Premier League GW25: Transfers & Starting XI

A flurry of activity after the midweek fixtures, as fantasy managers turn their attention towards the first double game week of the season. On Twitter I’ve seen some taking hits to to bring 2-3 Man City players in, while moving other options out of their starting XI. For me, I am not going to bother with DGW25. Currently, I don’t own any City assets and won’t force a square peg into a round hole, which is what I would be doing, if I attempted to chase points with City players. As for Everton…pfft…not even bothering with these Marco Silva “misfits.”

We talk about that “gut feel” in FPL and I am learning towards following mine this week, even though the fixtures after this game week don’t really back the player. Currently, I have two players flagged, Paul Pogba and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. I’ve also been carrying Callum Wilson with the knee injury. Since the 3-4-3 formation has been my most successful (61.6 PPG) this season, I need find another forward to replace the injured Wilson. Since his price dropped by £0.1 this week, I end up that short on being able to bring in Raul Jimenez. I’ve been watching the Mexican all season, his consistency has been excellent, as Wolves are back in a great run!

However, bring limited to £6.5 I must look elsewhere. That’s where Josh King comes in, which appears to be a lateral move, but it could be an excellent differential pick! You can read the reasons behind this selection in an article I wrote, Josh King: Forward Differential. At the worst, this week is an excellent call on the Norwegian, as the Cherries travel to Cardiff. He might even make an excellent captain option. Then again, there is #AlwaysCaptainSalah lurking.

King makes sense to me, but for those looking to double down on City, it seems to carry risk. There was a momentary thought to “hokey cokey” Kun Aguero in for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and potentially run the Argentine out in DGW25 against Arsenal and Everton. While none of know what Pep plans on doing, I can see Gabriel Jesus starting one of these two games, thus limiting Aguero’s playing time. Still, he’s a dynamic forward and 30 minutes could be enough, especially against a banged up Arsenal and porous Everton.

Looking longer term, I waste two transfers on this hokey cokey, just to get Aubameyang back in by game week 26. The more pressing issue is the Wilson injury, which needs to be addressed knowing he’s out until the end of February. The fixtures after Cardiff; liv/WOL/ars/MCI. As I said, the fixtures don’t back the play, but he’s going to be the target man for the Cherries offense. If need be, I can further justify the move, as Liverpool have conceded at least one goal in their last five games, including three to Crystal Palace just two weeks ago.  Wolves have just one clean sheet in the last seven games and two since game week 8. Arsenal’s defensive struggles have been seen much of the year, due to injury. That said, they have conceded just three goals, along with Man City in the last four games. City, well their defense isn’t what it was earlier in the season.

Moving to King will leave me £0.1 ITB moving forward and give me a 90-minute starter with excellent potential, based on his current form and past performances come this time of the season.

STARTING XI

It was with much confidence I made the transfer for Josh King, dropping the injured Callum Wilson, as Bournemouth travel to Cardiff this weekend. Could be another good offensive showing for the Cherries, who put four goals past a defenseless Chelsea team midweek. Overall, the team looks good with no glaring problems ahead of game week 25. And no, in my opinion not owning any DGW players isn’t a problem.

The goalkeeper position is becoming a problem, as my average (from 24 goalkeepers used) is now down to 3.63 PPG. Well off the pace I had earlier this season when Ederson was posting clean sheets. Remember those days? While Neil Etheridge came in, he’s done a good job, matching Ederson through last week, it’s concerning to see a string of two and three point returns. Etheridge will face Bournemouth this weekend.

Defensively, as expected clean sheets are down, but I continue to run out a premium set of defenders. There are no intentions to move off the Liverpool double of Andrew Robertson and Virgil van Dijk. If there has been any consistency this season on defense, it’s been Liverpool. The midweek draw was tough to swallow because Robertson set up the goal with a unnecessary foul. The Twitter rumor is Marcos Alonso WON’T start this weekend. Bullshit? Dunno, I have him rounding out my 3-man defense with Aaron Wan-Bissaka first on the bench. I watched Emerson midweek, wasn’t impressive, so not sure what Sarri thinks he’s going to get from him. Anyway…I have options just in case. Jonny, on the back of a clean sheet will be my second bench, as I just have nowhere for him in the starting XI. He’s away to Everton.

The midfield received a boost midweek, as I got in on Heung-min Son, as many FPL managers waited on word he wasn’t “physically right” while at the Asian Cup. He banged a goal against Watford and will most likely start, as Poch has no other finishers up top. He’s been brought in by 248k managers this week! Paul Pogba, flag and all will start as well, in the off chance he doesn’t, I feel good with Jonny off the bench.

That leaves Ryan Fraser, seemingly playing second fiddle to the cheaper option, David Brooks in the Bournemouth midfield Fraser is still ticking along, but, off a 12 point performance just four weeks ago, he has picked up that extra one point the last two weeks for the clean sheet. Finally, Mo Salah, with good chance at getting the armband this weekend. Liverpool travel to London Stadium and a hapless Hammers defense., who’ve conceded four games the last four times they have played Liverpool.

Up top, I will stick with the in form Aubameyang against City and Marcus Rashford at Leicester. Be curious to see the Foxes go back to back with big defensive performances against Liverpool and United. Could happen, but feel the weather conditions might be a bit better for the game this weekend. Finally, King will get the start and expectations are high this week for forward to return and be that differential.

Hopes hang on the City boys this week, I am banking on them faltering and not scoring big. Some have their TC chip on players like Aguero or Sane. Risky? No more so than dropping it on King this week. It’s a consideration. That said, Salah currently owns the armband.

Good luck this weekend!

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