[queue z-cars intro]
Episode 34 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast being recorded Tuesday April 9, 2019 – Magic 8 Ball
INTRODUCTION – Episode 34
Hello and welcome to Episode 34 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast. My name is Stephen, you can find me @6thGoal on Twitter.
What a run it has been. If there is any time during the season to see the stars align and luck turn, this is time in which great strides can and have been made.
Since GW26 I’ve posted 6 out of 8 green arrows and those 2 reds, my weekly score was over the average score but not as high as the top 1000 managers, thus a red arrow.
I’ve seen my overall rank club from 142k to 11k. It’s been a fantastic run. More on that later in the show.
Today, a lot of information to filter through. We will start with a review of the FA Cup semifinal. Much of the discussion will center around the Wild Card, which was activated last Friday.
There will be some differential talk as it relates to where you sit in the table. For this, I turn to Fantasy Football Fix and their stats.
There will be some beer news and a review or two of some of the beers I’ve recently been drinking. All that and more on today’s episode of the Pitch & Pint Podcast.
Now let’s look back on my club, Watford.
It’s time to come clean and be honest with you all. I was excited for the FA Cup Semifinal match after we dispatched Crystal Palace, 2-1 last month.
In fact, I felt good ahead of the Wembley match against Wolves, a team we defeated 2-0 at Molineux last October.
I woke up early, caught the three early Premier League games and started hunting for a stream. Come to find out, ESPN+ had coverage, so I started a 7-day free trial to watch my Golden Boys.
I was a bit unaccepting of Javi Gracia when he replaced Marco Silva, a manager I thought did well at Hull City. Well enough to earn a second look in the Premier League.
Needless to say. that love affair quickly came to an end, when he started talking to Everton, while still employed for Watford, running out club into the ground. Like many Hornet fans, I was thrilled to see him go to Everton.
Listening and watching Gracia, a fondness and respect developed. He really is a Watford man and as such was able to sign a long-term contract, something Watford hasn’t seen in many years.
Now, I think it’s too early to compare him to the legend, Graham Taylor, but if Gracia can spin his magic one more time at Wembley, he will achieve something special this year with this club. Something Taylor was never able to do, win a cup.
The last time Watford were in an FA Cup final, 1983/84 against Everton, in a 2-0 losing effort.
However, after Sunday’s come from behind victory, this team us unlike any I have watched before.
That’s where the problem started. I was disappointed with Gracia’s team selection, especially up top.
It was great to see Heurelho Gomes in goal, as he’s in his swan song and damned if he doesn’t keep on winning. Such a professional and unsung leader of the Hornets this season.
Defensively, I like how we set up across the back with Femenia, Cathcart, Mariappa and Holebas, a group that has played together a lot and plays well in front of Ben Foster and this game for Gomes.
Our MVPs on the season in the midfield, Etienne Capoue and Abdoulaye Doucoure. They have been amazing with the work rate, composure and leadership for the Hornets.
Now, here’s where it gets a bit wonky. We ran out Will Hughes as a third midfielder, on the right. While not his natural position, he has played well all season long.
Instead of our conventional 4-2-2-2, it was a 4-3-1-2.
So, Roberto Pereyra got the run out, playing behind Troy Deeney and fucking Andre Gray!
Now I am getting ahead of myself and maybe this is a point I want to completely ignore.
I watched exactly 62 minutes of the semifinal game and rage quit the moment Raul Ji-menez scored the second goal for Wolves.
Maybe that makes this American a fair weathered football fan. You know the ones, arrive late, leave early to sporting events, here in the states.
I didn’t see the mask incident, which would have added to the frustration. I lost quite a bit of respect for that Mexican for that incident. He should have been yellow carded, same with Aubameyang when he did it a few weeks back. WTF? Do they think this is the NFL? Leave that shit out of the beautiful game!
So, quitting on my team I decided to start working around the house. It would not be until about 4 hours later, I would crack open a beer, while on a break in my garage and I started talking to the guys in the FPL Beer Club.
After posting an image of a beer to the FPL Beer Club, with the comment that followed ending with “Yellow like Javi Gracia’s belly for starting fucking Andre Gray.”
