Jerome’s Review – Gameweek 27

Reading Time: 13 minutes



The Man City boys got it done for us yet again, but once again their defence faltered. The red side of Manchester know a little bit about faltering – all their assets blanked and they dropped a ‘gimme’ three points.

There wasn’t much that went unexpected otherwise, most of the results (and scorers) were as expected, so there wasn’t much new news to gather from the past weekend of games. Nonetheless, it’s always fun to talk about United losing to a team one place outside the relegation zone.


Tottenham vs Arsenal; 1-0

Harry Kane’s second-half header was the difference between the two sides on the final score sheet, however, Spurs were head and shoulders above their opponents in terms of quality on the pitch, but no so much off the pitch. Hugo Lloris was forced into just one save for the match, mid-way through the second-half, as Arsenal – with two of the best passers in the league in their possession – couldn’t pierce the Tottenham defence. Just like they did against United, Spurs absolutely dominated the game and their visitors couldn’t touch them. The final tally is seven points from Spurs’ three games against United, Liverpool and Arsenal – mightily impressive, shame they’ve drawn 4 matches against bottom 10 teams.

Kane’s 23rd goal of the season came without any bonus points, much to the disappointment of his managers and ‘captainers’. Instead, it was the Tottenham defenders who made it a clean sweep of BP’s as Davies, Vertonghen and Sanchez were the recipients of a total of eight BP’s.

Ben Davies collected the maximum three bonus points for his clean sheet and assist for the Kane goal. Davies was the man to have in defence at the start of the season, as the Welsh international recorded point hauls of 14, 14 and 16 within a 7 gameweek period. He then went onto register just one score above 2 over the next 11 gameweeks as rotation took its toll on the 24-year old.

Presumably, rotation will again bare it’s ugly face once the Champions League and FA Cup fixtures resume. As a previous Ben Davies owner, and one who was unfortunate enough to experience the majority of the ups and downs of his season so far, I can tell you that owning him through his rough patch where he averaged 1.9ppg over eight appearances (including three, one-minute appearances), it was almost as bad as the Christensen debacle of recent weeks. I’m still tempted to pull the trigger as his record is outstanding. Over the 19 games Davies has started this season, he has averaged 5.7ppg, which is more than the top five defenders (with Davies being ranked sixth amongst all defenders). Also, with an inevitable blank in GW31, I can’t see Davies making our time with him worth the transfers you’ll have to invest by transferring him in, first, then out.

Kane’s second goal from his last three games made for decent viewing in the real world, but in the FPL-verse, we know much better. His three game average of 4ppg is well below par, but expect that to rise in the coming weeks against an injury depleted Crystal Palace and a struggling Huddersfield.

After being among the top 10 transferred in players last week, the combined score of four, from Mkhitariyan, Aubameyang and Ramsey, failed to live up to expectations in a big way. In fact, Ramsey returned zero points after he failed to even to make his way on to the team sheet as a result of a groin complaint. The league-leaders, Man City, will visit Arsenal at the Emirates this week, so the going will be getting tougher, so will the ‘tough’ get going? It remains to be seen. All three could be options once Arsenal’s loss to City in the next gameweek.


Everton vs Crystal Palace; 3-1

With Palace’s injury list in the double-figures after Kelly, Sakho and Zaha were all ruled out since last gameweek, the odds were always going to be against the visitors. Everton took advantaged, in the end, of an injury depleted Crystal Palace, who must have done something to aggravate the football Gods with the state of their injury list.

After a dull and relatively uneventful first-half, which involved just two shots on target, Everton got the seesaw rocking heavily in their favour. After a six-minute Crystal Palace lapse meant the hosts were able to take a two-goal lead through goals from Siggurdson and Niasse. Tom Davies piled on a third 20 minutes later before Luka Milivojevic converted an 83rd minute penalty. In the end, the result was quite flattering to Everton, who are still struggling to find their groove after a plethora of additions over the previous two transfer windows.

Noticeably, Theo Walcott’s name was lacking from the final stats sheet as he failed to make an impact on the scoreboard, but fear not, the Englishman still had a great game. I expect his returns to flow throughout the rest of the season. The former Arsenal man is still a worthwhile investment.

Oumar Niasse has been preferred over Everton rookie, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and £27million signing, Cenk Tosun. This confidence in him – or possibly Allardyce’s lack in confidence of the aforementioned pair – has resurrected Niasse’s season, again, after he was dropped to the bench earlier on in the campaign. Just how long his starting spot in the team will last is beknown to me, and probably anyone, I mean I don’t know if Allardyce even knows. So, to pick him would come with its risks. It’s frustrating as the 4.8m forward has averaged 4.7points/appearance this season, which includes seven substitute appearances. However, he has returned in three of his seven substitute appearances this season, so it could still be worth it. At 4.8m, he is emphatic value and I believe it’s worth the risk at such a low price.

What is also frustrating, is the length of Crystal Palace’s injury list, especially as a supporter of the club. It means that virtually all of the Eagles’ assets – in terms of FPL are worthless. Luka Milivojevic still remains an option due to the fact that his side can’t stop winning penalties and he can’ stop missing them (excluding the one he missed that would’ve given Palace the win of the season). Even more frustrating was the fact that Christian Benteke had five shots at goal and couldn’t land a single one on target. He also missed two ‘gimme’ headers (by his – previously – lofty standards). He still managed to pick up an assist (an FPL assist – his second of the ilk) despite his misfortunes in front of goal. When he finds his shooting boots (or shooting head – is that a thing?), he could be one to watch.


Stoke vs Brighton; 1-1

Stoke were a third of the ball away from collecting all three points at home to Brighton. The home side failed to put the visitors to the sword in a hectic second-half stoppage time period that saw a missed penalty, an equally brilliant last-man challenge and a goal line clearance, all in Matt Ryan’s goal.

Izquierdo’s first-half strike, his second in as many games, was cancelled out by Xherdan Shaqiri’s pinpoint curler, from outside of the box, that was unreachable for Matt Ryan in the far bottom corner.

This result represents the first time that Brighton have scored in a game in which Glenn Murray has. The run stretches all the way back to gameweek eight where Anthony Knockaert’s lone goal earned the Seagulls a point at home to Everton. This just shows how vital Murray is to Chris Hughton’s team and structure.

Izquierdo is also a vital cog in the Brighton body, but I feel as if he isn’t worth your time as an FPL asset. He is to Brighton, what Zaha was to Palace a few seasons ago. He is important to the structure of the team and provides that pacey option out wide with flair and buckets of talent, but his returns will be few and will be scattered in lots.

Both these teams have tumultuous long-term fixtures, and in a relegation race as close as this season, they could be in trouble. They could also pop up for a result here and there, so be wary, they won’t give up clean sheets that easily.

The good thing about Stoke – specifically Shaqiri – is that they are guaranteed a game in GW31, where games will be few and far between. The Potters’ schedule for the next four gameweeks isn’t all too glum and it could be worthwhile putting your time into Shaqiri whilst he is in form.


Swansea vs Burnley; 1-0

Carvahal’s Swansea side went into the game playing five-at-the-back against the genius tactician of defence, Sean Dyche, so it was never going to be pretty viewing. Ki Sung Yeung’s 81st minute strike won it late for the hosts, while also simultaneously striking down a potential Burnley clean sheet that was so close, but yet so far.

The Swans played a brilliant defensive game, restricting their visitors to long shots for the majority of the match while pressing forward and playing smart attacking football at the right times. If I can bring in a Swansea defender this week I probably will. After being fairly hesitant last week, I think I’m going to go for it this week (or possibly next week, who knows), so you just know they’re going to pull a West Ham here and do absolutely nothing for almost two months.

The same goes for Burnley. I still believe in their worth, defensively, especially Matthew Lowton at 4.3m. That’s dirt cheap for a Burnley defender.


West Ham vs Watford; 2-0

Absolute domination was the name of the game for West Ham here, Watford are still in strife and are now in real danger of being deep in a relegation battle. Marko Arnautovic cut his injury diagnosis in half and returned two weeks earlier than initially reported, and he did so in flying colours, putting on a man of the match performance and leading the Hammers to victory. Chicharito, also, found the back of the net and could have had himself one or two more had he been more accurate.

Watford’s dire days continue as the gamble on rookie manager Javi Garcia hasn’t made any significant difference as yet. The Hornets had more shots (11) than their opponents (8), but still couldn’t find the back of the net and in all honesty, I don’t believe they truly deserved to. They had 64% of the possession, but failed to create any clear-cut chance and, subsequently, extended their winless run to seven games.

Chicharito scored his third goal in four games, making it four consecutive returns in the last four gameweeks. I said he was one to bring in with the plethora of injuries to the West Ham attack, and then the next I said he wasn’t worth it, and after two more gameweeks, I’m still not sure. With West Ham’s upcoming fixtures as difficult as they are, you can’t have both Chicharito and Arnautovic. My pick of the pair is Arnautovic, he provides more value – as a midfielder playing as a forward – and is more of a threat than his Mexican counterpart.

I’m quite keen on Arnie myself, but the Hammer’s gameweek blank in GW31 has me backing off. His record since Moyes took the helm has been superb with seven goals and four assists in those nine starts under Moyes. He has averaged over 9ppg since being awarded the starting berth up forward. Is that form maintainable for the rest of the season? Probably not, but come the final day would have proven his worth? I do believe so.

As for Watford, the wait continues. Once (if) they find their form again, my trigger finger will be waiting to snap Richarlison up. The 20-year old Brazillian has the fourth most amount of shots in the league and is eighth for big chances missed, meaning, his shots just aren’t hitting their straps at the moment, but once they do, watch out.


Manchester City vs Leicester City; 5-1

It was 1-0, then it was 1-1 by half-time. At the end of the game it finished 5-1. How can such a score line occur you ask? My answer: Sergio Aguero. Kevin De Bruyne did his bit as well, but Man City’s number 10 took all the headlines, despite the Belgian registering a hat-trick of assists.

I’m running out of expletives and superlatives to describe the aforementioned City pair, and the entire City squad – they are truly a sight to see. Once you think you have them, you don’t. It’s that simple (unless your Dejan Lovren and Loris Karius for some reason).

Basically, just bring in any one (or two, or three) of Aguero, De Bruyne or Sterling (the other goal scorer) and you’ll be doing just fine. Own all three and you’ll struggle to see a red arrow, even if you tried.

My condolences to those who do not own Aguero, and to those who did not captain him (me – I went for Sterling instead. My lesson here? Don’t try and be too clever, no one likes a smart alec) my sincerest apologies, but please, still do enjoy his South American fruits.

Pep Guardiola’s men still managed to concede – the fifth time in six games, ouch. Jamie Vardy was the man to do the damage, and in doing so, he became the first person to score against all six of the six big clubs in one single season. It was also his fourth goal in as many games, so if you can’t quite reach Firmino, then Vardy’s your man. The Mahrez debacle hasn’t affected him… yet.


Huddersfield vs Bournemouth; 4-1

Just two weeks ago Bournemouth won 3-0, away at Stamford Bridge, against the reigning champions, this week they’ve been battered by a side that hadn’t won a single point since 2017. Go figure.

The result marks the end of a seven-game unbeaten run for Bournemouth, which included wins at Chelsea and at home to Arsenal. It’s hard to say whether or not this was just a once off for the Cherrier, but they are definitely one of the most inconsistent teams in the Premier League. They’re fixtures are still reasonably good, but I would hold off bringing in any of their assets another week just to see if it truly was a once off, or it is the start of a dip in form.

The same goes for Huddersfield. They hadn’t won a game for eight gameweeks prior to this one, but they are also a patchy team, so this could be the start of a much-needed run of form for the Terriers.

There are no real standout FPL options at Huddersfield. No Huddersfield attacker has returned in more than six games this season, with Mooy’s six being the best of the bunch. And apart from the first three games in which the newly promoted side registered three clean sheets and four goals, only Laurent DePoitre has returned in back-to-back games, that’s including the defence. Any Huddersfield option is a risk, and it’s a risk I’m not willing to take.

In saying that, both these sides have favourable home games during the unprecedented GW31 blank, which could see as little as four fixtures. Players like Wilson, Stanislas, Ibe, Mooy, Mounie and the Bournemouth defence should, therefore, all make their way to your watchlist until GW31. I wouldn’t rush any of these players in, for the time being, not until we see how their form pans out over the next gameweek.


Newcastle vs Manchester United; 1-0

That’s now seven trips to St James Park for Mourinho for no wins, three draws and four losses. As John put it in the comments section last week “He has had difficulties with the fans, the pitch, the town, the local baker, the ball kids and the players (Barton)”, the man just can’t come to grips with the black and white stripes of Newcastle. And to quote Boner Contention in the same comments section “Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen”, maybe that’s what Mourinho needs before each gameday down at Newcastle?

This is just classic United, losing to a ‘smaller’ team, out of the blue, admittedly though, with Mourinho’s record at St James Park, people did see this coming. We can’t take much from this as United still have the best defensive record in the league and the equal fourth best attack. They play hosts to Chelsea in GW28 and Liverpool in GW30, rotating with visits to Crystal Palace and West Ham, so it’s a mixed bag for the Red Devils. Despite this loss, I can see them pulling out some results against either – or both – of the top six teams they will face – they’re usually very tight at the back in these ‘big six derbies’.

I still don’t particularly like any of Newcastle’s assets, despite the win, as there is no real standout FPL option, quite similar to Huddersfield. All of their attacking options face heavy and consistent rotation as well, so it makes it even more difficult to recommend any of their assets. Moving on.


Southampton vs Liverpool; 0-2

Salah and Firmino are becoming one deadly duo, and they’re doing this all with an out-of-form Mané! The aforementioned duo accumulated a total of 25 points between them this gameweek (more if you had either as captain).

I’m going to have to bite the bullet soon and bring in the Brazillian Firmino, he has been in some form recently and Liverpool’s definite fixture in GW31 makes him even more worthwhile. This is assuming everyone has Salah, because if you don’t have Salah by now, you wouldn’t be reading this.

Other Liverpool options include Andrew Robertson, whose relentless gut-running has made him a staple in the Reds defence, and at 4.7m they don’t come much cheaper in a top six side. Gomez’s return from injury could be by the next gameweek, so Alexander-Arnold will lose his spot in the side and return to his role as a rotating sub.

Southampton’s barren run of form continues with just 13 points from their last 15 league games, form that has seen them now become prime relegation candidates. It’s a sad sight for one of England’s – previously – most promising teams. In the last four seasons they’ve traded van Dijk, Lallana, Lovren, Mané, Jay Rodriguez, Victor Wanyama, José Fonte, Nathaniel Clyne, Artur Boruc, Morgan Schneiderlin, Luke Shaw, Callum Chambers and Rickie Lambert. That’s more than an entire 11 of players that would have most definitely challenged the big six for their European positions. Obviously, they would have struggled to keep all of them, but even half of those players would have been enough to do some real damage in this league. That’s terrible management.

Anyway, because of Southampton’s terrible form I can’t really recommend any of their players as FPL options, however, the Saints’ fixtures are clearing up, so who knows what happens.


Chelsea vs West Brom; 3-0

A consolation 3-0 victory for a Chelsea side that had lost, on aggregate, 7-1 in the past two gameweeks to teams that were – at the time – place inside the bottom half of the table.

However, it wasn’t easy going for the home side. Both Jay Rodriguez and Solomon Rondon missed opportunities when they were sent clean through via defensive mistakes from both Moses and Christensen respectively. Jonny Evans, also, squandered an opportunity, missing the target with a header from just outside the six-yard box. So, as you can tell, although Chelsea did, in the end, collect all three points, they didn’t exactly make it easy for themselves.

Hazard’s two goals brought his tally up to six from his last six starts, while Victor Moses chimed in with a goal – his third attacking participation in as many starts.

Unfortunately, for Chelsea, they have two of the most difficult fixtures in their next two gameweeks with away trips to both Manchester sides, they then follow this up, two weeks later, with a blank in GW31 due to Cup responsibilities. If you have any Chelsea assets, I would hold them, but don’t look to bring them in.

Fortunately for West Brom, their fixtures will be clearing up and their chances for survival should increase. I’ve already bought Ahemd Hegazi in the hope that the Baggies can regain their defensive prowess, but recent performances have left me uninspired.

I mentioned before West Brom’s game with Everton that that they have kept clean sheets at almost double the rate in games that Craig Dawson has played in (38.4%) compared to those that he hasn’t played in (20%) this season. That was before the Everton game, since then they have faced three top eight sides. It is quite a risk, and probably an unnecessary one, but if you’re looking for a differential, then perhaps take the gamble. Both Burnley and Swansea defenders are other, more solid options, in the same price bracket.


