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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…

As we reach the end of the longest double game week in the history of the human race, we head into another double game week where eight teams are supposed to play twice.

I say supposed to as there’s a chance one or two of them might have gone to the Ally Pally to watch the snooker, and therefore be struck down by a mysterious global pandemic virus. Y’know, like a certain other midlands football club I won’t mention. 

Onto GW22! 

GW22 Defender: Fernando Marcal, Wolves

There’s something almost mystical or mythical about Wolves this year. They’re playing the season in virtual binary code. 0-0. 0-1. 1-0. That’s been the score in 12 of their 19 games this season. They’ve scored 14 goals in 19 games. They’ve conceded 14 goals in 19 games. Their goal difference is 0, because of course it is. 

But it’s not only the scores, it’s the number of times that they come out on the right side of them. They’re 8th. EIGHTH! Three points behind Manchester United! 

I adore their defence. It’s no nonsense, simple and beautiful. It changes, but that doesn’t make a difference. Marcal came in three games ago after being absent for eight games and has since picked up three clean sheets against Brighton, Chelsea and Manchester United. That’s almost absurd. 

So, you should pick him. 

GW22 Midfielder: Diogo Jota, Liverpool

Out of position midfielder playing up front with 10 goals and 2 assists from 17 starts, at home to a Brentford side who have forgotten what a clean sheet is. 

Let’s now overthink this, shall we? 

GW22 Forward: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Everton

I know he bottled a spotter on his first start back, but that can be forgiven if you haven’t brought him in yet. Heh. 

It’s Norwich City, away. And his fixtures look glorious. Norwich, Newcastle and Leeds are three of the next four. 

Early mover advantage is yours for the taking, like those weirdos who bought Bitcoin in 2014 or something. 

GW22 Captain: Mo Salah, Liverpool (or is it?)

The stats speak for themselves once more. The man is on fire. The man is a genius. The man is…in Africa? 

AH NUTS! 

I mean, I suppose I should pick a player from a double game week team, but none of those players fill me with confidence. Except for one…

Newcastle and Burnley? 

After 8 goals, 6 assists and 16 bonus points in 16 starts? 

Oh, come on now, you’re making this too easy! Emmanuel Dennis, come on down! 

GW22 Outsider: Jay Rodriguez, Burnley

With Chris Wood being transferred to Saudi Arabia United (delete as appropriate), and with Ashley Austrian-apparently Barnes crocked, and with Matej Vydra feeling a bit ‘ill’, then Burnley don’t have many options but to start Jay ‘Jay’ Rodriguez in both games this week.

In fairness, he’ll be facing Leicester City and Watford, who have two of the leakiest defences in the league, so at least there’s that.

Oh, and 0.6% ownership, £5.2m cost and the faint distant memory of that season where he scored 15 league goals for Southampton. It happened; I swear! (Oh, and he scored in the cup last weekend…as Burnley got knocked out. *ahem*)

Your move…

Gameweek 21 Preview: Bonus Double Gameweek

Written by @ Niall Hawthorne

This is supposed to be a game of skill.

A game where you see who is going to play, you see who is not going to play, you select the best players you feel will deliver the most points. That’s the skill element. Of course,there is also luck, both good and bad, like any game. 

However, as we head into 2022, the skill element has been removed as we have no idea who will play or won’t play. I’m not even talking about individual players here; I’m talking about whole fixtures. As I type, two matches have already been called off for this weekend, but Chelsea v Liverpool looks dodgy, not to mention a couple of others.

So, my ability to show off my SKILLZ is removed, much to my frustration. I know that many of you (because I see your Twitter feeds) are feeling a similar sense of frustration with both the situation and the FPL organisation. 

To you all, I tell you this. 

It’s just a game. Never forget that. 

Onto GW21!

GW21 Defender: Dunno, don’t know who’s playing – Let’s guess at Harry Maguire, Manchester United

Stop giggling! 

I’m being serious! 

Aside from De Gea, he seems to be the only nailed on starter in the United backline these days. That’s important because United are allegedly supposed to play Wolves on Monday evening, and Wolves have scored one goal in their last six games. 

Really! One goal in 540 minutes of football, and that was against Brentford. They’ve blanked against City, Liverpool and Chelsea (understandably, I suppose) but also against Norwich and Burnley, which is not good. 