That was when The Dude Abides said, “Cheers ST n congrats on the win earlier buddy.”
That set off a list of replies. As I did not see a single minute of the Golden Boys miraculous come from behind win. My condolences to FPL_Fly.
So later Sunday afternoon I sat down and picked the game up at the 62nd minute just prior to Jimenez scoring.
Now a few observations. First VAR sucks! Tired of waiting for the replay officials to make the call for the on field official. I don’t feel the system is ready for the Premier League.
Would much rather see it for offside use only, no red cards, no penalty box fouls. I think that will ruin the game next year. Wait and see, PK takers are going to be at a premium next season. Look at the record PKs we had at the 2018 World Cup.
Next, Raul Ji-menez, take that fucking mask off, you aren’t Lucha Libre, go to the ring if you want to wear a mask, it has no place in goal scoring celebrations. Pierre, are you listening?
I was disappointed with the starting XI, don’t think Pereyra deserved to start, let alone as a central midfielder, the playmaker behind the forwards.
While he played well, I think Watford would have been strong through the middle had we gone with our 4-2-2-2 with Deulofeu and Deeney up front with Pereyra and Hughes wide.
Guess that’s why I am not the manager, as in the end, the formation worked, and Watford got the win. But wasn’t happy with Deulofeu starting on the bench, reported because he didn’t play well enough against Fulham. So, the story goes.
We know the mindset it takes for a player to come in and dominate from the bench. Gray has been on target, a goal against Everton, a goal against Leicester and 2 assist last week against Fulham.
He’s strong and fast, which is what the Hornets need off the bench. Was Deulofeu really going to provide that last Sunday?
As it turns out, Deulofeu dominated! He looked the role of a Barcalona player, playing in the black and yellow of Watford. I do feel he came in and stated his case, scoring 2 goals on the day and pacing Watford to the 3-2 win.
Watford were quite dominating on the day, controlling the possession and the game, especially in the second half.
Wolves were able to take advantage of some defensive lapses and capitalize on two excellent passes that ended up in the back of the goal.
At 2-0 down, I honestly thought the game was over. I know I am not the only one frustrated to the point of leaving the stadium or turning off the TV, only to find out hours later, the team you support came back.
I had no alerts on my phone, so I was in shock when I was given the news. Like FPL, there was some luck involved.
That first Deulofeu goal, where he stood inside the 18-yard box and picked his spot was amazing! Then in added time, Deeney drawing the foul to pick up a late PK to put Watford on the spot and a chance at a late goal.
One thing I did notice, out fitness was much better than Wolves, who had substituted some of their attacking starters off, as Nuno has played with a limited bench much of the season.
On the other hand, Gracia can safely insert 25 of the 26 players we have and be confident they will contribute.
Deulofeu’s game winner was something special, unlike any of his recent goals, as his first touch, in the words of Ray Hudson was “magi-sterical!” He put the goal past Ruddy, with a confidence we have not seen all season.
So, it’s on to Wembley, where nearly all the UK, out of the blue portion of Manchester will be pulling for Watford to beat the most expensive team in the Premier League.
Before we get into the details for DGW34 and wild cards, lets crack open our double gameweek 32 beer of the week.
This week I go back to Marengo, Ohio and Hoof Hearted Brewing.
Not the first time I’ve featured beer from this brewery, just a few weeks ago it was, Who’s Like To Hold My Chipboard, a DIPA brewed in collaboration with Burial Brewing.
This week, it’s a unique sour double IPA brewed with raspberry, blackberry and boysenberry.
It’s called Quit Yer Fussin’ On Me, so let’s crack the top of this 16 oz can.
This beer pours a deep, dark boysenberry red with no head, but some pink lacing rimming the top of the pour.
Reminds me Welch’s grape juice
The smell is a potpourri of berries bursting with flavor, a bit tart with very little vanilla comes through.
It’s crisp and clean on the palette.
With milk sugar added, it’s not thick or creamy, but light and complex with the raspberries, boysenberries and blackberries.
It’s got a mild tartness up front that fades nicely with a hint of vanilla on the back end with a dry finish.
Amazing to get into some excellent sour beers. This 9% beer does not drink that big. Goes down all too easy and before you know it, you’ve had one too many and are slurring your words.
