GW32 has now evolved into the perfect antithesis of the FPL game we know and love, while simultaneously being the perfect reflection of what this god-forsaken football season has been like.
We start on Friday night, end next Thursday night, have games every night of the week in between and by the time it ends, nobody will give a shiny shite about the outcome.
Add to that the fact that the glorious, wonderful European Cup has now become a shootout between three oil baron playthings and a football club supported by a royal family, and I’m wondering where the soul of this beautiful game really is these days.
One thing is for certain though – we have never needed the return of football fans as much as we do now. For they are the soul, they are the spirit, and without them the game will die.
Defender: Reece James, Chelsea
Thomas Tuchel is currently playing a football hokey-cokey with his defenders as they’re one match in, one match out, one match in then he shakes them all about, so this is a bit of an educated guess.
Reece James started in midweek against Porto. They now face Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final this weekend, so I reckon he doesn’t start that, which means he’ll be back in the starting XI against Brighton.
Seeing as Chelsea are quite good defensively when they’re not facing Big Sam Allardyce, and Brighton are as shy in front of goal as I was in front of every young lady my age up until the age of 29 and a half, this looks like a Chelsea clean sheet all day long.
Just need to be right that James starts.
Midfielder: Jesse Lingard, West Ham United
I’ve avoided him for as long as I can, and I can’t avoid him no more.
Lingard’s form at West Ham was a fluke, right? A flash in the pan, surely? It won’t last, will it? I for one am not willing to wait any longer to find out. A run of 9 starts has produced a quite ludicrous 8 goals and 4 assists with 13 bonus points. It makes no sense, in this or any alternative dimension, yet here we are.
This week he faces a trip to St. James’s Park to face Newcastle United, and I always tip somebody against Newcastle United because they’re not very good. Want to know how I know they’re not very good? Because each week thousands of people read these words, some of whom must be Newcastle United fans, and nobody has challenged me on it.
Forward: Kelechi Iheanacho, Leicester City
Regular and long-term readers of this column will remember that in GW28 I tipped Kelechi Iheanacho as my forward pick. He cost £5.6m and was owned by under 1%.
He now costs £6.0m and is owned by almost 12%. That’s the kind of inflation you normally only see in South American economies.
If you got on board with the GW28 tip you’ll have enjoyed his subsequent 5 goals and 6 bonus points, to which I think he’ll add this week as he eventually takes on West Brom on Thursday night.
Captain: Heung-Min Son, Tottenham Hotspur
As well as being the longest, most tedious GW in recent memory, GW32 is also the most miniscule pitiful DGW you can imagine, as Spurs (yes, THAT Spurs) play twice.
Two bouts of Jose Mourinho picking fights with fathers, players, opponents or anyone that has ever existed, it appears. Splendid.
The reason for picking Son here is two-fold. Every man, woman and child will have Kane as Captain this week, and as per previous recent columns, this is now about making up ground. Secondly, he’s nailed on to start both, fitness permitting, and he has form for exploding with points. 14 goals and 9 assists thus far this season promises some excitement, starting this Friday night.
Outsider: Joe Rodon, Tottenham Hotspur
A now regularly selected defender owned by 0.1% that costs just £5.0m and plays against a shot-shy Everton and a dying-on-their-arse Southampton?