Jerome is back with another novel this week, make sure you’ve got 30 minutes on your hand to read this beast! Enjoy.
Liverpool vs United; 0-0
Going into this one I think I could speak for everyone when I say I was hoping for a riveting game. Two huge teams (historically 😉) and one massive rivalry broadcasted on prime-time TV in every football fans household around the world after a draining two-week international break, it’s fair to say it didn’t play out as planned. So dull and uninspiring it was, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every player and both coaches from both teams cop a distasteful mention on some form of media, apart from De Gea and Mignolet (how I’m mentioning his name in the same sentence as the formers is beyond me). Salah for taking THAT shot from Coutinho, United’s £90 million, golden boot-leading front-man, Lukaku for missing the one golden opportunity that United had and of course the usuals in Liverpool’s defence and their three centre midfielders for providing absolutely nothing from the middle of the park. This game also saw the return of Mourinho’s ‘bus’, a move which saw the Portuguese manager negatively appraised for his performance, in a game where United really should have been trying to win.
Nevertheless, the game still had one or two moments of flair and spark, mostly provided by Salah who was even seen down in defence towards the end of the game, he did everything but score against United. He had four shots, created two for his team mates while passing at 90% for the game, unfortunately, all he’ll be remembered for from this game is ‘The Stolen Shot’ (I fancy that name – if you need a movie title, let me know). Another was courtesy of David De Gea, who’s outrageously good reactions were once again on display as he saved United for the umpteenth time when he managed to stick his foot out to stop Joël Matip’s close range shot. Matip could not have done much more with his shot in that situation, managed to hit it on an angle that snuck it just past the defender’s outflung foot and into an area where 99% of goalkeepers in the world couldn’t reach it, unfortunately for Liverpool, De Gea is in the 1% of keepers who can reach it.
Other than that, there wasn’t really much else that happened here, Lukaku yet again failed to stake his claim as one of the out-and-out world class strikers despite having a golden opportunity to really put his name in the conversation. Meanwhile, Firmino at the other end failed to stake his claim on anything, as he continues his poor run of form. I did say a few weeks ago it was probably time to get rid of the Brazillian but after Spurs, Liverpool face Huddersfield and West Ham who haven’t been entirely solid at the back, especially recently for the former, but his performances have been shocking. United face last season’s two best defences (Chelsea and Tottenham) in their next three games as long as a visit from the aforementioned Huddersfield. United will probably put another four past the newly promoted side but I don’t really know how they’ll front-up against the other two, will it be the ‘bus’ or will it be the United we’ve come to know and love this season as FPL managers (for no other apparent reason I can see you liking them). I think he’ll park the bus again, probably employing this tactic purely against his fellow top-6 contenders just to piss us off and turn these previously “must watch” games into “I’d rather watch paint dry” games, we’ll see.
Burnley vs West Ham; 1-1
After this game, I was presented with a very interesting hypothesis that seems to be getting closer to being validated each and every week Andy Carroll suits up: “If everyone is only able to use just 10% of their brain, Andy Carroll can only be using 10% of that (FYI, that’s 1%, thought I’d clarify”. To that I astutely rebutted “Carroll only seems so dim-witted because simply put, he was not made for our time and only future generations will be able to truly appreciate his elegance, akin to Van Gogh’s work, he is our generations Vincent van Gogh.” After having a look again at the replays of Carroll’s two yellows and subsequent red card, I realise how right I was. Andy Carroll was not made for our times, but was instead meant for previous generations and eras, think Neanderthals, or the times where Homo erectus roamed the Earth, Homo habilis could be pushing it, but an argument could be made for it nonetheless, essentially what I’m saying is Andy Carroll is stupid, really stupid. Just seconds after he was pinged for a rather soft aerial challenge, he goes and betters his previous effort, trying to knock out Ben Mee after trying to do the same thing to Mee’s defensive partner, James Tarkowski just 90 seconds earlier. He saw yellow from both challenges and was sent off just as the game was starting to heat up.
