BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Triple Gameweek 35)

FPL gaffers, how do? Welcome again.

So we have, if memory serves me right, an unprecedented TRIPLE gameweek incoming. This is the result of the ongoing European Super League fallout and the subsequent fan protests that followed. Man United, who were already pencilled in for a doubler, had their match against Liverpool postponed in GW34 and the rearranged fixture now gives them 3 game triple threat in 35.

It’s the sort of ACT OF GOD outcome needed for those chasing packs and in a tight title races…….. Unfortunately we are in neither and even managed to slip a place to 4th in the office mini league after another average week just gone.

Still, we plug on. We actually scored 43 in a gameweek’s average of 39. Not bad, not great, but GW35 is now an exciting proposition and one that certainly got my juices flowing.

LOOKING AHEAD.

As mentioned, Man United have a massive 3 matches in GW35, Villa, Leicester and Liverpool being the opposition. By no means easy fixtures but it’s effectively a free triple captain.

Not only do we have the treble but elsewhere, it’s a busy week. 8 teams have double games. We’ve got nothing to lose, we are loading up and taking a big negative starting point that’s for sure.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

Since gameweek 29 our season has capitulated and, along with unforeseen unluckiness, we (I) have made some big managerial blunders. Eye off the ball, tatical suicide, that sort of stuff. This week is no different.

I had made 4 changes for a -12 and then realised I only had 2 Man United players in the lineups. It means either sticking at -12 or taking another -4 (total -16) to get the 3rd manc man in. We haven’t made the call yet so all changes are as it stands. We’ll make the final decision closer to transfer deadline.

The four transfers made so far are.

CALVERT-LEWIN for VYDRA

SIGURDSSON for SON

KABAK for TARGETT

KEANE for CHILWELL.

For now, Fernandes will be captain, whilst our TOON players (who only have 1 fixture) will have to make do with a place on the bench.

EDIT: You know what, f**k it. -16, we go in with no regrets.

CAVANI for KANE. Now we are fully loaded.

ROUTE ONE LADS.

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 34)

Get a load of this…..

Yeah that’s 3 one’s in the starting XI with a 6 and a 12 making up the bench. FPL my life.

It’s indicative of the way the last month has gone for us really, the Chilwell points obviously being the most disappointing. The thought process behind leaving him on the bench was actually fairly logically at the time. He was a big rest risk (as seen previously) for Chelsea’s Champions League semi in Madrid. Cheers Mr Tuchel, you can go and drop yourself in the same bin as your colleague, Pep.

It means that 34 in a week’s low scoring average of 36 turns out very underwhelming. Add those 18 on however and we would’ve had a completely different outlook. When your luck’s out.

We currently sit on 1848 for the season with 4 gameweek’s left to play. The challenge is now is getting to the magic 2000 point mark, to try and sneak into the top 1 million and to restore a bit of pride. We roughly need 40 points per week to get there, sounds simple and straight forward…….. if you don’t take -16’s each week.

LOOKING AHEAD.

There’s a great looking fixture for Spurs who entertain relegated Sheff. United. Tottenham’s fixture list going forward is pretty promising so Kane and Son should be in everyone’s thoughts, including ours, I would think.

Chelsea at home to Fulham and City at Palace are point scorers…… so it seems. But, both have Champions league in the week. Don’t be fooled into loading up because it’s a Pep and Tuchel double team waiting to happen. The amount of times we’ve been stung this season, especially by the former, has been a joke. It’s the reason I finally had to admit defeat and remove all City players.

Liverpool v Man U, this weekend, we could have done without.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

I’ve just given all the spiel about not taking too many minus starts in order to get to 2000. And yet, we go into GW34 with a -8🙄

With the Spurs run in looking so favourable, I had to get Kane and Son back in. Out comes Mané, Watkins and Cavani, in comes the 2 along with Vydra. Lack of finance dictating the latter.

The Spurs duo take the armbands straight away, Kane the captain, Son the vice. Why do I have a feeling putting all my hopes in Tottenham players will come back to bite us on the arse? Ohhh aye, IT’S SPURS LADS. But, we’ll see.

I mentioned the other week we were going back to basics for the run in, well you can’t be more basic than 4-4-f**king-2. That’s how we will line up.

And, In form Allan Saint Maximin retains his place as our Toon representation. what a time to be alive.

