Liverpool, Chelsea and Southampton March On In The League

Gameweek 27 Review: Written by @JackAGoodwin

 

I feel sick. All this time writing for FantasyYIRMA I believed we were only here to have fun. Write some engaging, satirical content for the #FPLCommunity whilst loosely trying to tie it all together in a lovely FPL care package.

Turns out, our very own Niall Hawthorne has been duping both me and Ryan all along and has been taking his own advice on board. Niall has found himself at the “dizzy heights” of 36,000th in the world which in the grand scheme of things is rather good indeed. He has an in-tact Wildcard, Free Hit AND Bench Boost still in his pocket and is flying the FantasyYIRMA flag high and mighty (we’re all proud of you Niall).

So for one week only (or indefinitely should the response demand I never try to make jokes ever again), I am going to write an ACTUAL FPL gameweek review with ACTUAL stats and talking points from GW27.

I’ll be giving perspective from varying “types” of FPL player:

  • SERIOUS Niall (takes FPL very seriously ranked 36K)
  • CHASING Ryan (fairly serious and ranked 200K)
  • FUN Jack (finds FPL a bit of fun…ranked 1M).

I feel sick…

 

Chelsea 2 – 1 Tottenham

Back to back defeats for the Special One who returned to Stamford Bridge to take on Lampard’s lot.

Giroud opened the scoring with a belting shot which was parried away only to then return to his feet moments later off the crossbar with which he finessed into the bottom corner (assist Barkley).

At the start of the second half, Marcus Alonso then fired in a stunning goal, his second of the season in just 9 sporadic appearances – the assist yet again was Barkley.

With no Son, no Kane, Jose turned to the Chelsea defence for a breakthrough which Rudiger obliged and scored an own goal at the back end of the match after a Lamela assist.

  • SERIOUS – After the demise of Son, I can’t imagine serious FPL players dabbling in any Chelsea or Spurs players at this point so this game was likely just a pointless watch-along. A stretch would be those that still own Mount who was rather quiet and hasn’t scored since GW15 at the beginning of December.
  • CHASING – This was only the 8th appearance from Giroud this season and first goal, but with a solid appearance can we trust he keeps his spot? The same can be said for Alonso. Both a big punt but if a differential is sought after then you can’t look past these two.
  • FUN – Even I wont touch Chelsea, nobody stands out. With no strikers, goals are not looking a sure thing for Spurs however their defence is now coming into a run of 4 games, 3 of which are at home. I may punt on Lloris or Alderweireld (short term).

 

Burnley 3 – 0 Bournemouth

Bournemouth had two goals ruled out by VAR and Burnley keep their European footballing hopes alive.

After a poor first half for both sides, Vydra scored in his second successive match after returning to the starting 11 only a week previous.

It got much worse for the Cherries when Harry Wilson equalised only for the goal to not only be ruled out by VAR but then VAR decided to award a penalty to Burnley for a handball waaayyyy back in the build-up to the goal – A penalty Rodriguez slotted home.

Late in the match, the cherry was put on top of the result (no pun intended) when McNeil fired in a special goal.

Burnley now sit just 4 points behind 5th spot, whereas Bournemouth are hovering 2 points above the relegation zone and have zero in-form players to speak of!

  • SERIOUS – Fixtures & form are against Bournemouth, needless to say unless it’s cheap bench fodder there’ll be no sign of Cherries players in the top FPL teams. Burnley however are looking more enticing. The only player above 4% ownership is Nick Pope (and rightfully so), aside from him there’s limited choice. McNeil & Vydra had a top game, but with Spurs and City in the next 3 is it worth the punt at this stage?
  • CHASING – For these chaps, it may be – they’re decent differentials and in-form (especially Vydra). Phil Bardsley is intriguing with a low price and two assists in this game alone, but his game time is under question.
  • FUN – There’s really no fun to be had with these two teams. Even I don’t own any, nor can I see myself venturing into a hunt for FPL points from a relegation threatened team with poor fixtures (BOU) or a side who – sure, are winning – but can’t give me a real star player to punt for.