Apart from that, this was actually a fairly entertaining game for one that involved Burnley, even sided with some good chances for both sides. Joe Hart managed yet another assist to add to his staggering career tally which now stands at a whopping total of two at club level, outstanding, how did City let him go?! West Ham got a bit lucky there, Ben Mee made a rare, glaring error when he failed to get a foot to Hart’s through ball from downtown (getting into NBA fever just before the season starts), and Antonio did not hesitate, he skipped around Nick Pope and passed the ball into the net for the opener. Antonio could have doubled his tally, after an absolutely sublime tiki-taka-esque move from West Ham (it actually was quite good), saw him with an opportunity just inside the edge of the box, but he squandered his chance and it proved costly for West Ham.
Chris Wood was the goal scorer for Burnley, heading in another late equaliser for the Clarets after he found his way into the box, unmarked where he met a perfectly-placed Gudmundsson cross.
Burnley somehow find themselves sitting nicely inside the top 10 despite turning in some uninspiring performances this year, however, their schedule does tighten up in the coming weeks and it will test them, their struggles offensively could be exploited here. Games against City and Arsenal to go with encounters with fellow defensively-minded teams in Southampton and Swansea does make for an interesting run of games for a side that doesn’t really enjoy too much success offensively. I could see them nabbing a couple of clean sheets in this period, Newcastle have dropped off a bit while Southampton and Swansea also don’t enjoy much success offensively. Pope poses as a solid and timely replacement for someone like Ben Foster who has some hellish fixtures to come. West Ham themselves also have some fairly interesting fixtures to come, a ‘rejuvenated’ (I use that term with caution) Crystal Palace to go with Watford and Liverpool who can be shaky at the back, at the best of times. Lanzini and Arnautovic came back from their respective injuries and I think Lanzini could be one to watchlist over the coming weeks, also Antonio who scored his first of the season.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea; 2-1
Oh, how sweet it is. I’m feeling glad all over, yes, I’m glad all over, Baby, I’m glad all over, so glad you’re mine!
How good was that!? How good is Wilf Zaha!?
12 hours and 21 minutes I’ve waited for a goal and not only do they deliver one but they threw in a second. 741 bloody minutes I’ve waited for the ball to hit the back of Palace’s opponents’ net, seven-hundred and forty-one minutes, let that sink in. That’s almost two seasons of Game of Thrones or six Olympic marathons, that’s also probably more than the amount of lecture minutes I have to catch up on, and that is A LOT. What’s even worse than that record is the fact that I endured the previous 12 hours and 20 minutes of goalless action, and I watched us concede 19 goals to go with eight, embarrassing defeats, streamed live on a tiny 15-inch laptop screen, weekly at 10pm AWST and of course, when we do finally score, I’m at bloody work. So, after countless ‘late’ nights of frustration and agony, the one night where I would have actually got a happy ending, I miss it. So, now I’m sat here, watching the replay, still thoroughly enjoying myself as I watch Palace make Chelsea look like school kids, it isn’t as sweet, but it is still very, very sweet.
On the other hand, Chelsea looked absolutely horrible (I’m putting that down to Palace putting in absolute masterclass, I don’t care what anyone else says). The wing-backs couldn’t get their natural flow, Hazard was nowhere to be seen (Mama Sakho kept him in his left back pocket all day) while Willian still manages to find his name on the starting team sheet each week despite regularly putting up these sorts of performances.
Michy Batshuayi was entrusted with the starting striker spot in Morata’s absence but was dragged off on 57 minutes, I’m starting to actually feel sorry for this bloke, I think he needs to find his way out of Chelsea soon, seems to always be the scapegoat when he does get a game. After that performance (truthfully, he wasn’t helped by the rest of the team) it will take another week for me to consider Bat-man at 8.1m. However, 8.1m is still very good value if Morata is ruled out for the long term which is somehow unlikely as he is listed as a “25% chance of playing on the FPL site”, a miracle after he was just diagnosed with a six-week lay-off.