So, that’s it. It was a pretty big gameweek with a 61-point average. My score of 68 still brought upon a hefty red arrow of -70k. Captaining Sterling over Salah and Aguero, although didn’t ruin my gameweek, wasn’t the smartest decision, in hindsight.

We have a two-week break (basically) before gameweek 28. This presents us with a good opportunity to plan for the upcoming blank in GW31. I believe this is the gameweek in which the FA will tell us which teams will blank and those that will not, so keep your eyes peeled.

How’d this gameweek go for you? And what are your plans for the inevitable blank in GW31?

Jerome’s Review – Gameweek 26

Reading Time: 15 minutes


Missed penalties, goal line clearances and some unbelievable misses *cough* Sterling *cough*. That was the story of the gameweek gone by. Mohammed Salah did his best to save the gameweek, and if you captained him you would have seen a healthy green arrow.

Just the one clean sheet this week also made it tough for any manager to muster anything above 60, but there were still a number of defenders who made their way onto the scoresheet.

Let’s dive in and see what we can gather from this sub-par gameweek!


Burnley vs Manchester City; 1-1

It’s a crisis I’m telling you. They’ve dropped 7 points in their last 5 games compared to just 2 in their opening 20 games. Surely, it’s a crisis? Probably not, but it’s fun to fantasise. In all seriousness though, this was a game much unlike the Man City we have become so accustomed to this season. City are usually incredibly clinical, but it seems that Turf Moor was just a beast that the league leaders couldn’t handle.

Nick Pope was immense in goal for the home side. It’s going to be extremely difficult for Tom Heaton to win back his place as Burnley’s number one, which could put his World Cup ambitions in doubt. Six saves was Pope’s final tally, and his performance in goal earned him a bonus point as well, taking his points tally up to five. That’s without a clean sheet, which just goes to show how valuable he can be. It’s not too late to jump on the 25-year old shot stopper’s wagon. He is definitely my number one option in goal.

Pope’s good work kept out multiple attempts from various in-form City attackers – Aguero, Sterling and De Bruyne all saw their shots saved. But it was the one that Pope didn’t save, that will stick in FPL manager’s minds for a long while. It has to be seen to be believed, really. Sterling’s spurned ‘effort’ (any effort at all would have seen that ball in the back of the net) from no less than three yards out, in front of a virtually open goal, was met with delayed jeers from the home fans after an enormous sigh of relief. I’m sure many a multi – and FPL – score was ruined as a consequence of Sterling’s incredible miss.

The grass is much better at the Etihad, so here’s hoping that we see another City rout for those of us who own multiple City assets. Here’s hoping that all our City assets play. Kompany’s return means the only Sky Blue centre-half that is locked in is Otamendi, so be careful when investing in their defenders in the near future. Especially with the rotation of the FA Cup and Champions League starting in less than a week.

It’s business as usual for Burnley. Look to bring their defenders in (namely Nick Pope) with their good upcoming run of fixtures.


Bournemouth vs Stoke City; 2-1

In similar fashion, and at the same venue as their gameweek 21 victory against Arsenal, Bournemouth laughed in the face of a 0-1 deficit and came from behind to win from beyond the 70th minute. Lys Mousset scored his first goal – and the eventual winner – for the home side who had to overhaul a first-half Xherdan Shaiqiri header to collect all three points. Josh King was Bournemouth’s other goal scorer in what was a fairly even affair.

The visitors had the upper hand early on in the piece, and they took full advantage of a slow-starting Bournemouth. Not even a minute before Shaqiri’s 5th minute strike, the same Swiss international, saw his first shot of the game cleared off the line by Steve Cook, but the captain’s heroics were short lived. Poor defensive marking from Bournemouth meant Stoke debutant, Papa Alioune Ndiaye’s cross met Shaqiri, who was able to head home with his feet still flat on the ground. Those were Xherdan’s only shots for the game. He made three key passes in addition to his shots at goal, which made for an impressive outing for the 6.1m-FPL-priced midfielder.

This was Shaqiri’s second return in three weeks, and it looks like the winger is primed to go on another one of his scoring runs. Stoke’s good fixtures only last for a few more gameweeks before they turn sour. So, if you were to try and jump on the Shaqiri-captained Titanic you would have to do so this week, before the ocean liner runs into the iceberg that is Stoke’s fixtures.

FPL flavour of the week, Callum Wilson, failed to produce any attacking returns, but he still forced opposition keeper, Jack Butland, into two saves from his three shots in total. Bournemouth have some solid upcoming fixtures in the next few weeks, although, I feel the bandwagon may have already passed, so I’d advise you to search for alternative options if you haven’t invested in him already.

Choupo-Moting had a respectable three shots on goal, in what was a solid performance from the Cameroonian, but it was nothing special and he never really looked like scoring. Joe Allen had a fairly quiet game in the number-10 position, in-behind Peter Crouch who displaced Diouf in what is beginning to be a frustrating rotation. Avoid both Stoke strikers (unless Crouchy is being used as a bench fodder).

Jordon Ibe provided the assist for Lys Mousset’s winner, who is a fairly unknown quality and I don’t think he’ll be starting for Bournemouth any time soon. However, Ibe will continue his starting role in a three-man offence that consists of himself, Wilson and Stanislas. The former Liverpool attacker’s run of form has gone fairly unnoticed due to his modest returns amidst a flurry of more successful Bournemouth attackers. At 4.8m he is low-risk and easily rotatable. This run of form from Ibe is the sort of form that Bournemouth have been waiting for since they invested £16.2m in the, now, 22-year old. Bournemouth’s fixtures are good, but it would take some planning to find a suitable rotation partner for Ibe, as the Cherries don’t have a direct rotation pair.


Brighton vs West Ham; 3-1

This was Brighton’s game and there’s nothing West Ham could do about it. The Seagulls are now back to winning ways, recording their first victory in the Premier League since gameweek 19 and securing a crucial 3 points that could prove to be invaluable come the end of the season.

West Ham’s forward and midfield stocks were noticeably lacking and their depth was tested, so it was up to new signing Joao Mario and third choice striker, Chicharito, to combine for the Hammers’ first goal, the equaliser. I mentioned last week how Antonio’s return is imminent and he was substituted on this gameweek, but not for Chicha. It remains to be seen how the two will co-exist in a team, in the short-term, without Lanzini, Arnautovic or Carroll. In saying that, West Ham’s fixtures are from amazing.

Enough about the losing side, onto the winning one. Tax fraud Glenn Murray scored his eighth goal of the Premier League season, and it takes his tally to 8 goals from his last 14 games in all competitions. As good as Murray’s form is, Brighton’s fixtures are equally as off-putting. They face just four teams in the bottom half of the table for the remainder of the season. Sure, their fight for survival may mean the newly promoted side could nab an extra point here or there, but it’s hard to invest in someone based off of a theory. It’s frustrating as the former Palace striker is the perfect third forward for our FPL squads – he’s always in with a chance of scoring, he’s on penalties and he isn’t a patchy player, but is instead fairly consistent.

As a result of Brighton’s fixtures, any of their assets – on any line – will struggle to produce any form of returns for the remainder of the season, on a consistent and reliable basis. You can always take the plunge into Glenn Murray as he is fairly fixture proof.


Leicester vs Swansea; 1-1

For just the second time since GW24 in the 2014/15 season, Leicester went into a Premier League fixture without Riyad Mahrez for consecutive games (the other occasion was due to international responsibilities last season). His omission has been a huge talking point since Leicester intercepted his move away from the King Power Stadium. As well as being a huge talking point, it has seemed to affect the Foxes’ attacking unit, who have struggled to create many decent opportunities in front of goal in the past two games. Jamie Vardy still managed to score himself a goal, as Kelechi Iheanacho became just the third player to assist Vardy this season.

Vardy’s goal was cancelled out by a second-half header from Federico Fernandez, who was able to convert Ki Sung-Yeung’s corner, unmarked, from inside Leicester’s six-yard box.

Someone like Fernandez, at 4.4m, may be a tempting route into the Swansea back line – especially when considering their fixtures – but we saw this same sort of form with West Ham after David Moyes’ arrival. A team that has been reinvigorated with the arrival of a new manager and has, then, gone onto beat two of the top six teams. West Ham went on to keep just one clean sheet (to the point of this gameweek) after their double scalp over Arsenal and Chelsea.

It may or may not be a similar situation, but it reeks of the same odour. The difference between the two teams is that Swansea were actually showing some decent defensive form in the period prior to Clement’s departure. So, despite the odour’s being fairly similar, the chemical make-up of the scent’s may be different, which could leave a distinctly different lasting effect. Basically, Swansea have proven they can be a good defensive side, but with a new manager it’s quite hard to tell you how the story ends before the final chapter is written.

Leicester’s fixtures are also quite appealing, but apart from a recent hat-trick of clean sheets, the Foxes haven’t been all too successful in the clean sheet department this season. Just four clean sheets prior to GW21 doesn’t scream “invest!”. Obviously, Maguire’s added threat from set pieces makes him a more viable option (he almost scored in this match), so he could potentially account for any inconsistencies in Leicester’s ability to collect clean sheets. But 5.5m is a fair bit to invest in a centre-back that doesn’t hail from a particularly strong clean sheet side. Danny Simpson’s return from injury couldn’t have been timed any better, though. At 4.3m he is low risk, so it could be worth the gamble on someone like Simpson.


Manchester United vs Huddersfield; 2-0

There might have been a few nervous United players going into this fixture after their visitors, Huddersfield, toppled, and ended, the Red Devils’ eight game unbeaten run in the reverse fixture earlier in the season. The hosts didn’t make easy work of their opponents – like many expected them to – but it certainly wasn’t very difficult. United dominated, from the first till the last whistle of the match, and there wasn’t much that Huddersfield could do about it.

Pogba started on the bench for the first time this season, while Sanchez made his Old Trafford debut alongside Jesse Lingard, who has won Mourinho’s mark of approval, so far, since the arrival of United’s newest signing, Alexis Sanchez.

Sanchez had no trouble settling in to life at Old Trafford and dominated the game, taking the lead role in United’s attacking unit. Six shots and three key passes was the Chilean’s final stat line. He also scored a goal, tapping in the rebound of his own missed penalty. It was a very encouraging performance from Sanchez (despite the missed penalty). He was given the freedom to roam and do as he pleased – something he had no trouble doing in his mammoth 2016/17 season, but something he struggled to do during his time at Arsenal before his move this season. Sanchez could explode very soon, and could prove to be an invaluable POD with just 5.0% ownership (at the time of writing).

Lukaku, also, found his way onto the scoresheet, but for the 11th time (from 15 possible games) this season he failed to pick up any bonus points on the back of attacking returns. If Lukaku was about 4.0m cheaper, then he would be an option, but he is old news as it stands.

United kept their 15th clean sheet of the season, but it was without one of this season’s most valuable FPL assets – Phil Jones. Jones was rested this game – like Pogba – but he should return for the next gameweek when United travel to Newcastle.


West Brom vs Southampton; 2-3

This wasn’t the highest quality of football you’ll see this season, but there was a lot of goals so it was fairly entertaining. Four of the five goals came from set pieces and two defenders saw their names on the scoresheet by the end of the game.

Daniel Sturridge was awarded his first start since arriving on-loan, to the Hawthorns, while Southampton’s permanent signing, Guido Carillo, was also on the pitch at the first whistle. Neither full-debutant made too much of an impact, and I wouldn’t be looking at Carillo as an option either way. Not at 6.5m. Sturridge was lively up top, alongside Salomon Rondon who scored the fourth goal of his campaign, but being just ‘lively’ won’t cut it for someone priced at 7.9m. Watchlist Sturridge for now.

No clean sheets for either side was disappointing, as the attacking assets from either team aren’t the most predominant options. After the Baggies travel to Chelsea in this upcoming gameweek, there could be some clean sheets on the horizon for Alan Pardew’s men. I picked up Hegazi (I just had to gloat – thanks for the goal, Ahmed) at 4.6m last week, who is the cheapest defender in West Brom’s stocks. Ben Foster (4.4m) is the perfect second keeper – cheap, good fixtures that are reasonably rotatable up until gameweek 34.


Arsenal vs Everton; 5-1

The aggregate score between these two teams this season is now 10-3 and hat-trick hero Aaron Ramsey has a combined four goals and one assist from both fixtures. This game also marked the debuts of Arsenal’s marquee signing, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and the man on the other side of the Sanchez move, Henrikh Mkhitariyan. Both of Arsene Wenger’s new signings contributed to the score sheet. Former United man, Mkhitariyan, providing a hat-trick of assists while Bundesliga convert, Aubameyang, scored his first goal for the club. Everton were provided some consolation when Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored his fourth goal of the season.

The youngster’s goal had no effect on the outcome of anything except for the fact it spited those managers who owned an Arsenal defender. However, those managers who owned either Koscielny or Mustafi, of the Arsenal defender variety, would have been happy with their attacking returns. Mustafi’s header finding Koscielny at the back post after an Arsenal corner.

Of course, the big talking points of the game were the Ramsey hat-trick and Aubameyang’s maiden Arsenal goal. Ramsey’s price has already increased in price to 7.0m and there’s every chance that Aubameyang – as well as Mkhitariyan – could all experience price rises between now and the end of the gameweek.

27-year old Ramsey’s role as a deep-lying centre-midfielder in a pairing with Granit Xhaka, allows the Welshman to be the ‘extra man’ in attack and make those spontaneous attacking runs into the box, virtually unmarked. It’s also a role that he has thrived in throughout recent seasons, including this one. Earlier in the campaign, Ramsey went on an impressive run of producing attacking returns in six of seven games between GW9-15 where he averaged 7.4ppg. In this new look, free-scoring (dare I say) Arsenal line-up, he could be a bargain.

As could Mkhitariyan. The Armenian has teased us since his arrival to the Premier League, but under José Mourinho he struggled for form and a regular first team place. Hopefully being partnered up with Aubameyang and one of the best creators in the world, Mesut Ozil, Mkhitariyan can return to the form that once saw him contribute 23 goals and 32 assists from 52 games in a Dortmund shirt from all competitios (2015/16 season). Admittedly, the Bundesliga is nothing like the Premier League, but I have no doubt that Mkhi’s best would make him a valuable FPL option at just 7.6m, as he proved earlier on in the season. Interestingly enough, during their time together at Dortmund, Mkhitariyan only provided five assists for Aubameyang from three seasons.

The Gunners face Spurs at Wembley and then league-leaders, Man City, at the Emirates in the next two gameweeks, so holding off on your transfers for these two won’t kill you. Especially with an expected blank coming up for Arsenal in GW31!

Everton have been diabolical since their turn of fixtures in GW19 when they faced Chelsea. They’ve won just one game since then (in the Premier League). Theo Walcott came very close to opening Everton’s account prior to the Calvert-Lewin goal, but he squandered a fairly decent opportunity. The ex-Arsenal man is still a great option – especially with Everton’s fixtures clearing up.


Crystal Palace vs Newcastle; 1-1

This was one of many proverbial six-point games that will occur from now up until the end of the season. With both teams fighting for their lives in the Premier League, it was always going to be a rather tense affair. The opening half saw Newcastle take the lead just before the half-way mark of the first-half. Diame was able wriggle himself free of his marker at a corner, he then had no trouble in sending the visitors into the lead after Kenedy’s low corner skidded towards Diame at the back post off of Perez’s flailing leg. From that point onwards, and until the end of the game, it was all Crystal Palace.

The home side had 17 shots to 6 in the last 69 minutes of play. Any opportunity that Newcastle did create was expertly thwarted by Wayne Hennessey, who had a man-of-the-match performance in goal.

Five Crystal Palace players had multiple shots between the time of Newcastle’s goal and the final whistle. Despite this, it took one of the more softer penalties (I’ll admit this) you’ll see to pull the hosts level. Milivojevic converted from the spot to score his sixth goal in the Premier League this season (four penalties). Benteke won the penalty, meaning he collected an assist – his fifth attacking return in as many games. The big Belgian is gradually building towards the form that saw him become one of the most valuable FPL assets in the second-half of the season. However, as a result of Palace’s fixtures, it would be best to stay away.

In saying that, don’t rule a Benteke rampage. Wilfried Zaha’s return from an injury that he attained in this mid-week fixture has been diagnosed as “weeks away”. This, along with Bakary Sako’s continued absence, could propel one of the Palace attackers into the FPL spotlight, and it could be Benteke. Someone has to score for the Eagles in the coming weeks, but just who will take the lead mantle is the question. Zaha’s injury will also give Townsend a chance in the spotlight, to take over from the Ivory Coast international, as Palace’s ‘go-to man’. Possibly even James McArthur who, as a result of recent injuries, has seen himself line-up at left mifield in recent weeks. Just where does Wilf Zaha’s injury leave him remains to be seen.