Beer of the Week – Double Gameweek 32
Now let’s get into some FPL opinions
So, DGW34 is upon us, as action kicks off Friday with Leicester hosting Newcastle. While Brighton and Cardiff playing twice. It appears that MANY managers have activated their second wild card, as soon as they could last Friday to give themselves times to build their best DGW35 team.
Using the WC in DGW34 means you can’t use your BB or TC chips. Some have passed a theory to use GW36 as the BB, as the match ups are stronger then what we will see in DGW35.
Who’s to say that thought is right or wrong, it’s what works best for your team. I haven’t decided on why I am bench boosting. The initial plan was to run it out in 35, but I am now coming around to 36 or even later in the year.
Let’s look at DGW34, Brighton seems to be the better of the two options when looking at options for players potentially playing twice. Ryan, Duffy and Dunk lead the way, but a small contingent, me include have Murray on their WC squad.
Brighton play twice at home in DGW34, where have conceded 16 goals in 15 games, posting 5 clean sheets out of 6 they have on the season. Earlier in the season Brighton lost 2-1 at Cardiff and 2-0 at Bournemouth.
At home Brighton is 6-4-5 with 17 goals. The stats just don’t do them justice, but their away record and stats are even worse. So why are they grabbing so much attention?
From an attacking perspective, Cardiff is the worst scoring team in the Premier League away (9), while Bournemouth (15) is the sixth worst. That does play into the Seagulls game, at home, where they have been better.
If we look at the last 17 weeks Bournemouth ranks near the bottom in attacking categories. I would tab them as the more prolific of the two, but much of the Bournemouth success came in the first half of the season.
So, if there is a team that scores, it’s going to be the Cherries. Brighton have kept 2 CS in their last 21 games. So, the chances are they won’t keep a CS in either game.
That said, they kept CS against Wolves and Watford, who just played in the FA Cup semifinal. Not that it means a damn thing, just thought I would toss that out.
Because of the DGW for Brighton, I would be compelled to roll out a GK and/or defender. I feel the double up is a risk, at the least, you walk away with 4 points over 2 games or 8 if your doubled up. Could be worse.
Ryan has made 75 saves on the season with a 64.3% save percentage. Again, very unimpressive. I do think we, as FPL managers are drawn to the fact that the FDR shows these as “good” match ups, against a team out of form in Bournemouth and Cardiff, who haven’t been good offensively.
Looking at the attacking end of the pitch of the Seagulls, they have Old Man Murray leading the attack. Will he get two games? I believe he will get 90 minutes in one game and 30 minutes in the other. Ceiling? Isn’t great, maybe 2 goals over the 2 games.
Start comparing that to other, in form forward and Murray’s luster starts to dull. Just 1 goal in the last 7 games but did hit for a brace away to Fulham, who’s defense is on par with that of Cardiff.
As for Cardiff, there are no options I am considering. I’ve heard Camarasa tossed around, priced at 4.5 with 2 goals in his last 3 games. If Cardiff score, chances are good, he will be involved, but a team not having Mo Salah should have enough budget to find a better 4th or 5th midfielder, depending on what their strategy is.
I’ll talk more about Brighton, when I look at my team a bit later in the show. Let’s get into some player discussion.
Players to watch
Based on goals scored in the last 6 games, Liverpool (16), Leicester (14), Chelsea (12), Arsenal (10), Everton(10) are the highest scoring teams.
On the wild card, we are looking ahead to DGW34, 35 and GW36 as we put our teams together. Only Arsenal have a double out of this group, in GW35.
So what percentage of players do we plan for the double games?
Let’s start with goal keepers
In RMT posts on Twitter, a common duo has been Ryan and Foster. These two will set you back 9 million, as Ryan doubles in 34 and both teams in 35. Ryan will have a tougher call in 35, away to Wolves and Spurs. I don’t expect much in this week, he did keep it clean against Wolves, but conceded twice to Spurs earlier in the season, totaling 8 points.
Foster shutout Huddersfield earlier in the season and conceded 1 to So’ton picking up 12 points over those games.
If you don’t want to burn a FT, then you bring in both for the WC. The other option, avoid Ryan, bring in Foster and bring in a Dunk or Duffy if you want a chance of a CS in DGW34.
