Pitch & Pint Podcast Ep 22 Show Notes

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Episode 22 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast being recorded Tuesday January 8, 2019 – Time to Bang

INTRODUCTION – Episode 22

  • Hello and welcome to episode 22 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast. My name is Stephen, you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter.
  • It’s the first podcast of the year and the first since the conclusion of GW18. Intentions were there, but time during the holiday wasn’t on my side to produce any coverage.
  • It was an interesting festive period, so games between GW 18 and 21 seems to be widely accepted as the festive period this season. We saw a run of 4 games in 12 days.
  • For me, it was a good stretch for points, but mixed in terms of red and green arrows. More on that later.
  • It was also a period in which hits were avoided, even though we saw some new players banging points. Man United, anyone?
  • Rotation seemed to hit every manager, no one was exempt. We will look over the best during the festive period, in order to build going forward
  • Before we do anything else, let’s look back on my club, Watford
  • Watford Review
  • On paper, it looked to be a good festive period for the Golden Boys, only having to face Chelsea at home with trips to West Ham and Bournemouth and a home game against Newcastle.
  • What resulted was a frustrating period as Watford won their opening game in 18, dominating the Hammers, 2-0.
  • Chelsea, while I don’t want to say a loss was expected, but there were some questions decisions by the officials, not the first time this season we’ve been done wrong. In the end, a 2-1 loss, the only loss during the 4-game run.
  • At the Vic, we saved it real late, an 82’ minute goal by Abdoulaye Doucoure earned Watford a point, as it was a 1-1 draw against the Magpies.
  • That was followed up last weekend, by one of the wildest games of the season at the Vitality, which saw 6 goals by half time. In the end, the game finished 3-3.
  • Frustrating to take only 2 points away from Newcastle and Bournemouth, games we SHOULD have won. Outside of a dismal second half performance in the Bournemouth game, the Hornets have been playing some good football. 10 goals over the last 5 games, as Watford are on 29 points, 8th place in the table, chasing Leicester at 31 points.
  • While there is still no stand out players on our team, it will be curious to see what the January transfer window brings. We’ve already seen some big teams and Everton interested in Doucoure. No way the Pozzo’s sell to Everton. Sorry Marco. More likely PSG, but from what I’ve read, he will ride out the season in a Watford jersey.
  • The Golden Boys have struggled at times this season, consistency on the pitch remained high. Javi Gracia has done an amazing job, outside of his 6 changes against Newcastle, which cost us points.
  • There could be some new faces during the transfer window, as we shop for a central defender and possibly a forward. That said, Gerard Deulofeu has been great, playing OOP, partnering with Troy Deeney and Issac Success.
  • In my opinion, he’s still the best attacking option the Hornets have. At 5.5, he’s cheaper than Roberto Pereyra at 6.3. Statistics won’t support that opinion, but the eye test does. Pereyra is too inconsistent on the pitch. Until this season, he had not had any attacking return since joining the club.
  • We know how good he is, cutting inside from the left, but we’ve seen him interchanging more with Deulofeu in a central attacking role, moving out to the right. It’s a much more dynamic Watford attacking going forward with these two players.
  • Watford is 7th in goals scored this season, but it’s only been recently we’ve started to see goals flying in. At 6.3, I feel it’s too much of an investment if you want a midfielder, who’s scored 99 points on the season, especially one who plays for Watford.
  • Pereyra’s posted 6 goals and 4 assists on the season, very admirable numbers. Deulofeu debuted in GW8 this season, off injury, posting 3 goals and 3 assists. Both players are separated by less than 1.0 PPG (4.7 vs 3.8), with Pereyra having the advantage.
  • If you buy into minutes per xG and xA, Deulofeu gets the nod. Minutes per goal, 304 vs 395.7 in favor of the Spaniard also. Heat map, no surprise to see Pereyra dominating the left flank box to box but Deulofeu is stronger from the right flank to the center of the pitch.
  • At 5.5, he’s also a player you don’t need to start every week, unlike Pereyra, at 6.3 he’s one that you probably can’t bench for of his price.
  • This week Watford visit Selhurst Park and a Palace team that has posted 2 cleans in the last 3 games, holding Wolves and Cardiff City and conceding just 1 goal to Chelsea.
