*Thanks to Harrison again!
A humiliating loss for my beloved United was well compensated by Chelsea’s continued embarrassment and a triple figure score for my team. Lots of points this week and thus lots to talk about!
Crystal Palace v West Brom
Likes; Crystal Palace under Pardew. Despite a defensively strong West Brom side Crystal Palace still created a lot of chances and currently find themselves in an impressive 4th position.
Dislike; Pardew’s rotation of his front three makes it hard to have confidence in any of their players, despite the impressive performances of Zaha and Bolasie in recent weeks. Not the worst punt though with their decent fixtures. Cabaye still plays too deep for me to be considered fpl relevant.
Aston Villa v Stoke
Likes; If anyone had something they liked from this game please let me know. One of those games that just goes by.
Dislikes; Aston Villa are a shambles and Sherwood might be following Rodgers out the door very soon.
Bournemouth v Watford
Likes; A well fought out game between the two promoted sides. Despite being tied last for goals scored (6) Ighalo seems to provide a strong threat up front and represents good value at 5.3. Murray (5.6) also looks good in Wilson’s absence.
Dislikes; Not too much to dislike, both teams holding their own in the premier league so far.
Man City v Newcastle
Likes; AGUEROOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! (That’s 13 O’s, 1 for each of his goals and 8 for each of the week he kept us waiting for a good score) Checking the score at half time I was glad to see Aguero had a goal. Checking the score 30 minutes later and I was as in disbelief. My last minute trade of Sterling to De Bruyne had also paid off. I know I had reservations about De Bruyne last week but with their fixtures and some spare cash I couldn’t not have De Bruyne or Silva, I simply picked De Bruyne because of Silva’s fitness concerns. This game proved why you have faith in the expensive players, especially when they have favourable fixtures, they are simply brilliant. Despite all the glory most of us enjoyed, City’s defence doesn’t look the same without the spine of Toure and Kompany. With rotation threatening Sagna, Zabaleta and most likely Kolarov after the international break, their defensive assets may not necessarily be must haves, although you’d be brave to not have city defensive coverage.
Dislikes; Leading 1-0 and playing good football, one would not be wrong to think Newcastle were building on last week. How things can change in football, Newcastle were humiliated and need to have a good look at themselves.
Norwich v Leicester
Likes; Leicester continue to score goals and play a very attractive attacking style of football. Leicester typify some of the quality and entertainment value of the mid table teams so far this season. Vardy continues to perform and is and a great option despite rising to 6.7, he’ll probably get rested next match though, just because.
Dislikes; The Tinkerman strikers again. Ranieri is renowned for these kind of mindless moves, just be glad almost all top managers have Mahrez and he doesn’t coach a team like Man City. Can you imagine the fun he’d have with a squad like that?
Sunderland v West Ham
Likes; West Ham are almost a carbon copy of Leicester except their main man doesn’t get rested for no apparent reason. Payet (8.1) has picked up maximum bonus points in 3 of his last 4 outings and is amongst a growing list of must have midfielders in the mid-price range. Moses (5.3) and Sahko (6.7) also offer a solid route into West Ham’s free flowing attack. An honourable mention to Lens who is a capable player in a rubbish team, maybe that explains his stupid send off.
Dislikes; You know your team doesn’t have it when you can’t hold a 2-0 lead (3-0 if not for Borini’s miss) at home against a mid-table side. The Time-Weir derby is fast growing into a relegation battle.
Chelsea v Southampton
Likes; If you’re not a Chelsea fan then you’re also loving watching their demise and Mourinho’s ever reliable spin doctoring to suggest he’s got it under control. I still think they’ll bounce back but until then I’ll keep the banter going. In all fairness they did suffer at the hands of a Southampton side that are starting to look like polar opposites of the last couple of seasons, ruthless going forward and a little bit soft at the back. Mane (7.9) and Pelle (8.1) are also part of the excellent mid-priced options. With Sunderland up next and solid fixtures over the next month or two, their respective ownerships of 6.4% and 18.9% are likely to increase.
