This is getting a little out of hand! I’m not even angry about the Skipper picks, they’ll come… I‘m angry about not even picking regular scoring players at all! There’s some pretty darn good FPL Gaffers on this site who are languishing at ungodly rankings, and they don’t have bad teams… It’s not healthy to feel my 890k is relatively good. Not sure about you all, but it doesn’t feel that the EPL has really started yet, it’s just happening. Not many of the big guns are firing, and some of the lesser knowns are taking advantage and filling in the breach. Like bloody Mahrez on my bench again!!!
After Newcastle’s respectable nil-niller away to United, it gets no easier with the arrival of Arsenal who themselves are coming off their own nil-niller. If I was a betting man, there’s a goal or two here. Newcastle gave a full debut to Mitrovic last week, and he looked decent. Nothing like the crazed maniac that we saw the week before! On any other day that header would’ve gone in, but outside of that he was largely a link striker who was used as an outlet, which he did admirably. I’m thinking against lesser teams he will get a better look… So, that’s a no for this week then. Wijnaldum looked much better than he did against Swansea. This guy will be a good player in the EPL. When he gets some consistency, and when their fixtures clear up, he will get amongst the points. Trust me on that one. Outside of those two there’s not really much going on at Newcastle from an FPL perspective but it’s tough to judge too harshly after trips to Wales and Old Trafford. Arsenal is a troubled side right now. I won’t put the blame solely on Ox not playing, but it is bizarre that they continue to fit a Ramsey sized player into an Ox sized position… He looked sensational early doors and needs to get back in. Sanchez is still making his way towards top form, he will go bang soon! Will Walcott finally start? Is Ozil doing enough to keep the Number 10 spot? Sometimes having too much attacking talent all vying for spots has a detrimental effect, especially when a historically injury prone team is lacking many injuries! They do have some in defence however, but this is not the time to be hoping for Arsenal defensive points…
The award for the game that could end up with a negative scoreline goes to Villa v Sunderland… Neither team are looking much chop in attack and lack quite a bit of quality in the final third. Sunderland actually generally looked really good for the first 30 or so minutes of the game against Swansea. They looked like they actually gave a damn which would have placated their supporters for the time being. But, it did feel like they were playing on edge for most of that time, which is impossible to maintain long term and keep 11 on the pitch. The best thing for them now is to play a team like Villa where they can at least try and build on the little bit of form they showed. A trip to a top 4 team could’ve destroyed them. No comment on Villa except Gestede is doing a mighty fine Benteke impression and is a good shout given Villa’s gentle fixtures. There’s really no-one from either team that screams “pick me” so avoid completely.
Great to see Bournemouth put themselves about against West Ham last week! They won’t be playing against a defence like that many times this season, but to allow them back into the game like that has to worry. Don’t go chasing Wilson’s hat trick points, please. Mahrez is going to be the death of me… For the second week in a row he’s bagged big points for me on my bench, and the third in total this season. Surely he can’t do it a fourth time? Both teams like to play attacking football so this is a game you feel will have some goals in it. Mahrez is looking darn good… No, don’t be silly.
Finally Chelsea decided to turn up for the season with a win over West Brom. Pedro showed plenty, and will be the focus of a lot of FPL chatter. For the record, I’m looking at him. 9.5m is great value for a player who is striving for a chance to show what he can do out of the shadow of Barca’s superstars, and fits Chelsea’s style impeccably. It also makes for an interesting discussion on Hazard, and even Willian. More so the former… Now that Chelsea have two big weapons out on the wings, opposition teams won’t be able to sit on Eden as much and if Pedro can drag the defenders about with his speed and movement, should open up space for him… The latter? Kinda thinking Willian will be the away game specialist and Oscar will play the home games where more creativity is needed? Willian did look a different player through the middle early in the game, but lacked a bit of composure at times. With Chelsea’s potential “corner turning” occurring, Costa could kickstart his season this week but the lack of BPs is a turnoff. Terry’s red card may actually save Chelsea a decision to make here… With Palace’s speed on the counter, JT would definitely have been found out and if Jose had learnt anything from the City game it’s that he’s lost a yard and needs replacing sooner rather than later (just not with Stones please). They play a Palace side this week who are always going to be a little suspect in defence. Arsenal put two away to them, and they aren’t even playing that well. They did however continue their good attacking form against Villa. Sako in particular looked lively, but with Bolasie due back soon his spot is far from locked which is a shame. As is always going to be the case, Zaha and Cabaye are potential point scorers but not much more than that for now. 3-1 to Chelsea.
Liverpool has an early Christmas present this week with the visit of West Ham! Similar to some of the other big teams, their new look attack is yet to click but with the Hammers giving out goals like a nan gives out digestive biscuits, they have as good a chance as any. Firmino started his first game for the reds operating on the right of a front 3 with Coutinho on the left, Benteke through the middle. All looked pretty good and this has some potential. The gaffer must have told Coutinho to pull his head in like I suggested last week because he looked particularly good, again. Any of those three could bob up with some points here, and one of them will get a mention later. On the other side of the pitch, there’s not much to get excited about. After such a good start, Payet didn’t play to the level we know he can. A lot of us are hoping that was just a blip… Sakho also had an off night and those that traded him into their Wildcard teams over Diouf at the 11th hour will be fumin’. I.e. Me. This will be a good test to see what Bilic is about. Is he actually any good? Can he turn it around so quickly? Or is he just another gaffer that was hyped up without substance and found himself in a job he’s underqualified for? *cough* AVB *cough*
Man City. Versus. Watford… Don’t get me wrong, Watford have done ok thus far. But this is some sort of test! You could easily argue that City is the best performing home team in the EPL. When they are on, there are not many that can touch them and they tend to put a few goals away. This could be a deer in the headlights scenario if City wants it to be… There’s obviously one skipper candidate that would’ve tested the resolve of a quarter of the competition, but outside of him it really is tough to pick individuals out due to the even spread of attacking potential. A best of the rest could well be Kolarov. You have to think a cleanie is on the cards and with his attacking form on top of that, he could go large. Sterling isn’t quite playing the role that I thought he would, and the one he did preseason, so it’s a gamble even owning him at this stage. Silva might be a disappointment medium term as well I’m afraid. I see his point scoring potential with Aguero in the side dented and at 10m is a bit a luxury when you think of how many 8.5m mids there are getting up to speed, or Pedro at 9.5m. Aguero out of the side at 10m is fine, but not with him in… On the positive side, Yaya could actually be the Yaya of a couple of seasons ago! He’s getting good shots on goal, and his creativity is as good as it has been. His pass for their second goal against Everton is as good as it gets! From Watford? Deeney is due I suppose… Shots on goal will be at a premium for Watford though.
