Premier League: GW36 Starting XI

Can’t keep looking back at what didn’t work the last two weeks with the assorted double games and the failed hits. Time to start new for the final three weeks of the season, end on a positive and not and maybe, just maybe sneak into that top 10k.  Unable to roll that DGW35 FT last week, leaves me not wanting to take another -4 hit this week, so I head into the week brimming with confidence on my lone transfer and hope that the Egyptian doesn’t set sail down the river Nile.

The ride was fun while it lasted, seeing my score rocket me up the OR over the last six out of nine game weeks, but I came crashing back to reality on two failed game weeks that culminated in a 9k drop. With an eye on the top 10k and another on the #FPLBeerClub mini league, where I sit fourth, 38 points from the leader. Hopefully the addition of Luca Milivojevic for the injured KDB will be the differential to get it done the next three weeks, as I wrote about in my GW36 Transfers article yesterday.

After the 16-point hit last week, I am very leary to add another four point hit to my season tally, as it failed me last week. The addition of Milivojevic acts as a differential, but leaves me with a single starting forward this week in Raul Jimenez. Not sure I can or want to back Fernando Llorente or Danny Ings this weekend. Llorente was one of those, “I knew better then to pick him up” selections last weekend. As for Ings, it was him or teammate, Shane Long. We know how that ended up.

For GW36, I roll out a 4-5-1, a formation I have yet to use this season. The addition of Milivojevic allows me to bench Llorente and Ings in order to give me a 5-man midfield that could potential maximize points for this game week. The red card to Watford’s, Troy Deeney and injury to Kevin De Bruyne really muddled the plans I had, but as FPL managers do, we roll with the punches in order to field the strongest starting XI we can.

Along with Milivojevic, it’s David Brooks, Heung-min Son, Raheem Sterling and Mo Salah getting the starts. None of them have been overly impressive the last few weeks, but we’ve seen all of them play very well through out this season. Now would be a perfect time for all of them to fire, as my starting XI did not score a single goal last weekend. It’s no surprise that I stand by the tag, “Always Captain Salah” this week as I have captained him 13 times this season for 210 points, averaging 16.2 PPG!

This year, it’s been all about defense for my starting XI, as I’ve picked up 80 clean sheets on the season, backed by 32 from the Liverpool duo, Andrew Robertson and Virgil van Dijk. Amazing to see these two defenders outscoring all forwards in FPL this year. Robertson is on 192 points, while van Dijk is on 188 points. While they carry premium price tags, they are a fraction of the cost of the forwards and getting it done at both ends of the pitch.

Since Benjamin Mendy went down, the support shifted to Aymeric Laporte, like the Reds, he too comes in at a premium price, which seems him as a top five defender (148) this season. The final defender of the week, Shane Duffy, who failed in DGW34, but came back to pick up 8 points last week, which nearly turned into a double CS, had it not been for a late Spurs goal. Back in GW9, where he picked up 7 points.

While I haven’t done any research comparing forwards to premium defenders, this has been one of those years where budget forwards have really made an impact. Look no further then Raul Jimenez, a player I haven’t owned until the last few weeks. He will start as my lone forward, as Wolves visit Vicarage Road, first time since their 3-2 loss in the FA Cup semifinal game.

In goal, based on the reverse fixture, I stick with Mat Ryan, coming off 12 points in his double game week performance, picking up nine saves. He could be in line for a CS this week as Newcastle visits.

Based on formation, fixtures and form, anything less than 90 points this week will be seen as a failure. I am remaining positive, but breaking down my starting XI by position, I see clean sheets across the board for 30 points and double digits (10 points) attacking returns for the midfielders. Up front, Jimenez has been without an attacking return for three games, but expect him to find his scoring touch at Vicarage Road. This week will, like many before it could hinge on the success of the captain selection.

Best of luck to all FPL managers, may your arrows be green!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *