Think Different: GW7 5Man Defense Starting XI

Thinking different last week didn’t really help my overall performance. It was a late roll of the dice, because Sheffield United defense is so bad this year, I decided to activate the triple captain chip. We know how that worked out. A whopping six points. Thanks Mo. However, one week doesn’t make a season and honestly it’s no worse than playing one of two games in a double game week and picking up an assist. So while it was a massive fail, I tried to make it look not so bad. This week, after my first red arrow, I do think this team will rebound.

ONE FREE TRANSFER, TWO PROBLEMS

With a single transfer in my pocket, I had intentions of moving off the double Liverpool defense, dropping Joe Gomez for Ben Chilwell. Unfortunately with James Rodriguez not playing this week, I had a decision to make. It appears if I want back in on Rodriguez, it will be after the international break, as I won’t bring him back in next week. With 1.7 ITB, I decided to bring in Christian Pulisic (8.4) as my third midfielder, which drops Tomas Soucek out of the starting XI and into the first bench spot. Never been a support of American “soccer” players and he is no expectation. Personal opinion aside, the other option would have been Wilfried Zaha but then this team would closely resemble my 6thGoal team, even with a five defenders, the midfield, DCL, Semedo, Robertson and Martiinez would have been the same.

While there are still intentions of moving Gomez, it will have to wait for next week, but might go a different direction and look at Patrick van Aanholt, depending on how many minutes he gets this week.

STARTING XI

The defense will line up with the Liverpool fixture against West Ham being the biggest concern. This will be a much better test for the Hammers, even if the Reds win the game, which team will show up. I can only hop that Robertson and Gomez can contribute to a potential clean sheet. If Robertson blanks, he is gone come GW8. Gomez, will be a hold, just because he is cheaper than Robertson and I would look at upgrading a forward.

Nelson Semedo plays on Friday and like the chance of a CS, even though Zaha and Townsend have been playing well. Sergio Reguilon will hopefully return to the starting XI for Spurs, but did play midweek. Spurs at home, another fixture I really like. Kyle Walker rounds out my defense, as City travel to Bramall Lane and a poor Blades team. Honestly, on paper this is a CS for City, but who the fuck knows!

The midfield is strong, anchored by Mo Salah, Kevin De Bruyne and now Pulisic, who breaks into the starting XI. Hopefully he’s not a failure like Kai Havertz was to start the season, because he will be on a very short leash and has very little leeway to not produce. Might sound harsh, but he’s not a player I really want to own. Not sold on Chelsea at this point, feel they still have much to prove, at least for me, which probably isn’t a popular opinion, but I honestly don’t care.

The forwards remain unchanged, but I am losing a bit of confidence in both of them. Dominic Calvert-Lewin failed to return for the first time all season. More importantly, he’s missing Richarlison and Luca Digne, both suspended as well as Rodriguez now, so he lost some of his support players who can deliver. Rest assured his ownership will be down this week as suckers…I mean managers move off every other forward onto the trap that is, Patrick Bamford.

I’ve decided to keep my own trap in Raul Jimenez. While the Mexican has returned in the last two weeks, he’s not getting the service we saw last season. I do agree with Nuno Espirito Santo, “The chances are there, not so many clear, but we need to finish the actions and be more clinical.” The goals will come. Jimenez is the main target for Wolves and is talented.

EXPECTATIONS

Double Liverpool is a concern, especially with as poorly as they are playing. One would think at some point of the season they will turn it around and be that resolute defense we saw last season. Not sure that time is now with Adrian in goal, but he does face his old club, might that time be now?

At this point of the season, I am well off that 60 point/week pace I was hoping to maintain. Just 314 points, which equates to 106 points needed to work my team back up to where I want to be. Coming off a poor, 32 point week has really hurt my team and one of my main goals of this season. Still with four out of five green arrows I am not going to be too disappointed with how this team is playing. At this point, I am not being competitive, even to reach the top 100k, let alone any thoughts of higher success. Hopefully this week I can start chipping away to get back to where I want to be.

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