Pitch & Pint Podcast Ep20 Show Notes

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Episode 20 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast being recorded Wednesday December 19, 2018, Epic Fail

INTRODUCTION – Episode 20 Epic Fail

Hello and welcome to episode 20 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast. My name is Stephen, you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter.

Watford Review

Watford 3 Cardiff City 2

While the final score appears close, the game really wasn’t. As supporters of the Golden Boys have seen on the pitch all season, Watford dominated play by controlling 68% of the possession and put five shots on target. A far cry from a few games ago when they struggled to get any shots on target against weaker opposition, such as Newcastle and Southampton.

This week we saw a possible star in the making, as Domingos Quina got his first Premier League start in place of Etienne Capoue, suspended due to a straight red card a few games ago.

Picked up before the transfer window closed last August from West Ham, the 19-year-old made an impact earlier this year with a 30-yard rocket against Reading in a 2-0 in the EFL Cup. That strike opened the eyes of many supporters.

His strike makes him the youngest scorer in Premier League history at 19 years, 27 days old.

I didn’t know that I was the youngest scorer, but I’m very happy with it. I’m happy to help the team and that it was the final goal to get us the win, I’m happy and I’m proud of it,” Quina said after the game.

His curler in the 68’ off a pass from Ken Sema provided, what would be, the game winning goal.

Gerard Deulofeu looked in top form against Cardiff, putting Watford on the board after just 16 minutes with a run through the heart of the Cardiff defense and slotting a shot past Neil Etheridge.

Out of the break, it was would Jose Holebas with well-placed shot to the top right corner, just past the outstretched hand of Etheridge as Watford took a controlling 2-0 lead in the 52nd minutes.

Just 16 minutes late, Quina hit to give the Hornets a 3-0 lead, but momentum shifted at the 80th minute, followed by a bit of complacency on the part of Watford that opened the door for the Bluebirds.

Bobby Reid was introduced off the bench, as he would play a key role, but not before Juinor Hoilett received a pass from Victor Camarasa down the left flank and curled a beautiful shot to the far corner of the goal, past a diving Ben Foster to get Cardiff on the board.

Two minutes later there was a scramble in the Watford box, as Foster was left on the ground sprawling for a save, as Reid attempted a back heal that rebounded back to the forward, who toe poked it home to cut the Watford lead to 3-2.

That is where the game would end, in some extra time flurry of activity, but Watford would hang on for a vital win to snap a winless streak.

The Hornets looked quite impressive again on the pitch, much like they have to this point of the season, even though they had hit a winless spell after recording their best start to any Premier League season.

Gracia said: “We are very pleased with the result because we have played many games recently and we didn’t get the reward maybe we deserved. The victory is very important and after we can analyse the game knowing we have played well.”

The Hornets also welcomed back Tom Cleverley to the midfield, as he made a substitute appearance after starting the season injured. This provide Watford and Gracia another player to fit into a very crowded midfield, however it’s better than not having enough.

Looking ahead, Watford visit the London Stadium this weekend and a red-hot West Ham, who’ve scored 11 goals in their last 4 games. However, their defense is terrible, even with their 4.6 goalkeeper, Lukasz Fabianski.

I see many goals in this game for both sides, 3-2 as a final score. And honestly, it could go either way. I do feel Watford have played better defensive against Liverpool, City and Everton, but didn’t quite get the results they wanted.

It’s time to check into our game week 18 beer of the week

Beer of the Week – Gameweek 18

Lawson’s Finest Liquors

This week it’s great to crack open a new beer I have never had from Lawson’s Finest Liquors out of Waitsfield, Vermont. There are some great breweries out of the northeast, including Lawson’s, The Alchemist, Tree House Brewing Company, Maine Beer Company, Trillium Brewing and Hill Farmstead, to name some of the best one’s I’ve had.

This coming from a California guy, who’s got many great breweries in his backyard, as well as down south in Los Angeles and San Diego.

However, there is something special about popping open these cans and bottles when I am fortunate enough to get them from sources in the northeast part of the US.