Crystal Palace 1 – 0 Newcastle

Palace finally win a game for the first game in the last 8! Congrats to Roy Hodgson, this likely seals a contract renewal. PVA showcasing his 2015 swag with a belting free-kick matched with clean sheet and bonus points to boot. Dubravka was the MVP for Newcastle with 8 saves in this game, but the result was inevitable with no attacking threat from the Magpies whatsoever (3 shots in total, 1 on target).

  • SERIOUS – Not the best fixtures incoming with nobody hitting form aside from PVA who has just returned to the starting 11. Newcastle however have seriously decent fixtures with 4 at home in the next 6 with only Sheffield the real “big” visitor in that. Is it worth a cheeky transfer at this stage to steal some points?
  • CHASING – It was revealed by Roy Hodgy that PVA will be on free-kicks and pens whilst Milivojevic is out. Unfortunately he’s expected back quite rapidly so perhaps it’s a punt too far. As for any other Palace assets it’s only Kelly (22%) with severe ownership. Zaha is under the 10% mark now and there’s no sign aside from him where any creativity is coming from. Newcastle as said above have amazing fixtures now, if you trust your gut I would punt for a player at the low-cost mark – I’ve a soft spot for Almiron so lets choose him.
  • FUN – Of course I’m going to grab a Magpies player aren’t I? What’ve I got to lose lads!

 

Sheffield United 1 – 1 Brighton

In hot pursuit of the top four (which is still madness), Sheffield dropped two points against a hearty Brighton side. Edna Stephens opened the scoring for the Blades after 25 mins which only appeared to liven up Brighton who quickly responded with a Maupay goal of their own.

Sheffield dominated the second half but couldn’t find anything to get past Ryan who only had to make 2 saves (to be fair, Henderson had an even quieter game with 1 save).

All bonus points went to Brighton players, but in all honesty, there shouldn’t have really been any given out at all – lacklustre and boring stalemate from the two.

  • SERIOUS – Lord Lundstram is a headache now isn’t he? His stupid cameos for 10-20 mins are returning nothing and his crown appears to be slipping. Still 40%+ owned, do you stick at this stage or is it time now to rotate him out of your squads as the final 10 gameweeks creep up? Norwich next, you’ll likely stick around for that, but afterwards it’s a minefield of tricky fixtures. Aside from cheapo keepers and Lewis Dunk – nobody in FPL seems to care about the rest of Brighton.
  • CHASING – Perhaps Maupay, at 1.9% ownership is the differential you’re craving to climb the ranks? Well, a fun fact is the last time this season he went on a scoring streak was GW15 when he scored against Arsenal, then Wolves and finally Palace…..Next up for Brighton…..Palace, Wolves & Arsenal.
  • FUN – Got to jump on the Maupay Wagon haven’t ya? Under 2% owned and set to go on a run? Sign me up…

 

Southampton 2 – 0 Aston Villa

Arr man Villa suck don’t they? Southampton pile on the relegation pressure with a comfortable 2-0 win. Villa did not even have one shot on target the poor sods.

Southampton’s win thanks to an early Long goal and very late Armstrong counter-attack sealed the fate for the midland losers.

Interestingly in-form and highly picked (34%) Ings didn’t manage much and was subbed off after 70mins. It was Long & Armstrong who took the points and who combined are 2.6% owned.

Villa on the other hand are much less sought after once you ignore Grealish (who did sod all – perhaps now distracted by the bright lights of Old Trafford shining at him). Relegation looming, it’s a terrible time for the incoming fixtures as it’s only going to get harder from here.

  • SERIOUS – Ings could’ve scored if it weren’t for a decent save by Reina, Grealish on the other hand is a worry with this the last real shot at an “easy” fixture to return points for Villa. I’d be VERY surprised if you lot taking FPL very serious have anyone else from these two – very surprised indeed.
  • CHASING – Even you lot to be blunt. Hands up if anyone owns players from Southampton or Villa aside from Ings and Grealish? See…no hands. (Ryan slowly lowers hand without anyone noticing…)
  • FUN – There’s no fun with these two, no fun whatsoever.

