Fantasy Football – Gameweek 14 & 15 Preview – Written by @NiallHawthorne
As we head into GW’s 14 & 15 (the first double preview mash-up of the season), we have an unprecedented opportunity to mash up the best reality TV series of the last two decades to create a brand new unheralded (and probably unwanted) new reality TV show. Ladies and Gentlemen, I propose “Big Love Island Apprentice Brother”. Here me out…
You have a random selection of Premier League managers (let’s just say Everton’s Marco Silva, Watford’s Quique Sanchez Flores, West Ham’s Manuel Pellegrini, Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Arsenal’s Unai Emery for example…) all living together on an Island. They’re then joined by their respective Premier League Chairmen, Lord Sugar and Davina McCall.
The Chairmen make a final decision on the fate of their managers (have a wild guess at that outcome), Alan Sugar does the fingering (as in the firing, you dirt bag), Davina McCall gives them all hugs and wipes away their tears, and then the public can vote to decide which fired manager gets to be appointed to which newly manager-less club!
In a final plot-twist, after all the public votes have been counted, and managers have been paired with clubs, Dermot O’Leary walks in with Mauricio Pochettino and starts a bidding war amongst the Chairmen to see which one wants to ignore the public vote and get Poch into the hot seat.
It’ll raise about £20,000,000 for the NHS and would run for 24 hours a day on Sky Sports News like ‘The Truman Show’.
To all commissioning editors out there, I’m open to offers. Now on with the tips!
GW 14 Defender: Serge Aurier, Tottenham Hotspur
He got the nod from Jose for his first game in charge, and spent an awful lot of his time in very advanced positions, thanks to Mourinho playing (wait to be stunned…) TWO holding midfielders!!!!
Based on this, and the fact that Jose’s first home league game is against Bournemouth, there’s a fair chance of a clean-sheet with attacking returns this weekend. An ownership of just 2.9% makes him an interesting differential too.
GW 15 Defender: Enda Stevens, Sheffield United
If you want to truly gauge the quality of a manager, you look at what Chris Wilder has done with Enda Stevens, and then you look at Stevens’ career path to date: University College Dublin, St. Patricks Athletic, Shamrock Rovers, Aston Villa (with 4 loan spells), Portsmouth and now Sheffield United.
We all have Lord Lundstram in our squads and if you don’t, you’re doing it wrong. But if you want to be wrong different, then an attacking full-back with two assists and five clean sheets thus far is not a bad bet. In fact, they’re the exact same stats as Lundstram (apart from the three goals and yet more proof that you’re doing it wrong).
Sheffield United face Newcastle United at Bramall Lane in GW15, under lights. It’ll be bouncing and you must fancy the Blades to cut down the Magpies.
GW 14 Midfielder: Sadio Mane, Liverpool
It’s difficult to pick out one single player from this season’s Liverpool squad for special praise. Every squad member seems to have done something memorable thus far. However, there’s one man who has understatedly been the star of the show, scoring the crucial first goal a remarkable SEVEN times, alongside scoring 94th minute winners that manage to boil the p*ss out of every other fanbase.
Sadio Mane is the main man, and a home fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion looks juicier than a seagull on a BBQ.
GW 15 Midfielder: Willian, Chelsea
Human psychology is a very strange beast.
In modern times you have groups of people all behaving in the same alarmingly erratic and nonsensical manner. Like everyone who votes for Brexit or the Tory party. Those who think Trump is a fine upstanding member of society. Then there’s the 31.2% of those who own Mason Mount (one assist in his last five) but haven’t considered owning Willian (3% owned and a goal and two assists in his last five).
He faces Aston Villa at home in GW15 and if there was ever a differential screaming out for you to take advantage of, it’s this one.
GW14 Forward: Tammy Abraham, Chelsea
Before Willian and friends welcome JT back to the Bridge, they face a London Derby against the hilariously defensively inept Hammers from East London.
With 51% of all FPL players owning Tammy Abraham, it may be a risk if you don’t captain him in GW14, considering what might happen if Chelsea run riot and most of the 51% stick the armband on him.
Whatever you decide, best of luck, but for the love of all that is sweet, innocent and pure, you should have him in your team!
NOTE: Since time of writing Tammy has been injured and ruled out of GW14..
GW15 Forward: Raul Jimenez, Wolverhampton Wanderers
This may start to read like I’m mocking West Ham United, so I’d like to make it categorically clear that I am. They’re awful. Truly terrible. Declan Rice as a defensive midfielder? He’s got the backbone of a Muller Rice. It’s clear why the Irish prefer spuds over Rice…(and like the Murphy’s, I’m not bitter…)
Anyway, I digress. In GW15 Wolves welcome West Ham to Molineux with Jimenez in red-hot form. After ‘just’ two goals in GW1 – 7, he has since added four goals and two assists in GW8 – 13. Easy call this.
GW14 Captain: Jamie Vardy, Leicester City
He’s the most in-form player in the league.
He has SEVEN goals and THREE assists in his last five games.
He’s owned by 40% of all FPL players.
He’s at home to Everton who are giving ‘shambolic’ a new meaning in the dictionary.
He’s spurring on non-owners to write detailed analysis ‘pieces’ as to why his form is not sustainable, as they weep bitter salty tears and forget that he once scored in ELEVEN games in a row which proves that non-sustainability is what he fecking specialises in.
GW15 Captain: Jamie Vardy, Leicester City
Same as above, but replace ‘Everton’ with ‘Watford’.
Seriously, my finger is hovering above the Triple Captain chip but I just can’t decide which GW is going to be best!
GW14 Outsider: Ryan Bertrand, Southampton
This is clearly a real punt considering the defensive record of The Saints, but they do face Watford and Norwich next up, who have both been goal shy in recent weeks. I fancy Hasselhoff to turn it around at St. Mary’s, and if he does then Bertrand is an attacking defender who may well provide points at both ends of the pitch.
Or not, whatever.
GW15 Outsider: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Liverpool
It’s clear that Liverpool are going to have to rotate during the next 6 weeks as their fixture list looks more congested than the London Underground at rush hour. The one man who has been slotted in and out of the team thus far, to great effect, is Oxlade-Chamberlain. I can see him getting a run at Everton under the lights at Anfield in the Merseyside derby in GW15, and based on his goal-scoring form thus far, he looks likely to net too.
GW14 Draft: Ben Davies, Tottenham Hotspur
I suspect that Jose Mourinho isn’t the kind of man who tends to flowers and plants with enough attention and care to help them bloom, so Danny Rose has tough times ahead.
This is good news for Ben Davies though, and with just 0.2% ownership, if you can draft him in, you should.
GW15 Draft: Odel Hernandez, Norwich City
A recent return to fitness has seen Hernandez slot straight back into the starting XI for Norwich City. He picked up an assist against Manchester United, and looked a real handful against Everton last weekend. He’s owned by 0.1%, so that’s basically himself, his missus and you if you follow my tip and draft him in.
Fantasy Football – Gameweek 14 & 15 Preview – Written by @NiallHawthorne
Written by Niall Hawthorne.
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Niall Hawthorne has a strange view on most things.
Check out his blog for proof rantsofarebel.wordpress.com.