GET IN THEIR FACES.

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 33)

We are heading in one direction at the minute and that’s complete nosedive down. As I write this we have one match and one player left to play in game week 32. Look at the state of this⬇️

SHAMBLES

As you can see there’s a red card, a couple of Zero’s and a boatload of injuries – A fantasy football combination from hell. The amount of players potentially unavailable for GW33 is going to be the biggest problem going forward. A squad overhaul will be a necessity which, of course, will result in a massive negative starting point. The accumulation of points is quickly turning into the dissipation of points.

Our title race ended a few weeks ago and now we are now looking cautiously over our shoulder as we scramble to secure a 3rd placed finish. After a brilliant 3 quarters of the season it’s total disarray and the head has gone.

Where do we go from here? TOTAL RESET WITH A F**K IT MENTALITY.

LOOKING AHEAD.

Let’s be honest, the GW33 fixtures aren’t great. City and Spurs have no fixture…… Thank god. They (Pep in particular) have been the masters of our demise in recent weeks.

Leicester home to West Brom and Liverpool home to Newcastle look the pick of an average bunch. What’s interesting though, if you’re looking for a bit long term planning both those sides have pretty favourable fixtures from now till the close of the season. The advice from this (failing) fantasy football manager is to load up on Leicester and Liverpool players for the next few weeks.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

I said the head had gone and the mentality is now f**k it, nothing to lose. That’s where the reset comes in and a steady -16 fired. Yes, that’s right, MINUS SIXTEEN. 5 transfers in total and all Manchester City players binned. It’s been a battle with Guardiola all season and it’s one that seems impossible to win.

The transfer are –

EVANS (Leicester) for STONES

JOTA (Liverpool) for GUNDUGAN

MANÉ (Liverpool) for KDB

VARDY (Leicester) for KANE

WATKINS (Villa) for Lacazette

Some bold moves made, no least taking the big points hit, but, like I said earlier, nothing to lose at this stage. 2000 points is the target and we go from there.

I’m not sure about the captains pick at this stage. I’m going to wait until right up to the deadline and make a gut choice from there. Everything a fantasy manager shouldn’t do but hey, things haven’t been working out recently. We need to mix it up.

TAKE THE BALL, PASS THE BALL.

THE RESET SQUAD

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 32)

With 6 weeks of the season to go I’m afraid the time has come to concede the office league title.

As predicted, Game week 29 proved to be the pivotal week and since then things have steadily spiralled out of control. We now sit around 100 points off the top so points pride is the only thing left to play for in season 20/21.

Last week we managed 46 in a fixture set average of 41 which seems ok, but it paints a far from realistic picture of the week’s true goings on. 38 of the 46 points scored were only from 2 players, Lacazette (captain) and Allan Saint-Maximin. On the card we had 3 big fat zero’s and 4 one’s. Unbelievably really. How we managed an above average score is beyond anyone’s belief.

Again, pep’s rotation policy has left us short for which I have to hold my hand up. I’ve had opportunities to change and take pep’s boys out of the lineup and have stalled. The buck stops with the manager and I take that on the chin. What we can’t account for, however, is things like the Dominic Calvert-Lewin exclusion – No team news or red flags. As far as we are concerned he should of played and didn’t.

We move on. The target now is to get to the magic 2000 point mark and try and sneak back into the top 1 million worldwide. All the while trying to cut the gap at the top by as much as possible.

LOOKING AHEAD.

First thing to point out is Spurs have a double game week with their opponents being Everton and Southampton respectively. All sounds great but remember, lads… IT’S SPURS, perennial failure merchants when you think all is rosey. That being said, Kane captain is surely a move the vast majority will go with this week.

Elsewhere *takes a deep breathe* Man United at home to Burnley, Arsenal home to Fulham, Chelsea home to Brighton, Leicester home to West Brom and City at Villa all have the makings of points and could be conducive to a lucrative high scoring week. A 100 point week is not beyond the realms of possibility should the results go as most would predict.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS.

Having basically given up on the title, the pressure is off now as we look to enjoy the end of the season. In a way it’s a bit of a relief and the players can now go out and express themselves, hopefully proving to myself, the board and the fans they deserve a place in the squad next season. However, in saying the is pressure off and all that, we still start this week on a -4, making 2 enforced changes. Some things will never change.

