Like many Fantasy Premier League managers, I may need to make changes to my defence for Blank Gameweek 28.
It’s not the most exciting of areas to fix but having the right men at the back for a week with fewer fixtures than normal can make all the difference.
Having made some good progress recently, I’m confident that shuffling my pack in defence can help continue my rise up the ranks.
I’ve had an interesting few Gameweeks. With four consecutive green arrows, I’ve almost halved my rank since the turn of the year.
I should be delighted, right? Well, I’m far from content with some of my decisions.
For instance, I’ve sold players at the wrong time. I got rid of Kasper Schmeichel (£5.3m) last weekend (minutes before the FPL deadline) which only inspired him to attain an unexpected monster haul against Manchester City.
A couple of weeks prior I said farewell to John Lundstram (£4.9m) before he came off the bench and scored.
But there’s more – Mason Greenwood (£4.3m), Sadio Mané (£12.3m) and Romain Saïss (£4.4m) all registered fantasy returns in Gameweek 27. What do they have in common? I sold them recently.
There was certainly logic in selling each of them and in fairness I have strengthened other areas of my team. It hasn’t been all doom and gloom as Richarlison (£8.2m) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£6.2m) have done well for me. But I feel that my rank rise could have been so much better with a bit more foresight and luck on my side.
With the League Cup final taking away two Premier League fixtures this weekend, many Fantasy managers may have to rely on their bench or take hits to field 11 starters.
Fortunately for me, Kevin De Bruyne (£10.8m) is the only player that I won’t have available at my disposal. That’s why it doesn’t make sense for me to use the Free Hit chip.
However, one of the main problems that I have with my team is the risk of rotation to my budget defenders. To my dismay, I once again have to address issues with my backline. It’s clear that none of Diego Rico (£4.3m), Brandon Williams (£4.1m) and Japhet Tanganga (£4.1m) are regular starters. I would be surprised if even one of them starts this weekend.
I’ve got £0.2m in the bank and it’s likely I need to make changes here. My options are limited, to say the least. Realistically, depending on who I sell, I can only buy Charlie Taylor (£4.2m), Jamal Lascelles (£4.3m) or Saïss.
I’m tempted to re-buy the Wolves man but I already have Rui Patricio (£5.1m) and don’t necessarily fancy doubling up for an unlikely clean sheet away at Spurs.
In comparison, Taylor has quietly kept three clean sheets in his last four games. Then again, Lascelles has the better run of games among the three of them between now and Gameweek 33.
I’m hoping that the core of my team can carry itself unscathed from Blank Gameweek 28. A small green arrow would be most welcome but I may have to play it ultra-safe to avoid a red one and it may even come down to whether I take a hit or not.
Looking beyond that, I can’t help but consider buying Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.9m) after this weekend. Jamie Vardy (£9.7m) has not scored since Gameweek 18 and looks tailor-made to be sold for the Arsenal man.
But in order to make that move, I would have to consider downsizing one of my midfielders. That will be a tough choice, especially given Anthony Martial (£8.0m) and Richarlison have been scoring goals of late.
I don’t have much room to manoeuvre and it may be a fortunate turn of events if a premium-priced squad player becomes injured or suspended so that I can break the log jam and redistribute funds elsewhere.
Having said that, one of the lessons I’ve learnt the hard way with transfers this season is that if it’s not broken, there’s no need to fix it. So I guess I will have to wait and see.