What kind of fresh hell is this? The dust has barely settled on another annoying weekend of FPL, and now I already have to think about next week? That’s not good. Gameweek 31 looks like a stinker as well, but first, let me vent on Gameweek 30. It started so well. Sadio Mane’s early goal in the first game of the weekend had me feeling positive. An hour later he was departing with a serious looking knee injury, which will enforce my transfer for this week. Although Wilfried Zaha and Andy Carroll briefly raised my spirits, captain Costa blanked and got booked, giving him a total of two for the week. With not much else for me to shout about, I finished with 42 – enough to beat the average of 40, but not enough to give me green arrows. Indeed, I’ve slipped to 150,756th. It could be worse. In fact, it very probably will be soon.
Chelsea vs Manchester City is an intriguing game this week, especially after Chelsea’s surprise loss to Palace. Man City are anything but watertight so I’m expecting Chelsea to score, but I’m not confident enough to fill my team with Chelsea players. My problem with Man City is that there’s just too many options. For example, De Bruyne started Sunday’s game playing deep and ended it on the wing. I can’t work with that, Pep. Aguero is a constant threat and unless he’s injured, will play for the foreseeable future. But I need to look further afield than this fixture.
Arsenal host West Ham, with neither side in great form. Sanchez plundered a hat-trick past the Hammers in December and I’m very much hoping he’ll do the same here. I’m not sure who will start out of Welbeck, Giroud and Walcott and Ozil doesn’t seem quite himself, so Sanchez is a safe albeit expensive option. Mane’s and Lallana’s absences will limit Liverpool’s creativity, but Philippe Coutinho had a welcome return to form in Saturday’s derby win. I think he’ll have too much for Bournemouth but I love watching him play, so perhaps I’m biased. Dele Alli is a midfield alternative, as Spurs travel to struggling Swansea. Even without Kane, Spurs always look like scoring bags of goals and Alli is a big part of that. The final piece of the top six jigsaw is Manchester Utd, who have a certain Swedish striker available again after a long rest following his ban. Everton’s defence is a patchwork quilt at the minute, and despite a 0-0 on Saturday, I think Ibrahimovic’s return will be the perfect catalyst for them. Choices!
If you’re looking for a bargain, it’s slim pickings this week. Wilfried Zaha was on fire (not literally) against Chelsea and at £5.5m he is not exactly a well-kept secret. Palace are at Southampton, who have been in woeful form since losing the EFL Cup final. Aside from that, if you’re looking for a one hit wonder then maybe consider Burnley at home to Stoke or Leicester at home to Sunderland. The latter aren’t particularly cheap but Sunderland’s defence is quite one paced, whilst Leicester are rapid, at least when Claudio isn’t in charge.
Of course, there’s also Divock Origi, who, at £6.1m, is presumably set for a long run in the side unless Mane makes a rapid recovery.
Rotation. Two games in three or four days might be too much for some players. Spurs rested Son on Saturday so he’ll probably start on Wednesday, if only because Vincent Janssen is the alternative. Poor old Vincent.
We’re also at that time of year where players are ruled out for the season, and their direct replacement is much cheaper. Mason Holgate (£4.0m) at Everton comes to mind, with Coleman out for the foreseeable future.
I’m writing this through grit teeth as I have so few of the players I suggested. I’ve gone with Sanchez, because he’s smashed West Ham once and I think he’ll do it again. I think Ibrahimovic will be chomping at the bit after his month off. His team really need him. My final tip is a toss up between Coutinho, Alli and Vardy, and after I successfully tipped Vardy at the weekend I’ll stick with him. Either way, I won’t be filling my boots this mid-week like some of you will be.
So, I enter this game week with a huge amount of trepidation. Hopefully I’ve helped clear the picture for you but, whatever you decide to do, I wish you good luck and may all your arrows be green. I’ll be back on Friday with the weekend’s fixtures. Ta ta for now.