Another week, another opportunity! There’s been Wildcards flying all over the place these past few days, and for those handing theirs in it there’s been heaps of price changes to navigate. Hopefully we were all smart and were able to avoid any unecessary price drops or accidentally traded out a player who went up! Captain time…
For those that got on board my “Punt” last week then congratulations. I put my money where my mouth was and picked him myself, and his 12 points turned out to be pretty handy in the grand scheme of things… Let’s get the 1,2,3 working!
Surprise, surprise… United kick off the round yet again hosting Newcastle. I made a point to watch both teams’ games last week and to be honest, neither really impressed me much. United scraped by with a 1-0 win with a deflected goal and Rooney cutting a non-existent figure up top. Depay looked better… But still has a little way to go in my eyes before he’s FPL relevant. He did play a sensational game midweek in the Champions League, but that was against “inferior” opposition. Can he do it on a cold night in Stoke? Mata looked good, his assist was sublime. He’s probably your most consistent option from United, but is nowhere near a Top 3. Newcastle on the other hand were torn apart by a seriously impressive Montero. If you took him out of that game however it would’ve been a lot closer contest, but Newcastle are still a worry. The only real options based on GW1 were Wijnaldum and Sissoko but both struggled last week, and Sissoko looks in doubt this week. Mitrovic came on late in the game and gave us a taste of what we may come to expect by getting booked in the first few minutes, and then picking a mini-fight a few minutes after that. He’s got cult figure written all over him, but cannot be considered as FPL relevant due to the belief he could get sent off at any moment… I reckon they have a goal in them however, and that’s why it would be too much of a push to break my “defender captain virginity” on United.
This Palace team is starting to look a lot like the Newcastle team of a few years back when it was a force under Pardew, but has a heap more potential in my opinion. Some of their counter attacks against Arsenal were a sight to behold and although they may not break into the top 6 this season, they’ll look great trying and may be a fertile source of FPL points. They face a lower / midtable Villa side with a bit of work to do still (I’m trying to be more positive!?!), who won’t have enough fire power to match that of Palace’s. Any one of Bolasie, Zaha or Puncheon have the ability to be a point scorer in any given game, and it’s that potential spread of attacking points that scares me off owning any of them, never mind captaining them… Not to mention the ability of Cabaye to push forward, particularly at home against the lower sides, and take on set pieces as well.
Leicester have done alright haven’t they?!?! I won’t lie, I haven’t been able to watch too much of their games but even if I did, it would need a heap to convince me to captain any of them. Mahrez and Albrighton are definitely flavours of the month but we should just be content to have one of them in our teams at this point (and preferably not on the bench grrrrr). Spurs, Spurs, Spurs… What are we going to do with you eh? Let’s be honest, Kane should have scored that goal. He then gets subbed with calf tightness, and the whole team falls apart… That’s not a real great sign and does point to a lack of leadership on the pitch, and/or a lack of a plan B? Either way, I won’t be going anywhere near this club until they get their act together.
Norwich v Stoke? Ummm… Nah. Wait, I do like Diouf. I was positive about his chances preseason in this, and he’s been getting in good positions, just not being able to finish. A bit more match touch will see him put some of these chances away.
My second team could be a chance of some points however? Swansea travel up to terrorise a poor Sunderland who look bereft of all confidence, fitness, footballing knowhow, defensive responsibility… The only saving grace for them is that it’s at home and their fans crack it pretty quickly when it’s not working out. Lens hasn’t set the world on fire as I’d imagined he would, Sunderland really need him to because they have bugger all else right now. On the other side… Siggy was an inch away from scoring last week, Montero destroyed Newcastle and Ayew scored again. What more do you want? Well one of my picks below is the one I’d go for…
A wise man once said to me, the longer you go without scoring the closer you come to scoring… He may have been talking about something completely different but it fits well here. Bournemouth will score, that’s a given. But when? And who? There’s a lot of Deeney owners out there wondering if their pick will work out. To be honest, the Deeney v Wilson v Jerome dilemma doesn’t have a clear winner yet. None of them have scored. Sit tight. The only other possibility is Richie who hit the bar last time out and has looked lively thus far.
West Ham have been really hit and miss, winning away to Arsenal but losing at home to Leicester. Their constant is Payet. He looks like he’s settled nicely into the EPL life and looks to be their main threat. Once he starts to link up with their strikers better (the few they have fit) they may become more consistent. Until then it’s far too risky.
West Brom v Chelsea really could be anything. It would take a brave man to foresee Chelsea putting away multiple goals against a Pulis led side, but this Pulis led side seems to be one in transition. They’re being linked with a heap of players, and I reckon they’ll get a few in late. Also, after putting his hands up and saying he erred in playing 2 strikers at home to City, the gaffer did the same thing last week away to Watford and got the cleansheet choccies. Different quality opposition for sure, but very hard to predict… And where does Rondon fit in? That said, I’m guessing they’ve taken a lot away from the City game and will be much better for it. Chelsea haven’t looked great at all but they have the quality to pinch this 1-0. It would be too hard to pick what attacking points will come out of this game so avoid completely! But at a push, Hazard.
