FPL GW25 Preview by @niallhawthorne

Chelsea getting spanked by four goals for the first time in the Premier League since a Labour leader was popular with the public.

Manchester City playing like another league title is that chore you just can’t be arsed with.

Liverpool playing like Indiana Jones grabbing the holy grail, tripping over his own whip and dropping it.

Spurs wildly veering from ‘Spursy McSpursFace’ to ‘Grinding Out Huge Results With A Decimated Squad’.

United winning eight in a row and then producing the kind of result and performance that would make Jose look for the nearest 46A bus to chuck some players under.

How any of us are supposed to make sense of it all is beyond me, but as ever I’m going to give it a try for GW25…

 

Defender: Kurt Zouma, Everton

It’s the first Double GW of the season, so you can’t be surprised, right? But this isn’t just a case of jumping on the first defender I see with two games this week, he’s the most in form defender in the game right now, with 24 points from his last 3 games including 2 clean sheets, a goal and an assist.

Admittedly the second of his matches this week is against Manchester City, but that’s no longer a guarantee of annihilation. Granted it wouldn’t be a huge shock if the Ev did what the Ev do best and roll over to facilitate ‘anyone but Liverpool’, but maybe, just maybe they don’t have the collective mindset of an eight-year-old and will turn up on Wednesday night.

There’s also the small fact that it’s a double home match game week for Zouma, with Wolves coming to town on Saturday. He’s £5.0m and under 1% ownership. Food for thought.

Midfielder: Sadio Mane, Liverpool

Last week I tipped James Ward-Prowse in this slot.

You’re welcome.

This week I’m backing Sadio Mane to do the business against West Ham on Monday Night Football. He was the only player who looked any way arsed and/or not sh*tting himself against Leicester City on Wednesday night, and he racked up 16 points against the same opponent on the opening day of the season thanks to two goals and three bonus points.

West Ham have their strengths, but an 11-man behind the ball, stifle the opposition of any space and grind out a 1-0 win may not be one of them (cue a vintage catenaccio display…), so I suspect the Senegalese man may get space to operate in this week.

Forward: Sergio Aguero, Manchester City

A double GW against Arsenal and Everton defences…

Do you want me to draw you a fricking map?

Captain: Leroy Sane, Manchester City

32 points in his last 4 GW’s (including his blank on Tuesday night). He’s the form midfielder in the game right now (level with James Ward-Prowse, naturally…), and he’s got two fixtures this week.

Put the armband on him, pray to whatever deity you believe in or think is the least unbelievable yarn, and hope that Pep plays him twice.

Outsider: Peter Crouch, Burnley

Oh, come on, who doesn’t love

Crouchy?

He’s a legend! He looks like a praying mantis, yet pulls Abbey Clancy. He became a cult hero to Liverpool fans who know a class striker when they see one, yet they still loved Crouchy, probably because it took him what felt like two and a half years to score his first goal for them. He also played in a Champions League final!

Oh, and he’s playing one of his old teams this weekend, so he’s bound to score. Although by that logic, and based on the number of teams Crouchy has played for, he could end up the top scorer ahead of Salah.

Draft: Lazar Markovic, Fulham

I’m only including him on this list because I have two points to make:

1. My nickname for him is Countess (Irish historian geeks should giggle at that one, and if you don’t get it, google it…)

2. Fulham’s recruitment policy this transfer window has been HILARIOUS. Babel? Markovic? Schurrle? An eclectic mix of has-beens and never-weres. It’s the footballing equivalent of McBusted.

FPL GW25 Preview by @niallhawthorne

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Fantasy Football – Gameweek 21 Preview – Written by @NiallHawthorne

If I don’t see another turkey for as long as I live, I’ll be a happy man. Which is awkward because my FPL team is full of them right now. As we finally get to the end of the hectic festive football period (which started on December 1st according to Sky Sports), the following tips all carry the same caveat:

I have no bloody idea which players are going to be fit / be picked in light of all the games they’ve played in the last 10 days.

Understood? Good, so on we go…

 

Defender: Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea

Keeping the rotation risk in mind, I’ve plumped for a footballer who hasn’t missed a single minute of league action for Chelsea this season. Or last season. Or the season before that. In fact, I’m pretty sure he was crossing in assists for Kerry Dixon back in the day (ask yer Da).