So, a United clean sheet looks probably in a game that looks possible. 

GW21 Midfielder: Dunno, don’t know who’s playing – Let’s guess at Heung Min Son, Spurs

He’s on a streak of five returns in a row, including four goals and two assists, and faces a Watford side that are conceding goals at a rate of three per game over the same five game period. 

Son is a decent captaincy pick, so if my captaincy pick picks up Covid, pick Son as your pick for captain pick and hope he can’t pick up covid too. 

GW21 Forward: Dunno, don’t know who’s playing – Let’s guess at Ollie Watkins, Aston Villa

Brentford host Villa, apparently, this weekend. 

Alvaro Fernandez took over in the Brentford goal in GW10, and in the nine games since he has one clean sheet and has conceded 16 goals – that’s not great. 

Since GW10, Ollie Watkins has played all nine games, scored four goals, provided one assist and has picked up nine bonus points. 

Make of those stats what you will. 

GW21 Captain: Dunno, don’t know who’s playing – Let’s guess at Mo Salah, Liverpool

If this game goes ahead, there’s a reason why you should get away from the ‘Chelsea are great in defence’ narrative, because they haven’t been…

In their last 10 league games, they have two clean sheets. 

In away league games this season, Salah has scores of 17 (Norwich), 13 (Watford), 24 (United, LOLZ) and 15 (Everton, LOLZ x 100). 

This is his last game in the Premier League for a month, if it goes ahead, so ignore him at your peril. 

Oh, and Ronaldo at home to Wolves? Have you seen the form of the Wolves defence? If not, you should….

GW21 Outsider: Dunno, don’t know who’s playing – Let’s guess at Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City

1.This is the first game of the weekend, so less chance statistically that it gets pulled (possibly)

2. KDB has picked up 34 of his 65 points this season in his last four games

3. He’s owned by under 5% of all players

4. He’s playing Arsenal, without lego-head on the touchline for Pep to patronisingly pat

KDB

Your move…

Fantasy Football Preview: Gameweek 20

As we hurtle headlong through the most chaotic, stressful and controversial FPL Christmas period in history, I would like us all to take a step back and realise what’s really important at this time of year. 

Family. Giving. Sprouts. Peace. Goodwill. Resolutions. 

Yeah, sod all of them. 

What’s really important is that you listen to the absolute BANGER of a Christmas song we released this year. I’m not saying we threatened the Christmas charts, but that Sausage Roll lad had to team up with Elton and Ed to keep us down.

https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/5h53HVnwdtPJsHzY9

Next year, my friends. Next year. 

Onto GW20! 

GW20 Defender: Kostas Tsimikas, Liverpool

Imagine you had the chance to get Andy Robertson into your FPL defence for just £3.7m, and imagine not taking it. 

Now imagine not picking Tsimikas for the next few weeks while Robertson is suspended. 

This is a gift that not even Santa Claus could deliver, so take it.

GW20 Midfielder: Raheem Sterling, Manchester City

Seemingly on his way out of Pep Guardiola’s plans earlier in the season, Sterling has now started seven of the last eight City league games, racking up six goals and an assist in that time and a whopping 56 points from those seven starts. Now if you carry the one and don’t forget to take for inflation, that’s an average of 8 points per start, which can’t be ignored. 

Of course he could be benched at the drop of a hat, but that’s the City conundrum so many have to deal with. Brentford are next up for City and when you compare the form of both teams, this has a spanking written all over it. If Sterling does get the nod to start, he could haul once more. 

Oh, and he’s owned by less than 3% of players, amazingly. 

GW20 Forward: Emmanuel Denis, Watford

Watford host West Ham at Vicarage Road as they prepare to play their first game since December 10th. To say they’re rested would be an understatement. 

West Ham meanwhile have been busily toiling over Christmas and are in a poor run of form. Where once they were MASSIVE, now they’re quite a bit smaller, with just one win their last seven league games. They’ve also started conceding far too many goals, with 14 conceded in their last nine. 

Denis is in a rich run of form with four goals and three assists in his last five starts. When you combine all of these facts, you put Denis up front in your team this week. 

