It feels like forever since the last gameweek drew to an infuriating close, as Liverpool’s defenders shot from every angle possible in their 1-0 defeat at Swansea. But now, 8 days on after an FA Cup break, we’re back with week 25.
Week 24 actually went reasonably well, though as usual I shot myself in the foot by a last minute captaincy change from Aguero to Kane, which cost me 10 points. I would have liked those points. Anyway, my score of 64 was well ahead of the average of 50 and saw green arrows across the board, a rise to 171,368th. Nothing to shout about, those 10 extra points would have probably seen me break back into the top 150k. Such is life. Anyway, can we continue to see green this week?
The action starts on Tuesday, as Liverpool look to bounce back from that Swansea disappointment (and an FA Cup exit) against David Wagner’s Huddersfield. Ignoring the fact the two managers are best pals, this should be a good opportunity for Salah and Liverpool’s other attacking outlets to right those wrongs. Huddersfield haven’t exactly been water tight recently, and unlike Swansea who seem to be steadying under new management, Huddersfield are in a bit of a dip at the moment. Arsenal are also on stage Tuesday, facing a trip to the aforementioned improving Swans. Arsenal have finally put the Alexis Sanchez debacle behind them and celebrated by reaching the Carabao Cup final, with the added bonus of now being able to call upon Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£7.6m). The potential of the Armenian and Ozil feeding Lacazette – or maybe Aubameyang – is a pretty interesting one and something to monitor.
In to Wednesday then and the main event is undoubtedly Tottenham against Man Utd, a game which is sure to polarise FPL opinion due to the high percentage ownership of Man Utd’s defenders and goalkeeper as well as the popularity of Tottenham’s attacking outlets. It’s a tough one to call, Tottenham haven’t always had the best of times at Wembley this season and there’s now the added undercurrent of Alexis Sanchez making his debut against the great rivals of his former club. I’d say hold what you have but don’t go out of your way to get the players involved in this particular match. Spurs have Liverpool and Arsenal to come in consecutive gameweeks after this so a tough run ahead. Elsewhere, Chelsea have a home game with Bournemouth which is the latest in their reasonable run of games. As ever, Hazard and a Chelsea defender will be useful for you, though Morata’s availability remains in question. Runaway leaders Man City host West Brom and this looks like another great opportunity for Sergio Aguero to add to his tally, with Gabriel Jesus not yet ready to return the Argentine’s position in the team looks unchallenged. Leroy Sane is expected to be out for a month with the injury sustained against Cardiff.
Paul Lambert’s Stoke got off to a winning start in his first game in charge and their run of games looks pretty reasonable for a points return. Watford at home will be followed by a trip to Bournemouth and then Brighton at home so if you believe in the Lambert revolution, many of Stoke’s players are quite cheap after a disaster of a season to date. West Ham also have a decent run but they are running out of players, with FPL favourite Arthur Masuaku now banned for at least 3 games after his FA Cup indiscretion. Ryan Bertrand picked up a hamstring injury in Southampton’s FA Cup win against Watford which could open the door for yonug Sam McQueen to get some game time, though he is also doubtful with an injury.
Watford have a new manager, who got off to a losing start against Southampton in the FA Cup. His first league game will see him travel to Stoke, but FPL fans will be interested to see the system and players favoured by Javi Gracia.
With this being midweek, the deadline is 6.45pm on Tuesday. Speaking of deadlines, the transfer window closes at midnight on Wednesday, so keep an eye on any of your players making a move.
Sergio Aguero again looks a fair pick for the armband after his hat-trick last time out, but whether he can do it again or not I’m not totally convinced. Eden Hazard is my second choice, even though I don’t have him, but Bournemouth aren’t the most defensively sound of teams and Hazard, whether he plays as a false 9 or off a striker, will always be a threat.
For my team, I’m not too sure what to do. Vertonghen has an awful run of fixtures so I am tempted to sell him for Christensen, though I am worried Lingard will lose his place at Man Utd with the arrival of Sanchez. There is a chance of a 0-0 at Wembley but I don’t really want to hope for a 0-0, it’s a bit dull.
De Gea, Mee, Dummett, Vertonghen, Ogbonna, Salah, Sterling, Atsu, Aguero (c), Kane, Vardy. Subs: Elliot, Lingard, Wimmer, T Carroll
There’s much to ponder heading into yet another midweek gameweek but hopefully you have some ideas. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you good luck and may all your arrows be green. See you on Friday for more of the same