This part of the country is known for the NEIPA style of beer, just when I think I have had enough of this hazy style of beer, a new one comes along to reinvigorate me, yearning for me.

Lawson’s Finest has earned critical acclaim and an enthusiastic fan following. Sean Lawson started the 1bbl nano-brewery with his wife Karen in 2008 after 20 years of home brewing.

His specialty maple beers & IPA’s have garnered awards at the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival, and at two National IPA championships (2011 – Triple Play IPA and 2016- Super Session #2).

Lawson’s Finest grew to a 7bbl system in 2011 in a small sugarhouse style shed next to their home. In 2018 Sean and Karen opened the Waitsfield brewery, taproom and retail store.

Lawson’s Finest Liquids produces beer of the highest quality with outstanding freshness. They emulate the best of widely appreciated styles of beer, featuring world class IPAs and unique maple brews, while quenching the thirst of beer lovers from near and far.

Lawson’s Finest Liquids is a valued leader in the craft beer culture. Their customers are excited and engaged by their high-quality beer and memorable experiences. They create economic vitality in the local community through beer tourism and by providing rewarding careers within a vibrant company culture. They further support their neighbors and local charitable organizations through philanthropic giving.

Today from Lawson’s Finest Liquors it’s Hopzilla. Described on the can as, “a monster of an IPA that will make you pucker up! Loaded with high-alpha U.S. grown hops, this brawny dry hopped ale will terrorize your taste buds yet has enough malt to backbone to balance a fierce bitterness.

Now before I even crack it open, there seems to be a difference of opinions when it comes to “hop bombs.” California, especially brewers like Revision Brewing Company and Knee-Deep Brewing are quite know for toss some big hoppy beers out to the public.

So, I take some of the East Coast and Northeast beers with a grain of salt until I finish them before comparing them to what I am use to when it comes to big and hoppy beer that are dripping with a dank and piney bitterness.

This beer pours a slightly hazy golden honey yellow with a porous, long lasting, fluffy white head. This beer retains quite a bit of lacing down the pint glass.

The aroma is packed with a big citrus bite including grapefruit, orange and some lemon zest with an underlying note of honey sweetness and a dank, earthy pine.

As for the taste…its big grapefruit and pine but not the hop bomb I expected. It’s very flavorful and balanced with a nice underlying, sweet malt base

While their distribution is very small, if you ever have the opportunity to try a beer from Lawson’s do not pass it up. Hopzilla, terrorize your taste buds.

Now lets get into some FPL opinions

FPL OPINIONS

Premium Forwards

It’s time to air some grievances on Pitch and Pint that have left me feeling a bit cheated. First those premium forwards. I moved Mo Salah in game week 14 as part of a -8 and brought in Aubameyang and Kane to my front line to replace Arnie and Aguero. It appeared to be a great move, as Kane brought in 24 points wearing the armband. Since then, it’s been nothing but a last gasp assist for Kane.

The duo cost me 24.1 million and right now, ahead of GW18, these players aren’t getting the job done. Aubs is on 10 goals and Kane has 9 goals, both are proven goal scorers. Fixtures are good, but there seem to be some underlying problems of putting the ball in the back of the net.

Over this 3 week period, they have combined for 27 penalty touches, 14 attempts on goals, 12 from inside the back and 7 big chances, with Aubameyang having 6 big chances and no returns to show from them.

Now we can look at those big chances in a positive light, as he’s getting into position to score, but has just been unlucky. However, you don’t shell out 11.5 and NOT post attacking returns.

Both Aubameyang and Kane are on the short list to be moved. Kane with a case of the man flu and is currently flagged, got 32 minutes today in the League Cup against Arsenal providing an assist to a Dele Alli goal.

Ahead of this weekend, Arsenal host Burnley, the same Burnley team that limited Kane to just 6 penalty touches and 2 goal attempts. I still have confidence in Aubameyang to produce based on his underlying stats. Have we overused that word this year? However, as we see sometimes those stats don’t equate to attacking returns. Kane and Spurs travel to Everton, where he scored a brace. In fact, he scored 4 goals against Everton last year, picking two up at home as well.

