“I’m walking on sunshine and don’t it feel good”
Liverpool were walking on sunshine as they finally clinched the Premier League title, meanwhile in FPL land there were several managers celebrating another successful Gameweek with some huge scores.
Whilst Liverpool fans will take time to relish the victory, FPL managers don’t have that luxury as we are rushing through the final weeks of the season with only hours to decide on our next moves.
The week saw laboured, cautious performances from some teams as they adjust to crowd-free, post-lockdown football but Liverpool continue to be a class apart and the Man United triple up seems a must with their current renaissance.
As a reminder, The Great and The Good are a handpicked group of FPL celebrities (?), FF Scouts or Pro Pundits who I will follow to see what we can learn as they navigate their way through the season. They are the Scouts (Mark, Joe, David, Geoff and Neale), FPL “celebrities” (Az, LTFPL Andy, FPL General and Jules Breach) and finally from the Hall of Fame we have Ville Ronka, Matthew Jones and Sean Tobin.
Ville Ronka hit his second century in a row to be the leading scorer this week, moving up to 14,635, his highest rank of the season. He captained Mo Salah but also had Anthony Martial, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Nick Pope to give him his 13th green arrow in the last 15 weeks. The Great and The Good title race is far from over.
The biggest riser was Andy who gained 74,000 places overall and overtakes Mark in what is turning into a basement scrap between those two and Jules, he is the form manager of this group with a 76-point average over the last five weeks.
Geoff was another strong performer with 96 points, he put his faith in a Liverpool triple with both Sadio Mane and Salah, but unfortunately Mark was less successful with his Man City triple which gave him the lowest score this week.
The captain call was wide open, most went Bruno Fernandes who was overshadowed by Anthony Martial but credit to Geoff, FPL General and Ville Ronka who were rewarded for their faith in Mo Salah. Ville Ronka has captained Salah 42% of the time over the season, more than any other of The Great and The Good and his faith is being repaid.
Jules and Mark both gambled on Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Heung-Min Son respectively but neither quite provided the fireworks expected, will Mr Sutherns keep faith with the Tottenham man against an out of sorts Sheffield United this week?
A popular week to overhaul squads following the bench boost bonanza in GW30+ with five of them hitting the big red button, only Sean, Mark and Geoff have the most powerful chip of them all left to play.
The wildcard moves are detailed below:-
IN – Pope, Martinez, Doherty, Holgate, Lascelles, Saint-Maximin, Davis, Richalison, Fernandes, Rashford, Jimenez
OUT – Leno, Henderson, Lundstram, Stevens, Cahill, Grealish, Mahrez, El Ghazi, McGinn, Aguero, Jota
Triple Wolves for David along with double United but perhaps surprisingly he kept trust with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who blanked again and clearly under the influence of the Newcastle loving Neale drafted in Allan Saint-Maximin.
IN – Pope, Button, Doherty, Maguire, Femenia, Saka, Son, Fernandes, Salah, Rashford, Calvert-Lewin
OUT – Ederson, Leno, Lundstram, Egan, Robinson, De Bruyne, Grealish, Mount, Cantwell, Aubameyang, Aguero
Less faith in Aubameyang for our mini-league leader and he looks to be relying on United and cheaper options from Watford to cement his victory.
The big news is a complete lack of City coverage which may come back to haunt him if others continue to win on Pep roulette, although after last night’s defeat we can only expect that rotation wheel to spin faster.
IN – De Gea, Martinez, Aurier, Lascelles, Justin, Son, Saka, Fernandes, Richalison, Calvert-Lewin, Jimenez, Rashford
OUT – Leno, Nyland, Lundstram, Baldock, Boly, Ceballos, Mount, Grealish, Norwood, Jesus, Aguero, Aubameyang
A well-balanced squad here but he would have been disappointed his Everton double up didn’t pay off against a weak Norwich side – they have conceded the most shots in the box since the restart.
He has dispatched with Gabriel Jesus’ services despite the injury to Sergio Aguero and has decided to buy into the United defence via the unusual route of David De Gea.
IN – Pope, Button, Alexander-Arnold, Doherty, Fermenia, Holgate, Sarr, Martial, Fernandes, Salah, Calvert-Lewin, Jimenez
OUT – Henderson, Leno, Lundstram, Egan, Mings, Targett, Grealish, Barnes, Mount, Sterling, Aubameyang, Aguero
Full credit to the Finnish phenomenon he has absolutely nailed his wildcards this season, his second saw him shift to a 3-5-2 which looks to be a sensible strategy with the multitude of midfield options.
