Arsenal, Liverpool and Excess Mucus

Gameweek 12: #FPL Preview – Written by @NiallHawthorne


This week the @FantasyYIRMA Ranch has witnessed some very distressing scenes.

Lung-bursting wailing at all hours, huge amounts of mucus being excreted and nights completely devoid of sleep. (Ed: Check, Check and Check)

Yep, his FPL team has not been doing well, and he’s taken it hard.

Oh, and his new born baby girl has also come home from the hospital, picked her first FPL squad, and it looks better than mine.

There’s no end to the competition in this game, eh?


Defender: Marcos Alonso, Chelsea

Y’know when you ignore something that you know you shouldn’t ignore? It could be that deadline that you keep thinking is way off in the future when really, it’s just around the corner. Or it could be a weird lump in that ‘special’ place that you know is not quite right and none of your friends will look at no matter how much you plead. (Ed: Get it checked – Or it’s an outrageously expensive Chelsea defender who’s tearing it up in FPL since week one and you hate it with the ferocity of a thousand suns. £7.0m for a DEFENDER? Balderdash and Poppycock! I’m NEVER going to spend that much on a defensive player who could let me down with a single defensive mistake by one of his teammates! Wait, what? A goal and seven assists you say? From fullback? One point less than Hazard all season?

Ah nuts.

(Don’t for a second think I’m alone. 53% of FPL players agree with me)


(Ed: On a serious note check out Balls To Cancer. Since 2011 Balls to Cancer has been there to support sufferers and families dealing with cancer. If ever in doubt, check them out.)




Midfielder: Xherdan Shaqiri, Liverpool

John Lennon once wrote a song called ‘Imagine’ that blew people’s minds, admittedly in the days before Instagram, YouTube and The Great British Bake Off.

It featured a verse that simply said:

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… You…

I mean it’s all boll*x of course. Nationalism and religion are extremely hard to imagine this world without, and unfortunately just this week we’ve seen copious examples of why.

Which brings me onto the availability and motivation of young Xherdan Shaqiri this weekend. He’s having a nice rest as his teammates travel to Belgrade, which I presume he’s spending tickling the ivories perfecting his own rendition of ‘Imagine’. Once he’s mastered that he’s going to be fresh, fit and raring to prove a point against a hapless Fulham side who are bottom of the table.

I think he’s getting only his second league start of the season. At £7.0m and an ownership under 2.5% I’m getting him in and I think you should too.



Forward: Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal

Lacazette didn’t get his first league start for Arsenal until GW4, but since then he’s been an ever-present. In 8 consecutive full starts he’s now notched 5 goals and 3 assists. His finish against Liverpool was astonishing. I’ve not seen many point out that when he was confronted by Alisson, he did an about-turn before swivelling and arrowing his shot in at the far post…without once looking at where the goal was. Seriously, look at it again. He never once looked up to get his bearings, it was head down, control the ball and fire.

When this kind of instinct meets form, then it’s too much to ignore. Wolves seem to have been ‘worked out’ in recent weeks and have conceded 6 in the last 3 weeks. Emery has proven himself to be no slouch when it comes to tactics. You need Lacazette leading your line this weekend.


Captain: Mohamed Salah, Liverpool

While Sergio Aguero continued his ‘Woo Hoo!’ form at home last weekend (and faces another home game against mediocre opposition this Sunday) you simply can’t ignore the fact that Liverpool are facing Fulham at Anfield this weekend.

It comes a full four days after their midweek Champions League game, so barring injury, there’s no reason why Salah won’t lead the line for Liverpool once more. He has four goals and 2 assists in five home league games this season without ever really hitting his stride. One day he will…

Fulham’s defence has been abysmal this season conceding 29 goals in 11 games. Many teams approach a game like this at Anfield with a plan and mindset of ‘shutting up shop’. Fulham can’t do that. They’ve lost the keys, don’t know the code to the alarm and can’t reach the shutters.

Did you say Triple Captain?

I didn’t. I just thought I heard you say it…


Outsider: Bruno Saltor Grau, Brighton and Hove Albion

Following an injury-hit start to the season Bruno has swooped back into the Brighton line up like a Seagull after your bag of chips.

Three clean sheets and an assist in his four games since his return have caught the eye, as does his price-tag of £4.4m and his ownership of under 1%.

His next five fixtures feature Cardiff, Huddersfield, Leicester, Burnley and Palace.

Yes, it does make sense.


Draft: Federico Fernandez, Newcastle United

Rafa is doing exactly what many predicted he would and is steadying the ship following the horrific start to their season in terms of fixtures and results.

Consecutive clean sheets have helped secure four points, and Fernandez has been central to these performances.

When he’s fit, he plays.

Newcastle don’t face a Top 6 side until after Christmas, so for them it’s time to make hay while the sun doesn’t shine, it pours down for weeks on end and half the country is flooded. Splendid.




Written by Niall Hawthorne.

Drop Niall a follow on twitter. Good thing about Twitter – you can always unfollow again later!


Niall Hawthorne has a strange view on most things.

Check out his blog for proof


Posted on 8 Nov 2018, in Player Selection and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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