  • Not much offense for the Eagles, so I expect a low scoring game. In GW3, Watford won the reverse fixture, 2-1 but it wasn’t without controversy, as Etienne Capoue could have been red carded for his two foot challenge on Zaha. My prediction 2-1 Watford win.
  • Before we get into the FPL opinion I must pour myself the Gameweek 22 Beer of the Week.
  • Beer of the Week – Gameweek 22
    • This week I head south, to SoCal, out of Oceanside comes Belching Beaver. Not the first time I have featured this brewer on the Pitch & Pint Podcast.
    • Stopped by the local Tots Wine after work on Friday, just to see what they had in stock. Not sure why, as the mini-fridge is well stocked with so much beer.
    • Just happened to see a new one from Belching Beaver that I had been looking for. Today it’s Fall of Troy, an orange vanilla milkshake DIPA.
    • Belching Beaver Brewery came from a desire to make great beer and have a Dam good time doing it. When they started the company we wanted to do two things:
      • First, have a brand that offered quality craft beer but was whimsical and fun to inspire good times. From the Winking Milkman to El Castor de Mariachi you can see each Beaver has its own individual style and personality.
      • Second, we wanted to make beer for everyone and all palates.
    • We have easy-drinking Blondes, Triple IPAs, Milk Stouts, Imperials Stouts as well as sours and barrel-aged beers. You name it, we have it! Good times to you my friend, and welcome to the Beaver family!
    • Let’s pop the top on this 16-ounce can
    • Fall of Troy pours a thick and murky, dull orange with no head or lacing retention.
    • On the nose, you pick up the sweetness of what this vanilla orange milkshake offers, but there’s also a hint of grapefruit with an ever so slight hop dankness.
    • The taste, as with all milkshakes is quite amazing. Thick, creamy and smooth on the palette, this beer compares to drinking an orange creamsicle. Orange dominates early in Fall of Troy, with a mild undertone of vanilla that is complemented with a fair amount of hop dankness that makes this a well-balanced 8.8% DIPA.
    • You don’t even taste the alcohol and it goes down so smooth. Refreshing and easy to drink.
    • Now let’s get into some FPL opinions
  • FPL OPINIONS
    • Let’s start by looking back over the last 4 game weeks at players who’ve made an impact in FPL. By doing, will help us as we strategize and look forward to what 2019 and the second half of the Premier League holds.
    • Goalkeepers
      • A handful of goalkeepers making the cut over the festive period. No real surprise to see the likes of Alisson, Lloris and Kepa keeping 2 cleans sheets.
      • But more impressive, the fact that Sergio Rico, Guaita of Palace and Etheridge. Oh yeah and Schmeichel also had 2 CS
      • Kepa and Schmeichel, each conceded 2 goals during the period, while Lossl, Foster and Etheridge topped the saves list with 20, 19 and 17 respectively.
      • Schmeichel posted an 85.7% save percentage but more important there could be two other names to consider when looking at this position.
      • Angus Gunn and Tom Heaton.
      • Gunn got the start against Chelsea and kept a clean sheet making 6 saves and picking up 3 bonus points for an 11-point debut.
      • More importantly, he also started the FA Cup match, away to Derby County, a match that finished 2-2.
      • Gunn arrived from City in the summer for 13.5 million.
      • “There has been quite a lot of rotation the last few weeks with him [Ralph Hasenhuttl] trying to get to know all the lads, but when you get your chance you’ve got to take it.”
      • He’s got his chance, Saints have a viable run over the next 5-7 game weeks. He’s priced at 4.3.
      • As for Tom Heaton, he’s back on the pitch for Burnley, who’s have a bit of a rebirth the last few weeks, winning 2-0 against West Ham and 2-1 at Huddersfield. Heaton was in goal for both.
      • He posted a CS against West Ham and made 6 saves over the two games. While Joe Hart has played well, maybe Heaton was the missing piece, that and scoring goals.
      • Unfortunately, at 4.8 he might be priced a bit too high for my liking but Burnley have a modest run but get United in the next 5 games.
      • My goalkeeper selection, as I finally downgraded from Ederson, Neil Etheridge. Now we don’t think of Cardiff as a defensive juggernaut or very attack minded squad. Yet the Bluebirds are ticking along, just 2 points above the relegation zone. They are fighting for their Premier League spot and it starts with Etheridge.
