Green arrows are green arrows! A score of 50 for the FPL Updates XI was enough to move us up an eye-watering 799 places which in turn was enough to get us back into the top 100k! Historically I have always found January to be the toughest part of the year to navigate through. It’s a labyrinth of misinformation, players being rested and inconsistent form. So with the final games of this month played this weekend I’m pleased with where we sit. We had a bit of a mixed bag of scores from our team but were lead impressively by our skipper. So let’s have a look at how our line-up did.
Yes Jacky Boy! 7 points from Butland broke a run of 4 games without a clean sheet. Hands up here but my confidence in a clean sheet was minimal. Incredibly that now means Arsenal, United, City and Chelsea have all failed to score at the Brittania this season. If anyone can tweet us and tell us a team that has done that in Premier League history they will get 10 FPL Updates points!
The back 3 held very little potential for GW 22 and it proved to be a little bitter sweet. Kolarov got the start for City but following an injury at the start of the 2nd half he was replaced prior to the magic 60 minute mark. City obviously went on to keep a clean sheet! I will be the first to admit that Kolarov has always been my guilty little pleasure in FPL. He has such a high ceiling in terms of potential returns but the City rotation and continued struggle to keep consistent clean sheets makes him a frustration. I’ve always felt like owning him in FPL is like an every so often drunken hook up with a girl that is way too hot for you. At the back of your mind you always kid yourself that it will happen every week but ultimately you know that’s bollocks. Eventually you know you need to move on from all that deluded madness. Next up was Zouma. 1 point in an absolute thriller. What made the 1 point more frustrating though was that none of the 3 goals scored by Everton were anything to do with Lukaku. Go figure. Our 3rd ‘defender’ was Spurs’ holding midfielder Eric Dier. As previously stated, his appeal as an out of position player for a decent price makes him one of the most appealing players to own, in my opinion. Although Spurs conceded he still delivered us an assist and 5 valuable points.
Our midfield had a distinctly average week considering their favourable fixtures. Payet couldn’t follow up on his previous week’s 11 point performance and Arnautovic came in for the absent Ozil and picked up 3 points courtesy of the clean sheet. Meanwhile, Riyad Mahrez missed another penalty, scored 1 measly point and has since been stripped of his spot kick duties. Cheers! Thankfully De Bruyne ended a run of 4 games without an attacking return with an assist in the 4-0 hammering of Palace. With the second wildcard in the back of our minds all these midfielders will need to impress in the next week or 2.
Up top we had captain Kane to thank for saving our week. A goal and an assist against a very poor Sunderland team was enough to return us 20 points, 40% of our weekly total. Our other 2 strikers blanked again, the second consecutive week they have done so. Both have nice match ups this week so I will leave the panicking until next week.
So with an average score of 46, 50 was good enough to keep us moving up. All chips still intact so there is plenty to be pleased about.
We had 2 FT’s to use but considering our line up look’s fairly healthy this week we decided the 1 transfer was enough, so here it is.
Kolarov (OUT) – Baines (IN)
Yep, we’ve moved on. His weekly rotation threat and now potential injury was enough to make the move. Although this may look a points chase, Baines has proven FPL pedigree and with a disgustingly appealing run of games he looks a steal at 6.1m. With the trigger pulled let’s have a look at our GW 23 line up.
Once again I’m going to say that I really can’t see a cleanie from either GK but with Hennessey looking like he’s primed for the Crystal Palace bench soon it’s a no brainer to run with Butland. To be fair Leicester have only scored 2 goals in their last 5 games so maybe there is hope. I’m calling both teams to score in this one though.
Our back 3 consists of Zouma away to Arsenal, Dier away to Palace and new addition Baines at home to Swansea. Arsenal will score, Palace look a little limp so there’s small hope with Dier but let’s be honest, most of our hopes lie with Baines. Following his 2 assists last week and inevitable contribution via set pieces we have our fingers crossed. Would be nice if Martinez saw sense and whacked him back on pens too.
In midfield we had to make the big decision to bench Arnautovic over Mahrez. Honestly, I think Arnie is on borrowed time in our line up. Never the most consistent player, I just think we could well be better off with a cheaper option and extra cash invested elsewhere. With that said, the other 4 were worthy enough of a start so no need to waste a transfer this week and give ourselves extra headaches. Payet starts with City the opposition here. In the first fixture between these 2 teams Payet absolutely bossed it and picked up an assist. I wouldn’t mind that again here. We have kept faith with Mahrez. Since his haul of 49 points over weeks 15-17 he has blanked in 5. With him being taken off pens he has lost some serious appeal. Stoke at home isn’t an easy game but enough to leave him in. He plays Liverpool and City in the 2 after so if he blanks here we will be out! Come back next week for my grovelling apology to him when he hits a brace and looks like the nailed on 15/16 Player of the Year again. Following his absence last week Ozil should return against Chelsea so he obviously gets the start here. Last midfielder is De Bruyne. He ain’t cheap but I do love him and with West Ham, Sunderland and Leicester in the next 3 he is safe for the time being.
Our front 3 are obviously the same but we have a change of captain. As much as we appreciate the contributions of Kane last week we feel his match up away to Palace could be a little tighter than we would like for anyone receiving the armband. Saying that, Kane loves a goal against his London rivals so we aren’t going to be disappointed if he kills it. Ighalo gets another chance to open his Updates XI account. It’s almost at the point where I want to tweet an apology to Watford fans as his 3 game drought has conveniently coincided with him being brought into our team, especially seeing as he scored 7 in the 6 games before we did. Home to Newcastle has surely got to be the game though, hasn’t it?! No clean sheet in 7 games for the Tyneside outfit, they have conceded 6 to City, 5 to Palace and 3 to Sunderland in 3 of their away games this season. Last but certainly not least is this week’s captain. Big Rom. Yes he may have now gone 3 games without a goal but he has a Swansea team this week that conceded 4 to Sunderland just 9 days ago. If a 33 year old Jermain Defoe can score a hat-trick against them then I have faith in Lukaku.
With a lot of our team needing to impress and a wildcard burning a hole in our pockets we will be expecting another 50+ week. The fixtures look good and with us back in the top 100k we are feeling positive.
This time next write up we will have a clearer indication of upcoming double game weeks so try and avoid any daft knee jerk decisions, play it smart and let’s see them green arrows rolling in!
Written by FPL Guru