Written by @IamtheMarkus. Follow him on twitter for regular FPL insights!
The first IB of the season was chaotic and left teams short of a few key men. This IB is even more so, with no shortage of niggles and positive tests we hopefully see a little less red in some of those teams by the time Saturday kick-offs come around. The general consensus is that Salah probably won’t be around for 1 to 2 gameweeks.
As far as GW 8 went, for most, it was a high scoring week and pleasantly a positive captain performance with a goal and all three bonus points. Not a monster haul but better than some recent weeks so it certainly helped my team to a generous 71 all out. Had I gone a bit rogue and gone Bruno from my picks no doubt there would have been a broader smile on my face.
In the selections that were out of my squad, Auba and Arsenal massively disappointed their fans. Vardy started well with one penalty and had he scored the next would have been on for a cracking individual score but ended up with just the 4(or 8pts). Ziyech really put in another strong Chelsea performance with 2 more assists.
Performers of the GW8 included Watkins as he helped crush his boyhood club of Arsenal. Soucek, Armstrong and Eze chipped in with strong showings from midfield. Salah continued to grab a goal, as did Bamford/Werner. This year points are being spread all across the ranks which is quite nice in a way as it gives us so much choice, shame the IB has wiped out a lot of players but we shall see how quickly some recover from those niggles that kept them out of the International fixtures.
Looking forward to GW9…
- Newcastle vs Chelsea (early ko)
- Aston Villa vs Brighton
- Spurs vs Man City (early eve ko)
- Man Utd vs West Brom (late ko)
- Fulham vs Everton (early ko)
- Sheffield Utd vs West Ham
- Leeds vs Arsenal
- Liverpool vs Leicester
- Burnley vs Crystal Palace
- Wolves vs Southampton
Provided there are any players without an injury or a positive test (there are, this is sarcasm) then this could be quite an enjoyable gameweek for many as there are a few tasty matchups that stand out. The right captain pick from Chelsea at Newcastle, Man United at West Brom, Everton at Fulham or West Ham at Sheffield could be rewarding. Heck, even Leicester as visitors at Anfield for whoever is fit for the Liverpool game.
After last week’s showing, I’ve decided to avoid Arsenal like the plague until there are 100% signs of goals/life back there. It’s fair to say that a lot of their players have played a lot of minutes as well.
There are fixture swings galore as well, so we look forward to writing some new names down below in the coming weeks. With so many players now carrying knocks or testing positive it is likely we will see a few big names missing over the next period.
My © will be DCL
Vice – Grealish
Fernandes – TSB ~ 26%
Manchester United have still yet to show some form of consistency. None more so than Bruno, two nice double-digit hauls with a 2,3 pointer sandwiched in between. I gratefully took the 17 points last week and am hopeful for more here. He tries so much across the 90 minutes to make amends for all his teammates, he still leads or is near the top of the usual metrics for chances and shots. We are beginning to see a bit of wastefulness in recent games with the amount of times he can give away possession too. His numbers seem to favour the ‘away’ fixtures too if you are into that.
West Brom really did frustrate Tottenham last time out and so they will need something a little special to break the deadlock. Once broken, I think WBA may fall apart but perhaps, for now, I’m happy just to own Bruno.
Grealish – TSB ~ 36%
The biggest name of the Villa midfielders and finally getting his England start, he will be keen to continue to shine on the home front as well. First up is a decent fixture to Brighton. Brighton have been an enjoyable watch, keen to attack most games and typically the defenders play a part in those moves. Whilst he is no longer always the top Villa scorer each week, in my mind he remains the top Villa asset to own as he is involved in more or less everything as he remains their talisman.
DCL – TSB ~ 21%
Remember how excellent Everton have been to own up until 4 fixtures ago? Well, rejoice as the fixtures look back to a palatable shade of green for the next three. I’m sure James’ owners will be pleased and the same as Richalison’s once they get back from their international adventures. DCL will be primed to carry on his charge leading the line for the lunchtime fixture in London. Everton will be looking to put out a more orthodox starting 11 than in recent weeks and Ancelotti will be keen to reverse the results and make a statement here. Strong considerations for the © on the fixture alone but perhaps one or two of the people around you don’t own him anymore?
Ziyech – TSB ~ 15%
His performance has earned him a transfer to my squad and many others (15% from last weeks’ 5%). He looked very sharp against a woefully lacklustre Burnley side, looked quite threatening at most points during the Sheffield game and next up is a visit to Newcastle’s finest. Ziyech has consistently been involved in almost every second goal for club and country. This could well be another good week for the Moroccan. Early kick-off, which for me, are usually cursed.
You can’t have them all, but here are a couple of players who are not in my squad and I will be watching from behind the sofa as they look likely to cause serious damage this weekend.
Watkins – TSB ~ 7.5%
A second double-digit haul, three goals in his last two games and a fixture list that looks pretty appealing at such a low price point. Villa will be keen to push on and this looks as good a fixture as any for goals.
James – TSB ~ 20%
Everton’s architect, a return to fitness after a minor injury scare. Fitness is key for this fella for him to really run the show. An international fixture midweek on Tuesday might hamper that but he should have more than enough in the tank to create woe for Fulham. As Ancelotti’s star man, it really is on him to form the backbone for the way they play and win games. Fulham will be a must-win in Everton’s eyes.
Vardy – TSB ~ 22%
A mixed bag last week, but as Liverpool’s injury woes seem to pile up, it is likely there will be an inexperienced defender in play so points could well be on the cards here. If not, there is always a token penalty. That said, if you are a Liverpool defender you are training against some pretty pacey forwards daily so maybe we are reading too much into it. Still the 2nd top forward for points. My money is on a sensible-ish looking backline for Liverpool.