After writing my transfer article for GW7, it appears I will be moving on two defenders this week, but not obvious selections. Maybe it was the discussion on Episode 9 of the FPL Roundtable with Casey and Gabe that have me reevaluating how to approach the defensive quagmire. Recently, the only consistency at the back has been West Ham, dropping three CS in a row. While I am not supportive of their effort, I did mention a few of their options. Gabe made an excellent point last night, saying “points are points,” doesn’t matter at what end of the pitch they are scored. Such a simple concept, but their opinions helped me form my decision and make my transfers.
Barring injury in GW7, plans are already in the works to roll the GW8 transfer, in order to have 2 FT out of the second international break. This week with two in my pocket I turn my attention to a struggling defense that is averaging only 2.75 PPG! Yesterday thoughts were to move Oleksandr Zinchenko with the emergence of Ben Mendy back in the starting XI, but Zinchenko could keep his starting spot and last week against Watford, just a rest. With that in mind, Michael Keane and Aaron Wan-Bissaka will be transfer fodder this week, as they make was for Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.1) and Çaglar Söyüncü (£4.6), which reserves £0.1 ITB.
Both Liverpool and Leicester are near the top of the bookie odds for clean sheets this week and both have a great run of fixtures. While many managers have moved off Lucas Digne and Zinchenko for Nicolás Otamendi, I am not completely sold on the bruising center back, who’s got a penchant for yellow cards (27 in 3 years) and honestly, hasn’t been an FPL option since 2017/18. He came through in a big way last week with a 15-point performance, but those will be the “exception” games, not the norm for the Argentine. This doesn’t put Zinchenko free and clear of NOT being sold, these next two weeks into the international break will be important for him and his spot in my starting XI.
Now, with the transfers sorted, it’s time to take a look at the GW7 starting XI, which is relatively unchanged, minus the new transfers. Like the previous few weeks, I will run out a 3-4-3 formation led by Teemu Pukki, Tammy Abraham and Sébastien Haller. These three forwards have put up some very good numbers for their modest prices to start the season. While they all failed to return last week, each has a big opportunity to rebound this week against weaker competition, even though Abraham and Chelsea are the only team playing at home. Pukki is probably a bigger concern then Haller, as Pukki has just one goal away from Carrow Road but has been spot on at home. Haller’s stats are strong, when compared to other like priced forwards, but last week’s win against United he was used in a bit of a deeper roll, in order to hold up the play with very little delivery to him in the center. Expected points: 20 points.
The midfield continues generate great points, averaging 6.19 PPG and those starting four players will continue into GW7, unchanged. Last week, led by KDB (17 points), I am hopefully Raheem Sterling is back in the starting XI for City as they travel to Goodison Park. it’s quite surprising to see 321k managers who have moved off Sterling ahead of this fixture. One good game and I guarantee managers will be flooding back to the City midfielder. Mo Salah probably has the best match up this weekend as Liverpool travel to Bramall Lane to take on Sheffield United. Currently leading many captain poll, Salah has been a model of consistency, much like KDB. Blades have conceded just three at home, but feel Liverpool will be too much for them this weekend. Finally, the return of Mason Mount last week was a relief, after seeing him flagged for an ankle injury. Looked good last week and could have a strong game, at home against Brighton. Look for Chelsea to get back on track this weekend. Expected points: 45 points
Defensively, I am hoping the change in personnel will give me a boost, one that I haven’t see all season. After some thought, I’ve decided to go back in on Liverpool defense, bringing in Trent Alexander-Arnold, who I didn’t own from the start. Çaglar Söyüncü comes in as well with Leicester on the cusp of an excellent run (will be benched next week vs LIV). I’ve decided to gamble on Zinchenko, if he doesn’t play this weekend, then he will be moved out of the international break. Nick Pope remains between the sticks with a great chance at at CS at Villa Park. Expected points: 20 points.
On paper the team appears stronger with a few upgrades on defense. Alexander-Arnold should be a mainstay on defense, as should Söyüncü with Leicester’s run of games. The only question mark now, Man City, just what is Pep going to do? At £5.5, I’ve got options when I decided to move off Zinchenko. Overall, I am looking for a good week to get back on track, hoping for a final score of approximately 85 points.