As I stated in Episode 60 of the Pitch & Pint Podcast, I am not going to tell you how to play the game, who to captain or what strategies to employ. That’s not what I am about. Ask me a question and I will give you my opinion, but who’s to say its right? We’ve seen FPL managers activating their wild card, after just one game, to think I thought I didn’t have enough after two weeks of games the past few season. This year, unless something really goes awry in GW2, I will end up holding my wild card and potentially rolling a free transfer in the next few weeks. While we didn’t get some anticipated results or performances from a few players and teams, I feel confident after a 78 points GW1 that my squad looks good heading into the weekend.
TEAM: 6TH GOAL
Looking over my main team, 6thGoal they scored 78 points and have an OR of 376k, which is much more respectable than the past few years. The upcoming game week is interesting, as it bring both Manchester clubs into play after both had a bye in GW1. I decided not to hold any of their players on the bench for the first game week and looking ahead, I’ve got more confidence in the City boys then United. At some point, I have no doubt I will treble up on City but continue to watch United. If they come out and play like their did upon the restart last season, then treble United could be a necessity.
Concerns this week center around Liverpool. One can say Leeds capitalized on their chances last week, especially if you support the club but I look at Liverpool making two costly mistakes that should not have happened, leading to goals. This week Liverpool head to The Bridge and Chelsea team that really didn’t impress at The Amex last weekend. Kepa is absolutely terrible in goal and that defense was shaky. I expect goals from Pool, but what will the Chelsea attack look like? Last March in the FA Cup final, Chelsea defeated Pool, 2-0. But there have been goals by both sides with the last league clean sheet in April 2019, in a 2-0 win by Liverpool.
There are no intentions to stay on Kai Havertz, I know one week doesn’t make a season, good (Salah with a hat trick) or bad (Mitrovic not starting). Last week I had 9.0 million to spend and decided to put that on Havertz, who was not impressive in his first Premier League game. The other player I was considered if not Havertz was Son who scored just as many points as Havertz. Neither had any attacking returns. Havertz makes way for City’s, Kevin De Bruyne, coming off his best season in the Premier League posting 23 assists and 13 goals for 251 points. In 2019/20, his VAPM finished at 0.40 and I am projecting a 0.49 this season. Can he improve on his numbers from last season? I believe he can and he will be in my starting XI the rest of the season.
TEAM: FPL BEER MULE (5-MAN DEFENSE)
This season I finally have a reason to run a second team that isn’t a zombie team. The decision behind this team is to see if a 5-man defense can be successful over 38 weeks. The start of the season tossed a bit of a curve without having City, United, along with Burnley and Villa without a game last week. While I was hoping to run with the same five defenders all season, that isn’t going to happen. I started with a treble Liverpool defense, which will be feast or famine all season. If they record 18 clean sheets that is potentially 216 points to take to the bank. Not a bad start for some attack minded Reds defenders. As many FPL managers know, playing three defenders from any team is a risky prospect but confidence is usually high with defenders from City and Liverpool. Can’t really say that about any other Premier League teams.
Going treble Pool at the back meant no Salah in the midfield. Could that be a disaster in the making? Salah is owned by 36.3% of FPL manager and will most likely eclipse that ownership number as the season ticks on. What makes it worse, he’s coming off a 20 point GW1 hitting for three goals. It won’t be three goals every week and I feel confident with my 3-man midfield. Forwards are set for a few weeks as well with Callum Wilson and Aleksandr Mitrovic, even though he didn’t start GW1. So with the attack set for one more week, the question turns to the defense.
What do I do with Caesar Azpilicueta? Returning from “an injury” picked up during the FA Cup final, he’s play and role as captain is instrumental for Chelsea. However, as I said Chelsea host Liverpool. We know there won’t be another clean sheet by the Blues, but is there still reason to hold the Spainard? With Wolves visiting City this weekend, I don’t feel confident going in on a City defender and Laporte is still a 50/50 proposition to play this Monday. Doherty and Spurs are away to Southampton, who have looked like relegation material in two games now, which includes the Carabao Cup, losing to Brentford.
With wild card activation not an option, it appears I will transfer Azpilicueta for Digne. Not what I planned on doing, unless I hear positive news regarding Laporte ahead of their GW2 fixture. Everton host a toothless WBA at Goodison Park and should make it back to back clean sheets. The chance Digne remains in the squad will be contingent on the health and fitness of the City defenders, as well as what we see from Spurs.