With the final International break of 2016 behind us it’s time to turn our attention back to the wonderful world of Fantasy Premier League. Well, wonderful is maybe a tad too positive. It was about 7 minutes after the England game that I logged back on and remembered exactly why I had spent the last 8 days avoiding looking. 47pts scored in gameweek 11 just didn’t do the FPL Updates XI any favours when the week average is 52pts and subsequently this has seen us drop back outside the top 500k. Unacceptable in my eyes and moves have been made accordingly.
Before we discuss the upcoming week let’s have a quick review of the FPL Updates XI’s gameweek performance:
Once again we started Ben Foster and for the 8th consecutive game he conceded. His last four have been about as difficult a run as you can get so we will forgive him that, especially as his next three are pretty enticing.
With Dejan Lovren, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford all not playing in gameweek 11 we were forced into a back four. Erik Pieters, John Stones, Hector Bellerin and Jonny Evans all started and all scored 2pts. Defence hasn’t been a storng area for us this year and with Bellerin now injured we have had to have a little post International re-jig.
Our midfield was a little healthier though, mainly thanks to Adam Lallana’s 12pt display in Liverpool’s 6-1 demolition of Watford. His two assists and maximum bonus took his overall points tally to 59, putting him 8th amongst all midfielders. Mesut Ozil scored us 5pts with his assist in the North London derby whilst we are still scratching our heads at how Michail Antonio wasn’t awarded the goal against Stoke. Down as a Whelan own goal at least the West Ham man got an assist from it. Etienne Capoue was last up and he contributed his now customary 2pts. After starting with 44pts in his first five games he has now scored just 14 in his last six. He’s still here and presumably the other 37% of teams because his price is so cheap no one can really be arsed to waste a transfer on him.
Up top we gave the armband to Sergio Aguero and all things considered it was proabbly the wise move. 12pts from the Argentine striker were ok but seeing him blaze over late on we know it really could have been so much better. Alongside him was Romelu Lukaku, an almost anonymous figure in the mauling by Chelsea.
So with no transfers made in gameweek 11 we used both this week along with a third for a 4pt hit.
Bellerin (OUT) – Dawson (IN)
Lallana (OUT) – Firmino (IN)
Antonio (OUT) – Pedro (IN)
The injury to Hector Bellerin forced our hand a little and with so many tempting options in midfield we felt it best to invest that money into that. As much as Michael Dawson is unlikely to play much for us he is nailed on for starts and has a nice run. So by bringing him in it has allowed us to upgrade further up field. Roberto Firmino and Pedro come in on the back of some sumptuous form and some great fixtures up until Christmas.
Could this finally be the week for Ben Foster?! There’s been more clean sheets at Justin Bieber’s house than there has been in WBA games over the last couple months but if there’s one game you’d want it’s Burnley at home. Although Sean Dyche’s men are sitting in 9th they have only one point and one goal scored away from home this season. Cue a 3-3 classic on Monday night.
Our back three starts with another of WBA’s backline, Jonny Evans and for exactly the reasons above. Next to him is John Stones away to Crystal Palace and Erik Pieters home to Bournemouth. Certainly potential but the two have just three clean sheets between them all season.
Our starting midfield four includes both our new boys. Roberto Firmino has a tricky away game at Southampton and Pedro, also away, faces Middlesbrough. Over the last three weeks the two have combined for an incredible 58pts, so we will most definitely have our fingers crossed that their form can continue. Mesut Ozil starts again. He may not have been at his absolute best this season but he still has two goals and two assists in his last six matches. Manchester United isn’t the easiest of games but it’s by no means the most difficult. Raheem Sterling rounds up the midfield. Rested in Manchesyer City’s last game against Middlesbrough it was clear they missed him. Although his last attacking return came in gameweek 6 against swansea I’m confident his next goal or assist is just around the corner.
Up top we start all three strikers. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic banned we expect Marcus Rashford to play as the centre forward. Arsenal is a tough one but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who remembers what he did to Arsene Wenger’s men last season. The last two were our captain dilemma. Sergio Aguero has been captain for two weeks on the trot and looks a great option this week but we may go for Romelu Lukaku. Aguero may not have featured in Argentina’s win over Colombia but he has still had to travel a considerable distance, along with the fact City have Monchengladbach next week. This may not have much impact on things but is possibly enough to swing things in Lukaku’s favour, who has a pretty tasty match up at home to Swansea. 2nd bottom and 21 goals conceded so far, we may just have to go with the big Belgian.
So that’s how we set up this week. In my opinion it looks a lot healthier than the last few weeks and quite frankly it needs to be. As mentioned at the top of the article we are now languishing outside the top 500k and if we want to have aspirations of a top 50k finish we need to start making up ground now.
Fixtures have certainly begun to ease up for many of our players, so a 50-60pt week is surely obtainable. Regardless of how we do at least it will be better than last Saturday, as no matter how bad a week I have it’s got to be more tolerable than walking around IKEA.
Roll on United-Arsenal, roll on Jeff and the boys, roll on a WBA cleanie Monday night and roll on some much needed green arrows. Good luck all!
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru_)