Set your watch, there’s 3 matchday’s of Premier League action to come over the next 8 days. The Festive period is well and truly underway, and it’s underway without the games most expensive player. Yeah, we’ve got a lot to talk about… Let’s get into it!
On the Rise
Ake – Boom! It’s always nice to have a pick like this pay off, even if it was a bit lucky! Ake is a threat on set pieces and is an absolute bargain at 4.3. Great cheap defensive option, get on early!
Brunt – As mentioned in Chris’ bargains article, Brunt is a fantastic out of position prospect. If you also consider his set piece threat and potential clean sheets he seems a no brainer at 4.9. I’ve opted for Nyom to save the 0.6 but the upgrade to Brunt may just be worth your while.
Eriksen – After struggling to make an impact all season, Eriksen’s form has suddenly gone through the roof. It’s no coincidence that Spurs have started banging in the goals after Harry Kane’s return, and even though the Dane will be inconsistent he could prove to be the perfect Coutinho replacement. Some soft home fixtures mean Eriksen stands out in the 8-9 price bracket. Great option.
Phillips – Matt Phillips stunning form continued last weekend with a stunning strike from range, making it 3 goals and 3 assists in his past 4 games. That’s form too good to ignore at 5.4. My only concern is his start to the season, could this just be a hot patch that we’ve missed the boat on? If you’re shopping in the cheap midfield bracket then I can’t see a better alternative!
Mane – Many will have tossed up replacing Coutinho with Mane, me included. He delivered a goal and assist and disappointed many managers that went for Firmino instead. I’m still not convinced he’s great value at 9.2, but you can’t argue with his form!
Kane – The Hurricane is back and he has not changed one bit. Still scoring cheap penalties! Ok, Arsenal bias aside he’s in great form, although it took an academy winning performance from Dele Alli to win Tottenham’s penalty this week. He will score you goals, LOADS of them. I wouldn’t put him ahead of Costa, but he’d sit alongside him as your best striking options. A front 3 of Costa, Kane and Zlatan anyone? You’d be brave to ignore the big hitting midfielders but these guys will score you returns on your investment that’s for sure.
Defoe – This is the biggest carry since Suarez decided he’d win Brendan Rodgers a Premier League title off his own boot. Of course Gerrard had other ideas but that’s all in the past. Defoe FC have won three games in a row and it’s all thanks to this man. I just can’t see him maintaining this form for the season, especially during this hectic Christmas period. Will Defoe’s 34 year old body hold up? Only time will tell, he’s a great option nonetheless.
Benteke – After crucifying Benteke for not producing enough points he has backed up with consecutive double figure hauls. The gift the Belgian received from Fraser Forster may as well have been wrapped up and sent to him for Christmas. I guess you take them anyway you can get them, I’m still not a massive fan but well done to those who held on!
Iheanacho – Now this guy I’m a massive fan of. The second I saw Aguero’s kung fu effort to try and end Luiz’s career I traded Iheanacho in. I didn’t own Aguero but it’s clear that he’s capable of filling the striker role in front of of Man City’s dream midfield. 13 goals in 19 starts tells you all you need to know, Aguero won’t be back until NYE so get on board! Priced at 6.6 I’d happily take a couple of goals, anything more is a bonus.
Chelsea – The train just keeps on rolling, it’s an incredible run of form Chelsea find themselves on. 22 goals scored, 2 conceded and 8 wins. Once again Alonso, Hazard and Costa were the chief creators. I own all 3 and don’t have a single thing to complain about. You could penny pinch with Pedro, but Sanchez proved exactly why that can backfire when many thought Walcott could try and cover his points. You’ve been warned. Costa was an injury doubt but is perfectly fit and ready to suit up this weekend.
Walcott – I’m guessing there’s a few rage sales going on here. One blank isn’t the end of the world, however another early substitution and not a single goal or assist in a 5-1 drubbing is cause for concern. Arsenal’s fixtures still shine brightly so I’d stick by Theo for sure, some patience may be required. He’ll be hot and cold.
