I started game-week 4 with high hopes and optimism, like a child on Halloween knowing strategically which houses to visit to get the best sweets and which houses to avoid, knowing that the crabby owners would sic their dogs on me.
And just when I thought 2020 could not pop up any more tricks or treats, the Premier League had other ideas! Who in their right mind would have predicted some of the spooky “scare” lines that came knocking at our doors last weekend?
It took me back to a couple of weeks ago when I was watching the new Christopher Nolan movie, Tenet. In no shape or form do I comprehend this film, nor can I even explain what was going on. I am still perplexed by Christopher Nolan’s Inception, and I’ve had ten years to try to figure that one out! (Those of you who have seen it will know exactly what I am talking about!)
As a Liverpool fan, I do not want to discuss anything that happened last week; I am still pinching myself hoping to wake up from that nightmare. For the first time in years, I missed (avoided?) watching Match Of The Day.
I picked up a humble 68 points in Game Week 4; the average was 48 (who wants to be average?). I just mentioned it to make myself feel better. Firstly, why didn’t anyone tell me Heung-Min Son was fit? It could have saved me a transfer! In his pre-match press conference, Jose Mourinho was pretty much ruling him out for the season, let alone giving him a fighting chance of playing against Manchester United! And there he was, in the starting line up! And just my luck, the South Korean striker was having an absolute blinder. That will teach me never to listen to the self-proclaimed Special One when he is up to his old tricks, master of the dark arts!
Speaking of games, let me get straight into who I think will be treating me to some sweet success, and from whom I will be staying away to avoid being tricked!
At the start of the season, McCarthy at 4.5M was a cheap keeper with a good run of fixtures. This allowed me to spread the savings across my squad, but he seems to be a gem with clean sheets from the last two games. Southampton’s next game is against Chelsea, who will be tough, so I don’t see a clean sheet here, but I feel there are points to be gained from saves. I am going to stick my neck out and say that McCarthy will save a Jorghino penalty.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is someone I knew I couldn’t be without. He is a threat going forward, he is on set-piece duty, and Liverpool
are were known for their clean sheets (stop laughing). He is expensive but worth every penny as the highest scoring defender last season.
The rest of the defenders in my squad were based on early fixtures and cost, as the majority are 4.5M bargains (and one at 4M will never see the light of day). James Justin from Leicester City has the potential for a clean sheet and an assist (he’ll stay in my team until Pereira is fit and takes his place). Jamaal Lewis from Newcastle I can see along with Maxim taking advantage of the lack of protection that Rashford and Greenwood provide for their respective fullbacks, which Mourhino cleverly pointed out in the Manchester Evening News; therefore telling his full-backs to press as high and with as much intensity as possible. This has all the makings of a Star Wars plot, the Rebel forces having intel on how to take out the Death Star with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the wheel (sorry I couldn’t resist).
The issue I face is that Liverpool plays Everton! I have 4 players invested in this fixture; two on each side. That’s not ideal, but I feel that each of these assets could potentially get me points.
The league leading Toffees (pinch self again) have yet to drop points. They have been so good leading up to game-week 5, with only their dancing skills letting them down; if they keep up their scoring pace they’ll nail choreography by the end of the season! As a Liverpool fan, it took me down memory lane, like watching “that uncle” dancing: so painful to look at but you can’t look away either.
Mason Greenwood is another player you can’t look away from either. He hasn’t done much so far this season, but he showed us a keen eye for goal during Project Restart. With Newcastle likely to sit back and defend, by the time they work out what foot Greenwood is using, the ball will ripple the back of a cold, wet, and miserable Tyneside net.
Harvey Barnes, on paper, has an easy fixture and is in form, but as Liverpool found out, there are no easy fixtures in this topsy-turvey Premier league campaign that has not only proved eerie without the fan-chanting but spooky in terms of results. Leicester is not having the best of times after their loss against West Ham, but with three players in my team, this truly could be a make or break fixture.
Timo Werner is someone I had a soft spot for until he signed for Chelsea. I was sure he was going to make the move to Merseyside, but the attraction of London lured him which also came with the guarantee he will be Frank Lampard’s leading marksman. For me, he was the Batman of German football with his utility belt full of gadgets for every situation: his pace for the long ball, the skill to beat a man, the eye for the goal! After 4 games I just want to slam my fingers in the door repeatedly for even choosing him. It is safe to say he will be transferred out this week.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is a young man with the world at his feet even an England call-up (a game which he scored in). He has the Midas touch. Everything he touches turns to goals.
With Jamie Vardy, it’s simple, get me a pen or 2 son, and your next couple of rounds of Red Bulls are on me.
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Maxim with a goal and assist worth 12 points stays on the bench as I already have a Newcastle asset and I want to spread my risk. Mitchel is a starter currently at Crystal Palace and at 4 million you can’t complain, and Douglas is there to make up the numbers.
I am taking out Timo Werner because he frustrates the hell out of me! He’s like a phone whose battery is at 1 percent and you’re expecting an important call.
Neal Maupay of Brighton & Hove Albion is 5th compared to other strikers in terms of FPL points this season, and at 6.6 million is a steal even Del Boy would be proud of! He is reminiscent of the government’s “eat out to help out” scheme: 50% percent off your bill. The upcoming fixtures can see him get points plus money in the bank. Four goals in his last four games and blanking once only to Chelsea.
Raul Jiménez has been Mr reliable and the head figure of the Wolves attack with kind fixtures and penalties in his locker (always handy, just ask any Manchester Utd fan).
I am edging towards Maupay but will hold off due to international duty that could settle my choice or even throw a curve ball to make me pull out my hair. I am even thinking of bringing in Heung-Min Son with the money saved from Maupay, which would mean suffering a -4 hit, but I believe Son will make it up to me on the field. Note to reader: Try to minimize taking -4 hits because real-life managers watch what we’re doing and tell their real-life stars to “play a deeper position” after we’ve used -4 hits to buy them; also, the -4 hits really add up at the end of the season and can cause you to lose your mini-leagues.
Mohamed Salah is the Bob the Builder of my team: No matter what type of day I am having, he is likely to fix it. I feel he is a differential captain pick, that many will not select him as it’s a Merseyside derby seen as a very difficult fixture. Even if he doesn’t score, he is likely to assist. I am expecting a good performance from Liverpool and the Egyptian magician, especially after the last game. Salah did get two goals, albeit in vain as painful consolations, but goals they were, and goals mean points! And a wise old man once told me “points make prizes.” Oh, how I miss the Generation Game!
Vice-Captain: Jamie Vardy: It has to be. Where we live in such unprecedented and unpredictable times, you need assurances from somewhere, and my government certainly isn’t giving any.
As Alfred Alder once said, “Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.” In short, follow your instinct but also consider stats.
A friend in need is a friend indeed, with internationals still going on. That means I have some time to tinker (or over-tinker, like Claudio Ranieri).
How’s your FPL roster shaping up? Do any of these FPL thoughts cross over to Fantrax? Whom are you dropping this week? Whom are you buying?
Are you spending a -4 hit on a speculative “investment”? How have such “investments” worked out for you so far? Most importantly, are you spending a CHIP? And if so, what combination of circumstances drove you to take the leap? Please share your thoughts comments section!