Well what a load of sh*t that was! There we were soaring back inside the top 1m (soaring being a hugely generous adjective) and we hit a big double gameweek shaped brick wall. The only consolation to waking up to red arrows and a drop back outside of 1m is that I’m writing this next to a pool in Lanzarote drinking my body weight in Punk IPA! I don’t even want to know how drunk i’ll be by the time we get to this weeks transfers. Anyway, let’s get onto how we did in GW34 before the missus catches me eyeballing the pengting at the bar.
Hallelujah! We had a keeper keep a clean sheet. An actual, real life clean sheet. Eldin Jakupovic got the nod because well, Ben Foster didn’t have a game so we had no choice.
In front of him we doubled up on the Hull cleanie with Harry Maguire who supplemented those points with a handy 3 bonus. Every season you get the odd few great cheap options and for me he is one of them. His last three starts have seen him return 7,7 and 9 and with Hull’s fight to survive and Marco Silva’s frankly insane home record I think he will be sticking around this season and likely into next. 0.7% also strikes me as bafflingly low given his form. Next to him we only had one other defender as Marcos Rojo got injured and John Stones failed to feature in City’s 0-0 draw with United. With United keeping two clean sheets in their double it made it even more painful but at least Leighton Baines picked up 6pts against West Ham. So a rare week where all our defensive players picked up returns.
Unfortunately the same couldn’t be said about our impotent midfield. Wilf Zaha picked up a measly 3pts on his double, Dele Alli scored 2pts, Hyeung Min Son annoyingly came off the bench for 1pt and Leroy Sane 3pts in last nights sleep inducing draw. The hardest part of all of this was knowing Josh King was sitting on the bench pissing himself at my terrible decision to not start him again. Yes, I’m a tit, I know. Our front seven looked good this week but still, benching one of the most in-form players at home to Middlesbrough is up there with the worst decisions I’ve made this year. And there have been a few.
Up top why would I start anywhere else than Alvaro Nilgredo, as he’s been aptly nicknamed this week. As soon as I gave him the armband I had a funny feeling about it. Sort of like the feeling you get after that 7th shot of tequila. That feeling of knowing you’ve just ruined your night and it will inevitably lead to you waking up in the morning fully dressed, half a chicken kebab in your hand and regret in your inbox. Next to him we had a blank from Romelu Lukaku and a paltry assist from Harry Kane. 24pts from your front seven when you have a captain on a double is only going to end with red arrows.
It’s a drop we couldn’t afford. With just four gameweeks left, admittedly two are doubles, we needed to keep the momentum rolling. The top 100k looks an impossible dream but we will keep marching because we simply cannot finish outside the top 1m.
With our Wildcard locked and loaded for next week we have played it fairly safe this week.
Rojo (OUT) – Yoshida (IN)
Negredo (OUT) – Gabbiadini (IN)
With a home match against Hull this week, followed by back to back doubles in GW36 and GW37 the 4pt hit makes sense to bring in a couple of Southampton players. The temptation to bring in Rob Holding over Maya Yoshida was there but I prefer Southampton’s fixture this week and Holding may make an appearance in our Wildcard next week as Arsenal are the other team to boast back to back doubles.
After Eldin Jakupovic returned his first clean sheet in 10 gameweeks we have savagely sent him back to the bench, as I simply cannot see a clean sheet for Hull at Southampton. Ben Foster comes back in for a home match with Leicester.
At the back we have done the same with Harry Maguire for the same reason. Replacing him with Chris Brunt. Alongside him we have new boy Maya Yoshida and John Stones. Stones is carrying a knock and may not start but a game against Middlesbrough is too good to bench him just in case.
In the midfield I’ve gone with 5. I just wouldn’t be able to look at myself if I benched Josh King again and he scored. With Sunderland this week I think I’d probably need sectioning if I did. He joins the same four from last week. Dele Alli and Hyeung Min Son are home to Arsenal, Wilf Zaha, fresh from three blanks on the bounce, has a chance to deliver as he hosts already safe Burnley and Leroy Sane visits Middlesbrough. I’m quietly confident of returns between the five of them and can’t see any of them being on the losing side.
Up top I have made the controversial decision to bench Romelu Lukaku against Chelsea. This is one of those moves that has mistake written all over it but I’m now on my 5th beer and I’m feeling a little risky! If he scores a brace then the big dogs upstairs at FPL Updates may just tell me stay here! With him benched against the team he will probably be playing for next season we are just running with a front two. New addition Manolo Gabbiadini starts against Hull and get’s the vice captaincy. Since Hull’s impressive/lucky clean sheet at Old Trafford back in GW23 they have gone on to concede 15 in their next five away. For all the work Marco Silva is doing at Hull it’s not really happening away from home. It could be argued that Southampton have little to play for whilst Hull are fighting for their lives but I can’t see Southampton not scoring. Last up is captain for the week Harry Kane. There are three certainties in life. Death, taxes and Kane scoring in London derbies. The Spurs front man will still be holding our hope of catching Lukaku in the scoring charts and also Chelsea in the league so who am I to say he won’t.
So there we have it. A couple of semi-controversial decisions but now isn’t the time for playing it safe if you are aiming to make up ground like we are. Our eggs are very much in the baskets of Southampton, WBA and Spurs so my fingers are crossed.
The only advice I would give this week is to keep your eye very much on the upcoming doubles. Base transfers around them accordingly. Our wildcard is planned in for next week to then use the Bench Boost in the big GW37 double so any ground made up this week will help. Anyway, I’m going to go back to my drinking/relaxing so good luck to everyone this week and we will see you on the other side.
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru_)