Captain: Who knows..
Transfers: Coleman > Valencia, Antonio > Tadic
International breaks sure do drag! We’re almost back to the good stuff, the glorious Premier League! A few tasty fixtures this GW with the Merseyside Derby and Arsenal v City. Hoping for all out bedlam in both games for some big points returns. Also taken a hit this week after Seamus‘ horrific injury and Antonio being crocked for a few weeks.
In goal I’m backing Tom Heaton to pick up save points against Spurs. Between him and Pickford (Watford away) I think he’s the more likely source of points. Burnley finally return home after 4 consecutive away matches so although it’s unlikely they’ll keep a clean sheet I see a good performance. Alonso welcomes Big Sam’s palace to Stamford Bridge, where he should be a shoe in for a clean sheet given Palace will turn up to park the bus. New boy Antonio Valencia comes in with a home fixture against West Brom. He’s the no.1 transfer target this week as the obvious replacement for Coleman, with great fixtures, double gameweeks and playing further forward. He should be a certainty for points this week. Fianlly Baines starts, mainly because I see a pen in the derby. He hasn’t had one in an age and when will there be more chance is a fierce local derby. There’s an outside chance of a cagey 0-0 but I’m not banking on defensive returns here. Prediction: 17
Tadic comes in as my late season differential. Selected in only 2% of teams and nowhere to be seen in any of my mini leagues I’m hoping I can gain some places with the sumptuous serb. He’s been in good form and grabbed a goal and 2 assists during the international break so I”ve got high hopes. I may even captain him! Big Sig welcomes Boro to the Liberty, where you would think he would be pushing for a captaincy pick. However, Boro are under new management and looked better against United last time out. Games after international breaks are infamously difficult to predict so I’m reluctant to back the form table here. Mane scored the winner in the last derby, and even though he’s been piss poor in his last two games, he is always a threat. Minus the AFCN he hasn’t balnked in 3 consective games all season so the stage is set. Next up, Son has a chance to make up for his poor showing last time out. He goes to try beat down the Burnley wall, where I see him making a nuisance of himself but inevitably missing a few half chances and being the pass before the assist for an Alli goal.. Sanchez makes up the midfield after recovering from an ankle scare. He may be playing City but he’s always dangerous and will be keen to let his football do the talking with so much off the field attention. You would expect goals in this game, and Sanchez will be involved. Prediction: 30
Upfront Lukaku goes into the derby is fine fettle with 40 points in his last 4. He’s due a blank really, and usually struggles in the big games. I can see him getting returns however I’m not sure about the armband. Llorente rounds things off with a good chance to match his robust play against the robust Boro back line. I’m hoping Boro’s newfound attacking intent (who knew..) loosens things at the back, but as i mentioned earlier I see Boro making a game of this one. Prediction: 8
I’m between a few this week. Chelsea look to have the plum fixture, however Palace have tightened up of late and I only have Alonso anyway so I have to look elsewhere. Lukaku is due a blank, Sanchez plays City.. I just don’t know.. Tadic looks like the man I’ll plump for. It’s a huge risk but It’s that time of the season where you have to bold. Or maybe Sanchez.. This wil be a saturday morning 10.50am jobby.
As mentioned Antonio and Coleman made way for Tadic and Valencia. Tadic was the obvious replacement thinking forward to the double GW’s and also the short term fixtures. He’s part of a free scoring Saints team now so I’m hoping even without Gabbiadini they will still grab some goals. Valencia was as plum as it gets for a straight swap with lots in his favour.
Overall an optimistic prediction of 55. This could be a big GW as there’s no obvious way to play it. Could see some big moves come Sunday evening! Hopefully it’s upwards!
Pray for green!