Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 23

Written by @ Mr Niall Hawthorne

If FPL teams are picked but FPL teams don’t play, does the tree make a sound of one hand clapping?

This season feels like one of those theoretical conundrums with no answer. On we march, through the doubt, the disappointment and the despair. 

Onto GW23! 

GW23 Defender: Jose Sa, Wolves

Admittedly my Wolves defensive tip was mysteriously absent last weekend, but to make it up to you I’m going to reveal the big secret of this FPL season that very few people seem to know Jose Sa is the best goalkeeper in the league from an FPL perspective. 

He’s fourth for saves made, just six behind David De Gea (stop giggling). He’s got more points than Ederson (!) despite only having 8 clean sheets compared to his 12 (and City’s 13 in total). He costs only £5.2m which is cheap when you consider he has 95 points and is owned by less than 7% of players. 

He hasn’t scored less than 3 points since GW11 and racked up 7 points last week despite conceding against Southampton (and even then, that was a worldie by JWP). 

He’s set and forget material, and I’ve had him for months. It’s a joy. 

Oh yeah! He’s away to Brentford, who aren’t exactly prolific. Almost forgot that point. 

GW23 Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City

I was tempted to tip Bukayo Saka this week, as he looks to be in top form. However, Arsenal are due to play Burnley this weekend, and the odds on that match happening are longer than the odds on Novak Djokovic guest starring on Neighbours next week. 

Bowen is in flying form, but West Ham are away to United and he may not want to annoy a potential new owner (sorry Hammers fans). James Ward-Prowse is turning into prime Matt Le Tissier at the moment (minus the batshit conspiracy theories, probably), but is facing Manchester City, so he’s out. 

I’m left with Kevin De Bruyne, who is finally looking like his old self for the first time this season. Six starts in a row hasyielded four goals, one assist and 47 points, so almost 8 points a game. With Southampton, Brentford and Norwich up next, and an ownership of under 10%, he’s on the verge of becoming a must-have.

GW23 Forward: Emmanuel Dennis, Watford

A striker in form! A striker in form! My kingdom for a striker in form! Wherefore art thou, striker in form!?

I may have mashed up my Shakespeare plays a bit, but the point stands. Alex Lacazette is the striker most in form in FPL and that, quite frankly, is a disgrace. 

But we must find a tip, so a tip we will find. Emmanuel Dennis let me down this week (although one of his games was postponed because somebody in Burnley sneezed and sixteen teammates pulled muscles in shock and caught Covid at the same time), but he’s at home to Norwich this weekend in a must-win game for both sides. 

While Norwich have stoked talk of possible survival with their win over Everton, people forget that Everton were managed by Rafa Benitez on peak mission mode to destroy Everton from the inside. Not that an agent needs much help when the owner himself allows his best player to be sold due to being unhappy with the manager and then sacks the manager in the same week. How daft is that????

I digress. Norwich are still bobbins. Watford need to win. Dennis is going to be a menace.

GW23 Captain: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool

Sure, you could have Dennis for the reasons outlined above. Same goes for KDB. 

But when Salah is otherwise occupied it feels like a rare chance in life to experiment in a way that won’t end up with an STD or an arrest warrant but will give you the same thrill (if you know, you know).

TAA and his Liverpool mates are travelling to Selhurst Park, where they scored SEVEN times last season, in a match that Mo Salah didn’t start, coincidentally. Trent has already racked up a quite outrageous 10 assists in 19 appearances. Throw in two goals and ten clean sheets, and he’s the clear defensive points leader (and second overall to Mo Salah), so he’s definitely a viable option. 

Liverpool should have Alisson, Van Dijk, Matip and Fabinho all available, so their defensive spine is in place, and a clean sheet is a strong possibility. Add in the fact that without Mane and Salah more of the creative responsibility is upon the LFC full-backs, and you can’t ignore the possibility of a Trent Alexander-Arnold masterclass at Selhurst Park.

GW23 Outsider: Philippe Coutinho, Aston Villa

Firstly, you could go for Andy Robertson, owned by a mind-bending 3% compared to TAA at 45%, as an LFC defensive alternative…

But can you really ignore Coutinho at £7.0m? 4.1% have already jumped on board, and with fixtures against a broken Everton (and all his history there), Leeds, Newcastle and Watford in his next four, if you don’t move now, it could be too late. 

Your move…


Posted on 21 Jan 2022, in Player Selection and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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