Ok, so the gameweek isn’t actually over yet. How selfish of the FA Cup to leave us with an awkward double gameweek. I mean, I could wait until Thursday, but frankly, who cares? We’ve got a weekend’s worth of action to go on, so that’ll do. Just like Arsenal’s exit in every single Champions League since the beginning of time, this week’s Fantasy Dream Team is a little premature. When I say this week’s, don’t be fooled into thinking this is part 34 of a blockbuster series. This is actually my first feature. In other words, week 1 for me, week 34 in the world of Fantasy Football. Are we all clear? Cool, let’s get into it. Oh, and obviously I hope you enjoy blah blah blah.
FABIANSKI (9 points)
Wait, what? A Swansea player? Surely not. Don’t scratch your eyes. Paul Clement’s struggling Swans managed to muster up a clean sheet and, more impressively, 3 points against a Stoke side who appeared to be more focussed on how much hotter it’ll be in the Bahamas. Marco Arnautovic even tried to hit the plane he wished he was on with his penalty attempt. Fabianski made 3 saves and was awarded a bonus of 2, rewarding the 3.4% of managers that are silly enough to actually have him in their team.
DANIELS (14 points)
Eddie Howe attributed their 4-0 demolition of Boro to the change of net colour. He felt that changing the colour of the nets from black and red to white would somehow help the Bournemouth players to realise where the goal is. Genius. Left back Charlie Daniels popped up with a nice goal following a bit of free-kick improvisation. The clean sheet added to his score giving him a respectable 14 points, which is roughly what Boro need to avoid Championship football.
MAGUIRE (9 points) & RANOCCHIA (8 points)
Two for one. The Hull City boys maintained their impressive home form under Marco Silva with a 2-0 victory over Watford; and centre back pairing Harry Maguire and Andrea Ranocchia played a big part in grinding out the hard-fought win. The in-form Englishman claimed a 3 bonus points, whilst 2 went to the bloke who the Tigers somehow managed to get on loan from Inter Milan. Imagine how annoyed he was when he realised Hull was well, in Hull. Long way from Milan, that.
MASUAKU (9 points)
West Ham managed to keep Lukaku and co at bay in what was probably the most boring game to ever feature on Match of the Day. Honestly, it felt like the highlights were over in about 12 seconds. Hammer’s full-back Masuaku was awarded a bonus of 3 giving him a total of 9. That’s a whole 2 games West Ham have gone without losing now. Things are looking up for Mr Bilic.
HOLGATE (8 points)
In the same game, Everton youngster Mason Holgate picked up 8 points. At just 4.1, Seamus Coleman’s replacement looks to be a decent replacement. He has two working legs, for one. But in terms of actual value, he might be worth a punt. Oh wait, the Toffees are playing the league leaders next week, scrap that.
PUGH (14 points)
Marc Pugh was an unlikely scorer in Bournemouth’s Boro battering; although having said that, anyone but Josh King is an unlikely scorer for the Cherries at the moment, so it’s nice to see someone else hit the net for once. A goal AND an assist for Pugh earned literally no managers a fantastic 14 points. Anyone got the keys to the Marc Pugh bandwagon? Let’s get it rolling. That 0.1% ‘teams selected by’ stat is going to go through the roof, you watch.
MARTIAL (14 points)
Martial still exists? Oh right. In fairness, the “next Henry” put in a pretty Henry-like display in United’s 2-0 victory over a very lacklustre Burnley. Even Rooney managed to score, which must’ve annoyed Rashford a little bit; he probably could’ve added a few more to his tally had Jose not decided to wrap him up in cotton wool for the upcoming, all-important, somehow season-defying Europa League clash. Martial, though, got himself a goal and set up Wayne for the other, making him the joint highest scorer of the week (so far). Still costs 9.2 though, pricey.
CARROLL (10 points)
The Spurs loanee has done fairly well since moving to the Liberty. He and Gylfi Sigurdsson have done a pretty good job of hogging the limelight in what has been a pretty poor show for the Swans in recent weeks. This was a good win for them though, and it makes the dogfight between Hull and themselves a little more interesting for the neutrals. Carroll looked like he scored a bit of a screamer on first glance, but it took a deflection upon the second look, which just ruins it really. 10 points is a decent return none the less.
CLUCAS (10 points)
Clucas takes the number of Tigers players in the dream team up to 3. Which signifies something is probably wrong. Spurs, Chelsea, City and Arsenal yet to play – it’s that. Jokes aside, the Hull midfield man scored what was probably the best goal of the weekend by opening the top drawer and pulling out one sweetly struck left-footed volley. Surely Hull aren’t allowed to score good goals though? Let’s just pretend it was a scrappy header from 0.6 yards out and normality will be restored.
BENTEKE (12 points)
The big Belgian leads the line and completes the side this week. The ex-Liverpool striker came back to haunt Anfield by doing something he wasn’t very good at when he was there the first time round – scoring. He didn’t stop at one either, oh no. Two goals were enough for him and Palace to sink a very sinkable Liverpool team who just seem to enjoy wrecking any hopes of a successful season around about this stage of the term. Big Sam’s doing a fantastic job, someone should seriously consider him for England you know. More importantly though, who gave Benteke the armband this week? I botted it myself, but hats off to those of you who were savvy enough to predict Bentekker’s slaying of the scousers.
So there you have it, GW34’s dream team (part 1). Not the greatest side you’ll ever see, more of a ‘I dozed off for a couple of minutes and had a few thoughts’ type team as opposed to a ‘dream’ team, but hey, it’s still probably good enough to beat Arsenal – and that’s all that really matters.