Two of the better performing sides from last week face off with Everton hosting City. It’s hard to get a gauge on the Toffees. I said last week that it’ll be a good test to see how Everton’s counter attacking style away from home will match up to Southampton’s pressing style, and we put in a quality performance. City are a vastly different beast however, and one that did some destroying themselves against Chelsea… Lukaku and Barkley have been the stars of Everton’s show with both being involved in goals and assists in the first two games. If we’re going to get anything out of this game then it will need to come from these two. Kone has done a Naismith and come out of the blocks early. He actually looked really good operating on the right wing, interchanging occasionally across the front line, but I would just be happy to own him if I were that way inclined. There is one City player that will be on everyone’s list, and I’ll get to him later but outside of him there’s a plethora of potentials… Yaya, Little Davey Silva and Sterling are all a shout of getting on the scoresheet, as well as Kompany and Kolarov, but it’s hard to go against the numero uno…
The team Everton destroyed travel to Watford hoping to right their slightly off course ship. Southampton looked relatively poor and one dimensional last week. It may well be that the revolving door of transfers has taken its toll, or the dreaded Europa League curse is in effect. Either way, they need to get it together. The only shining light I saw was that Pelle was definitely the star of this team so far. He had a few half chances and on any other day could have put at least one of them away. Mane looked better after half time, but is too flighty for mine. After looking reasonably good in the opening game, Watford were Pulis’ed last week and will themselves be looking to get back into the swing of things. This game may actually be a cracker and be surprise package for the neutrals, but from a FPL point of view not the best. Outside of maybe a sneaky C on Pelle..?
Game of the week time! Arsenal v Liverpool has all the hallmarks of a classic. Which in reality means it won’t be… Both teams have quality coming out of their backsides, but both sets of supporters should admit neither of their sides aren’t quite playing to their potential just yet. Arsenal look a much better side when Sanchez is buzzing about and we’re hoping his trajectory to full fitness is a steep one. Ozil also looked much better against Palace, as did Giroud. Outside of those three it’s tough to mount cases… Ramsey did ok in an “inside right midfield” sort of position and could have got on the scoresheet. You feel that he’s not going to provide the absolute best output there than if he was playing centrally so his is a no. Cazorla is playing far too deep nowadays to be relevant. It may surprise a few (such as myself) but Liverpool have kept 2 cleansheets so far… They haven’t exactly had the toughest start however, but a trend is a trend so we have to put it on the table. Much will hinge on how bad the injury to Henderson is. If he gets up then Liverpool have a good shout, but his loss will be bad news and leave a huge hole in their midfield. After Coutinho’s thunderbolt in GW1, it seemed he was wanting to recreate that at every opportunity firing away 8 times with none on target. That’s not going to keep many FPL managers happy, and am surprised if the gaffer doesn’t tell him to pull his head in… Benteke got on the board for the first time, albeit with a bit of luck. If they learn to feed the big man his sort of chances then he could score a heap, but against Arsenal? Outside of those, Lallana looked better I guess… Firmino will want to get himself fit soon…
1. Aguero. If you’ve got him you may as well captain him! Looked great in his first start for the season against what was supposed to be a water tight Chelsea defence. I said last week that game would either be a low scoring 0-0/1-0 or a 3/4-0 one and it was definitely the latter. In reality Aguero could’ve had 1 or 2 more goals than he did but for an outstanding display by their keeper. He’s up against a hit and miss Everton defence who although kept a cleanie last week, I feel was more down to Southampton’s lack of incision and defensive discipline than our good play.
2. Sanchez. It’s going to be a two horse race towards being the top scoring FPL’er of the season between these two in my opinion. Sanchez may not score the amount of goals Aguero will, but he’ll benefit from bonus points a great deal more. I did take a minute to weigh up Sanchez being top dog but a number of factors including theirs being a slightly harder away fixture, their general attacking form, and that his fitness is reportedly a fair bit behind the pace of others swayed me.
3. Gomis. I’ve been banging on like a dunny door in a cyclone about Bafe all preseason and he’s looking the goods. His last game wasn’t quite as impressive given that it was at home against Newcastle, who had a player sent off so early and he really should have filled his boots. This week they travel to the North East to face a Sunderland side who are looking for all bets an early relegation contender. I hear they had an “airing of grievances” last Sunday, which is of concern after just 2 games… A lot of teams won’t have Ageuro and / or Sanchez yet, so a sneaky “best of the rest” could be Gomis depending on whether Sunderland can get their act together in front of their home crowd, and if Gomis can score more than 1 goal.
Montero. Like I said above, Sunderland are poor. They conceded 4 away to Leicester GW1 and then 3 to promoted Norwich last week at home. I can’t see how Swansea won’t do something similar and Montero is a monty to be involved somehow. It seemed most of their attacking play went through him, particularly when it was apparent Janmaat didn’t have a clue how to contain him. Do you reckon Billy Jones can? Not a chance.
Got for it guys! Who are you going for?
P.S. Not interested in any Player A v Player B questions…