Premier League: GW28 Retrospect

It was a very bittersweet game week 28. Driving home, listening to the Liverpool v Watford game, in which the Hornets were already down 3-0 before Andrew Robertson and Virgil van Dijk decided to go offensive. While that wasn’t good for the Honrets, that was excellent for my FPL team, as my game week turned from red to green in the span of four minutes. Mo Salah? Is he even relevant any longer? He pulled his best Richarlison impression on Wednesday.

Tuesday got off to a very slow start, as I backed Salomon Rondon with the start for Newcastle, hosting Burnley. While Rondon didn’t shine, just four touches in the box and two attempts on goal, the Magpies went on to a 2-0 victory. Still bullish on Rondonaldo over the next three games; whu/EVE/bou, none of which have impressed on defense.

Coming of back to back wins, I had high expectations for Neil Etheridge and Cardiff City. Their 5-1 dismantling at the hands of Watford had me reconsidering the decision to continue with Etheridge. Unfortunately with a non-playing backup (Hamer), I can only expect save points to help score me points until I can move him when the second wild card rolls around. Everton scored three and Etheridge recorded a single save. Over the last three weeks, he’s averaging appearance points only.

Come Wednesday, I knew my overall score would improve.  FPL saw MANY managers fail with the #AlwaysCaptainSalah shout, as the Egyptian failed to return any attacking points. Thankfully Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang picked up a goal and bonus point to finish on 14 wearing the arm band. A nice shot in the arm before the Liverpool lads took over. Sead Kolasinac  (4 points) picked up an assist but conceded a cheap goal after a mistake by Matteo Guendouzi.

The midfield failed to shine, Ryan Fraser and  Heung-min Son failed to return for the second week in a row, while Paul Pogba picked up a late assist, but could be shortlisted and I am losing interest in the Man United midfielder. The only midfielder in my short terms plans, Fraser as Bournemouth fixtures turn after game week 29.

Defensively I can’t say enough about my squad. I’ve focused quite a bit attention on this part of my team, spending a bigger portion of my budget than many FPL managers. Has it paid off? On the season my defenders/goalkeepers have recorded 62 clean sheet, 372 points or 22.3% of my total score! The Liverpool duo have accounted for 273 points since.

Against Watford, van Dijk netted twice in the span of four minutes, while Robertson delivered two assists, as they combined for 33 points on the day. Looking forward, it’s going to be very hard to move off them, as Liverpool do not have any blanks or doubles to finish out the year. They do have a chance at 24 clean sheets, the current record held by Chelsea and Edwin van der Sar.

Looking ahead, it appears my chip plan is morphing again. What looked good last week, suddenly doesn’t appear to be the best course of action, this week. Heading into game week 29, I carry 2 FTs in the game week, both of which are likely to be used to bolster my squad ahead of BGW31.

I finished the midweek games on 67 points, 14 points higher than the 53 point average and saw my second green arrow in as many weeks. It was an increase of 23k as I creep into 80k, just the second time I have achieved an OR this high. Now, more than ever it’s important to maintain, something I haven’t been able to do when getting into the top 100k. There was a three week stretch starting in GW13, that culminated with a 92k, 97k and 81k before back to back reds dropped me down to 169k.

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