It was a love hate relationship this weekend with my fantasy squad. A very late transfer saw me take a -4 point hit to introduce Riyad Mahrez for Alexis Sanchez, after just 3 weeks of play resulting in just 9 points. It was time to cut ties in search of more points and better fixtures. Leicester City seemed to fit that bill with a great run in the rest of the season. Unfortunately, we had to wait until Thursday to finish the gameweek.
Liverpool owners were the big winners this week, especially if Mohammad Salah was your captain, returning 20 points, goal, assist and clean sheet. Roberto Firmino also got in the scoring, picking up a goal and 2 bonus points. As managers plan for BGW31, the question raged all week long; Virgil van Dijk or Andre Robertson as the third Reds player or go big and pick up Sadio Mané, after his UCL hat trick.
Two of the three players paid dividends against West Ham, as Mané netted and Robertson picked up an assists and bonus points. Van Dijk, while targeted in the box on dead ball opportunities failed to return, giving him just one return since GW24. At £5.6, he still holds value, probably more nailed on as a starter then Robertson, but it comes down to numbers, as Robertson would save you £0.8 to be used elsewhere.
Defensively, it was a disaster for everyone except Watford and Spurs, who both posted clean sheets. Spurs was expected, but Watford was a bit of a surprise off the back of a loss to West Ham the gameweek prior. Nathan Aké and David de Gea were my top scorers, both with 4 points. However a van Dijk recorded 2-points, new boy, Ahmed Hegazi just 1-point and Alfie Mawson, nothing. This return was better than others I saw posting on Twitter, so I’ll consider myself lucky.
The midfield was led by “that man” Mohammad Salah, which we can argue is making FPL boring this season. His 20 point haul as captain let all scorers on my fantasy squad. Unfortunately, he was really the only bright spot in the middle of the field, as Riyad Mahrez looked excellent but came up with no attacking returns. As for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Arsenal was spanked 3-0 in the League Cup final and lost today, both to Man City. He did win a penalty in the second half that Ederson saved off the foot of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. These two performances could call into question the viability of Gunner assets moving forward.
Up front, much like the midfield, it was a one man, no look show. Roberto Firmino put up 8 points with his 13th goal of the season, while adding 2 bonus points. Oh yeah and Harry Kane netted late for 6 points. Oumar Niasse started as my differential, as I benched Marc Albrighton ( 5 points) but didn’t last 60 minutes and was pulled for Cenk Tosun. Not sure what to make of Allardyce’s, “he’s my starter” comment at this point.
While the Arsenal v Man City fixture is still ongoing, it appears I will be fixed with another red arrow dropping me to the neighborhood of 600k, my lowest overall rank since Gameweek 11 after scoring 46 points (taking a -4 hit). Something needs to give as lucky just doesn’t seem to be in my favor as we approach the final part of the FPL season.