With Matt taking a well earned rest I’ve stuck up the mit to fill in for him. We’ve got a weekend off this round, but we’re straight into an early midweek set of fixtures so stay on the ball. Here’s my own Stock Market, as well as a DGW taster to get you thinking!
On The Rise
Firmino – He was my smokey to be one of the top scoring midfielders before his huge 18 on the weekend. Fair to say I’m feeling pretty gloatey right now! Gloatey’s a word isn’t it? Liverpool won’t go around scoring 5 every week however so be careful. That said, I am going to be looking at getting him in for their decent run of games over the next few. But the bye coming up hurts…
Alli – What a future gun! Ever since he moved up the pitch to #10 territory he’s been scoring really well. Not Starting XI really well, but he’s that vital first bencher who gets you Aguero, and could do a job for you if it goes a bit pear shaped.
Aguero – Yep. 41 points in 5 games since he returned from his latest injury (or 82 if you’ve done the right thing). Get on. Until he gets injured again.
Payet – Bit of an odd one here because he’s blanked two in a row, but there’s no doubting his role in this West Ham team and his potential for bulk points. He’ll get back amongst it soon, and what better way than a home game against Villa!
Sagna – I’m of a different school to some when it comes to defenders in that I like to have a shout of getting a clean sheet from them… As soon as Kompany was deemed a long term injury I decided to stay well away from City defenders for this very reason, especially those that cost this much. They look terrible down back, and if you were hoping for those early season returns then you’re on another planet. If you want to see City’s defence at it’s best, watch Barkley’s goal in the Cup Semi and see them open up like a … *snip* …
Ayew – This smells a little like a flavour of the month kind of trade, but not one that should be totally disregarded. Unless the rumours of his transfer to Sunderland eventuate, then it’s a real bad trade!
Targett – A 3.8m defender starting as a wingback for a historically good defensive side, and averaging nearly 10 over 3. Where do I sign up?!? This is not without some obvious risks however. One being Koeman’s penchant for changing formations without notice. He played a solitary game early in the season with 3 at the back before reverting straight back to 4 the next game, what’s to say this round’s trip to Arsenal isn’t going to be that game? Second being if he thinks Bertrand can do a similar job and plays a more traditional centre back in the back 3? Not a horrible trade to make if you don’t have any issues elsewhere but be ready for a donut.
Arnautovic – Ouch! Misses the game on the weekend but comes back in for the Cup a few days later and scores the only goal… Probably a few that regretted this trade! They’ve got some fair goal scoring fixtures coming up as well. I’d hold if I had him!
Kolarov – See Sagna.
Lukaku – Behave. Granted he’s gone 4 games without scoring but he did have 7 shots (yep, 7) last game against a Swansea side who’ve looked great defensively in recent games. Plus we’ve got Newcastle at home next gameweek, then a Stoke team we put 3 past 5 weeks ago, and a decent run of games after that. I put this down to the mad rush to trade in Aguero. With all that in mind however, you probably can’t go into the GW27 bye week with him AND Aguero. I just don’t know if now is the right time to jump ship.
De Bruyne – Eject! Even before his injury I was trading him out but that just reaffirms it.
Yaya – KDB’s injury changes my thinking on this one a little. I was still surprised anyone still had him to trade him due to his down turn in form. But that was largely due to City getting players back from injury and the subsequent change in role, now that a key attacking midfielder is out he might become a little bit relevant now. Only for the serious gamblers though!
Ozil – No.
For the record, the player of the week was Aguero but I thought it would more advantageous to have a sneaky look at the DGW opportunities coming up and start planning. Now that the League Cup Semis are done and dusted (no comment) we know that Man City and Liverpool will be missing from GW27, along with their fixtured opponents that week in Everton and Newcastle. That’s only 3 gameweeks away so be careful what you do with your trades between now and then. If there’s a line ball decision between a player from one of these teams and another, maybe lean towards the other?
When these will be rescheduled to is an unknown right now, but last season it was GW34 (from memory!). That said, there was a lot of postponed games due to the weather that season so that may have impacted the available dates somewhat. Keep a very close eye on when these League Cup Final effected fixtures are rescheduled to, we’ll no doubt have something here to help you along, but the initial thoughts are to start trading in some of these players post-GW27. I’m not too sure about Newcastle’s worth but the other three teams give us some good opportunities to use one of our chips. The obvious one is triple captaining Aguero!
Another factor to keep in mind is that the FA Cup Quarters and Semis will impact GW31 and GW36 respectively so if those League Cup effected teams aren’t floating your boat then there will be other opportunities. The Quarters could throw up a lot of teams in a DGW so a Bench Boost could be chance? If you still have the chips that is…
Question, if the bye was this week, how stuffed would you be?