Ten Gameweeks to go. In a week in which we asked “why are so many top managers struggling?” Gameweek 29 could present a season-defining opportunity to make up lost ground.
FPL’s most expensive player, Mohamed Salah (£13.5m), has polled only 7.92% of the captain vote. Opinion is split on who to transfer and who to captain, and this means there is an opportunity to climb the ranks if you get your differential picks and your captain choice right.
A principal reason opinion is split is due to Salah’s disappointing return at home to Watford in Gameweek 28. Last year, in the same fixture, he returned 29 points after scoring four goals in a 5-0 win for Liverpool. The same result for Liverpool this year delivered a measly 3-point return for Salah.
An ankle injury to Roberto Firmino meant a reshuffle up front that lead to Sadio Mané playing in the centre-forward role. Many are now tempted to switch from Salah to Mané after the Senegalese continued his impressive recent form with a brace. As the FPL General noted:
“Salah out, Mane in, could be a popular move this week. The cash saved can go a long way…”
However former Career Hall of Fame number 1 Peter Kouwenberg cautioned:
“personally, I wouldn’t advocate downgrading the Egyptian unless you too need some spare cash.”
In this week’s captaincy video, David echoed views voiced by Kenneth Tang, one of the most successful FPL managers of all-time and a guest on one of J0E’s Meet the Manager videos, that: “if Firmino [does] not play … I may down-value Salah … [and I’m] a lot less likely to captain him.”
The latest team-news is inconclusive for Salah owners, Klopp gave the following update :
“He was out there running yesterday but we will have to see how he reacts. He is very positive. It looks really good but if he will be ready for tomorrow, I don’t know.”
If you are minded to sell the Egyptian, where could you spend the extra cash?
Chelsea have a plum fixture away to local rivals Fulham, after reduced minutes in the recent League Cup final and two goals against another struggling side in the shape of Huddersfield – is this the time to invest in Gonzalo Higuaín?
In his community article entitled ‘My Chelsea U-Turn’, Pep Pig revealed that his thinking has now switched from Higuaín to Hazard after the Belgian was withdrawn on 59 minutes in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Spurs. His research showed that Hazard has scored three of his double digit hauls in away matches against easy opposition (Southampton, Brighton, Watford). Chelsea have matches in both Gameweeks 31 and 33 for those considering playing their Free Hit or Wildcard chips in Gameweek 32.
Although Manchester City
“We cannot live, for example, with just Sergio. The last 10-15 minutes he was exhausted. We need Gabriel as quick as possible to come back.”
Then yesterday in his pre-match press conference Pep revealed that:
“Gabriel is back. John [Stones] is coming back too, like Gabriel.”
Raheem Sterling started the match against West Ham on the bench before coming on as a second half substitute, this rest helps him to secures a place in the Scout Picks this week. The midfielder has scored in every Premier League match he has ever played against Bournemouth.
Leading the captain poll this week is Manchester United’s Paul Pogba with 23.56%. He’s another to secure himself a place in the Scout Picks – no player has more shots in the last four home matches as Pogba, who has blanked just once at Old Trafford since Solskjær took over.
David’s Captain Sensible article examines the armband credentials of each candidate. It’s a crucial read in a week when opinion is divided amongst Fantasy Football Scout users, and veteran managers are all making different moves.
G-Whizz, in his regular DS stats, fixtures and clean sheet odds, adds weight to the captain poll and tips Manchester United to have a good weekend, closely followed by Manchester City. Wolves are favourites for a clean sheet this week.
However, the three team news items on Fantasy Football Scout: Neale’s round up, the video from him and J0E, and the summary from Rotation’s Alter Ego – all report that Wolves are set to switch their goalkeeper with John Ruddy replacing Rui Patrício between the sticks. Several managers, including Live Hall of Fame number two Mark Sutherns have replaced Patrício with West Ham ‘keeper Fabianski (according to FPL Transfer Spy).
If you’re a member and are yet to get to grips with the custom statistics tables, you can view this movie for an explanation of how they work. Also, remember to tag them so that people can find the tables with ease.
The draw for the first round of the FFS Cup has been made. Just under 1,200 managers applied for the 512 places available in the first round draw, with the Gameweek 28 qualifying score set at 56 (after hits). Good luck to those taking part.
In TorresMagic’s Last Man Standing competition the safety score in Gameweek 28 was 46, this saw 78 managers eliminated. 378 teams are through to Gameweek 29, when the threshold for elimination moves up to 18%, a minimum 69 managers will depart. The final will take place in Gameweek 37.
Adam Levy still leads both our main FFS League and our FFS Members League. Although he has dropped one place to third overall, he is now level on points with world number two Hassam CheLSawy and only one point behind Toni Haapanen, who has been number one in the world for 15 of the last 18 Gameweeks.
Mark has increased his lead over David to 51 points in the FFS Mods & Cons. Mark should continue his fine form with Sterling, Pogba, Hazard, Salah, and Rashford all in his team for Gameweek 29. Although he faces a tricky captaincy dilemma.
James Wells remains top in RedLightning’s Top 10k Any Season mini-league despite slipping from 40th to 48th overall. This is partly down to his team being unchanged from Gameweek 27, with the armband still on Felipe Anderson – who was away at Manchester City in Gameweek 28!
Mick Barker is the new leader in RedLightning’s January to May League after an 85 point Gameweek, 40 of those points coming from his triple Liverpool defence. He played his Second Wildcard in Gameweek 23, and eight green arrows in the last nine Gameweeks have seen him rise from 287k to 29k since Gameweek 19.
Finally, with ten Gameweeks of the season to go, RedLightning ‘Last Ten’ mini-league will start scoring this week: 194 teams are already waiting for its first points update. The code to join is 1637-1351886.
If you are running a community tournament and would like the latest scores included in future Community Round-Ups, please email us a summary of the current leaders and a link to your league, spreadsheet or head-to-head competition at firstname.lastname@example.org