Premier League: GW10 Starting XI

…and the hits keep coming, sadly the first kickoff hasn’t even happened. Woke up to the glorious news of Harry Kane being sidelined for the Man United fixtures with a twinge in his hamstring. SHOULD be just a single week, but these muscles can be tricky, as the “year of the hamstring” continues.

It’s been a very long week leading up to GW10, especially coming off a below average GW9 overall score of 36 points. Knowing I made a poor decision in NOT captaining Kane, opting for Jesus. No longer do I hold faith in Pep, his rotation or any potential captain options that City carry. With that, here’s what my starting XI look like for the upcoming gameweek.

FPL TRADITIONAL STARTING XI

As seen in my starting XI, Harry Kane will not feature this weekend, however unlike the 500k+ managers who have shipped him for Kun Aguero I have decided not to take a hit to bring in the Argentine. Jesus and Vardy were already slotted to start this weekend. I don’t feel the need to start a 3-man forward line two favorable fixtures in WBA and EVE respectively.

It’s been a week long tussle, following a few different fantasy sites, as well as Twitter, in an attempt to make a decision on how to move forward. The Free Hit Chip I played last week, left me with the same problem I faced last weekend. Even with the injury to Kane, I would not have moved for a new forward as a temporarily fill in. Yesterday afternoon I decided to make the change dropping Ben Davies and Jack Cork, taking a -4 point hit and introducing Stephen Ward and Richarlison.

Initially, I was looking at Shane Duffy as a replacement for Davies, but he would have been a 3-week replacement before Brighton fixtures become unfavorable. Burnley, on the other hand appears to have a great run through GW18, only having to face Arsenal in GW13. This was also the week I transferred in Richarlison as I look to transition to possibly playing a 5-3-2, which is what formation I will start this weekend. Looking further out, my plans were to attempt a 4-5-1, with Kane holding court as the lone forward, but packing the team with three premium midfielders. More on that next week.

As for the 3-man midfield, the in form Richarlison immediately makes his first start for my squad accompanied by Pascal Groß and Christian Eriksen. Last week Groß picked up his 4th assist on the season, while Eriksen failed to return in a 4-1 thrashing of Liverpool. Hopefully we see him in that advanced role this weekend with Son or Llorente playing the advanced role in place of Kane. Both players will continue to feature in my starting XI. The addition of Richarlison now provides another captain option for GW10. Currently the armband is his, but Jesus could push for it, but after last weekend’s rotation debacle, I am not really inclined to be burned two weekends in a row.

Defensively, my formation was to be a 4-3-3, but Kane has pushed Aaron Cresswell back into service this weekend and I will feature a 5-man defensive unit as I continue to promote this formation. He will be joined by new boy, Ward, Marcos Alonso, Sead Kolasinac and Kyle Walker. Alonso draws what could be fine start in my squad. Unhappy with his involvement, coupled with no offensive returns since GW2 and Chelsea’s failure to keep a CS in the last 4 gameweeks, his £6.9 price tag is now becoming more of a hindrance. His away fixture to Bournemouth will seal his fate, one way or the other. Between the sticks, Rob Elliot returns to the starting XI away to Burnley.

Kolasinac is the other question mark. Playing a weak Swansea squad that could struggle down the left of the pitch, he and Sanchez could feature big this weekend at the Emirates. However, I am not holding my breath, as he’s recorded just 2 assists this season, the last in GW4 but Arsenal have kept clean sheets in the last 4 out of 6 games. Like Alonso, he’s get one week to prove with worth or else he’s destined to me moved as well.

Kyle Walker is secure in his starting spot, continuing to return CS with 6 out of the last 7, unfortunately his assist 2 weeks ago came with an own goal, but as prolific as City has been on the attack, I look for Walker to continue to produce at both ends of the pitch. Aaron Cresswell sees the pitch again, thanks in part to Kane being out. While he hasn’t been successful yet, he’s averaging a cross every 9.1 minutes, that’s tops in the league! Up against a Palace squad that has scored just once this season, the Hammers have a chance to keep it clean this weekend maybe see some attacking returns.

FPL DRAFT STARTING XI

After last weekend’s 54 point showing I can see the top spot drawing nearer, just 32 points off the pace. This week I made just two transfers, bringing Maya Yoshida back into my starting XI and securing the services of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, for later in the season. Could be a bit of a punt, but would rather retain his services and fill a forward slot that miss out on the potential he could carry come January (or earlier)! For the short term, he’s useless to me.

Defensively, I will say what I said last weekend, the defense is primed for a full slate of clean sheets. The Chelsea duo of Caesar Azpilicueta and David Luiz are always full of potential, as Bournemouth hasn’t been all that effective offensively. John Stones is my lone City asset, who continues to see pitch time with the Vincent Kompany injury. Toby Alderweireld faces a tough challenge in Man United, who’s assets continue to struggle, which could lead to this game ending in a 0-0 draw. Finally Yoshida and So’ton draw an away fixture at Brighton. Again, not know as a strong offensive squad, this match could end 0-0 as well. I double up with Man City’s Ederson in goal.

The midfield is unchanged for the first time this season. Dele Alli could be on the verge of a break out after a goal last weekend and midweek in the English League Cup. He faces a struggling Man United, who will be looking to park the bus against Spurs. Two young and in form players in Richarlison and Chuopo-Moting will face off against each other at the Bet365, hopefully this will be a high scoring affair. Finally, I am still backing Wilfried Zaha, playing OOP for Palace entertain West Ham. Due to injury and a 50% chance of playing I placed Coutinho on the bench.

Up front, I am going with a lone striker in Kun Aguero in a 4-5-1 formation. I am not fond of Tammy Abraham but Swansea does have a mix of fixtures, he will retain a spot on the bench for this weekend. First off the bench is Coutinho, just on the off chance he plays, but there could be some question of Aguero’s starting spot after playing 120 minutes midweek. This could mean that Abraham will feature in this weekend’s action away to Arsenal.

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