Man City and Ederson have returned to defense form, much like we saw early in the season. Ederson has posted 6 out of 7 CS but face Spurs at home and United away in 35. He posted 10 points against these teams, as he shut out Spurs and conceded 1 to United.
I am more inclined to come back in on Ederson starting GW36. Feel they have a lot of football to play and we know Ederson will feature in all of them, I think they could struggle to keep cleans.
On paper, Southampton appear to have a good run of fixtures, WOL/new/wat/BOU. Some have considered Angus Gunn, 4.3 as an option.
Just 7 cleans on the season, doesn’t instill much confidence, as all these teams could score. He took the league by storm with 11 points in 21 in a 0-0 draw against Chelsea.
In the last 6 weeks, 2 clean sheets with 7 goals conceded. He has racked up some save points, 17 in the last 6 games.
Ben Foster, the defensive leader for Watford is another DGW35 options. While the Hornets haven’t been any better then So’ton, just 7 clean sheets, they too have conceded 7 goals in the last 6 games.
Foster, like Gunn has been racking up save points, but the Hornets haven’t kept a clean sheet since GW26. Against HUD they kept a clean back in GW10 but conceded one to the Saints.
Hugo Lloris, 5.4 is the last option, priced higher than the previous keepers, he’s 6th in overall points and Spurs have posted 11 CS on the season, good for 4th in the league.
It’s been said they don’t have a good defense, Spurs kept it clean in their inaugural game at their new stadium 2-0.
They do play City in the first of two games for 35, followed by Brighton. I like the fact they feature in 4 out of the last 6 games at home.
The inclusion of Lloris could depend on how you load up, if you load up with attacking options.
Keepers done, let’s move to defenders.
As we have done all season, there are a few lines of thinking. First, all budget and pile your money into attacking. Second a combination of a premium or two, with three budget defenders. Finally, what I’ve promoted much of the season, paying a premium for 3-4 defenders with 2 budgets in a rotation.
None of them are wrong and all of them could be successful.
Through 33 weeks, my defenders (and GKs) have kept 72 clean sheets. Now comparing that to the current world #1, he’s scored just 55 clean sheets. So, this defensive minded strategy has been very successful for me.
Let’s start with the league’s best defense. I’ve heard, have none to have three when it comes to the Reds defense. I’ve used Robertson since GW3 doubling with van Dijk starting in GW12. Combined they have scored 28 clean sheets!
As it stands now, I am hold both Liverpool defenders to anchor my defense. Both provide attacking potential and feel Pool has a great run the rest of the way. TAA, while skilled in the offensive ends has been prone to rotation but has started the last 6 games.
Digne and Pereira are appearing to be coming back into favor, the Toffee picked up 8 points with Everton’s 3rd CS in a row, 10th on the season.
Pereira picked up a CS last week and an assist this week, 14 points over that period, but the Foxes run appears to be coming to an end after 35.
Having never owned Matt Doherty, I might hop on that bandwagon, as he picked up 21k new managers last week with an ownership of 32.1% across FPL and 42.5% in the top 1000.
He also picked up a goal in the FA Cup last Sunday, but hasn’t posted a return, for the last 5 weeks.
Laporte or City defenders, fall in line with Ederson. He’s costly at 6 million but could surprise. Doesn’t have much attacking potential. He’s in my WC draft, but not sure I will stay with him for DGW35 against Spurs and United.
Mendy is back…again! Still 6.1, do you want to take confidence in Pep starting him? Dunno. That’s a lot of scratch to part with, when the only answer you come up with is a question mark.
Sead Kolasinac was the ONLY Gunner I was looking at. A look inside the numbers and Arsenal haven’t kept a clean sheet on the road this season, conceding 28 goals, 6th worst in the league.
He’s not locked into a starting position either, depending on how Emery sets up. He’s played in just 8 of the 15 away games and the Gunners still have Europa League to contend with. Kola won’t make the cut when I finalized my team.
If you consider Watford, look at Jose Holebas, the Hornets play 4 out of 6 at home with a great double in GW35. He’s created 33 chances on the season, with 10 attacking returns and 5 clean sheets.
