Premier League: GW17 Starting XI

It’s been a down week, after coming off a season low, 35 points in Gameweek 16. If that wasn’t enough fantasy managers find out Alvaro Morata isn’t starting and Aaron Ramsey could be sidelined up to 3 weeks! Both players have recently been acquired, but injury was one of those factors I didn’t plan for when putting together my strategy for the rest of the 2017.

Games kick off a bit later today and I continue to contemplate my starting XI for Gameweek 17. Not happy with the feel of the squad, maybe it’s the injuries or lack of a quality forward, but I have some concern for how my squad will perform this gameweek. I do however consider last week an exception and not the norm.

This week I have come full circle, starting out looking at taking -8 point hit to bring in Philippe Coutinho and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. That was Sunday. Now, Tuesday morning, I don’t believe I am going to post any transfers, opting to roll it to the week. Morata’s rest/injury should only set owners back this one game. I’m finding it hard to move his just for a game, to bring Roberto Firmino in, only to ship him back out when Morata is scheduled to start.

Much like banging my head against a wall, I will continue to roll out Jamie Vardy, with the hope he can return. Feels like a Harry Kane situation to a lesser extent. We know Vardy is a proven scorer, but hasn’t capitalized on the chances this season and that’s reflected in his run of poor returns (1 goal in the last games).

While the midfield was supposed to be bolstered by the addition of Ramsey, he finds himself on the bench and most likely out of my squad by Gameweek 19. Eden Hazard and Mohammad Salah lead the way again in the middle of the pitch. Hazard off a poor showing in the 1-0 loss to West Ham, getting a crack at Brighton away. Salah is home to West Brom, which could yield a great score. Unfortunately with so many managers owning him, his points are rather meaningless, which is why I wanted to add Coutinho to the mix. A move that I had planned on making this week, but don’t want to take a -4 hit on the back of a poor gameweek.

Richarlison is in a bit of a mire, scoreless in 3 games, but continues to get into good positions, be an important factor on the pitch, but hasn’t been able to contribute to the Hornets. This week he’s away to Crystal Palace, so my hopes are high. As for Pascal Groß, he starts because I have no other guaranteed starters. He’s hit a rut, much like Richarlison, in that he’s not returned attacking points in 4 games. I still feel the Spurs defense is a bit suspect with Toby Alderweireld out injured, so the possibility is still there for Groß.

Defensively I revert back to a 5-4-1 formation and the 5-man defense that had been so good for me early on. I will be relying on my defense to set the tone and pick up the points to help reverse that red arrow and get back on track. Marcos Alonso and Sead Kolasinac lead the way this weekend. Both players are away, Alonso to Huddersfield, while Kolasinac visits West Ham. New boy, Christian Kabasele will make his second start away to Palace. Burnley’s Stephen Ward, just off a price increase looks to post a CS as they host Stoke City. Finally, it’s Aaron Cresswell who comes in after attacking returns the last 2 gameweeks.

The team doesn’t feel right, but I can’t give into the feeling and start knee jerking points in negative transfers, so instead I will just hold steady and ride these midweek fixtures out, hope for the best and go into the weekend with 2 FT and hopefully a green arrow.

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