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Episode 27 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast being recorded Sunday, February 24, 2019 – All Hail Ron-don-aldo!
INTRODUCTION – Episode 27
Hello and welcome to episode 27 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast. My name is Stephen, you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter.
Before we do anything else, let’s look back on my club, Watford, as they rolled to victory this week, on the road at Cardiff
Watford Review (00:24)
It’s been a great season under Javi Gracia, since coming in last year after a very forgetable manager in, Marco Silva. This season, there’s been a different feeling at the club.
There has been a very positive feeling from the start of the season and winning four in a row to a slide we saw in early November, with thoughts of “oh no, here we go again.”
Thankfully through thick and thin, Watford have remained consistent on the pitch. There have been a handful of games in which the Hornets haven’t played well. The most recent, 0-0 draw at Brighton comes to mind, as does the 4-0 loss to Bournemouth.
That said, the team has played excellent all season long under Gracia. The defense has been improved with Ben Foster in goal, take nothing away from Heurhelho Gomes, but he too has been an inspiration from the bench this season, playing flawless when called upon.
Some new blood in defense with Adam Masina and Marc Navarro to help bolster a position that led to lots of lost points last season. Journeyman Adrian Mariappa continues to put in good shifts and the wing back pairing of Janmaat and Femenia has done a good job. Now if we could just get Holebas to limit those yellow cards, as he’s have an excellent season.
The development of Domingos Quina has flourished, as we must consider Doucoure could be applying his trade elsewhere next season in the midfield. The return of Tom Cleverley to fitness and addition of Ken Sema has given Watford a bit more depth as well.
Wide play has probably been the biggest disappointment. Roberto Pereyra has been good, but way to inconsistent and Will Hughes is playing OOP on the right wing, a position he doesn’t favor. That said, there just isn’t anywhere else to play him.
I guess too many contributing players is a good problem to have.
Up front, it’s been somewhat of a revelation to playing Gerard Deulofeu OOP as a strike partner with Troy Deeney. This has worked much better than partnering him with Gray, but that was something we didn’t see much of last year with Silva.
This paring will receive more accolades this week as they combined for 5 goals and 2 assist. However, the finishing ball has been a problem for Watford in the last 10-12 games, as they struggled to get shots on target. Without those, you don’t pick up 3 points.
Before this game, I thought it would be a close game, Cardiff off back to back wins and playing well in front of Neil Etheridge. Conceding just one goal in the first 45 minutes, the Bluebirds were still in the game.
It was a real confidence booster for Deulofeu to get that early goal, amongst the tangled feet at the top of the 18 yard box.
Watford had some good chances, the speed of Deulofeu shining through, as he’s always been able to outrun defenses, but supporters let down, as the shot goes wide, high or into the goalkeeper.
There was a game changing no call as Josh Murphy was away down the left and just as he get into the top of the 18, he was clipped by Janmaat, but there was no call.
The game opened up 15 minutes out of the break, on a free kick by Cardiff that was headed out quickly by Watford and Deulofeu was in a foot race. He won the race and scored his second, 2-0
Just 2 minutes later it was Cardiff giving the ball away in the center circle, as Capoue won the ball and found the outlet pass to Geri D. Streaking down the pitch, it was a cheeky chip to give him the hat trick.
Watford wasn’t done. It was another great Capoue pass down the left that found Deulofeu, as he cut into the box looking for number 4, but laid off an unselfish pass, as Deeney tallied!
The 82 saw Cardiff get on the board from a corner kick, as it was a scramble in the box, the initial save made by Foster. Unfortunately a lot of bodies in the 6 yard box and Sol Bamba put away a late goal.
Frustrating for Foster and the defense, as we’ve seen MANY games like this. Cruising to the win and a late, cheeky goal breaks the defense. Watford wasn’t done.
In injury time it was Deeney from the center line playing a ball down the left for Andre Gray, who slid a pass into Will Hughes, laid it off the Deeney for his second and the final goal of the game, 5-1 Watford.
Couldn’t ask for more. This is the sort of victory needed, esepecially this time of year, as teams, like Watford are hitting 40 points and securing Premier League play for another season.
Hopefully this win sparks the Hornets, as they have a tough run of fixtures upcoming, as well as FA Cup action still to come, home to Palace and the “Artist of the Dive” Wil Zaha.
Before we get into the FPL opinions I must pour myself the Gameweek 28 Beer of the Week.
Beer of the Week – Gameweek 28 (05:07)
What goes better with the biggest Watford win of the season, a big and juicy pale ale. This week I dive into Pseudo Sue, a 6.8% ABV pale ale from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company out of Decorah, Iowa.
Clark and Barb Lewey found Toppling Goliath in 2009 after runaway success in home brewing. In less than a decade, TG has become world-renown for IPAs and barrel-aged stouts, distributed to over eight states and brews more than 30 beers.
I was introduced to this pale ale by a co-worker, who shared it with me last January. It’s single hopped using Citra hops.
Pseudo Sue is one of TG’s flagship beers described on their web site, “This single hop pale ale showcases the Citra hop for a well-balanced beer that is delicate in body with a mild bitterness in the finish. She roars with ferocious aromas of grapefruit, citrus, mango and evergreen. Pseudo Sue’s unique taste is clean and bright with just enough bite!”
Let’s pop the top on this 16 oz can.
Pseudo Sue pours a slightly cloudy, pale golden yellow, somewhat pulpy looking. It has a finger and a half of white and soapy head that fades leaving very little lacing.
<smell beer> Named for the largest T-Rex fossil ever discovered, this beer smells of citrus, including grapefruit, as well as mango with a slight piney undertone.
The taste follows the nose, very juicy with the citrus and tropical fruits shining through. There’s a slight bit of malt sweetness, which helps to define this pale ale and keep it well balanced, as it finishes dry.
Not being a big pale ale fan, this is an excellent beer. I rate it up there with 3 Floyds, Zombie Dust, another single hopped, Citra beer. Easy drinking and flavorful on the palette.
Now with beer poured, let’s get into some FPL opinions
FPL OPINIONS (07:02)
This week was the start of my chip strategy, as I changed my plan after listening to a few podcasts and being involved in a few discussions on Twitter.
I am working on a article that will detail my plan, which is ALWAYS subject to change, but this plan was put together over the course of a few days and I feel it will work for the current players I own.
I do have all my chips and WC remaining, which makes implementing any strategy easier. Lots of eyes have been on fixtures, as Everton drops from a good run, but Leicester City starts off on theirs.
Leicester is one of those teams that hasn’t been impressive this season. Early on, I was not a supporter of James Maddison, even now, I have no place for him in my plans. Credit where credit is due, he played well in the first 7 games of the season and he hasn’t been seen since.
Just one return in 9 games, remind you of another midfielder who wears blue, dives and does a stupid chicken dance? Yes, I am talking about Richarlison. This is what you are getting when you make that player swap. Fixtures are great, but his form isn’t.
Another player FPL managers flocked to, Ricardo Pereira. Now, I’ll be honest, he or Ben Chilwell were on my short list when I decide to move Jonny, but after embarrassing home loss, conceding 4 goals to Palace, I am steering clean of ALL Leicester assets.
Now looking ahead seems to have gotten a bit more difficult, as there are fixtures that haven’t been confirmed. We must wait for dates to drop, but with the help of Ben Crellin, we have some idea how these games will fit into the doubles and blanks.
Like many other managers, I’ve been hot for #speadsheetporn the last few weeks. In fact I’ve been using a spreadsheet all season long, but have started to pay more attention to the blanks, doubles and remaining transfers I have ahead of BGW31, while looking ahead, as far as DGW35.
Now, one team I have been paying more attention to, Newcastle. In fact my transfer this week falls into the “luck” category, as moved off Marcus Rashford and on to Salomon Rondon or Rondon-aldo! The Venezuelan Ronaldo.
Was it a risky move? Rashford had been in form, but were hosting a stingy Liverpool defense. Rondon has been okay for the Magpies, with 6 goals and 3 assists on the season, but their fixtures are what drove this transfer and the fact they play in BGW31.