At 4.9, he’s a bit pricier then a Dunk or Duffy, but big upside on set pieces, dead balls and corners.
Kiko Femenia played very well in the FA Cup semifinal, but I don’t have faith he will continue to start. Daryl Janmaat is healthy and was playing very well, in fact he’s better defensively then Femenia.
Going back to Southampton, their defenders are starting to gain interest. Yan Valery, 4.1 has opened some eyes. Two goals in his last 4 with a CS and 21 points over that period.
Next to Brighton and Spurs, they have the best run in to finish the season. Not sure I would go Valery, but would give Maya Yoshida, 4.1 a second look. He’s been known to grab the odd goal but is more likely to pick up bonus points.
He’s started the last 5 games and has been in favor since Hasenhuttl took over in early December. If you want to save that 0.1, you can always look at Jan Bednarek at 4.0.
Let’s move to the midfield, where big points come from.
We might as well consult a Magic 8 Ball when it comes to our midfield. Where will points come from? Reply hazy, try again. Will there be rotation with City? Without a doubt. Will Mo Salah be relevant again this season? Concentrate and ask again.
Pretty much typical answers we’ve see to commonly asked questions. Let me lead with, I am moving Mo Salah for the second time this season. Liverpool have a good run, he picked up a goal last week.
Is that the goal to break duck and put him back to the form we saw last season? While he might not be passing the eye test on the pitch, he leads the league over the last 6 weeks with 64 penalty touches and 23 total goal attempts. No other midfielder is close to those numbers, but one goal tells the whole story.
Can’t discuss midfielders with a player who’s trolled MANY mangers this season, Eden Hazard. Back to back double digit returns, 14 at home against Brighton and 16 at home against West Ham.
Could this be the form we saw earlier in the season, when he posted 4 double digit returns out of 5 games? It’s Liverpool in 34 and I am not high on Chelsea assets, followed by a visit from Burnley in 35 and a trip to Old Trafford in 36. Just don’t like the fixtures.
As it stands, Chelsea players aren’t in my plans. Some could point to Callum Hudson-Odoi, at 4.2. He’s picked up 10 points from the last 2 games, both of which he’s started. Not the caliber of Hazard but has looked good. Might make a worthwhile 5th midfielder.
The white elephant in the room, who wears Sky Blue, Man City. Just what the fuck do we do with their players? Raheem was a disappointment during DGW32.
Sane? Is he in or out of favor? His first 90-minute performance since GW21! Not an option.
The Silvas? Bernardo picked up 14 in the first game but didn’t feature in the second and provided his first return in 4 games. David, 2 assists in 4 and like Bernardo played in just one game.
City has a lot of pressure, now in the FA Cup Final on May 18, they have Champions League against Spurs and are still looking over their shoulder at Liverpool.
Where does Kevin De Bruyne fit in? He played 90 minutes for just the second time this season last week against Cardiff.
He looked great in the FA Cup semifinal with a pinpoint cross for a Jesus goal. Last week, picked up a goal against the Bluebirds.
9.7 is about as cheap as you will ever see KDB, we know he is a Pep favorite and should be well rested, given much of his season has been marred by injury. Last year he started all but 2 games.
I am banking on him avoiding the rotation and starting the Premier League games. In some way he acts an as enabler to bring in two, possibly three premiums to the midfield.
Of course, this is contingent on how you set up your defense and forward lines.
As mentioned earlier in the show, Spurs have the second-best schedule between 34-36 with a double in 35, away to City, who they lost to 1-0 last October and home to Brighton, who they defeated, 2-1.
Sandwiched between home games against Huddersfield and West Ham, both great looking fixtures.
Eriksen at 9.2 has scored 135 points on the season and was the highest scoring player in DGW32 with 20 points with a goal, 2 assists and 4 bonus points.
On the season it’s 6 goals and 11 assists. He is looking to be the midfielder in form for Spurs.
Heung-min Son at 8.5 was the previous darling, but fatigue seemed to catch him…finally. In 32 he played all 90 at home against Palace with a goal and 2 bonus points, as he’s still relevant for FPL.
