Fantasy Football – Gameweek 27 Preview – Written by @NiallHawthorne
The first mini blank GW is upon us as Manchester City, Chelsea, Everton and Brighton are out of the FPL loop this weekend. If you’re a serious FPL player you’ll no doubt know this, and you’ll have spent the last week plotting the most advanced, complicated and borderline scientific chip strategy known to man. You’ll have calculations the likes of which would have made Stephen Hawking recoil in horror. Well I’m here to regale you with tales of my chip strategy, which is really very simple.
You unwrap the chip paper, apply salt and vinegar liberally, keep ketchup as far away from them as possible, and eat. If you even mention ‘gravy’ then you should have all the chips taken away from you, even the Triple Captain chip. You savage.
Defender: Nathan Ake, Bournemouth
I know, I know. Picking a Bournemouth defender would seem to be like asking a EU delegate for movement on the backstop for the 187th time, and expecting a different outcome. Pointless. However on closer examination it may surprise you to learn that the Cherries have kept three clean sheets in their last four home games against Chelsea, West Ham and Brighton. Throw in the fact that Nathan Ake has notched twice in recent weeks, and you have a defender who could well be the cherry on the icing of your FPL cake this weekend.
I’m not sorry.
Midfielder: Sadio Mane, Liverpool
GW24 – James Ward Prowse tipped, and scored
GW25 – Sadio Mane tipped, and scored
GW26 – Paul Pogba tipped, scored twice
GW27 – Pogba v Mane, what’s a boy to do?
Well I’m backing Sadio Mane at Old Trafford. My working theory is that while the resurgence under OGS has been quite spectacular, the match against PSG showed that the gulf between a decent team in form and a truly top class team is still quite large. While this is the trickiest fixture facing Liverpool between now and the end of the season, I expect them to do a pretty good job at shutting down United in a similar fashion to the Parisiennes. We also know that the United defence hasn’t improved in the same exponential fashion, and after drawing a rare blank against Bayern Munich in midweek, the attacking trio from Anfield are unlikely to do so again. Mane has four in his last four league games, and he’s my tip to tickle the onion bag down the East Lancs Road.
Forward: Salomon Rondon, Newcastle United
I could pretend that this pick is far more sophisticated than ‘Who are Huddersfield playing this week?’, but it’s not, and to be frank, it doesn’t need to be.
A home fixture against the worst team in the league will have Rafa targeting this game as a must win since the Toon Army sit just one point above the drop zone. Rondon scored the only goal of the game when Newcastle beat Huddersfield on their own patch, so I fancy him to repeat the feat this weekend.
Captain: Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal
Home game against inferior opposition? CHECK.
Four goals in your last six games? CHECK.
Facing a team with 1 clean sheet in 16 games? CHECK.
Rested midweek thanks to a European suspension? CHECK.
Lacazette ticks all the boxes ladies and gents.
Outsider: Michail Antonio, West Ham United
For the life of me I can’t work out how this lad hasn’t kicked onto bigger and better things.
He’s brutishly strong, has an eye for goal, a great delivery. This season has seen him contribute 3 goals and 5 assists since his season really started after GW10, which is 8 contributions in 16 GW’s, not a bad return. He’s coming off the back of a goal and assist in his last two appearances, and with Marko ‘Any Old Iron’ Arnautovic staying put, he could continue to blossom for the rest of the season. He’s got an incredibly attractive fixture list on the horizon as well, and has less than 2% ownership.
Draft: Youri Tielemans, Leicester City
While fiddling with the FPL website (steady…) to work out who the best draft pick would be at this stage of the season, I came across the most entertaining and quite frankly hilarious piece of information:
Phil ‘Jags’ Jagielka is currently sitting on -2 points for his FPL season. MINUS TWO POINTS. Yet that’s not the funny bit. He’s got 0.4% ownership. That’s just under 25,000 people with him in their FPL squad. That’s a big family Jags needs to support. Poor bugger.
Anyway, my draft pick this week is Youri Tielemans of Leicester City, who is (and I use the technical term here) a “baller”. Leicester City also have the kindest run-in known to mankind for the rest of the season, until they hit GW36 – GW38, which is beyond brutal. Time to make hay while the sun shines!
Written by Niall Hawthorne.