I predicted many things for Gameweek 31. Although I can be pleased with my not-exactly-ground-breaking suggestions that Alli, Vardy, Ibrahimovic and Coutinho would be wise choices, my other prediction to come true has left me in a bit of a hole: I had an absolute shocker.
I can scarcely remember a week as bad as this, in terms of my score vs the average at least. I scored a pathetic 28 points, well below the average of 45. I suppose I can be pleased that my one transfer – Coutinho for Mane – yielded my only return as everybody else managed a point or two for turning up. Cheers lads. This nightmare scenario saw me drop to 226,257th and a sea of red arrows. I hate you, FPL.
So on this Grand National weekend, let’s assess the runners and riders as I try to bounce back with a less terrible score…
For the first time in a long time, there’s no clash of the titans. Just a series of one-sided games, like our first match of the weekend where Watford visit Tottenham. Watford have basically no defenders so I think Alli (£9.0m) and/or Son (£7.0m) are certainties. There’s also the prospect of Man City hosting Hull, with Aguero (£12.7m) in great form he is an expensive but important pick. Chelsea travel to Bournemouth, who seem to be doing better now they’ve stopped conceding four goals a game but you would still back Hazard (£10.2m) and friends to have a good day. Wounded Liverpool travel to Stoke, which is never an easy fixture but Origi (£6.2m) seems a lock in the front 3 now and is comparatively cheap.
Romelu Lukaku (£10.4m) is at home to Leicester on Sunday, I suspect Leicester have done enough to be safe now so will they rest a few ahead of their Champions League game? Man Utd travel to Sunderland with a similar problem, though they have an extra day before the Europa League match with Anderlecht. Ibrahimovic (£11.4m) is undroppable and the only player worth having anyway, in my ludicrous view. Arsenal’s trip to Palace is the Monday Night Football this week, with both teams proving difficult to predict at present.
With so much attacking potential from the big guns, finding some cheap options to make room could be vital. Holgate (£4.0m) seems a certain starter for Everton now if you’re looking for a defender, whilst West Brom and their variety of riches have a winnable home game for the first time in a while.
Andy Carroll (£6.3m) has an impeccable record against Swansea but is an injury doubt (shocker) in what has become a bit of a crunch game for the Hammers. Siggy (£7.7m) has gone off the boil recently but he’s always an option, especially when you look at West Ham’s 57 goals conceded being the third worst in the league.
If Boro are going to stay up you feel they have to beat Burnley at home. They’re certainly going for it a bit more but will that tempt you to buy Negredo (£6.1m) or Gestede (£4.7m)? Probably not.
I mentioned it earlier but the return of European competition might see some rotation. The fixture schedulers haven’t helped matters, with both our remaining teams being bumped to Sunday for TV purposes, which will be particularly peeving for Leicester. Wait till our co-efficient drops and we lose that 4th Champions League spot. Anyway, I wouldn’t be surprised if Leicester rotated a few on Sunday, they’re 11th now and not going down, and you need to be rested ahead of Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
Otherwise, it’s still two weeks until our first double game week where Man Utd, Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace will have two fixtures. Wow.
So many choices this week. I can’t see Aguero not scoring at the minute, especially against Hull. Likewise, I think Dele Alli will do well against a weakened Watford side, who aren’t good at the best of times. My outsider pick, if you want a differential view, is Alvaro Negredo. I think Middlesbrough will have to go for broke against Burnley, who aren’t the best travellers.
As ever, the decision is yours. Why would you listen to me after the game week I just had? Either way, I wish you good luck and may all your arrows be green.