Out comes DCL to be replaced by Edison Cavani whilst Ben Chilwell replaces the other crock Aaron Cresswell in defence. Providing Cavani plays, our front 3 looks very strong as the Uruguayan hitman partners captain Kane and Lacazette at the top end of the pitch. And guess what, we still include 3 City players despite the previous weeks failings. Sorry, not sorry.

TOON representation remains at 2 in the form of Allan Saint-Maximin and Joe Willock to continue the accumulation of points, what ever that target maybe.

GW32 TEAM

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 31)

Has gameweek 29 sucked all the wind from our FPL sails? Not quite but the significance of that week lingers on.

The fact we managed to bounce back in week 30 with the respectable total of 48 does suggest we are just about hanging in there. The problem we have is the office leader. He’s riding the crest of a GW29 jet-streamed tailwind and has taking off, extending his lead by a further 15 points. We now lay around 70 back with 7 weeks remaining. BIG GAMBLES with BIG DIFFERENTIALS are now a must but bringing in the right players without taking to much of a negative starting point is the BIG CHALLENGE.

The captain pick was again a stumbling block. Had we chosen Kane over Fernandes we would’ve been looking at an extra 13 or so points and, as predicted, the majority of City contingent were rested. The back up we had planned in the bench positions though did work a treat, Joe Willock contributing a vital 6 points.

LOOKING AHEAD.

In terms of the current squad the fixtures aren’t looking too kind to us this week. Spurs v Man United is certainly one we could’ve done without and, as ever, City have another Champions league match in midweek which causes more selection headaches. The need to shift one or more of my City players is becoming greater by the week but changes elsewhere have always taken priority. Staying within a decent starting number has also taken a precedent. All too often we have been starting game weeks at -8 or more when our main title rival is starting on an even keel. It’s simply unsustainable………..Yet, we still go into game week 31 at -8 with 3 City players still in the squad🤷🏻‍♂️

THIS WEEK’S PICKS.

As just mentioned, we’ve made 3 transfers this week for a -8 and replaced no City players. The wheels seem to be coming off and rash decisions are being made so a bit a luck is definitely required. Am I happy with the squad? No. Could the board lose patience? Divided dressing room? The remit at the start of the season was to win the title and we are still pushing. After all, its the accumulation of points and getting to that magic number…….. whatever that number maybe.

The changes we’ve gone with are KILMAN for injured TIERNEY as a cash boost, SAINT-MAXIMIN for doubtful FRASER and the big change, LACAZETTE for WATKINS.

Not much to say really other than the feeling of regret. I wish I’d bought in Mason Mount but I can’t really afford another -4. We go into this week lacking in confidence but in adversity we need to show strength. Lacazette will be captain, hopefully as a crucial differential.

TURN BALL

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 30)

It feels like a long time ago and the dust has settled but the disappointment lingers. As predicted, game week 29 was truly awful and has subsequently left us nearly 60 points behind the office leader with only 8 gameweek’s left to play.

With a -8 starting point our lads only managed 21 points for the week with Harry Kane bagging 14 of them. It makes for truly dire reading and is possibly my worst ever return for a fixture set in FPL history. Putting my faith in Newcastle players was a monumental mistake and definitely a case of the heart ruling over the head, an absolute FPL no no. Like Steve Bruce, I have become the fantasy April fool.

If we add a little more context however, the game week average was only 25. In normal circumstances our score wouldn’t have been too bad. The problem was, my 2 main title rivals scored a very impressive 71 and 61 respectively. An average week for them would’ve made our average score week totally fine. Would having Son fit have made that much of a difference to us? With that gap in score lines, probably not.

We did feel this week would be a poor one from our point of view. The fixtures or lack of, the availability of our squad, it all had the hallmarks of a nightmare incoming and so it proved. Obviously the key factor was not being able to foresee the points deficit we now have to claw back, I was thinking it was going to be around the 30 mark. DOUBLE THAT. DISASTER.

We need to get the player’s heads up, take our medicine and move on. There’s still a lot of points to play for and our rivals in question will have to make changes going forward. Yes, we will have to take a few risks but the aim now is to claw 10 points per week back. How? I’m not sure but it’s only a captains pick difference and is by no means impossible. We may have to look down the differentials route in the coming weeks and you know what, I love trying to find the gems. This season we’ve had a pretty good record in the regard.

