Hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year, and your FPL teams survived the Christmas period. With the upcoming domestic cups, it will be a welcome break for many managers to reflect on their FPL performances.
Here’s how we got on over the recent GW.
📊 #GW21 Review 📊
2k red arrow so no dramas! 🔻
Alonso finally 🙌🏻🙌🏻
— FPLFootballAdvice (@FootballAdvice5) January 4, 2019
So another red arrow for the squad, however only a small 2k one this week. That now makes 4 red arrows in a row, falling from our GW17 overall rank of 29,888 to 110,796. However, between GW19 – 21 our rank has only fallen by 5k, so the damage has been very minimal.
We have mentioned before, although many get frustrated with this type of form, we thoroughly enjoy the challenge. The game throws problems constantly, and its enjoyable to try and solve these and climb up the ranks.
For our team, the major success was picking Harry Kane as our captain. Kane scored the most points in the team (12), after his goal, assist and 3 bonus points, reinforcing our decision to swap from Hazard. Speaking of the Chelsea man, it was a disappointment to see him blank against a Saints side who had previously conceded 21 goals in 11 away league games.
In our latest article, we have discussed the value of Hazard and analysed his recent stats after the back to back FPL blanks. If you are an owner, or plan on buying/selling the Belgian, it’s thoroughly worth a read.
Our GW21 transfer saw us sell Martial to fund buying Pogba for a long term plan. The return of Sanchez coupled with the flexibility of Lingard and Rashford meant that the rotation risk of Martial was not worth the hassle. Pogba scored 3 double figure hauls over the last 3 game weeks, but unfortunately couldn’t continue this hot streak against Newcastle. A last minute chance hitting the side netting was a frustrating moment but positive signs and an exciting player to own!
Although Alonso didn’t register any attacking returns, he did gain 2 bonus points and a clean sheet to finally reward the owners like ourselves. Meanwhile, our long shot punt on Robertson was partially rewarded with an assist and bonus point for the Liverpool defender. He now enters a run of favourable fixtures where we would expect the clean sheets to return to normality.
It’s becoming a regular feature seeing Wan-Bisakka sat on our bench with clean sheet points, who is continuing to impress this season. We haven’t got any complaints with the positioning of our bench, and fair play to Palace for picking up a brilliant win away at Wolves.
GW22 Transfer Thoughts
1 Free Transfer
Prior to GW21, we had highlighted the importance of owning Salah after the Man City match for the upcoming Liverpool fixtures.
We think that Liverpool will bounce back against Brighton, however not as comfortable as some think. Brighton have a great home record, only conceding 11 goals in 10 league matches and only losing to Liverpool 1-0 in the reverse fixture. GW23 looks like the better time for us to prioritise getting the Egyptian into the squad.
In regards to the current squad, we are happy with the line up ahead of GW22. We still have reservations over the value of Ederson, however a home fixture against Wolves may bring a much needed clean sheet for City. Alonso is still eating into a large part of the budget, but after his GW21 points and fixtures, it’s again tough to sell him.
As long as injuries don’t happen over the cup matches, we will be rolling the free transfer in order to have the flexibility of 2 for GW23. We think that there are some changes required in that week, including the possible introduction of Mo Salah. But for this gameweek, the team looks strong and the value of the extra transfer will be massive and feel like a mini-wildcard.
GW22 Captaincy Options
Ahead of GW22, we have a number of captaincy options available to us. The stand out candidates include Sterling v Wolves (H), Hazard v Newcastle (H) and Kane v Man United (H). Richarlison has a favourable fixture against Bournemouth at home, especially after the Cherries conceded 3 goals in GW21.
However, with our current rank we don’t need to take the risk of choosing a differential captain. We would only ever do this when we have to climb the rankings or chasing an opponent in a mini-league.
Although all three are options, they each pose worries over placing the armband on them. Sterling hasn’t been in the sparkling form that he was at the start of the season, only scoring 1 goal in his last 7 league games. Wolves have also proved they have a brilliant defensive record away from home, only conceding 10 goals in 10 away matches. Wolves have also got a decent record against ‘top 6’ teams, winning 2, drawing 3 and losing just twice. The usual worry of rotation is also there for Sterling, with Mahrez waiting in the wings after being rested against Liverpool.
Hazard has been Chelsea’s best player this season, but that has also emphasised the importance of him playing well. He has amazingly contributed in 50% of Chelsea’s league goals this season, highlighting the influence he has in the team. However, Chelsea have been shy of goals over recent weeks, and have in fact not scored more than 2 goals in one match since GW11.
It’s suggesting that Chelsea are struggling to break down teams who sit back and defend, highlighted in their matches against Southampton and Crystal Palace. Newcastle at Stamford Bridge should see Chelsea bounce back from their draw, but Newcastle have only conceded 12 away goals in 10 league matches. Benitez knows how to shut up shop and we don’t expect a hatful of goals in this fixture.
Our final option, Kane, has the hardest fixture of the bunch against a rejuvenated Man United side. Although United have won 4 games on the bounce, they have only kept 1 clean sheet over this period – their 3rd clean sheet of the season. Kane is in a good form, scoring 5 league goals in his last 4 games.
Currently, the armband is on Hazard with Sterling as vice captain. We certainly are not fixed on this decision, but Sterling is owned by only 10% of managers, whereas Hazard has an ownership of 38%. Sterling has somehow become a slight differential after his fall from grace, so doesn’t need to necessarily be captained. We know that Chelsea will have a tough game, but if they do get the win you can be sure that Hazard will have some hand in the goal.
GW22 Draft Team
So here is the squad without any changes:
Be sure to check out our latest article, where we discussed the value of Hazard and whether he is an FPL troll or season keeper.
A reminder of our FPL league:
League Code: 2297733-525881
League Name: Footballadvice.co.uk