Well hello there. It’s week 10 which means we’re easing into quarter 2 of the FPL season. Believe me, I wish it was quarter 3. Last week, I managed to cobble together 55 points, beating the average of 50 but it wasn’t enough to save me from red arrows. My overall rank dropped to 69,250th – not a crisis, especially when you consider I had 23 points after Saturday’s games. We love Harry Kane (for once). What can we do to go green in week 10? With a few managers on the move, it could be all change in the world of FPL
The main dilemma this week is the fixture list. With Spurs facing the trip to Man Utd in Saturday’s early kick off, it leaves us in a bit of a pickle. Romelu Lukaku seems to be getting less involved by the week, though he did save our captaincy choice with a late assist last weekend. You always fancy Man Utd to score at Old Trafford, and Tottenham won’t set up for a point, I’m not sure that suits them at present. Harry Kane departed last weekend holding his hamstring, something we are assured isn’t serious but keep your eyes on the usual team news channels for any clues.
The 3pm’s offer us a little more encouragement, with Arsenal at home to Swansea a possible route to points. Wenger’s men scored 5 against woeful Everton last weekend but Swansea have generally traveled fairly well this season. Sanchez, Ozil and Lacazette showed some great understanding in that Everton game, or of course you can just get goal machine Nacho Monreal. Liverpool against Huddersfield is also at 3pm, as Klopp faces his old friend David Wagner. There is a possibility that Wagner will know how to contain Klopp’s attacking charges but I’m not overly sure Huddersfield have the players to contain Coutinho, Firmino and Salah for 90 minutes. It is, however, a Champions League midweek coming up, I just hope there’s no rotation afoot.
That is of course where Pep shines, causing more brow-furrowing with his team selection in midweek which saw Jesus and Aguero line up to face Championship Wolves in the EFL Cup. Aguero played 120 minutes, and with the aforementioned Champions League to follow their trip to West Brom, how many minutes will Aguero get here? Jesus was subbed on 82 minutes which presumably strengthens his position, but who really knows? Raheem Sterling, who was brought in and even captained by many last weekend went on to play 0 minutes in the win over Burnley, but 120 minutes on Tuesday. If you’re picking Man City players, good luck. I can’t guess what Pep will do.
At tea time, Chelsea are off to Bournemouth. Morata seems to have fully recovered but was hooked after an hour last weekend, having been booked. Chelsea have few selection problems at the moment and should be a solid source of points, but they are pricey.
Brighton have a strong set of fixtures coming up, and no doubt they will be buoyed by their 3-0 win at West Ham last time out. Pascall Gross is racking up the points in midfield, whilst they secured a clean sheet with Dunk and Duffy impressing at centre-half. They host goalshy Southampton this weekend, so maybe there will be more points to be had on Sunday afternoon.
Burnley were outclassed a little at Man City last week but should find their next three fixtures more lucrative, especially now it looks like Sean Dyche is not going anywhere – not that he ever said he was, but the media speculated otherwise. A home game with Newcastle this week is a good opportunity for a clean sheet, Newcastle don’t score a lot of goals and it wouldn’t be a shock if this finished 0-0.
Watford continue to impress and were unlucky to come away with nothing from Stamford Bridge last Saturday. Whilst I wouldn’t rush to get their defensive players in, they are at home to Stoke who seemingly can’t stop conceding at the moment, so take a look at Richarlison in midfield or Andre Gray up front – though he and Troy Deeney seem to be battling for one place at present.
Leicester are now managed by Claude Puel. This came as a bit of a surprise, but Puel was seen as being very negative at Southampton. Leicester don’t really have the players for that, but maybe we’ll see a honeymoon period of sorts. Ironically, Leicester host Everton on Sunday, who have dispensed of Ronald Koeman’s services this week. David Unsworth is in charge for the next few games, so it’ll be interesting to see who falls in and out of favour in both teams. Needless to say, Everton should be far higher than 18th.
At the moment I’m leaning towards Salah, or any other Liverpool attacking outlet. I am worried that Wagner will know how to counteract his old mate and they’ll be on cloud nine having beaten Man Utd last week, but I’m struggling for alternatives. I want to avoid Man Utd and Spurs players and Man City’s rotation policy ahead of a game in Napoli is a concern. Alexis Sanchez would be an excellent punt, though he is very expensive – Lacazette is more reasonably priced and looked sharp at Goodison Park. My random choice is Riyad Mahrez, who is in fantastic form at the moment and he has a new manager to impress at home to leaky Everton.
My one transfer last week saw Cedric in for Jonny Evans. Evans departed injured on the half hour and Southampton kept a clean sheet, so that worked out nicely. This week, I am tempted to store the transfer (I always bloody am) as the fixtures don’t seem to require major surgery. I’m never keen on having 4 players in the early kick off and I can’t really win with de Gea and Kane/Eriksen on the same pitch, but I might opt to bring in Elliot for one week only from the bench. Kane has Palace at home next weekend so transferring him out is not my preference, though if he could be announced as injured for a few weeks that would be tremendously helpful.
De Gea (h), Monreal (h), Cedric (a), Mee (h), Atsu (a), Salah (h), Eriksen (a), Brady (h), Lukaku (h), Kane (a), Vardy (h). Subs: Elliot (a), McArthur (h), Fernandez (a), Mbemba (a)
As ever, I wish you good luck and that all your arrows are green. We’re in a tough spell at the moment with a lot of fixtures between the more fancied sides, but looking ahead it should calm down after week 12. Nearly there! Toodles for now.