Leicester 0 – 1 Manchester City

Bloody City, am I right?

Aguero adding his name to the massive list of City players unable to score from a penalty – anyone who captained or even played him in FPL this week were left with a big fat 0. Even De Bruyne did sod all, with Leicester holding him to long passes and even longer efforts.

The goal came to Jesus who came off the bench to take the winner after a Mahrez assist at 80 mins. After 12 shots (6 on target) City took the lead which was, in the end, deserved with Leicester only testing Ederson 3 times.

Clean sheets for all the City defenders if for some mental reason you own any and were lucky on the wheel-of-Pep. Sorrow for the many many many FPL managers who have Vardy, Maddison or Soyunchu who all blanked.

  • SERIOUS – Leicester can see this as a minor blip. Fixtures are fantastic and now is not the right time to be letting any of your assets disappear. As for City, sure there is blank weeks incoming but it’s City. You will be keeping De Bruyne I am sure of it, perhaps Aguero steps aside for a more in-form premium forward however? Keep in mind their next match will be Man United, City enjoy those.
  • CHASING – Differential hunting season! We all need Leicester players and after GW28 City ones. Leicester you’ll be considering Chilwell? Perhaps Pereira? As for City the players under 10% owned are the likes of Bernardo, Mahrez & Jesus.
  • FUN – I am a loyal Man United fan so no City will be touching my precious squad (see, fun for me). Although others will likely raid Mahrez and even Walker who is looking ever dangerous. I wonder when Sane is back?

 

Manchester United 3 – 0 Watford

Yet another MOTM display from Bruno Fernandes! The man’s on everything from free-kicks to corners to penalties (the ones where you do a little jump before you take it, lovely stuff). Bruno & Co took apart Watford at Old Trafford on Sunday with relative ease and even Martial started smiling again (and scoring a worldie, 2 in a row now). Greenwood showed off yet another Van Persie esque goal as the comparisons keep growing, and Luke Shaw did not get injured.

Strange but true moment, Man United have quite a few clean sheets. The defence are starting to rack up the points as the season draws in. Maguire and Wan-Bissaka are starting to play out of their skins in FPL terms but fixtures may calm down those itchy transfer fingers.

Watford had a goal disallowed by VAR as Troy Deeney thought he’d equalised in the 52nd minute, but United went on to take all 3 points and gain traction as the race for Europe hots up.

  • SERIOUS – Martial will be in many teams already, 15% owned but likely these are in the teams of the elite FPL managers who saw it coming. What is unexpected however is the emerging backline points hauls and Bruno. Bruno, regardless of the opposition will return points. Have you got space for him?
  • CHASING – Bruno is essential, get him whilst he’s only at 7% owned.
  • FUN – There’s something nice about owning a player from the team you support within your FPL team as well when they’re playing well (see, Pogba last season). But even I can’t see past him or Martial…. Who am I kidding, Ighalo is in my team too!! Manchester Derby is a game away and it’s his moment to shine – you read it here first.

 

Wolves 3 – 0 Norwich

It only took him 63 mins for Jota to cause chaos for Norwich. 2 goals and an assist and his day was done – subbed off – go getcha-self a nice hot bath mate. It’s such a shame he’s no longer billed as a midfielder in FPL as we’d be all over that. Alas, he isn’t, and we aren’t.

We stick to what we know – Jiminez, who after a two game slum came back with a goal (and yellow card). He’s massively owned alongside Traore who has all but sealed his exit from many teams with yet another low points haul and only 18 mins of play.

For Wolves, the signs are looking great. For Dan Farke however it’s Championship all the way as the Pukki party is but a mere cloudy dream we all attended back in the Summer of 2019.

Poor from Norwich, no player stood out at all. But a man to note was Doherty who was all-but playing as a centre forward at times. Hell of a game, and promising for the next stage of the season.

