Let’s hope the international break has woken up a few of the underperforming stars because this is getting out of hand! If it continues like this, we may need to completely re-evaluate what it is we’re doing… Let’s have another crack at the seemingly impossible, picking a captain who actually does something.
United have given up the opening game rights to showcase Everton v Chelsea. Our boys have been reasonably impressive so far and our counter attacking play, although going against much of what Martinez is about, is as good as many going around. Whether the faithful is going to allow that for too many home games is questionable. We won’t have much of a choice against a Chelsea team still looking a bit hungover, but still packing some serious guns in attack. If Everton get anything out of this game then it will be via likely sources in Barkley and Lukaku, with a sneaky sideways bet on new signing Lennon and a Delofeu getting back to full fitness and form. Delboy had a cracker for Spain’s U21’s scoring and assisting during the break. Jose had a red hot crack at some of his players after their last game, and although he failed to name names you have to think Hazard was among them. It’ll be a good test to see how he responds, not just to Jose’s spray, but his international gaffer as well who did similar midweek… Another that may have copped the hairdryer was Costa. He’s one more that needs to respond to a sleepy start to the season. As well as Fabregas. And Ivanovic. And Terry, Cahill, etc… Pedro had a quieter game last round, but still showed enough to suggest he’s bringing something good to this team after a huge debut. This game feels too hard to pick…. It could easily be a nil-niller, much harder to see being a blow-out but will probably end up a score draw?
Arsenal!!! Come on fellas… Two home games, two blanks. That’s not what you’d expect from a team who at the start of the year was highly regarded in title talks. They got the choccies last game and it shouldn’t have come as a big surprise that Ox was the chief creator of the solitary goal and should keep his spot. Should… Walcott apparently started in that game too? Well that’s what the teamsheet said before the game. Waste of space. It’s hard to believe Wenger didn’t feel the need to buy another striker… Giroud should potentially come back in? They need to find a spot for Ozil who should come back with Ramsey potentially being the one to miss? Too many “shoulds” and “potentials” there for my liking! They come up against a Stoke side that, barring 1 half of footy in the game against Spurs, have been quite tight. In nearly 7 halves they’ve only conceded 3 goals, which is pretty good considering they aren’t quite the Stoke of old. They’ve got some talent in the forward positions in Shaqiri and Diouf, and could easily do a West Ham here and steal the win if Arsenal doesn’t get their act together?
City travel to London Town to take on a very, very decent Palace side. This has the trappings of a great little game and one with a goal or two in it, and therefore some captaincy options! We’ve got some below for you… Palace probably less so but Sako has been on a huge form curve since debuting for the club and is making it hard for Bolasie to get back into the team. Cabaye isn’t performing as some would like, but exactly how I foresaw him to be… On the City side of the coin, anyone is capable. With the latest acquisition of another world class attacking talent in De Bruyne adding a different dimension to the team, I can see Silva dropping even further down the FPL points pecking order but be as important to the team as ever! If you get what I’m saying… They’ll be playing a little more direct at times with De Bruyne’s greater range of passing, and that can only mean one thing. But more on that later.
My booooooy… Gomis has 4 in 4 now and is looking great! Not too mention 9 in his last 10 EPL games? He’s easily the form striker in the comp, and one I’d rather have in my team than not right now. Even with his lack of bonus points… Now’s the most important decision to make though. When do we get off him and chase the next form line? Probably not this week with him facing Watford, although Watford has been extremely tight at home with both games ending nil-nil, Swansea are still a good chance to score. Swansea should have some mild concerns about the form of Siggy, and recently Montero. Both have talent to burn but I feel they should be doing a little more than they have done. Siggy did get an assist last game, and Montero has had some injury concerns however I wouldn’t mind seeing them get on the scoresheet. If the FPL gods could grant one goal to Montero that would be great. Ayew is keeping up with Gomis and even bettering his points tally as an OOP midfielder playing largely as a striker. I’ve got more confidence in Gomis keeping up his form however… No-one from Watford floats my boat. They’ve not scored since the 83rd minute of the opening game.