Dele Alli 8.8 falls in between these two, but just an assist since coming back off injury in GW29. Alli isn’t in my plans, but I am considering Eriksen and/or Son.
As we’ve done for the other positions, we need to look at Watford. Gerard Deulofeu is popular selection, owned by 9% across FPL and 4.5% in the top 1000. He looked fantastic in the FA Cup semis with a brace to key Watford to the finals.
At 5.7 he will start every game the rest of the way, OOP next to Deeney at the top of the attack, just don’t expect 90 minutes from him.
Abdoulaye Doucoure at 5.9 is another real possibility. Another differential owned by just 0.9% across FPL.
5 goals and 6 assists on the season, he’s putting together a great season for the Hornets. Guaranteed 90 minute starter.
How about Wolves? Diogo Jota, 6.1 with 111 points on the season, 4 returns in his last 4 games, 7 goals and assists on the season. He’s looking very good since hitting for the hat trick back in GW23.
There might be some worth in holding Ryan Fraser, 6.0 or David Brooks at 5.1. It’s still a good attack at Bournemouth but they have faltered recently. Rest assured if Eddie Howe gets them turned around, they can return to good scoring form, as they have good fixtures; bha/FUL/sou in their next 3 games.
I plan on avoiding United, home to West Ham is nice, but the Everton away could be tricky, which is followed by the Manchester Derby and Chelsea.
They haven’t played all that well, which leads me to believe I will hold off on their assists until the final few weeks of the season.
Everton. Richarlison anyone? How about Sigurdsson? I do think both carry some value with ful/MUN/cry in their next 3 games.
Sigurdsson, 7.3 has a goal and assist in the last 3 games, while Richarlison has become relevant again with 2 goals in his last 4 games. He’ll set you back 6.5.
Let’s look up top, do we go budget or premium when we consider our forwards?
If Aguero had not picked up a knock and taken himself out of the first game of 32, I would probably still have him in my team. Now, carrying a caution, I am not planning on the Argentine.
He’s posted 19 goals and 10 assists on the season, but will undoubtedly get hit with rotation, with Jesus picking up time.
As I’ve said before, I don’t like the 34 double home to Spurs and away to United, even though there could be points in both.
That leaves one other premium option, Harry Kane. At 12.5, he’s coming back from injury and has started and played 90 in every game since 27, scoring 3 goals and an assist last week.
Some will question his form, as he’s on 17 goals for the season and still desiring to take back the Golden Boot from Salah. He’s still chasing Aguero on 19.
In seasons past, this is the time of year Kane brings the noise, so to speak. Do you want to doubt him? Maybe you need to consult the Magic 8 Ball? Very doubtful is the answer.
Except for City, it’s a great run for Spurs in the Premier League. He could be a prime TC candidate for GW34, as Spurs host Huddersfield. Rest assured I am running with him until the end.
I’ve spoke on Arsenal, while Aubameyang has 22 goals on the season in all competitions, can’t trust Emery to start him. The same goes for Lacazette, who’s been in sparkling form until last week, posting 11 returns in 12 games. Just don’t like the Gunners on the road.
Let the Vardy Party continue for a few more games. 10 returns in the last 8 games, he’s been one of the hottest forwards in the game since Brendan Rodgers took over.
I give the Foxes 2 more games, NEW/whu and then won’t consider them.
Roberto Firmino has been in form, 5 attacking returns in 4 games, priced at 9.3, on par with Lacazette and Vardy. No double like Leicester, but could be a differential, if you decided to run out three from Pool.
Owned by 12.1% across FPL and 3.6% in the top 1000.
Many FPL managers could be looking at the budget options. Raul Ji-menez and that stupid fucking mask, Glen Murray, Troy Deeney, Salomon Rondon still in our thoughts.
As Rashford ended his run? Wilson and King still prolific on the season combining for 22 goals! Burnley forwards picking up goals…again, Barnes or Wood?
Zaha is fit again, coupled with Batshuayi up front, he loves his PK assests.
Ings? Anyone for Danny Ings? Much talked about, but always injured. Picked up 66 minutes in GW32, first minutes since the GW25.
A sneaky little punt, Dominic Calvert-Levin, 5.4, 4 returns in the last 6 games. That’s 6 goals and 4 assists on the season, he’s really matured as a forward this season, one to keep an eye on for next season.
