Written by @CraigHazell – (that’s important!)
#FPL GAMEWEEK 23
DEFENDER: ANTONIO VALENCIA, MANCHESTER UNITED
Man U have a delicious set of fixtures coming up before they miraculously disappear off the fixture list (That’s right. DGWs are coming!). However, the big dilemma is who from United is reliable for your fpl squad. It’s one hell of a conundrum. They are in unbelievable form, they get results, but somehow none of their players really fill you with much hope in terms of 6 points or above every week. So, I’m going back to an old faithful, that person you know will answer their phone at 4am on a Friday night, it’s Antonio Valencia.
Unlike me on a Friday night, you know you’re going to get 90 minutes out of him and Hull, Leicester, Watford represents real clean sheet potential. hull seem to be going through a bit of a firesale and United should see them off comfortably.
MIDFIELDER: DELE ALLI, SPURS
I won’t try and be too clever here and just tell you to pick Dele Alli again. While he remains under 35% picked I think he is still worth bringing into your side. 25% means a considerable amount of people are either inactive or feel like they’ve missed this bandwagon and they’ll wait for the next. For me, he is a classic wildcard acquisition. If, like me, you’ve wildcarded this week I don’t know how you don’t bring him in. His form is incredible and he doesn’t have the horrible prospect of International football at the end of the season. Win win for Dele, the man who invented the selfie.
FORWARD: ANDY CARROLL, WEST HAM
Nothing about Manchester City’s back 5 fills me with much confident. Their clean sheets are sporadic and seem to happen due to opposition inefficiency rather than stout defending. For every 5-0 win over West Ham, they have a 4-0 loss to Everton or a leaked goal against Burnley. That aforementioned West Ham win was, however, their most impressive performance of the season and it was a low point for the Hammers as the media jumped on their back and their new home. Since then, West Ham have won some footballing sympathy from the twitterati with the Dimitri Payet debacle. Good, honest, Scottish lad Robert snodgrass has arrived and more significantly Andy Carroll has found back to back starts and an eye for goal. It’s a really risky move to bring him in but when he is fit, he is an England International without doubt. It’s popular to mock him but he can be unplayable at times and I think Otamendi and Stones/A.N.other will be dreading playing him. The big question is whether he is fit or not but if he’s fit, he will start so I think it’s worth the gamble. They could of course lose 5-1 but I fancy him to get that one goal.
CAPTAIN: ALEXIS SANCHEZ, ARSENAL
If you just picked your best player and captained him every week rather than try to shift it every week to get an advantage, you’d probably have skippered Alexis Sanchez every week.
You’d also have more points than you currently do. I’ve avoided it nearly every week in the everlong pursuit of genius but it’s just time to go with Sanchez and make the most of his incredible consistency.
OUTSIDER: JAY RODRIGUEZ, SOUTHAMPTON
My co-host @AshKernsworth, astutely pointed out that Southampton have a weird game on/game off policy with some of their players currently but if they forego that and give Jay Rodriguez another start then this could be a gem of an outside pick. J-Rod (as nobody calls him) was all set to travel with England to a major tournament before a horrible injury and since he’s come back the Premier League somehow registered him as a midfielder. He’s a very classy player (he probably takes a girl to Nandos before the Travelodge) and with Austin still unavailable, make no bones about it, he’s a striker. He’s 75% rated to play but I’m hoping against a fragile Swansea he could get 70 minutes, rather than 20.