West Brom travel to Stoke for a game which could go either way… Both teams have some exciting new talent in their front halves that have the potential to get some points but could easily spud it and not do anything at all whilst they’re still gelling. Diouf is poking his head into “form striker” territory after another goal last weekend. You could do a lot worse than have him in your team. Shakiri looked lively and is definitely watchlisted. Afellay and Arnautovic didn’t and are officially unwatchlisted. West Brom is tough to get a gauge on. Although they let a couple in to Chelsea, it was Chelsea. They’re better than that against teams on their own level. Rondon showed that they can let Berahino go and not miss a trick. Pulis’ strikers are never usually a rich source of point’s however so avoid for now…
Everton travel to Spurs which could be a lively encounter. Both teams will be looking to bounce back from results last week they’d not be happy with. Spurs “dropped” 2 points away to Leicester and Everton become the latest to fall victim to the City juggernaut. Eriksen should come back into the side which will give them some more creativity and with the uncertainty surrounding Everton’s defence, surely Kane has to get involved? On our side, I wouldn’t read too much into the last game. There’s going to be much better teams than ours lose to City! Lukaku has looked potent so far, as has Barkley. Both could get the space they want against a Spurs side who haven’t been particularly tight at the back. Deulofeu took a step towards full fitness with an exceptional display midweek off the bench, albeit against Barnsley. I can’t see any cleanies here, and a score draw seems most likely.
Europa Cup jinx! Southampton haven’t started the season with any sort of form and recent history suggests that the poor man’s European football is to blame! They’ve been bundled out by a team I can’t be bothered copying and pasting so that might help? The visit of Norwich won’t be a walk in the park though. The Canaries have started reasonably well and Redmond has had a large say in that. If not for the heroics of Butland last week, he could’ve had a couple more goals on the board. Jerome is knocking on the door too and it’s a matter of time before he scores… I’m still pretty bullish about Pelle, he seems their most likely attacking outlet for Southampton. But with Mane possibly out it does leave them minus some creativity. If he does miss, then Rodriguez starts and the preseason chatter about him may come to fruition. Hard to pick this game. Can Southampton get it together?
From kicking off the gameweek, to ending it, Man Utd takes the trip to Swansea for what could be a top game. United may have been exemplary in defence thus far but it comes to an end this week. It’s all about Gomis I’m afraid! He didn’t get many chances last week against a feisty Sunderland side, but the one he did get he put away with aplomb. He’s the form striker in the comp scoring in each of his games so far. Form is temporary however, and it will come to end at some stage… Montero was deathly quiet last time around, but Swansea’s game plan was largely down the right and centre of the pitch so he didn’t get involved as much as usual. That should change this week with them looking to lock down the attacking threat of Darmian and give him something to worry about the other way. Both Siggy and Ayew failed to show much either, but they have the quality to bounce back. Watch for the trade-ins of Rooney to go through the roof after his hatty midweek, against the superpower of Club Bruges remember… Could that be the kick-start he needs? It’s going to be Depay that will be most likely. It’s a matter of time before he shows the form he showed against Bruges in the first leg a couple of weeks back.
1. Aguero. This is it lads! It’s virtually impossible to overlook Kun this week if you have him. In all honesty the blank last week could’ve been forecasted better in hindsight. Everton’s centre of defence is pretty solid and not many strikers have scored against us in recent memory. Watford is a different proposition and it will take an epic performance by them to keep City out. Aguero’s last home game could’ve ended up in a monumental score if not for a top class goalkeeping performance by Begovic. Gomes < Begovic…
2. Benteke. Bentekkers has looked better than I thought he would in this reds outfit. I bet he’s having extremely happy thoughts about the proposition of being fed by the likes of Coutinho and Firmino against a flimsy West Ham defence, in front of the Kop… This has all the hallmarks of a demolition job if Coutinho doesn’t get greedy.
3. Hazard. Bit of a left fielder given his form so far. But, to be fair he’s not been far away. I liked Chelsea’s attacking intent last week and I can see them building on that. Pedro adds a heap to this team and should work well in giving Hazard some freedom. He’s historically a slow starter but if he has any ambitions of being a 200+ FPL player (which I’m sure he does), then it needs to start this week in a game that has goals written all over it.
Pedro. Pedro has been the talk of the town after his fantastic start to his Chelsea career. He could’ve easily taken Hazard’s spot in the Top 3, but is a punt because of such a small sample size. One game doth not make an FPL legend! The chance to make such a jump up the ranks if he recreates last week however can’t be ignored.
Leet’s hope for a bit more luck this week, not just in skippering but in general! Don’t forget Moneyball guys. Rostie had a huge win last week!