Top 1000 Managers

I’ve spoken about the top 1000 managers regularly when hosting the Academica Vertex with Casey, Gabe and Garf. It’s ownership numbers that I have started to pay attention to over any other stat when it comes to my transfers.

Why wouldn’t you want to build a team that mirrors what the top 1000 in the game are doing? If you had 105.4 million right now, you could own that team.

That starting XI would consist of Fabianski in goal, a 3-man defense of Doherty, Robertson and Alonso. The midfield 4 would be Fraser, Anderson, Hazard and Salah. Up top, Jimenez, Wilson and Kane.

Last week this team would have scored 56 points before adding your captain points, either Hazard or Kane. You would have finished with a green arrow.

Currently I own 9 of the 15 players from this “template” three of which are bench players in Hamer, Wan-Bissaka and Hojbjerg.

The top 1000 managers share 11 players in common with all managers across FPL, not include 40.1 inactive squads.

It gets interesting when you start pairing players together. The defense trio of “RAD” or Robertson, Alonso and Doherty are selected by 40.2% of managers in the top 1000, but just 9% across FPL.

I’ve been using to seek out differentials to include in my squad, which led me to drafting in Aubameyang for game week 15.

While Aubameyang is included in 52.3% of teams across FPL, he’s owned by just 35.1% in the top 1000. He hits, I should see a green arrow.

Partnering him with Kane, who is owned by 65.5% of top 1000 managers, gives me an excellent differential, as this duo is owned by 10.5% of managers across FPL and just 13.1% in the top 1000.

However, that strategy hasn’t really paid off as expected when I shipped Salah, Arnautovic and Aguero.

Looking ahead using this data I am only planning on bringing in two players who are currently in this top 1000 group. Those players are Hazard and Jimenez.

I am also watching the ownership in the budget forwards, if that decision is made to shift money back into the midfield.

Budget Forwards

Speaking on budget forwards, after Danny Ings brace last weekend, he’s been brought in by 68k managers for the game week 18 at Huddersfield.

His ownership is still extremely low and could pay off as an excellent differential selection in the next 2. After Huddersfield, Southampton host West Ham. I see goals from Ings, even in limited minutes from both matches.

Raul Jimenez has been nothing short of outstanding on the season. Now priced at 6.2, he’s still good value with 5 goals, 6 assists and 81 points on the season, making him the fifth highest scoring forward on the season.

At 19.3% owned across FPL, he’s seen another 55k managers bring him in ahead of the game week as managers continue to move out the likes of Mitrovic, Wilson, Aubameyang and Kane.

The Jimenez/Ings combination is owned by 0.2 across FPL and not enough data over the top 1000, which means his ownership is less than 0.1%.

What to do with Callum Wilson? Still highly owned by both groups, he continues to be flagged, as he came on last week for a 32 minutes cameo. Bournemouth has a home fixture against Brighton but then it’s away to Spurs and United. Over the next 12 weeks they play 6 top teams, yeah, I am including United as a top team still.

The ownership numbers are interesting to follow, and I feel it’s provided some clarity rather than looking at penalty touches, goal attempts, on target, xG or other stats that are currently being touted.

Am I right or wrong? Not sure there is a definite answer to that question. It’s what I am doing, I guess end of the season results will be the judge of that. It’s just another way to play fantasy football.

Is the clean sheet dead?

I wrote a piece for 6thgoal.com titled Festive Period Clean Sheets. After hearing Josh of Always Cheating called clean sheets dead, I wanted to see just how dead they really were.

Why you ask? Because I currently have 39.9 million (buying price) wrapped up in my defenders and goalkeepers. That over 8 million more if you had gone with 4.5 defenders and starting GK with a 4.0 backup.

That’s a Felipe Anderson or Richarlison in the midfield or even upgrading from a 9.something midfielder to Hazard, Sterling or even Salah.