Chelsea, as a whole, have been struggling to find their feet with Morata carrying them through the season so far and in his absence they’ve lacked the class and pedigree up front that Morata regularly provided. They find themselves in the same position they found themselves last season after the same amount of games they were straggling behind the leaders on 13 points but afterwards, they went on a 13-game win streak, will history repeat itself? It remains to be seen, they have the quality at both ends of the pitch to do so and their fixtures look pretty good for the next couple of months. As a result of this, I’m inclined to keep my Marcos Alonso but you could definitely trade out yours if you wish. I’m mainly keeping him because I rushed him in after his early season brace against Tottenham so it feels dirty to trade him out, but at 7.0m he is taking up a lot of salary cap space over other defenders who have produced much more recently. However, the argument against Alonso is compelling, he has accumulated just 11 points since the first international break, making that an average of 2.2 points per game despite starting every single one of those matches, so you would be well within your rights to free yourself of the Spaniard.
As for Palace I think it’s fair to say they’re Champions League bound, in just one weekend they’ve managed to beat the reigning champions, score more goals and collect more points than Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, combined, all the while regaining the league’s best player from injury – XXXTentacion, better known as, Wilfried Zaha. How many teams in the world can say they’ve managed all that in one day? Imagine what Palace can do in 12 hours and 10 minutes of football!
Anyway, back to reality, Palace are renowned for their patchy runs of form, going on barren runs where they manage zero goals and record eight goalless losses or very fruitful patches where they manage to collect 20/27 points, including wins against three of last season’s top six (GW 26-34 last season), is this the start of one of those “fruitful” runs? I’m hoping so, I deserve it and in anticipation of such, I’ve already gone and brought in Wilfried Zaha at an extremely discounted 6.7m, who I mentioned in the last gameweek review. Palace do have a relatively enticing run of fixtures until GW17 where they only face four of last season’s top 10 which includes Bournemouth and West Brom. After he was so sought after to start the season it will be interesting to see whether or not people flock to the Ivorian considering the situation he enters (a team struggling for goals with only three points on the board). Zaha is most certainly the most dangerous player on Palace’s list and arguably, in the league so it would be very reasonable to go after him. If he continues to start as a lone striker with Benteke injured (who shouldn’t be returning to the team for another 6 weeks), we have ourselves a very valuable OOP. I’m on board, are you?
Man City vs Stoke; 7-2
Manchester City went on an all-out rampage this game, Pep must have given them a serious talk last week after they managed to score just the one goal and they returned this week with a vengeance, slotting seven past a helpless Stoke defence, tough watching for Stoke fans. With seven goals, you’d be pretty disappointed if the attacker you had didn’t get amongst it all, fortunately for us, Pep’s game plan meant that all the attackers got a piece of the pie with three Man City players even registering double figure hauls this week, with Kevin De Bruyne just one point off of making that number four. Sterling (one goal, two assists), Jesus (two goals) and Sane (one goal, one assist) were the main damage dealers on the stats sheet for City, who looked like scoring on just about every attack but Kevin De Bruyne was the man this game. De Bruyne registered just the two direct assists but his part in four of the goals was crucial, he made that telling ball that split Stoke’s defence up on four occasions, leaving the rest of the City attackers with little work to do. If you haven’t seen his two assists then I suggest you stop what you’re doing and go take a look, especially his second, he sent the ball roughly forty yards across the pitch skidding along the grass in-between four Stoke defenders perfectly to Leroy Sane’s feet.
Unfortunately, De Bruyne was involved in one of Stoke’s highlights as well, Geoff Cameron managed to break his ankles, NBA style (don’t worry, not literally break his ankles), right around the 47th minute, it was the most unnatural thing I’ve ever seen, think Sergio Aguero returning to the matchday squad just one gameweek after a car crash that left him with a two-month diagnosis for his rib injury, that unnatural.
Talking about Stoke, they did mount a little comeback around half time, scoring a goal within 90 seconds either side of the half-time break but they’ll have the City defenders to thank for those. Mame Biram Diouf’s shot was deflected leaving Ederson wrong footed in goal while the other was courtesy of a brilliant cross from Stoke academy graduate, Tom Edwards, which after a slight touch from Diouf, rebounded off of Kyle Walker’s thigh into the net for an own goal. On Tom Edwards, he is priced at a basement 4.0m and is listed as a defender, he started at right-back before being substituted off the pitch as Mark Hughes opted for a three at the back system for the last 37 minutes of play. Now, Stoke got battered after they switched formations with City scoring four goals in that period of time without the away side even managing a whimper If Stoke do decide to trial a four-man defence next week at home to Bournemouth then look out for Tom Edwards, could be a handy bench fodder.
