POD – Wildcard Wash-up

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We haven’t looked at the world of POD in a while, but with Wildcard season amongst us a lot of attention has been on the popular and inform players. As you can imagine. But it can sometimes lead to a little bit of similarity in our teams, and we should be trying to look outside of the box and to the less popular picks so we can get a jump on our opponents. Today I’ll be looking at some players you can trade in right now, but also a few crystal ball picks for the second half of the season.

Azpilicueta (5.3m) – 2.8%

Chelsea’s defence has really tightened up since just before Christmas, about the time Jose said they would! 4 clean sheets in 6 games is the sort of form we’re looking for when drafting in new defensive talent. We need to look for some value though because the likes of Terry and Cole may be a little rich for some of our team structures… How about Azpilicueta? He’s played consistently for some time now keeping Cole out of the team and even playing out of position on the left to do so. Now that Ivanovic is out for a little while he can go back to his natural position on the right which must be more comfortable. It will be interesting to see what Jose does when Ivanovic can come back. Is Cole playing well enough to keep going on the left or does Azpilicueta go back to playing out of position? Or do they both play and Ivanovic misses out? Either way he’s a great POD, and at a great price for a player in one of the best defences in the EPL. Until Dave Luiz pokes his nose back in there…

Dembele (5.1m) – 3.0%

Adebayor has come out in the past couple of days and basically called him out as being a selfish player, which in isolation is hilariously ironic, but there is some truth to it. Dembele has some rare strengths for a central midfielder, he has a supernatural dribbling ability that you don’t find very often for his position. It can often lead him into dead ends but can also create some very good chances, which he often takes on himself from distance. When a teammate comes out and does what Adebayor has done, it can lead to two very different outcomes. The recipient resents it and has a sook. Or they take it on board and become a better team player. I’m backing the latter. He’s spent far too much time at Spurs trying to find his place there to throw it away now that he is a key part of it, and every article and interview I’ve seen with him makes me think he’s a pretty grounded bloke. He’s getting regular games now in the post AVB era with his never ending rotation so has the chance to take off. 5.1m…

Noone (4.3m) – 0.1%

If you remember all the way back to the start of the season I did a little piece on Cardiff and some players to look out for. Noone was one of them, although it was with the disclaimer that he got regular game time. Last season he had a great season, albeit a brief one. He scored 9 goals and 7 assists from just 25 starts (plus 6 subs), which is a phenomenal strike rate for a winger. As it turned out, this season he has got zero regular game time up until the end of December. He’s done himself no disservice so far and you could see some form building, so much so there are whispers of a seat to Rio. In the game he played against Man City last GW he was easily Cardiff’s best player in a 4-2 loss. He was waltzing past some very good defenders like they were under 8’s players, and topped it off with a beauty of a goal. He’s bargain bin value giving you some cash to upgrade elsewhere and has a bright future ahead of him.

Bony (7.3m) – 3.7%

I’ll get this one right eventually! Swansea are struggling right now, anyone who’s watched them play recently knows that. Their one shining light last week was Bony. Granted, Spurs’ defence isn’t as good as it was under AVB but Bony showed a lot of strength and speed throughout scoring one and nearly snapping the crossbar in another attempt from half a kilometre from goal. Why have I given him yet another shout out? Fulham (H), West Ham (A), Cardiff (H), Stoke (A), Liverpool (A), Palace (H). If Swansea are going to salvage anything from this season it will need to be during this run of games, and will be on the back of Bony.

