Another FPL gameweek down and another week moving up. We ended up on 69 FPL points (yes I’m 31 and no I don’t still giggle at the sight of that number… well, maybe a little). We have now moved up to 180k overall and into the top 5%. Going into week 14 we decided to use both our 2 FT’s, which will be useful for gameweek 15, so let’s have a look at the breakdown of our starting 11.
Butland was back and as it turned out both of our keepers scored 2 points, so the tough, drawn out decision we made last week didn’t even matter. In what turned out to be an absolute goal-fest of a Saturday afternoon the only goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet was Pantilimon, so I can live with that.
In front of him we didn’t have any major hopes of a clean sheet and so was the case. It would have been a clean sweep of 2’s if it wasn’t for a Kolarov goal (in the 69th min ;-)) to make the defensive returns a little more respectable. As discussed in previous weeks it has been our defenders letting us down and because of this it has been decided to use this week’s free transfer on our back-line which we will address in just a moment.
In midfield our decision a couple weeks ago to move from one Arsenal mid to another looked even more impressive when Mesut Ozil hit his 2nd of the season. This combined with Sanchez limping off just before the hour meant we have now made a net points increase of 12 points over 2 games from the move. He wasn’t the only one to deliver us some attacking returns. We brought Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu in and he popped up with an assist in the 3-3 thriller with Bournemouth. One of our biggest talking points last week was the sheer volume of transfers out of Kevin De Bruyne. He ended up having a net transfer total of 81k OUT!! That baffled me then and baffles me now. Thankfully we made the sensible decision to keep him and he returned his highest total of the season so far. 1 goal, 2 assists and 3 bonus meant he hit 16 points. Cheers Kev. Lastly was Riyad Mahrez. Even we can allow the Algerian one blank week.
Up top we gave the armband to Lukaku and he obliged with a goal and 12 points. Sergio Aguero was brought back in following his return from injury and well, he went off injured! Go figure. Last but certainly not least was Jamie Vardy. He scored, he broke the record, blah blah blah. As nonchalant as we have become about him scoring goals I can guarantee that when he finally blanks, people will realise how we have been taking his points for granted. Funnily enough, if you were to take Mahrez and Vardy out of the Leicester team from the start of this season they would only have 7 points and would be bottom.
So as explained we decided to roll with one defensive change.
Dawson (OUT) – Zouma (IN)
So onto our starting 11 for this week and for once I can’t help but think our goalkeeper choice has absolutely no bearing on our team whatsoever. Neither of Butland or Hennessey are keeping a clean sheet and seeing as we have 2 attacking options from their respective opponents we have just decided to go with the man Butland at home to City.
In a good looking back 3 we have Cedric, Kolarov and Zouma. All 3 offer a nice attacking threat and all have very favourable fixtures from a clean sheet perspective. Obviously there are doubts over Cedric seeing as he hasn’t completed 90 minutes since the 2-0 home win over Bournemouth at the start of November, but with Villa next we have to chance it. He is certainly someone we are looking at for the next potential drop. Kolarov, the highest scoring defender in the game with 71 points, is always a great option but I do have a feeling we will see Clichy getting some Premier League starts now we are hitting the busy December period so it’s certainly a risk/reward pick and lastly it’s new boy Kurt Zouma. I can’t say that we were expecting to be bringing in any Chelsea players prior to the last International break, but since that Chelsea have racked up 3 consecutive clean sheets, 2 of which have come in the league. What actually did surprise me was the fact that Zouma has started 11 of the last 12 games in the league, clearly becoming one of Mourinho’s favourites. So with Terry a minor doubt and Zouma facing Bournemouth at home this week he looks a good pick.
Onto our prolific midfield. Last week our midfield 4 combined for a very pleasing 33 points and given their fixtures this week I honestly think we are looking at a week where they are certainly capable of 25+ between them. First up is Riyad Mahrez. The Leicester City midfielder is not only the highest scoring midfielder this year but he is also top of the points per game list for all players, averaging 7.5. This week he faces an out of form Swansea team who have conceded a goal to an opposition midfielder in their last 4 games with over 50% of their total goals conceded coming from midfielders. Next up is Mesut Ozil. This season he has finally started receiving the plaudits he deserves and he has shown a consistency that very few players can match. Last week’s goal made it an attacking return in 8 of his last 9 gameweeks. We will have to wait and see if injuries to Sanchez and Cazorla hinder his output, but either way he is playing at a level that makes him un-droppable for Wenger and any fantasy manager. For Everton midfield coverage we have Deulofeu. This is a player that has impressed us immensely and although he has been overshadowed by Barkley in the last 2 weeks, the flying Spaniard has quietly delivered 1 goal and 5 assists in his last 5 games. As discussed last week, his ridiculously low ownership (3.1% this week) makes him a fantastic differential, especially given the fact Everton are still in the midst of a very appealing run. Last up is De Bruyne. I made my point clear last week and again previously in this article. He has put himself in the elite list for me and barring any injury he will be here with the Updates XI for the long term. Stoke and Swansea up next, just watch him go and have 2 absolute stinkers!
Up top it’s the same 3 as last week. Apparently Jamie Vardy had a party! Hopefully he has sobered up and stopped banging people out for chatting shit. The record is broken so let’s see if he can extend it and make it 12 in a row. Bold prediction, he blanks and the record is set at 11. Next up is Kun Aguero. A heel injury makes him a slight doubt at the time of writing so we have our fingers crossed that he’s fit. Beside him is Lukaku. Another goal last week, 4 games in a row (watch out Vardy), he now faces a Crystal Palace team that have only kept just one clean sheet in their last 6 matches. With that in mind he earns the armband again.
We are now beginning to hit that busy Christmas period so make sure you have a bench full of cheap, reliable starters. This is the time of year that shapes the rest of everyone’s season, so don’t put yourself in a position of rolling with 10 men. Dann, Martin and Wanyama tick those boxes but hopefully we won’t need to use them all. Good luck to everyone this week and let’s continue racking up those green arrows!
Written by FPL Guru