LOOKING AHEAD.

As bad as our game week 29 was, the squad we have does still look decent for the upcoming fixtures. Our biggest concern, as always, is Manchester City and Pep Guardiola. This week is no different and trying to predict the rotation will be made harder by the fact they have a Champions League match in midweek. With the league all but wrapped up, you’ve got to think the Easter eggs will be firmly placed in the European basket. Is it even worth having City players in your squad at this stage? Definitely a question to be answered.

Man United at home to Brighton and Chelsea at home to West Brom look the pick of GW30, I would predict Bruno Fernandes will be a lot of managers captain this week and quite possibly mine. Do I take the risk and go for a differential though? Food for thought.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

Only 1 transfer this week despite the game week 29 debacle. Importantly, there’s no minus hits in hope that the others have made changes and we already start to eat away at the deficit.

The change is Calvert-Lewin (home to Crystal Palace) coming in for Vydra which many would agree is a no brainer.

We now have a relatively strong bench which has enabled us to retain the Manchester City players. KDB and Gundugan will be in my XI but in the event of Pep roulette we should have decent auto back up subs.

I have played it safe with the skipper and gone with Bruno, while Kane takes the vice. In terms of our TOON representatives, Willock and Fraser will sit on the bench. The magpie’s form is abysmal and they don’t look like they’ll get another point, I just couldn’t afford (negative points wise) to replace them.

FIRST AND SECOND BALLS.

GW30 squad list

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 29)

Rocky times ahead ladies and gentlemen, I’ll briefly summarise GW28 and move straight into the eye of the week 29 storm.

We managed to maintain a slender 1 point lead at the top of the office leaderboard after the latest round of fixtures. In the end, 51 points in a week’s average of 43 was a decent return. Of course Pep did his usual trick and rested a few including my captain Kevin De Bruyne – nil point!! But, an excellent score from John Stones and a surprising 5 points from auto-sub Vydra just about salvaged what was shaping up to be a disaster. That, incidentally, leads me to game week 29. THE NIGHTMARE IN WAITING.

LOOKING AHEAD.

There are only 4 matches on the set list of GW29 which, in itself, is absolutely scandalous. It’s the kind of week your free hit chip is built for but, unfortunately, ours is long gone. With my Steve Bruce head on ‘we need to find another way’🙄

When Heung-Min Son pulled up against Arsenal the other day the magnitude of our plight really started to hit home. At the time, the South Korean was a one of only 4 players pencilled in our side for GW29. Now that he is almost certain to miss the coming fixtures we are, as it stands, down to 3. 3 representing players for a full game gameweek?!?! Unfeasible, unthinkable and a potential undoing of a season’s good work.

Last week’s decision to make 0 changes in order to gain an extra free transfer was a good one. It means we can make two transfers instantly and take our team up to 5 players with no penalty. At the time, it would have been 4 to 6 but didn’t take into account any potential injuries which could occur. What happens? Son’s crocked and it’s disarray. As I see it at the moment, we have only 2 potential ways of playing this.

The first would be only using our 2 free transfers but only starting the game week with 5 players. Advantages being no negative points hit and minimal squad disruption for the weeks ahead. The disadvantage quite clearly being a massive 6 players short of a full team.

The alternative second would be to use our 2 free transfers and make 2,3, maybe even 4 more changes on top of that. The advantages being a near full starting team, matching rivals up like for like. The clear disadvantages being a big negative point start and breaking up a strong squad.

I’m hoping a 3rd scenario will put into my head before I make any changes and we’ll be exploring more potential permutations but, putting the hard hat on and taking a sitting duck battering is looking the most likely option this week. Anything more than a -8 starting point would probably be pretty pointless (literally) and would disrupt our team too much for the coming weeks. The most amount of participants we’re looking at this week is 7. Not great but hopefully any lasting damage to our season will be minimal.

Scouting intel tells me my 2 main rival teams already have 8/9 players ready to start for them and with a transfer or 2 they will probably now have a full 11 a side team. This is where a well rounded squad comes in handy, we have been relying on a strong 11 for the majority of the season but at the value detriment to the bench as a result. Any changes we’ve made have invariably been full blown transfer rather than substitutions. I know my colleagues have been making little weekly tweaks in preparation for this spanner in the works game week and I have to take my hat off to them for that. We have been left in a pickle with only ourselves to blame.