There are just too many Palace options around the 4.5m-6.0m price range that could potentially increase their attacking returns until Zaha’s return (which could be up to two months away). My pick of the bunch would be Andros Townsend, in terms of who will take over the mantle. The English international has averaged a more than respectable 5.3ppg over his last seven starts. At 5.6m he could prove to be good value, but Palace’s tough upcoming fixtures are a real dent in his prospects.

Zaha has joined Kelly on the sidelines as Crystal Palace now hold one of the worst injury lists I’ve ever seen (in terms of sheer volume of first-team players). Puncheon, Dann, Sako, Wickham, Schlupp and Loftus-Cheek could all potentially be out for the season (both Dann and Puncheon are confirmed out for the season), while Julian Speroni also sent in for scans. Palace will be lucky to pick up any points from their next six fixtures (Huddersfield away seems as their only real hope), but being an underdog has always helped Crystal Palace.


Liverpool vs Spurs; 2-2

Mohammed Salah scored his 20th and 21st goals of the season, but it wasn’t enough as Tottenham (with a little bit of help from the linesman) clinched a point through a 95th minute Kane penalty.

Three goals in the last 15 minutes of play made for a hectic finish to an affair that was otherwise dominated by the home side. Wanyama’s perfect strike from 30 yards out levelled the scores at 1-1. The Kenyan’s shot had some left-to-right, cricket style, swing in it, as it landed perfectly in the little crevice between the post and the cross-bar. Not to be out done, Mohammed Salah, also, put his name into the hat for goal of the season. The Egyptian danced around several Tottenham players before lifting the ball over Hugo Lloris to put Liveprool ahead in the 91st minute.

More late drama ensued as Erik Lamela was “fouled” in the box by Virgil van Dijk. In what was a shocking decision by the linesman, a penalty was given despite no contact being made between van Dijk and Lamela.

Liverpool’s £75 million defender pulled out of an attempt to clear a bouncing ball just left of his teams six-yard box. Lamela decided it was an opportunity he simply couldn’t refuse and instantly clutched at his leg, screaming foul. John Moss submitted to his linesman’s call and deemed the incident a penalty. Harry Kane scored from the subsequent penalty, something he failed to do earlier in the game.

There wasn’t much that came out of this game that we didn’t already know. Salah is a freak and is single-handedly keeping Klopp in his job, van Dijk is composure personified – in a Liverpool defence that makes jelly appear as solid as a brick wall – and John Moss is a pile of rubbish. Also, Karius saved a penalty and made four other decent saves but received no recognition in the outcome for the outcome of the game in a match that seemed scripted for Liverpool to lose.


Watford vs Chelsea; 4-1

Did you think the ending to the #LIVTOT fixture was entertaining – 3 goals in the last 15 minutes? How about 4 in the last 10! Hazard equalised for Chelsea in the 81st minute, but it was all for nothing. Hazard’s work was undone by three more Watford goals. This meant the Hornets won just their second game from their previous 14 (including this one) in the Premier League.

New manager Javi Martinez and Barcelona loanee, Gerard Deulofeu, made their home debuts for their new club, Watford, and it couldn’t have gone any better. The Spanish pair left with a win against last year’s champions, while Deulofeu scored his maiden goal as well as winning a first-half penalty that Troy Deeney was able to convert. Janmaat and Pereyra also got on the scoresheet with the latter providing an assist. Abdoulaye Doucoure registered a brace of assists as he continues his fine FPL season.

I want to see more from Deulofeu, as although his returns may seem impressive over his first two seasons with Everton, there was a reason they let him go. Although, four shots and four key passes in your home debut against Chelsea is nothing short of eye-catching. Keep an eye on him.

This loss now means Chelsea have conceded seven goals in their last two games to teams in the bottom half of the table. Antonio Conte continues his position is under any threat despite having seven unique individuals, from two bottom-half of the table teams, score against his side in the last two weeks.

Andreas Christensen missed this trip to Vicarage Road, as did Marcos Alonso. The defensive duo are expected to be fit for the Blues’ game against West Brom (H) in gameweek 28, if so, they will slot straight back into the side.

Olivier Giroud, also, made his debut, albeit from the bench, but with Morata expected to return in the coming weeks, his spot in the side will most likely be as a super-sub.


This was a less than impressive gameweek, but I still – somehow – managed to log on to FPL (after scores were updated) and find myself with a green arrow. I scored 57 this week on the back of Salah’s beautiful brace. I have so much to thank the man for, and he doesn’t even know exist. Isn’t that wonderful?

I also took two big, fat donuts as both Jones and Laporte (don’t ask) were both rested/omitted from their respective squads.

Did you eat any donuts this week, or did you captain someone who missed a penalty or a plain sitter? Either way, let us know how you did in the comments!

Also, with the FA Cup fixtures and the involvement of both Man City and Arsenal in the Carabao Cup final, we should be expecting double-gameweeks and even a blank-gameweek (where teams don’t play for the entire gameweek). As a result, it would be a good idea to prepare for that! This article explains a reasonable way to navigate the unique set of upcoming gameweeks and when exactly these unique gameweeks will be. Get planning!

Jerome’s Review – Gameweek 25

Reading Time: 14 minutes



A large turnaround between gameweeks may have caught some people off guard, as I know it almost did for me.

An average of 47 points is probably less than you would expect or want at this stage of the season, but that’s most likely due to the amount of ghost teams in the competition!

This gameweek started on deadline day and finished the day later, so there will be some interesting moves to discuss within the next week. Let’s see what we can get out of this gameweek!

Swansea vs Arsenal; 3-1

Lol. I promise you guys, I can’t find another word to describe Arsenal’s performances.

You can’t help, but laugh, and bask in the hilarity of Arsenal’s performance, just to escape those of your own team. There is no better relief. But as bad as Arsenal played, Swansea played just as good. The Swans had the best of the opportunities and thoroughly deserved the victory. Arsenal on the other hand, played like they did before their win last week against Palace. Seriously, how do you go from scoring 4 in 20 minutes against a team that had lost just once from their past 12 games, to conceding 3 against the – statistically – worst team in the league. I can’t fathom being an Arsenal supporter – or a Liverpool supporter, for that matter –, it would be mentally draining.

A couple of gameweeks ago, after Swansea’s draw with Newcastle, I advised you to ignore all Swansea assets until after GW27. If you were one of the few who, then, thought better of trading in any Swansea player, then I apologise, but I most certainly did not see this coming – two wins against top six teams. And if anyone does tell you they saw this coming, terminate your relationship with them because they are downright lying, I can tell you that with full confidence.

Carvahal’s ability to completely rejuvenate and reform a dejected Swansea side, that was labouring in last place with a metaphorical mile between them and 19th placed West Brom, has been phenomenal. He has been able to re-oil the rusting cogs of the Swansea machine, in such a short space of time, to such effect. I would still wait until after Swansea face Burnley in GW27, until you invest in any Swansea player.

My eye would still be firmly on Ayew, who’s scored three goals in the five games that Carvahal has been in charge. His stats aren’t significantly different, in fact he averages 0.18spg less in games that he has started under Carvahal (2spg) compared to games he started under Paul Clement (2.18). Ayew just seems to be getting in better positions than he was before, there isn’t much more to it. EDIT: I wrote this snippet on Ayew before his transfer, now that he has transferred to West Ham, it rules him out as an option.

I’m also fairly interested in Swansea’s defence. They conceded 31 goals at 1.55 per game in the 20 games before Carvahal’s appointment, compared to just 5 goals in their last five games, which included 4 fixtures against opponents placed in the top 10. The Welsh side face 7 teams, currently in the bottom 10, in their last 11 fixtures of the 2017/18 season.

Arsenal, in comparison, face 7 of the bottom 10 teams in their remaining 13 fixtures, so their fixture list is relatively more difficult, but their defensive form is maintainable over this period. However, over the next three gameweeks, their defence could be stretched. The Gunners face Everton (no clean sheet from their last three games), Tottenham (one clean sheet from their last eight) and Man City (no clean sheet from their last six), and as you can see, Arsene Wenger’s men do struggle, defensively, against these three teams. You can always go for a quick fix option in this case, Chelsea’s next three games represent solid clean sheet opportunities for the men in Royal Blue and if you were to double up on a Chelsea defender over the next three weeks because of it, I don’t believe it would be in vain.


West Ham vs Crystal Palace; 1-1

With injuries taking their toll on both teams, it was important for both sides to not drop points against a fellow relegation battler. In the end, the two London-based teams shared the spoils in what was a lacklustre and rather dire affair.

I woke up at 3:30am, here in Perth, Australia, to – hopefully – enjoy, what was supposed to be, an entertaining 90 minutes of football. By the 60th minute, I was almost fast asleep, so I decided to ‘split the screen’ and watch Swansea humiliate Arsenal, simultaneously, which meant that waking up, ridiculously early, was worth it, and it was in no thanks to Crystal Palace.

Both of the goals came in the first-half, and nothing else really happened that half, and there was probably less action in the second-half, so I won’t bore you with this game too much.

Christian Benteke’s second goal of the season, and fourth goal contribution in in as many games, has put many-a-manger on high alert. However, while keeping Palace’s upcoming fixtures in mind, it would be best advised if you were to avoid the Belgian. Alexander Sorloth’s arrival from Denmark will put some pressure on Palace’s Belgian striker. The 22-year old striker is a train of a player – he is very quick for his size, great in the air and one intimidating figure. I can’t see him starting too many games, but boy will he interesting to watch.

Chicharito returned attacking returns for the second consecutive game, and with decent fixtures ahead, he could be a handy pick-up at 6.7m with Arnautovic, Carroll and Anotnio all out for the time being. Keep in mind that Antonio’s return is forcasted to be just one or two gameweeks away, so he the little Mexican probably isn’t worth your time.


Huddersfield vs Liverpool; 0-3

A regulation 3-0 victory for Liverpool meant that the Reds were back to winning ways after their baffling loss to Swansea last gameweek. Each member of the Klopp’s ‘terrific trio’ (something like that) got in and amongst it against the Terriers – Mane assisted Firmino’s goal while Salah converted a 78th minute penalty.

It’s business as usual for both sides, from an FPL perspective. Huddersfiedl are to be avoided for the time being while investment in Salah, Firmino (as much as I hate to say it) and the Liverpool defence is well-advised.

Salah’s converted penalty means that he has now scored as many goals in the Premier League this season as the entire Huddersfield squad, that puts things into perspective I think.

The Ox was relegated to the bench, as was van Dijk. Both players started mid-week in Liverpool’s FA Cup loss to West Brom (another lol), which is presumably why they were rested against a struggling Huddersfield team.


Chelsea vs Bournemouth; 0-3

What. I mean I laughed when I saw this, but I was pretty befuddled at first. Bournemouth are usually the whipping boys of the bigger clubs. When you see ‘BOU (H)’ as your attacker’s next fixture, your eyes light up, maybe Chelsea thought they had won before the first whistle? They certainly played like a team with that mentality, much unlike their counterparts.

Bournemouth had their tails up from before the first whistle. The Cherries fielded their strongest team this season, and the eleven players on the pitch ripped a lackadaisical Chelsea to shreds. Bouurnemouth were able to do this on the back of more good work by their in-form talisman, Callum Wilson. Another goal and assist for the 5.8m striker, equalling his return against Arsenal from just two gameweeks ago, takes him up to four goals and two assists from his last six Premier League starts. He doesn’t look like slowing down either, and games against Stoke (H), Huddersfield (A) and Newcastle (H) will only help his chances.

Stanislas was the other attacker to get heavily involved. I covered Stanislas and his prospects in the gameweek nine review and they haven’t really changed too much since then. He has been in and out of the side with different injuries since that time, and this was only his first start since GW18. At 5.9m he comes at a price where a lot of options exist, but many are failing to impress on a consistent basis. If he can string together some starts, he could be an option.

Aké was the third Bournemouth player to register a 10+ point haul. He accumulated 14 points on the back of a goal, clean sheet and two BP. This was Bournemouth’s first clean sheet since they registered three in a row between GW11-13, admittedly, the majority of their fixtures since then have come with a low clean sheet chance. The Cherries aren’t really renowned for their clean sheets, in fact, they’ve kept just 22 clean sheets in their 101 games in the Premier League from the last three seasons, which is 1 every 4.6 games. However, their fixtures are still quite enticing, so I wouldn’t blame you for taking the plunge. I mean, they did keep a hat-trick of clean sheets earlier on in the season, so it can’t be all bad back there?

Chelsea’s defence, on the other hand, has been consistently solid this season, so hopefully this will go down as just a minor blemish, on an otherwise, clean radar.

Chelsea also completed the signing of Olivier Giroud from Arsenal, and his role in the squad will be interesting. I honestly can’t see his role being much different to the one he had at Arsenal – a super-sub, with the occasional start when it is required – as long as Morata is fit.


Everton vs Leicester; 2-1

THEO! For once I’ve listened to my own advice, and boy did it pay off. Two goals for Everton’s brand-new signing, and he almost had a hat-trick. Jamie Vardy pegged one back for Leicester late on via a 71st minute penalty, but it wasn’t enough as the home side went on to collect all 3 points.

Everton’s first win since gameweek 20 came on the back of some horrible defensive mistakes from Leicester. Ben Chilwell collected the ball just outside of his own box and decided it would be a good time to not clear the ball with two Everton attackers pursuing him. Martina won the ball, gave it to Sigurdsson, who had no trouble finding Walcott, who was by his lonesome in the box, and then he tapped it in for the opener. The second Everton goal came as a result of a string of defensive errors. First it was Magurie’s handball, which led to an Everton free-kick, then throw in a little bit of poor marking and a lack of defensive awareness, and then bingo, bango, bongo, Walcott’s got his second.

Ol’ mate Wally wasn’t far from a hat-trick either. Late in the game Schemichel came off his line, to the edge of the box, to punch an incoming ball, but he knocked it straight into the path of Walcott, who struck a first time shot that was cleared off the line. I’m telling you, Leicester were terrible defensively this game, not a good sign.

Before this incident, Vardy converted a penalty, his fifth of the season (from 12 goals, from all competitions). That is quite a worrying statistic as if the penalties dry up, so will Vardy’s goals. The other interesting fact I noted about Vardy’s goal scoring ways this season is that one third of his goals (four) have been assisted by Riyad Mahrez, so let’s hope that what happened in the transfer window doesn’t affect the Algerian, or his English number nine.

Leicester’s fixtures do clear up after this game, Swansea at home could be anything, considering the Swans’ new-found form. Then after Leicester’s trip to the Etihad, it’s all green lights – for the most part – for the 2015/16 champions until the end of the season.

The same goes for Everton, their fixtures are on the easier side of the scale compared to what it has been in previous weeks. This means that Walcott will remain as an option for the remainder of the season, as could Seamus Coleman if he can reattain the level of play he was at before his horrific injury last season.

The Irish right-back averages an attacking return every 386 minutes, based on every season he has accumulated attacking returns in. That’s once every 4.3 games. With Everton’s best defence now fully fit (bar Leighton Baines), and with Allardyce at the helm, there’s hope they can ignite some solid defensive form with their upcoming fixtures. At 6.4m, Coleman doesn’t come cheap, so he’ll have to rival similarly-priced players like Otamendi and Azpilicueta, while proving his worth over cheaper defenders such as Phil Jones. I would be lying if I told you there was no risk in investing in Coleman, it’s no secret that many players struggle to return to a high level of play after such a serious injury. But he is also the sort of player that could set you apart from others, considering how damaging he can be at his best.


Newcastle vs Burnley; 1-1

It was a game of who had which keeper. One team had a penalty-saving number one, while his opposite number ‘conceded’ an own goal. Nick Pope saved a penalty in a rather uneventful first-half that was dominated by the home side.

Both goals came in the second-half where Jamal Lascelles’ headed goal was cancelled out by a Karl Darlow own goal. In fairness to Darlow, his own goal was nothing but unlucky. After saving a Sam Vokes header, the ball rebounded off the crossbar and onto the backwards-stumbling keeper’s forehead, and it all happened before the Newcastle keeper knew much about it. To be fair, Burnley were deserving of a goal – they had 10 second-half shots, out of 11 shots in total. Each team was deserving of a draw and neither team could really say they deserved more.

