Now that’s more like it! The march continues and this week it was led by a dominating defensive performance. If we have to do it the Mourinho way then so be it! 64pts on a 46pt GW average has elevated us into the top 1m and now means we have achieved green arrows in four of the last five GW’s.
After falling to 1.6m after GW8 I’m over the moon that we have managed to move up to 967k in the two weeks since and we need to keep this going.
Guess what, I got the GK decision wrong. Again!! Obviously Stoke, who had one clean sheet all season, were going to rock up to Vicarage Road and win to nil. Obviously. Rob Elliot very nearly matched this in a turgid Monday Night Football but a lateish Burnley goal put paid to that.
In front of Elliot was where the magic happened. 29pts combined for our back three was a massive improvement from the 4pts combined the week before. Phil Jones started us off with a clean sheet and max bonus in the first game of the week against Spurs. Sead Kolasinac scored and assisted in the Arsenal comeback win to register 14pts. His second double digit return of the season. Harry Maguire then added 6pts of his own with a clean sheet against a hapless Everton on Sunday. I’m not sure I’ve seen a defence this good since OJ Simpson walked free.
Our midfield couldn’t even come close to matching the defensive heroics as Mo Salah delivered our only attacking return with an assist against Huddersfield. It could have been so much more if not for his penalty miss. He can score one of the most important goals in his country’s modern history but he can’t beat Lossl in a routine Premier League game. Go figure. Probably safe to assume Milner or Firmino will be back on them now then. Aside from that blanks for David Silva, Matt Ritchie and new addition Richarlison meant we accumulated a paltry 9pts from the four.
Up top we had attacking returns from all three. Romelu Lukaku may be on a mini scoring drought but his towering flick on for Martial’s goal was sublime. He may be catching a little flak at the moment but he has only failed to register returns in one of his nine games he has played. Jamie Vardy scored his first goal in four and captain Alvaro Morata picked up an assist against Bournemouth. Nothing major but enough to keep us moving up the rankings.
Pleasing week and it would be great to see another set of greens just before the International break. A couple transfers made and there are no prizes for guessing who’s back.
Kane (IN) – Lukaku (OUT)
Firmino (IN) – Morata (OUT)
We’ve taken a 4pt hit to get Harry Kane back and Roberto Firmino to accompany him. Both Spurs and Liverpool are facing a very favourable run of games with Spurs only facing two of the ‘top six’ from now until January 31st. Similarly Liverpool only face two until January 18th. Cover from both teams looks essential for the foreseeable. I’m also not so worried about another hit here as the last two times we have taken one we have we have scored 75 and 64 and seen our two highest weekly ranks. Famous last words.
Another tough GK decision this week as both have appealing home matches but we are once again going with Rob Elliot. Newcastle’s match with Bournemouth feels a little safer than Stoke’s, who face a resurgent Leicester team. I’m sure I’ll be cursing this decision when Jack Butland puts on a goalkeeping masterclass but at this point I’m happy with the call.
At the back we’ve made some changes. With a massive Super Sunday upcoming I have decided to bench Phil Jones and Sead Kolasinac and start Harry Maguire, Kyle Naughton and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Although I am more than aware that TAA’s selection comes with a massive question mark around his place in the line up. So we may well see Phil Jones come in. But as it stands I just do not feel that United and Arsenal will keep clean sheets.
Our midfield simply has to improve upon last week’s miserly showing. Our last double figure return for any of our midfielders was David Silva back in GW6 so it’s overdue. Matt Ritchie is in against second bottom Bournemouth. In all fairness to them they have only conceded 14 so far this season, which is an improvement on their goals conceded average from last year. Richarlison, a player who has missed more open goals in the last few games than most players do in their career gets the nod against a frankly embarrassing Everton team. At this point if you have anyone playing Everton then start them. David Silva starts against Arsenal and Mo Salah is in again against West Ham.There may not be double digit return potential if I’m honest but there’s certainly plenty of potential for improvement on last week.
Up top is the reintroduction of Harry Kane. I genuinely did not expect him to be fit for the Madrid game and therefore thought he may not feature this week. But such is his recovery that I cannot avoid bringing him in. Spurs looked great midweek and could do bad things to Palace on Saturday, so Kane is a must. As mentioned, Spurs’ fixtures are so great for a long while now that I’d rather him in and just leave him be. Roberto Firmino joins him. Financially a downgrade on Gabriel Jesus but with such a great run of games I’m happy with the Liverpool double up and feel he could easily match the City striker for points over the rest of 2017. Last up is our only goalscorer from last week Jamie Vardy. His first goal in four and hopefully Claude Puel can get the best out of him again. Leicester looked great in attack last week (yes they were playing Everton) so hopefully Vardy can add to the 20 goals Stoke have conceded already this season.
Things are positive in the FPL Updates XI camp. Consistent green arrows, finally in the top 1m and the board have stopped sending me random pictures of Sam Allardyce and Harry Redknapp.
I’m aware of how evil the FPL Gods can be so I’m preparing myself for a sub-30pt week now but green arrows before an International break are a must. Nothing worse than a two week break knowing you’ve just had an absolute shitter. So with that said could you kind readers please vote for our GW10 captain below and help us continue our push for the top 100k it would be hugely appreciated. Thanks all for reading
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru)