#FPL Gameweek 23 Preview
You can also listen to Craig, Tom and Ash on their Fantasy Football Podcast – The Gaffer Tapes
DEFENDER: JOHN STONES, EVERTON
I’m going to pick him before he jets off to Barcelona. That’s right, it’s John Stones. But seriously, a lot of people have been trotting out pub chatter that Everton have gone ‘off the boil’ with most focus on Romelu Lukaku whose percentage is dropping quicker than an iphone 5. What those people don’t mention is that Everton have has Spurs, City and Chelsea in their last 3 games and they now have a decent run of 4 matches before the Merseyside derby, starting with Swansea at home. Stones is their top scoring defender and still comes in at a cool 5.5m. He is an excellent choice if you are looking to swap like for like with Scott Dann who has……gone off the boil?
MIDFIELDER : Giorginio Wijnaldum, NEWCASTLE
The signing of Jonjo Shelvey at Newcastle was one of the quickest deals you will see in a transfer window and it could have quite a positive impact on Newcastle’s other ‘star’ midfielder. Giorginio Wijnaldum, affectionately known as ‘WeJammin’ by absolutely no one, could well be given even more attacking license with the Dark Lord’s arrival. Like him or not Shelvey can pick a pass and has the potential to rack up assists if given some creative liberty and Wijnaldum is an undoubtable goal threat. Now, many of you will be scoffing at me picking the 3rd highest scoring midfielder in the game but it’s his other stats that make him a must have. Despite sitting on 115 points, he is a ridiculous 12.1% picked, more than 20% under Ross Barkley and is cheaper at 6.9m.
FORWARD: SERGIO AGUERO, MANCHESTER CITY
It has to be Mr Sergio Aguero, FPL hall of famer. He finally, FINALLY delivered last week with 2 goals and an assist, finishing on 16 points and of course 32 if you captained him. It’s why he costs the big bucks, and it’s only his indifferent season that leaves him at 20% picked and not 50%. You all have that money in the bank, from kitting out your team with Vardy, Mahrez and Ighalo all season and it’s about to spend it. You can’t take it with you after all. There’s a score to be settled with West Ham and after that a potential Triple Captain Opportunity against Sunderland. I’m sure some of you will struggle to resist.
CAPTAIN: WAYNE ROONEY, MANCHESTER UNITED
Although I will be captaining Aguero, my other choice, if I had him, would be to experiment with the prodigal son Wayne Rooney. We can debate all we like as to whether his goalscoring ‘run’ (if 3 games counts) is permanent or just a mix of penalties and witchcraft but you can’t argue with our good friend, statistics. He’s scoring points, he’s barely picked and I think it would be folly to ignore him. And I haven’t heard the word folly since my gran was alive. Serious stuff.
OUTSIDER: CHARLIE AUSTIN, SOUTHAMPTON
It has to be, doesn’t it? Charlie Austin at 4m (real money) has been the highest profile theft since Hatton Gardens and at 7m (FPL money) that’s not bad either. You know when your real fee is less than your FPL fee then something is up. Yes, some smear campaigns have claimed he has ‘no knee ligament’ but then my local Tesco claims to allow ‘No Dogs’ and yet I see a smug golden looking b****** in a hi-viz every Saturday morning when I go in. The point is, people lie. Ok, I don’t actually know what my point was there because I was still thinking about the dog but what I do know is that Austin is a very good footballer with a genuine chance of making England’s summer squad. He has played over 150 games over the last 5 seasons and that would indicate he has matches in him and goals to match. If you fancy a flutter then stick him in. I’m off to Tesco.
Craig Hazell is a television professional, writer and Heart of Midlothian fan who makes up one third of the popular FPL podcast The Gaffer Tapes. As a student, Craig won the BBC Sports Broadcaster and Comedy Broadcaster of the year, before going onto to be a regular on the London open mic comedy circuit. He now writes about anything from TV & Movies, to food and of course football, providing he can shoehorn a 90s pop culture reference into just about anything.