Burnley had 10 second-half shots, of a total of 11, while Newcastle had 8 in the same 45-minute period from 14 overall. So, it goes without saying the first 45-minutes wouldn’t have been a very enjoyable experience for anyone to watch with just 7 shots fired, in total.

The most threatening player on the pitch was Newcastle’s Kenedy, who had just arrived, on-loan from Chelsea. The 21-year old Newcastle debutant had two shots (equal second) and three key passes (the most on the ground) in a very impressive display that will surely make Chelsea regret sending him out on loan… Just kidding. But seriously, the kid was impressive. He was subbed off later on in the piece, for Matt Ritchie, but I have no doubt he has earned his spot in the starting team for the next gameweek. One to keep an eye on at 4.7m, he could become a good, cheap fifth mid.

Newcastle also signed Islam Slimani, on loan from Leicester, a deal which went through on deadline-day.. 6.6m is a decent price for a player of his quality and I think he could fit very well in at Newcastle. Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, the Toon’s fixtures are relatively hit-and-miss for the remainder of the season, so Slimani may only be a rotation option. He is quite expensive to have as a rotation option, so he will have to prove us otherwise if he is to be a permanent option – he has the talent.

No one in particular inspired me from Burnley’s offence, but as always their defence was impressive despite conceding a goal. Nick Pope, as usual, is my preferred route into the Burnley defence, and I did thoroughly enjoy his magnificent 11-point haul. With good fixtures to come, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to invest in him, or any other Burnley defender, but preferably Pope, who has, presumably, made himself almost unmovable from the Burnley line-up with the form he has been in.


Southampton vs Brighton; 1-1

After impressing over the last few weeks, and gradually building on each performance, Southampton slumped right back into their lifeless form which lacks any real fight, vigour or an offensive spark. The Saints are now on an equal club-record 12-game winless run in the Premier League that has left them sitting in the bottom three, for consecutive weeks, for the first time since their promotion season.

Murray’s first-half penalty was nullified by a second-half Jack Stephens backheel. It was Murray’s second goal in his last three starts, and third in his last seven, so as long as Murray’s starting Brighton are scoring. Despite some off-field issues in the past week since the last gameweek, Murray was able to put it behind him and coolly slot a penalty, he remains a top cheap forward option, plus he also has good fixtures.

Southampton’s fixtures aren’t the worst, but their form is one of the worst in the league and they lack a talisman that can change that with Charlie Austin still injured. Avoid all their assets for the time being.


Manchester City vs West Brom; 3-0

This was as one-sided a game you’ll see in the modern era. West Brom had just 3 shots on goal and they all came beyond the 87th minute, they also had a miniscule 26% possession – that is stupidly one-sided. Hats off to the West Brom fans who actually stayed until the final whistle.

Kevin De Bruyne actually had more shots on target (four) than West Brom did for the entire 90 minutes, that’s some statistic. This was De Bruyne’s game. He could have had a hat-trick of goals to go with his assist had he been more lethal in front of goal, he is some player. Sergio Aguero could have had a couple of assists as well, had De Bruyne worn his finishing boots, but it was not to be.

Sterling chimed in with two assists to continue his stellar season, while Fernandinho scored his third (irrelevant) goal of the season.

City also kept their 12th clean sheet of the season, is it a coincidence John Stones was dropped? Who knows, but his replacement, City’s record new signing Aymeric Laporte, wasn’t really tested. Walker and Otamendi remain the only locked on players in City’s defence, along with Ederson in goal.

Speaking of West Brom’s three shots, they had just one on target which came from their new loan signing, Daniel Sturridge. Over the past five seasons, Sturridge has averaged an attacking return every 85 minutes. Now, this figure is relatively skewed as he has majorly been used as an impact sub/rotation player over the last three seasons, and in a free-scoring team like Liverpool this can lead to a lot of goals. In saying that, it’s a World Cup year and based on the current standings Sturridge would most likely not be on England’s plane to Russia. At 7.9m he doesn’t come without his risks, but West Brom’s upcoming fixtures certainly help his prospects. A player of his quality should be in line for an immediate starting place in the team. I want to wait and see, for at least a week, before making any evaluations on fallen Liverpool striker.


Stoke City vs Watford; 0-0

Our first, and only, 0-0 result of the gameweek wasn’t an entirely dire affair – compared to others over the round of fixtures – but it wasn’t the prettiest of games to watch either. A combination of poor finishing and messy, yet effective, defending got the job done for both sides, but it was two points dropped for Stoke and one point gained for Watford.

Allen started in-behind Diouf – who started in the lone striker role again – for the second consecutive game under Lambert, so it’s starting to look like more of a sure thing from Allen’s point of view.

Each of Stoke’s four attackers – Diouf, Choupo-Moting (LW), Allen and Shaqiri (RW) – were all equally involved and have looked much improved – as an attacking unit and more than individuals – since Lambert’s arrival. Shaqiri had three shots and one key pass, but it was his left-footed volley from the penalty spot that he will rue the most – he aimed it right at Karnezis’ gloves.

Watford’s barren run continues as they have now failed to win 11 of their last 12 Premier League games, and on top of that they’ve been scoreless in their last 2. They face 4 of the top 10 in their next six games and a West Ham team who are 7th on the form table (last five PL games). The Hornets are in struggle city and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be much easier in the coming weeks for them. Once upon a time they were three points off a Europa League spot, they now sit just three points above the relegation zone.


Tottenham vs Manchester United; 2-0

How often is it that you see a team wipe the floor with second place? How often is it that both the second and third-placed teams lose with nothing, but a whimper in the same gamweek? United were demolished, just one night after – previously – third placed Chelsea were quashed. 22 shots to 6, but United weren’t the ones doing the shooting, that is as one-sided as it gets when you’re talking a second-placed team that’s just bought one of the best players in the world and has an almost entirely fit squad to choose from.

It was fairly disappointing to watch as Spurs scored two goals and neither Kane nor Son got involved in either of them, then again Kane’s record against United is appalling. But then again, Kane had eight shots and didn’t score a single goal, go figure. Erisken (three shots and six key passes), Alli (four and one) and Son (three and three) were constant threats on the United defence, imposing themselves on the best defence in the league.

This was an encouraging performance from Tottenham, especially with their next two fixtures being vitally important in deciding the Champions League spots (who cares really). More importantly it informs us that we shouldn’t write their returns off over the next two gameweeks. Someone that could help Tottenham build on these performances is their £23m addition, from PSG, Lucas Moura. Unfortunately, his addition does impact Son negatively and because of the competition he will no doubt have with Son for the rest of the season, it’s best to avoid bringing him in at the moment. Also, with Tottenham still in contention in both the FA Cup and Champions League, rotation between these two players will be ripe, so we may see Son in and out of the side like old times. Monitor the situation.

As for United, they haven’t been a stranger to these types of performances, they’ve done this sort of thing before this season and dropped points in matches they should have won (not saying they should have won). Because of this, we didn’t really get a chance to scope out Alexis Sanchez, so we’ll have to wait until next week to see how he performs in the Premier League. But as a little taste to what he can do in a United shirt, he made six key passes and took two shots against Yeovil Town in the FA cup in the last week.

Jones’ own goal was another blemish on United’s performance and something his owners definitely won’t appreciate, but fear not, own goals only come once every while or so (unless your name is Lewis Dunk). Look forward to more clean sheets, especially in the coming two weeks.


This was a pretty average gameweek for some, and the captain choice, although not hard to nail (unless you had Kane who missed his EIGHT shots on goal), wasn’t too fruitful.

If you saw a green arrow this gameweek, then you’ve done pretty well. I scored 62 on the back of Walcott’s two goals and saw a small, yet satisfying green arrow, that sees me now at 388k.

Any transfers for the upcoming gameweek, or thoughts on the one gone by, or maybe you just need a place to vent your frustration at how Kane couldn’t score from eight shots on goal (I still can’t get over it). If so, then let us know in the comments!

Good luck for gameweek 26!

Jerome’s Review – Gameweek 24

Reading Time: 16 minutes



Another week that was largely defined by your captain choice. Aguero got it done, and some, for his owners, while Kane’s goal ensured those that captained the English number 10 weren’t hung out to dry. But it was Salah and his Liverpool team mates that let us down. For just the second time in 14 gameweeks, Salah returned from a game empty-handed and left many owners wondering, what if?

A modest average of 50 points meant that you would have needed a score in the 60s to rise from most rankings. Only a select few of the big hitters returned this gameweek, so rising in rank would have proved to be difficult.

Let’s see what we can take from the gameweek gone past!


Brighton vs Chelsea; 0-4

Last week I said that I thought that this would have been a hard-fought victory for Chelsea, but a victory nonetheless. How wrong I was. Not even six minutes had gone past and Brighton found themselves two goals down leaving my ‘prediction’ as nothing but a laughing stock.

Chelsea scored just two more goals for the rest of the game, but still thoroughly controlled the flow and pace for the majority of the 90 minutes. Brighton had two solid penalty shouts waved away by referee John Moss, but I believe both penalties should have been given.

Ezequiel Schelotto was the man that was fouled both times Brighton thought they had a penalty. The first penalty shout came as a result of a late challenge by Willy Caballero, Chelsea’s debutant who was standing in for the injured Thibaut Courtois (who should return for GW25). Tiemoué Bakayoko fouled the Schelotto later in the piece, catching the Argentinian’s trailing leg in the box. Had the penalties been – rightfully – awarded and then converted, Chelsea would have found themselves in a stalemate at 2-2. Damn John Moss, I could have looked less of a fool if he gave them!

Nevertheless, Chelsea won the game very convincingly and it was through a front three of Hazard, Willian and Batshuayi, as the latter was entrusted to atone for Morata’s absence. The trio combined for three goals and two assists, running riot against a five-man Brighton defence. Hazard’s two goals raised his three-gameweek average to 9ppg, coincidentally, his return to form began the gameweek I transferred him out…

As mentioned in previous weeks, Hazard’s game-breaking, barnstorming runs of form where he can record multiple 10+ point hauls just over a few gameweeks, can break open your season. Unfortunately, pin-pointing these ‘runs’ of form can be near impossible to do (unless you have a crystal ball handy). His hefty 10.6m price-tag means that if you’re going to bring him in, you have to be prepared to fork out the big bucks for the Belgian and by doing that, you may have to restructure your squad. Chelsea’s next three games are just begging for a typical Chelsea thrashing. Bou (H), Wat (A), WBA (H) are fixtures that would tempt any manager, and with Hazard in the form that he is in, it would be more than reasonable to purchase the in-form winger. With plenty of options at cheaper prices, propelling themselves into contention with their own purple patches, we are left to wonder if the 10.6m spent on Hazard is worth it over someone like Arnautovic at 7.1m, or either of the Man City wingers in Sterling (8.9m) and Sane (8.4m). I’m sticking with the cheaper options for now, as you’ll have to do some restructuring to be able to afford Hazard and with Aguero and Kane at the peak of their powers, I’d be investing in either of the forward pair, long-term.

Willian was another who did some major damage to Brighton, but his erratic appearances in the starting XI make it very difficult to recommend him. He is a temptation that is best avoided at the moment, unless he becomes more nailed on in future gameweeks.

The victory-to-nil marked Chelsea’s sixth clean sheet in their last seven games, that is an insane run of defensive form. Unfortunately, for those of us (me included) who own Christensen, it was only two clean sheets in that same period (three in his last eight). The young centre-back was taken off after a head-clash just before the hour-mark, the second game in a row where the Danishman has played just 57 minutes and consequently missed out on a second consecutive clean sheet. As frustrating as it has been – especially with Alonso doing what he has been doing – I think it’s best to hold Christensen, his lack of points in recent gameweeks has been a result of Conte being a dud. Obviously, the Italian manager is coming last in his FPL league and decided to tank the rest of the teams in the league by omitting Christensen all the times that he has in the past few gameweeks.


Arsenal vs Crystal Palace; I can’t remember the score, sorry

Funnily enough, I think my TV – and all displays displaying the score for that matter – were faulty, so I won’t be spending too much time on this game which I think is best for all of us.

Seriously though, that is the most uncharacraterisitc opening 25 minutes I have seen this season. Considering the form both teams were in, I fully expected this to be a rather tight affair and for Palace to be within reach of Arsenal in the final 15 minutes, but they most certainly were not.

12 minutes in Arsenal were up 3-0, and not much longer it was 4-0 meaning that just 21 minutes in, the game was over. Monreal had a goal and two assists within the first 12 minutes and was precautionarily substituted just 20 minutes later, it really was bizarre stuff.

Crystal Palace were that bad in the opening 25 minutes that they let Lacaztte score his first goal in nine games, in all competitions. They also let Iwobi score himself one as well, great stuff. On Iwobi though, with Sanchez gone he was slotted straight in, but with Mkhitariyan’s transfer now official, I don’t think that the 21-year old Nigerian winger will enjoy much more time in the starting XI.

The loss was just Crystal Palace’s second in their last 13 Premier League fixtures, with both of them being inflicted by Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal. As they don’t play the Gunners for the rest of the season, I believe their form (disregarding the results against Arsenal) will continue, for the time being at least. If you have any Palace assets then I would hold for at least three gameweeks, but after that I would be looking to get rid of them if I was you. They face four of the top six in a five-gameweek period, and as good as Palace have been against the top teams in recent times, it’s hard to say if they will keep any clean sheets or not, but they should keep scoring goals.


Burnley vs Mancehster United; 0-1

United managed to beat Burnley at their own game here – score a goal and go 1-0 up and then just defend for the rest of the game. This was a very hard-fought three points for the Manchester club, a physically testing contest for both clubs, but the expected result prevailed in the end. In fairness to Burnley, they probably deserved a point, but I don’t care about that because Phil Jones notched another nine points (clean sheet + maximum BP) and once again carried my FPL defence.

United’s fixtures means Jones – and the rest of the United defence – remain long-term options. Don’t fall into the Luke Shaw trap, although Mourinho said he “…doesn’t see many better left-backs in the world today”, he also went on to say, “That’s a decision you can make, when you have two players and a good squad, and you can adapt”. That’s Mourinho’s way of saying that neither Shaw nor Young will be enjoying any long-term runs in the team. Valencia, Jones and De Gea remain the only players locked-in the United defence; Bailly is always injured and the left-back position is uncertain each week.

Martial’s third goal in as many games came as a result of great work from Romelu Lukaku, he hustled and bustled his way into Burnley’s final third – from the half-way line – and then sent through Martial to finish it off. As tempting as it is to rush in and bring Martial on the back of some great form, it’s possibly best to hold off for at least one gameweek longer. With Sanchez’s arrival confirmed, one of the United attackers will have to make way. Lingard is almost a like-for-like replacement (albeit, of lesser quality) and in my eyes, he seems the most likely candidate to be replaced, but Mourinho does as he pleases on the selection table. All season he has rotated between multiple formations and combinations of attacker, how he accommodates for Sanchez is beknown to me (in terms of formation and personnel) and it will most likely end up being a weekly thing.

While we’re on Sanchez I need to point out that he is still one monster of a player who has experienced a ‘sub-par’ season, in-terms of FPL returns. He will be one to watch when he gets on the pitch for United, as in his best season he was a lock in every FPL side. I’m backing him to flourish from the get-go at United, it seems some have forgotten just how good he is.


Everton vs West Brom; 1-1

Solomon Rondon in tears, watching on, as James McCarthy laid on the floor in the agony of a leg break, was the picture of the game, and most likely the thing that most will remember from an otherwise stale affair. West Brom were in control for the majority of the match as they took advantage of a listless Everton, seemingly bereft of any confidence after having not tasted victory for six straight games (now seven).

Theo Walcott made his debut as both Yannick Bolasie and Wayne Rooney were relegated to the bench, but still featured after being substituted on later in the piece. Walcott struggled to make any meaningful impact apart from his assist, and the same goes with second-gamer, Cenk Tosun. The Turkish international made his home debut, but it was most certainly nothing to write home about. He had zero shots and one successful dribble, to be fair to him, Everton – as a team – failed to produce much quality themselves.

Judging by the outcome of this game and how it played out, it may take a while for Everton’s new signing s to gel. Bolasie, Rooney, Siggurdson, Walcott, Vlasic and Tosun (in any combination) will take time to form a playing partnership, but when they do I expect them to be a successful crop of players. My eye is on Walcott. Walcott’s historical participations in FPL have been fairly understated due to his injury troubles over the past few seasons. In the four seasons that Walcott has played over 1500 minutes he has averaged over 5.5pp90min, and in two of those seasons, he averaged over 7pp90min (2010/11 – 7.1; 2012/13 – 7.6). Over the last 5 seasons he has averaged a goal every 120 minutes, while scoring 37 goals and making 14 assists from 76 starts meaning that he hasn’t just relied on super-sub appearances build his impressive record.

