What we learned | Week SixteenWednesday, December 11 2019
Right, we’ll deal with all the Christmas drinks you owe me first…
Salah, obvious. Allison, Robertson and Alexander-Arnold, likewise. But you’re welcome. Vardy, easy. Alli, peasy. Aurier and Alderweireld, lemon squeezy. But Guaita – ooof, now we’re talking*. Super Blades Stevens and Baldock** and 24pt trio Rashford, James and Martial. Ooh yeah, that’s the spot.
*You don’t even know who he plays for, do you? Eyes roll. He’s Palace’s 10pt weekend scoring keeper.
** Yes, two weeks ago. Are you listening at the back?
So, what else did we learn in GW 16...?
Is it Fergie time at Everton?
After a slam-Dunc 3-pointer in his opener, the Big Man might hang around. But will the fear factor?
Richarlison is 3 for 3 (and 4 in 5) if you trust him. I don’t.
Lamps flickering a little?
Whisper it, but that’s three defeats from 4 for Chelsea. City you’d take, but West Ham (at home) and Everton…? A fistful of nice festive fixtures suggests there might be some Defensive points up for grabs so no wholesales over the next 8, but there are better options going forward.
No, I don’t like to be by the seaside
If you haven’t bailed out on Bournemouth yet, do so. No points in 5 and no goals in two make grim reading. No business here.
Klopp. Happy Time
But business as usual at Liverpool. Fairly flying and seeing City chocking won’t do them any harm at all. Robertson, van Dijk and Firmino for £22.9m. Mane, Salah and Alexander-Arnold for £31.8m. Or some variation in between.
Mour to come from Spurs
Don’t be fooled by 12 goals in 4 Mourinho matches, Jose will want to sort that Defence out. You can keep your Kane’s, stick by your Son’s and ‘ave your Alli’s – but Aurier and Alderweireld will earn their Spurs between now and May.
Crashing and Burnley
Three bad’uns on the spin with 11 shipped. It’s not unusual for Burnley to slump like this – it’s not the first time this season they’ve lost 3 in a row. But when Barnes and Wood aren’t their top FPL scorers, it’s time to put them on hold.
Watford looking down
And almost certainly out. Keeper Ben is still Fostering a little support (2% of you) at £4.8m, and you could do worse. But not much.
No crown jewels at the Palace
Despite a tidy season, Palace are of no more interest than Watford. The keeper Guaita is also their top man - and represents value at £5.0m.
Cracks showing at City?
Forget about clean sheets until Laporte returns and/ or he has a new centre back partner. Aguero has looked an expensive indulgence so far – and is now crocked. So it’s all about the value of Sterling, Silva and…erm… De Bruyne. Although the great David looked old on Sunday, didn’t he?
Do we trust United to be ‘back’ after two good performances? Hmm. Not sure. But Rashford is five from 5 and worth £8.9m of anyone’s fake money. James too is a solid 4th choice in midfield at £6.1m. Can see them tightening up at the back too.
This Villa’s foundations look shaky
Villa have taken just 1pt from 8 matches v Top Ten teams this season. Decent v Bottom Half but over-reliant on gentleman’s Grealish. He’ll get better, but Villa will get worse, I fear.
Foxes still in the hunt. Rodger that
Those sly old Foxes have won their last eight matches, y’know. And 10 of the previous 11. And the other was away at Liverpool – to a pesky last-minute penalty. Vardy is a gimme – and half of you have already taken the bait. Not sure what’s wrong with the rest of you. Maddison flatters to deceive for me, so save your £7.7m on him and spend £6.6m of it on Tielemans. And consider £5.1m Soyuncu and £5.8m Chilwell ahead of 6.5m Pereira at the back.
Brucies lot are so much better than last season***
Top half Toon offer safe-ish Defensive bets – they’re not getting rolled over, and most of their goals come from the backline. Dúbravka and Willems at £5.0m and £4.7m are value.
***This reference to the late Bruce Forsyth is for Generation X-ers and older. The rest of you, ask a parent.
Let’s be ‘aving you, Norwich.
Pukki is two from 3 and probably still decent 3rd striker value at £6.6m. But it’s not going to get any better for him or Norwich. Cantwell is the best £4.7m you can spend in Midfield.
Sheffield steel not so stainless in recent weeks
We’ve probably seen the best of the Blades, in truth. They haven’t got goals in them, and their early-season clean sheets have dried up – just 1 in the last 6. And we can expect their high-energy style to prompt a winter slump come February. Until then keep a Defender or two on side, but make sure one of them is Lundstram (2nd only to Vardy in popularity).
Bargain basement Brighton worth a look
Defensive dark horses who won’t let you down, particularly at home. Keeper Ryan is the £4.8m pick of the Brighton bunch. And slam Dunk is a decent £4.7m spent - 12.5% can’t be wrong, right?
Wolves hitting their stride
Form places Wolves above Man City, United and Tottenham. And only Leicester have conceded fewer. Jimenez perhaps lacks the killer instinct to convince you to part with £7.6m. But full-back Doherty (at £6.0m) will deliver a nice spread of goals, assists and sheets.
Ben is football’s leading injury specialist. The ‘go-to’ guru for big hitters like Sky Sports, ESPN and NBC Sports when they need data. Or the BBC, talkSPORT and the broadsheets when a quote is required. His unique insight has helped provide a better understanding of what is really happening in the treatment rooms.
Johnny is a respected physiotherapist and sports scientist, specialising in football injuries and rehab. Johnny has headed up the medical departments at Chesterfield, Scunthorpe and Notts County. Overseeing everything from player-specific training loads to pre-signing medicals. He has a proven record working with elite athletes in Private Practice and is regularly called upon throughout Europe to deliver presentations on the latest rehab innovations.
Matt's short, unremarkable football career was ended by his own bad driving. His long, distinguished career as a football tipster was ended by his own good advice. Because bookmakers don’t like a winner. First, they closed his accounts. Then his members’ accounts. Then his tipping service. And now they employ him as a consultant. Funny old game.