In terms of the fixtures, they aren’t even great and certainly not a set you could make a long term plan from. Look for yourself..

  • FULHAM V LEEDS
  • BRIGHTON V NEWCASTLE
  • WEST HAM V ARSENAL
  • ASTON VILLA V TOTTENHAM

Where are the points at there? This could be our saving grace, a low scoring week is what we need here. There’s not a great deal to write home about that’s for sure but having only 5 players available to play is a problem regardless of the fixture quality. Had the matches been more pleasing on the scoring eye, I would have taken the starting points hit and matched up no questions asked. As it is, all I’m doing is asking serious questions with little few answers. What to do?!? At this point of writing, I haven’t a clue.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS.

So, after much intense deliberation, it’s 2 free transfers……… plus a -8 start for god sake. And we still only have 7 players involved. In terms of selections for a game week this is possibly the WORST I’ve endured in FPL. We start with 4 zero’s on the card and -8. Laughable really but if I can stay within 30 points of the top of the table after the week I’ll be very pleased.

The all important transfers are Cresswell, Tierney, Targett and Willock coming in for Son, Digne, Williams and Mitchell. The thinking here is that I’m predicting a low scoring week in terms of goals so I’ve tried to load up with decent defenders. Its making me ill to think I won’t be playing a goalkeeper.

In normal circumstances the changes I’ve made would be pretty decent but this isn’t a normal week and my hand has been forced. In terms of a captains pick, I’ve gone for the safe option of Kane but I may change that closer to the deadline.

Looking for a positive to end on, from our 7 players, 2 are TOON representatives. Is that a positive?!? I guess that sums up the week’s plight.

DIG IN, DEFEND.

GW29’s PITIFUL SQUAD

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 28)

Hi all. Welcome.

We’ve reached the summit. An outstanding score of 89 points in week’s average of 60 saw us reel in the 12 point deficit to lead the office league by 2 going into game week 28.

Great stuff but what remains to be seen is, how long will this lead last? I’m not too sure. In fact, skipping over a week and into game week 29 things are looking bleak and it’s one that, if I don’t make some thoughtful changes, could derail my season completely. As it stands that week in question only has 4 fixtures on it’s list and my current squad would only have 4 representatives. With no wildcard or free hit remaining it’s going to take some astute planning of GW28 with 29 fully in mind. How I’m going to do it? Not a clue at this moment in time. I mentioned last week, that every week will likely begin with a negative starting point until the end of the season and that prophecy is likely to live up to the billing. What I must do is incorporate some of GW29’s changes into this week so minimise the hit.

In terms of our scorers for the week just gone, the big hitters all produced. Kevin De Bruyne (captain) Bruno Fernandes and Harry Kane all pulled excellent scores out the bag. That is in contrast to the defenders who only mustered 6 between them, roles definitely reserved from the previous week. Seasons really do swing in roundabouts.

LOOKING AHEAD

As just mentioned, we aren’t just looking at this coming week but also the week after. Only having 4 fixtures for a match set is just ridiculous and getting as many players into my squad from those 8 teams is going to be a monumental task. I could just write off that GW completely and take the hit but I know my rivals will be looking to capitalise. I need to find a way of minimising the damage – I sound like Steve Bruce🙄

Spurs play Arsenal this week in the North London derby which is a tough fixture but they are on a good run and, more importantly, have a fixture in GW29. That is one avenue I’ll be definitely looking down when making my transfers. Crucially, we already have 2 Tottenham players in the squad. Arsenal play in both weeks so that is also a possibility but maybe they will be in next weeks changes.

If we are looking at only game week 28, I would be looking at Man City at Fulham, Man United home to West Ham and Leicester at home to Sheff. United. Neither of those sides have a fixture in game week 29. Do I just play this week as it is and make huge changes and a huge point hit for GW29? This set of dilemmas is actually worse than anything a double game week could produce and there are so many different ways to approach it tactically. Picking the right approach is tough.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

So……. after much thought, mental turmoil and exploring most of the permutations, I decided to make…….. NO TRANSFERS OR CHANGES!