The real measure of a FPL prospect is their performances in comparison to those similarly priced to themselves. Taking the same time frame as above (the past five seasons) for Walcott, I measured his stats of the past five seasons against several of his competitors. Walcott’s stats meant that he ranked first for shots per 90 minutes (3.3), but second last for key passes per 90 minutes (1.2) compared to the rest of the list. This suggests to me that Walcott has the ability to match his competitors. Keeping in mind that Walcott is priced quite generously at 7.1m, less than three of the below players and equal with Arnautovic, he presents great value. Below is the list of players, ranked accordingly.

Shots per 90 minutes: Pogba (3.2); Richarlison (3.1); Martial (2.8); Son (2.7); Ramsey (2.8); Arnautovic (2.6); Lingard (2.2); Lanzini (1.7)

Key passes per 90 minutes: Pogba (2.2); Lanzini (2); Son (1.8); Martial (1.8); Lingard (1.6); Ramsey (1.4); Arnautovic (1.4); Richarlison (1)

Leicester vs Watford; 2-0

A fairly evenly contested game, but it was the home side that took their chances and that was the difference in the end. Both sides had “two or three scoring chances” (according to the losing coach, anyway), fortunately for Leicester they had two in-form players in Mahrez and Vardy to finish their chances.

After Watford managed to get the better of Leicester in the reverse fixture, a large scalp for Watford amidst a horrid run of form, Leicester had little trouble claiming the spoils this time around.

In Marco Silva’s last game in charge of the Hornets, his team failed to muster many noteworthy chances. A disallowed Deeney goal and a blocked Andre Gray shot was as close as the out of form Watford came.

The visitors finished the game with three strikers and two wingers on the pitch which left their threadbare of protection and an easy target for an in-form Riyad Mahrez who scored the stoppage-time sealer.

It’s business as usual from an FPL sense – Mahrez is an impeccable midfield option, but he shouldn’t rise before the GW25 at least. Vardy is also a decent forward option and three goals in six games is not a bad return, but your precious money would be better spent in midfield or on the big forwards (basically just Kane and Aguero).


Stoke vs Huddersfield; 2-0

With both teams down in a huge slump in form (compared to their best), it was a good chance for both managers to get some points against a fellow relegation candidate. It was Paul Lambert, on debut, who rolled up his sleeves (literally) and managed his side to win. Lambert’s men dominated from start to finish and barely let Huddersfield in for a look at their goal.

The ex-Wolves coach demands his sides to push forward and compete like Stoke did against Huddersfield in GW24. He commands his players to attack the ball, and the player, and to remain hungry throughout the match, and by doing this he gets the best out of players and makes the club’s home ground a fortress. Players like Diouf, Choupo-Moting and Shaqiri should all be on your radar with Lambert as coach – they’re all right down his lane in terms of the players he gets the best out of, those that are undervalued and have something to prove. All three of the above players got amongst the attacking returns in their win against Stoke.

Lambert’s arrival saw a few players return to their favoured roles, an immediate reflection of how Lambert utilizes his players to the best of their ability. He doesn’t try and get too fancy with formations and player roles, but instead gives players the chance to impress in their favoured roles.

Diouf returned to the lone striker role, displacing Crouch, returning to a role that he cherishes and one where he has thrived in during recent seasons. Earlier in the season there was a string of games where Diouf returned to the lone striker role, albeit quite temporarily. During that string of games, I highlighted his success in that position in recent years here.

Another change to the starting XI was Joe Allen’s shift from the centre-mid position to CAM, playing in the number 10 role behind Diouf. This season, Allen has been deployed in the CAM role just three times and in those three games he has returned two goals and two assists which can’t be coincidence. If Allen’s role, in the number-10 position, is to continue, then he must be considered as an option at such a cheap price of just 5.1m.

With this all-in mind, in addition to the constant threats of Shaqiri (averaging 2.2spg and 2.3kppg) and Choupo-Moting (2.2spg and 0.7kppg), it’s going to be hard to differentiate between each option. Unfortunately, Stoke aren’t in any domestic competitions any more so the only opportunities we’ll get to watch this Stoke side will be in the Premier League.

Without knowing much about his previous two teams (Wolves and Blackburn), Lambert’s defensive records aren’t something to write home about. Just 20 clean sheets in his 66 combined games as manager for both clubs. At Stoke he’ll have some strong defensive talent, that if coached correctly, could bring home some clean sheets. The immensely talented duo of Jack Butland and Kurt Zouma, along with the ever-present Ryan Shawcros, could carry Stoke’s back-line to some defensive success in the near future. Mortiz Bauer comes in at 4.5m and is the cheapest route into the Stoke defence, if you want to go down that path.


West Ham vs Bournemouth; 1-1

Apart from an Arnautovic “assist”, this was a fairly disappointing game for most FPL managers. Zero clean sheets and two goals from two lesser owned players (most of Chicharito’s ownership would be inactive, I would assume) reads for a fairly poor fantasy game.

This was a fairly tense game between two similarly-placed teams, and West Ham got their noses in front mid-way through the second-half, somewhat, against the run of play. It didn’t take long for West Ham to rectify the situation and nullify Ryan Fraser’s goal, his third (plus an assist) in as many starts. The problem with Fraser is that he doesn’t have the greatest goal-scoring track record. Just the 15 goals in his 144 senior appearances for three clubs (Aberdeen, Bournemouth and Ipswich). I personally don’t see Fraser’s run continuing for too long as it does go against some fairly damning statistics, but then again, stats aren’t everything.

However, I am interested in the other goal-scorer, Chicharito. With the confirmation of Arnautovic’s injury coming in over the gameweek break, he is reported to be out for four Premier League games, so he won’t be returning for another month. Andy Carroll is also quite “injured” at the moment as well, so it just leaves Chicharito to take the striker mantle until his Austrian counterpart, Arnautovic, returns. At 6.7m he sits at a very awkward price and it would be a short-term risk as his form this season has been underwhelming. Despite his great record in front of goal, with a goal every 142 minutes in the Bundesliga and 176 minutes in his first four seasons in the Premier League, in previous seasons, it remains to be seen whether or not he can be a successful short-term option for us.

As previously mentioned, Arnautovic is out for four weeks and he is not the only West Ham regular that will be absent from the team. Arthur Masauaku has been suspended for six weeks, for spitting, which presents a good opportunity to evict him from our FPL sides, he has scored just eight points in the last six gameweeks, I wish I could take back how much I hyped him up! Lanzini’s absence has also been confirmed and it is feared his absence will last longer than either of the two aforementioned players. It’s a disappointing ‘situation’ as both Arnautovic and Lanzini were in great form for our FPL squads. It’s a worrying time for West Ham now.


Manchester City vs Newcastle; 3-1

Man City’s big four all got involved this game, but there was only one man that really mattered – Sergio Aguero, the man, the myth, the legend. In a week where three of the top four captain choices combined for 15 points (Kane – 8; Salah – 2; Lukaku – 5), Aguero’s 17-point haul means just that little bit more. If you captained Aguero you would have seen a fair rise in the rankings, no doubt, but if you didn’t, then it wouldn’t have been so easy.

Jacob Murphy had to ruin City’s perfect FPL game when he scored in the 67th minute, but then again, I don’t own a Man City defender, so I couldn’t be happier.

Sterling, Sane and KDB made an assist each, a small consolation if you were one of the unfortunate ones not to own Aguero (suckers).

City face three of the top seven defensive sides – in terms of clean sheets and goals conceded – over the next five weeks, but fear not, difficult fixtures haven’t stopped them before. City scored 12 goals in the reverse fixtures, at an average of 2.4 goals per game. That for me, is enough to hold any City assets over the next five fixtures, they’re an incredible team in immense form with unbelievable players. I think Aguero’s proved his trust in the very least.

Their defence is a different story though, zero clean sheets in three games isn’t great form, even Otamendi’s goals have dried up. Only Arsenal and Liverpool, of the big six, have decent upcoming fixtures, and they happen to be the worst two defensive teams in the big six category, so there is a viable reason to hold your City defenders – a lack of options. They did return three clean sheets in the reverse fixtures, and there is a big possibility that history can repeat itself.


Southampton vs Tottenham; 1-1

Both goals were scored in the opening 20 minutes, and until the last 15 minutes or so, nothing really happened this game. It became a game of who could take the most unnecessary and most worthless pot shots from long range, Southampton came out winners. The middle 50-55 minutes of this game was very timid and frustrating for neutral and non-neutral fans alike. Tottenham took 10 shots in the opening 20 minutes and closing 15 minutes, combined, compared to just 7 otherwise, while Southampton’s ratio was not much better as they took 6 shots in the opening and closing 35 minutes compared to the rest of the 90.

With Southampton on a winless run of 10 games, Davinson Sanchez thought he would try his best to help release some pressure on Mauricio Pellegrino. Sanchez put the ball in his own net just 11 minutes in, turning the ball in from a low, Ryan Bertrand, cross from down the left-hand side. Of course, as usual, Harry Kane was on-hand to rectify the situation and headed in from six yards via a Ben Davies corner. In addition to his goal, Kane picked up two BP and gave his managers a handy, yet unsatisfactory, eight points.

As mentioned in DGW23’s review, Harry Kane FC’s (I’m a bit late on that one, I know) fixtures aren’t so pleasant, but as I also mentioned Harry Kane’s form against his upcoming opponents isn’t the worst. 10 goals and two assists in twelve combined games against Arsenal and Liverpool, who’s defence has been proven to be very leaky at times this season, that is certainly something to hold on to. Of course, Kane has a polar opposite history against United, with just one goal in seven appearances against the Red Devils, in the Premier League.

The other Spurs asset I own, Heung Min Son, has a form line that almost demands his managers to keep him. Unfortunately, for us, there is no real history behind Son in the Premier League, so evaluating him comes down to – purely – gut feel and form. Son’s form since cementing his place in the side has been undeniably impressive and it doesn’t take stats to convince us of this, well, except for this one really: 6 goals and five assists in his last 10 starts is a great return for someone priced at 8.2m.

That’s the first half of his form we need to consider, the second-half revolves around his form against his upcoming opponents, a form line which isn’t all that impressive – one goal in two starts and a 15-minute cameo against United, Liverpool and Arsenal, respectively, in the reverse fixtures this season. Two of his next three games are at Wembley where he has more than excelled this season; five goals and five assists from five starts at his home ground is an incredible return, and it is something that can’t be ignored. With both Arnautovic and Masauaku out injured, I’ve got no choice but to ride the Son wave into shore and see how far it can take me.

If you have a spare transfer, I would hold it and save it for a rainy day. It’s difficult to say how (or if) Son’s form will deviate over the next three gameweeks with no historical data.


Swansea vs Liverpool; 1-0

Only Liverpool. You couldn’t even script this, actually, it’s Liverpool so you could have. Beat the Premier League’s best ever team, up to this point of the season (based on total points accumulated) and then the next week, lose to a side whose manager has been in charge for less than a month and a team that had no hope in hell of surviving the drop when he took charge. Now look at them (Swansea).

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t somewhat relieved and assuaged by the fact that all 11 Liverpool players had blanked, meaning all those who captained a Liverpool player, or even owned one, was probably worse off than I was this gaewmeweek. Nevertheless, when you’re in the form Salah is in and have the talent and tools of Firmino and Mane and even the Ox, then you can’t be held down for too long. In fact, it was a case of ‘how didn’t the ball go in’ for Liverpool, they created the opportunities, but forgot their finishing boots at home. Don’t do anything too rash, hold them.

For their defence, in their defence they didn’t have van Dijk work his magic this game, so hopefully that makes a vast difference to their FPL and PL outlay. Hang on… Wasn’t van Dijk’s terrible header that ricocheted of Fernandez and into Mawson’s path? Odd, never knew that Swansea had £75 in their kitty, could be a Cayman Islands bank sorta thing then.

My pick of the Liverpool defence remains as Gomez, if you pair him up with TAA, and own both of them, you’re fail-proof and clear of any rotation risks – if one gets rested, then the other is guaranteed to play.

As for Swansea, their reincarnation under Carvahal has been an immense and they are still rising. 15th placed in the Championship, Carvahal was before he got fired, now he has managed to collect 7 points from a possible 12 with last-placed Swansea and their limited funds at his disposal, including two wins against members of the top 10. Their fixtures are still pretty rough – they face three more members of the top 10 in the next three gameweeks, I’d hold off investing just yet, just to be safe.


That wraps up gameweek 24, hopefully it does you some good. Again, it was another late one and I’m terribly sorry for the wait (if you’re still waiting, that’s loyalty to a T!). Everything’s calmed down now over here in Perth, so hopefully I can get back to firing them out not too long after the GW has finished.

If you’ve got any questions that I can answer before the next gameweek is upon us, then fire them through. I’ll be watching like a hawk to see if any come up!

Cheers, good luck for gameweek 25!


Jerome’s Review – Gameweek 23

Reading Time: 16 minutes

If you had the right players, then this was the week for you, however, if you did not then this was most definitely not your week. Hopefully you held your DGW players!

A much improved FPL gameweek that also saw the derailment of the Man City unbeaten train, and it wasn’t the only record to be altered… Let’s get stuck in!

Chelsea vs Leicester; 0-0

The one that got away… For Leicester. Chelsea were convincingly outplayed in their backyard for the first time in recent memory. In fact, Leicester’s 12 shots at goal in the opening 45 minutes was the highest tally by a visiting team at Stamford Bridge for 15 years. Not only that, but Leicester enjoyed 67% possession in the first-half as well. Yet the headlines in England still read “Kasper Schemichel and 10-man Leicester stand firm to deny Chelsea win” ~The Guardian, but who really reads The Guardian anyway. It should have read “Chelsea escape with a point against 10-man Leicester”.

Vardy and Mahrez ran rings around a hapless Chelsea side that had a fully fit squad to choose from (Ross Barkley was the only slight doubt going into this game, but was he really getting a spot anyway?). The Premiership pair – plus Okazaki – couldn’t benefit from their good work and had zero shots on target from their nine combined. This can only mean good things for Leicester as it says they are doing well offensively. Leicester ill travel to a defensively miserable Watford in the upcoming gameweek, Mahrez captain anyone?

If you had simply looked at the stats post-game, no one would blame you for thinking that it was Chelsea who were the unfortunate ones as Schmeichel was forced to make, a season-best, seven saves. However – as ironic as it is (considering I was quoting stats in just the third sentence) – the stats meant nothing. Four of Chelsea’s seven shots on target came within the last 15 minutes, and 8 of their 17 total shots came in that same period. Chelsea were lucky to leave the game with a point.

Chelsea’s next opponents seem like an easier task, on paper, but I fear it may not be so. Although Brighton did manage to concede five at home to Tottenham, their defensive form at home this season has been impressive. Brighton have kept the same number of home clean sheets as Man City, a tally that is only bettered by the other members of the top six (who are a level above the rest, when it comes down to things), Huddersfield and a (almost) defensively impeccable, Burnley. Despite this, it’s not smart to underestimate a Chelsea side that have just nine less points than they did at this stage last season. They aren’t doing as badly as the media is making it seem.

Morata and Hazard combined for the same amount of shots as Alexsandar Dragovic in Leicester’s defence – one – their lowest combined tally this season. The pair have also scored just three goals between them from their last seven matches. You just feel the that the tides will turn for the misfiring combo; their spg averages over their last seven games are above their season averages (3.7 compared to 3 for Morata and 2.7 compared to 2 for Hazard). When the tides do turn and the shots that had once gone on the wrong side of the post, go on the right side of the post, then it would be smart to own at least one of them, as they can both be season-changing FPL assets at the top of their games.



Crystal Palace vs Burnley; 1-0

This season just keeps on getting better and better as a Palace fan, and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it, not even the start of it. Roy Hodgson has made this Crystal Palace side completely unrecognisable compared to what it was under Frank De Boer. Every single player has improved under Hodgson

The game started out bleakly and only two shots were taken in the opening 20 minutes. Yet again, it was Bakary Sako to the rescue. For just the second time this season Sako started the game and he was most definitely the most dangerous player on the pitch. Sako’s speed, strength and skills on the ball made him more than a handful for the Burnley defence. And a couple of minutes before his goal he should have been awarded a penalty when James Tarkowski brought him down in the box, collecting the man before the ball, but for some reason play was waved on.