      • Been impressed with the kid since I saw him week one against Bournemouth. He’s a smart keeper, with good decision-making skills, quick feet and good positioning.
      • On the season, he’s made 79 saves, just 2 behind Fabianski with 3 penalty saves. Cardiff have faced 120 shots on target, that’s third highest before Fulham and Burnley.
      • He could be the next 4.5, well now 4.6 goalkeeper to go on a run, as Cardiff open up an excellent run of fixtures through GW31.
    • Defenders
      • There are two trains of thought when it comes to defenders. First, you buy defenders for clean sheet points. Second, you buy defenders for their attacking potential.
      • Recently, we’ve seen many managers opting to give up the clean sheet and solely go after attacking returns with defenders like Luca Digne and Matt Doherty.
      • While I am huge fan of the attacking defender, I still look at clean sheet potential, as it will score you more points over the season than the few attacking returns a defender will get.
      • I also won’t look at those lower tier defenders who offer attacking potential, but very little defensive security. Sorry Everton and Wolves, just not in my plans. I do have a caveat for those.
      • Another line of defensive thinking, don’t spend big on your defenders. So, now instead of putting out premium defenders and racking up the clean sheet points, you run out those second-tier defenders, the Digne’s the Doherty’s, who provide pop on the attacking end and who will keep 8-10 CS on the season.
      • Since goals grab the glory, let’s look at the attacking returns over the last 4 weeks.
      • We start with none other than Luca Digne, who picked up two goals on 6 attempts. Nathan Ake also picked up two goals over the same period, but Bournemouth aren’t a defensive option, conceding 12 over the festive period and 40 on the season, 4th worst in the Premier League.
      • Two defenders who’ve gotten it done at both ends recently, Patrick Van Aanholt and Ricardo Pereira, priced at 5.4 and 5.3 respectively. PVA lead all defenders with 9 goal attempts, Pereira with 8. Not to be left out, Marcos Alonso and Digne each had 6.
      • Some will argue that David Luiz is just as viable as Alonso for 1.4 million less. If you subscribe to that logic, he posted 5 goal attempts. The same with Doherty.
      • When we talk about players like Alonso or Doherty, it’s about penalty touches, as the Wolves defender finished with 11 penalty touches, tied with Kolasinac and PVA on 10.
      • Over the 4-week period there were 14 defenders who picked up an assist. Spurs’ Kyle Walker-Peters led with 3 but picked those up in one game.
      • Arsenal’s Sead Kolansic picked up 2 assists and also created 6 chances, tied with Doherty.
      • Trent Alexander-Arnold, PVA, Digne, Marting Montoya and DeAndre Yedlin each created 5 chances.
      • Cardiff, Fulham, Spurs, Palace, Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester each picked up 2 clean sheets over the 4-week run.
      • Looking at the next 5 weeks, Southampton, Liverpool and Everton have the best run of fixtures from a defensive point of view.
      • You could also include Man United, but much like Everton I am not sold on their defense. Marco Silva, as seen last season isn’t a defensive manager. I do feel the Toffees have some quality defenders in Coleman, Digne, Mina, Keane and Zouma with Pickford in goal, but they have looked terrible on defense at times.
      • As for Man United, prove it. The Red Devils have shown they can score goals, but still can’t defend. They’ve posted just 3 clean sheets on the season, conceding 32 goals on the season, 7th worst! This from a team that posted 18 clean sheets last season. I know, blame Jose. Seems to be the theme from United fans on how the season as gone.
      • Until they show promise defensive, I won’t bother giving their defensive assets a second look. Not even Travis…errr….Luke Shaw.
      • Liverpool, if you already aren’t doubled up, then you seriously need to look at a combination of their defenders. I’ve taken the expensive route with Andrew Robertson and Virgil van Dijk. Obviously, Alexander-Arnold should be highly sought after as well, as he’s on some set piece duties.
      • Priced at 5.2, he’s posted a goal and 3 assists on the season. Compare that to Robertson at 6.6 with just 5 assists. If you want the reliability of playing time, van Dijk at 6.4 has a goal and 2 assists, playing some of his best football for Liverpool.
      • Looking at Southampton, Ralph Hasenhuttl has made some inroads already, posting 2 wins in his first 5 games and taking 7 points, which is one less than the rest of their season combined.