I continue to live and die by the clean sheet. In recent weeks its been the later, with scores of 45 and 40 points the last two weeks, but lucked out in 15 when by forwards picked me up.

In GW15 and 17 I picked up ZERO clean sheets and when you rely on defense, it’s a reality check that begs the question, “Is this really the right way to play?” A single goal against City or Liverpool is the difference between 24 points and 8 points.

City has suddenly sucked all the line out of my recently, as they continue to give up cheap, shitty goals. Outside of the 2-0 loss to Chelsea, they have not given up more than 1 per game all season. However they have posted just 8 CS on the season, after running off 6 in a row it’s been just one in the last 7 games.

Is it time to divest in a premium defense? Looking at City, we know they are the class of the league and when I ask myself who do I move Laporte to, no names jump out that me that don’t feel like a lateral move.

I am sure many listeners are saying Doherty and Digne, but I don’t see them better than Laporte. I buy into defense for clean sheets. Any attacking returns are secondary. Based on last season, I have no doubt City will finish on at least 18 clean sheets this season.

Wolves have kept 1 CS in the last 10 games, but Doherty continues to collect accolades because he’s picked up 3 attacking returns. I can’t justify the move, even though it would save me 0.9.

How about Digne? Watching Marco Silva last season, he’s a manager that likes to attack and doesn’t play much defense. At Everton he does have a better group than what he had at Watford. But again, I ask the same question, “Does Digne outscore Laporte?”

Everton have kept just 4 clean sheets on the season. Digne now has 3 attacking returns on the season. Everton, after Spurs have a great run of fixtures, but I am not sure Everton is set up to keep clean sheets. I like the centerback pairing of Keane and Mina with the attacking prowess of Coleman and Digne. Can’t forget the England international in goal.

Maybe it’s going to take time for this group to come together as a single unit and start being a defensive force for the Toffees.

Two defenders who aren’t leaving my squad I have already talked about; Robertson and Alonso. They are cornerstone players in my squad, both on teams who can keep the CS, but can also produce that the offensive end. Van Dijk is a current wild card, as I could move off him, either as a luxury transfer or to move budget into my midfield or forward line.

At this time, VVD has been excellent in the last 6 games, outside of conceded to Untied last weekend. He’s scored 38 points over that period, including 2 assists.

His point total put him on par with the likes of Richarlison and Anderson at a million less. That is why I continue to promote a premium defense. Coupled with Alonso and Roebrtson, they represent the top three defenders in the FPL game.

Now let’s clear up the confusion when it comes to hazy IPA in our beer news section.

BEER NEWS – Hazed and Confused: Seeking Clarity in IPAs

What’s wrong with unfiltered beer? Nothing, traditionally speaking. Grains like oats and wheat, which brewers have used for hundreds of years, are known for rendering cloudy beer. Just look at Wei-hen-stephan-er. Practices like kräusen-ing, or adding yeast to unfinished beer, can contribute cloudiness, too.

But when it’s a hazy American IPA, people start arguing. Even the Beer Judge Certification Program style guidelines have been careful to employ unsettled (dare I say opaque?) language, stating that American IPAs “should be clear, although unfiltered dry-hopped versions may be a bit hazy.”

Jamil Zainasheff, author of Yeast: The Pracical Guide to Beer Fermentation, is a little more unambiguous. “Hazy IPA is OK. What is unacceptable is murky, cloudy beer that is no clearer than a glass of milk. It seems that recently people have taken hazy to mean opaque. I am not sure if this is a lack of knowledge or laziness on the part of some brewers, but this level of cloudiness can negatively impact beer flavor.”

Like Zainasheff, the public has been vocal about their opinions. Why has their crystal clear West Coast IPA been upstaged by its murky cousin? And what makes an IPA hazy, anyway? Scientifically speaking, “haze is a combination of polyphenol and protein molecules that associate via hydrogen bonding and become visible,” explains John Palmer, author of How to Brew. Suspended yeast, which is different than protein-polyphenol haze, also causes cloudiness.