GW20 Captain: Mo Salah, Liverpool

He’s back. 

He’s rested. 

Liverpool have all their big names back and ready to go. 

Leicester have conceded a whopping 33 goals in 19 games this season, and just shipped six goals at The Etihad. 

This could be an absolute Salah masterclass, and let’s face it, we all need to Captain the crap out of him before he departs for the AFCON in January.

GW20 Outsider: Lucas Moura, Spurs

The fifth most in-form player in the game right now, andowned by 2% of players. 

His team are on the up under a new manager, he keeps getting picked by said new manager, and he’s facing Southampton away next. Spurs have done damage there before…

Your move…

Fantasy Football Preview: Gameweek 20

As we hurtle headlong through the most chaotic, stressful and controversial FPL Christmas period in history, I would like us all to take a step back and realise what’s really important at this time of year. 

Family. Giving. Sprouts. Peace. Goodwill. Resolutions. 

Yeah, sod all of them. 

What’s really important is that you listen to the absolute BANGER of a Christmas song we released this year. I’m not saying we threatened the Christmas charts, but that Sausage Roll lad had to team up with Elton and Ed to keep us down.

https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/5h53HVnwdtPJsHzY9

Next year, my friends. Next year. 

Onto GW20! 

GW20 Defender: Kostas Tsimikas, Liverpool

Imagine you had the chance to get Andy Robertson into your FPL defence for just £3.7m, and imagine not taking it. 

Now imagine not picking Tsimikas for the next few weeks while Robertson is suspended. 

This is a gift that not even Santa Claus could deliver, so take it.

GW20 Midfielder: Raheem Sterling, Manchester City

Seemingly on his way out of Pep Guardiola’s plans earlier in the season, Sterling has now started seven of the last eight City league games, racking up six goals and an assist in that time and a whopping 56 points from those seven starts. Now if you carry the one and don’t forget to take for inflation, that’s an average of 8 points per start, which can’t be ignored. 

Of course he could be benched at the drop of a hat, but that’s the City conundrum so many have to deal with. Brentford are next up for City and when you compare the form of both teams, this has a spanking written all over it. If Sterling does get the nod to start, he could haul once more. 

Oh, and he’s owned by less than 3% of players, amazingly. 

GW20 Forward: Emmanuel Denis, Watford

Watford host West Ham at Vicarage Road as they prepare to play their first game since December 10th. To say they’re rested would be an understatement. 

West Ham meanwhile have been busily toiling over Christmas and are in a poor run of form. Where once they were MASSIVE, now they’re quite a bit smaller, with just one win their last seven league games. They’ve also started conceding far too many goals, with 14 conceded in their last nine. 

Denis is in a rich run of form with four goals and three assists in his last five starts. When you combine all of these facts, you put Denis up front in your team this week. 

GW20 Captain: Mo Salah, Liverpool

He’s back. 

He’s rested. 

Liverpool have all their big names back and ready to go. 

Leicester have conceded a whopping 33 goals in 19 games this season, and just shipped six goals at The Etihad. 

This could be an absolute Salah masterclass, and let’s face it, we all need to Captain the crap out of him before he departs for the AFCON in January.

GW20 Outsider: Lucas Moura, Spurs

The fifth most in-form player in the game right now, andowned by 2% of players. 

His team are on the up under a new manager, he keeps getting picked by said new manager, and he’s facing Southampton away next. Spurs have done damage there before…

Your move…

Fantasy Football Preview: Gameweek 20

As we hurtle headlong through the most chaotic, stressful and controversial FPL Christmas period in history, I would like us all to take a step back and realise what’s really important at this time of year. 

Family. Giving. Sprouts. Peace. Goodwill. Resolutions. 

Yeah, sod all of them. 

What’s really important is that you listen to the absolute BANGER of a Christmas song we released this year. I’m not saying we threatened the Christmas charts, but that Sausage Roll lad had to team up with Elton and Ed to keep us down.

https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/5h53HVnwdtPJsHzY9

Next year, my friends. Next year. 

Onto GW20! 

GW20 Defender: Kostas Tsimikas, Liverpool

Imagine you had the chance to get Andy Robertson into your FPL defence for just £3.7m, and imagine not taking it. 