As mentioned in last gameweek’s article, Sako’s position in the team is locked in for at least the next couple of weeks, and depending on the success of his position as a striker in a 4-4-2 formation, it could extend beyond Townsend’s return. 4.9m is a great price for a short-term investment. The Malian international had six shots against Burnley and has averaged one shot every 14.3 minutes of game time over his last six appearances (including this one). Had Son not returned any fruits this week, he would have made way for Sako in my team, who almost matched him for points this week.

As good as this game was for Crystal Palace, it was just as bad for Burnley. Just one clean sheet in their last five games and just three goals in their last six makes for bad reading, but we have to remember how difficult their last five fixtures have been, in terms of opponents. Their horror run is almost over and they should soon return to the clean sheet-happy Burnley side we all know and love, just not this gameweek, or in GW26, but after that.


Huddersfield vs West Ham; 1-4

David Moyes is the man. He’s taken West Ham from second to last place to within one point of the top 10. He is turning West Ham into a very tricky side to front-up against, as many of their opponents have found out in recent times, including Huddersfield. After West Ham scored the second goal, the hosts were in search of the final whistle, the visitors dominated from the first whistle as well.

The pairing of Arnautovic and Lanzini is proving very effective and they both took advantage of a dejected Huddersfield. With Carroll out injured (there’s that inconsistency I was talking about in last gameweeks review), Arnautovic returned to the lone striker position. The winger-turned striker showed a level of generosity we haven’t seen from the Austrian in a while, by making more key passes than shots for the first time this season.

Carroll’s return is imminent as the setback was only minor, and he may even return to the fold next week for West Ham’s home game against Bournemouth. As I said last week, Arnautovic’s form is too good to trade him, even if he does drop back a little bit to make way for Carroll. Marko is still playing very far forward and will either drop back level with Lanzini to create the two-man supporting cast in a 3-4-2-1, or Moyes could go all out and field him up front with Carroll. Either way, hold Arnautovic, and Lanzini for that matter.

Since GW11, Lanzini has averaged 5.25ppg and hasn’t gone more than two starts without a return since then. With the Hammers’ fixtures and the form of both Carroll and Arnautovic, Lanzini’s returns should continue. The trio of Carroll, Arnautovic and Lanzini is really quite intimidating and should bear many fruits in future gameweeks.

Huddersfield’s fixtures on the other hand, don’t get any easier. They are set to travel to Stoke on a cold and wet winters night in GW24, and then they’ll jump on a bus/plane (I don’t know how it works in England) to Anfield before returning home to welcome Manchester United to their hometown for a game in GW26.

After they had just two shots on target against West Ham this gameweek, I wouldn’t be too inspired if I was in the Town camp at the moment. However, post the United game their fixtures do clear up and they’ll face just one member of the top six from GW27-34. Lossl might be a good goalkeeper option then, but we’ll reassess when we get there.


Newcastle vs Swansea; 1-1

Quite an evenly contested game this was, but a rather boring one at that. Neither sign could claim the ascendency this game and both teams were without a striker that could deliver the killing blow for them. 1-1 was probably a fair result and a very important one it was for Swansea.

Carlos Carvahal has made the big jump from the Championship to the Premier League and many had written him off before he even took charge of a game. His Swansea side has collected four points from their last three games which has given them a chance to maintain their Premier League status.

The Swans will have to count their blessings however, as eighth Leicester are the lowest ranked side that the Welsh side will face over the next four gameweeks. At least it’s an opportunity for the side to warm up to the new manager before forming an assault on the relegation battle later on in the season with easier fixtures.

Newcastle will not be enjoying too many joyful days in the next four gameweeks either. A rampant Crystal Palace side that is currently sixth in the form table (based on the last six games) plus three members of the top seven are their opponents for their next four PL fixtures. Speaks for itself really. Avoid.

I think I’ve already spent too much of our precious time on these two teams, avoid them both for the time being.


Watford vs Southampton; 2-2

After last gameweeks episode of ‘Who did it better?’ saw a pair of screamers match-up against each other, I now present to you: episode two: Diego Maradona versus Abdoulaye Doucoure (skip to 6:00 in the video) – ‘Who did it better?: The Hand of God’.

This really was a game of two halves – Southampton dominated the first, scoring their two goals via a James Ward-Prowse brace, while the second half saw the home team make their case for the three points as they also scored two. In the end, both teams settled for a well-deserved point.

For the second consecutive game, Southampton took the lead in the first-half before a static second-half saw them lose their winning position, at least this time they came away from the ground with points in hand. Another difference between this weeks and last week’s performance was how much they dominated ‘their half’. They had just two more shots in the first-half this week compared to last week’s game against Crystal Palace, but last week their performance was sub-par and they were lucky to have even scored. This week, they were in full control of the game throughout the first 45 minutes and thoroughly deserved to be 2-0 up. Unfortunately, a second-half abdication meant they disappointingly threw away a 2-0 lead.

I’ll be taking this performance with a grain of salt. It was a needle in the haystack of bad performances, and the positive part of the performance only lasted for a half. Their fixtures aren’t too inspiring in the meantime either way.

The other ‘half’ of the story was Watford’s post-half-time comeback. Down and out in the first-half, the Hornets came out from the tunnels ‘all guns blazing’. The hosts’ good work paid off when Andre Gray headed home, from four yards out, after Darryl Janmaat saw his long-range shot saved.

The equaliser came courtesy of an Abdoulaye Doucoure hand in the last minute of play, before stoppage time. This month’s adaptation of an Abdoulaye Doucoure screamer was a moment of utter desperation that has left the Frenchman in all the right headlines, for all the wrong reasons. It also involved the guiltiest celebration you will ever see – if you’re going to break the ‘law’, at least cover your tracks.

An 11-shot differential in the second half meant that Watford truly deserved their point, but it also highlighted theirs – and Southampton’s – inconspicuous and inconsistent form of late, buyer beware.


West Brom vs Brighton; 2-0

It took goals from two defenders for West Brom to collect their first home win since August. Maybe this could be the much-needed boost for Alan Pardew’s men that could help propel them up the table and out of the relegation zone.

It was a solid all-round performance from West Brom – from defence to midfield to Rondon up front – all lines contributed their share to the win and made life tough for a struggling Brighton team.

Although the Premier League points may have dried up for Brighton, it is still the ‘wet’ season in the clean sheets department. Chelsea at home will be tough work in GW25, but after that Brighton have a run of four games in which they’ll be a chance for a clean sheet in all four. Hold your defensive assets.

As for their offensive assets – they have been in struggle town in recent times, but one man that has managed to hold his offensive form is Glenn Murray. Murray has scored in five of the last six games that he has started and Brighton have scored. Essentially, if Murray starts and Brighton score, there is a large possibility that the goal will be Murrays. He could have had an assist this game but Knockaert lost his composure and failed to score in a keeper-less goal.

Another interesting statistic – this time for West Brom – is that the Baggies have kept a clean sheet in 5 of the 13 games (or 38.4%) that Craig Dawson has started in the Premier League. Do you know how many clean sheets West Brom have kept in the 10 games that Dawson hasn’t started? Two (or 20%). That’s almost double the volume of clean sheets. That is some coincidence, or it just highlights how vital Dawson is to the structure of the West Brom defence.

With a difficult month of fixtures coming up, I wouldn’t advise investment, but after that it is worth considering a former FPL favourite defence.



Tottenham vs Everton; 4-0

For the fifth time in the last six games, Tottenham lined up with their own fab four of Son, Alli, Eriksen and Kane, and for the fourth time in those six games, it paid off ever so well for another three points.

This wasn’t the first time that Mauricio Pochettino’s crew had put the Toffees to the sword either –10 goals in their last 3 fixtures against Everton, for three wins against three different managers. It was also the third time in the same three fixtures against Everton that Harry Kane has been one goal away from taking home the match ball. Everton are becoming a bit of a ‘bunny’ team for Kane and Tottenham.

Allardyce went into this game with a fairly ambitious line-up, and it was clear it was going to be a field day for Tottenham as soon as the teams were released. Mason Holgate at centre-back… Seriously? I would have never taken Big Sam for a fool. It was also clear that Big Sam wanted his Everton side to take the next step forward, with his brand new £27 million signing leading the lines in front of England’s greatest ever striker and a pair that combined for more than £70 million – Bolasie and Siggurdsson. Admittedly, I don’t think this was the game to do it, as they got smashed for four by a relentless Tottenham.

After producing a grand total of 33 points last DGW, Tottenham’s fab four made amends for their wrong doings. 31 points between them this game alone makes for a deadly FPL line-up, unfortunately you can’t have all four, but two would be a reasonable amount, and only AFTER their hat-trick of fixtures against members of the top six.

I currently own both Son and Kane (and it feels damn good), but I’m strongly considering trading out at least Son prior to Spurs’ game against United. Son’s form this season has been far and beyond what anyone expected and he has certainly earnt his chance to be trusted by us FPL coaches in the most difficult of fixtures. Holding does have merit. But a direct swap for the in-form Pogba is tempting, prior (or post) their game against United is tempting, but that’s next week’s problem.

However, if it is Eriksen or Alli that you own, it could be wise to move them on prior to the United game. Alli has just three goals and one assist in 16 games against United, Arsenal and Liverpool, while Eriksen has fared much worse with just one goal and four assists in his 28 games against the trio. It is worth noting however, that the pair do enjoy a game against Southampton – home or away. Four goals and four assists from nine games is a solid return against one opponent. But, Alli’s record is far and above his Danish counterpart with an incredible five goals and four assists from just four fixtures against the Saints, that’s captain material.  Harry Kane’s five goals and one assist is also a decent return from six games against Southampton in the Premier League (he has faced them four times outside the PL). Anyway, that’s just something to dwell over for your captaincy decision this gameweek.


Bournemouth vs Arsenal; 2-1


Another embarrassing away result for Arsenal has left them five points adrift of the top five and their Champions League dreams almost in tatters. The Gunners have won just once in their last five away matches; their opponents list for those five matches reads: Southampton (D), West Ham (D), Crystal Palace (W), West Brom (D) and now Bournemouth (L). This could be courtesy of what some are saying is “the worst XI that Arsenal have fielded in Arsene Wenger’s 21-year reign”, and I agree. Take nothing away from Bournemouth though, they went behind on their own home turf and fought back from a 0-1 deficit to a 2-1 victory, impressive stuff.

After Sanchez was left out of the matchday squad and under no apparent injury cloud, it seems he has played his last game for Arsenal, with just the destination of his club to be decided. This meant that Danny Welbeck started in his place, alongside Alex Iwobi (filling in for the injured Ozil), who were – both – behind Alexandre Lacazette. I don’t know why I’m telling you this, I just don’t know what to write about Arsenal – they’re in a deep, dark hole right now and it’s going to take a lot more than Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi to get them out of it. Lucky for them they have just 7 games against teams in the top 10 in their last 15 Premier League games, but I can’t see any of their offensive assets being of value for the time being.

Their defence (mainly Bellerin) is still worth consideration, but it’s always difficult to suggest investment when teams are in as much of a rut as Arsenal are at the moment.

Bournemouth are now unbeaten in their last four games and their next five fixtures give them a chance to continue their good form, offensively anyway. Callum Wilson is still your best route into the Bournemouth attack. Defensively they have been sub-par this season, and I can’t see it changing too much.


Liverpool vs Manchester City; 4-3

It’s over, it’s finally over.

Going into the game having just sold Coutinho for £144 million and without the most expensive defender in history – Virgil van Dijk – many (including myself) wrote Liverpool off, how wrong we were. The cards were stacked against them and they swatted away at that stack and made it Man City’s problem. The Reds played a relentless team pressing game, not allowing their opponents the time to play their game – that’s what has probably been the problem this season, teams have tried to adapt to Man City’s game rather than implementing their own plan.

Of course, it’s much harder if you’re Huddersfield who make transfers in Vietnamese ‘dong’ to Manchester City’s gold bricks (filled with oil, of course). But still, Liverpool played their natural game – pressed their opponents till death – and it worked, much unlike their performance last time out *cough* 5-0 *cough* (before you start getting too cocky!).

*Season four Suits spoiler*
As always though, when Liverpool try and do something good it almost always ends in tears and tatters, no matter what. For ‘Suits’ fans, think of Liverpool as Louis in season four when the S.E.C came knocking. For the whole season Louis was screwing things up – as usual (0-5 vs City). Then, Louis makes that deal with Forstman to earn a huge win (Liverpool go 4-1 up GW4), but as usual, not everything is over until it’s over with Louis and he makes a dirty deal to seal it all and he puts the firm in danger (4-3, still Liverpool). Lastly, at the final minute, Louis comes in with a plan and saves the day, saving the firm from being torn down (the final whistle, Liverpool win).

This was an amazing game and it truly wasn’t over until the last minute – Man City were pushing till the very end, but they couldn’t save their unbeaten run. Now, their form line in the Premier League reads ‘DWL’, starting with that draw at Palace. In the scheme of things, that’s a crisis at Man City. However, do not fear, two home games with Newcastle and West Brom gives them perfect match to reignite their season. Hold, two players is not too many either.

Same goes for Liverpool, two is not too many. They’ve scored three or more goals in four of their last six Premier League fixtures, I’m even considering Firmino (as much as I despise him), because trips to Swansea and Huddersfield shouldn’t pose too much of a problem for Liverpool.

Another man I am seriously considering is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. I mentioned last week that it was most likely a battle between he and Lallana for that midfield spot, so generously vacated by Coutinho. I also mentioned that if it is in fact the Ox who claims the spot, then he would become an option at just 5.6m, and it seems he has been entrusted with it.

Klopp loves players like the Ox – players that won’t stop running and will give their all, no matter the score or opposition, so I believe it is now his to lose. Ox’s history hasn’t been great, but at a new club where he won’t be playing right-wing one week and then wing-back the next, and instead he’s been given a spot to lose, I believe he will thrive. Three goals and three assists from eight starts is a testament to that already, his – equal – second best return throughout his career in the PL.


Manchester United vs Stoke; 3-0

A regulation 3-0 victory for United who have now collected 28 of a possible 30 points in their last 10 home fixtures with Stoke, that’s as one-sided as it gets in Premier League football. It was a domination by United, that had very few Stoke-coloured blips on the radar, which was nothing short of what we expected from this fixture.

Something we didn’t expect was a Jesse Lingard blank. Most players usually struggle away from home, you know – home sickness and you miss your dog sorta thing, but not Jesse, he hates playing at home, maybe he doesn’t have a dog. Five out of the six games that Lingard has returned have been on his travels, while just one gameweek – his two goals against Burnley – has seen our 6.4m midfielder produce attacking returns on home soil. Lucky for us, three of United’s next four games are away from home. It’s definitely a ‘predicament’ that I haven’t seen too many times before (if any), maybe someone should buy Jesse a dog.

One man who didn’t was blank was Paul Pogba, who – for the second consecutive game – collected a brace of assists. It took a while for the Frenchman to get back into the swing of things, but he is now well and truly ‘back’. There’s no varying stat that can explain his return to form. He is simply, back.

At 8.0m, he is in a price range that is not barren of many options, and it is in fact the opposite, we have too many options. In the end, it comes down to fixtures and personal choice. Unfortunately, we don’t have vast section of history to go off with Pogba – especially against the top six teams, whom he has played just one game against – but one thing we do know is that he kills the ‘smaller’ teams. Another unfortunate factor is that he faces three top six sides in his next seven fixtures, add to that an away trip to Burnley and we have to start assessing the fact of whether or not it’s worth it.

I think it is. Pogba’s stats for key passes and shots are so uncoincidentally consistent with there being just three games (of 13) where he has not registered four or more combined shots and key passes. One was against Arsenal – where he still made two assists –, another in the 0-0 draw with Southampton, and the one that preceded both of those fixtures, was in United’s 4-2 win away at Watford. He could be a way out of a very tricky, aforementioned and inevitable Heung Min Son debacle, I’m still undecided.

As for Stoke, their nightmarish run of fixtures are finally over and their fixtures list finally opens up. Stoke have been playing horrible of late and are in transition mode because of the arrival of a new manager, Paul Lambert, who – it’s safe to say – doesn’t have an amazing track record having led both Norwich and Aston Villa to relegation. However, this season has proven that you can’t write people off too early… *cough* Moyes *cough*


Thanks again for tuning in, and I hope you had a good gameweek. 83 for me courtesy of four double-figure hauls from the midfield saw me rise to just over 500k (still needs A LOT of work).

How did you manage this week? Did it end in a green arrow? Let us know!

Also, let us know of any queries or predicaments of your own or maybe what breed of dog we can get Jesse Lingard so he can love home again and deliver some much wanted FPL points from home.

