Welcome back to Fantasy Football Shambles. Gameweek 25 limped to an end on Wednesday evening with Man City’s win over Everton. Some FPL managers were left cursing the Pep wheel of rotation as it struck once again. It was always going to be an issue playing twice in four days and so it proved. There’s none of that double nonsense this week but there is Man City vs Chelsea. We’ll get to that in a second, but first, let’s review what has gone before.
My score of 83 beat the average of 65. A high scoring game week largely down to impressive returns from the likes of Hazard and Aguero. That performance saw my overall rank rise to 18,746th, dizzy heights indeed. They say pride comes before a fall and it’s a long way down. How do we continue to build on that?
As mentioned in the preamble, the big game this week is Man City vs Chelsea. As we expected, Sergio Aguero rather had his way with Arsenal’s back line but will he get the same generosity this weekend? Chelsea haven’t exactly been watertight recently, especially away from home. Without sounding like a broken record, Pep is certain to rotate again. Sane seems to have lost a little bit of favour recently whilst the Aguero/Jesus debate may well rumble on. Jesus replaced Aguero from the bench in midweek and scored – would Pep start Aguero in all three games? Personally, I think he will, but better men than me have tried to second guess Guardiola. We can’t discount Chelsea of course but you wouldn’t bring a Chelsea player in for this particular match. It’s also worth noting that neither team will have a fixture in GW27 due to the EFL Cup final. That means anybody you bring in from these teams will be a one week wonder.
The warm-up for that match on Sunday is Tottenham vs Leicester. Leicester seem to have found the code for playing against the top teams. Son is the obvious asset for Spurs at the moment with Kane and Alli out. Pochettino’s team always seem to find a way though as we found out last weekend. They always appear to be heading for a disaster but somehow end up taking the points. Lucas Moura and Llorente are two budget options but neither seem guaranteed a start. I think any Spurs win will be a narrow one.
Saturday kicks off with Man Utd’s trip to Fulham. Obviously, Solskjaer’s side will start the favourites. Fulham have the worst defence in the league so Rashford will be looking forward to this. The Champions League clash with PSG is coming up on Tuesday so there may well be changes but surely you secure the points first? The squad rotation was nearly very damaging against Burnley. Pogba and Rashford combined for the only goal against Leicester and those two remain the outstanding FPL assets for Man Utd.
Arsenal will also be heavy favourites away to bottom club Huddersfield. The pairing of Lacazette and Aubameyang has been utilised a lot recently with mixed results. The combination of midfielders behind them has been less clear but the Gunners are still in with a real chance of a top-four spot. I wouldn’t touch their defence, even against Huddersfield, but Aubameyang is always a threat in games like this.
Finally, Liverpool host Bournemouth as they look to reclaim top spot. The reverse fixture finished 4-0 in favour of Klopp’s men and they’ll be hoping for more of the same here. They have looked less than assured recently but this might be a good chance to get things back on track. Bournemouth aren’t the type of team to park the bus and there should be plenty of space for Liverpool to attack. Sadio Mane has been the form man in the last few weeks and he’s cheaper than Salah. Would you ever count out Mo Salah though?
Raul Jimenez at £6.7m is incredible value. He’ll fancy his chances against Newcastle this weekend but also in forthcoming fixtures against Bournemouth, Huddersfield and Cardiff. Matt Doherty, a defender in the name of the game only, outlined his credentials with two goals and an assist in the FA Cup.
As an aside, it’s not just Man City and Chelsea who don’t play next week. Brighton and Everton will also sit it out, so be wary of having too many players in your squad from these teams as they’ll all be dead weight in week 27.
At the moment I’m leaning towards Salah. My only doubt is that he hasn’t looked at his sharpest in the last two games but a 10-day rest after this game should ensure he starts. Aubameyang away at Huddersfield or Rashford away at Fulham are probably the next in line. It would take an iron will to captain Aguero (or any Man City player) against Chelsea.
I have two transfers in the bag and I’ve already decided to do Son for Sane. I’m still thinking about doing Aubameyang for Aguero, it removes the drama from my life.
Fabianski, Doherty, Shaw, Robertson, Wan-Bissaka, Pogba, Salah, Son, Richarlison, Rashford, Aguero/Auba. Subs: Digne, Llorente, Camarasa, Foster.
I’m considering playing my bench boost. I should really save it for a double game week but I’m not sure I’ll have a better opportunity than this week. We’ll see.
That’s all for this week, the deadline is 9th February at 11.30am. All that is left to do is for me to wish you good luck and may all your arrows be green. I won’t be here next week as it is FA Cup time so I’ll see you in two weeks. Good luck!