      • Cedric and Targett are both 4.2, as Jan Bednarek is 3.9, he’s picked up starts in the last 6 games. As for clean sheets, they have a great run, there could be a few enablers in the Saints. Not that I plan on bringing any into my squad.
      • Cardiff and Watford both have good runs defensively as well, but as a Hornets supporter, I just can’t bring myself to have any of them. If you do go in, then you must get Jose Holebas, but not for defensive reasons, but for the attacking edge he brings. 3 goals and 5 assists, on set pieces and still our best defender down the flank. His price is a bit restrictive at 4.8, which is a bit high.
      • There will be the United contingent that says go Viktor Lindelof, again show me some clean sheets, but he’s also priced at 4.8, same with defenders like Johnny Evans, same with joe Bryan and Alfie Mawson.
      • When it comes to this group of defenders, Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a great option! Priced at 4.4 with 73 poitns on the season, he’s now owned by 31.9% across all FPL and 82.4% in the top 1000! He’s now on 8 clean sheets with 11 bonus points on the season.
      • Burnley would be risk worth taking, especially if you believe Tom Heaton is the enabler for that defense. They have Fulham at home, followed by away games at Watford and United before coming home to So’ton with a trip to Brighton.
      • James Tarkowski, 4.8, Brent Mee and Charlie Talor both at 4.7 are the top options. Tarko gets the nod as he’s on 3 goals and an assist for the season.
    • Midfielders
      • This position is an absolute free for all and will depend on how you, as an FPL manager set up. For me, I’ve struggled all season, when I had Mo Salah and really no one else in my midfield. After moving the Reds big man, he hit 2 weeks later for his hat trick, but felt I had still made the right decision in moving him to build a strong forward line and run out Leroy Sane in Mo’s place.
      • The trend in December was to build up a strong midfield with budget forwards, as players like Danny Ings, Raul Jimenez and Salomon Rondon were scoring.
      • The top midfielders over the festive period weren’t the highest priced. Heung-min Son has been everybody’s favorite son, scoring 51 points over the last 4 weeks.
      • However, Son will be leaving after this game week to play for S. Korea in the AFC Asian Cup.
      • Currently S. Korea is second in Group C, tied with China on 3 points. Kyrgyzstan and Philippines are the other two countries in the group.
      • Not to be out done, Paul Pogba, the professional he isn’t, decided to start playing football in game week 18 with the departure of Jose, posting 49 points!
      • I don’t buy that it was ALL Jose, some of this I still lump on Pogba. I do think players can turn on and off their, “professionalism” deciding “when” they want to play. Never been a big Pogba fan, but I know I am in the minority, as United fans continue to remind me of everything Pogba has won.
      • At 8.4, I am currently looking to rid my squad of the United midfielder, feeling there are more points to be had from a true offensive juggernaut, Man City. More on that later.
      • If you’re on Pogba, stay on him. In a statement released by United, “Paul Pogba has not completely recovered from the knock he sustained against Newcastle United and stayed back for treatment.” Treatment was on a gash from a dangerous Jonjo Shelvey tackle last weekend.
      • While I just highlighted goals, Son and Pogba each accounted for 4 assists as well. Pogba created 10 chances, just 2 less than Sterling with 12, while created 7 of his own. Both players were instrumental over that 4-week period.
      • Christian Ericksen picked up 3 goals over the festive period to go along with 1 assist. At 9.3, he created just 6 chances over the last 4 games.
      • No surprise Mo Salah continues to tick on with 151 points on the season, recording 12 points in three out of 4 games for Liverpool, a total of 38 points. Now owned by 43.8% mangers across FPL and 79.3% in the top 10k.
      • Essential? Eh…I think it depends on how you are approaching the next 4-6 game weeks. I don’t own him, moved off him in GW14 in favor of two premium forwards.
      • However, with the run of games Liverpool has through GW31 and even the rest of the season, he could make himself essential, depending on how well Liverpool plays on the attacking end of the pitch.
      • Bernardo Silva, now on 95 points played all by 8 minutes in the last 4 weeks and picked up a goal and 3 assists. He continues to get playing time and returns.
      • We will have to see how Pep approaches that midfield with a healthy KDB in play. Sterling finished the period with 2 assists, but has been losing ownership the last 3 weeks, down 672k managers with many managers making the chance to Salah.