To summarise, if you don’t have a Man City attacker, get one. I don’t blame you if you don’t already, picking the right one will be tough, in saying that, picking just about any City attacker will do just fine with the form they’re in. Being the stingy man that I am, I’ve gone with the cheapest of the lot in Raheem Sterling and after last week I’m calling that a masterstroke. In midfield we’ve got De Bruyne, David Silva, Leroy Sane and Sterling and as good as De Bruyne has been, I wouldn’t pick him up at 10.0m but instead one of the three City assets priced nicely between 8-8.5m in Sane, David Silva and Sterling. With Aguero back in the matchday squad after somehow managing to prove himself fit it will be interesting to see the effect it has on Jesus’ output, no point trading though, hold for now. As for Stoke, hold, they won’t have to deal with Man City for another 21 gameweeks so they’ll be okay until then.
Swansea vs Huddersfield; 2-0
An easy victory for Swansea at home and yet again, Huddersfield have failed me. Just three gameweeks ago I gave in and called them a real Premier League side after calling them this year’s Hull City just three weeks in, why did I even bother? Since the first international break they have struggled and truly looked like a newly promoted side. They didn’t really look like doing much against Swansea in a result which could prove to be vital come the end-of-season-relegation battle. The Swans were deserved winners this game and would be fairly happy with this performance, they had all the better opportunities and limited Huddersfield’s.
It was Tom Ince who had the best opportunity for Huddersfield, a chance in the 23rd minute which would have seen them go 1-0 up after being completely irrelevant for the first 20 minutes. A looping, curving cross from the left-hand side fell right to Ince’s feet just outside the six-yard box (back to English metrics…) but spectacularly he sent his shot up to row Z, and I’m still not sure how he managed it. Ince has been mentioned here regularly, always coming close and always having some of the best of Huddersfield’s opportunities, a frustrating pattern.
Van la Parra was the other one to come close when managed to hit the cross bar after his curling shot was deflected from just inside the box. Not much else of note for Huddersfield, they are really, really missing their main front man in Steven Mounie who could be returning to the starting XI in the next couple of weeks.
Swansea are having no problems with their main front man so far, this season (Bony really should be once he regains proper match fitness), Tammy Abraham is enjoying a 32% conversion rate in front of goal, taking 13 shots at goal so far this season with his double on the weekend making it four goals for the 19-year-old. Unfortunately, he and his Swansea team-mates do not have the most enticing of fixtures in the coming month, away trips to Burnley and Leicester coupled with visits from Arsenal and the stingy Brighton don’t spell too many more goals for a team that has only scored five of them so far. Swansea take on even more of a defensive mindset when they face tougher opponents and it has affected Abraham. In his games against the current top 10 teams, he has only managed 2 shots in total against Man United, Tottenham and Watford, and considering he and his Swansea team mates face two top (current) top 10 opponents in their next month of fixtures, I can’t see him taking too many shots in the near future hence his scoring may be limited. Despite all of this, hold the young Englishman as there aren’t really any forwards under 6.5m that are worth a trade at the moment.
Their opponents, Huddersfield, are finding it tough at the moment. The Terriers front man, Steven Mounie is absent with injury, while their main man Tom Ince is misfiring all that plus a struggling defence is worrying, this combined with hellish fixtures ahead means it’s time for their assets to leave our FPL sides. The pastures ahead are dead, grassless with little fertiliser still in the soil, get rid.
Disappointment FC vs Bournemouth; 1-0
1-0? Are you kidding me? 3rd vs 19th, at home and it ends up 1-0? Abysmal. Bournemouth are no Crystal Palace, so this should have ended up as a rout for the top four hopefuls: 3-0, possibly even 4-0! FPL managers were hoping for a plethora of returns, including but not restricted to a Kane brace, an Alli goal and a Ben Davies clean sheet plus possible attacking returns but not one of those things happened and even worse, Davies didn’t even suit up for a so now I’m stuck with a big fat 0 on the field (no cover because I am terrible at this game) when it should have been the easiest 6+ points you’ve ever seen. Another home game, another failure (from an FPL point of you), I think the Spurs board made the worst decision possible last year when they decided it was a good idea to move permanently to the Wembley this season, or as I like to call it, the “Theatre of Disappointment”. In four games there they’ve scored three goals, registering two clean sheets and managing just five points, they’ve played games against Burnley, Swansea and Bournemouth there and they have those stats, it’s no longer funny, the joke’s over Tottenham, stop, please. I’m starting to become extremely antagonised at the situation, I may be benching Kane when he has a home game.