Now imagine not picking Tsimikas for the next few weeks while Robertson is suspended. 

This is a gift that not even Santa Claus could deliver, so take it.

GW20 Midfielder: Raheem Sterling, Manchester City

Seemingly on his way out of Pep Guardiola’s plans earlier in the season, Sterling has now started seven of the last eight City league games, racking up six goals and an assist in that time and a whopping 56 points from those seven starts. Now if you carry the one and don’t forget to take for inflation, that’s an average of 8 points per start, which can’t be ignored. 

Of course he could be benched at the drop of a hat, but that’s the City conundrum so many have to deal with. Brentford are next up for City and when you compare the form of both teams, this has a spanking written all over it. If Sterling does get the nod to start, he could haul once more. 

Oh, and he’s owned by less than 3% of players, amazingly. 

GW20 Forward: Emmanuel Denis, Watford

Watford host West Ham at Vicarage Road as they prepare to play their first game since December 10th. To say they’re rested would be an understatement. 

West Ham meanwhile have been busily toiling over Christmas and are in a poor run of form. Where once they were MASSIVE, now they’re quite a bit smaller, with just one win their last seven league games. They’ve also started conceding far too many goals, with 14 conceded in their last nine. 

Denis is in a rich run of form with four goals and three assists in his last five starts. When you combine all of these facts, you put Denis up front in your team this week. 

GW20 Captain: Mo Salah, Liverpool

He’s back. 

He’s rested. 

Liverpool have all their big names back and ready to go. 

Leicester have conceded a whopping 33 goals in 19 games this season, and just shipped six goals at The Etihad. 

This could be an absolute Salah masterclass, and let’s face it, we all need to Captain the crap out of him before he departs for the AFCON in January.

GW20 Outsider: Lucas Moura, Spurs

The fifth most in-form player in the game right now, andowned by 2% of players. 

His team are on the up under a new manager, he keeps getting picked by said new manager, and he’s facing Southampton away next. Spurs have done damage there before…

Your move…

Fantasy Football Gameweek 18: Will it? Wont it? Who Knows?

Written by Niall Hawthorne

On the small off-chance that any football actually happens this weekend, I’m going to give you some tips. This hasn’t taken long, there are only five matches still due to take place, and I know many won’t have a full XI to rely on, but sure let’s give it a lash.

Oh, and in true Sesame Street style, this week’s column is brough to you by the word ‘If’. 

Onto GW18! 

GW18 Defender: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool

I could easily say it’s only because of THAT goal.

But that would be to overlook SIX double-digit hauls in 15 starts, the NINE attacking returns and the NINE clean sheets. 

If the game goes ahead, and if he doesn’t have the ‘rona and if Harry Kane continues being Harry Kane, then this is an easy pick. 

GW18 Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City

If this game goes ahead, and if KDB doesn’t have the ‘ronaand if he really is back to his best form, then an away game to Newcastle United is almost as delicious as your Christmas dinner. 

Get stuck in! 

GW18 Forward: Ollie Watkins, Aston Villa

Picked him last week and a goal, an assist and 12 points later I’m going to pick him again this weekend. 

It’s only Burnley, like. 

GW18 Captain: Mo Salah, Liverpool

Can you remember the last time Mo Salah didn’t score or assist in a Premier League game? 

I do. 

It was Saturday, August 21st in the dreaded early Saturday slot. After his annual opening day haul, the goals and assists dried up. 203,000 players decided that he was a flash in the pan and transferred him out ahead of GW3. 

LAAAARRRFFFFF. 

14 goals, 8 assists and 17 bonus points in the next 15 games have made those people look very, very silly indeed. He’s on for 375 points in the season at this pace, and a reminder that he holds the record with 303 points in a season. 

This run he’s on is historic. It’s Vardy Party levels of historic, and he could beat it this weekend if the game happens and if he’s not got the ‘rona. 

GW18 Outsider: Gabriel Martinelli, Arsenal

So ostensibly a striker, categorised as a midfielder, taking the place of an ostracised captain, costing £5.2m, owned by less than 1% and has two goals and three assists in the last five games? 

Your move…

Fantasy Football Preview: Gameweek 17 (I Think??)