Newcastle hosted the league’s worst team, Huddersfield, another reason it didn’t feel like a big risk. I felt the bigger risk was taking Rashford out, however he picked up an injury, played all 90 and is now flagged for the midweek fixture. So in the end an excellent transfer! I suspect we could see a price bump for Rondon.
Defensively, I am off Leicester and on Newcastle, two of the next 3 at home against Burnley and Everton with a trip to London Stadium. Three teams that haven’t looked overly impressive in recent weeks. At 4.6 for Lascelles or 4.4 for Lejeune, I think these players can slot over the next 5 game weeks and possibly the rest of the season.
Some great midfield options Issac Hayden, at 4.3 picked up 8 points this week and 10 last week. Sean Longstaff, 4.5 has looked impressive, hit the wood work a few times but is another budget option. Finally the new boy, Miguel Almiron, priced a bit high for my liking at 6.0, but will be a great enabler for Rondon.
We need to look at Burnley, as well as Bournemouth in the coming weeks. Burnley getting it done with Ashley Barnes, 5.6 with 4 goals in his last 4 games, now 8 on the season. Also Chris Wood, 6.2, he’s picked up 4 in the last 5 games on 7 goals for the season.
Aside from a trip to Anfield in 30, some good fixtures through 34, including Leicester at home in BGW31 and Bournemouth in BGW33.
Bournemouth travel to the Emirates in 3 days to face Arsenal, then host City at home. While the Gunners picked up a CS this week, I would keep an eye on Josh King, 6.4 as well as the fitness of David Brooks, now down to 5.0. No idea how Brooks will play when he returns, but starting in 30 it’s a great run.
Currently, I am on Fraser and King and have been through this poor run of fixtures and form. It was bittersweet yesterday with King stepping up to take that second PK.
I was one of two manager remaining in the Always Cheating Survival Pool and I had selected Wolves to win or draw. So, while I wanted to points for King, I didn’t need a Bournemouth win. In the end he shanked it off the post and the game ended 1-1. Guess I call that a win win.
Another player I am keeping an eye on Wilfried Zaha, priced at 6.7, he’s returned 4 goals in the last 4. The addition of Michy Batshuayi, 6.5 should give Zaha more freedom to do what he does best. No, not dive, well yeah, maybe dive too.
After the midweek game agaisnt United, it’s away to Burnley, home to Brighton, a blank in 31 followed by home to Huddersfield and away to Newcastle.
Depending on your chip strategy, he’s one to watch.
What do we make of Harry Kane? The Spurs talisman returned to the pitch and picked up, where he left off before his injury, with a goal, giving him 15 on the season.
At 12.4 does he have a place in our starting XI? Spurs blank in 31, and having a premium of that caliber on the bench is tough to swallow. By what we see, BGW31 will be interesting, as Liverpool will be huge favorites at Cottage Craven. Triple up? Yep.
But Kane and Spurs have Liverpool in 32 with an unscheduled game against Crystal Palace. Right now, I don’t have Kane in my starting XI and my intention is to move off Son when I wild card in 32. I’ll be curious to hear James at Planet #FPL Podcast give his opinion on the Spurs front man.
One team I plan on buying back into, Man City. They blank in GW31, but are home to WHU, away to BOU and home to WAT before the blank. Prime fixtures and as much as I rave about Watford, I could see that being 3-1 or 3-0 in this fixture.
Plans include Sergio Aguero, yeah back on the man crush, even with the silver hair. Something to be said about his play and how dynamic he is when he’s on the pitch. Jesus is also injured. What makes this transfer easier, the fact Arsenal’s fixtures turn in 29 and 30 away to Spurs and home to United.
I am also planning on getting Raheem Sterling 11.3, for the first time this season. Not sure how or why Leroy has fallen as far as he has, but if you want to buy in on a City midfielder, 18 points in GW26 with 3 double digit hauls in the last 5 games!
Defensively, I was planning on bring Laporte back in, but understand he came off the pitch injured in the League Cup game, replaced by Vincent Kompany. So that third City player spot could be up in the air, as I have a few weeks before that transfer was supposed to take place.