Dislikes; Despite taking great pleasure from Chelsea’s disjointed play it’s very confusing to have an fpl team without including any players from the defending champions. Lots were eager to jump on after the Arsenal performance, including myself, but we just have to focus on the stats such as the fact they’ve conceded 17 goals and sit 16th.
Everton v Liverpool
Likes; Lukaku is well and truly back. Did I mention there is some good mid-price options out there? If you have a look at Everton’s fixtures from gw 11- gw19 (there most difficult game is West Ham away) and tell me you’re not going to seriously consider him (8.3) or at least Barkley (6.9), then do yourself favour and delete your fpl account now. On a slightly different note I think it was time for Rodgers to go. I know losing Suarez was hard but failing to go anywhere near their 2nd place finish in 2013-14 with a very similar bunch of players is not good enough at a club like Liverpool. It will be also refreshing to get a break from his ridiculous press conferences, which brought out some great quotes like this personal favourite, “I’ve always worked along the statistic, that if you can dominate the game with the ball you have a 79% chance of winning a game of football.” WHAT? Go home Brendan, you’re drunk!
Dislikes; Still waiting for the Merseyside Derby to get back to the dizzy heights of the Suarez v Moyes days. Liverpool still look average at best, will be interesting to see what their new manager can bring from a football and fpl perspective.
Swansea v Tottenham
Likes; Good attacking football from both sides always draws the attention of fpl managers and this game was no exception. Ayew (7.2) has repaid the faith in those who held him over a barren few weeks and looks the pick of the bunch from an improved Swansea side. Meanwhile Eriksen showed what he can do from set pieces and will be a good fpl option if spurs can continue to score goals.
Dislikes; The lack of reliable patterns continues to make it hard for fpl managers and over recent weeks this has been highlighted by none more than in defence. After a solid run of defensive performances, Spurs joined both West Brom and Man City by uncharacteristically conceding in two consecutive games. Nonetheless their defensive assets should remain firmly on our watch lists.
Arsenal v Man United
Likes; Nothing L In all fairness though Arsenal toyed with united for the first half, demonstrating that when Arsenal are on fire they can be unstoppable. Sanchez was again the main beneficiary of Arsenal’s good play and was the only good thing I personally took the game. If Walcott can maintain this form and game time, he might very well join Sanchez on the must have list of Arsenal players. Honourable mention to Ozil but too inconsistent for me. Because I have too, also a quick mention to Martial who still provides a constant threat.
Dislikes; Man united showed they still have some pretty serious defensive problems. Every time Arsenal went forward in the first half they looked like scoring. All over the pitch they looked a little slow and I’m going to be biased here and say it’s a function of the fact that most of them played a very tough midweek encounter against Wolfsburg. I’m not making any more excuses for United but I will say remember that tough Champions League games always make it hard to predict how teams will turn out on the weekend. Man City’s home loss to West Ham a few weeks back following a tough clash with Juventus is testament to the fact that we should carefully assess our expectations for our players following a tough midweek match.
Darren Rudolph Award; Arthur Boruc edges out wrong foot Fabianksi following his Christmas present to Ighalo.
Ryan Bennet Award; Carl Jenkinson has 7 points for the season and he scored 6 points in GW 8, no better candidate for the award this week.
Jonjo Shelvey Award; M’Vila plays for Sunderland and in the defensive mid role, no way those scores will happen on a consistent basis.
Jamie Vardy Award; Mbokani. I’d honestly never heard of the bloke till this week, so for lack of better candidates I’m giving him the award.
I had one of those weeks this week, traded in Vardy and De Bruyne to help me along 108, up in the top 100k. Looking at the fpl addicts and cash league, lots of us enjoyed that triple figure triumph. As always let us know your thoughts from the week. Who will replace Rodgers?