Matty has given you his team that focuses on GW1 with the Wildcard being used in GW2. Put simply, I don’t have the balls to do that, as year after year I’ve been perenially boned after using a wildcard only. SO I’ll be holding mine til later in the first half of the year (when there is inevitably more than two teams in the Double gameweek…). If you plan to do the same thing, take a look at what I’ve done!
Although the GW1 double gameweek provides an immediate potential to get a leg up on the competition, I like to remember the words of a wise man, “it’s a marathon, not a sprint”. (@Adzman78, August 11th 2012).
I’ll be holding my wildcard then. I’m sure that at some stage in the year the fixtures will be changed to give another double gameweek. Also, I’m sure that at some stage Tevez will have another whinge, Bent will injure himself again, Torres will fail yet again, Michu won’t adapt to the PL and Schwarzer will get osteoperosis and retire.
So how should you shape your team if this is your tactic? Well my theory is load up on Swansea and Villa players, as they have the best fixtures, whilst steering clear of QPR and Southampton.
So let’s start with the Goalkeepers:
Schwarzer will be my first choice keeper, and with a first fixture against Norwich at home, I look forward to my clean sheet bonus. Also, 5.0 is a small price to pay for a proven PL performer. Ruddy is my other pick. At 4.5 for England’s national back-up keeper, he’s very very cheap. What’s that I hear? Norwich conceded 66 goals last season and only managed a couple of clean sheets? Yes. You’re right. However my selection hinges on the manager change. Lambert loves attacking, Hughton, the new geezer, loves defence. This, along with the fact I’m not overly sold on any other 4.5 keepers (Begovic, Jaaskelainen, and Federici) makes it an easy selection for me.
Ben Foster was very close to replacing Schwarzer, but I thought Fulham were assured of more clean sheets.
I’ll start Schwarzer in GW1.
Now, on to the Defenders:
I’ve gone cheap in my defence, in order to spend a little more up front. Remember I’ll only be playing 3 at a time. ( I prefer a 3-4-3 formation.)
Fabio is a no brainer, will play all season and let’s be honest, he’ll sit on my bench as cover for most of the year.
Riether is one who I’ve been surprised not more people have picked up. Kelly was ordinary at times last year, and looks like being replaced at RB by Riether. He’s played most pre-season games, and looks like a cheap way into a mid-tabled side.
Shawcross is my safe pick. At 5.0 for a defender who is stoic and a threat from set pieces from another mid-tabled side, he picked himself.
S. Taylor is a bit more risky. Newcastle are potentially a top 6 side, and SHOULD keep a number of clean sheets this year. I was tossing up between him and Coloccini, but Taylor’s threat at set pieces convinced me to pick him over his counterpart.
Zabaleta is my last pick. With Richards sidelined for over a month, Zab will start and basically picks himself. He’s the cheapest way into the Man City defence, and is more assured of his spot than Clichy. I always like to have one top 2 defender in my side as an assured clean sheet most weeks.
The 3 I’ll start in GW1 are Riether v Norwich, Shawcross v Reading, and Zabaleta v Southampton. I Should be in for 3 clean sheets… but I’ll be happy with 2. Taylor can warm the bench until his fixtures get better along with Fabio.
Moving on to the midfield…
Here’s where things get a little riskier. A couple of mid-pricers here that should pay off could equally backfire, so I have to be careful!
Hazard is the first picked, mainly on the back of his Double GW. He should dominate Reading and Wigan, and when he misses GW3 with Chelsea not having a fixture, he’ll become either a Bale, Silva or VDV.
Pienaar is picked on the back of his amazing run last year with Everton. He loves Goodison Park, and I reckon working in tandem with a front midfield line of Naismith and Osman , being supported behind from Fellaini and Gibson should do well. Let’s not forget, Jelavic will give him plenty of assists.
Guthrie makes his way into the side as my cheapie. He struggled for playing time at the Toon but should be one of the first picked in the centre of the midfield for Reading. The double game-week helps too!
Michu comes in as another mid-pricer. He came 9th on the La Liga scoring list last year, so the dude knows how to find the back of the net. He has assisted in pre-season games, and through Laudrup’s attacking oriented philosophy, we should see him and Graham form a formidable partnership.
Bale rounds out my midfielders. He should thrive in an AVB system that loves wingers. He’s fast, and he knows how to find the back of the net. He also tends to score in bulk, which is handy for that win when your back is against the wall! My only concern is that without a striker (Adebayor left), he won’t get half as many of his assist points where he flashes the ball across the face of goal. Let’s just hope Defoe can step up!
So a very mid-priced oriented midfield. It’s risky, but with doubts over Silva given his lacklustre pre-season and VDV struggling to nail down his role and with questionable fitness, I’m willing to risk it. First week I’ll start with a four of Hazard, Michu, Bale and Guthrie, and leave Pienaar on the bench given he has an opening fixture against Man United.
Now onto the forwards.. Here is where I’ve splashed da cash. (How gangster am I?)
Torres will captain my side in GW1. Two fixtures, along with being fed balls (ha-ha) by Mata and Hazard is too good to resist. If he flops, he becomes Rooney in GW2 with my 2.0 I have sitting in the bank. He’ll get a minimum of 4 points just for playing both games so it’s a win-win situation.
Bent is only in 2% of sides. That is RIDICULOUS. Villa have a good early run, and a new manager with an emphasis on attacking play. Bent has scored over 20+ goals in the PL on more than 1 occasion, and I’m locking him in. Scored twice in their last friendly v Werder Bremen.
Tevez will get the starting gig over Aguero. After much umming and ahhing it came down to the fact I could have Tevez and pick another premium mid (Bale). He will start solidly, but be rotated eventually but by then will hopefully have increased value.
All 3 forwards get a starting gig this week, and will eventually turn Tevez into someone else, as he will inevitably be rotated in a few weeks.
Shawcross, Riether, Zabaleta (Taylor, Fabio)
Hazard (VC) , Michu, Bale, Guthrie (Pienaar)
Bent, Tevez, Torres (C)
How are your teams looking? Are you following my tactic of not implementing the wildcard? Just think my team is shit? Let me know in the comments!