Allen – This is the problem with cheap players! We end up chasing the points and don’t actually recieve any in return! Allen had his month in the sun but has since faded away, in fairness an injury problem has set him back. I’m sure many will be trading to Phillips and that’s fair enough!
Pedro – A 49th minute substitution is alarming and what’s even worse was Chelsea’s form completely turned around after bringing Willian on. He scored the second goal to put them in the lead and offered a much larger threat on the counter. Pedro should start again this week but he’ll face a week by week battle to keep his spot. I’d prefer a more reliable option, especially if Pedro is prone to substitutions!
Lukaku – It’s time to face it, Lukaku’s form is in the toilet. If it wasn’t for Iheanacho I may have held onto Romelu and backed him in long term, I think holding is a very viable move. Unfortunately Everton’s form and fixtures are hard to swallow at the moment, I’ll save him for my second wildcard. Time to go. *Incoming hat-trick*
Austin – Bugger. Austin just can’t catch a break with injury. I’ll put my hand up and admit if it wasn’t for Aguero’s ban I may have transferred Austin in this week, probably before his Thursday night Europa league clash! If you haven’t heard he has injured himself (again), massive shame. On the flip side, this could be good news for Redmond. Long benefitted from Redmond playing in the centre and will need the support up front, definitely consider him. I’m still an owner!
Leicester – *Train wreck alert* I don’t know how to put this kindly, Leicester are currently a team with no identity and no belief, hard to believe when you watch their highlights last season. The 4-4-2 system just isn’t holding up without Kante covering 90% of the pitch. Vardy has returned to Planet Earth, speaking of which how must he be feeling? He has turned down Miss Universe for that one night fling which in hindsight was never going any further than the uber next morning. I guess that’s why there’s no loyalty in football anymore. Bit harsh? Definitely. But Leicester are currently in a relegation battle and it’s time to offload their assets. No room for passengers!!!
Man City – Last Saturday was an utter disaster for City, but it didn’t have to be! If only De Bruyne hadn’t decided to channel his inner Gervinho who knows what could have happened. 2-0 definitely looks better than 1-1 though. De Bruyne’s hefty price tag is starting to weigh, however just look at his form in Aguero’s previous absence. I’d hold. As I mentioned earlier Iheanacho is my pick of the week, City will be back with vengeance.
Aguero – Sergio, why? That’s question question Pep and 1.5 million Fantasy managers are asking. THE GAME WAS DONE. Anyway… That’s his second negative return for the season and a second red card, meaning he misses the next 4 City matches. There’s no cheeky Cup matches either, meaning he will be out until after Boxing Day. Firstly, City will be fine. That’s not the concern. We need to know who to bring in, and what to do with all this cash we’re suddenly left with!
Kane, Costa and Ibrahomivc all stand out. Zlatan’s fixtures and form are great, but how will he handle 3 games in 8 days? It must be taken into consideration. Kane’s home fixtures are also fantastic and he’d be my pick of the pair. If you don’t own Costa though, just take a look at Chelsea’s fixtures, go and watch Costa for 90 minutes, then sit yourself down in front of a mirror and ask yourself what the hell you’re thinking. Just get him in! If you already have the Chelsea striker and want some value, Iheanacho is your man. What you want to do with the $$$$ left over is at your leisure!
Player of the Week
Sanchez – We should’ve all had a good week at FPLaddicts, you know I push Sanchez hard but this is why! He has been my captain the past 2 weeks and probably outscored my previous 2 weeks with those scores alone. That’s not a joke either. Let me ask you this, if I offered you Aguero for 11.7 but the catch was he’s classified as a midfielder, would you say yes? Alexis is only discovering how good he can be, I think that 20 goal mark is going to be conservative! We throw it around way too often, but he’s a must have!!! Surely a safe captain this week. And please don’t be a jinx.
That does it from me, sorry it’s a late one but I only just got off a plane! Good luck this weekend, as always let’s make it high scoring!