A Dele Alli worldie, Kun Aguero with a brace and Roberto Firmino walking away from the Carrow Road thriller with an 18 point haul! Did the FPL Updates XI have any of them? Of course we bloody didn’t! We went into gameweek 23 just inside the Fantasy Premier League top 100k but with our score of 44 on a 43 average it wasn’t quite enough to maintain our position. Once again it was a real mix of FPL scores and probably left us with more questions than answers, so let’s have a look at how the FPL Updates XI did.
As we predicted, both keepers conceded. Both conceded 3 actually. The main issue was that Hennessey returned 3 points, Butland just the 1. It’s now just 1 clean sheet in 5 for the Stoke keeper. Thankfully their next 5 aren’t quite so challenging.
In front of him we started Baines, Zouma and Dier. As per last week’s review we had clearly stated that our hopes lied with Baines and a little with Dier. So guess who returned 8 points (4 times the total of the other 2)? Yep, Kurt Zouma. I was certain of an Arsenal goal but Per Mertesacker had other ideas. Although Chelsea might not be quite there yet I can’t help but think they have turned a corner and defensive coverage of theirs could be wise in the last third of the season.
Our midfield was and is the area with most question marks. The only midfielder to return any noteworthy points was Mahrez. The Leicester man had actually gone 5 games without an attacking return before Stoke and had been transferred out at a staggering rate. His assist for Ulloa was Mahrez at his best and regardless of the fact he faces City and Arsenal in his next 3 he will be staying put. The other 3, Payet, Ozil and De Bruyne, all returned 2 points and made sure we had some serious decisions to make going into the upcoming GW 24.
Our front 3 has a serious lack of a certain Argentine striker. Has there been a bigger debate in the world of fantasy over the last 18 months than whether or not to own the mercurial talents of Kun Aguero?! If he didn’t have hamstrings made of cheese string he would be in any line up I have from week 1 to 38. He does though and it causes havoc with a line-up. So we run with Kane, Ighalo and Lukaku. We decided to give Lukaku the captain’s armband and as typical as our week was, he was the only striker to blank. Kane picked up an assist for Alli’s goal and Ighalo scored 1 and made another to return a team high 12 points. Then there was Lukaku who missed several great chances against Swansea and returned a paltry 4 points. The last time we give him the captaincy!! Well, until this week anyway!
So, given our decision to only use 1 of the 2 FT’s we had last week, we still have 2 to use. This decision was giving the Updates XI backroom staff all kinds of headaches until De Bruyne’s horrible knee injury last week in the semi final and all of a sudden ours and many others’ minds were made up.
De Bruyne (OUT) –> Sanchez (IN)
Ozil (OUT) –> Firmino (IN)
4 or 5 weeks ago the thought of dropping both KDB and Ozil seemed the sort of decision that would have you locked up but such is the unpredictable nature of FPL. Admittedly the Ozil transfer out is more to do with avoiding a midfield double up but with Klopp starting to favour Firmino as a front man, the swap is one we really like.
Given our 2 bold transfers, let’s have a look at this week’s line-up.
Hennessey gets the nod. Although Bournemouth have been impressing of late we feel a little more confident in him keeping a cleanie over Butland. Yes I know Butland is only playing United but we do actually think the Red Devils will score. Crazy talk I know.
We have decided to bench last week’s 8 point man Zouma and give Dann the start. This was a case of a gamble double up on the Palace rear guard over a conflict of Zouma vs our striker Ighalo. Eric Dier gets another start, as does Leighton Baines. Neither has an easy match up as such but Dier playing in midfield and Baines’ attacking qualities make them must starts if you have them.
Our renovated midfield looks very appealing for the next few weeks. Mahrez and Firmino face off against each other in a game that we seriously hope looks something like Liverpool’s last game against Norwich. Payet has a hugely appetising match up against Championship bound Villa and Sanchez is back. He has looked surprisingly sharp in his 2 appearances since his enforced ‘winter break’ and I think the thought of running without both Aguero and Sanchez would be a little too much of a gamble. Let’s just hope Southampton don’t do to Arsenal what they did just over a month ago.
Our front 3 obviously stays the same. Kane has Norwich, Ighalo has Chelsea and captain Lukaku has Newcastle. We may fear not owning certain players but let’s not forget our front 3 are the 2nd, 3rd and 4th highest scoring players in this season’s Premier League so let’s leave our faith in them and have our fingers crossed they can push us back into the top 100k!
After 9 consecutive 60+ point weeks we have now failed to hit that total in 4 straight. With DGW’s on the horizon and all our chips intact, now is the time to get back on track to set us up for a big push in the last third of the season. Our team looks in good shape so let’s hope they can get us back in the top 100k this week.
Good luck to everyone and let’s see those green arrows rolling in!
Written by FPL Guru