[queue z-cars intro]
Episode 33 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast being recorded Wednesday April 3, 2019 – Back to Blank
INTRODUCTION – Episode 33
Hello and welcome to Episode 33 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast. My name is Stephen, you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter.
So a few listeners asked me on Twitter, “what happened to episode 31 of the podcast? Let’s call that episode a blank episode.
I wrote the episode and was ready to record, on location at a craft beer bar in the neighboring town where I live, and my plans changed.
My wife was out of town with my son at Disneyland in Southern California, so I was playing bachelor for the better part of 2 weeks. I was also planning on leaving real early Saturday morning to drive 2 hours south to go SCUBA diving to finish my PADI certification.
Unfortunately, the planning and episode fell by the wayside, so I considered it my blank episode.
However, I am back this week, as DGW32 is still in full swing with 3 games to come later today. Probably three that FPL managers are banking on the most.
Chelsea hosting Brighton, Man City hosting Cardiff and Spurs hosting Crystal Palace at their new stadium.
Before we do anything else, let’s look back on my club, Watford
Since this episode is being recorded on location at my job, I don’t have a beer of the week this week. In order to keep the pod short and on target for BGW31, I decided to skip any beer talk this week, it will return next week, ahead of DGW34.
Now let’s get into some FPL opinions
I spent zero minutes watching any games live. Between my trip to Monterey for SCUBA and being short on staffing at work, I was unable to catch any games.
Not sure that changes today, but I would like to catch a few minutes of the remaining DGW32 games.
However, this podcast is looking forward, more than looking back.
I will touch on how my team is doing a bit later in the show.
We look ahead to BGW33 that features just 6 games. No real marquee match ups, as FPL managers hope their 33 result is better than their BGW31 result.
The average points of 26 across FPL was the lowest on the season and sent many managers moving down the overall rank or their MLs with a red arrow.
I consider myself very lucky scoring 39 points and picking up a small green, but any green arrow is worth celebrating.
How do we approach BGW31? Looking at it from my perspective, coming off the Free Hit Chip, my 33 team will be a mirror image of my 31 team with a single exception.
It’s tough to look much past 33, as 34 is waiting with Brighton and Cardiff playing in a small double game week.
One thing I won’t be doing it hitting ahead of BGW33, as results indicated a few weeks ago, this could be a game week in which you need all the points you can get to bag a green arrow. Why give them away on a player would might perform?
If we look at the FDR across the rest of the season, Arsenal is shown to have the best fixtures, followed by So’ton, even though they are home to Liverpool in 33.
Spurs have the third best attacking schedule, but won’t feature in 33, after coming off the DGW32 matches. They do have the new stadium, so it will be important to see how their fair today.
Bournemouth also back in favor, as Eddie Howe wasn’t happy with the 2-0 loo at Leicester City. And we still have Liverpool hanging around to round out the top 5 tops based on attacking FDR.
Defensively, the rankings are much the same, however I can’t trust Bournemouth to play defense, nor would I consider any of their assets, based on their good run of games. Liverpool and City round out the top 5, but City could be difficult, as they are still shooting for 3 cups in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.
As I mentioned, my 33 starting XI is going to look very similar to my BGW31 starting XI. I am going heavy on Liverpool and Bournemouth to fill 6 starting spots.
I am guessing many teams will have a similar number of players form those teams, but where do we look for points?
The big question still on the minds of many FPL managers, what do we do with Mo Salah? He’s still playing good football, but it’s not 6 games without a goal, bagging just 2 assists in the last 3 games.
At 13.2, his price is becoming very restrictive, as FPL managers look elsewhere for points. Some have lost faith in Chelsea, but others, not burned by the likes of Eden Hazard or the defensive units might be giving them a second thought.
I am on the fence with Chelsea, get to them in a few minutes.
As for Salah, I am going to stay on the Egyptian. I don’t want to come off for a hit, making a lateral move to Sadio Mane. He continues in blistering form with 3 goals and an assist in the last 3 games but blanked in 32 against Spurs.
I continue to keep defenders in my thought, which means I am plan on doubling up on the Reds defense. A trip to So’ton doesn’t worry me much but have heard others refer to it as the toughest game Liverpool has remaining.
Andre Robertson picked up his 10th assist on the season, collecting all three-bonus point, while Virgil van Dijk finished with an ankle injury and flag in the FPL game.
Klopp said after the game, “We have to see. I don’t know if he twisted it or it is a knock. He was walking to the interviews with a big ice pack. I hope it’s nothing serious, but I don’t know yet.”
Trent Alexander-Arnold is still in the thoughts of many managers but has returned only a single CS since his 3 assist performance in GW28 at Vicarage Road.
