You may be astonished to learn that this writer is in fact a supporter of Liverpool Football Club. I know, I’ll give you a moment to recover from the shock.
I had never witnessed my team lose five consecutive league games at Anfield, until this week. All this comes just a year after I saw the greatest Liverpool team of my lifetime capture a league title with the highest points total in the clubs’ history.
It does teach us a very valuable life lesson though: Cherish the good times when they happen.
Too often when we find things going our way, we waste that time worrying about how we can make things better. I finished in the top 20k last season in FPL, and spent weeks bemoaning the fact that I couldn’t finish higher, couldn’t crack the top 10k. This season I can’t crack the top million, and I look back now and realise how good I had it.
Whether it’s in life, FPL or following the trials and tribulations of your football team, cherish the good times because you never know when they’ll be gone, possibly for good.
Defender: Lucas Digne, Everton
Clearly you should have at least one Manchester City defensive asset this week as they play twice and don’t really concede goals anymore, so I’m assuming that you have your Pep Guardiola voodoo doll ready to stick pins into as he breaks your FPL heart with nary a thought for your mental health, the monster.
Lucas Digne is someone you should consider squeezing in alongside those City players. In just 19 appearances this season he has 8 assists and 4 clean sheets, including three on the spin heading into GW27. While his fixture away to Chelsea looks tricky, Thomas Tuchel’s men have failed to score more than once in their last three appearances.
Tuchel against Ancelotti in a Top Four tussle could mean that goals are rarer than a Covid vaccine in a EU country.
Midfielder: Gareth Bale, Tottenham Hotspur
If there’s a chance, even the smallest tiniest chance, that the ‘old’ Gareth Bale is back then I defy you to give me a single reason why we all shouldn’t have him in our team immediately.
The signs are there. His performance against Burnley last week was bordering on vintage Bale. With Bruno Fernandes being deprived of penalties, and consequently Manchester United starting on one of their ‘Ole runs’ a swap from Bruno to Bale could be the masterstroke you require to win your mini-leagues and the admiration of all your peers (or be mocked mercilessly for being a damn fool).
Forward: Michail Antonio, West Ham United
Consecutive returns from fixtures against Spurs and Manchester City is ample evidence that Antonio should be firmly on your forward radar once more.
While he can be infuriatingly injury-prone (he’s missed nine league games this season) he has started eight of the last nine games.
This week he faces the ever-welcoming Leeds United defence who have conceded 44 goals this season, with only West Brom having a worst defensive record. More on that later.
Captain: Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City
While you know that you’re going to be uttering Pep’s name in less than complementary terms this week, you must have KDB this week, surely?
A Manchester Derby that he’s nailed on to start, followed by a Southampton side that have developed a penchant for taking a walloping, this is the week when you stick KDB in and pray to all your Gods that Pep plays ball.
Oh, and he’s owned by less than 15% of players, which is stark raving bonkers if you think about it.
Outsider: Kyle Bartley, West Bromwich Albion
Stop laughing, I’m deadly serious!
Two clean sheets in his last three and this week he faces a Newcastle United side that have all their attackers injured (except for Joelinton but does he even count?) and Steve Bruce is picking on little Matt Ritchie on the training ground.
Big Sam needs a win here and the first step to winning a crucial relegation six-pointer is not to concede.