This week I saved my team early (on Thursday) to attend an intense 2-day training. This made me miss most of the Saturday action, so when I made it home I could only “enjoy” an entertaining game of Southampton v. West Brom. After surprisingly making it through the full 90 minutes, I felt like a West Brom player when hearing a final whistle: I was drained, tired, frustrated and with an urgent need to forget that game and move on with my day.
That’s how bad it was, and I’m almost ready to declare West Brom to be the most boring team of the season so far. Having the likes of Salomon Rondon, Jay Rodriquez, Matt Phillips and Nacer Chadli in your squad and playing the way they did -- well, I’m really glad that Sofiane Boufal scored his wonder goal to give Southampton their well-deserved 3 points.
As I learned later in the evening, the following Fantasy-relevant events took place:
- Alvaro Morata, whom I bravely selected to lead my Fantasy squad with the captain’s armband, didn’t produce anything of note besides his yellow card. He was subbed with Chelsea trailing 1:2 to the spirited Watford. With Michy Batshuayi scoring a brace and saving Conte’s blushes -- is Morata’s starting spot now in danger? It’s a certain yes at least for my team.
- The likes of Tammy Abraham, Joselu and Jamie Vardy all blanked.
- Budget midfielders like Pascal Gross, Richarlison, Choupo-Moting and Ritchie all assisted their goal-scorers.
- Manchester United didn’t keep a clean sheet, lost Phil Jones in the process, and overall lost their first game of the season to the promoted Huddersfield. Romelu Lukaku was again a shadow of himself, managing only an assist to Rashford who scored the visitors’ only goal. An early season favorite Aaron Mooy scored and will surely re-appear in many fantasy squads.
- Pep Guardiola made thousands of enemies this Saturday when he benched Jesus (ok, ok, this was at least predictable) and red-hot Raheem Sterling. Despite the half hour of struggles, Manchester City won comfortably, a refurbished Sergio Aguero scoring from the penalty spot plus Leroy Sane and Nicolas Otamendi each netting once from open play. Manchester City for league champions this year anyone?
- Manchester City, Southampton and Newcastle were the only teams to keep clean sheets and reward their fantasy managers with solid returns.
There are 2 great games scheduled today. First Everton will host Arsenal with what is expected to be the last game for Koeman as Everton boss unless he sorts what type of football they should be playing to bounce back with a win. Arsenal will be glad to leapfrog Watford and into the 5th place, so I expect a heated encounter at Goodison Park.
After we learn the fate of Koeman, it will be a Wembley showdown between Tottenham and Liverpool. I find it addictive selecting a Harry Kane image for my 2nd consecutive league article, but just can’t help myself after watching him destroy Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane in Champions League. In fact, Spurs are winless against Liverpool in their last nine Premier League games. I expect this to be an open and joyful game to watch with the likes of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Ben Davies, Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho all being present in the majority of our squads.
For me, I have Spurs trio of Davies, Eriksen and Kane left to play and hope to break that 50 points mark for the weekend after a modest score of just 30 from the Saturday games.
Did your team score anything good on Saturday? Do you think Koeman will still be Everton’s coach by Monday morning? Will Harry Kane “spur” the Wembley faithful to jump from their seats?
It is Super Sunday ladies and gentlemen, let’s enjoy and chat!
Thank you for reading,