Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Laporte, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Silva (C), De Bruyne, Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero
Subs: Muric, Danilo, Stones, Delph, Sané, Mahrez, Jesus
Arsenal: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Koscielny, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Monreal, Guendouzi, Torreira, Iwobi, Lacazette, Aubamegyang
Subs: Cech, Mavropanos, Ramsey, Ozil, Elneny, Suarez, Nketiah
FPL GW25 Preview by @niallhawthorne
Chelsea getting spanked by four goals for the first time in the Premier League since a Labour leader was popular with the public.
Manchester City playing like another league title is that chore you just can’t be arsed with.
Liverpool playing like Indiana Jones grabbing the holy grail, tripping over his own whip and dropping it.
Spurs wildly veering from ‘Spursy McSpursFace’ to ‘Grinding Out Huge Results With A Decimated Squad’.
United winning eight in a row and then producing the kind of result and performance that would make Jose look for the nearest 46A bus to chuck some players under.
How any of us are supposed to make sense of it all is beyond me, but as ever I’m going to give it a try for GW25…
Defender: Kurt Zouma, Everton
It’s the first Double GW of the season, so you can’t be surprised, right? But this isn’t just a case of jumping on the first defender I see with two games this week, he’s the most in form defender in the game right now, with 24 points from his last 3 games including 2 clean sheets, a goal and an assist.
Admittedly the second of his matches this week is against Manchester City, but that’s no longer a guarantee of annihilation. Granted it wouldn’t be a huge shock if the Ev did what the Ev do best and roll over to facilitate ‘anyone but Liverpool’, but maybe, just maybe they don’t have the collective mindset of an eight-year-old and will turn up on Wednesday night.
There’s also the small fact that it’s a double home match game week for Zouma, with Wolves coming to town on Saturday. He’s £5.0m and under 1% ownership. Food for thought.
Midfielder: Sadio Mane, Liverpool
Last week I tipped James Ward-Prowse in this slot.
This week I’m backing Sadio Mane to do the business against West Ham on Monday Night Football. He was the only player who looked any way arsed and/or not sh*tting himself against Leicester City on Wednesday night, and he racked up 16 points against the same opponent on the opening day of the season thanks to two goals and three bonus points.
West Ham have their strengths, but an 11-man behind the ball, stifle the opposition of any space and grind out a 1-0 win may not be one of them (cue a vintage catenaccio display…), so I suspect the Senegalese man may get space to operate in this week.
Forward: Sergio Aguero, Manchester City
A double GW against Arsenal and Everton defences…
Do you want me to draw you a fricking map?
Captain: Leroy Sane, Manchester City
32 points in his last 4 GW’s (including his blank on Tuesday night). He’s the form midfielder in the game right now (level with James Ward-Prowse, naturally…), and he’s got two fixtures this week.
Put the armband on him, pray to whatever deity you believe in or think is the least unbelievable yarn, and hope that Pep plays him twice.
Outsider: Peter Crouch, Burnley
Oh, come on, who doesn’t love
He’s a legend! He looks like a praying mantis, yet pulls Abbey Clancy. He became a cult hero to Liverpool fans who know a class striker when they see one, yet they still loved Crouchy, probably because it took him what felt like two and a half years to score his first goal for them. He also played in a Champions League final!
Oh, and he’s playing one of his old teams this weekend, so he’s bound to score. Although by that logic, and based on the number of teams Crouchy has played for, he could end up the top scorer ahead of Salah.
Draft: Lazar Markovic, Fulham
I’m only including him on this list because I have two points to make:
1. My nickname for him is Countess (Irish historian geeks should giggle at that one, and if you don’t get it, google it…)
2. Fulham’s recruitment policy this transfer window has been HILARIOUS. Babel? Markovic? Schurrle? An eclectic mix of has-beens and never-weres. It’s the footballing equivalent of McBusted.
FPL GW25 Preview by @niallhawthorne