In clear beers, the haze-active protein that comes from malt and the haze-active polyphenol that comes from hops attract each other. “Under the right conditions,” Palmer says, “these hazes will attract each other and settle out after fermentation, and therefore predominately clear beer is the norm.”

According to Palmer, “turbidity in IPAs comes from the high polyphenol load due to late hopping and dry hopping.” In a typical brew, “most of the hop polyphenol is precipitated out during the boil with the hot and cold break, leaving a higher proportion of haze-active protein from the malt without anything to bind to and therefore less haze,” he says. “With dry hopping however, a lot more polyphenol [is] introduced after the boil and therefore able to bind with the protein and therefore more haze.”

For Palmer, it’s an issue that can be diagnosed and remedied. “It is a common problem, but a problem that is readily treated, like spinach on your teeth.”

Ultimately though, treatments like filtering or using finings such as Irish moss to help settle out particulates, change the chemistry—and flavor—of the final product. And according to some brewers, haze isn’t the result of laziness or an ignorance of tradition, it’s deciding not to filter and deliberately choosing to use wheat, or a particular yeast strain, or in some cases to dry-hop heavily.

Filtering absolutely strips flavor from beer,” says Sam Richardson from Other Half Brewing in Brooklyn, N.Y. He and co-founder Matt Monahan are known for their juicy—and hazy—IPAs like Hop Showers IPA and Green Diamonds Double IPA. “Fining or filtering is almost always a personal choice, not a matter of laziness,” declares Richardson adamantly.

Ben Howe, head brewer of Idle Hands Craft Ales and founder of Enlightenment Ales in Massachusetts, agrees. When designing heavily dry-hopped IPAs, Howe strongly believes “that the softness and full-bodied mouthfeel comes from yeast in suspension.” Were those hazy IPAs to be filtered, he says, “their mouthfeel, intensity and delicateness all drop off.” Howe has tried to reign in the haziness by changing his dry-hopping schedule, to no avail. Just like finings, highly flocculent yeast that quickly drop out will strip particulates out, too. “But this could be taking some of these hop flavors with it,” argues Howe.

The other problem with hazy IPAs is their limited shelf life. They may taste great at the brewery, but distribution timeframes and practices tend to change them—sometimes drastically. “Yeast, proteins and resins all reduce long-term stability,” says Chris Sellers, head brewer at The People’s Pint in Greenfield, Mass. “If the goal is to create a beer that is to be consumed within days of packaging and is kept under hyper-controlled conditions, then haze is fine.” If you can’t guarantee those conditions, he says, it defeats the purpose of a hazy IPA.

Not all beer is created equal,” Sellers says. “You have to understand where it comes from and what the brewer’s goal was. The beauty of brewing is that beers are alive.”

From Zymology by Aleszu Bajak | Aug 2015 | Issue #103

FPL OPINIONS

Fixtures through December

So what direction do fantasy managers taking moving forward through December? While the ultimate decision lies with each manager we can interrogate fixtures and the numbers and see where they come out.

As I will talk about shortly, I am serious considering 6 transfers over the next 5 weeks to roll 18 million into my midfield to upgrade players like Fraser, Gudmundsson and Hojbjerg and look at playing a 3-5-2

The 3-5-2 formation has been my most successful, averaging 77 PPG. Compare that to a 3-4-3 at just 59.3 PPG. However, I am willing to take that average, as it’s on target with my weekly goal of 60 PPG.

Points continue to pour out of the midfield, which accounts for 3 of the top 5 scorers across FPL, Alonso and Aubameyang being the exceptions.

There is something to be said about the budget forwards, like Jimenez that continue to tick along, not posting big returns, but scoring consistently. We’ve seen Wolves play with every team in the Premier League.

While you can’t avoid the Pep roulette, there is something to be said about drafting in Sane and Sterling. Chances are both players won’t sit, and you should be able to cover a good amount of attacking returns with both midfielders.

They will set you back 21.3 million but have posted a combined 204 points on the season.