His pick of Martial was obviously a game-changer this week as was his double up on Wolves defenders, surely, he can’t catch Neale, can he?
IN – Foster, Martin, Justin, Femenia, Aurier, Mane, Son, Traore, Fernandes, Calvert-Lewin, Greenwood
OUT – Leno, McCarthy, Lundstram, Stevens, Egan, Grealish, El Ghazi, Sterling, Saka, Samatta, Aguero
As you would expect another strong selection and was another one to go with a five man midfield, he is the only one with Mason Greenwood and if he gets more game time he could be gold, as well as allowing Matthew the option to switch to a three man frontline.
Other picks that catch the eye are Adama Traore who looks like he will continue to have an impact whether on the bench or not, plus Sergio Aurier who certainly passed the eye test against West Ham.
This is a summary of the transfers for this week :
Andy – Foster (Leno)
Joe – Foster (Leno)
Jules – Calvert-Lewin, Fernandes (Aubameyang, Guendouzi)
FPL General – No transfers
Geoff – Pope (McCarthy)
Mark – Pope (Leno)
Sean Tobin – Rashford (Wood)
*transfers out are in brackets
Goalkeeping transfers were the order of the day for those not playing their Wildcard chip but Jules’ decision to take a hit draws my attention even if both Calvert-Lewin and Fernandes let her down. You can understand her logic backing the Everton frontman, he is top for shots (23), along with Raul Jimenez in the last six games.
The template for The Great and The Good looks like this:-
Pope (8) Button (4)
Alexander-Arnold (12) Doherty (9) Boly (4) Lascelles (4) Maguire/Saiss/Justin/Femenia (3)
Fernandes (11) De Bruyne (9) Salah (8) Son (4) Saka/Grealish/Sarr (3)
Jimenez (11) Calvert-Lewin (10) Rashford (6)
* brackets show number of teams they appear in
All change in the template with only Alexander-Arnold, Matt Doherty, Kevin De Bruyne and Jimenez surviving. The flying Liverpool right back is the only one in all of the squads and I can’t see that changing for the rest of the season, one stat that stands out is the 77 crosses he has made in the last six weeks with his nearest rival Oliver Norwood on 41.
Mark is the only one not to be convinced by Jiménez and Fernandes, but this looks to be part of his high-risk strategy to bet against the template as he looks to gain rank in the last few weeks.
BACKING THE RIGHT TEAM
Project Restart seems to have impacted all the teams in different ways, Man United are reborn, Norwich appear to have accepted their fate, Sheffield United lack steel and Leicester look to be on the beach.
So, who are The Great and The Good putting their faith in? Man United and Wolves have the biggest representation across the squads with 50 players from these clubs selected by the managers, equating to 28% of the total.
Liverpool also dominate with 23 selected (13%) but City picks have declined with only 13 players (7%) from the Etihad included which is less than Everton’s representation.
In terms of the relegation dogfight, we normally see a rise in performance from those fighting the drop and The Great and The Good appear to have the most faith in Watford with 10 players (6%) whilst they have given up on Bournemouth who have zero.
Motivation is fast becoming the key consideration as we saw more players readying for the delayed summer break or the expected distraction of the FA Cup and Europe as is the expectation for Man City.
Obviously, Man United look strong as they focus on a Champions League place, but could we see a resurgence in Chelsea picks as they fight out with the United, Leicester and Wolves for third/fourth – Christian Pulisic at 4.6% ownership anyone?
The only one attracting attention from the basement brawl is Ismailia Sarr although Jarrod Bowen looks poised if anyone is going to take advantage of the West Ham fixtures and desperation to beat the drop and what about Kortney Hause who has the most shots in the box in the last two Gameweeks?
Finally, a massive congrats to Lateriser who is rightfully getting the headlines for his Martial armband choice amongst the FPL community, he is now 145 OR. He will have to beat a certain Chess champion Magnus Carlsen who is 4th if he is to go all the way. Upside Chaser vs Chess Grandmaster now there is a match worth watching.
Anyway, that’s all from me for now and remember don’t have nightmares.
For those affected by any of the topics raised in the above article they can find me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Greyhead19
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