Watch out for…

Jelavic (6.9m) – 0.9%

Jelavic arrived in the EPL with a massive bang scoring 11 goals in 16 games in all comps back at the start of 2012, in a team that was struggling for goals at times. Last season however saw a tweak in tactics which marginalised Jelavic and greatly decreased his potential output. Fellaini was pushed higher up the field with the direct result being the focal point in the final third shifted to the big Fella and away from far more creative players who brought Jelavic into the game more and provided better chances. Cue a perceived drop off in form and confidence. He was then pushed aside this season to accommodate the Manimal, Lukaku, and never really got the chance to re-establish himself. The few minutes here and there off the bench has definitely shown he still has a massive hunger but unfortunately it’s not been enough for his career prospects and he moved on to Hull City. If anyone has seen Hull play, their style is actually quite attractive to the eye and is a style that would suit a good striker being fed good chances. There’s not many more purer finishers than Jelavic when he’s on song and I reckon he will suit what Steve Bruce is trying to do over there. Keep an eye out, if he scores one he’ll score a dozen.

Carroll (7.2m) – 0.3%

No, I’m not crazy! If Big Sam had the choice of any striker in the world to fit his style of play and to be part of a relegation dogfight, I reckon it would be Andy Carroll. For all the joking about his transfer to Liverpool and his inability to get on the park through endless injuries, don’t forget this bloke can play a bit. His style takes us back to the traditional English number 9… Big, strong, courageous, inspirational and with a massive heart for the fight. Andy has been inching his way back to full fitness appearing late in both of West Ham’s last 2 games and it won’t be long before he’s in the starting line up. When he is, he’ll be the focal point in a team built around him and will be fed some delicious crosses from the likes of Jarvis and Downing. He’s too good to not go on a purple patch at some time this season.

Zaha (5.4m) – 1.2%

Some serious crystal ballin! Zaha can’t stay at Man Utd, he just can’t. I don’t know what he’s done to annoy Mr Moyes but he’s as close to getting a game for them as I am. He has to go out on loan during this window and when he does, you just know he’s going to pop. A lot will depend on who he actually goes to however… A team like Newcastle I reckon would be a perfect fit and he will flourish there but there’s strong rumours of Cardiff which would be pretty interesting as he might be The Man there. He’s awkwardly priced but has massive upside and a lot to prove if he can get on the park somewhere.

So there you go… There’s some players to at least put some thought into during the second half of the season. Not all of them will come off but it’s the risk we take in FPL. Remember… High risk, high reward!

27 comments on “POD – Wildcard Wash-up

  1. CrikeyMikeyy

    Awesome article Baysie!! Got me worried about my wildcard team now, and whether it’s too similar to everyone else’s. Time for some more tinkering!!

    • baysietoff Post Author

      Thanks Mikey! Maybe not tinkering, but definitely some thinkering. You’ll still make up ground in the overall rankings with a same, same team.

  2. N1qQ45 4R3 K1nG5

    Thanks for a brilliant reticle Baysie! Jelavic to Hull mad me have my eyes on Jelavic like a hawk on its prey!

    Already taken a -4 hit to bring in Aguero (and…. Ah…. Some Sunderland player…. Going by the name of ahh…. Umm… Johnson, yeah well you know desperate times? :/). I am really tempted to get in Azpilicueta but -8 maybe a bit too much you recon?? It could be worth it though, Nastasic to Azpilicueta plus Aguero and Johnson should definitely be able to make up for it?

    Thanks again Baysie!

    • baysietoff Post Author

      Thanks mate! Hey man I got Johnson in for my wildcard, but purely for a possible money grab. I got 1.1m in the bank to get him well away from my team! I absolutely HATE taking 8 point hits so I’ll leave you with that dilemma haha…

      By the way, what does your name mean? I been trying to figure it out for months!

      • N1qQ45 4R3 K1nG5

        Cleanie against Crystal Palace looks almost certain so I recon it’s worth it, gonna regret this soooooo much hahahaha!

        Yeah it would be kinda racist but seeing as I’m kinda black I guess it’s alright lol. It says Niggas Are Kings.
        If you guys want me to change it I’ll comply with the decision.