Oddly enough, my initial plan included tripling up on Chelsea. Going Luiz, Hazard and Higuain. That could potentially pay dividends in BGW31 and BGW33, but at the cost of NOT owning any City assets. Chelsea out of form, Sarri’s job, on the blocks, after some reconsideration I decided I would rather run the blanks short on players in hopes City runs up the scores in their upcoming games.
Let’s take a quick beer break before we get back into the FPL action.
BEER NEWS – Untappd Podcast (14:17)
Episode 51 of the Untappd Podcast presented a bit of sad news, as hosts Kyle Roderick and Tim Mather hosted their final episode, telling listeners they would be leaving the podcast and opening it to new hosts to take the reins.
Tim is a co-founder of Untappd and he and Kyle have done an excellent job developing a well put together and informative beer podcast. The pod features their beer of the week, unlike me they expand their horizons with many different styles.
They usually discuss a certain beer style, especially if it’s a new one they are drinking, as well as talking about the Untappd app, including checkins and badges. There is also bit of Q &A, as well as beer related news from around the world.
Their chemistry will be missed, just want to wish both of them good luck in their endeavors and I look forward to hearing their replacements and what they bring to the Untappd Podcast.
Now it’s time to review my BGW27 results with some chip strategy discussion.
TEAM NEWS (15:08)
Much like DGW25 having an effect on FPL managers and OR, BGW27 has seen a similar effect. It’s only fair that in DGW25 I score 51 on a week the average was 65 and that in BGW27 I post 55 points, 20 better than the 35 point average.
On the season I’ve scored 1602 points, that’s an average of 59.3, still 0.7 off my goal of 60, but have no doubt the doubles and blanks, in conjunction with my chip strategy will put me over that goal.
As I mentioned, the transfer for the week was Salomon Rondon for Marcus Rashford, a move that, in hindsight looks genius! Now, if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would of only kept his ass on the Arsenal bench.
The week didn’t start off well, as I’ve been high on Neil Etherirdge, who was left shell shocked by Watford in a 5-1 defeat. Not surprisingly didn’t return any points to start the week.
Over the course of the Saturday games, I was doing well, following my score, I was on a green arrow. Rondon and Josh King were my big winners on Saturday, combining for 19 points. Many FPL managers were worse off than I at the conclusion of Saturday.
Sunday held one BIG game, Man United hosting Liverpool. With just one United asset in Pogba, I still retained the triple on Pool with Robertson, van Dijk and Salah. So I wanted a Reds CS.
In the end it was a shit game. Very few chances, neither team doing much of anything to say they deserve to be in the top 4. Salah was all but shut down, as he typically is on the road against a top team.
Sorry United fan, I get no credit to fat Luke Shaw in shutting him down. That said, it was defense, defense, defense as I picked up 24 points from the Reds duo and Sead Kolasinac, who decided NOT to score on his own goal this weekend.
The midfield was a let down, Fraser, Pogba and Salah each with 3, while Sonny picked up 2.
The most frustrating part to the weekend, after I saw that Aubameyang wasn’t starting, the fact tha Emery bought him on in a meaningless game they were up, 2-0 in, for Alex Iwobi.
Now he did get into some good positions with some shots on goal, but I had Rondon as my vice captain. So Aubameyang’s 4 points didn’t do much for me this weekend.
On the season I am now at 103k, just peaking over the fence to see how the other half live, inside the top 100k
Going forward, I’ve got my strategy planned through GW34. Now the upcoming BGW31 is finalized, using Fts I will be able to field 8 players for that game week.
Had I gone with Chelsea assets, that number would have been higher, but I feel there is more advantage to owning City at this point.
Ahead of midweek, game week 28 I am planning on rolling my transfer, in order to make 2 transfers in GW29. That could change depending on team news over the next few days.
If the transfer is rolled, then it’s Aubameyang and Kolasinac out for Aguero and Laporte. As mentioned, we need to see what happens with the injury news, but have a few weeks to make that happen.
Looking ahead of game week 30, Jonny and Wolves assets become expendable and I add my second Newcastle asset. It will be a Newcastle defender. At this point, I have Florian Lajeune penciled in, but it could roll to Jamaal Lascelles. We will wait and see what happens.