How quickly can a defender learn a new defensive system? Especially a Pulis system!? Not only does Evans come into the first XI but also potentially Lindegaard in goals which does spook me when I think about their cleansheetability (new word alert). United never really looked the best defensively when Evans played, and Lindegaard barely ever played so it might be a tough one to expect immediate cohesion… They also come up against a resurgent and potent Southampton side that looked like a team who have been unburdened with the weight of Europa League expectation! Any one of Pelle, Tadic and Mane could do some damage here but it is still a game against a Pulis team so it’s a risk picking a captain from them. Same goes for West Brom. If Southampton really have arrived, then they are historically hard to score against too, but only Rondon would come into calculations. No-one has him anyway. We have to have him watchlisted though!!! Bookmark this.
The match of the round will be United v Liverpool. Neither team is looking overly impressive right now but you’d think United have the edge over a team that let West Ham score 3 against them, at home, and couldn’t score even one against a team who looked like defence was an afterthought the week before… United themselves got up to some shenanigans last week handing over a huge wad of bank for some kid called Martial. He better be good for that sort of money (but there’s more lol’s to be had if he isn’t)… Rooney scored a couple for England during the break! But both were from penalties which he’s lost control of at United… Depay hasn’t done anything apart from that one game against the might of Club Bruges. Mata must feel like the sensible parent in this forward line and is going to be the only one who’ll be able to bring a sense of calmness and maturity to this attack until the kiddies grow up (sometimes that includes Rooney!). Coutinho will leave a big hole in Liverpool’s own attack after his red last week. He’s been their best performer by a mile… Someone like Lallana will take his spot, but I wouldn’t have thought he be too high on anyone’s transfer lists… Not many will have (or should have) Firmino either, but like most of the other fresh meat, he’s done next to nothing in his early days… Benteke, who is under an injury cloud, is their best shout and is capable of scoring against anyone, but he needs to be fed decent chances and Liverpool will need to improve dramatically for that to happen. Based on all that, it should end up 4-4.
There’s a few other games going on, but to be honest I don’t see any players from these teams putting their hands up so I won’t waste words on them… I will say one thing, I may well be playing Mahrez on the field so best trade him out of all your teams.
1. Aguero. There’s approximately 1.1 million nervous FPL gaffers hoping their big money plunge on Aguero pays off! So far you’d have to say he’s been a disappointment but, form is temporary and class is permanent… He’ll come good and I don’t want to miss out when he does so he’s still my number 1. Especially with De Bruyne coming in. As I said earlier, I can see City playing a little more direct at times to avoid having to break down 11 opposition defenders all the time and if that comes to fruition, Aguero’s speed on the break could prove invaluable. Scored for Argentina midweek too…
2. Sanchez. The biggest sure thing this week is that Arsenal will score… There’s no way they’re starting the season blanking their first three home games! The biggest guess is who that scorer, or scorers, will be. I very nearly went Giroud here, but then I punched myself in the ear for thinking that, and it hurt, so I’m going Sanchez for my number 2. He hasn’t hit the heady heights of last season but the reality is not many at Arsenal have.
3. Pedro. I know what the argument is. I know he doesn’t get the ball as much as some of the other gun midfielders, but what the hell does that matter? This isn’t a statistics based game like AFL/NBA/NFL, it’s a “moments” based game and Pedro is pretty darn good at putting himself in moments that are conducive to scoring FPL points. Yeah I know he’s only just arrived in the EPL, but so? Quite a few players have hit the ground running in this league… I can see this game being a score draw, and Pedro playing on the right will be up against potentially new signing Mori with Oviedo and Galloway under injury clouds. To be honest even if either of them were fit I’d back in Pedro… He’ll give all of them the run around, and with Chelsea in a bad mood he might get the rub of the green with a few moments for those with the nuggets to captain him…
De Bruyne. Go on! It’s not like Kev is completely foreign to english football, it feels like he only just left Chelsea for a holiday in Germany. I can’t help but think he’s the kind of guy who will jump straight back into the swing of things and start of with a bang. Especially in a team where he’s not going to be targeted by the opposition like what would’ve happened last season. They can’t afford to single out one of City’s guns! Cool stat. Last season he notched a goal or assist every 101 minutes…