I wanted very much to hold onto my Wildcard for as long as possible given how insane the season has been so far in terms of it’s predictability, or unpredictability shall we say, but with numerous injuries to key men, an International Break I knew would throw up more problems, and a general urge to take advantage of some in form teams/players ahead of good fixtures, I pressed the button after GW4 ended.
Now we’ve had the pressers, I have confirmed the below team and will provide justifications for selection and the thought process behind the key decisions I’ve made.
For me, Emi Martinez is the stand out choice right now. Villa are in exceptional form and have a great fixture run right up until Boxing Day!
I dislike rotating goalkeepers anyway, even without the good run of fixtures, as invariably, you end up choosing the wrong keeper. Better to stick with one so that you get all of his hauls, including the surprise ones in tough matches away from home.
The Defence (No TAA/Robbo)
The most notable absentees here are Trent Alexander-Arnold/Andy Robertson.
This isn’t because I don’t think they’re good picks long term, they are. But right now, I think there’s better value and this was one of the things I wanted to try to take advantage of currently.
Liverpool look awful defensively and with Alisson out and Klopp giving no time frame on his return, I simply don’t see it changing too much in the next 5 GWs and I see others as better value, for now. Of course they’ll pick up, but whilst they aren’t at their best, I see it as a great opportunity to go elsewhere for now with £3.1m in the back pocket to make a change if necessary.
Ever since I saw him play, I’ve wanted to bring Timothy Castagne in. He plays as winger virtually, and has already wracked up a goal and 3 assists and I don’t expect that to change for him too much, as I don’t see his role changing in this Leicester side.
I’ve always liked Ben Chilwell and I was hugely impressed by his opening Premier League game for Chelsea. He looked very advanced, was on corners and in general, looked composed on the ball and in defence. I’m not completely convinced by Frank’s team defensively, but I am convinced by the attacking potential of Ben and if he can marry that with some clean sheets, then he’s looking a steal at £5.6m.
Nelson Semedo is my last nailed on defender and admittedly, a bit of a punt. Wolves haven’t been great and I haven’t seen a great deal of Nelson Semedo, but from what we know about Nuno’s system, he should continue on from how advanced Doherty was and we did see that in the first two games, particularly in the last game against Fulham where he was inches from getting on the scoresheet after Neto’s shot was parried into his path, but Areola was sharp to stop Semedo putting it into the net.
Trust Mourinho and Spurs?
Do I trust Mourinho and Spurs? I don’t think I do yet. His tenure at United and Spurs’ performance last season under him remain fresh in my mind despite the start they’ve made to this campaign.
I still have doubts about their ability to break low block defences since they lost Christian Eriksen, but I cannot deny their form and the next 4 fixtures.
They must be absolutely cloud nine after their win at United, and I was encouraged by what I saw against Newcastle. They were very unlucky to draw that game 1-1, with Son hitting the bar twice and Kane having 7 goal attempts inside the box.
That game (v Newcastle) will tell us more about what they’re capable of in the next 4 games than the games against Man United and Saints, in which the defending was abysmal and the tactics, suicidal.
No Man City?
I think the next 4 represent a good opportunity to double up on the Kane and Son wagon and I’ve left myself with £3.1m in the bank to make a switch to a Man City player when KDB is back.
I don’t like Man City as much without KDB and today’s press conference confirmed he’s out, and Pep said “games”, plural, not “game” which is a worry.
Aguero, Sterling or KDB himself will come into my team when Kevin is back again and Spurs’ fixtures turn tough.
My bench is reasonably strong as I want to give myself the option of choice each week and with COVID on the rise, I feel we’ll need to use our benches more and more.
Tariq Lamptey is a player I want to utilise quite a bit, as I think he’s terrific value, and will switch between a 343, 352 and 442 at times, but this week, I think Brewster could be a great punt against Fulham.
The Tried and Trusted
With there now £0.4m difference between Sadio Mane and Mo Salah, there’s certainly a bigger case for going with the former, but having watched the opening 4 games in which Salah has been electric, and with his ownership getting increasingly massive, I’ve opted with the Egyptian despite my previous preference for Mane.
Jack Grealish now also comes into the side after a dominating display against the Champions in their freak 7-2 win. The Aston Villa talisman looks a no-brainer given form and fixtures.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin retains his spot in my team up front for obvious reasons. Both he, and Everton, are looking a force this season. I expect he’ll stay in my team for a fair while given his form and how well Everton are working together as a team under Ancelotti.
The wildcard always has to have well, errr, a wildcard in it! And mine is Christian Pulisic (3.3% ownership).
After coming on as a sub for Chelsea in the last 10 ish minutes of their game against Palace, I expect Pulisic to now be in the starting line-up from this GW.
He was excellent for Chelsea post-lockdown and looked such a threat. If he’s not nailed and is getting rotated a lot, or it isn’t going well performance wise for him, I have a decent bench to compensate and money in the bank for a decent upgrade.