I’ve been waiting two weeks to tell you, but guess who broke 300k? This guy *points at self*
Yes, a score of 55 was a mighty 8 points better than the average but it was enough to move me up to 288k and made sure I wasn’t brooding over yet another failure for two whole weeks. Anyway, FA Cup out of the way, it’s time for Gameweek 26.
That’s a short fixture list…
First things first, there are no games this week for Manchester United, Southampton, Manchester City or Arsenal. The EFL Cup final robs these four of league fixtures (including the Manchester derby) and whilst it does mean they will have some delicious double gameweeks in the future, that is no use to us now. If you have decent depth, there’s no harm in benching one or two who won’t play, but take a look at the upcoming games before you decide. More on this later.
Even with three of the “big six” out of action, there’s still some enticing points potential for this weekend. From the usual big boys, Harry Kane (11.2) and Spurs are at home to Stoke – Kane is clearly in form after his hat-trick at the weekend, but he was part of a very strong Spurs side on Thursday. It’s worth considering the potential effect on minutes for any of the Spurs players. If you want to paint by numbers, Chelsea at home to Swansea should ensure positive returns for any of Chelsea’s attackers, even if Swansea are markedly improved in recent times. There’s also your Monday Night Football, as Liverpool travel to leaky (Ed – and now managerless) Leicester. It’s hardly a gimme though and is the least attractive of the top teams’ fixtures. You also have Everton’s Romelu Lukaku (9.9), who of course scored four goals a few weeks ago. With three home games in four coming up, it’s probably a good time to invest in Evertonians.
It seems to be a constant in this blog but West Brom have back to back home games against the unfancied defences of Bournemouth and Crystal Palace. As we saw last time out, it’s worth having Gareth McAuley (5.1) as he gets credited with goals he has seemingly nothing to do with. If you’ve got enough Baggies in your ranks already, how about Hull? Marco Silva has gone a great job, and after surviving their nightmare run of games they now face Burnley (h), Leicester (a) and Swansea (h) in their next three. Jakupovic (4.1) has reclaimed the Number 1 jersey which is a good start if you’re after value.
There may be trouble ahead…
I’ve already mentioned the teams not in action this week, but in just two weeks’ time we are looking at a gameweek with a massive FOUR fixtures. There is a chance that will rise to five if Man City are beaten by Huddersfield, but I won’t be betting on that. To throw a further spanner in the works, if Man City win that game they will instead play Stoke in Gameweek 27 (NEXT WEEK!) making it a double game week and a points extravaganza. Away to Sunderland and home to Stoke…all of a sudden Aguero (12.7) is back on the radar.
Whilst I don’t plan on having a full 11 in the barren week 28, it’s a factor worth considering in any changes you make this week and next. For example, Arsenal play once in the next three weeks (away to Liverpool) so do you keep Sanchez taking up more than a tenth of your budget? Personally, I’ve transferred in Mane this week knowing that he has a decent chance of a points return at Leicester but will be at home to Burnley in the disrupted week. By way of contrast, Spurs have a nice looking fixture at home to Stoke this week but anybody you transfer in from Spurs is going to have a big fat blank in a few weeks. Too long didn’t read? Plan your blanks!
It’s hard to ignore Lukaku at home to Sunderland, especially after his hat-trick against them earlier in the season. It doesn’t take a genius to back Costa (10.5) or Hazard (10.3) at home to Swansea whilst Dele Alli (8.8) has a ridiculous record against Stoke, which brings him into the equation alongside Harry Kane (11.2). None of these are ground breaking suggestions admittedly, but it’s that sort of week.
I’ll be back next week to tell you what an awful points total I had but in the meantime, good luck and may all your arrows be green.