        • baysietoff Post Author

          Ah k. To be honest I have no idea where I stand with that on this page! But, a lot of smarter people than me would have figured that out aaaages ago so…

          • N1qQ45 4R3 K1nG5

            Hahaha! I’m sure my mates won’t mind changing it for me 😉 I’m pretty sure it’s not really racist seeing as I’m kinda/basically that colour anyway but some may find it so? Sorry if so to anyone :/

  3. nburk53

    Awesome Baysie! Very interesting that Azpi managed to keep Coley out of the starting XI even despite Ivanovic being back! I don’t think Cole will be keen on sitting on the bench for very long though.

  4. N1qQ45 4R3 K1nG5

    Thought I’d say that I hate Chelsea, Pellegrini must have taught Mourniho some new tricks in the market?!! He has bought Salah who will probably get no time on ground apart from maybe the occasional cup appearance which is extremely disappointing as an Egyptian :'(
    Plus they are after Guarin now… SERIOUSLY!

    Mata to Man U will be very interesting but I will only be able to afford him at the expense of Hazard which isn’t looking too likely (as SAR take up more than 1/3 of the budget) but he should work well with Rooney for next season though…

    • baysietoff Post Author

      He might do! Chelsea have let go De Bruyne and Mata is going so you’d suggest he be rotated with WIllian on the right maybe. Essien is off, so need to replace him with someone good so they don’t have to play Luiz in midfield and Guarin is a little bit tougher than Ramires. Seems like decent squad management.

      Yeah it’s going to be hard if we do take the plunge… For me it will probably be Silva who gets cut over Hazard but that seems harsh!

      • N1qQ45 4R3 K1nG5

        True true, he should also be seen as just Mata’s replacement on the bench and the occasional game and the Cup games, rotating with Willian wouldn’t be a bad thing either.
        Here is hoping that Willian gets injured xD.

        Guarin does tend to push up too much, but his right foot is Impeccable! And his defending is rather decent as well if he is forced to stay back.
        It’s kinda ruining the game though, I mean you see teams like Porto, Benfica and PSV bring up their own youth players and then teams like Chelsea, Madrid and City buy them, that’s the way it should be everywhere IMO.

        • baysietoff Post Author

          Salah would probably need some time to settle in anyway, he’s coming from a much lower league. Although Champs League form is fine apparently?

          I read something the other day, will try find it. The clubs like your Porto’s and Benfica’s are lovin life! I think it was Porto, made something like 300-400m profit in the past few years and are still dominating. They’re getting young kids from Brazil and turning them into superstars. No idea where the profits go though, you’d hope they’re putting it back and not going in someone’s pocket.

          • N1qQ45 4R3 K1nG5

            Who wouldn’t be if you were Porto/Benfica, your raking in hundreds and millions of dollars almost annually basically, my point is it’s just ruining the base of the game kind of, ya know? Finding youth in your country and building them up and replacing the new with the young. From the back of my mind I think City have only got like 1-2 Englishmen in their starting line up, CRAZY!

            Yeah, Salah scored 3 in 4 against Chelsea and one in their game against Tottenham in the Europa League, form in his league was also immense I’m pretty sure…

  5. Rakshit

    Damn you Baysie! Letting out all my secrets yet again! :p :p… No, but seriously…3-4 GREAT spots mate!

    The man for for me though is WILFRIED BONY. Been monitoring him throughout the season and he seems to have finally hit some serious form! He has scored against Man Utd, Man City and Spurs in the past month! Form like that along with a tasty fixture list cannot be ignored!

    Personally, I am going in for Bony as my 3rd striker. Although Adebayor and Benteke might come back to bite me…

    • baysietoff Post Author

      Haha sorry again! For the record I do see the irony in pointing out PODs to everyone haha…

      Bony could be an inspirational pick. Hope he works out for you 😀

      • kingcolesy

        Preseason I really wanted bony in, now seems a better time than ever with fixtures on his side, shame all his team are injured, be interesting to see how it plays out.

    • baysietoff Post Author

      Thanks mate!

      I’ve currently got Mata in, it’s my Wildcard team though so that can obviously change… It’s basically out of him and Silva. I believe Matt will be putting something together on him shortly however.

      fyi Mata is due a price rise very shortly.

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