BGW31 will be my final transfer for the blank, as I move Hamer out for Martin Dubravka. That will give me triple Newcastle for the blank, which I can then end up moving in DGW32, as I activate my second Wild Card.
In game week 33, I will free hit, in order to cover the blank game week. No doubt the starting XI will look much different than DGW32 and DGW35.
Looking back at DGW32 will give me an idea what my GW34 team will look like, with the addition of 1-2 FT.
DGW35 will be either of the remaining chips, bench boost or triple captain.
The important piece I need to remember is to build a complete 15 man squad when I wild card in order to take advantage of the bench boost this week.
There are some good match ups that week, but as it stands now, I only have some tentative players penciled into the starting XI. Some of those players include Matt Ryan, Artur Boruc, Laporte, Sterling, Aguero and Murray.
I’ve seen comments on Twitter about moving Aubameyang this week in favor of Aguero. This off the back of playing 64 minutes in GW26 and 90 minutes in the League Cup final.
Arsenal are home to Bournemouth and the league’s highest scoring forward played just 15 minutes against So’ton in BGW27. Think I hedge my bet, stick with the plan and run out Aubs this week.
It’s been my intention not to make a transfer this week, but looking a bit deeper into my strategy, which include 3.4 ITB, here is another option.
I could drop Son, who visits Chelsea and pick up Sterling, who is home to West Ham. That means I would not be able to add Aguero until my WC in DGW32.
Son away to Chelsea? Sterling home to West Ham? Something to think about the next few days.
As for my captain, I guess the default pick immediately rolls to Mo Salah, who will be home against Watford, a team that Liverpool defeated 3-0 in the reverse fixture.
Going off Sunday’s performance, I would be inclinded to look elsewhere for a captain. Aubameyang, home to Bournemouth is another great fixture, given his opportunities in just 15 minutes against So’ton.
It’s time to open the Pitch & Pint Mailbag
This week we dip into the Pitch & Pint mailbag and Mr WP, who asks, “Keeper to cover you from now until end of season? Aguero in for the next three and then Kane for the run in? Salah still needed?
Thanks Mr WP. Looking at goal keeper options I am seeing a few names that represent potential. The first, Martin Dubravka, 5.0 at Newcastle. They have ARS away in GW32 and LIV home in 37. They don’t blank and have a possibility of a DGW in 32 or 35, based on Ben Crellin’s planning.
If you want to spend more than 9.0, you can go Fabianski and Dubravka for 9.7, will get you though the rest of the season.
Let’s start with Salah, I am going to he’s expendable when the doubles start. As we saw with Aguero, it pays to have your premiums playing twice in a game week. So maybe it’s a case of FOMO, but I am not planning Salah in my squad starting in DGW32 when I wild card.
I think he and Liverpool will still be relevant and post some good returns, but I am going to bank on bigger returns from players I bring in for him during the DGWs.
Harry Kane, looked fit and in form this week. That said, I am a Son owner, but looking to move Son in the next few weeks.
Do I reconsider Harry Kane in my starting XI? With the information we have now, no I don’t consider Kane.
CHE, ars, SOU leading up to BGW31 then Liverpool in DGW32. There is still one outstanding game for Spurs, but as of this recording we don’t know where it will end up.
I only look at Kane if the unscheduled fixture is moved to BGW35, right now I am not planning on using him.
Dale Does Food asks, “To Almiron or not?”
I say no to Miguel Almiron because he’s too expensive. He looked good this week and in his debut cameo two weeks ago, but I can’t see spending 6.0 on a Newcastle midfielder. He will make players around him better, such as Rondon, which I touched on earlier in the show. Right now, I could not buy into him. I think that 6.0 plus 0.2 ITB or even 0.1 is better spent on Milivojevic, who’s on pens for Palace or Ryan Fraser, as fixtures are turning for the Cherries. Thanks Dale, for the question.
Conclusion [queue outro music]
That’s it for episode 27, thanks for listening. A solid performance to build on this week as we are a week closer to the first big BGW of the season. Lots to consider ahead of the midweek fixtures.
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Good luck this game week, may your arrows be green!
Thanks for listening to the Pitch & Pint Podcast – FPL from inside the Six