All talk about taking minus hits every week from now till the end of season goes completely out of the window. When I looked at my team and the fixture set they all had for 28, it was all very conducive for good point scoring. Yes, it leaves us short for game week 29 but what making no changes this week gives us is 2 free transfers when we will need it most next week. 2 freebies and a couple of negative hits should see us scratch together a team for the 4 fixture week.

Who’s to say players I could have potentially bought in this week with next week in mind get injured or pick up a suspension. The Premier League could also add fixtures to that game week so we will just sit tight and see what happens. We are airing slightly on the side of caution this round but the fixtures always dictate the selections and we’ll deal with game week 29 when it comes around.

Even the captain pick remains the same, KDB has the armband with Bruno waiting in reserve. In terms of TOON representation, Fraser remains the sole flag flyer in black and white.

MARK YOUR MEN.

GAME WEEK 28 squad list.

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Double Gameweek 27)

Can we chill yet? The double game week of 26 was absolutely mind boggling on all fronts. Triple captains, pep roulette and inevitable injuries all playing a big part in and long and weird fixture set. The general consensus seems to be one of underwhelming disappointment across the board for a lot of managers. It was a game week that was billed as the greatest ever but the average score, although it is high at 75, contradicts that massively considering nearly all the teams played twice. The question this week is

ARE DOUBLE GAMEWEEKS MORE OF A HINDERANCE THAN A HELP? Let me know.

Having said all that, am I happy with our team’s performance and points outcome? Absolutely. We’ve made good ground scoring an excellent 109 points and subsequently cutting the office league leaderboard to just 12. Ironically, that 12 points is the minus starting point we took with 4 transfers but it was necessary. We wouldn’t have been anywhere near the 100 point mark without it. Speculate to accumulate and all that.

The triple captain card used on Harry Kane yielded 24 of the points total which, when using that chip, you would expect as a bare minimum. In all honesty, I would have liked a bit more from it but maybe that’s just shameless greed. The big points came from our 3 defenders; Maguire, Stones and Digne, all of whom scored double figures which I’m obviously thrilled about. The latter, Digne, was an inspired change and inclusion who turned out to be an excellent differential – Excuse me while I pat myself on the back.

Scoring 100+ points in any week is a superb return and is usually the result of a collective team contribution. It turned out to be just that.

LOOKING AHEAD.

There’s yet another double gameweek in GW27…….. for Manchester bloody city. Is it even a doubler? Pep has two world class sides at his disposal which he tends to utilise when his team have more than 1 match in a week. This was evident in game week 26 and will likely be the same in 27. That’s not to say you shouldn’t pick City players, quite the opposite, they are in blistering form and are probably the only team worth watching in the league – A league they will win at a canter. It’s simply picking the right ones which is the difficulty.

Elsewhere, it’s back to basics for the rest. Spurs at home to Crystal Palace could be a point scorer along with Liverpool versus Fulham, despite the reds very patchy form. Outside shouts would be Arsenal at Burnley, the gunners have had a few decent results of late, someone like Saka maybe a good option and wouldn’t break the bank.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

It’s another negative start for us this week, a theme that will likely be running until the end of the season now. Our bench is simply too weak to make substitutions. This time it’s a -8 so a slight improvement on last week.

Vrydra of Burnley replaces Dominic Calvert-Lewin as a cash make way. This make way was to supplement the return of Kevin De Bruyne who comes in for Rashford. The third and final change is TOON related, Ryan Fraser comes in as straight swap for fellow magpie Allan Saint-Maximin who has taken another tumble. It’s a good chance for the Scot to show what he can do, bag me some points and you know my Newcastle United representation is important despite the team’s clear short comings and poor performances on the pitch. Hey ho.

These changes mean we revert to a 3-5-2 formation – The same again from the defenders would be very welcome.

In terms of captaincy, KDB will be the skipper purely on the grounds he has a (small) chance of playing 2 games in the week. Kane will be vice.

TIKI TAKA PASS PASS PASS

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Double Gameweek 25)

Welcome all.

Gundugan. What a season he’s having at Manchester City. Another 2 goals and an assist this week given him a total of 19 points. One problem. I didn’t captain him, others in our mini league did and that was the difference in this week’s totals. I’ve never been so happy for one of my players NOT to play when the second match of his double game week came round for fear of him doing the same again. What a warped state of affairs.