Jerome’s Review – Gameweek 21/22

Reading Time: 24 minutes

Sorry for the delay in between the end of the gameweek and the publishing of the review. I’ve been super busy since the start of the last gameweek and didn’t have time to produce anything worthy of publishing until now.

Hopefully you get to this before the start of GW23, if not, I’ll try my best to get the next one out earlier!

To mark the end of the ‘Festive fixtures’, the Premier League decided to throw up a minor curve ball for PL teams and FPL managers alike. They decided it would be a good idea to commence (D)GW22 just 48 hours after the completion of GW22. As confusing as it was for FPL managers (especially with a DGW to take care of), it led to very entertaining viewing and it meant that football fans could start the new year right – by watching some football!

Enough jibber jabber, let’s get to it!



Bournemouth vs Everton; 1-2

This result marks the first loss of Sam Allardyce’s second campaign at Everton, a loss inflicted upon them by the shortest player in the league, Ryan Fraser. The 163cm ‘man’ (just kidding, at FPLAddicts, we love all people, of all heights) added two goals to his Bournemouth Premier League tally, his fifth and sixth of his Bournemouth career, also his fourth and fifth goals in December, out of six in total for Bournemouth. Not FPL relevant because of his history but you can always come back next year and buy him before December starts.

Hopefully this is just a blip on Everton’s clean sheet radar and we can look forward to more clean sheets in the coming weeks.

As for Bournemouth, at either end it is difficult to recommend any players that are worthy of investment because of their high volume forward rotation and their knack of conceding those one or two goals a game means it’s too risky to invest back there.


Chelsea vs Stoke; 5-0

Another Chelsea haul where Morata nor Hazard were involved, in fact Hazard didn’t even make it onto the pitch.

For those that captained Morata (me), or even just owned him, a 5-0 haul would have surely brought hope to your world, until you checked for the goal scorers and realised the Spaniard blanked. Seriously, how can you play as a striker and not even register one goal involvement from five goals? That’s 10 potential goal involvements that Morata was not a part of (albeit there were only two assists to go with the five goals).

With Lukaku consistently being a spud, Lacazette struggling for a big score amongst his consistent returns and the non-stop rotation of Aguero and Jesus, there aren’t many expensive, long-term, forward options available if you already own Harry Kane (and you should). The mid-pricers are highly inconsistent and the cheap options aren’t much better consistently – it’s a matter of luck with who you pick in the cheap forward bracket.

With a lack of many options in the forward line, one might even consider dumping Morata for someone like Quaner or Peter Crouch and invest elsewhere, or just hold and hope he can return to his early season form, hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.

Both Hazard and Morata (if you’re holding them) should start next gameweek against Arsenal, a team they faced four times in 2017, and a fixture Arsenal have had the upper-hand in over the past five meetings with three wins and a draw. Hazard’s gone for me this week – one of the Spurs midfielders is almost a must this week – but I’m forced into keeping Morata because of a lack of options.

After two impressive performances in the last two games against fellow relegation-battlers West Brom and Huddersfield, Stoke capitulated against a free-flowing Chelsea outfit, even without the Blues’ star-man, Eden Hazard. Solid upcoming fixtures mean that Stoke do have a chance to rebuild mid-season, but their options remain non-options at the moment unless you’re looking for bench warmers such as Crouch or Sobhi.


Huddersfield vs Burnley; 0-0

Your average day at the office for Burnley – another clean sheet. Nothing arose from this game that created much interest or changed any thoughts regarding either team.

I still believe Nick Pope is your best option in the Burnley defence, while there are other, better alternatives to the Huddersfield defence.


Liverpool vs Leicester; 2-1

With Liverpool’s brand new £75 million signing, Virgil van Dijk, sitting and watching from the stands, the defence – namely Joel Matip – decided to show him why their owners valued him so highly, or in other words, why Liverpool over-paid for him by as much as they did.

Nevertheless, Salah was on-hand to nullify Matip’s mistake, and some. Salah scored the equaliser and the winner and could have had one or two more before either of those two. The fact is, Salah has been on absolute fire this season and despite the injury that he picked up this game, he should probably stay in your side, as his value has risen by too much for him to be traded so easily. A large majority of us will be set to lose around 0.5m if we trade out the Egyptian, and after GW22, he could miss just one more gameweek after that, and to me, that is worth holding him to save 0.5m.

Jamie Vardy scored the opener for Leicester, his second in three gameweeks, which was assisted by Riyad Mahrez, who’s consistency this season has been stellar. Mahrez is still a great option and Vardy could prove to be a similarly-priced alternative to Firmino.


Newcastle vs Brighton; 0-0

Matt Ryan was, by far and away, the man of the match for this clash – on multiple occasions his out-stretched palms saved Brighton, and he is a big reason why the Seagulls’ defence are as good as they are. While Karl Darlow wasn’t called into action too muc, in the absence of Rob Elliot, when he was called upon, the Newcastle Keeper did his job well, but should make way for Elliot whenever he does return.

The double-D centre-back pairing of Dunk and Duffy had several chances between them to break the dead lock, but neither could muster a header on target that was penetrating enough to open the scoring. The two central defenders, along with their vast aerial threat, remain alternatives to Matt Ryan, if you are interested in the Brighton defence.

While Newcastle had an array of opportunities from many different sources and positions, they were unable to get past Ryan in goal. This array of sources is one reason why the Newcastle’s attacking (both midfield and forward) options remain, mostly, non-options. The Toon have many decent attackers, but no real stand out option in terms of FPL. Dwight Gayle is a constant threat and is the pick of an average bunch from the options at St. James Park, and with the current lack of cheap forward options he isn’t the worst. His opponent, and form Crystal Palace team-mate, Glenn Murray, is a constant threat and at 5.8m he is my pick of that cheap forward bunch at the moment.


Watford vs Swansea; 1-2

For the second time this season, Watford managed to turn a 1-0 lead into a 2-1 loss within the last 5 minutes of play. In Carlos Carvahal’s first game in charge, the Swans rallied behind their new manager and showed a willingness to attack – when behind – in those last 10 or so minutes that we haven’t really seen from Swansea this season.

Carvahal is fresh off of being sacked by Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship after he could only lead them to 15th placed this season, but this was after two consecutive top 6 finishes from Carvahal’s Wednesday side.

Carvahal loves the ‘beautiful’ side of football and throughout all the club he has managed, he has been consistent with his passing style and attacking philosophy, often playing a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3.

Renato Sanchez made his return to the starting team for the first time since GW13, in a much-improved performance – a potential bench fodder at 4.5m.

Unfortunately, for Swansea, their fixtures are absolutely terrible – fixtures from hell. They won’t be expected to earn many points from their next patch of fixtures, but it will give Carvahal a chance to work on their structure. We will reassess after this run of fixtures.

Richarlison collected his second ‘FPL assist’ in a row this gameweek, collecting points for Carillo scoring off his saved shot. Unless it’s a choice between DGW-men Arnautovic or Lanzini or even Lingard, I would hold.


Manchester United vs Southampton; 0-0

In a game largely dominated by the home side – as expected – it was a difficult result for United fans to accept. Not only did they drop points to a team outside the top six for the third game in a row, but their star forward, Romelu Lukaku, was stretchered off just 30 minutes in – the first minutes the Belgian has missed all season. Despite his substitution, Lukaku could be a chance to play in GW23, not that many active teams would have United’s 9 due to his returns in recent times, but it is news nonetheless.

A clean sheet for both teams, but United’s was the only one we truly cared about. Southampton’s loss of Virgil van Dijk and their lack of form and enticing assets makes it, also, difficult to recommend their players.

Although I did say United dominated this game, they didn’t have many shots, or any meaningful ones anyway. Nemanja Matic took the most shots this game, with four, and when that happens, it’s not hard to see why the game ended 0-0.


Crystal Palace vs Manchester City; 0-0

I mean it’s very hard to be disappointed with a win against this Manchester City side, but Palace should have inflicted defeat, for the first time this season, on Pep Guardiola’s side. A late penalty, an absolutely shocking miss from an unmarked Townsend and two bread-and-butter headers, missed, by Christian Benteke; those were the best opportunities that Crystal Palace had to bury City, but they choked.

Looking back at this game though, it was a fair result, the draw, and while City may not content with yet another two dropped points, Palace will be chuffed to secure a point to a team that cleaned them up for five in the reverse fixture this season.

Sergio Aguero had his fair share of opportunities this game, but couldn’t convert any of them as there was always a Palace defender on-hand to block the shot, or Wayne Hennessey in goal ready to tame the shot. De Bruyne had no such luck himself, and while on the stats sheet it says he had four shots, he couldn’t really get involved and get into the game. The midfield trio of Milivojevic, Cabaye and Riedewald were able to nullify the City midfield and stifle any potentially dangerous City attacks, a midfield trio worth almost four times less (£32.5) than their midfield counterparts – De Bruyne, Fernandinho and Gundogan (£125.4).

Wilfried Zaha was once again a great problem for the Sky Blues defence – his personal battle with Kyle Walker was one of the highlights of a match that was full of them.

Along with the highlights, there were also a couple of lowlights. Jesus, Scott Dann, De Bruyne and Puncheon all left the field with injury and couldn’t return, with the latter three being stretchered off. The last two, De Bruyne and Puncheon, were involved in a terrible incident where the Englishman’s late challenge brought down his Belgian opponent forcing both of the players to be stretchered off. While Puncheon’s challenge was probably deserving of a red because of the damage it could have caused De Bruyne, he, Puncheon, was actually worse off in the challenge.

Scott Dann and Puncheon are out for the rest of the season, while De Bruyne has already returned to action against Watford and Jesus will be out for around 4-6 weeks. Jesus’ injury means that Aguero’s spot in the side is safe for at least that period, my rule with Aguero is: if he is fit and guaranteed a start he is in my team. Aguero’s FPL record is nothing short of unbelievable, he has consistently put up returns of the highest standard for the majority of his tenure at City.

It still amuses – and disgruntles me – how much media attention the injuries of Citty’s two star players received, and in-turn, how little Puncheon and Dann were cared for. Maybe the amount of well-wishing a player receives depends on how big the club they play for is? As if, they are worth more money, then the more they are cared for, right?

The big club mentality was on show yet again when Zaha was ridiculed and deigned for his penalty-winning antics. Of course, Raheem Sterling won a penalty in similar fashion – with even less contact – earlier in the season against Arsenal, but I mean who cares right, he plays for a ‘big’ club.

Anyway, this game review took a largely non-FPL turn. Basically, Zaha is still blitzing opponent defences and had Milivojevic not fluffed his lines and missed that penalty, he would have had another ‘FPL-assist’. On that penalty… I still can’t believe it, the guy is the most confident penalty taker I’ve seen in a Palace shirt, but that was a terrible penalty compared to all his others. Because of his penalty duties, Milivojevic is a decent option at 4.6m.


West Brom vs Arsenal; 1-1

A rather dubious penalty decision in the 88th minute meant that the points were shared this game. Calum Chambers’ handball was, arguably, unfairly deemed a foul and as it was committed in the box, West Brom were rewarded a penalty. James Rodriguez stepped up to convert the spot-kick, cancelling James McClean’s own goal off an Alexis Sanchez free-kick. McClean only has himself to blame for the goal, for some reason players like to turn their bodies when the free-kick is being taken, McClean turned his body which allowed the ball to breach the wall, and it then deflected off McClean into his own net.

In a game where Arsenal dominated possession, but could only fall even in shots on goal, it was Mike Dean who proved the difference in the end. For once, Arsenal don’t really have themselves to blame this time – in contrast to many other matches – and the result is almost a fair representation of the ‘evenness’ of this fixture. Arsenal, in their all red kit (which looked really weird by the way), couldn’t muster many menacing attacks on the West Brom defence, which could be due to their heavy schedule and the fact that the majority of the XI stayed the exact same throughout that period.

With all that in mind, I think it’s best that we take this game with a grain of salt and realise that on any other day it could have been an Arsenal clean sheet (thanks Mike Dean) and a larger scale victory.

The same goes for West Brom.




Brighton vs Bournemouth; 2-2

A very entertaining opener to the gameweek – 41 shots between the two teams resulting in four goals made for decent viewing for football fans looking to escape a dire Saturday family night.

On a wet and dreary Brighton night, it was the battle of the pacey wingers – Jordon Ibe (seven shots and five key passes) and Izquierdo (five and two) were huge in attack for their respective sides. Both of the wingers had help doing their jobs though, Izquierdo had Gross (one shot and five key passes) while Ibe had Wilson (five and two), and in a game that was raining shots on goal, neither pair could topple the other and the game ended in a stalemate.

Wilson’s goal was quite fortunate. After a FIFA-esque couple of seconds, where the ball was ping-ponging around in the box, the ball ricocheted off of Wilson’s side, on the edge of the six-yard box, wrong-footing Matt Ryan in goal. I did say a few weeks ago that it was best to avoid the Bournemouth forwards due to the high volume of rotation between the four forwards. Since then, Defoe has gone with a mid-term ankle injury that should last for another 8-10 weeks based off reports. Josh King has also befallen to injury, this one is of the hamstring variety, and he will be “a few weeks away”. Defoe’s injury is the most significant, as when fit, the 35-year old is most likely to feature in the game, one way or another.

With all this in mind, Wilson should be locked in the team for the best part of the next two months, his goal scoring record isn’t too bad, with a goal every 182 minutes, but it’s hard to kick-start any meaningful goal-scoring runs with two cruciate ligament tears in his last two seasons. With many of us looking for an outlet for Calvert-Lewin, Wilson’s price of 5.7m makes for an easy alternative.

Another alternative is Glenn Murray who also found his way onto the score sheet this game, scoring in a goal that was guarded by three defenders and zero goal keepers, after Begovic had come out to meet Izquierdo who had squared the ball for Murray. I really like Murray as an FPL option (even after he backstabbed Palace mid-week in the FA Cup), and if he can consolidate his spot in the starting XI, then I’m all on board. I spoke about Murray in relative depth in the GW15 Review. Brighton’s fixtures are good as well, I’m looking to jump on board!




Burnley vs Liverpool; 1-2

As soon as Salah, Coutinho and Firmino were unnamed in the starting XI (at least Firmino made it onto the bence), it was going to be tough for Liverpool to muster any points away from home, against a Sean Dyche-coached team.

Mané scored his first goal in what seems like forever while the two centre-backs – the unlikeliest of sources – combined for the winner, how timely their participations were with Virgil van Dijk looming large.

With Coutinho’s departure to Spain confirmed in this past week, this means that Mané’s stocks most certainly rise. Other players who could benefit are the Ox and Adam Lallana. Coutinho’s departure means there is an opening in midfield for either of those two players. Both Ox and Lallana started the previous game as the regular starters, Firmino and Salah, were absent. Liverpool’s game against City in GW23 will give us a better indication of who will be entrusted with the starting position. But at the same time Klopp could continue to mess with us and just rotate between the two for the remainder of the season, but it remains to be seen. Ox at 5.6m, with two goals and two assists from seven starts, could be an interesting proposition, but it’s a ‘wait and see’ prospect at the moment.

Firmino should return for Liverpool’s upcoming game against City, but Salah’s return is in doubt. The rampaging winger will be cutting it close with a return this week and a decision won’t be made until the last minute and Klopp isn’t exactly gifting us any news regarding the situation. I’m holding either way, disregarding his role in the upcoming fixture – whether it be starting at the first whistle, from the bench or not at all – because he is simply too valuable to be traded out so easily.

For Burnley, with the majority of their team now in tact once again, and with the absence of Liverpool’s star trio, one could have expected a clean sheet at home this game, but it was not to be. The Clarets horror run of fixtures is almost over, they still have to face the two Manchester sides over the coming weeks, but at least these fixtures can be avoided through rotation. Hold.


Leicester vs Huddersfield; 3-0

After a tough tussle in the first-half, Leicester broke the deadlock in the second and then stormed away with the victory without looking back. Mahrez was the orchestrator and the catalyst for the Foxes’ second-half display and has a goal and an assist to show for it, this to go with maximum BP. Albrighton chimed in with a stoppage time sweetener.

After the Liverpool rotation debacle, Claude Puel decided he would make our lives even harder when he rested Jamie Vardy who has a minor groin niggle (he should be fine to return for GW23). In his absence – and Demarai Gray’s – Slimani and Okazaki were awarded starts, with the former taking it in his stride. Slimani was immense in attack for Leicester and played a brilliant ‘hold-up’ game while also being a major threat in attack. This won’t really change much for the time being however, but it’s good to know that he is there when Leicester call on him.

