Arsenal, Liverpool… and Stoke feature in the Gameweek Preview??

PREVIEW CRAIGWritten by @CraigHazellthat’s important!

Way back when at the beginning of last season, I told you all that Virgil Van Dijk would be an excellent acquisition for Southampton and indeed the Premier League. Many months later, I sit here swimming in my own self pity at being 908th in my own league, clinging onto memories that once made me believe I knew what I was doing. So much like a Croydon girl nearing payday, it’s time I look at my roots.


VVD is once again proving he is a vital part of Saint’s campaign on three fronts and in a season on leaky defences, Virgil has unassumingly led his team to 3 consecutive clean sheets. Bet you hadn’t noticed, had you? Don’t worry, Liverpool will have. With Saints playing at home this week to Burnley, they have a real chance to gain some defensive momentum and Van Dijk is a huge set piece goal threat worth having in your squad.



I threw all my eggs in an Adam Lallana shaped basket in the last gameweek and as he limped off after 25 minutes, I braced myself for abuse from irrational fantasy football players. Apparently I was an idiot not to predict his hobbling off and therefore am a disgrace to this blog and the game. (ED: I can’t remember saying that – but it does sound like me)

So just to annoy the lot of you I am sticking with Liverpool. People often get cold feet about bringing in players who have ‘big’ opposition. They wait until they have Stoke at home instead of backing them, but then what did that do for Ibra? Big players deliver in big matches and big FPL players move up their league by sticking with them. I said as much about Son last gameweek as thousands dropped him to the bench against City and he came up trumps with an assist and would’ve got a goal had Lamela not been better at wrestling. I fancy Liverpool to do United at Anfield and with Lallana looking doubtful, Firmino up front will have that little bit more weight of expectation. Daniel Sturridge has his own wait of expectation (thank you) and Firmino has the number 9 position to lose. Expect him to play a big part.



With 3 goals in 4 games, Christian Benteke has shown football fans what Liverpool paid such a huge amount of money for in the first place. Thankfully for him, Crystal Palace inexplicably paid almost the identical sum of money to take him anyway and he is duly delivering. West Ham have proven themselves to be entertaining if irresponsible at the back and I think Bentekkkkers will lick his lips at the idea of an afternoon up against James Collins. If you’re fancying a punt, I would genuinely consider captaining him because I think with his International hat trick mid week, he won’t have played with such confidence since he played for Villa. Yea. Read that sentence again.



Captaining seems easy this week and I think most of you will be opting for Alexis Sanchez. He’s now joint top scoring midfielder in the game with KDB and a tie at home to Swansea provides scope for clear water between them. Swansea do have previous at the Emirates and of course have Big Bad Bob Bradley in charge, so we are clueless as to how they will setup. I’m not totally sold that Sanchez will deliver but it’s not a matchup we can ignore given his quality and Swansea’s….err…..quality.



This pick is so outside that it could feature in George Michael’s bathroom sex cottaging related hit ‘Outside’. We just can’t ignore Joe Allen any more. He has gone from being a luscious locked weirdly handsome defensive midfielder to a luscious locked weirdly handsome slightly less defensive midfielder and we just need to scream it from the rooftops. He has 2 goals in 2 games for Stoke and another for Wales, a feat he hasn’t even achieved on FIFA and was quoted in the press saying he was enjoying the added freedom to get forward. He’s rated 50% to play so keep an eye on @BenDinnery but it’s an outside pick I can pick whoever I want, injured or not.



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.

Check out The Gaffer Tapes Podcast Here


Posted on 13 Oct 2016, in Player Selection and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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