40 FPL points and another sub-average week for the FPL Updates XI means we are starting to know how Gary Neville felt a few weeks back! The disappointing return in GW26 now means we have fallen to 306,863 overall and no sign of that bouncebackability we were looking for. If this was any other point of the season we would be frantically pulling the ripcord on the wildcard but with a blank week for 4 teams this week and a further 8 teams without a game in GW30 we need to play this strategically.
So before we start to dissect our upcoming plan of action let’s have a (quick) look at how our team performed in GW26.
Another gameweek down and another gameweek in which both of our keepers conceded. In 14 games between Butland and Hennessey since the turn of the year they have just the 1 clean sheet. We ran with the Palace shot stopper last time out and we had to settle for his 1pt over Butland’s 2. Things didn’t get any better for our back 3. Baines didn’t play again and it meant we lined up with the trio of Dann, Fuchs and Martin. 2pts scored between the 3 of them. The small consolation was only 3 of the 20 Premier League teams actually kept clean sheets and the highest scoring defender was Kolo Toure!! Either way 2pts from 3 just isn’t going to be enough to pick up any sort of green arrow.
In midfield we had Dimitri Payet to thank for some level of respectability. Funnily enough the West Ham playmaker had a net transfer of -22,217 going into GW26 so at least we held patience to see what we felt was inevitable sooner or later. With Norwich last game and Sunderland this, it was a bit surprising seeing him dropped in droves. After benching Riyad Mahrez in GW25 and missing out on his 15 points we started him against Arsenal and had just the 1pt return. This obviously wasn’t helped by his substitution prior to the 60 minute mark following Danny Simpson’s red. Roberto Firmino was named as our vice captain and was one of very few players to NOT score against the hapless Aston Villa. He picked up an assist though and seeing as he returned us 26pts the week before, we aren’t going to get too greedy. Last up was captain for the week Alexis Sanchez. We had confidence in the Chilean but the blank against Leicester has now made it 4 games without an attacking return since his injury lay off. With no blank for Arsenal in either GW27 or GW30 he won’t be going anywhere so a goal would be very much appreciated.
Up top we can almost single handedly claim credit for the Odion Ighalo slump. In the 7 or so weeks we have owned him he has scored 1 goal. He had 8 goals in his 7 games prior to that. Once again, he will be going nowhere this week, with Bournemouth travelling to Vicarage Road. His blank in GW30 gives us food for thought though. Alongside him we had attacking returns from both; Giroud an assist for Walcott’s equaliser and Harry Kane with the opener against City. Kane looks to be one of the few must have picks at the moment but Giroud, no goal in 5, is where we had decisions to make this week and the decision was….
Giroud (OUT) – Vardy (IN)
We had been aiming to only use a transfer between now and GW30 on those with a blank for that week but with Welbeck back in contention and Vardy’s frankly ridiculously favourable upcoming run, we went with it. I think we all know this next 5/6 game stretch for Leicester will shape their title challenge and I think Vardy looks primed to deliver. Yes, his ownership is just shy of 50% but I’d far rather be in that group than the 50% without him, especially given that players like Lukaku and Aguero don’t have a game this week. So, with that said, let’s have a look at how we line up this week.
In goal it’s one of the easiest decisions we will ever have. Butland in. It seems a long time ago since our boy Butland was racking up points for fun but he has Aston Villa this week. That is pretty much all that needs to be said.
Our back 3 pretty much picks itself. Eric Dier home to Swansea, Scott Dann away to WBA and Christian Fuchs home to Norwich. If this 3 don’t outscore the 2pts from last week then I’m giving up fantasy football for good. Seriously though, this is about as appealing a weekend we have had at the back in a while so we have high hopes for at least 10-15 points.
Our midfield also looks full of favourable match ups. Riyad Mahrez is one of our 3 Leicester players hosting Norwich City and given that they have conceded 18 in their last 6 we have to expect some sort of return from Mahrez. Fresh from his 13 point performance last GW and his 2 goals last week in the FA Cup, Dimitri Payet hosts second bottom Sunderland. Sunderland have conceded 12 goals in their last 4 away games so we, along with his other 910k owners, will be hoping for that to continue. Somehow we still own Marko Arnautovic. With no goals and just one assist in 7 he’s hardly the form man but I guess if you are going to own him any week it might as well be when he’s home to Aston Villa. Granted he’s a question mark with illness but everything points towards him being ready and available. Last up is Alexis Sanchez. If any player was due a return it’s surely him. Manchester United are basically having to name half their under-13’s team at the moment and with them having played on Thursday we fancy Arsenal to pick up the 3 points and Sanchez to be involved.
Our front 3 also looks about as appealing as it can get. Harry Kane, Odion Igahlo and Jamie Vardy are all home and all against teams in the bottom 6. You could make a case for any one of them wearing the armband but we have decided to go with Jamie Vardy. Harry Kane is just coming off of surgery for a broken nose and Ighalo isn’t in the greatest of form, so the Leicester hitman gets the nod on the week we fully expect him to hit the 20 goal mark.
We made sure we had a good looking team in readiness for this blank GW and fixture wise we look in good shape. I’m confidently predicting green arrows this week and we will certainly be disappointed with anything short of 55-60pts.
So with the next blank GW in just a few weeks make sure all transfers used now ensure you can field at least 10/11 in GW30. These are the GWs that mini leagues are won and lost so planning is imperative. With all of our chips intact still we will be aiming to field a strong team again in GW30 and then call the wildcard in straight after, packing it full of DGW players. This then allows us the opportunity to use triple captain and bench boost over 2 of the inevitable DGW’s ahead.
The only risk to this frankly flawless plan is that I’m going out tonight to get obscenely drunk and there are only 2 likely outcomes. Either I end up drunk texting an ex or I Triple Captain Jack Butland! Next week’s write up could be awkward.
Good luck to everyone this week and let’s start getting the FPL Updates XI back towards the Holy Grail of the top 100k!!
Written by FPL Guru