Then there is Eden Hazard. Will Sarri continue to play the Belgium in a false 9? Hopefully, as he continues to excel in that sort of formation. That could also bode well for Alonso, who just missed out on being the center of conversation when it nicked the post for a league leading 4th time last week.

Goalkeepers

Martin Dubravka 5.0 and home to Fulham. Off the back of a CS, I see a second in the row for the Magpies.

Alex McCarthy 4.5, Saints looked good under a new manager, can they make it two with a CS awy to HUD?

Kepa Arrizabalaga 5.6, 2 CS in the last 4 and home to a struggling LEI team

Defenders

Dejan Lovren, 4.9 and the world’s best defender, so he says. Not a bad shout with injuries to their other center backs.

David Luiz, 5.7, if you can’t or don’t want Alonso, Luiz gives you a bit of attacking threat and could bag a CS, as the Blues are home to LEI.

Jose Holebas 4.7, if you are looking for a short term punt, put up his 3rd goal on the season and continues to tick along with 7 attacking returns against a weak Hammers defense

Midfielders

Robert Snodgrass, 5.4 and 5 returns in 4 games, against Watford, there will be goals in this game!

Pedro 6.3 in the 3-4-3 that Sarri’s been playing, has 2 goals in his last 4 with some limited minutes has has played 90 in two of them. I like Chelsea at home.

Gerard Deulofeu 5.4, this isn’t a homer pick, as the Spaniard picked up 13 points last weekend. Has looked the best of the Watford attackers.

Forwards

Rondon 5.9, last call for Rondonaldo against FUL before fixtures turn to shit. Could be a brace in the works for the Venezuelan.

Danny Mutherfucker Ings 5.4 Why do we keep coming back to this guy? 2 goals last week, then again it was only ARS.

Cheech-a-rito not Chick-a-rito, why do the Brits have such a hard time with this Mexican pronunciation? 6.4, a West Ham offense that is flying against a better, but average Watford team.

Now it’s time to look back on my GW17

TEAM NEWS

Review

Just when you think it can’t get any worse, the game week comes back to bite you in the ass. That is how it felt on Sunday, midway through the Brighton, Chelsea game as I killed all the live streams and said, “fuck it!” I had gone from a potential 15 point week with Marcos Alonso, clanking a ball off the post to conceding at the other end in the blink of an eye. At that point, I knew my team was sunk.

This on the back of Man City conceding a single God damn goal again! So that’s one against So’ton, United, Bournemouth, Watford and now Everton in the last seven weeks. What is it with Pep’s defense? He can’t be pleased NOT to keep it clean at the back, when they continue to pump in the goals at the attacking end.

I feel there is some complacency, they get lazy in the later throws of the game. Next to Liverpool, who’s conceded just 21 shots on goal over the last 7 weeks, City has conceded just 22.

The big difference between City and Liverpool is over that period, the Reds have conceded just 3 goals with 4 clean sheets. City, as mentioned 7 goals and just 1 clean sheet.

Unfortunately, Liverpool suffered a similar fate, giving up 1 to United in a 3-1 win. This was a tough week defensively, as none of my premiums returned points, as I finished with a total of 9 points from my back line and keeper.

The midfield continues to play well. Since bringing in Leroy Sane, he continues to shine, posting 18 points in 3 weeks. My new boy, Felipe Anderson returned this week as well. However, Ryan Fraser didn’t produce against Wolves.

Up front, I went big the previous week on Aubameyang and Kane. I sweated out 91 minutes of the Spurs game to get a fucking lousy assist, as he got the armband and a 10-point return.

The Arsenal front man wasn’t as lucky. While he did have 6 penalty touches, 3 attempts on goal, all inside the box and big chances he saw no return. That’s no attacking returns since brining him in after his amazing brace in game week 14 against Spurs.

On the week it was just 40 points, 3 under the average and a second straight red arrow that sees me fall out of the top 100k to 169k on the season. Overall, still much better at this point of the season than in the previous 5 years. So for that, I am thankful, it shows I have made some good decisions this season, as it’s been a slow and steady climb up the OR until last weekend.