      • I still favor Leroy Sane, at 9.5, still represents good value with 107 points on the season, but like his playing partner, Sterling, ownership has been trending down losing 470k managers across the game.
      • Other notable midfielders, David Brooks, Victor Camarasa, Luka Milivojevic, Felipe Anderson, Nathan Redmond and Glyfi Sigurddson. All these midfielders picked up 2 goals.
      • Ryan Fraser might be in contention again, along with teammate David Brooks, both finished with 2 assists, along with Ashley Westwood, Bernard, Alex Iwobi, Ryan Sessegnon, Jesse Lingard, Ander Herrera and Roberto Pereyra.
      • Looking ahead the next 5 game weeks, So’ton, Liverpool, Everton, Cardiff and Burnley are the top five teams from an attacking perspective.
    • Forwards
      • I would like to say, if you owned Harry Kane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang you had a fantastic festive period. That however, isn’t necessarily the case, as I had both.
      • Kane hit for 5 goals, as the Spurs front man continues to tick on, even though there has been a lot of “twitter” about his poor positioning stats. Aren’t you glad stats are just that? Numbers that always tell you the full story.
      • He’s posted returns in 10 out of 11 games and based on fixtures, he could continue producing for managers who’ve stuck with him or brought him in.
      • Aubameyang scored 4 goals, but didn’t score against Liverpool in a 5-1 ass kicking. Much like Kane, didn’t always look good, based on the numbers, but you won’t argue with his attacking returns.
      • Roberto Firmino has flown under the radar nearly all season, with just 4 goals and 5 assists through GW17. Yet in the last 2 game weeks, he’s picked up 4 goals, with a hat trick against Arsenal and a goal against City. At 9.2 he isn’t the best option, as his price is a bit restrictive. He recorded 28% of his points over the last 3 weeks.
      • That said, Firmino has been known to go on runs. Last season 6 goals, 2 assists in 6 weeks, then 7 attacking returns over 9 game weeks. Yet, it’s the same story with Liverpool, attacking returns belong to Salah.
      • Arsenal do face Chelsea at home in GW23 and are away to City two weeks later. I still feel, you stick with Gunners front man though those fixtures.
      • There’s been a lot of love for Marcus Rashford as he’s the top transfer in across FPL, now owned by 25.8% overall of FPL and 37.8% in the top 1k. Essential, nope but he’s increased by 0.3 over the last 4 weeks on the back of 3 goals and 2 assists.
      • Rashford, along with Zaha tied with 29 penalty touches over the festive period, also Rashford also had 18 goal attempts, tied with Mitrovic. Kane on 17 with Aubameyang and Ashley Barnes with 14.
      • Alexsandr Mitrovic has posted some good numbers under the Tinkerman, but just a single goal with 24 penalty touches, isn’t enough to earn back owners…yet. His price has now dropped to 6.6.
      • Kun Aguero, healthy and starting brought the “wow” factor back in the Liverpool fixture with an excellent goal. Priced at 11.2, managers are moving from Aubameyang to the City front man.
      • A forward who got back to fitness, hitting for a brace last weekend, as he took West Ham on his shoulders and carried him from 0-2 to finish 2-2, Marko Arnautovic. Now priced at 6.9, he is flagged for a back, but that wasn’t the reason he was substituted in the FA Cup game.
      • It was precautionary, as Manuel Pellegrini said, “I thought that it was better to change him because he is just coming off another injury and he played 90 minutes less than 72 hours ago.”
      • Pellegrini has stated Arnie will start at home to Arsenal. While their fixtures don’t look great, Liverpool is the only real defensive challenge over the next 11 game weeks, which also include a trip to City. But we know how poor City have been defensively.
      • The budget forward were hit and miss. Troy Deeney finished with 3 goals, off 20 penalty touches and 10 goal attempts, 9 from inside the box. Deeney still the Watford talisman was getting some good service. He also created 6 chances and picked up one assist.
      • I was high on Dominic Calvert-Lewin a few weeks back, priced at 5.3, he looked to be a viable option, on the back of a goal and assist. He picked up a second assist in GW19, but followed that up with 18 minutes against Brighton and no return against Leicester City.
      • I do feel he makes a strong case to keep Richarlison wide, but then again, I am not Marco Silva. I’ve said it all season and I don’t see Richarlison as a lone forward, he’s not does have that build or make up.