We look at backing Bournemouth…again. They are fit and in our thoughts. Eddie Howe fired off comments after the game, “We didn’t play anywhere near the levels that we’re capable of doing,” said Howe. We’ll have to analyse and reflect on what we did today. From our perspective we’re looking at next week now and try and focus on the Burnley game.”
There is still good reason to run with a Cherries treble, as they have scored 43 goals on the second. When it comes to the “best of the rest” in the league, Bournemouth is just 2 goals behind Everton with 45 on the season.
However, their form hasn’t been what it was earlier in the season. That won’t dissuade me from running out Ryan Fraser, David Brooks and either Callum Wilson or Josh King.
Wilson and King are both 6.5 and have scored 11 goals. Wilson gets the bump, as he’s posted 9 assists to King’s 3. King could get the nod, as he’s apparently on PK duty, which is how he scored one of his two goals back in BGW31.
The Cherries go the way of their midfield. If Fraser and Brooks are firing, Bournemouth is good. Since returning from injury in GW29, Brooks hasn’t posted any attacking returns in the last 4 game weeks but appears he’s completely fit finishing 90 minutes the last 2 game weeks.
It’s still Fraser’s team and he’s been in good form with a goal and assist in his last 3 games. At 6.2, you can’t beat his price, as he’s posted 145 points on the season.
As I mentioned in the opener, I just can’t bring myself to consider a defender or GK from the Cherries. They have conceded 21 goals at home and recorded 5 of their 8 CS at the Vitality Stadium.
Still those numbers aren’t good enough for me. I don’t buy into their defense, as they are too much of an attacking team. Some would argue Nathan Ake is a viable option, but at 5.1 I think he’s priced too high with a single assist and CS in the last 8 games.
There are better options, at least on paper.
Leicester City. So how many mangers have been burned by Ricardo Pereira? I am sure there are quite as he’s now owned by 13.6%, as he saw a big increase in owners during GW27 and 28. However ahead of 32, he’d lost 77k, as he wasn’t favored in DGW32 playing just one game.
Oh yeah and he picked up a CS, his first in 11 games!
Leicester City’s run is coming to end, as they are away to Huddersfield, home to Newcastle and away to West Ham. Not the stronger opposition, but the Foxes haven’t established themselves as a defensive powerhouse when Wes Morgan is still playing.
Maybe I need to give them a bit more respect, but I can’t back Barnes or Maddison. Numbers are great, I get that, but their attacking returns are not.
I know, jump my shit, it’s 3 returns in 5 for Maddison, who’s also on set pieces. I get that. He’s 6.6% owned, priced at 6.8 with 115 points on the season.
Barnes looks to be the future for the Foxes with good movement and skills. He’s currently 3rd in the last 6 games with 40 penalty touches and second with 21 attempts but just 2 assists in his last 6.
If I decide to double up on Leicester for the blank, I am going with Youri Tielemans. At 6.1, he’s priced between Barnes and Maddison and has shown better consistency over the last 7 weeks with a goal and 4 assists. In my opinion, he’s getting it done when compared to Maddison for 0.4 cheaper.
Will FPL managers be welcoming back the Vardy Party? It’s 5 goals and an assist over the last 5 games, at 9 million, he’s back to his starting price at the beginning of the season but has no doubles. I do like him for 33 and possibly 34/35. However, that decision is on hold when I active my second wild card.
What to do with Salomon Rondon? No return against Arsenal. Expected? Maybe. But he’s still on 3 returns in the last 3 and picked up a goal during the international break that sunk the GOAT.
Newcastle have good fixtures, outside of 37, but the knock no doubles. He could be expendable but may remain dependable for the Magpies in 33 vs Palace.
Don’t have any other players who suite my fancy for 33 from Newcastle. Their defense that posted back to back cleans in 27 and 28 have gone on to concede 8 goals in 4 games.
Moving to Palace, they could be a sleeper in 33, I like the looks of Zaha, Batshuayi and Milivojevic going in 33, but would likely not hold through 34 and 35, possibly wanting them back for 36-38.
For those wild carding, in 34 I don’t think I could recommend Palace. That said, they did defeat the Sky Blues at the Eithad, 3-2 back in GW18. Fluke? We will see.
I do feel they are more dynamic with Bats and Zaha up front. We can’t forget the attacking prowess of PvA, who picked up a goal in 32. I do see them continuing to make life hard for their opposition.
I think I will need to reevaluate their player in 34 when I activate the wild card.
Arsenal, as I mentioned at the top of the show have the best FDR to the end of the season, but can we trust them?