Let’s look a little deeper at the underlying stats for this game: Tottenham had 18 shots (6 on target), 73% possession and spent 36% of the game in their attacking third, yet they scored just one goal against 19th placed Bournemouth, go figure. Credit to the Cherries though, they went in with a five at the back system which worked a charm in the first half, Tottenham were forced into multiple, uncharacteristic long shots to compensate for their inability to penetrate the wall that Bournemouth had put up, but they couldn’t be held in the second half. Christian Eriksen popped up for the winning goal just 80 seconds after the break, taking his opportunity after the ball bobbled between a few players which eventually landed perfectly for Eriksen.
Tottenham have a horror run in the next four weeks, they play three of last season’s top 6 and a future member of this season’s top 6 in Crystal Palace, this includes two home games and unfortunately the Crystal Palace game is at home so there’s no chance there for any significant points return. Hold your players, the wing-backs have shown they can get forward while Harry Kane has proven to be fixture proof, I mean he can actually score on a cold, rainy night in Stoke but unfortunately, he isn’t Wembley-proof (or August-proof for that matter, but that’s next season’s problem now) but I’d still ride it out. All this opinion comes after I just traded out Dele Alli for a certain Wilfried Zaha, even though Alli impressing last gameweek. Bamidele returned to imitating Tottenham’s trophy cabinet of the last 30 years, so he was useless and not worth his money (FPL-wise) at all, I still feel like he has it in him to absolutely pop off and return to last year’s form so I don’t even know what to say any more.
As for Bournemouth – avoid, as usual. Although, they have some nice fixtures coming up after next week’s venture to a cold, rainy night at the Britannia Stadium (it feels stupid calling it by its ‘real’ name) and then after they face Chelsea at the Vitality. Watchlist someone like Josh King and Junior Stanislas who has started three games since his return from injury.
Watford vs Arsenal; 2-1
So, it seems all the games on Saturday, up until this point, had gone as planned, the favourites came out on top in each game (yes, all of them) and Watford kept that trend going, leaving it late and doing it the hard way but they got there in the end. In doing so, it turns out Watford have now become the first team to score goals in the 90th minute to secure points in three consecutive games, in the history of the league… I think Fergie-Time might need a rework soon, Silva-Time anyone?
Seriously though, if Arsenal keep dropping points on the regular like this it’s hard to see a bright future for a club that always promises so much to start the season. After THAT display against Liverpool just before the first international break, they returned rejuvenated and with a point to prove, winning three games and mustering a good point away at Stamford Bridge. Then, the next international break hit and they’ve failed to come away with any points in a fixture which should have seen them come away at least one, sorry Arsenal fans, there’s a long way until the next international break!
Arsenal had themselves to blame. It was a case of missed opportunities for the Gunners, they squandered good opportunity after good opportunity letting Heurelho Gomes make several saves to deny Arsenal in a game-winning performance. You feel the result might have been different if it was Sanchez on the end of some those balls but it was not to be for Arsenal and the Chilean as he returned jet lagged and unfit after failing to lead his international side to World Cup qualification. But in good news for Arsenal fans, Ozil made a return, albeit from the bench, and made a noticeable impact, his class and vision was sorely missed but he is still not at his best, maybe his mind is elsewhere? Who knows, not an option, avoid him.
With Sanchez absent and Ramsey also deemed unfit after international duty, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck were awarded starting berths, the former was lively all game, while the latter wasn’t as spectacular but was still solid, regrettably for the young pair, both Sanchez and Ozil should reclaim their starting spots as they try to reincarnate a once, very successful partnership that can lead Arsenal to the top four.
