Cheerio International break. I’m guilty of watching any old sh*t when it comes to televised football but even I couldn’t be arsed to sit through 90 minutes of both of England’s games. What made it worse was the FPL Updates XI went into the break in great form with three weeks of green arrows in a row! 78pts in gameweek 29 meant we had moved up about 600k places between gameweek 27 – gameweek 29 and had us upbeat about the season again. We now need to see if we can continue this as FPL returns but before we do let’s have a review on how we did last time out.
Ben Foster over Eldin Jakupovic was the right choice but neither did anything of note. Not a single clean sheet between them in the last five weeks and I can’t see that changing anytime soon. I never feel comfortable ‘wasting’ a transfer on a goalkeeper so it may have to wait until the next double game week. Anyone else starting to miss Jack Butland again?
In defence we went with a usual back three and it was only Leighton Baines with anything to show for it. A clean sheet against Hull was sort of expected but appreciated none the less. I have always picked Baines in FPL for his attacking potential but he has now registered seven clean sheets in his last 12 games. Really impressive stats to be fair. Alongside him was a standard 2pts for both Chris Brunt and John Stones against Arsenal and Liverpool respectively.
Our midfield was actually pretty consistent across the board last week. 23pts between them is a total I can get used to. Josh King continued his fine form with an assist and two bonus points to total 8pts. It was his 8th attacking return in his last six matches but oddly was only his second assist of the season. Another player to score 8pts was Kevin De Bruyne as he picked up an assist and maximum bonus. It could have been so much more though if his second half strike against the post had been just a few inches to the left. Tom Davies finally delivered. It may have only been an assist but it was his first attacking return in seven weeks, so we will take it. The only player to blank was Sadio Mane. The Liverpool man has been absolute mustard this season so we will allow him one bad week!
Up top and we simply have to start with our gameweek 29 hero Romelu Lukaku. Just a few days after declining a new contract at Everton he still delivered for the Merseysiders. He may have left it late but 32pts as captain made a huge difference to our ranking. His two late goals took his Premier League total to 21 but the most impressive part is that 11 of those have come since gameweek 20! Comfortably his best ever scoring season he still has nine weeks to improve upon it. It’s looking like the inconsistent Rom of previous years is now becoming a thing of the past. Whether it’s with Everton or not I really hope he’s still plying his trade in the league next season, although if he does i’m pretty certain he wont have a starting FPL price of 9.0m again! Big Rom may have been the hero we also had attacking returns from both other strikers. A goal from Sergio Aguero and an assist for Andy Carroll were pleasing additions to our total. Even if we were robbed of a Carroll goal when Kasper Schmeichel pulled off what was possibly the save of the season.
So 78pts on a 47pt weekly average is exactly what we needed for us to jump up a healthy amount in the rankings. We haven’t been inside the top 1m since GW13 * hangs head in shame * but it is something I fully expect to see in the next few weeks. I’m still deluded enough to hope for a top 100k finish and if we can continue our recent form it’s doable. We have one free transfer to use this week and it’s been used on….
Aguero (OUT) – Costa (IN)
This is now the 3rd time we have sold Sergio Aguero this season and it doesn’t get any easier each time. He has always been FPL royalty but this is the first season that I feel his price and points return don’t level up. Granted he may still be 6th highest FPL scoring striker but he is actually the lowest for ‘points per million’ in the top 18 strikers and with two away game against Arsenal and Chelsea coming up I feel he is expendable. He will have another double game week this season so he may return but for the time being we are going with Diego Costa.
No hits taken and coming off the back of 3 good weeks we hit gameweek 30 in a positive mood. I’m not sure I’m overly confident this week but fingers are crossed and I’m wearing the same ‘lucky’ pants I’ve worn the last three weeks that I’ve written this article. Before you say, yes they have been washed. I think.
In goal we have…..oh who really cares. Both keepers have combined for less clean sheets in the last 26 weeks than games that Tyrone Mings was banned for!
At the back points may well be at a premium. Leighton Baines is away to a Liverpool team that have only failed to score in one of their home games this season. Everton may be in good defensive form but I can’t see that continuing here. Harry Maguire get’s the nod with a home game against West ham whilst Erik Pieters starts against Leicester. If this trio deliver more than 6pts I’ll be shocked.
Our midfield looks a little more promising but it’s highly unlikely that it will hit the heights of gameweek 29. Etienne Capoue gets a return to the line up and raises the really important question of ‘how the f*ck is he still here?’. Well your guess is as good as mine. He’s like that one guy that over stays his welcome at your house party but you don’t have the nerve to tell him to go. One goal and one assist in his previous 23 game weeks is probably a good indicator as to why we are still outside the top 1m! Anyway, if you’re going to own him then you may as well start him when he plays Sunderland at home. Josh King gets a start away to Southampton and we will be hoping he can continue his rich vein of form. His ownership is now up to 12.3% but that still seems quite low for a sub-6.0m midfielder who has more points than Adam Lallana, Mesut Ozil, Phillipe Coutinho and Paul Pogba. Sadio Mane obviously starts and after his winner in what seemed like the 210th minute of the last Merseyside derby, he will hopefully be raring to go. Last midfielder is Kevin De Bruyne. If there is one team you want to face when you only have one attacking return in five then it’s Arsenal.
Up front we welcome back Diego Costa and he goes straight in as captain at home to Crystal Palace. This is the 3rd time we have brought him into our team since the start of December and bizarrely enough the first time was also for a game against Palace. Which he scored the winner in. The second was prior to the Swansea game which he also scored in so let’s see if he can make it a hat-trick of ‘debut’ goals for us. Romelu Lukaku, in the form of his life get’s a start in the Merseyside derby and Andy Carroll get’s the nod away to Hull. Not ideal seeing as we have a Hull defensive double up but none of our subs are better options.
My initial feelings are we will come crashing back down to the ground following a good run of weeks but weirder things have happened. We are getting near to Wildcard territory but I think we will hold off until more of the doubles are confirmed. If we can make small strides before we call it in I am confident of a good finish to the season and then I can go ask for a contract extension and pay rise from the big boys upstairs at FPL Updates HQ! I might even tell them ‘FPL Aaron’ has approached me about managing one of his 312 teams! That will definitely scare them into it.
Thanks for reading and good luck this week.
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru_)