      • I don’t remember the last time we talked up Burnley, but Sean Dyche might have turned things around for the Clarets, as Barnes and Chris Wood each scored a pair from 19 and 17 penalty touches. Barnes was third with 14 goal attempts, while Wood had just 6.
      • Burnley has FUL/wat/mun/SOU/bha in their next 5. Barnes priced at 5.6 and Wood at 6.2.
      • Surprised with all the love rekindling at United, there wasn’t more discussion about Romelu Lukaku. And they call Troy Deeney fat. Seen Lukaku? You can’t miss him! Have another cheeseburger! In just 47 minutes the last 2 weeks, he’s netted twice.
      • Will he replace Rashford? Will he move Rashford wide? What about Alexis Sanchez? After missing 7 games, he chipped in for an assist last week.
      • Jamie Vardy didn’t have many chances, just 8 shots on goal and 15 touches in the penalty boxes, but he knows how to score when he gets the opportunity. He finished the festive period with 2 goals as well. However, home to So’ton and away to Wolves, then the Foxes have some ugly fixtures to deal with.
      • As for the popular options, Jimenez had a goal, Ings, had a goal, Rondon as well. Callum Wilson, we actually had a Callum Wilson sighting at Watford! However, might his days at the Vitality be numbered? Rumored he could be on the way out. Kamara, after a missed penalty and falling out, appears to be back in the good graces at Fulham, as a third forward too.
    • Top 1000 Managers
      • Aaron Wan-Bissaka, a 4.0 defender to start the season is now the highest owned player the top 1k, with 82.3% of managers owning the Palace defender.
      • The only other players over 70% ownership by the top 1k, Matt Doherty, Luca Digne, Eden Hazard and Mo Salah.
      • At this point I still don’t see their ownership as essential. Maybe as FPL managers we overuse that word, but, as I cited earlier, the problem with Digne and Doherty, the lack of clean sheets. You can’t live off attacking returns along. At some point, defensive clean sheets need to be considered.
      • Fabianski and Hart, both 4.5 budget options to start the season seem to be losing out to Neil Etheridge. However Etheridge is now owned by just 8.8% across FPL and none in the top 1k.
      • The thinking here, you don’t change a budget goalkeeper using a FT, or so the logic goes. I did, last week knowing Cardiff would have a hard time with Spurs but needed Etheridge in place. I left Ederson finally, who finished with 2 points to Etheridge’s 1 in GW21.
      • Raul Jimenez still seems to be favored by 62.6% of managers, as Rashford has broken the template with 37.8% ownership.
      • Only 9.4% of managers own Kane and Aubameyang. Kane still 62.8% owned, while Aubameyang is at only 29.3%. Aguero the big differential at the top right now, 3.1% in the top 1k and only 11.4% across FPL.
      • Alonso continues to lose ownership, but is owned by 40% across the top 1k. Managers moving to the cheaper attacking option that is Alexander-Arnold. Alonso has lost 331k managers over the festive period. All because at his high price, 7.1 at the highest, not posting any attacking returns. That said, he’s hit the goal 5 times to lead the league this season. One, even two of those shots go in and don’t hit the post, there is no discussion or selling of Alonso.
      • Now it’s time to look back over the festive period to see how I fared.

 

  • Players to watch
    • SKIPPING THIS SECTION
    • TEAM NEWS
      • Review
        • The festive period can be summed up in a single word. Frustrating. Over that 4 week period I had returns of 65, 68, 50 and 70, picking up just 2 green arrows. This off the back of 2 red arrows in game weeks 16 and17, in which I scored 45 and 40, a season low.
        • So 4 reds out of the last 6 weeks and from a one time OR high of 81k, I’ve climbed back to 116, but have lost 0.6 holding players like Alonso, Laporte, Ederson, Wilson and Fraser.
        • I continue to hold tight and show patience as I look forward. My 40 point week was just 3 off the weekly average, but I likes my teams, sans a player or two…well three in this case.
        • As it stands now, I am 20k better off than before GW18 but yearning to back to 81k and start working my way up the OR.
      • Strategy
        • I’ve been contemplating Eden Hazard for weeks now and continue to hold off. I’ve got 3 million in the back and was earmarked for a GW21 transfer in.
