Written by @NiallHawthorne
This Christmas I want you to stop for a while
To think of those who best make you smile
Your family, your friends, when you captain Vardy
New people we met back when we could party
And realise no matter what tier you are in
Or how the latest lockdown can get in the bin
That this time of year is about what matters
Even if you feel your world is in tatters
Let those you love know that you care
With a hug or a kiss or a buffering zoom stare
Then relax and take a breath and try realise
That one day soon we’ll get beyond frustrated sighs
We’ll put bloody COVID behind us forever
Then party, and drink and dance all together
We’ll remember those lost held close in our hearts
And know that they’d want us to embrace fresh starts
Some things won’t change as we look forward to 2021
I’ll still always hesitate to tell you Captain Son
Now onto GW15!
Defender: Ruben Dias, Manchester City
Eleven consecutive starts for the Portuguese defender who first appeared in GW4 and has bagged six clean sheets in that time. Not only has he stabilised the Manchester City defence, he’s made himself as close as possible to a nailed-on starter in a Pep Guardiola team, and made Aymeric Laporte look like a common John Stones.
Hang on, that IS John Stones playing recently? Well, bugger me, wonders will never cease.
Dias faces Newcastle United at home this weekend, and we all know what happens here. Newcastle will turn up in body but not in spirit, get their ass handed to them, then go and win games they need to win to stay up. It’s not pretty, but it’s what they do. Bank your clean sheet with Dias.
Midfielder: Raphinha, Leeds United
This choice is once more based partly on the player, but mostly on the managerial match up.
Raphinha has started the last six league games and has a goal and two assists to his name, and has looked dangerous whenever I’ve seen him play. That’s the player reason sorted.
Now let’s look at this managerial match up. Bielsa v Dyche.
Regular readers of this column will remember that I made similar observations a couple of weeks ago when it was Bielsa v Bruce. Pie v Caviar. Dom Perignon v Blue Nun. Ring any bells? Well the 5-2 final score line should.
This is the foremost football brain of his generation against Sean Dyche. A perfect way to wipe away the inevitable Boxing Day hangover on Sunday morning.
Forward: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Everton
Yes, I know that everybody already owns him, but that’s going to change a bit as DGW19 approaches and he only plays once, so it’s all about when to stop owning him.
Not this week, is the answer.
Everton travel to take on the laughably, outrageously, deliriously poor Sheffield United side who are looking more out of their depth than Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock combined.
DCL has six goals and an assist in seven away league fixtures this season, and Sheffield United have yet to keep a clean sheet in fourteen attempts.
Captain: Mohamed Salah, Liverpool
I gotta tell you all a good one, you’ll enjoy this, it’s a real giggle.
So, I told you all to Captain Salah for the last GW, as I duly did myself. Then I made a fatal error. I received too much information. I was browsing Twitter and noticed lots and lots of rumours about Salah being benched against Palace. I researched it, weighed it up, made the logical choice and took the armband off Salah.
When the team was announced before the Palace game I was relieved, as Mo was indeed picking splinters out of his arse at Selhurst Park. My new Captain Son was going to smash Leicester, and even if he’s dramatically dropped my Vice-Captain Vardy was never missing this game.
Yeah, that’s another few hundred quid to the counsellor to get over that trauma.
Anyway, Captain Salah at home to West Brom. Even if he’s on the bench until the 91st minute he’ll still probably score two in a late cameo.
Outsider: Christian Benteke, Crystal Palace
If you normally skip over this bit, then this message is pointless as you’ll have skipped over it….
But on the off-chance that you’re reading it, I’m proud to announce that last week I delivered my THIRD 0% OWNERSHIP TIP THAT DELIVERED POINTS last weekend, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain set up Salah for the seventh goal.
He now joins the list of Podence and Smallbone as outrageous tips owned by nobody that delivered a goal or assist from yours truly in the last 16 GW’s.
This week I’m tipping Benteke who’s owned by an enormous 0.4% of players, to deliver against Aston Villa. He’s got three in his last three before his harsh red card in GW13, and he’s back at his old stomping ground.
It’s football karma, and we’re all powerless to stop it.
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
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