As for the FPL Cup, I was blown out of the water, 70-40 by farragovich out of the UAE. Rondon, Jimenez, Snodgrass, Doherty, Alderweireld and Fabianski did me in.

Strategy

Looking forward I have a strategy for the holiday period that will shift funds into the midfield. This seems to be an underlying theme recently as fantasy managers look at going with budget forwards and bulking up on the potential points with the midfielders.

Starting this week, I have 5 transfers until GW22 and will potentially add Sterling, Hazard and Richarlison in the midfield. I will drop the double City defense and pick up Jonny and not to keep a 6 million defender, in Laporte on the bench. To key this transition, I will sell both Aubameyang and Kane for Jimenez and Ings

Now this strategy is contingent on just how well the premium forwards play. Listening to a few pods this week many fantasy pundits are moving towards that budget front line. Right or wrong? We don’t know, nothing more than a wild assed guess. However, looking at the statistics and where many points are coming from, this could be the next trend to follow in FPL.

Transfer

Coming off a season low, 40 points, I am not planning on making any transfers. I like the look and feel of my squad and still feel there are many points to be gained, but it starts with the clean sheet.

I wrote an article earlier this week on 6thgoal.com titled Festive Period Clean Sheets. Compared to last season, CS between GW14-17 are down and looking at the next 4 game weeks, it appears we won’t hit the number of CS we saw last year from GW14-21, which totaled 49, the highest total since 2015/16.

That said Liverpool away to Wolves is concerning. But no move I make this week would strengthen my squad.

The one question mark ahead of GW18, Harry Kane seems to have picked up a case of the man flu. I recall him doing this last year during a double game week. No idea where that puts him ahead of this weekend, but if there is the slightest doubt he won’t start, it could be big downgrade all the way to Ings and bank 7 million for next week.

Captain

With Kane a question mark ahead of this weekend and Aubameyang playing Burnley, who stifled Kane last weekend, I currently have Leroy Sane with the captain’s armband. City host Crystal Palace and Sane has shown some excellent form recently.

I might hold it late and shift the armband to Aubs, as he’s had excellent underlying stats in his last few games. Tough call, might have to wait and see what the majority say.

It’s time to open the Pitch & Pint Mailbag

Mailbag

Fuck yes mail! I’ve got mail! This is exciting. While I am open to all beer related questions, I do know a little something about that thing we call FPL too.

From Paddy @TheFantasyKing2, if you haven’t caught the King Podcast, I suggest you give it a listen. He and Johnny do a fine job giving you a glimpse into their teams, prociding opinions on FPL.

His questions, Hiya Stephen, id like to hear your opinion on KDB & Augero , after watching KDBs sublime goal against Leicester mid week would it be a GW to soon to bring him in against Palace or would it be considered getting ahead of the pack, and basically same question with Augero ?

Thanks for the question Paddy and keep up the work on the FPL headlines, those are excellent.

As for an answer, I am going to continue to roll with Leroy Sane. If you are a manager who already owns Sane and/or Raheem Sterling, I don’t see any need to jump on KDB.

We saw what happened in GW10, when he maybe pushed it too much and ended back up on the training table instead of the pitch.

I want to see to a few games of 90 minutes before I plunk down 9.7, the same price for Sane, before I consider making a shift in my midfield. Right now I am quite happy with how Sane has been playing and am looking at adding Sterling.

I do feel KDB makes players like Sane and Sterling better, so if you are on one or both, I think I would hold before prematurely bringing in KDB.

As for Aguero, just how much value are the premium forwards worth? Kane and Aubameyang are struggling in the recent fixtures, while underlying stats are good. Much like KDB, I need to see Kun in action before I lay out 11.2 for him.

We know how dynamic he is and none of forget his 5 goals explosion against Newcastle a few years ago. He’s on 82 points for the season, Jesus isn’t the reason for the season, it’s their fucking outstanding midfield play. I hold on Aguero until he gets time under his belt, but we all know it isn’t going to be 90 minutes over this fast and furious festive period.

