Could we be any more like Sunderland! Crap all year long and then when we hit the final weeks we deliver a great performance. Much like Sunderland’s impressive win away at Hull last weekend we posted 86pts, our highest weekly total of the season. Although we won’t be hitting our pre-season aim of the top 100k we have moved up 300k places to 772k and with a huge double gameweek this week I’m gunning for the top 500k.
We called the Wildcard in ready for this week but it paid off a week early. With numerous changes made let’s have a quick run through where we scored the points.
Even when our starting keeper gets a clean sheet I still get it wrong. For me this season will live long in the memory for the fact it’s been the year I have been completely incapable of picking the right goalie. Willy Caballero started for us and scored a decent 6pts but he was outdone by Jordan Pickford’s masterclass. Five big saves, a clean sheet and two bonus left him on 9pts against Hull. It used to be so much easier starting Jack Butland every week!
Our defence was a thing of beauty though. I actually think I’ve had drunken McDonald’s orders costing me more than our back three did last week. With much of our money being spent further up the field I went for cheapies on doubles and it proved very favourably. Rob Holding was a gamble given that he hadn’t featured in the previous two but the demand from the Arsenal fans was there and Wenger duly delivered. He started in both and picked up a cool 15pts in doing so. If he stays under £5m next season he could be a hugely popular pick. Next to him I doubled up on Southampton defenders and I was more than happy with the one clean sheet. Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens scored 7pts and 8pts respectively meaning we scored 30pts between the three of them.
Our midfield was very much a one man band with captain Alexis Sanchez scoring 28pts. At half time of the Southampton game it was looking a very different story though. 135 minutes of complete and utter gameweek blankness it looked bleak. At this point I thought enough was enough and ‘team orders’ were called in. Words were had with Yoshida and Stephens and then just minutes later Sanchez has sent them both to the chip shop with one turn and it was 1-0. Unfortunately for us the rest of our midfield didn’t really come close to matching him. Josh King did at least return an assist which was his 14th attacking return in his last 15 games but both Pedro and Leroy Sane blanked. A little disappointing given that their teams combined for eight goals between them.
Up top we only had Manolo Gabbiadini on a double and unsurprisingly he blanked in both. We had alluded to his poor underlying stats but his price tag and double had swayed us. In all fairness it wasn’t really a week for attackers seeing as only 11 strikers scored more than Gabbiadini and only one (Sam Vokes) hit double figures. Also blanking in GW36 was Harry Kane. For once he didn’t score in a London derby! With Spurs ‘bottling’ the game against West Ham it now means the league is Chelsea’s and we need to be careful with our Spurs investment. By the time they play Man Utd on Sunday the league could already be wrapped up so we need to mindful of how this will affect them. Last up it was one of our new additions in last week, Gabriel Jesus and grabbed us an assist. Not much considering City hit Palace for five but points are points.
So a score of 86pts the week before the big double is a certainly a total I would have taken this time last week. With the Wildcard called in last week I wasn’t aiming to make more than the one transfer this week but given that Manolo Gabbiadini looks like he’s checked out I just had to drop him
Gabbiadini (OUT) – Rashford (IN)
Maguire (OUT) – Brunt (IN)
I know what you’re thinking. Why bring in a Manchester United player with Mourinho all but giving up on the Premier League. There’s two reasons. One, Gabbiadini didn’t leave us with much spare cash and two, there are very few appealing strikers on a double with something to play for. I also think Marcus Rashford plays for more minutes than expected over the two games and when he plays he looks good. As much as players may be rotated Mourinho knows they need to play into some form so they don’t limp into the final. It’s a gamble but one I’m happy to take.
With the two transfers made let’s have a look at the line up for the penultimate gameweek of the 2016/17 season.
BENCH BOOST is active and we have 14 players on a double!
At last, a week that I cant balls up the keeper choice here. We have Willy Caballero and Jordan Pickford in goal and the fixtures don’t look too bad at all. Three home games between them so I’m hopeful of at least a couple clean sheets.
Our back line includes the three stars from last weeks team, Rob Holding, Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens. Once again all the fixtures for Arsenal and Southampton look pretty appealing, we just need to hope that Southampton still feel the need to play. If anything it’s actually been the defence that has been keeping them competitive lately. Four clean sheets in their last seven have made up for the fact they have failed to score in four of their last five. Odds on a 0-0 against Middlesbrough?! Rob Holding came away with two clean sheets last week so I can’t imagine that Arsene will be dropping him any time soon. Well, given that they face Sunderland at The Emirates we can only hope he doesn’t. On the ‘bench’ this week is Chris Brunt and Ben Davies. In all honesty Brunt has a dreadful looking couple of games so he’s not in for his defensive potential. This is purely a move with the hope he can contribute from an attacking perspective. Davies has slightly more appealing games but with the league practically over and Danny Rose back in contention he may not be a player we should pin too many hopes on.
Our midfield is where we have our lone single game player, Josh King. His form and home game against Burnley means he is not going anywhere. Alongside him we have Pedro playing WBA and Watford, Leroy Sane playing Leicester and WBA, Hyeung Min Son playing Man Utd and Leicester and captain Alexis Sanchez against Stoke and Sunderland. Given that Stoke’s season is over and Sunderland are sh*t Sanchez just about edged our captain choice. A repeat of GW36 would be fine.
Up top all three are on the double and two of them were genuine captain options. Gabriel Jesus has the two home games against Leicester and WBA and given that it looks like Robert Huth and Wes Morgan are both out I really think City could fill their boots. That’s followed by WBA, who haven’t won since their 3-1 win against Arsenal two months ago. Actually, why have I not captained Jesus? Harry Kane was the third captain option but the only off putting aspect is the deflation of losing the league. Granted he will still want a go at the Golden Boot but I think we will have higher scorers this week. Last up is Marcus Rashford. He wont play 90 minutes in both but if he plays upwards of 120 I’m confident we will see returns.
So here we go. 14 players on a double and a potential 29 games in total being played by our team. The realistic aim is 100-110pts but given a little luck I can see 130ish. In the big double last season we scored over 170pts so let’s have our fingers crossed for something similar.
With a game being played every day for the next seven days let’s enjoy every minute of it because the thought of a football-less summer is starting to dawn. Good luck with whatever moves you’re making this week and let’s hope for the points to roll in.
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru_)