So after a lot of tinkering, I mean, a LOT, of tinkering, I’ve finally settled on my team and strategy.
Given that we’re not going to have anymore blanks or double gameweeks, it’s made it very difficult to settle on a chip strategy and we should see a fair variance in what people decide to go with with regards to this.
For context, my situation is:
– Triple captain used (Mané DGW24 :'(… )
– Bench Boost available
– Second Wildcard available
– Free Hit available
The Chip Strategy
Given I have the second WC (Wildcard) available to me and we have been given unlimited transfers, it would largely be a waste to use Free Hit.
Some are worried about team value with unlimited transfers…
I had a team value of £107.3m prior to choosing the above squad and a sell value of £104.2m which was pretty decent at this stage and I was worried about losing some value taking some players like Ings and Calvert-Lewin out, who I had a lot of value stored up in however, given that I wasn’t planning on bringing either back after DGW30+, no real value is lost, so my sell value remains at £104.2m for a Wildcard team after.
So, I have opted to go with the Bench Boost (BB) chip, using the unlimited transfers to form a strong DGW30+ team and I will Wildcard or Free Hit afterwards – which one I will deploy in GW31+ will depend on the information we get back from DGW30+ but I’m currently thinking Free Hit in GW31+ and Wildcard in GW32+ just so I have another week of information to consult before choosing a team for the run in.
Justification for player selections
Dean Henderson, for me, is a given with Sheff United playing twice and both being good fixtures given how good they’ve been in defence plus, I had owned him from the start so I had a lot of value in him and I’m perfectly happy having him until the end of the season.
I don’t expect Arsenal to keep a clean sheet, but I do see Leno having to make a fair few saves against City and there’s an okay chance at a clean sheet against Brighton, so for the price, it’s a decent option.
Again, Sheffield United feature heavily here. One of George Baldock or Enda Stevens is a given with their attacking threat from wing back in a solid defence. I already had Baldock so an easy hold for me.
Previous FPL hero and Lord, John Lundstram represents the slightly controversial pick with the introduction of Sander Berge killing Lundstram’s FPL potential however, with the games so tight together and John Fleck a potential doubt, I see Lundstram getting a game of the two they have and because his ceiling is so high, I feel it’s a worthwhile risk to take. He can even get points from the bench so it doesn’t bother me necessarily if he doesn’t start.
I don’t need to justify Trent’s selection… the lad has 16, SIXTEEN goal contributions from full back – the guy is a joke! It would be far too scary to not own, so he stays.
Matt Doherty was another who was already in the side and again, similar, in a less explosive way, to Trent in that he doesn’t need much justification. A very attacking wing back asset in a solid Wolves side who were really tightening up defensively pre-lockdown (4 clean sheets in previous 6 games) and are pushing for a Europa spot again this year. Up against West Ham, who have been defensively poor this season, I expect him to cause them a lot of problems.
And finally, one of my more ‘punty’ selections, Patrick Van Aanholt. Because I decided to go with Bruno and Mahrez over Salah and Saka, it gave me extra funds for a punt and given I was happy with the midfield and attack, I decided to put it into defence. Palace are a defensive side and know how to keep a clean sheet under Hodgson.
With Bournemouth in DGW30+, there’s a decent chance at a clean sheet and PVA has a credible attacking threat (3 goals this season and he’s joint 4th for the most chances created in the last 6 GWs of any defender) so for me, it represents a nice punt.
My main conundrum was not wanting to lose Mohamed Salah, as I really expect Liverpool to hit 3 goals at least against Everton. Everton really struggled defensively pre-lockdown:
- Watford (A) – won 3-2
- Crystal Palace (H) – won 3-1
- Arsenal (A) – lost 3-2
- Man United (H) – Drew 1-1
- Chelsea (A) – lost 4-0
Of course, they were difficult fixtures, but it demonstrates they’re not good enough against decent attacking sides, and Liverpool are the best side in the league, so I really expect them to struggle.
The problem was, Salah ties up a lot of money and for balance, it looked better to spread that to Bruno and Mahrez with some over to upgrade Matt Targett to PVA, rather than hold, have Saka, who we can’t be certain of what kind of game time he gets.
Spurs were also struggling defensively pre-lockdown, and I got on Bruno Fernandes quickly (at £8.1m) and I 100% want him for the run in, so would buy back on WC so I wanted to hold him for value and because I think he will do well in that fixture.
Riyad Mahrez is a little more punty with Pep’s roulette wheel of rotation mayhem, but after seeing what this guy can do when he plays, as well as the recent comment from Pep about certain players (Mahrez named in it) being able to recover quicker, he seems a great option at just 9.6% ownership for the double.
Jack Grealish and Kevin De Bruyne again, need no justification, both talisman for respective sides with two games with both having excellent seasons – nothing more to say.
And last but not least, my main punt for DGW30+… Christian Pulisic! I was dying to have some Chelsea in my side with them up against Villa. Away from home, only Man City (34) have scored more goals than Lampard’s men (29 in 14 games) and Villa, as we know, concede a lot and with them needing points, they’re gonna have to try and attack so I can see this being a high scoring affair.
Additionally, Pulisic has featured in both friendlies for Chelsea and according to various sources around Twitter and some news outlets, was instrumental in their 7-1 victory against QPR, assisting 4 of the goals. He’s not a cert to start and it is a risk, but one I’m happy to take.
Sergio Agüero and Raul Jimenez were dead certs for me. Agüero has such explosive potential and even though we know he’s likely to get hooked off after 55-65 for Jesus, we know the kind of damage he can do in that time.
Jimenez is a talisman for Wolves and picked up right where he left off last season. When Wolves score, it’s likely he’s had something to do with it, scoring or assisting 19 of their 41 goals this season and is someone I definitely wanted for the run in, as their fixtures are great and the motivation will be there until the end most likely with them chasing down a Europa spot.
The last spot goes to young Eddie Nketiah. I don’t hold much hope for this pick, but he’s only £4.4m and managed to push out Alexandre Lacazette to a starting spot pre-lockdown, starting the last 3 games and scoring a goal. He also bagged a hat-trick in a friendly against Charlton and has received some high praise from Arteta recently:
“We treat Eddie as an important part of our squad. We had to make an important decision not to let him go on loan again after the spell he had at Leeds.
I watched him train and I was very convinced he was the right player for us to move us to the next level, that he can contribute in a big way to the way we want to play. He has been fantastic so far.” – Mikel Arteta
So there you have it. Barring any last minute team news, this is what I will be going with.
Try not to read too much into rumours. Always consider the source and once you’ve picked your team, do your best to stick with it.
Wishing everyone a great Double Gameweek 30+ apart from my mini league rivals 😉
Premier League football is back baby! 😀