Fantasy Football: Gameweek Preview 14 & 15

Written by Niall Hawthorne

Hoo Boy is it getting busy!

Just your twenty premier league matches between Tuesday and next Monday for us to wrangle with. Therefore, I’m taking the prudent/lazy/efficient approach and I’m giving you my tips for both GW’s in one fell swoop, so you have plenty of time to absorb these incredible pearls of wisdom and act/ignore accordingly.

Onto GW14 & GW15! 

GW14 Defender: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool

Eleven games played in the league this season.

Seven clean sheets. 

Seven assists. 

One goal. 

Fifteen returns in eleven games, and while a ‘derby’ can always be fraught with the possibility of madness breaking out, Everton are not very good going forward this season. They have a grand total of three goals in their last six league games, four of those were complete blanks and they haven’t scored since GW10. 

So, I’m reckoning on a clean sheet and with an attacking return in 73% of games played (yes, you read that right), how could you NOT choose him this week? 

GW15 Defender: Tino Livramento, Southampton

FPL players are a fickle bunch, they really are. 

All I saw last weekend was a torrent of moaning and whining as a cheap, regularly playing defensive enabler, who everyone left on their bench as he was away to Liverpool, was subbed in to replace Spurs/Burnley/A N Other assets, with zero points to his name. 

The man should have been hung, drawn and quartered based on the opinions of those on my timeline. To those of you, I say this: 

Hush child. 

This is still a great asset to have and next weekend he faces Brighton at home in the ‘El Coastico’, apparently. Brighton are no great shakes going forward, and this will be a fixture that Hassenhutl will identify as a must-win. 

GW14 Midfielder: Heung-Min Son, Spurs

Freshly frozen like the best supermarket veg, after a pointless spin to Turf Moor, Spurs face Brentford after having a lovely rest.

While Brentford kept a clean sheet against Everton, that’s not really something to write home about as previously mentioned, and they did concede ten goals in their previous four games since losing Raya. 

Son has been on a slight barren run, admittedly. However, Spurs are going to click under Conte at some point, and with Brentford, Norwich and Brighton in their next three, this is the time to trust Son. 

GW15 Midfielder: Maxwel Cornet, Burnley

Another player heading into a busy week after a bit of a rest, and with a game against Newcastle United at the weekend, he’s too good to ignore.

Tipped by this very column many weeks ago (with an instant return), he now has become a serious option at just £6.1m and under 3% ownership. Four goals in his last four starts, only blanking against Chelsea, is very decent form. 

Newcastle, as discussed regularly on these pages, are terrible defensively. What’s a guy/girl to do? 

GW14 Forward: Callum Wilson, Newcastle United

This is it. It must be it. 

Wilson came into my team in GW12, played a full part in a six-goal thriller, and didn’t get as much as an assist, bizarrely. He then blanked in GW13, expectedly, away to Arsenal. 

But now. Now it’s time. Norwich at home. Midweek. Under lights. Full St. James’ Park roaring them on. Relegation six-pointer. 

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. 

As Tom Hanks would say himself: WILSON! 

GW15 Forward: Harry Kane, Spurs

And if Callum Wilson doesn’t do it, Harry Kane will.

As per my points above about Son, apply them to Kane for this weekend, at home to Norwich. 

There’s nothing more to say. 

GW14 & 15 Captain: Mo Salah, Liverpool

Yet another return for The Egyptian King in GW13, and I’m not even going to quote the stats anymore, they’re still ridiculous.

Funnily enough though, Salah has plundered far more points away from home this season that at Anfield, with 74 of his 131 points thus far coming on the road. He now faces two trips, to Goodison Park and Molineux. 

To say that Liverpool will be ‘up for’ the Everton game is an understatement. This is the ground that shattered their team, hopes and dreams last season. They’re going to be gunning for Everton. 

Wolves away is trickier, but, well, it’s Salah. 

GW14 Outsider: James Maddison, Leicester City

Well, well, well. Look who decided to show up a third of the way through the season? A cracking 16-point haul for Maddison at the weekend has thrust him into my thoughts for the first time this season. 

£6.6m and 4.3% ownership, with games coming against Southampton (9-0 remember…), Villa and Newcastle coming up. Interesting…

Your move…

GW15 Outsider: Jadon Sancho, Manchester United

Well, well, well. Look who decided to show up a third of the way through the season? (Can you see a theme developing here?)

