With many clubs immersed in a clamour for transfer deadline day deals, the FPL Updates XI backroom staff were in major discussions about our very own GW24 transfer deadline dealings.
With time ticking and the internal fax machine playing up we took to Twitter inbox to discuss the chosen men in. With De Bruyne crocked we had big decisions. Sanchez was a no brainer. We signed him to a 15 GW deal with an option to drop out in case he’s rubbish. With him in we decided we were offloading Ozil for a fairly healthy 9.9m. If only we had got in contact with the Chinese League we might have got a bit more for him. So it left us with a big decision to make, who was coming in for him? So many options. We whittled it down to 2. Roberto Firmino and Ross Barkley. After much deliberation we went with Roberto Firmino and well, errr, that probably wasn’t the best move we’ve ever made. That move and a failure to break the week’s average score meant we have fallen out of the top 200k! Bouncebackability. We are going to need some serious bouncebackability.
With neither GK covering himself in glory we thankfully didn’t have to worry about a wrong decision here. With that said, it was actually our back line which was cause for some rejoicing. It’s been a long time since we had a full house of points returns from our back line but this week we did. Zouma and Dier picked up a cleanie and Scott Dann hit his 4th goal of the season to give us 18 points from those 3. Dann has quietly gone about his business moving up to 5th highest scoring defender and a price increase of 0.8m this season. We will gloss over the fact Zouma was our second defensive sub and only came in because Baines and Martin didn’t play and claim it as a managerial stroke of genius.
In midfield it was yet another poor week where Mahrez was the only one with a return. We will take his assist but let’s be honest, we can’t give him too much credit for that considering what Vardy did with it. Payet could only deliver us 3 points with a blank and just a clean sheet point but the real disappointment was from the 2 new boys. 5 points total from Firmino and Sanchez was not what we needed. These 2 weren’t brought in based on just GW24 but it’s frustrating none the less.
Up top was a little better but only thanks to old ‘Arry Kane. After a run of 3 goalless games he has now notched 4 in 3 and has 15 for the season. The way Spurs are playing and the fact they didn’t shell out on a new striker, Kane looks an absolute must have right now. Ighalo blanked against Chelsea and our captain Lukaku went off injured returning just 2 points total. Patience is wearing thin with Rom and with the blank week upcoming we pulled the trigger.
Lukaku (OUT) – Giroud (IN)
A run of 5 games without a goal, a knock midweek and a GW27 blank meant we had to be ruthless. His next 2 games are favourable but we felt we needed a few weeks apart to think about how much we miss each other and whether we are right for each other long term. The inevitability is that we go crawling back when he has his DGW but until then we are going to see other people, Giroud being the ‘other people’. Hardly the most consistent of fellas but with his supply line getting healthier every week and no blank in GW27 he is worth a gamble. So here is how we line up this weekend:
In goal Butland is back. With just 1 clean sheet in 6 for our boy Jack it’s about time he sorted us out with a few points. With no attacking coverage from Everton now I feel better about starting him. Watch Lukaku hit a brace!
Our back 3 sees a return for Russ Martin. Norwich have hardly been a resolute defensive unit, conceding 14 in their last 4 but there’s one solid rule within the Updates HQ…..if you play Villa, you start. Eric Dier starts against Watford and Baines also gets the nod. Hopefully Baines will actually play this week following his surprise drop midweek. Although given his return after a long layoff, it’s fairly understandable.
Our midfield involved a bold move with the benching of Riyad Mahrez, the only midfielder we have had deliver an attacking return over the last 2 GWs. It’s a gamble but we think he blanks this week. This is where any of you smarter lot go out and back Mahrez first scorer in an absolute goal fest! So we have decided to start Arnie over him. Arnautovic has always frustrated me as an FPL player. Bundles of technical ability but also looks like he can’t be arsed. With that said he faces Everton this week and after watching him against them over Christmas he seemed to thoroughly enjoy playing against them. His goal, assist and 2 bonus at Goodison was enough to believe he can deliver in the home match. Payet has been a little disappointing since being brought in and a game away to Southampton is hardly a desirable one right now. 4 cleanies in a row for the South Coast team (all since Forster has returned) surely can’t continue though and West Ham have proven their abilities away from home this season. Sanchez was certainly in captain consideration this week away to Bournemouth, where we are quietly expecting good things from him but it’s last week’s new boy Roberto Firmino who has the perfect chance to prove us right! He gets the armband at home to Sunderland and if ever there was a game for him to deliver then this is it. The Brazilian has been an absolute boom-or-bust pick this year so fingers will be crossed with this semi-punt differential captain pick.
Up top we welcome Olivier Giroud. On the surface this seems a risky move seeing as he has only scored in one of his last 7 BUT we feel this is a calculated risk. Striking appeal is fairly low at the moment with a mix of players injured, out of form or looking at a blank GW, so this seems a good time to mix it up. Vardy was an option but he has 2 tough upcoming matches and Aguero and Costa are still just too pricey to crowbar in. Bournemouth isn’t the worst match up either. Alongside him is Ighalo. The Watford striker had scored in 6 consecutive games, was tormenting everyone and then we brought him in. 1 goal in 5! That’s not to say we don’t rate him but with Spurs away next he might not be our main hope this week. Kane is the final striker in our team. He will be the opposite end of the field to Ighalo so we will certainly be watching, hoping for a 3-3 thriller.
So with 2 straight weeks of red arrows (the first time since week 2 and 3) we have to steady the ship. We have been patient with the chips given the pending blank week for 4 teams, but another poor week and we could get a little tempted. Down to 202k we need to push back for the top 100k again and this week looks as good as any.
Good luck to everyone reading and let’s see some green arrows this week!
Written by FPL Guru.