Sanchez, Ozil and the Arsenal squad will have to reincarnate their form pre-international break with a tough month of fixtures. Their next month of fixtures includes trips to Goodison Park and the Etihad with each game paired with a home fixture, first it’s a visit from Swansea followed by a North-London derby at the Emirates with Tottenham. Arsenal have fared fairly well in these respective fixtures in past seasons, but City are unstoppable at the moment and Tottenham are deadly away from home so they won’t find it as easy. However, I would hold all their assets from both ends of the ground, Sanchez will be auditioning for City in front of their home crowd while Everton and Swansea have struggled in front of goal all season. Although, you would be well within reason to trade them out as Arsenal can be unpredictable at best.
As for Watford, they have been sublime this season, apart from failing away against a rampaging Manchester City, they have come away with a respectable result in every other game, one way or another. After Chelsea next week, they have four very winnable games, hell, even Chelsea look vulnerable at the moment. Richarlison was again their best player in attack in a 5-2-2-1 formation which left them floundering up top for the best part of the game, while Doucore again performed admirably, he is having an incredible season (FPL wise and otherwise). Richarlison has managed to notch a goal or assist in every game Watford have scored (six), except one so he is a pretty solid bet to amongst the goals if Watford do get on the scoresheet. He now sits at 6.2m after again rising over the weekend’s games but still remains a high-quality option amongst the more expensive of the cheaper bracket, look for him if you need someone in said bracket.
Brighton vs Everton; 1-1
I’ll be honest with you, I was dreading reviewing this game, Everton have been lacklustre all season, passing it sideways at every opportunity while Brighton have not been very fun to watch as a neutral, but it turned out to be quite a good game. With both teams languishing in the bottom seven of the table before the onset of this weekend’s games they would have both been desperate to record their third win of the season, and it showed, there were plenty of decent opportunities that were stopped by quality goalkeeping and last-ditch defending, it was fun to watch. It was Brighton who had the majority of the better chances at goal and what was even more encouraging was it wasn’t just one or two of them, but all of their offensive options were constant threats going forward.
Brighton would be kicking themselves after they failed to seal the deal earlier, it could have been two or three to nil at one point.
Nevertheless, Rooney did what Rooney is good at, he was calm and collected and a level above his team mates, always setting them up and leading them into good positions, watchlist for sure but be wary of some difficult fixtures ahead.
Anthony Knockaert was the one who impressed the most for Brighton, along with his goal he had multiple more shots at goal, including two goal-bound shots that were diverted away from goal courtesy of the Everton defenders. After coming so close to scoring all season, Knockaert finally found the back of the net against Everton which can hopefully ignite a run of form for the Frenchman. After many were so keen on him to start the season his poor form saw his ownership drop by 0.3m to a very enticing price of 5.7m, with good fixtures ahead, you could do worse. My man Pascal Gross was involved yet again making it five out of six Brighton goals that he has been involved in (yes, I’m keeping count), but for now, there are better options out there, considering his fixtures.
However, Brighton didn’t find it all smooth sailing as I might have been (wrongly) indicating so far, Everton had their chances but had they been converted they would have done so fairly undeservingly. Rooney started as the main striker for just the second time since his last goal in GW2 but took the role of playmaker for the vast majority of the match, he successfully made four key passes while only having one shot at goal (the penalty he converted) in a much-improved performance. If Everton are going to do anything this season it will be heavily reliant on Rooney’s performances and since the first two gameweeks he has been unimpressive and below standard, like the whole Everton team to be honest, but my point stands. After Arsenal (H) next week, it’s Leicester (A), Watford (H) and Crystal Palace (A) so their fixtures aren’t the worst but arguably they could be better, so maybe wait at least two weeks (or one depending on next week’s performance) before you decide Rooney or even Dominic Calvert-Lewin are worth a shot.
Southampton vs Newcastle; 2-2
This was a game of counter attacks versus pure possession football, in the end neither won out but Newcastle were the better side. Their counter attacks should have taken home all the spoils, three points, which would have put them in equal fifth, instead they had to settle for just the one. Southampton were saved on two occasions by the elusive Manolo Gabbiadini who couldn’t hit a barn door – as the saying goes – before this week. This performance comes after his price dropped yet again to just 6.7m over the weekend and rightly so, as his performances (when he has managed to get on the pitch) and Southampton’s have been less than disappointing to say the least.
