Apologies lads for the absence, I have and still am travelling through North America. I’m writing this whilst I sit in Boston airport en route to Canada. So Merry Christmas to you all, here’s your Christmas treat! It’s better than underwear at least, I will provide with you a little wrap of the last two weeks and a preview for what’s ahead.
Arsenal look the team to beat right now and are favourites for the title in my eyes. This has been said many times before at this time of year only for a collapse to shortly follow, we will see. This collapse is not likely to occur over Christmas with an away trip to a struggling Southampton followed by two juicy home fixtures against what will be the thin, tired squads of Bournemouth and Newcastle. Everyone owns Ozil I assume (And probably defender) but this shouldn’t stop the temptation of players like Walcott and Ramsey who have real explosive potential against two tired teams that could open up easily.
Who would have thought that going into December there will be some good looking fpl teams out there without players from Liverpool, Chelsea and Man United. Once 3 of the big 4, these 3 have far too much uncertainty around them to be investing in them over the hectic festive period.
The striker dilemma is alive and well. Vardy, Lukaku and Ighalo are clearly the best 3 at this very moment, however there is more to it than that. Fatigue, a lack of squad depth and tough fixtures are staring both Vardy and Ighalo right in the face as they play 3 strong opponents in roughly 8 days. Honestly I think Ighalo will really struggle, that’s partly me hoping too, but if you look at his and Warfords stats against the good teams, just 1 assist against their three toughest opponents, I have ground to stand on. Despite the real threat of rotation, Vardy and Leicester have scored against everyone with little trouble, so I think Vardy is still good to go over Christmas. I’d expect Lukaku to start and probably give points return in what are decent fixtures, whist playing in a pretty deep squad. Considering all of this there is now more reason to consider other options. Giroud is one guy who can’t stop scoring and I already mentioned Arsenal, likely rotation is the only issue, especially once Sanchez returns in Jan. Kane is another good option and one I’m going with, a home fixture against Norwich is as good as it gets and the next games aren’t too bad from an attacking standpoint either. Aguero has to be mentioned, despite Pellegrini being open about easing Aguero back to fitness, this doesn’t mean he can’t play three 60 minute games and rack up 50 points in the process. If you want a real left field POD, Ayew of Villa is a shout. With three important games for Villa over Christmas, Ayew is surely the key to any success Villa might enjoy over Christmas.
Here’s another couple of things to stand out over the last two weeks.
Despite early season promise, Southampton, Swansea and West Ham all seem to be in free fall. Despite Mane’s impressive shooting stats and West Hams recent clean sheets, these 3 teams should probably be avoided for now.
Despite the defensive assets of Watford,Bournemouth and Stoke racking up points in recent weeks, I wouldn’t suggest bringing any in over Christmas. Rotation really weakens the last mid table sides and thus significant points returns seem unlikely.
Crystal Palace are quietly flying under the radar in 6th place and with good fixtures over Christmas, assuming Bolasie won’t get rotated he could easily make your gameweek (Bolasie has apparently had an injury scare and could be out for months. Hold off this one for now). Dann has become too pricy for for me, but Hennessy remains a great option between between the sticks.
If you thought Christmas was about presents, Jesus, family, holidays or anything like that, think again. It’s about Rotation! In all seriousness I hope you’re all having a great Christmas, but I’m sure for us addicts that word is still echoing in the back of our minds. A few words on rotation;
The lesser sqauds of lower to mid table teams are really exposed over Christmas, often leading to some heavy defeats for these teams. Fpl wise this heightens the importance of fixture based investment, keep in mind two lower table teams against each other could be a tired 0-0 or a 3-3.
The deep squads of the top teams are heavily utilised and will have some notable fpl repercussions. For City, players like Kolarov, De Bruyne, Sagna, Silva and Aguero will almost definitely see a game or two with limited minutes. Over at Arsenal, players like Walcott, Ozil, Giroud and possibly full backs, Bellerin and Monreal could be given rests. With injures in the Centre of the park, Ramsey should see significant minutes.
It will be interesting to see what Ranieri does with his Leicester squad, particularly Mahrez and Vardy. You’d imagine they will receive some rest, but it will be interesting to see what this does to their team.
With Aguero far from a must right now and most of the other premium priced options being out injured, it should be quite easy to fill our squads with 15 quality options. With rotation certain and the timing uncertain it’s imperative you have guys on your bench that you’re comfortable starting.
I’ve seen 3 consecutive red arrows but I feel I’m well prepared for Christmas, preparation made my season last year so I’m hoping I can make a move again. Same goes for all you, best of luck over this crazy period but most importantly enjoy the football and time relaxing with your family.