Jimenez and Deeney are the two in form players. Jimenez with 5 returns in 4, while Deeney has 4 in 4. Each recorded a goal in the FA Cup.
The Mexican is a must own, over 50% ownership across the FPL and the top 1000. Deeney is the differential, owned by only 5.4% across FPL and none in the top 1000.
I don’t think we trust Murray to play 180 minutes, probably more like 120 minutes, with a low ceiling, maybe 2 goals.
Rashford still carrying an ankle injury with 1 goal in his last 7 games, could see Lukaku pick up some games, as he has 4 goals in his last 5 games, both brades in 28 and 29.
That’s highlights on players I’ve been looking at.
Time to look back on my DGW33 team
Coming off a 120-point DGW32, I saw my team revert to my BGW31 squad. One that I had planned to play when I implemented my strategy, starting GW26.
Much like DGW32, when I was 47 points over the average, BGW33 was excellent! I finished the week with 76 points, 40 over the weekly average of 36.
I picked up fourth green arrow in row, now 6 out of 7 green and 8 out of 11.
Since the start of my strategy in 26 I’ve climbed the OR from 142k to 11k, where I finished this week, with a 6k green arrow.
It’s been an amazing run. One in which I’ve gotten lucky with some of my player selections, but more importantly, I’ve hit my captain 5 time since GW26, missing on Salah in 31 as my TC, Sterling in 29 and Aubameyang in 27.
My FT for the week was Kepa, picked up a CS, but lost a point with a yellow. Liverpool let all FPL managers down, conceding a goal.
AWB picked up a CS and 7 points, while Kolasinac was subbed at half time.
The game week came down to Vardy, who picked up 16 points, Hazard, who was my captain for 32 and Salah who picked up 6 points.
I was very disappointed with Bournemouth, as Fraser and King combined for 4 points with no returns.
Rondon, he’s run his course in my team, so pleased to have preached in his church since GW26.
Looking ahead, I activated my WC last Friday and have put together just 2 drafts. I can tell you right now, there might another one or two before I settle on a final starting XI with playing subs to use my bench boost in 35 or 36.
Currently I have Foster and Ryan in goal.
Defensively, I line up with Robertson, van Dijk, Laporte, Duffy and Wan-Bissaka.
In the midfield, KDB gets the nod, as do Son and Eriksen with Brooks and Fraser. However, the Cherries will probably make way for Jota and Deulofeu or Doucoure.
Up top, it’s Vardy, Jimenez and Murray to round out my 15-man squad.
TOP 1000 Ownership
Right now, I am going to continue monitoring the top 1000 ownership, something I’ve done all season long. Doesn’t matter if I’ve been at 200k, 160k or 15k, the top 1000 managers have been successful for a reason.
If I can match their weekly output, I will pick up a green arrow. It sucks to be 10-15 points over the average but lose out on a green because the top 1k average was 16 points higher than the weekly average.
Looking at Fantasy Football Fix, of the top 8 transfers, I currently have 6 in my team with a 7th planned
With the desire to get into the top 10k, it’s going to be a template of what the top 1000 are doing. Then there is box of beer up for grabs in the FPL Beer Club League, where the top 5 spots are separated by just 22 points!
It’s all about the beer, right?
Differentials will play an important role, especially if the top 1000 teams are similar. You hit the differentials, then you will fly.
As of this recording, I have the armband on Harry Kane, home against Huddersfield. New stadium, chasing Aguero for the Golden Boot, feel he’s got a high ceiling. Higher than Murray, who is an option playing two games, which might equate to 120 minutes.
I’ve seen some wanting to put the armband on Duffy, which is a ballsy move, but not smart. Could it pay off? Ask your Magic 8 Ball.
It’s time to open the Pitch & Pint Mailbag
Lookie here, we’ve got mail. Thanks to Mr. WP. His question, “How would you cover City on a WC? Any single GW players you would consider instead a DGW player? If so who.”
What to do with City? Their players were all the rage ahead of the DGW32 fixtures, only to be let down. Aguero pulling himself from the first game, Sterling with no attacking return, missing the second game. Sane, missed the first game but picked up a goal in the second.
