Hope everyone had a good gameweek and enjoyed a first round victory in the FPL cup. We managed to beat our opposition by 23 points, although the opponent hadn’t made a transfer all season!
Before we get stuck in with our team review, check out our GW17 preview where we discussed in detail our team plans ahead of that weekend.
🔸1050 Overall Points
🔸29,888 Overall Rank
A green arrow of 3,000 📈
Decisions to be made on some big players in the squad 🤔
2 Free Transfers ♻️
— FPLFootballAdvice (@FootballAdvice5) December 17, 2018
So as you can see, we had a fairly decent gameweek with our total points just tipping over the overall average. Over the busy christmas period, small green arrows like this week are great and if you make it through December in the green, then you’ve done very well.
As mentioned in the previous article, we decided to roll the free transfer so we haven’t got any to review this week. The major team decision was the captaincy, which eventually fell on Harry Kane. A last minute assist saved many owners including ourselves, and although only a disappointing 10 point captaincy return, it could of been worse. On reflection, the only other consideration was Sterling and he only would of faired 2 points better so nothing to beat ourselves up over.
The Wolves duo delivered another great week of returns and look to be great FPL options once again. Doherty in particular has made that 4 games in a row with FPL returns, while Jimenez has registered an attacking return in each of his last 3 starts.
Sane was our GW16 transfer and has already shown his FPL value, returning 10 points last weekend. Sterling coming off the bench to score was a big moment for FPL owners, and should now see him start a run of league games for City.
The major disappointments for the squad was the Alonso blank and Lacazette lack of gametime. Alonso was unlucky not to score after his long range strike hit the post, however at £7.0m it is always frustrating when you don’t get any positive FPL points.
Lacazette frustrated owners for the second week on the spin, this time being brought on at half time. Although he managed a lucky assist, the past few weeks have made it no clearer whether Emery views the Frenchman as a starter or bench player.
We ran a last minute Twitter poll to help with our decision on which player to bench:
Flash Poll ⚡️
— FPLFootballAdvice (@FootballAdvice5) December 15, 2018
We decided to go against our initial selection and instead go with the result of the poll. While AWB did get a clean sheet, it was a flip of a coin for the best choice. Win some you lose some!
GW18 Transfer Thoughts
2 Free Transfers
After rolling the transfer last week, we always planned on needing the additional transfer this week to help the squad. There are a few players in our team that are not performing to the expected standard, but have upcoming fixtures that make it very hard to transfer out. These players include Alonso, Kane and Lacazette.
Although his attacking contributions have dried up, Alonso has 3 of his next 5 league matches at home. They include both Newcastle and Southampton who are fighting for relegation, a great opportunity for both defensive and attacking returns.
While Kane hasn’t producing the underlying stats that you’d expect from a £12.6m striker, his long term fixtures are brilliant and has proved every year how explosive his points scoring can be. Lacazette was brought in for the purpose of covering the brilliant run of Arsenal fixtures, including their home match against Burnley this weekend.
While all these players are producing underwhelming returns, Ryan Fraser looks like the definite transfer that we will make. He has registered 2 shots in his last 5 league matches, and although he faces Brighton at home this week it seems like the logical transfer. After this weekend, Bournemouth face both Spurs and United away from home, and although he may score well in GW18, we don’t predict a month of big returns.
A straight swap for Fraser will leave our selection a little less attractive than if we made another transfer to fund. The current stand out replacement is West Ham’s Robert Snodgrass (£5.4m). With the injuries to the front 3, he has started the last 4 league matches, returning an amazing 35 points including 2 goals and 3 assists. West Ham still have some great long term fixtures, including a home match this weekend against Watford.
The move for Snodgrass would also leave £0.5m in the bank for any future transfers. Anderson (£7.4m) is the best West Ham asset, but unfortunately he can’t be owned unless we sell another player. Food for thought.
The next best alternative is Watford’s Deulofeu (£5.4m), who scored last weekend against Cardiff. While being a great attacking threat, his minutes have been limited, only starting 1 of the last 3 matches. For the same price, the guaranteed minutes of Snodgrass and form of West Ham indicate that he is the best transfer.
There’s no guarantee on the final transfers we will be making but Fraser looks to have played his last match for us. As we mentioned, we haven’t decided whether to use both transfers but there are certainly players who are close to the door.
For GW18, there are 3 stand out captaincy choices.
Sterling or Sane v Crystal Palace (H)
Kane v Everton (A)
The obvious choices are the City players with their home match, where they have scored 33 goals in 9 home league games. Both Sterling and Sane have been in great form this season, with Sane (57) only just out scoring Sterling (56) in the last 7 league matches.
Sane has however played more minutes over this period, with the rotation affecting Sterling more with Champions League matches. However, after his rest in GW17, we fully expect Sterling to start this weekend against Palace. And because of that we have currently got the captaincy on him, with Sane as our vice.
Kane was in consideration for the armband, but its impossible to look past the home form and amount of goals scored by City. Spurs also face a much harder cup match against Arsenal on Wednesday, and you’d expect Spurs to play Kane against them. City on the other hand face Leicester away, and it will be interesting to see Pep’s team for that match.
So that is our current thoughts on the team, we will be posting a final team and transfer article at the end of the week. We also have a number of other articles including our usual guest Q&A and GW Top 5 picks so be sure to look out for them.
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