        • Instead, I decided to hold one more week and swapped out Ederson for Neil Etheridge to strentghen an already strong back line.
        • Now, I am not sure Hazard has a place in my starting XI. He should because he’s owned by 77.4% of managers in the 1k. He’s the focal point of the offense, but FPL managers always call into question his consistency.
        • 28 points in 2 games with no returns in 3 game over the last 5 weeks. That’s 36 points over that period is still 7.2 PPG.
        • My other option, bring Leroy Sane back. He’s continued to look good, even after I moved him out, replacing him with Pogba. A 9.5 price tag on 107 points for the season. That’s 5.6 PPG and a VAPM of 0.38 and owned by 9.4% across all FPL and 9.2% in the top 1k. Undervalued by FPL managers.
        • What to do with the world’s best midfielder? .. Paul PobgaOkay, so I am being factious. Maybe it’s a self proclaimed thing, not sure. He seems to be a bit over hyped for me, but I won’t argue with the success he had against some cream puffs; Cardiff, Huddersfield and Bournemouth. Oh yeah and he didn’t get it done on the road at St. James last week.
        • I am sure the United faithful have a logical explanation for that. It’s not that I am not a United fan, just feel after the announcement of a new manager the players decided to start playing football.
        • That said, their defense is still abysmal. But we’re talking midfield, I am getting myself sidetracked. Pogba could possibly stay because he appears good value at his price and should continue to be the center of United moving forward in attack.
        • Even if that includes Lukaku and Sanchez, both who seem to be working their way back to fitness and into the starting XI. Not that I am ready to reconsider Alexis, after he bent me over the ad wall to start the season.
        • While I want to look at Salah, it’s going to cost me Kane or Aubameyang and right now, I am not ready to give up either player. In fact I am not ready to downgrade Wilson either. Just might hold him through another difficult run, but if there is one thing Bournemouth can do, it’s score against any team in the Premier League.
        • As for Richarlison…I knew it was going to be a mistake buying back into him. I’ve been over him all season, as I was reminded on Twitter I only come out to shit talk when he fails, but never give him credit when he scores. I recall being excited and talking him up when he came off the bench recently for a goal.
        • I still feel he is good value. He’s got a lot to prove the second half of the season. He failed last year, yeah I know, he had played a year of straight football and was fatigued. I am quite away of that, which means Silva just ran his Brazilian ass into the ground. Great managing! Wonder if that will happen this season?
        • Honestly, I am looking at Sigurdsson to replace him. Feel there is better value, more attacking return potential for 0.4 more. Set pieces, assist potential and on penalties. His inclusion will depend on what I do with the 3.0 ITB
        • Defensively is where it’s going to get interesting. I talked earlier about not owning Wolves defenders. That said, I’ve owned two on the season Ryan Bennett and now Jonny Otto, both for the same reason. Their cheap price.
        • I am looking at the feasibility of running out 3 at the back made up of Robertson, van Dijk and TAA.
        • Now TAA would be that flex defender I could move in and out, not really a full time player, but feel at 5.2, he could rotate with AWB.
        • We all see how well the Liverpool defense is playing and when I look at defense it’s all about the clean sheet, as attacking returns are a bonus. He’s scoring 5.4 PPG with a VAPM of 0.65! That’s better than Robertson, in about 280 minutes less played.
      • Transfer
        • As for my transfer this week, I am down to one of two options. First, show a little patience and roll the FT. Not sure Felipe Anderson has much run let in my team. Fixtures aren’t terrible, but no matter how I look at it Sane is an upgrade and a midfielder with more potential for consistent returns. The return of Arnautovic could cause me to hold him one more week, home to Arsenal and that leaky defense.
        • So roll the FT or go Anderson to Sane, which leaves 0.8 ITB and just 0.1 short to jump on TAA ahead of GW22. What are the chances I pick up an increase or two without losing that all important, 0.1?
      • Captain
        • Captain selection is currently on Aubameyang, who visits the London Stadium and West Ham, who’ve conceded 7 in their last 4 games and 32 on the season. Not very convincing defensively.
        • The other option, Harry Kane, Mr Consistency, scoring in 10 out of the last 11. Spurs host United. In GW3 at Old Trafford, Kane scored 10 points with a goal, assist and 2 bonus points. Don’t feel this defense is much better and this will be a much better read on just how good United is.