Then there are the Silva lads, Bernardo picked up 14 in the first game, but missed the second, while David played all 90 minutes, but missed the Cardiff game as well.
Is there anyone we can trust from City? I don’t think there are any attacking assets to trust, so IF the decision is made to go with a City player, you go in with the mindset of playing just one game.
Defensively, we know Ederson and Laporte are probably going to get both games. City play today (Tuesday), followed by Palace on Sunday, followed by next Wednesday and Saturday for their second GW32 fixture.
With the depth this team has, I can’t see a reason to back any City player. That said, my current WC draft does have KDB as my only City player, but will he stay?
He’s “fresh” as he’s missed 15 games, playing in parts of others this season. All we need to do is look at his assist against Brighton on Saturday and we know why Pep loves him. That said, I don’t think KDB is safe from rotation, as City have some 11 games over 37 days, as mentioned by Adam Hopcroft on Twitter.
As for any single GW players, I am going to continue to back the Liverpool defense, any combination of defenders and GK. As I have been for much of the year, I am paying a premium for Robertson and van Dijk, with no thought of moving off either of them.
While Bournemouth can’t seem to win any games, I am still keeping Ryan Fraser in mind as a 4th or 5th midfielder. The Cherries continue to struggle for goals, but do have some good fixtures, starting with EVE in 34 and FUL in GW35.
I might even look at Everton, Glyfi Sigurdsson, as the Toffees have looked better recently and could make a bit of noise over the next few weeks, as they get Fulham at Craven Cottage in 34.
Finally, Leicester City assets, probably the ones that will be some of the most picked up this week, after their 4-1 win this last week.
Just remember it WAS Huddersfield. If you owned the popular selections, like Vardy, Tielemans, Maddison or Pereira, you made out.
I still favor Vardy as the option to own, not sure I want to double up, but if I did, then Tielemans is who I tab. Haven’t been a Maddison fan and I won’t start now, but he too is an option. Defensively, I know Pereira picked up an assist, but they aren’t good at the back.
Thanks again for the question Mr. WP.
From Stu Lord, another #FPL Beer Club regular, he asks, “Which of Watford’s cup semifinal goals did you enjoy more live on TV?”
And “Who is the safest Arsenal attacking pick? Are you one of the stupid people pretending to consider a Brighton defender for captaincy?!”
My favorite goal from the FA Cup semifinal was the first one from Gerard Deulofeu, from a standing position, but popped it over the defense, past Ruddy. Quite an amazing goal to way, which was key to the comeback.
Obviously, with the level of passion that Deeney plays with, it’s always great to see him make an impact, as he did to draw the game level with the PK in injury time.
Arsenal and safe is beginning to sound like City and safe, it’s a condition that doesn’t seem to exist. Thought Kolasinac was a safe pick, until he was pulled at half time. I don’t think we can trust any of the midfielders. Does Ramsey start? How about Mkhitaryan?
Ozil? He’s started the last 3 games, but I don’t think we trust Emery to keep him in the starting XI?
Up front, he started Aubameyang, with 22 goals, on the bench. That says a lot right there. Lacazette was my pick as my third forward, but I am not all that comfortable with the Gunners playing 4 of the last 6 games away from the Emirates.
Finally, am I dumb enough to captain a Brighton defender? That would a very bold move. We just have to look back to DGW32 and Laporte and Ederson finishing with double CS. Can we trust the Seagulls defense?
Brighton have posted 5 clean sheets in 15 games at home. Don’t forget they’ve posted 6 cleans all season.
They are fourth worst in the league, giving up a total of 458 shots on goal. Even at home, I don’t think I would have the cajones to give the armband to say, Duffy or Ryan. Too risky, but could get be a bold play for those looking make up points in a ML.
Conclusion [queue outro music]
That’s it for Episode 34, thanks for listening.
Let the green arrows continue to flow, as it’s been a long time since I have experienced a run such as this. DGW34 could be key to the rest of the season. Lots to consider the next 2 days before the Friday kickoff, as many FPL managers are on the wild card.
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Good luck this weekend, may your arrows be green!
Thanks for listening to The Pitch & Pint Podcast, FPL from inside the six.