Take that situation away and we’ve had, what would usually be, an excellent week. 78 points in a game week’s average of 61. Why do I feel disappointed? It’s a more than decent score. The reason? Those around me scored 87, 88 and 99 respectively and brilliantly. Sometimes it’s hard to separate your score from the results of the others but, at the end, you can only change your own team. Has it made a huge difference to the table? Not at all. Only 20 points off the top in 2nd place, what a season we’re having when you look at the broader picture. It’s simply a captain pick’s difference.

At this point I am going to blow my own trumpet and give myself a pat myself on the back. I had a feeling that Michail Antonio wouldn’t be fit for his match against Sheffield United. He was down as having fatigue (ya what mate!?) but would have a 75% chance of playing. Now he’s a striker in form and that was a tasty fixture for him. Rather than take him out and risk losing good striker scoring points, I left him in ensuring that my number 1 substitute would be a scoring one should he fail to be fit. Number one sub? Aaron Cresswell, 12 points. A little tactical victory there and good plan conjured up.

Elsewhere amongst my team, Bruno keeps delivering and it was a decent week for Sterling however, as captain, 14 points in a double game week side, you would expect a little more? Maybe that’s being greedy and again maybe that’s because Gundugan scored so high. Going forward, I feel predicting City’s lineups are going to become even tougher in the coming weeks. One to watch.

LOOKING AHEAD.

First things first, it’s another double game week but only for 2 sides, Leeds and Southampton. Now this a tricky one and at this stage of the writing process I’m not sure what to do with my team. Do I take a risk and incorporate either of those teams players in my side. Neither of those teams are in great form but out of the 2, Leeds seem to have the better looking matches. The question for you lot this week is simple?

WILL ANY OF YOU BE MAKING CHANGES TO GET LEEDS OR SOUTHAMPTON PLAYERS IN?

Like I’ve just said, neither are in great form. Who would you go for? Bamford? Ward-Prowse? Ings perhaps? For me it’s probably too much of a risk and, at this stage, would upset my team, transfer budget and negative starting point too much to do so but that’s just initial thoughts. I will sit down properly later and explore all the avenues and permutations.

Leeds actually kick GW25 on Friday night meaning office silent treatment has come into play for the first time in a while. All transfers and team selection must be completed 24 hours before the usual deadline. Do my esteemed colleagues know this vital piece of information? Most probably do but if one doesn’t, the slightly underhanded silent treatment has worked a…… treat?

The main scoring fixture I would to look out for I would say is (unfortunately⚫️⚪️) Man United at home to Newcastle. The form of Fernandes and frailty of the Toon’s team could be a lethal combination. Steve Bruce’s side rolled over and died in their last match and I fear the same could happen here.

The rest of the fixtures are pretty tricky to call, it could be a real differential weekend. Personal preference rather than scoring certainty picks could well be order of the game week and, at this stage of writing, I haven’t a clue how to approach it.

THIS WEEKS PICKS

This has been a struggle. The dilemma I’ve had is, do I take a few minus hits and double up on Leeds and Southampton players? Or do I roughly stick with what I have at the risk the doublers gamers scoring big?

In the end, I’ve gone with a mix of both conundrums. 2 transfers which only incurs a -4 start. I’ve bought it Bamford of Leeds who replaces Davies. A pick to double up on games and one that I have no doubt will be a very popular selection all round this weekend.

I’ve also bought back Heung Min Son. He comes in for Rahim Sterling with a medium to long term plan in mind. I eventually want to bring back Kevin De Bruyne as he now approaches full fitness. Relieving Sterling of his duties frees up some much needed funds for this eventuality and Son, who has some promising fixtures coming up, doesn’t compromise the quality or scoring potential on display. Not only that I think Sterling will be a huge resting risk this weekend with Man City having one eye on their all important Champions League tie in the week.

The Son transfer is a bit of a gamble but I think it will be a potentially lucrative differential and now that Harry Kane is fully fit again, their partnership could flourish once more.

I’ve had to go Fernandes as captain at home to Newcastle with Rashford, the vice. Allan Saint-Maximin remains our sole TOON representative but he makes do with a place on the bench with his tricky fixture in mind. Cresswell joins ASM on the bench which makes up the strongest list of substitutes we’ve probably had this season. Doubts remain of the fitness of Antonio and Gundugan so these two are ready in waiting as good automatic backups.

BALLS INTO THE BOX

DGW25 squad list.