If you had a good Togga PXI GW 26, please stand up, pat yourself on the back, and thank your lucky stars. That was one of the toughest GWs I’ve ever had to endure. From unexpected benchings (Paul Pogba and Marcos Alonso) to duds (Sergio Aguero) to horrible picks (Craig Dawson, Ederson) to my own horrible omissions (Alexis Sanchez, Mo Salah) it all went sideways on me. Luckily I had a very good week in my Togga draft league, scoring best among 10-teams. But because I am a perfectionist, all I can dwell on are the losses and never the wins. Yes, I had a great draft week and yes, I stunk up the joint on Togga PXI.
But, as the sage Alfred Pennyworth taught a young Bruce Wayne, “Why do we fall sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
On to Game Week 27’s Togga PXI picks!
Jack Butland (home v Brighton)
The battle is on to see who will claim the #1 shirt for England in the World Cup. After a horrid start to the campaign, the Stoke keeper has turned it on in the new calendar year. In my view, he has surpassed Schoolboy (Everton’s Jordan Pickford) as the logical choice if the World Cup started today. He’s also been among the best keepers in Togga recently, leading all goalkeepers with an average of 10.8 points over the last three weeks. Even if he doesn’t earn the clean sheet against Brighton (that Glenn Murray has been very pesky of late), Butland will pick up saves points.
Ake has been very active lately, having the highest points-floor among Bournemouth defenders. Charlie Daniels is also a good choice, enjoying a higher ceiling (though lower floor) than his teammate.
I think a Manchester United defender is a must at Newcastle. The Toon will attack, and defenders will be busy. I prefer a fullback in this encounter, particularly Valencia who will most likely be marked by Newcastle’s Paul Dummett — a nice enough player but badly outclassed by the Ecuador international.
Despite the unexpected GW 26 benching/rest, Marcos Alonso should be back in a Chelsea defense that has fallen apart over the past two matches (seven goals conceded). I expect regression to the mean to occur sooner rather than later. At home to West Brom should result in fewer goals allowed and much attacking by the Spaniard.
Finally, I am looking at the Swansea v Burnley game as a good source of fantasy points. The Swans’ Alfie Mawson and Mike van der Hoorn are good options, though their goal reliance scares me a bit against a solid and tight unit like Burnley’s. More likely I’ll opt for someone like Ben Mee or, if he starts, Matt Lowton.
KDB is a shoo-in; enough said; likewise Hazard. Eriksen should be on the front foot against an Arsenal team that is still defensively suspect and carries some injury concerns (Nacho Monreal, Petr Cech).
Picking one of the Bournemouth attacking midfielders is a bit of a gamble: Stanislas explodes one week only to implode the next. Ibe has a bit of the same tendency, and both can be subbed off early in games. Of the two, I rate Stanislas slightly higher, but only because I’ve seen him score 27-50 Togga points in recent seasons. I have yet to see that kind of ceiling for the promising Ibe.
Other midfielders under consideration include Henrikh Mkhitaryan or Mesut Ozil; Cesc Fabregas or Willian; and Paul Pogba in the hopes he’s in the mood to rectify his past couple of poor matches.
Mo Salah (@ Southampton); Alexis Sanchez (@ Newcastle)
Once again, this time in all caps: SALAH IS A MUST-HAVE.
I expect Alexis to be very active against a so-so Newcastle defense. Other alternatives are Sergio Aguero home to Leicester or Harry Kane home to Arsenal.
After last week, I’m not in any mood to gamble with my forward picks.
So there you have it, my redemption picks for GW 27. Did I miss anyone? How did you fare in GW 26? Is there a particular player you’re just dying to gamble on (Gerard Deulofeu anyone?). Let us know in the comments below!