Nothing quite throws you into disarray like a midweek round of Premier League games. Add in the fact the transfer window shuts the same night and you’ve got yourself one chaotic Tuesday (and a slightly confused Wednesday).
If you followed my guidance last week, I am sorry. Although I smashed the average by a whole 7 points, I am now the 310,082nd best person to take advice from. But what to do this week?
**REMINDER: Tonight’s deadline is 6.45pm**
Diego Costa is still causing problems. His scoring return means I need him back in my life, but I can’t afford him now. Chelsea are away to Liverpool and with Liverpool’s defence recently that might make it a profitable night for Mr Costa, but I’m going to hope Klopp spends more than 10 minutes working on defence in training this week. With Arsenal at home to Watford, I’m sticking with Giroud despite his blank against Burnley but
The Big Guns
This would be a fairly pointless column if I only recommended players from the top 6. But some have better fixtures than others. For example, I’d heartily recommend Ibrahimovic (11.7) this week, as although Hull are improving they’d have to improve an awful lot to get anything at Old Trafford. Harry Kane (11.2) is expected to shake off an injury as Spurs travel to Sunderland, though Lukaku (9.2) is at Stoke if you can predict which Everton, or indeed which Stoke, are going to turn up. Aguero (12.8) is expected to be fit for Man City on their visit to West Ham, but his stock has fallen considerably as Pep’s tactics and team selection continue to bewilder fans and fantasy managers alike. Arsenal host Watford so you can jump on the Giroud (8.7) bandwagon with me, but I’d say you need Sanchez (11.9) on current form but actually on any form.
West Brom have had a lovely rest this weekend so once again their players come into my thoughts as they travel to troubled Boro. It’s not just about one game though, their next 4 or 5 are decent fixtures so a good chance to grow some value. I’m opting for Matt Phillips (5.9) but take your pick from Brunt (5.0), McAuley (4.9) and Rondon (6.8) – or all of them. I’m also still keen on Yoshida (4.2) at Southampton but how defensively sound they’ll be now that Van Dijk has been Jamie Vardy’d is up for debate.
In just 4 weeks (Gameweek 26 fellow nerds) four teams don’t have a fixture. Man Utd, Arsenal, Southampton and Man City. Whilst it does mean those teams will have lucrative double game weeks later on in the season, it’s worth planning and perhaps saving a free transfer for this particular week or else you’ll struggle to field 11 players.
There’s also your second wildcard which you have until the end of the season to use. Unlike a few seasons ago, it does not expire mid-February.
Call Natalie Imbruglia because I am torn this week. Sanchez at home to Watford and Ibrahimovic at home to Hull are two ideal fixtures to rack up some points. Sanchez’s appeal is lessened since he was relegated to the wing but he always finds a way (see 97th minute penalties) whilst Zlatan does what he wants. With Chelsea and Liverpool going head to head, I’m not willing to take a punt on any of their players for captain so attention turns to Spurs. A trip to struggling Sunderland should wield points but it all depends on Kane’s fitness, and it’s not as much of an appeal as Arsenal or Man Utd’s home games. That leaves Man City, who even Paul Merson wouldn’t bet on at the minute. Aguero is available but which West Ham will turn up?
Good luck this midweek and may all your arrows be green!