        • The last option, Leroy Sane as City host Wolves on Monday. Just a single return in his last four games, but he continues to look good on the pitch.
        • It’s time to open the Pitch & Pint Mailbag
      • Mailbag
        • SKIP THIS SECTION
      • BEER NEWS
        • On November 24, I started my fourth batch of home. While I was hoping to branch out and trying something other than an IPA, the decision was almost made for me, when Josh and Brandon mentioned something about beer and brewing, after I joined as a Patreon at Always Cheating.
        • One of the best aspects of home brewing is decided on a brewery name. Now not every homebrewer will go on to open a brewery or brew on a massive scale. In fact, many will be happy to brew and drink their own.
        • That said, I brew under the name of Contributing Factor Brewing, established 2018 out of Oakley, California. The first three batches I brewed were centered around features at my employer.
        • I brewed the Engineering Hold Pale Ale, Switch 61 Cranked & Clamped IPA and Lessons Learned IPA.
        • It was after Lessons Learned that the brewing name came to mind and stuck. Originally, I was going to brew under the name Katmanbru, with a logo featuring a cat on top of Mt. Everest on his hind legs batting at a hop cone. But I felt that name left me limited in how I would name beers and they would need to be cat related.
        • That didn’t excite me. So when Lessons Learned was named, I, in my position as a train controller, or dispatcher for a light rail system in the bay area realized that I or those in my position are usually a “contributing factor” when some incident happens. The result of that incident is a paper we need to write or read called lessons learned.
        • So now with a brewery name, it was time to get jiggy and shift gears to provide some FPL related batches. The first of the series is called Two Cheaters Ale and is a clone of Bell’s Brewery’s Two Hearted Ale, which was named the best beer in America for the second year running by Zymurgy Magazine.
        • In fact, Bell’s is one of the best brewers in the Midwest USA, next to 3 Floyds out of Munster Indiana.
        • I’ve received some good feedback so far on the beer. Last weekend, I took a few bottles to a dinner with friends of my wife. Not really knowing what to expect, he and his wife found the beer very tasty, texting her after the fact it was the “best beer” they had tasted.
        • Now that tells me one of two things. First, they don’t drink good beer or second, they are being nice and just lying to make me feel good.
        • Can’t say I was too impressed when we were over there for Christmas with their beer selection, so it could be a fact that I am just over critical when it comes to my review of my homebrew. Common, I figure.
        • I’ve also given a few bottles to a guy I buy and swap lots of beer with at home. His name is JC and here’s his take on two bottles he’s had. The first was a week after bottle conditioning
        • Long lasting head and lacing. Slight caramel and toasted orange rind smell. Carbonation is just right. Smooth with subtle, creamy texture. Soft malt and burnt caramel sweetness along with toasted orange rind.  I’m getting a littel Chardonnay flavors as I exhale. The hops are there in the beginning but build and linger in the finish. This is a winner! My favorite thus far. It’s good! There’s nothing that overpowers. Everything is equally balanced.
        • The second bottle was after nearly 3 weeks of bottle conditioning:
        • Your beer it identical! Taste just like the first time. Toasty malt with subtle sweetness coming from the malt. Not getting any fruit. Maybe some toasted orange rind in the smell but just a touch. Ok maybe a hint of melon in the flavor? Think I sense more yeast aromas this time. Bitter hops, again, during the finish. And the head keep! Excellent. Long hop finish.
        • Based on his reviews, those of my wife’s friends and my First Sip video, I feel confident Josh and Brandon will enjoy the six pack. Who knows, maybe they will crack it, drink it and discuss it on an upcoming episode of Always Cheating.
        • Speaking of the First Sip video, you can go to 6thgoal.com click on #FPLBeerClub and on the drop down click on Two Cheaters Ale. It’s a quick 2-minute review when I popped the top on the first bottle and gave my opinion.
      • Conclusion [queue outro music]
        • That’s it for episode 22, thanks for listening. Looking forward to a new year of the same game that brings us together each week. While the holiday period was fast and furious, I feel confident, just 6 points outside the top 100k.
        • 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.
        • For all my weekly FPL content head over to 6thgoal.com, as I always have something to say.
        • Good luck this weekend, may your arrows be green!
      • Thanks for listening.

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