Defensively, I am potentially sticking with Kolasinac. I feel he’s the best chance for an attacking return but could be instrumental in any CS the Gunners may get to finish out the season. They have only recorded 8 cleans on the season, including 4 in the last 5, but not much to get excited about.
There is value to be had in the midfield, but who can we bank on? Aaron Ramsey at 7.1 is the player in form but is flagged with a thigh injury.
Unai Emery said, “It’s only cramp. I don’t think it’s more and I hope he will be ready for Sunday at Everton.”
Mkhitaryan is 6.8 but has just 6 minutes played over the last 2 games. He was on fire in 27 and 28 with 2 goals and 3 assists, but his time could be limited if Emery starts Aubameyang and Lacazette.
I think Iwobi at 5.4 is a punt, but there are strong options at that price range I would look at before considering Iwobi.
It’s 11 returns in 11 games for Alexandre Lacazette, if any player is in form, it’s him at a cost of 9.3. Aubameyang has 3 returns in the last 4 games but feel there is more saving going Lacazette based on his form and upcoming fixtures.
Arsenal play an Everton team that has looked better, but for all intents and purposes are on the beach. Three wins in their last 5 games with just 3 goals conceded. I still have no interest in their defense. IF and that’s a big if, I did, then Luca Digne at 5.2 is where I would look. He’s returned 5,7,4,6 and 6 in the last 5 games, but the Toffees have Arsenal and United with Fulham in between.
I had an odd attraction to Richarlison over the international break. Now that could have been more related to that fact I bought him back on my Watford squad in FIFA19 but he was coming off 2 goals in 2 playing a poor West Ham defense.
Thankfully, I didn’t move on the Brazilian, but I would still look at Sigurdsson at 7.3 over Richarlison. Set piece and PK duties, as both players are on 12 goals for the season.
Finally, Dominic Calvert-Lewin could be a sneaky play up front for Everton. I’ve considered him a few times earlier in the season, but running it by FPL_Tornado, I always changed my mind and went template.
DCL at 5.4 is on 6 goals and 3 assists on the season with 2 goals and an assist in the last 5 games. He’s the forward in favor with “Snake” Silva and could round out a #3 forward or off the bench as you first sub.
Recording this about 5am in California or lunch time in the UK, we are still 6 hours away from the final three games of the week, but they could hold big points with Chelsea, Man City and Spurs playing.
Currently, I am on a green arrow, up nearly 19k to 21k and looking to break into the into the top 10k this week if I can make up another 27 points in the game week.
Might be a big ask, but I should return a strong green, as I am now challenging in a few mini leagues.
For BGW33 I am approaching it like I did BGW31. I will be starting a full XI, unlike the 9 players I started in 31.
The lineup will be unchanged as I anchor the defense with Robertson and van Dijk, with Wan-Bissaka and Kolsinac rounding out a back 4.
It’s a midfield three, led by Hazard and Salah with Fraser maybe my best chance for points.
At this point, I don’t see any reason to take a hit or two and make a lateral to Mane or move off Hazard and onto another player who’s in better form.
Hazard and Salah both have one thing. Potential. I know we’ve been starting and captaining Salah because of FOMO, but both midfielders have potential. At some point, even if Hazard doesn’t give a shit on the pitch, his luck will change and he will bang. Maybe that is home to West Ham in 33.
Not sold on So’ton or their defense, feel Salah will bag a goal in the game, as he did back in GW6 against the Saints.
Up top Rondon and King, who were my stars in 31, as they pair with an in-form Vardy to lead my 3-4-3.
On the bench, David Brooks, home to Burnley. Do I trust an attacking return from Brooks or a CS or attacking return from AWB or Kolasinac?
I’ve stressed the importance of defense all season long and I am not going to change my tune 33 weeks into the season. Unless there is compelling evidence, or a late injury Brooks will start on the bench.
With one FT, I plan on move Etheridge out for GK. Right now, the two names that head my list are Kasper Schmeichel and Kepa Arrizabalaga. Do I trust that Chelsea defense? They couldn’t keep it clean against Cardiff. Leicester is playing the relegated Huddersfield. Not much left to play for in the season, so right now the Foxes GK has the edge.
Unless I get a wild hair up my ass to move off Salah and go with someone like Vardy, which I might I currently have the armband on Salah.
We could continue saying it. He will come good at some point this season and all those FPL managers who own him will say, “see I told you so!”
I do think Vardy is a quiet punt against Huddersfield.
Conclusion [queue outro music]
That’s it for Episode 33, thanks for listening.
Can’t wait to see how DGW32 ends, it’s all green for me but we have no time to rest as BGW33 starts Friday.
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 to The Pitch & Pint Podcast, FPL from inside the six.