  • SERIOUS – With 3 home games in the next 4, Norwich still do not appeal to anyone. Come on, let’s not beat around the FPL bush, you own Jiminez. But do you dare take 5% owned Doherty? If you’ve the bottle it could deliver…
  • CHASING – It HAS to deliver! Doherty is the first-choice transfer if you want a new defender. Sure, Spurs are next up, but Doherty seems to be offering up attacking returns now so where’s the issue? Also, whilst you’re feeling all brave and tingly – how about Hanley as a 4M cheapo defender? C’mon…live a little here guys, you’re the chasing pack for a reason.
  • FUN – Less owned Saiss, perhaps now even brave enough to punt on Jota after he scored a hattrick in the Europa League. His little face is the definition of in-form at the moment so why not. Norwich get the seal of approval from me if you’re going to be bold – Sod what ANYONE says and neck a bottle of Hooch because we’re about to start the Pukki Party once again!

 

Arsenal 3 – 2 Everton

(ED: IGNORE THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH – ARSENAL HAVE A BLANK GAMEWEEK 28. JACK IS AN ENIGMA AT THE BEST OF TIMES)

Here’s your Aguero replacement right here – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. He joins Vardy as the top scorer in the league after a brace against Everton on Sunday.

Everton were unlucky, this game was extremely open with many chances – both teams defences looking a bit naff to be fair. Calvert-Lewin grabbed his 12th goal of the season and Richarlison his 10th, the Toffees really do have the attacking sorted it’s the defence that needs work.

Arsenal climbed up to 9th in the league and are in the fight for Europe, 4 points behind United in 5th (everyone hoping that City are taught a lesson by UEFA and that 5th spot gets the golden ticket to Champions League!).

Everton are still, just, in the hunt. This was a big blow to their European aspirations but they aren’t far off…until you look at their fixtures are realise they’re doomed!

  • SERIOUS – If you don’t own him, now’s the time to grab a hold of Aubameyang and squeeze him real tight. Aside from that, do you trust any other Gunner? If you’re punting for a defender then look no further than Luiz or Bellerin (I prefer the less angry latter). Everton have dreadful fixtures, will you stick with DCL? For his value, I’d suggest yes.
  • CHASING – Now’s not the time to load up on Everton. Arsenal however are scoring, and finding form. Pepe should be in your minds with some brilliant performances of late, perhaps even the 4.5M Saka who has 3 assists in 5 games.
  • FUN – Imagine if Ozil suddenly had a change of heart and started playing like Ozil? I could be persuaded with the incoming Euro’s he’ll want to impress Joachim Löw won’t he? ED: He won’t Big punt for a big balled FPL manager right there.

 

Liverpool 3 – 2 West Ham

Did you ever doubt them? (not you Gary Neville). Liverpool tied the record for consecutive top-flight wins at 18 and successive top-flight home victories at 21 not that anyone really cares about it do we Niall?

Liverpool come from behind to see off the positive West Ham team who got all giddy going into the second half 2-1 up. Salah and Mane made sure there were to be no surprises at Anfield after Wijnaldum scored their opener.

West Ham were unlucky, high spirited and gave a good showing in the first half. However they must’ve been out of gas as the second half was a totally different game. In the first Fornals and Diop surprised themselves when they scored, but it was all for nothing as they walked away pointless.

  • SERIOUS – If only you could have MORE than 3 players from any 1 team, right? The dilemma you guys must be having! Salah, Mane, VVD, TAA, Robertson, Firmino….You ALL have 3 players from that bunch I guarantee it. Match after match it’s a roulette which three are the highest scoring and it’s bloody fun to watch you all squirm. (No FPL & West Ham conversation needed)
  • CHASING – Is there any point in trying to find a differential from Liverpool? Are there even any available? Your best bet is Firmino and even he is at 20% ownership.
  • FUN – I’ve got nothing here. We’re all on the Liverpool hype, each and every last one of us!

 

FOLLOW JACK ON TWITTER @JACKAGOODWIN

 

 

Written by Jack A. Goodwin -Follow him on Twitter @JackAGoodwin

Jack is an “alternative FPL writer” (Who knew, right?) looking for hidden tales behind the most obscure players, dark humour in the game and the creative storytelling to the most mundane of GameWeeks!

He’s played the official game for over 7 years, running leagues throughout the offices of his day job.

Posted on 26 Feb 2020, in Player Selection and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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