over the coming ‘blank’ weeks is going to be a little more challenging though. Before we look at our attempts to navigate the first blank gameweek of the season let’s have a run through our gameweek 25 team.
Both our keepers conceded twice but we still got it wrong. Ben Foster falling just one save short of Eldin Jakupovic meant we had to settle for 1pt instead of 2. My 16/1 shout of Arsenal missing a pen was so nearly spot on. Thankfully Jakupovic didn’t save it otherwise this article may have come with an 18 rating.
In front of him we ended up with a back four of Chris Brunt (0), Leighton Baines (6), Marcos Alonso (2) and Erik Pieters (8) scoring 16 combined. 4pt average across my defensive line is something I’ll never complain about.
Our midfield was saved by Alexis Sanchez and not for the first time this season. His brace against Hull scored us 15pts and now puts him an astounding 36pts clear of 2nd highest scoring player Eden Hazard. Unfortunately he was only our vice captain but points are points and we aren’t in a position to complain. We had blanks from the three alongside him, Kev De Bruyne, Matty Phillips and Tom Davies.
Up top we gave the armband to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and he picked up an assist in the 2-0 win against Watford. The points here put him a couple ahead of Rome Lukaku and moves him up to 3rd overall in scoring. A blank gameweek this week is a concern. With Andy Carroll injured (again) we were left with just Christian Benteke to partner Ibra and his 2pts put us over the 50pt mark.
52pts on a 47pt average moved us up about 50k places to 1.4m. Still a million miles from our pre season expectations but now it’s the time for the real FPL gaffers to stand up.
Over the coming weeks we see several frightful looking blank weeks followed by some very sexy double gameweeks. How you navigate through these is usually how your season will be defined. With this coming gameweek being the first blank of the season we consciously left our gameweek 25 free transfer to ensure we had two free this week. We have added an extra one for a 4pt hit.
Ibrahimovic (OUT) – Costa (IN)
Carroll (OUT) – Lukaku (IN)
Sanchez (OUT) – Mane (IN)
Dropping Ibra and Sanchez doesn’t usually sit well with me but both have a gameweek 26 and gameweek 28 blank. Andy Carroll is a risky one as he doesn’t have a blank week but he doesn’t really give us too much hope with his fitness. Rom Lukaku has three games between gameweek 26-gameweek 28 whilst Costa has two but he can either be benched or dropped in gameweek 28. Mane, another with three games across the next three gameweek’s comes in for the Arsenal man.
The transfers now mean we have a full team bar Kevin De Bruyne, who will sit comfortably on our bench. He also blanks in two of the next three but with Bournemouth in between we will hold onto him.
Both keepers have a nice match up this week and for once we are going to give Eldin Jakupovic the nod. Although they have only scored five away goals all season they have actually scored four of those in their last four. So we really need the Burnley of 2016 to reappear. Hopefully Lincoln have knocked the wind out of their sails.
We run with a back four. Well sort of. What has become a trend of late is my insistence to start Nathan Ake. I know he won’t start yet I feel obliged to start him just in case he plays. I keep saying it but surely he gets a game soon doesn’t he?! Alongside him we have Leighton Baines, Marcos Alonso and Chris Brunt all with fantastic fixtures. Baines faces a Sunderland team coming off the back of a 4-0 home defeat against Southampton, Alonso home to Swansea and Brunt home to Bournemouth. I’m quietly confident of us hitting 16pts again from the back line again this week.
We have a three man midfield including new addition Sadio Mane. He’s actually our only player playing away from home this week. Not that an away game against now manager-less Leicester is a worry. Quite how Ranieri got the sack before me is a mystery. Maybe the boys upstairs at FPL Updates HQ aren’t all that bad! Alongside him we have Matty Phillips and Tom Davies. Neither has as much as assist to their name in the last three gameweek’s but they wont have a better chance to end that drought than this week.
Up top we welcome two players who have been in and out of our squad already this season and both are handed the captaincy and vice captaincy. Romelu Lukaku and Diego Costa take their place in our starting 11 to make it maximum coverage from both Everton and Chelsea. It’s fair to say that I’m expecting goals from both. They are joined by Christian Benteke. Who faces Middlesbrough at Selhurt Park. One attacking return in his last 10 hardly fills us with any confidence whatsoever but Crystal Palace have a fixture this week so it’s not like he is going to get dropped this week.
So there we have it. A pretty decent looking line up in all fairness and just the 4pt hit taken. It’s been a disappointing season so far but I feel this is where we make the march back to respectability. Green arrows are a must this week and I’m pretty confident of them.
I think we have set up well in preparation for the this week and if we save out transfer next week we could just about field 11 in gameweek 28. That in itself across the coming three weeks should ensure a healthy rise. Theory is one thing, reality a whole different prospect so I will be crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. Good luck everyone and feel free to give us a shout if you need any last minute advice. Thanks for reading!
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru_)