Oh for f*ck s-Ake! Just a couple of weeks ago we thought we had a regular starter bargain in Nathan Ake but clearly Antonio Conte reads this article and has decided he wants the young centre half too! His recall now means we have 3 Chelsea players, so I really hope he gets some game time. If not our team is going to need a little work if we have aspirations of bringing Diego Costa back.
This compounded a fairly dismal start to January as we had to enter the FA Cup break off of the back of GW20 red arrows. Our 9th set of red arrows in the previous 10 GWs. Not the sort of form you want to enter the new year on.
Ben Foster picked up 3pts and we will ignore that I called the 3-1 against Hull given that it’s the last thing we wanted. I’m going to sound like a broken record here and highlight that it is now just one clean sheet in 17 Premier League games for WBA.
Our back line was a mixed bag once again but for once it wasn’t Marcos Alonso carrying them. Their 2-0 defeat at Spurs left the Spaniard with just 1pt. In 14 starts for Alonso this season he has only scored 2pts or less twice. Both against Spurs! Dejan Lovren couldn’t pick up any clean sheet points but did return his first assist of the season, whilst Erik Pieters made it four clean sheets in his last eight GWs and scored an impressive 7pts.
Once again we left the armband with one of our midfielders and in GW20 it was Alexis Sanchez. He scored Arsenal’s first in their thrilling 3-3 comeback against Bournemouth but unfortunately that’s all he could do. He wasn’t the only one of our midfielders to score us some points as Gylfi Sigurdsson picked up an assist and 2bps as Swansea won 2-1 at Crystal Palace. Etienne Capoue and Eden Hazard couldn’t match that as they both scored 2pts.
Our front three were once again led by Zlatan. His goal (that was definitely onside) against West Ham made it nine attacking returns in his last five GW’s. Scintilating form that we really hope/need him to continue, especially as Christian Benteke and Divock Origi have just one assist between them in the last four GW’s.
50pts with no hits wasn’t a bad score but once again saw us drop down the overall rankings. The standard this year seems a lot higher than the last few so I think it may well need a monster week from us soon to have any shot at our pre season hopes of a top 50k finish.
We had avoided a transfer last time around so we have used both our free transfers this week.
M.Dawson (OUT) – Baines (IN)
Sigurdsson (OUT) – Phillips (IN)
We have joined the masses and brought in Matty Phillips. As much as this smells a little of points chasing his fixtures between GW22 – GW27 are as favourable a run any team has had all season, so he’s hard to ignore. Especially as that left us with enough money for Leighton Baines. The Everton left back has garnered interest of late but considering he has accumulated 48pts over his last seven GW’s I’m mildly surprised his ownership is still under 9%.
So with a couple of form/fixture based transfers made let’s see how we line up for GW21.
Ever the optimist I am starting with Eldin Jakupovic this week. Following David Marshall’s howler against Everton, Jakupovic has started Hull’s last two games (both cup) and I’m really hoping he get’s the nod this week. Home to Bournemouth is a darn site more favourable than Ben Foster’s trip to White hart Lane. Interesting fact. Of all keepers to start at least five Premier League games this season Jakupovic has the highest points per match average at 4.6pts.
Our defence welcomes Leighton Baines and he starts this week. Home to Manchester City isn’t easy but given City’s struggles at full back this season we will be hoping Baines can get forward and maybe pick up some atacking points. Erik Pieters starts against Sunderland and Marcos Alonso starts against Leicester.
Alexis Sanchez keeps the captaincy this week. He might have an away fixture but it’s Swansea and we have all seen them defend this year. Seven goals conceded in their last two home games is the sort of woeful defensive form we go looking for when picking our captain. Matty Phillips starts for us. He has a difficult one against Spurs but he’s in for the run of games that follows this. Anything this week would be nothing more than a bonus. Eden Hazard starts against Leicester and we pick Etienne Capoue at home to Middlesbrough.
Our front three is unchanged and led by Zlatan Ibrahimovic following his 2 game cup absence in the last week for United. He will be licking his lips at the thought of facing a Liverpool defence likely to still be missing Joel Matip. Divock Origi starts for us in the same match. Daniel Sturridge looked a lost figure midweek so I’m adamant that Origi will start. Christian Benteke completes the 11 as he faces West Ham at the London Stadium.
As soon as this article is written I’m heading off to Edinburgh for the weekend and have to somehow find a way of keeping up to date on all the football. So if anyone knows of any decent bars there that will show football but at the same time will be nice enough to keep a couple of women happy then please feel free to tweet me. If not I may need to plan in strategic toilet breaks all weekend. Wish me luck!
Have a great weekend all and let’s hope for some Monday morning green arrows.
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru_)