Nine clean sheets in 20 outings has been somewhat embellished by two assists, which is down on his usual level of attacking output (he has at least 5 assists in each of the last three seasons). Therefore, he’s due, and he seems to have a unique ability to set up goals for Alvaro Morata, which puts him in a very exclusive club indeed. No other sod can do it. With the injury to Olivier Giroud at Selhurst Park, there’s a chance that Morata may start against Southampton at the Bridge.

All hail Cesar!

Midfield: Felipe Anderson, West Ham

A wee bit of life advice for you now ladies and gents. Don’t gamble on football, particularly the Premier League. The results thrown up over the festive period have been impossible to see coming, and this weekend there are a couple of fixtures that Mystic Meg would refuse to try and predict. Everton host Leicester City where either team could smash the other, and West Ham host Brighton.

While the Hammers can below hot and cold (as evidenced by their insipid defeat to a previously woeful Burnley), they face a Brighton side who are consistently poor away from home and who travel with as much confidence as a commuter with Northern Rail.

Felipe Anderson has been the standout performer for West Ham this season with a solid 8 goals and 3 assists thus far. His recent form has been strong, and should he be selected I’d be confident he can clip the seagull’s wings to get his 2019 off to a flyer.

Forward: Harry Kane MBE, Tottenham Hotspur

Now I know the name of Harry Kane appearing here will make many of you groan with frustration and disenchantment, and I get it, I really do. In FPL seasons past, there were always ‘star strikers’ you could hang your hat on to do the business each and every week, but this season has been the toughest I can remember to find the right man to lead your forward line.

Aguero? In and out all the time….

Jesus? Christ….

Kane? He doesn’t really play up front anymore, does he…

Aubameyang? Yeah, but it’s Arsenal, innit…

This week I’m torn between Kane and Aubameyang. Harry travels to Cardiff with 4 goals in his last 3 games, and Spurs having scored 10 goals in their last 3 away games. Aubameyang hosts Fulham which looks like a no-brainer, but Fulham have 2 clean sheets in the last 3 and have conceded just once in that spell. Plus, Aubameyang had 13 touches at Anfield, 6 of which were kick-offs…

So, I’m plumping for Harry Kane this week, but I fully understand if you ignore everything I say and go for Aubameyang.

(P.S. I tipped Firmino against Arsenal. Your move, kid…)

Captain: Mo Salah, Liverpool

Remember last season when it didn’t matter who Salah was playing against, he always just delivered? Well his last five GW scores are…

GW16: 21 Points

GW17: 2 Points

GW18: 12 Points

GW19: 12 Points

GW20: 12 Points

Plus, have you seen Manchester City defend recently? They’re jumpier than a racoon on Red Bull at the back. Klopp and his men have a free hit this Thursday and I reckon they’re going to go for it.

Outsider: Tom Heaton, Burnley

The transformation of the Burnley defence from 17/18 vintage of being tight, solid and reliable to the 18/19 vintage of being slapstick, comedic and hilarious was as quick as it was unexpected. It just made no sense.

Then Tom Heaton started his first game of the season after recovering from injury and he keeps a clean sheet while making four saves. I don’t have the Hart to blame just one man for the mess that has been the Burnley defence this season, but it doesn’t take a genius to work out what the issue may have been.

Is an ownership of 0.1% enough of an outsider for you? Oh, and he plays Huddersfield and Fulham in his next two games.

Draft: Jurgen Locadia, Brighton & Hove Albion

Let’s be honest, your all just waiting for the January transfer window to open wide and lots of new fresh blood you’ve never heard of to fly in, so you can draft them immediately, but until then Locadia will have to do. Happy New Year.

 

Ed: We didn’t get to record a New Year Song this year so here is Niall’s from last year – it’s as good as it was last year so let’s roll it out again!

Happy New Year Everybody! 

Ryan @FantasyYIRMA

 

 

Written by Niall Hawthorne.

Drop Niall a follow on twitter. Good thing about Twitter – you can always unfollow again later!

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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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