So here we are, 7 weeks into a 38 week long season. But it’s a boring international break…unfortunately we have a few of these each season. What’s the best thing to do then? Well, let’s cast our minds back to GW1. If we could pick our side again, who would we pick? Every year the EPL releases their All Star XI. That’s what I plan to do know, but fantasy relevant! For the purposes of the article, I’ll be using a 4-4-2 Formation, with the midfield utilising two central players.
NB: This team is not meant to fit under the salary cap, but in choosing between two players initial price will be taken into consideration
The Finnish international and former Bolton stopper comes into the charts as my goalkeeper pick. He has scored the second most points this year, notching 31, and has been an integral part of West Ham’s tight back 5. So why did I choose him over #1 ranked Petr Cech? Well I am a Blues fan, and do love my Czech keeper, but at the start of the year Jaask came in 2.0 million cheaper. Would you have payed the extra money in order to get three more points? Nope, I wouldn’t either! Honourable Mentions: Begovic, Foster, Cech.
Top scoring defender in the PL, Chelsea’s Serbian Right Back was a no-brainer. 3 goals, 1 assist and 4 clean sheet in 7 matches…not a bad return from a defender who you would have initially shelled out 6.5 mil for! Even the signing of Azpilicueta isn’t enough to knock him to the bench, although as fixtures with FA Cup, Champions League and Premier League start overlapping I expect Iva to be fielded in the trickiest fixtures, meaning Azpilicueta will be fielded later in the year in the PL. Nonetheless, scoring 56 points and being the top scoring player in the competition makes his selection very easy. Honourable Mentions: Rafael, Jenkinson.
A goal, an assist, and 3 clean sheets for a 5.0 defender…Yes please. 37 Points make him the top scoring CB in the competition, and means he has scored more points than midfielders Fellaini, Mata and Yaya Toure. That’s not to mention he’s 11 points clear of a player that people consider to be the best CB in the league… Thomas Vermaelen, or a huge 28 points clear of Kompany. Honourable Mentions: Collins, Olsson.
A 4.5 Million pick to start with, Reid looked like being West Ham’s 3rd choice CB, let alone the second highest scoring CB in the competition! His pairing alongside Collins has been hard to penetrate, so it’s no wonder he’s notched up 3 clean sheets and picked up a goal so far this year. What makes him better is the game he missed this year was the 3-0 thumping to Swansea, a game where he would have scored -1! That’s a selfless FPL player, letting you sub another player instead of taking the -1 hit!
Maybe it’s my Chelsea bias, but I think Cole at 43 points having started at 6.5 is better than Baines at 45 points from 7.0. It’s a flip of the coin though! Either is a viable option, but I’m opting to save the 0.5 in order to have a better midfield! 4 clean sheets, an assist, and his first goal in 2 years means Cole has scored 43 points. That’d have him level on 43 points with Bale as the third highest scoring midfielder! With 5/7 of the top scoring defenders being fullbacks, it’s easy to see why they are the most selected defenders are fullbacks. Honourable Mentions: Baines, Riise.
41 points from a player worth 5.1 at the start of the year. If he wasn’t the steal of the season I don’t know who else will be. Given Sinclair‘s departure, Routledge was handed the left wing to make his own…and he did his level best to make it just that. Two goals and Four assists already this campaign mean he has doubled his goals scored from the whole of last year! Bale was considered for the left wing… but why pay 4.5 million more for a player who will return you a measly two more points!? Honourable Mentions: Bale, Pienaar
Top scoring midfielder and second top scoring player in the competition, Hazard deserved to start. But where? He has played every advanced midfield position so far this year, but I had to smack him into the RW so that Routledge could get a gig in the starting team. Scoring 2 goals with 6 assists to his name is sure to make fantasy fanatics sit up and take notice, and with double digit returns in his first 3 weeks, he was a fantasy phenomenon. Honourable Mentions: Ben Arfa, Duff
2 goals, 3 assists, from one of the ultimate smokie picks of 2012. 40 points overall is a mere one less than Cazorla, who began a whole 3 million more expensive. He thrives in the role in the hole behind the strikers, and thankfully for him Long and Lukaku have been able to latch on to his creative passes. Honourable Mentions: Cazorla
45 points from a 6.5 midfielder is just what the doctor ordered. As we all know, he started like a house on fire, scoring 4 times in 3 weeks. Now with 5 goals and an assist he reminded us why we love him with a headed goal against Reading, after a three week hiatus from scoring. His aerial threat means he is always a chance to be in the points, whether the ball is on the ground or in the air. Honourable Mentions: Fellaini, Mata.
At the start of the year, at 7.5 people, including me, were skeptical of this man’s ability to produce in the same side as Cisse. Well, he proved us wrong, with a thumping performance so far this year, netting no less than SIX times. 49 points leaves Demba as the highest scoring forward, and some of his finishes so far show that he can score against ANY opposition. Honourable Mentions: Crouch, Fletcher.
Caveman Carlos rounds out as the second highest scoring forward, which is something you’d want from someone costing 9.0 at the start of the year. 3 goals and 5 assists shows how well rounded he is, as a scorer and contributor. With Aguero returning, and Dzeko and Balotelli waiting in the ranks, his playing time from now on in can’t be assured…but based on the last 7 weeks, he is worthing of a spot in the All Star XI. Honourable Mentions: Torres.
So that’s my best XI! Who would you include? Who would you chuck out? It’s not meant to fit under any salary cap, but where cost could be a determining factor I opted towards the cheaper of the duo. Let me know where you think I made a good call or bad call in the comments….Remember, my opinion is as good as any of yours!