From FPLBeerClub members, MrWP, “Any must have player going into the Christmas crunch? If you could change one thing about FPL what would it be?”

Thanks Mr Walker-Porter. Ahead of GW18, if there is one must own player I would want, it would be Eden Hazard. I know many managers will pounce on him as an “FPL troll” but if Sarri continues to play him as a false 9, I think we see spectacular returns over the holiday period. I also think he will make those players around him, like Willian, Pedro and Alonso more coveted.

As for the second part of your question, “If you could change one thing about FPL what would it be?”

While I like the BPS, I don’t like the fact there are negative points involved. I can relate this to NFL fantasy football, as bonus points are meant to be added when players do something above and beyond the normal run of play.

I don’t like the fact that shots off target are negative points or missing a penalty is -6 points. Bonus points should be rewarded not penalized.

Finally from Marco at The Art of the Dive FPL Podcast and how many different a names can they give us for the word penis. I don’t know, but if you tune into their latest episode you can find out.

His question, “I live in the Midwest USA. Favorite brewery in this region?”

Dude, I think this is the second loaded question you have given me that is beer related.

Four come to mind immediately, but I must admit that Founders Brewing Company out of Grand Rapids, Michigan is no longer a craft beer company, as 30% of their brewery is owned by Mahou-San Miguel.

Since I don’t recognize beer that isn’t independent, I must disqualify Founders. That said, I still have 3 bottles in my mini-fridge I need to drink, including a KBS.

Now back to the question at hand. It comes down to a top three and it’s not easy to pick the best.

I do think that 3 Floyds out of Munster, IN founded in 1996 tops the list. It’s the only one of the three I have been to, but their reputation proceeds them.

They are a small, as in 60,000 barrels small brewery that has no advertising budget with distribution in just 5 states.

3 Floyds is known for their cultish following, heavy metal undertones and fierce graphics on their bottles. They are also known for Dark Lord. No, not Darth Vader, their Dark Lord imperial stout, an annual release on Dark Lord Day in Munster.

They have a great line up of beer that includes Zombie Dust, Gumball, Permanent Funeral and others.

Coming in a very close second is Bell’s Brewery. Now they brew some 600,000 barrels a year and have more of a seasonal line up, but do have some year round favorites.

For example, Two Hearted is currently tabbed as the “best beer in America” by Zymurgy Magazine. However their HopSlam, Oracle and Oberon are all excellent beers. Family owned, it just seems like a great brewery out of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Finally Toppling Goliath out of Decorah, Iowa. Where is Decorah? Exactly. Then again it doesn’t really matter. They opened in 2009 as a half barrel nano-brewery but exceed 100,000 barrels in 2017.

Their beer is high on craft beer enthusiasts list including Dorothy’s New World Pale Ale, Pseudo Sue and King Sure Double IPA.

Their company mantra, “big beer brewed in small batches.” Take that AB InBev and Miller Coors.

Conclusion [queue outro music] 3712

That’s it for episode 20, thanks for listening. Gameweek 18 start on Friday as Arsenal host Burnley. Could be a dicey week for those fantasy managers backing Aubameyang with the armband.

With two red arrows in a row and 50k drop, hopefully continuing to show some patience with my premium forward will bring attacking returns this week.

All episodes of Pitch & Pint are available at 6thgoal.com. You can also find them on your favorite podcast client include Apple iTunes, Soundcloud and Spotify.

With all the other quality podcasts out there, hopefully you will continue to support the show.

If you like what you hear, tell your friends, if you don’t, tell me.

You can follow me on Twitter @6thGoal providing FPL opinions, as well as craft beer content, posted using the hashtag 30SecondBeerReview.

Look for the Watford review against Cardiff and player report card, as well as the preview of West Ham at PlanetFPL.com

For all my weekly FPL content head over to 6thgoal.com, as I always have something to say.

Good luck this weekend

Thanks for listening.

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