This game saw the Saints start with two of Shane Long, Gabbiadini and Charlie Austin for the first time this season and you guessed it, Austin still couldn’t find his way onto the pitch, the man couldn’t buy a start let alone a substitute appearance at the moment. Nevertheless, the formation seemed to work as Shane Long started in behind Gabbiadini in the number 10 position in a 4-2-3-1 formation. The changes, which included the introduction of a more attacking minded number 10 in Shane Lon,g provided new life to a once dead Southampton attack, it was an improved performance but still not where they’re expected to be. Disappointingly for us, their defence failed to hold out yet again as Virgil van Dijk seems to be doing them more harm than good since his request for a transfer in the summer, he isn’t the defender he was last season, presumably because of his desire to leave the Saints roster. If you don’t have their defenders, don’t bother bringing them in, in fact I’m waiting for the first opportunity I get to trade Cedric out, van Dijk combined with Forster’s recent poor form has led to a leaky Southampton defence and led to me looking for other options.
As for Newcastle, their continued abuse of the pace on the counter attack continues to see them reap the rewards of this fast-paced style of play. Their two goals came as a result of two of their many counter attacks with Ayoze Perez and Isaac Hayden both scoring for the first time this season. Perez still confuses me and at 0.1m extra, his team mate Joselu is looking the better value if you’re after a Newcastle striker, would I advise you to look for one? I’m not sure to be honest, neither have been extremely prolific this season, scoring just three goals between them while their next month of fixtures would require suitable rotation. Their next four games entail away trips to the home grounds of organised defences in Burney and Man United, however, they also entertain relegation zone-residing Crystal Palace and Bournemouth where either could score. My pick would be Joselu and as I’ve said earlier there isn’t much on offer at the moment in the under 6.5m forward bracket, so if you don’t want Tammy but need someone in this bracket, go for Joselu, nothing to lose at 5.5m.
Leicester vs West Brom; 1-1
Coming into this game many were praying for some of the Leicester boys to help salvage something of a low-scoring FPL weekend. Vardy, Mahrez and Maguire in defence were the players the prayers were based around, Mahrez delivered for his owners while the other two failed to do so for theirs as owners of both players were left disappointed after another consecutive blank.
Riyad Mahrez managed to rescue a point for Leicester after Nacer Chadli’s beautifully struck free kick mid-way through the second half. Mahrez made somewhat of an amends with his goal after he missed an absolute sitter during the first half, eight yards out and on his preferred left foot he managed skyed it, a shocking miss. West Brom’s goal scorer, Nacer Chadli made his return to the starting XI after struggling with form and injury and he certainly made the most of it, scoring for the first time in the Premier League since February this year, he could be one to watch at 5.7m but we all know he is a very sporadic player and West Brom’s upcoming schedule of games are nothing but disgusting and a set of fixtures to be avoided.
Kieran Gibbs was the main creator in this game for the Baggies as the wingers and midfielders failed to make an impression going forward. West Brom put a very defensive team out on the pitch with none of their three midfielders renowned for their attacking prowess, so the wingers and the full-backs were all on their own considering with Rondo still not providing much. Only 5 shots for the entire game for West Brom to go with Leicester’s 11 made for a very uneventful game of football, only just falling to the Liverpool-United game to be adjudged the second worst game of the weekend.
Jamie Vardy was the man all of us came to see and I found out over the weekend that he was actually traded in by 290, 000 managers for some reason and it turns out he couldn’t handle that sort of pressure but it was not entirely his fault. Leicester looked uninspired all game and half-hearted throughout the contest, barely posing a threat to Boaz Myhill in goal who made his first league appearance since April 2016 as Ben Foster was forced out of the side with injury.
If you still own any West Brom player than I suggest it would be time to get rid of them, if you haven’t had a peek at their upcoming fixtures then just one look and my suggestion would be justified. As for Leicester, hold, their next two games are against teams are against teams that are having their own issues in front of goal so don’t get rid of their defensive assets just yet, as for their offensive ones, hold them as well.