Question Time is back as Fantasy Premier League managers face some tough choices going into the second international break of the season.
Sergio Aguero’s latest blank at Anfield and the managing of his minutes has some owners considering offloading him.
Meanwhile, with so many budget forwards performing this season a debate has emerged over which ones are the best to own.
So we’ve put your queries to another panel of FPL personalities…
Who’s on the panel this week?
FPL General – Has finished in the top 500 in three of the last four seasons and is a big influencer in the FPL Twitter-sphere.
James Egersdorff – You can’t get much more experienced than this man when it comes to FPL. After yet another season inside the top 5,000 managers in 2017/18, James is a former leader of the Fantasy Football Scout ‘Hall of Fame’.
Simon March – Winner of FPL in 2014/15.
Question 1 – FPL General
With the fixture shift for many teams ahead, how should we arrange our defence? We have seen Alonso and Mendy make many of us cry before and Liverpool defence and Doherty seem unavoidable.
“My current defensive set-up is Trippier, Alonso, Holebas, Wan-Bissaka and Bennett. My Gameweek 9 transfer will be Holebas to one of Robertson, Mendy or Doherty.
“I’m happy to invest in three premium defenders and roll with the two budget enablers for the next few weeks.
“I missed out on Robertson’s points earlier in the season, and I’ve always felt he’s a player I’d bring in at some point. Now feels like the right time to do so with favourable fixtures ahead for Liverpool.
“I sold Mendy for Trippier two weeks ago which proved to be a good move and I’m happy to hold on to the Spurs man for the time being.
“I’m leaning towards Robertson over Mendy at this point but Gameweek 9 is still a long way away, with the international break.
“As much as I’d like to bring in Doherty, I’m reluctant to triple up on Wolves defensively (I’ve got Patricio as my set and forget goalkeeper). Both he and Jonny are excellent options playing as wing-backs in a very good Wolves side.
“Looking at the fixtures, Pereira (Leicester), Balbuena (West Ham) and Dunk (Brighton) are three others who are on my Watchlist.”
Question 2 – James Egersdorff
Is it time to offload Aguero? If so, who is the best replacement?
“This is a real conundrum with Sergio’s limited minutes becoming a real headache for FPL managers.
“I gambled a little ahead of GW8 and took a last minute hit to bring in Harry Kane for Aguero. I didn’t like the fact his game time was being impacted and felt that the Liverpool match would be a low scoring affair.
“Likewise, I thought Kane would deliver against Cardiff and settle himself into a nice run of form. Alas, half my prediction was correct but the continuation of Kane’s poor value for money has left me thinking Aguero may be the go-to option with home games against Burnley and Southampton on the horizon.
“A match against Spurs is sandwiched in between but his record against them is impressive having scored 10 goals since he joined City in 2011.
“So this brings me round to whether I think Aguero’s pitch time may improve. Guardiola has spoken about a small injury in recent weeks and given his absence from Argentina’s international squad, perhaps the two-week international break comes at a good time.
“Likewise, the main rival for pitch time Jesus finds himself travelling away with Brazil. The return to fitness of Kevin de Bruyne is appealing too as a provider of even more scoring opportunities for the Argentinian moving forward. If uncertainty over Aguero’s minutes do remain though, especially as there are some must-win Champion’s League games coming up, then there are some alternatives FPL managers could look to.
“An obvious upgrade is the aforementioned Kane. Yet to hit top form yet this season, he is still tied with Aguero in second place on the goal-scorers chart.
“His price is at a premium however and FPL managers will have a keen eye on his form for England this week.
“Alexandre Lacazette is probably the in-form striker from the top six, but having been burned with Emery’s decision to bench Mkhitaryan earlier this season it’s a case of once bitten twice shy for me given that there are seven International level players to fill four attacking roles in the Arsenal XI.
“Jamie Vardy is an alternative with favourable fixtures and is almost certain to play but given Aguero and Man City’s goal-scoring prowess and Kane’s track record, it’s a battle between those two for a place in my team at the moment.”
Question 3 – Simon March
With so many good mid-price forwards such as Mitrovic, Arnautovic, Wilson, King, Murray, Jimenez, etc. taking their turns to perform every other week, which do you prefer going forward for the next several weeks?
“Form for mid-priced forwards so often seems tied to good fixtures, not just because they face weaker defences but, also because these are the matches their managers have identified as the ones they need to win.
“Of course, there are some players who seem capable of scoring against anybody, but it’s a much bigger task when they’re isolated up front in a team that is prioritising their defence.
“For that reason, I’m following the fixtures and looking at Marko Arnautovic at West Ham, Glenn Murray at Brighton, and Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic (probably just about in that order) with the caveat that the latter’s fixtures get very mixed after Gameweek 12.
“For the same reason, I’m not as convinced by the long-term potential of the Bournemouth forwards Josh King and Callum Wilson who, you could argue, are the current in-form players.
“After a couple of inviting Gameweeks, their fixtures take a pretty dramatic nose-dive and they’ll need to be at their very best to keep delivering throughout that period.
“However, since we’re juggling a lot of premium options this season, I think there’s also a case for looking at Southampton’s Danny Ings and Wolves’ Raul Jimenez, who, at around the £5.6 mark, offer a decent prospect of goals and the option to invest the savings elsewhere. That Ings is on penalties probably just about swing things for him but there’s not much between them.”