Just as we got the taste for green arrows we post a 44pts week on a 46pt average and drop down the rankings again. If any team was in need of 9 changes on an FA Cup weekend it was ours this week. Unfortunately the Wildcard chip isn’t an option at the moment as that is being left for future double gameweeks. We do have two free transfers ready to go though so before we get onto our plans for this midweek’s GW23, let’s have a look at last week’s team.
WBA kept a clean sheet! An actual clean sheet. Their first in 10 GW’s was enough to give us 7pts for Ben Foster. Surprisingly enough he’s actually the 6th highest scoring keeper in FPL this season. Just 2pts behind David De Gea and Petr Cech and 4pts behind Hugo Lloris.
Our back three was helped by 6pt performances from both Leighton Baines and Marcos Alonso. It now means that Baines has delivered at least 6pts in five straight games whilst Alonso has scored at least 6pts in 13 of his 16 games this season. Dejan Lovren on the other hand picked up a solitary point in Liverpool’s loss at home to Swansea. Watching them defend made me realise that it might be time to avoid owning any part of their backline. Yep, it’s taken me 22 weeks to clock that.
In midfield we were let down by captain Eden Hazard. Home to Hull looked a good match up but they proved to be a little more stubborn than expected and all we got was 6pts. Vice captain Alexis Sanchez did a little bit more as he scored the 98th minute winning penalty against Burnley, scoring 8pts. Matty Phillips and Etienne Capoue blanked to round off a fairly poor week for our boys in the middle.
What can I possibly say about our front three aside from the fact they combined for the same amount of points as West Ham’s Jonathan Calleri, and Calleri didn’t even come on until the 65th minute. Plus he’s crap. Stoke, Everton and Swansea were the opposition so we can be forgiven for having confidence in at least a couple of returns but the reality was a lot more painful. 5pts total from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Christian Benteke and Divock Origi means changes need to be made.
So as mentioned we had two free transfers this week and they give you a clear indication of what my thoughts are on Liverpool at the moment
Lovren (OUT) – Brunt (IN)
Origi (OUT) – Carroll (IN)
There is certainly a tinge of points chasing about the moves but with neither Lovren or Origi occupying much of our budget we had to go with the best we could afford. Fixtures and form were taken into account so let’s see if they both make our GW23 line up.
Ben Foster starts in goal again. Him away to Middlesbrough is more appealing than Eldin Jakupovic facing Manchester United. Especially seeing as Boro have only scored two goals in their last five and the last time WBA played Boro it finished 0-0.
We run with a back four this week starting with the new addition Chris Brunt. For the first time in FPL he is listed as a defender. Which given that he is playing as far more of an advanced wing back makes him a fantastic option for the rest of the season. In his previous nine GW’s he has hit double figures three times, including 13pts against Sunderland last time out. Middlesbrough, Stoke, West Ham, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace are his next five so it’s a real possibility he adds some serious points to the 62 he already has. Marcos Alonso starts against Liverpool. Liverpool have had a woeful January and I expect Chelsea to add to their problems. They’ve conceded six in their last three league games and have shown how much they struggle to deal with crosses, something Alonso will be more than happy to exploit. Leighton Baines and Erik Pieters make up the back line as they play each other so a 0-0 will be more than acceptable.
With four at the back we go with a three man midfield. For the first week in a few we don’t give the armband to a midfielder but Alexis Sanchez does get the vice captaincy. This could be a huge mistake though given that the last time Sanchez played Watford he scored one and set up two, returning him a massive 16pts. Matty Phillips starts and is our third WBA player. As a rule I wouldn’t say having three WBA players is a guarantee to a successful FPL season but this year they look pretty impressive. Add in their upcoming run and it’s not the worst strategy. Four goals and nine assists for Phillips means this is already his best FPL season to date and it doesn’t seem like he’s done. There aren’t many better under 6m. Eden Hazard makes up the three. Only two players have scored more than Hazard this season but the Chelsea man only has two goals and two assists in his previous 11 games. Compare that with seven goals and three assists in his first 11 games it’s becoming a little worrying as to whether this is what we will be expecting now on. He is still playing incredibly well, it’s just not being converted into FPL points lately. Liverpool and Arsenal up next will really test whether he is still a must own elite option.
Up top and in comes Andy Carroll. Although this will be his FPL Updates debut it’s not the first time he has been transferred in by us. In GW2 he made his way in on the Friday, got injured in training and didn’t make the game on Sunday. We will be crossing anything we can that he is fit for this week. Next up is a striker that has more missed penalties than attacking returns in the last seven GW’s. Christian Benteke is still in our line up and it is only because he has Bournemouth and Sunderland next two. After a run of five in five he has now gone seven without a goal or assist. A couple more and he won’t be part of these write ups anymore, I can tell you that much. Last but certainly not least is that man Zlatan. GW22 was his first blank in seven and with Hull at home this week i’m confident it wont be two in a row. 18 goals conceded in their last eight they have also now just been knocked out of both cups in the space of the last 4 days. I just have a feeling United could give them a seeing to and for that reason Ibrahimovic is the captain this week.
That is how we line up for GW23 and it’s a line up that simply needs to perform. Being 1.3m overall just isn’t acceptable, esepcially given we still have hopes of a top 100k finish. We still have the Wildcard, Bench Boost and Triple Captain chips left so there’s hope but we simply cannot drop any further.
Don’t forget that GW22 starts on Tuesday this week so make sure you have your teams set by 18:45. There’s not many things I prefer to a midweek GW and a Wednesday night Match of The Day so let’s just hope that our FPL week makes it even more enjoyable.
Good luck to all and if there’s any last minute advice needed don’t hesitate to give us a tweet or comment in the comments section below.
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru_)