GW26 has finished and the first major blank gameweek is on the horizon for managers. The domestic and European cups have meant that we have a weekend off from FPL, some much needed time to plan strategies.
For managers that currently own players blanking in GW27, then you need to check out our recent article where we have analysed the most popular players who are blanking and what to do with them. It also includes the best players to own and the ones who should be on your watch list.
📈78,220 OR (7k green arrow)
😪Auba/Aguero strategy ultimately a fail
— FPLFootballAdvice (@FootballAdvice5) February 12, 2019
Our GW26 transfer was selling Ederson and buying Fabianski, who got his customary save point. The transfer freed up £0.8m and meant selling Ederson who has a blank this gameweek and most probably in GW31. Fabianski and West Ham on the other hand have a fixture in both of these gameweeks, including some great matches against Fulham, Cardiff and Huddersfield.
Importantly, the move has provided the money to upgrade other aspects of the squad throughout these tricky gameweeks and get the best players.
The Aubameyang/Aguero strategy turned out to be a failure, with Aubameyang unable to play against Huddersfield due to illness. On reflection, it feels a bit unlucky in some aspects but the thought behind the decision still holds firm in our eyes.
Prior to the double GW25, we would have spent a FT in selling Aubameyang for Aguero, and even the biggest fan probably didn’t predict the hat trick against Arsenal. Even so, if we were to own Aguero we would have sold with the prospect of a fit Aubameyang against Huddersfield. The illness for those that didn’t sell prior were forced into holding Aguero, and the rest is history. Good work to all those that owned Aguero during this period, should be some big green arrows!
The ownership of Sterling over Sane has been a big FPL reward, and his 18-point haul really helped the gameweek score.
The midfield were the big scorers this weekend, with Pogba and Salah as captain joining Sterling in double digits. The three seem to be essential in the squad right now, and although Pogba faces a difficult month of fixtures you can’t ignore his current form.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the forwards were the low scorers with both Aubameyang and Rashford not featuring. It felt like this week was a little reminder of the importance of maintaining a strong, playing squad. The starting 11 is the priority, but with rotation/injury due to upcoming cup matches and the blank fixtures, it will test squad depth. Those that have prepared appropriately will be rewarded in the coming 4/5 gameweeks.
Outside of the mentioned, the remainder of the squad was pretty average. The Everton duo were given their last match and both returned a poor 2-point score. The plan was always to sell the two with the 2 free transfer we saved, so it is just a reminder of the current state of Everton. We would recommend selling any Everton assets that managers have in the run up to GW27 if they have the suitable transfers. They are not providing the form or player confidence to justify being an FPL option and only until this changes should they be considered, in our eyes.
GW27 Transfers Thoughts
So as mentioned, we have £0.8m in the bank and 2 free transfers available.
As long as there are no unexpected injuries, and Aubameyang is confirmed fit from his illness, then the two players likely to be sold are Digne and Richarlison.
The replacements for the two have to have a fixture in GW27, and we have an eye on the GW31 blank as well. The FA cup matches will clarify the fixtures in GW31, but currently all we know is the following fixtures are definitely happening:
West Ham v Huddersfield
Fulham v Liverpool
Burnley v Leicester
Bournemouth v Newcastle
With the remaining fixtures still undecided, it’s important that managers don’t rush their transfers until we know more information. For the best advice, follow Ben Crelin on Twitter who will provide a clear outlay of the blank and double gameweeks.
For this very reason, any transfers that we make will not be done until this has all been revealed.
Currently, our number 1 Digne replacement is Leicester’s Ricardo Pereria (£5.3m). Leicester are confirmed to have no blank, therefore we know that he is a player that ticks this box. Pereira has caught the eye throughout this season, on occasions playing out of position in an attacking role for the team. He has scored 2 and assisted 6 goals, while keeping 7 clean sheets throughout the campaign.
Due to possible price rises, Chilwell is a cheaper alternative that we have considered, priced at £5.0m. He hasn’t scored this season but has assisted 3 and passed the eye test on multiple occasions. Both have guaranteed minutes, something we believe is essential in the remaining parts of the season and fixture congestion.
Replacements for Richarlison are a little harder to come by in regards to form and price. From the fixtures that we know, a candidate is the once popular Felipe Anderson (£7.2m), who has dipped in form in recent months. Having only returned 1 attacking score in the last 7 league matches, it has seen his ownership fall to 14.4%. Similar to Leicester, they have a match in GW27 and a chance of a fixture in GW31 too.
Other than Anderson, the other player that we have considered is another Leicester man, James Maddison (£6.6m). Maddison’s minutes have been unpredictable and he has not produced a attacking return in his last 3 league matches. However, he is still continuing to be a goal threat, taking 6 shots and 10 key passes over this period. If his position becomes guaranteed then he could be a great replacement for Richarlison.
A player that has flown under the radar but shares the same rotation risks as Maddison is his fellow teammate Harvey Barnes. We have highlighted his stats and potential in a recent Tweet:
🚨 #FPL Differential 🚨
👀 0.1% ownership
⏱ Started last three matches
📅 Amazing fixtures including games in GW27/31
📊 3.64 Sh/90, 1.52 Kp/90
— FPLFootballAdvice (@FootballAdvice5) February 12, 2019
GW27 is an interesting week for captaincy picks, with many of the high ownership players either facing a blank or tough fixture. City and Chelsea players are out of the equation, while Liverpool and Man United face off against one another.
Aubameyang was highlighted earlier on in the season as a captaincy option for this week, and as an owner we can’t see any better options past this. Arsenal face Southampton at home, who have conceded 23 goals in 13 away matches. Aubameyang has scored 9 of his 15 league goals at home and we would expect him to get chances against this Saints side.
In our squad, the other alternative is to captain a Liverpool or Man United player, and based on defensive records it would have to be a Liverpool player. They have kept the most clean sheets this season and you wouldn’t expect United to put 2 or more goals past them.
Therefore, Salah would be the next best pick in our eyes. His record against the top 6 teams this season isn’t great, but he is the main man in the team and his ownership makes him the obvious choice.
Outside of these two teams, the other notable option is Tottenham’s Son who has been in great form all season. Tottenham face Burnley away in the lunchtime kick off, a game that might prove to be a tough match for Spurs. Burnley are unbeaten in 7 league matches, only conceding 6 goals in this period. Although Son is still a captaincy option, owners be wary that he could be in for a tricky match.
So here is the team without any transfers:
Hopefully, the squad will look stronger after the planned transfers and only having Sterling on the bench that blanks.
If you have any suggestions for the team, then let us know over on Twitter.
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