Well hello there. I was always up against it after a pretty good week one, and sure enough, it came to pass that week two was full of red arrows. Still, my score of 49 was ahead of the average of 44 so it’s not all bad. That sees me drop to a still-very-respectable 110,130th overall, which I will happily settle for. But what does week three have in store? Can I make those arrows green?
The box office fixture this week is Liverpool against Arsenal. A fixture that usually results in plenty of goals, I’m just hoping for no selection surprises after my FPL weekend was derailed a little by Salah being a substitute against Crystal Palace. I’d like to think that won’t happen again, but with Liverpool in Champions League action again this week you just don’t know. Once again Sadio Mane was the match winner and he remains the best option on Klopp’s team sheet, even priced at £9.5m. The weekend opens with Man City’s trip to Bournemouth, and we saw on Monday night the risks of Pep’s rotation policy. There’s no doubt you’d always expect Man City to score goals, but there’s always a risk with so many players available. Gabriel Jesus suffered a half time withdrawal thanks to Kyle Walker’s red card, and I live in fear of Pep pulling the plug on any one of his side. Manchester United face Leicester at 5.30pm, where it’s become very quickly apparent that Lukaku and Pogba are must haves. Sadly, I only have Lukaku, though that is a work in progress.
Chelsea and Everton also clash on Sunday, Everton are running the gauntlet a bit for the next few weeks but they held up well against Man City last week. Chelsea meanwhile ground out a win at Wembley against Tottenham, Conte’s tactics ultimately seeing them through. Morata missed a sitter but worked tirelessly until he ran out of gas, but he is surely a lock in this team now and it may be worth getting him in whilst his value is still just £10m. So much has been made of Tottenham’s Wembley issues, but they host Burnley this week and if Harry Kane can’t break his August hoodoo here, I’ll admit to being concerned. Burnley aren’t a bad side but they will rarely have played on a huge pitch like Wembley and it’s not like Tottenham played poorly against Chelsea, I felt they were a little bit unlucky.
There’s still plenty of value around in the 4.5m to 6.5m bracket. Huddersfield have two clean sheets out of two and with Southampton their next visitors, they certainly have an opportunity to make it 3. West Brom can also boast a zero in the goals against column, though that is less of a surprise as Hegazi’s value has already risen by 0.2 to £4.7m. They are at home to a rather exotic looking Stoke side this week, where no doubt Saido Berahino will get a rough ride. Watford have been surprisingly useful too, taking the victory at Bournemouth last week and despite a surprising cup exit during the week, a home game with Brighton gives them a great chance to make it two consecutive wins. Richarlison looks a handful but is perhaps a little bit too expensive to be a punt at £6m, but there are a number of £4.5m defenders who might tickle your pickle.
It’s Internationals next week so no FPL. You can use the two weeks to play your wildcard, gain some value where possible before settling on a team, but it’s very risky at this time of the season, especially with the transfer window SLAMMING SHUT next week. I’d definitely keep your wildcard powder dry until later in the season if you can. There may also be selection issues in week 4 depending on when players return from International duty, that’s always good fun.
Lukaku continues to be the constant pick, a home game with Leicester should be right up his street. He barely touched the ball at Swansea but still got his points in the end. Harry Kane will be a popular choice, he might be on his last chance for a few people but you know he will score goals eventually. Bournemouth are also leaky which makes Aguero and Gabriel Jesus very viable options, but you just don’t know when Pep is going to roll out a 2-7-1 formation and it scares me.
For me personally, I’m using my two saved transfers to bring in Kane for Aguero and Ruben Loftus-Cheek for James Ward-Prowse. That’s not some sort of double barreled protest, just JWP was benched last week thanks to the arrival of Lemina and Palace have a couple of decent games on the horizon, provided RLC keeps his place in the side we should be ok. Southampton have signed a new centre half which makes Jack Stephen’s long term profitability quite low, but I’m hoping he keeps his place for one more week at least. Hefele is my first faller in value, my only dud pick from week 1 who is destined to be sold when I have nothing better to do.
De Gea, Stephens, David Luiz, Dawson, Willian, Loftus-Cheek, Eriksen, Salah, Gabbiadini, Kane, Lukaku (Elliot, Mee, Hefele, T Carroll)
As ever, I wish you good luck and may all your arrows be green. See you in a few weeks.