A goal in the Champions League, and a goal at Stamford Bridge, and suddenly Sancho is firmly on the radar. Then a quick glimpse at the FPL fixtures for United and it’s….wait, what?….that can’t be right, can it? 

United don’t face a ‘Top 4’ opponent until MARCH 5TH. Seriously, there’s more green on their fixture list than in ‘The Grinch’. 

If Sancho discovers his Bundesliga form….

Your move…

Written by Mr. @NiallHawthorn

It’s finally happened.

After three years of a frankly bewildering myopia from Manchester United fans, Manchester United ex-players and Manchester United Executives, the substitute teacher has been shown the door. 

His exit interview was a cringe-fest for most of us, but a heart-wrenching trauma if you’re of a Red Devil disposition. His whole tenure reminded me of The Simpsons episode where Mr. Bergstrom became Lisa’s favourite ever teacher while substituting for Miss Hoover. I’m almost surprised Ole didn’t look right down the lens of the camera to address every Manchester United fan and say…

‘You are Manchester United’

Onto GW13! 

Look, we all know that this season you must have 3 or 4 of TAA, James, Chilwell and Cancelo, so if you don’t have at least three of those, you’re doing it wrong. 

Defender: Tyrone Mings, Aston Villa

However, my job is to look for other options, and Aston Villa are now interesting to me after the appointment of Steven Gerrard. 

Gerrard’s management style at Rangers was one of solidity, keeping it tight at the back. It’s no surprise considering the manager he got most joy under was one Rafa Benitez, who led two Liverpool teams to a Champions League final by keeping things tight. 

Villa began the Gerrard-era with a clean sheet and a victory against Potter-ball, so that’s a good sign. This week they face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, as two of the greatest midfielders of their era go head-to-head. I’m talking Gerrard v Vieira, not Milivojevic v Nakamba, to be clear. 

Mings was benched for Smith’s last game in charge, but has come back into the team, kept a clean sheet and scored, making it a goal and two assists so far this season. At less than 7% ownership and under £5m, he’s worth keeping an eye on.  

Midfielder: Emile Smith Rowe, Arsenal

Even while being battered by four at Anfield, Smith Rowe showed glimpses of what he’s about on Saturday evening, so he’s worth trusting once more this weekend as he faces Newcastle United at The Emirates. 

Prior to GW12 he had three goals and an assist from GW9 – GW11, and Newcastle United under Eddie Howe may score their way out of trouble, but they sure as hell aren’t going to keep many clean sheets. 

Forward: Raul Jimenez, Wolverhampton Wanderers

Jimenez began the season understandably slowly as he worked his way back to match fitness following his broken head last season. 

However, form is temporary and class is permanent, and since GW5 Jimenez has three goals and three assists in seven GW’s. In short, the Jimenez of old looks to be back and he’s only getting warmed up. 

With that in mind, a trip to Norwich City looks promising. While the Canaries started the Smith era in style last weekend, their defence is still ropey (27 conceded in 12 games). 

This wolf is on the prowl and canaries are but an hors d’ouevre. 

Captain: Mo Salah, Liverpool

Last week I told you that Mane might be a nice differential, and he duly outscored Salah by four points, giving those of you that listened an 8-point swing on your rivals. 

Having said all that, Salah scored again, so that’s just the 11 goals, 8 assists and 16 bonus points in 12 GW’s so far. Heh. It’s almost farcical typing that y’know.

This weekend Liverpool face Southampton at Anfield, and I’ve got a feeling….

Y’know the way Southampton under Hassenhuttl have, well, shipped 9 goals TWICE? 

Y’know the way Liverpool have a meaningless CL game against Porto where they can rest players? 

Y’know that Triple Captain chip most of us have burning a hole in our pockets? 

Mmmmm…..

Outsider: Marc Guehi, Crystal Palace

Admittedly my Palace defensive tip didn’t work out last week, but they do appear to be getting more solid in general, and as pointed out above about Aston Villa, are facing a side more concentrated on stopping them than scoring against them. 

£4.5m and 0.5% ownership and an ever-present in the side? 

Your move…

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