Leicester’s fixtures are still fairly dodgy, three tough away fixtures against some stingy defences and rampant attacks (maybe not so much Everton in the attack department) means the outlook is tough for both the offensive and defensive lines of Leicester. In saying this, their two home fixtures in this period – Watford and Swansea – have enough upside to counter the downside, of the aforementioned away fixtures, that Mahrez and Vardy remain viable options. Demarai Gray at 5.3m also remains a valid rotation/cheap midfielder because of his role in-behind Vardy.


Stoke vs Newcastle; 0-1

With chants of “Hughes Out” being sung all around the stadium, it wasn’t hard to gather that Stoke had lost this one, however, Hughes did his part but his players couldn’t finish their chances.

If you pick out any Stoke result, win or draw, since Butland claimed the number one position between the sticks from the start of the 2015/16 season, many of those results could be attributed to Stoke’s young, super-star goal keeper. The Potters had a taste of their own medicine in this game. Karl Darlow was exceptional in goal, making several point-blank saves and some more from longer range, on his way to his second consecutive clean sheet. Not to be outdone, Butland still accumulated his usual extra point from three saves, with five in total, but it wasn’t enough.

An entertaining game with not many FPL relevant players. It’s difficult to pick any of Newcastle’s attackers due to Benitez’s love of rotation while Stoke’s misfiring attack continues to tease us with plenty of enticingly-priced options combined with an unwavering level of inconsistency (yes, you read that right). The good news is that Stoke’s fixtures are quite appealing, so we may see an upturn in goal scoring form. On the other side, Newcastle’s fixtures are very unappealing for the rest of the season, I would be ridding yourself of all of your Newcastle assets, unless you plan on using them in a rotation which is still unadvised considering their rather dubious defensive form throughout the season.


Everton vs Manchester United; 0-2

United may have gotten there in the end, but it was tough work. The first half was all back and forth – United would take a long-range pot shot and then Everton would go down the other end and have a shot blocked, it was rinse and repeat. The second-half was all United as Everton barely had a sight at goal.

For the first time this season, United lined up at the first whistle without their star Belgian striker, Lukaku, and in his place Martial started up front in a 4-3-3 formation that made its first appearance this season. Lukaku has been cleared fit to play, so United will – presumably – revert back to their natural 4-2-3-1 formation with Lukaku up top.

Lingard sealed the deal for United in the 81st minute, after Martial had opened the scoring through smartly taken and well-placed right-footed curler into the top corner. Lingard’s incredible strike meant he continued his barnstorming run of form. Buyer beware, the ‘most transferred in player, blanking’ curse is circling – he is the most transferred in player by a long way, will that affect his pre-game preparation? Probably not, but seriously, you can’t go wrong with Jesse at 6.3m. Trips to Burnley and Tottenham, following United’s home fixture against Stoke in GW23, could prove difficult, on paper. Lingard scored two against Burnley just a few gameweeks ago and that was after scoring two against Arsenal, just a few gameweeks prior to that match at Burnley. When someone is in this kind of goal scoring form, the fixture doesn’t matter, but how long will it last?

This was the first of three fixtures against members of the ‘big six’ in a five gameweek period for Everton and we can’t expect too many returns from any of their assets for the remainder of this period. With Allardyce at the helm, we can’t write Everton off defensively. Offensively Everton will be hard pressed to find many goals as they have struggled against stronger opponents in recent times – just one goal against Liverpool, Chelsea and United, combined. What I’m saying is, it’s best advised to avoid any of Everton offensive assets, as you’ll most likely be going on blind faith, this includes the Toffees’ new signing, Cenk Tosun.

I have my reservations regarding Tosun, he has a impressive record for your average striker in the Super Lig – 0.43 goals a game – but it goes without saying that the Super Lig’s standard is much lower than the Premier League’s. His record in the Champions League is much better, four goals and two assists from six games is an impressive record against some of Europe’s best, but then again, Stoke have five Champions League winners in their squad. I’ll still be monitoring Tosun’s progress as he is priced in a bracket that is rather barren of consistent options. Only time will tell if Tosun can do something that many before him, have failed to do, successfully adapt to the PL from the Super Lig.


Southampton vs Crystal Palace; 1-2

Crystal Palace ended their festive period with a good, solid win away from home just two days after almost toppling the 2017/18 Champions just two days prior.

A visibly tired and lagging Crystal Palace didn’t pose much of a threat throughout the first-half, and it was just a matter of staying on their feet after a very hectic Christmas period. Their opponents, Southampton, took advantage of this by going ahead in the 16th minute through Shane Long’s first goal in 38 games, across all competitions… And I thought Benteke needed some shooting lessons!

Southampton had 70% of their shots in the first half and 2/3 of their shots on target in the same period, against a fatigued Palace side, this simply wasn’t enough.

The teams came out after the break and it seemed Southampton had been infected by Palace’s fatigued-state, and both teams started out the second-half with no vigour whatsoever, step-up Bakary Sako. Sako’s introduction in the 63rd minute turned the game on its head and ignited a Crystal Palace resurgence. Palace switched to a 4-4-2 to account for Sako, whose reincarnation under Roy Hodgson has seen him turn into a striker, as opposed to a winger.

Throughout Sako’s last 94 minutes on the pitch, spread across 6 appearances, Palace have outscored their opponents 7-1, talk about an impact sub. With Townsend’s injury in the FA Cup this week, Sako is basically guaranteed a spot in the starting XI, after Townsend’s return (“a few weeks away” according to Hodgson) his position is uncertain – will he stay in the XI or return to the bench? Either way, if you’re looking for a cheap midfielder who is playing as a striker over the next few weeks, then Sako is a good option at 4.9m!



Swansea vs Tottenham; 0-2

The first of the DGW teams, Tottenham, were matched up against cellar dwellers Swansea who came into the game on the back of their second win in their previous 13 games.

On the other hand, Tottenham came into the game on the back of two wins and eight goals from their previous two fixtures, and many were expecting an absolute goal-fest for the Lilywhites and for us FPL managers (most importantly). Before the game started, both groups, FPL managers and – less importantly – Tottenham, were dealt a blow with the golden boot leader, Harry Kane, forced to start the game on the bench due to ‘illness’.

After many had entrusted the Englishman with the armband and some went the full distance, putting their full faith in his ability, by playing their triple captain chip on the striker, the ‘many’ would have been more than disappointed with the outcome. Harry Kane blanked, and he wasn’t the only one, Son followed suite and returned empty-handed from the Liberty Stadium.

Harry Kane’s replacement, Fernando Llorente, made his first start for the London club since crossing the English border, following a transfer from Tottenham’s Welsh opponents, Swansea. Llorente made his mark on the game fairly early, with the opening goal in the 11th minute of the game. I’m still not sure how the goal counted, Llorente was a full stride offside when Eriksen sent in his free-kick, had the goal been disallowed it could have changed the story of the game.

There wasn’t much else that went on in the first-half, Tottenham held back, almost preserving their energy, while Swansea struggled for possession and a way through a sturdy Spurs defence.

The second-half was much different, both teams came out ready to rumble. It was fairly even for the opening 15 minutes of the second-half, but the scales could have been tilted in Swansea’s favour. Bobby Madley had the opportunity to Sanchez off through a second yellow card, after the defender’s reckless challenge in an attempt to win the ball that had just been stolen off him.

Swansea pushed on and created a string of chances to end the match.

Ayew was played through, by Renato Sanches (who has looked much better since his return to the team), and left a trail of Tottenham players in his wake. Hugo Lloris and Eric Dier both found themselves lying on the floor, watching Ayew run past, but the Ghanian interntational then found himself ambushed by Tottenham players just outside the six-yard box, in front of a gaping goal only defended by defenders, with the ball going out for a corner. The ensuing corner-kick resulted in the post saving Tottenham after the ball had rebounded off a Spurs’ defender’s back.

As usual in football – and most sports – if you don’t take your chances, then you are bound to be punished, and punished Swansea were. Tottenham went down the other end just minutes later and scored the sealer. With a bit more Swansea luck, Tottenham could have been clean sheet-less and goalless by the time Alli’s goal came around.



West Ham vs West Brom; 2-1

The second of our DGW teams took part in this fixture, against a team ranked one position higher than the other DGW team’s opponent, that makes the paltry returns from our DGW players look even worse.

West Brom went ahead mid-way through the first-half after a persistent James McClean had his shot nastily deflected, into the top corner. This was McClean’s first goal for 16 months, that goal was against West Ham. The ‘record’ speaks for itself, McClean is not an option.

Minutes before McClean’s goal, Solomon Rondon had the chance to put West Brom ahead himself. With Adrian miles off his line Rondon decided to try and chip the keeper from a few yards outside the box, but he couldn’t keep his shot down and it landed on the top of the net.

West Ham had the bulk of the better opportunities from then on. Lanzini and Carroll had four each while popular DGW option, Arnautovic, had just two – his lowest game tally when starting under David Moyes. This was most likely because he was relegated to playing as part of a two-member supporting cast behind Andy Carroll, in a 3-4-2-1 formation. If this is to continue, it does decrease his appeal, but I’m holding for the time being.

West Ham’s good run of fixtures isn’t stopping, the defensively weak Watford are the highest ranked team in the Hammer’s next five fixtures, making them tempting enough for me to hold both Masauaku and Arnautovic. Someone else I’m having a look at is Andy Carroll.

Carroll has had his issues – persistent injuries, reported drug use and even on-field stupidity (he was fined two weeks salary for his red card earlier this season), but the man-bun flaunting striker has undeniable talent and is a constant goal scoring threat. Carroll has been an FPL tease his whole career – just when we think his woes are behind him, he’ll go and get injured once more and return to the FPL abyss.

In his three seasons prior to this one, Carroll went at a very respectable 5.12 pp90min (it was hard to gauge his ppg because he made such a vast number of substitute appearances). Over this same period of time, he averaged a goal every 179.8 minutes, Michael Owen, Ian Wright and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer all went at over 150 minutes per goal. Of course, Carroll’s numbers are skewed because of the fact he made so many substitute appearances. You can take that from two angles; one: he simply took advantage of a fatigued opponent when he was substituted on, or two: he was good enough to make use of such limited time on the pitch.

Carrol has been fairly deprived of goals – and service – this season, when he has played; ‘when’ being the big issue. Carroll’s aforementioned inconsistencies in his playing time limit his FPL output. If he can stay fit, I see him to be worthy of a shout at a low-risk 5.8m and in a miniscule 0.9% of teams he is a definite POD.


Manchester City vs Watford; 2-1

Basically, Watford hadn’t even got a touch of the ball before Raheem Sterling opened the scoring for City and that’s pretty much how it went for the rest of the 90 minutes.

John Stones made his return from injury, making his first appearance for 10 gameweeks. At 5.4m he is a cheap alternative to Otamendi, and he is cheaper for a reason. You won’t be getting many BP’s from Stones and I don’t think you can expect too many goals either (he’s scored one in his four seasons prior to this one). What you can expect is six-point hauls basically every second week, which is a solid return at 5.4m.

Kevin De Bruyne also made his ‘return’ from injury this game. After being stretchered off against Palace as a result of the ‘one of the most reckless tackles you’ll see’, many expected the Belgian to be out for a rather long amount of time, but he returned just two days later for two assists (one was an FPL assist). Still a great option at 10.2m, as are Sterling and Aguero – who is guaranteed starts following the injury to Gabriel Jesus against Palace, who was ironically not stretchered off.

A blip on the radar for Watford, you can’t really take much for a team travelling to the Etihad at the moment.


Arsenal vs Chelsea; 2-2

What a game. It was back and forth all game and each side needed their own little piece of luck to get through it. Arsenal seemed to earn their luck while Chelsea were gifted it through the referee.

An enthralling first-half somehow ended 0-0, and as good as it was it didn’t have any goals, but the second period had four of them. Wilshere rattled home the first after an Alvaro Morata deflection landed the ball in the Englishman’s path, but that’s football.

The second came courtesy of a very contentious penalty decision, in fact, I haven’t seen anyone (bar Chelsea fans or Hazard owners) that has said it was a penalty. With both players going for the ball that had bobbled up in the air, it was Hazard who went down in the box, exaggerating the contact by 100-fold and, consequently, winning over the referee. If we think back to just two days prior to this incident, where one Wilfried Zaha won a penalty that actually had merit, I remember ‘pundits’ – and fans alike – were calling for his head, how much are we paying for Hazards? The Belgian went to the spot and coolly slotted home, levelling the scores.

The penalty decision only made for a more interesting game, players from both teams used the atmosphere and the match day events to propel themselves through the game, and Chelsea took the most advantage of this. Marcos Alonso scored for the third time in five gameweeks as he continues to make me a fool for heeding caution after his goal against Southampton in GW18. It’s becoming ridiculous, his position on the field, he is listed as a wing-back but is employed as a striker when Chelsea are in possession, I just know as soon as I bring him in his bandwagon will stall, but his price is rising quickly, very quickly.

Bellerin wasn’t about to let Alonso have all the full-back fun, and in the 91st minute he came through to smash home the equaliser – a first time half-volley off an Alonso clearance, sending the crowd into raptures. Bellerin has a surprisingly high ownership for a defender, sitting at 12.1% currently, and with Arsenal’s run he is still worth your money.

One name I haven’t mentioned yet is Alvaro Morata, mainly because I don’t really want to see the sight of him. I’ve already traded him out of my squad for this gameweek, but he honestly could have had a hat-trick this game. Morata had three big chances and yep, you guessed it, he squandered all three of them. I mean, with Chelsea’s upcoming fixtures, it’s hard to say that he won’t score, but right now he is definitely not worth his money, he made way for Aguero for me.


Tottenham vs West Ham; 1-1

Let’s play a game of ‘Who did it better?’. The contenders, Pedro Obiang and Heung Min Son. Contender number one: Pedro Obiang. Contender number two: Heung Min Son. You decide.

But seriously, those two goals turned this from one of the worst games of the season, to one of the best (maybe I wasn’t being so serious, it definitely was not one of the best, but you get my point). I think Obiang’s strike is unmatchable, and unless I’m forgetting something, it’s probably leading the goal of the season award for the PL (cue a Giroud miracle goal against Palace).

Apart from those two unbelievable strikes, this game didn’t produce much else – the FPL returns were minimal and we didn’t get to laugh at Tottenham for losing to West Ham because Son scored a wonder goal.

Kane blanked, Alli blanked, so did Eriksen, and players from both defences ended up with two points each, unless you were fortunate enough to own a defender that scored one, or even better, zero.

After – and pretty much for the whole game before it as well – Obiang’s goal, West Ham sat back and defended, putting nine men behind the ball and hoping for the best. With no Arnautovic or Carroll and only the pacey and evasive Hernandez to lead the lines, it meant that Moyes only went into this fixture with one game plan anyway, and it almost worked.

For Tottenham – and mostly us FPL managers – this was a very disappointing outing. Thankfully, it gets much easier for West Ham, as it does for Tottenham, but just for two games before they encounter a hat-trick of mouth-watering fixtures against United (H), Liverpool (A) and Arsenal (H). What you do with your Spurs players when it comes to those three matches is up to you, but I would advise against owning too many and I only plan to keep Harry Kane. Kane has six in six against Arsenal and four goals and two assists from his six matches against Liverpool, but just one in seven against United (only considering games played in the PL). That’s a decent enough record to say that I should hold our beloved 12.9m forward.


After a couple of high-scoring gameweeks, GW22 & 23 brought us right back down to Earth – the averages were more than 20 points lower than the two previous gameweeks and the DGW22 that promised so much, delivered so little.

Here’s to a better gameweek in GW23!

May the FPL Gods show you mercy in your post-festive FPL season.

Jerome’s Review – Gameweek 19

Reading Time: 11 minutes

That was huge! I scored a meagre 95 for GW19 and only managed a rank of 99, 954 for the week (yes, that was a blatant gloat, I’m not even trying to hide it). After weeks of suggestion to go for a ‘big five’ midfield, our expensive strikers decided it was time to have their say on the matter. Hope you kept Harry Kane! 😊

With the next gameweek upon in us already, it’s straight back into the action tonight! We should – hopefully – be back to normal for GW21! Read More

Jerome’s Review – Gameweek 16

Reading Time: 12 minutes

Did you keep Kane? I hope you did! Harry was the backbone of many green arrows last week, including mine and in a week where not many of the big guns fired, his return to form was much welcomed.

With this hectic Decmber period now upon us, the quick turn around of gameweeks is here with the next round of fixtures beginning in just over 24 hours! So, lets get straight into it. Read More