Once again I’ve been extremely busy, so here’s another all in one package! There’s some very important calls to be made this week, and I have a simple answer for most of them. It’s probably not worth it! Let’s dig into the mess…
I’ll be honest, it’s in weeks like these that fpl becomes tough to focus on. Half the teams aren’t even playing, which would be ok if there was some decent replacements… But there’s not! I was trying to put together a hot buys list, and the only real option I could get from those playing this week was Lallana. My best advice would be just take the zero’s, I don’t see much point in taking -4’s when the players you’re bringing in aren’t worthy of keeping, and those that miss will have a double gameweek in just 2 weeks time. I would switch my focus to GW31 and try to have as many players as possible on the double. Personally I’m making no trades and fielding 8, with an eye on GW31 and beyond. Banking a trade with Aguero’s return will be invaluable, that is if you plan on getting him. I do hope we’re all planning on getting him… This week, patience is a virtue! As you well know that’s not my usual advice, so you know sh*t has gotten dire.
Another question I’ve been asked a lot is how many donuts should we be taking. There’s no real answer to this, however I can put it this way. If you only have 5 or 6 playing, then you should probably use your free trade. However if you’re taking hits then where is the advantage? I honestly can’t see much worth a -4. You’ll just have to take the pain this week and hope you’re in a strong position come the home stretch.
Perhaps the best way to approach this week’s issues is by discussing them individually, everyone will be in different situations. Post your queries in the comments below and I’ll try to get to them, although bear in mind I’ll be out of internet range from 3pm WST (7am GMT) onwards! We still have some great writers and regulars on hand to help out…
The captaincy will be a vital decision to make, and honestly the way things have been going for me recently perhaps you should pick the punt. I’m still bitter Suarez… Here’s this week options:
TOP 3 CAPTAINS:
1. Rooney/RVP – *Insert confused expressions here*. Yes Man United are way out of form, and yes there’s players hotter than these 2. However none of them are playing. Incredibly only Hazard, Adebayor, Richardson, Ivanovic, Ince and Lloris are in better form! Only three of the above should be in captain contention, and none of them have the potential returns of these 2 this week. One of these days United’s stars are going to step up, and surely this is the week. West Brom aren’t world beaters at the minute, and remember that 5-5 draw in Fergie’s final game? I think the players might. Either way at the end of the day, you are paying 11.2 and 13.6m for a striker and they should be walk up captains when half the league isn’t playing. You have to back them in.
2. Lallana – I’m pretty bullish about his prospects this week. He has hit double figures 7 times this season. To put that into perspective, he has gone into double figures more times than not when scoring or assisting, and has more than guys like Rooney, Sturridge, Gerrard and even Yaya Toure! Hazard is the only midfielder who has more with 8, and Suarez is on another level. What I’m saying is that he’s got the scoring potential to justify captaincy. He can go big! Crystal Palace away will give him another chance to do so, and he was one of the BOG last weekend against Liverpool, somehow not scoring after hitting the post. The concerning part is that Crystal Palace haven’t conceded more than 2 goals in a single game under Pulis, however they haven’t kept a clean sheet since January. At this stage I reckon I’m leaning towards captaining Lallana!
3. Mata – This has nagged at me all day, however I’m backing in Mata to step up this week. United need him, and he needs a debut goal. He has assisted in 3 out of his 5 games played, so he usually returns some fairly safe points. The question is can he step it up a level, and I reckon he might push double figures this weekend. The only problem I have is United really, they’re just the most unreliable team going around at the minute and all too often they fail to deliver when they should. Big risks but potentially big rewards.
Hazard – Frankly it seems silly not to captain him. You’d think he would walk into the number one spot surely? There are however massive risks surrounding him this week, with some key stats stacked right up against him. If you want to play it safe, then I suppose Hazard is your man. He plays in the late game, which is always preferable to watching your captain fail early. So how is he both the punt and a safe pick? Here’s why. Hazard has played 19 games against clubs outside the top 7 (Newcastle and below) and scored 11 goals + 10 assists. Amazing stats. Against the big 7, he has played 9 full games and scored ONLY ONCE. No assists. That was against Liverpool back in December. I’m not sure how far you should read into that, however it has me seriously considering my alternatives. He has gone hot and cold throughout the season, and after last weeks brilliant performance you’d have to say he’s pretty hot running into this clash. Spurs have been known to fault in the big games and have conceded massive numbers against both Liverpool and Man City. Chelsea haven’t been putting teams away though and the doubt will stew right up until kick-off. He is a class player and will no doubt create chances both for himself and his team-mates, which makes him a relatively safe pick. I just get the feeling there will be some better performers, and 9 games against top opponents don’t lie. Make of it what you will.
There was a couple of other options under strong consideration. If you were to ever captain a defender, then this is the week. Ivanovic and Terry are on fire and could well be worth the armband, however I would just never risk captaining a defender. As I say this would be the week to do so! Lastly Adebayor is up there, however I just can’t see Spurs breaking down Moruinho’s line-up away from home. Not captain worthy this week.
So that’s it! I’m sure there will be a lot of captains debate, I’m just praying I’ve got this one right. Knowing my recent form Hazard will probably bang in 2, it’s such tight margins from top to bottom! Good luck to one and all, may we get through the carnage safely. Cheers.