Friday greetings to you and welcome to another week of FPL. The game week number starts with a 3 now so we are definitely entering the business end of the season, though from my score you wouldn’t know it. Last week I mustered a pathetic 40 points, well short of the average of 46. That saw a huge drop down to 243,327th. Is it really only 29 gameweeks ago I was in the top 30,000? What a failure. Anyway, back on the horse and time to turn that frown upside down.
Man Utd vs Liverpool might be a great fixture to watch but it is an FPL nightmare, but that is the early kick off on Saturday that we have to deal with. Mourinho has a history of parking the bus in these fixtures but I’m not sure Man Utd have the personnel to do it right now, especially if Lindelof continues alongside Smalling. This will be a huge test of my previous statement of “always captain Salah” and by that I mean I won’t be captaining him this week but he’ll probably score anyway. You know, that statement.
It’s a weekend where all of the “big 6” are televised, so it’s at 5.30pm where we find the side with the most attractive fixture of the weekend as Chelsea host Crystal Palace. There’ll be more eyes than usual on Antonio Conte after the Man City debacle last Sunday but they will obviously be more attacking here and probably win comfortably. A slight issue is that Chelsea travel to Barcelona during the week and you’d expect they’ll have one eye on that, especially if they have a comfortable lead after an hour. For Palace, Zaha is nearing fitness which is huge for them and possibly a useful FPL option as Palace’s relegation fight continues.
In to Sunday and Arsenal vs Watford waits for us at 1.30pm. I don’t care about this and if you own anybody other than Aubameyang from Arsenal you may need to evaluate your options, as the Europa League looks like more and more of a priority to Arsene Wenger as their league position has stagnated. It’s then Tottenham’s turn at 4pm as they look to bounce back from Champions League disappointment away at Bournemouth. As usual Tottenham’s attacking options are a good bet if they can pull themselves round from Wednesday’s loss, with Bournemouth not known for their defensive prowess but also more than capable of finding the net themselves.
That just leaves champions elect Man City who face the trip to Stoke on Monday night football. The Jesus or Aguero debate is about to ramp up in volume, I’m expecting Aguero to start here after Jesus played against Basel but before long Pep is going to have to make a decision and I’m probably not going to like it. Raheem Sterling remains a doubt as he has done for about 3 weeks now but hopefully he returns. As usual you’d expect Man City to pick up the win and anybody in Man City colours to be a good option.
We’re still keeping an eye on week 31, where only 4 fixtures will be played, so our bargain bin picks are biased towards that. Huddersfield therefore come into thinking, with home games both this week and next against Swansea and then Crystal Palace. They have a striker in great form in Steve Mounie (£5.7m) but midfield rotation makes it a tricky choice. I’ve opted for Van la Parra at £4.8m but we’ll see if it is a good decision. Everton also have two reasonable fixtures, at home to Brighton and away to Stoke, but the players who were bargains earlier in the season have mostly lost their places now, such as Kenny and Calvert-Lewin. Martina (4.4) is still somehow starting at left back.
With the weeks running out it’s time to start planning your chips. We are still waiting to see when the remaining 6 games from week 31 will be scheduled but that will be a good candidate for the free hit chip or even triple captain depending on the fixtures, whereas the outcome of next weekends FA Cup Quarter finals will determine which teams have yet another double game week on the semi final weekend. It means Tottenham or Swansea, Man Utd or Brighton, Southampton and Chelsea or Leicester could potentially have two double game weeks to come. It should all become clear over the next few weeks. Otherwise, the only news of note is that the deadline for this week is Saturday 10th March at 11.30am.
The only choice from my team this week is Harry Kane, with Salah facing a difficult trip to Old Trafford and Aguero not certain of minutes now Jesus is back in the fold. If I had Eden Hazard I would probably captain him, though I do fear an early exit for him if Chelsea get ahead and Barcelona looming. Aubameyang is also a solid choice in that he is pretty much guaranteed minutes in the league due to being ineligible for the Europa League, but it depends if his team mates show up or not.
For my team, I feel like I’m on a hiding to nothing with so much of my team treading water, or more accurately just being utterly terrible. Unless there’s any significant injury news in Friday’s press conferences, I’m going to bank the transfer so I have two to use in week 31.
De Gea, Van Dijk, Dummett, Ogbonna, Sterling, Salah, Van La Parra, Lingard, Aguero, Kane, Vardy Subs: Elliot, Dyer, Mee, Wimmer.
Rancid. Lingard played half an hour at right back on Monday so I’m not sure how long he’ll keep his starting berth, whilst Sterling remains a doubt. Ogbonna was sick last week but with Winston Reid now out for the season I assume they’ll give him some paracetamol and tell him to get on with it. I’m not a Doctor though and I don’t know how ill he is, so don’t judge me.
Hopefully your team is in better shape than mine, but whatever you do I wish you good luck and may all your arrows be green. Toodles!