After a week off last week, I’m back to share my thoughts ahead of Gameweek 7. Gameweek 6 turned out to be a very successful one, with 80 points scored, thanks to double digit hauls from Kevin De Bruyne, James Maddison and lucky sub John Lundstram in for Martin Kelly. Having elected to bring in Tammy Abraham for Sebastien Haller last week and roll the second free transfer, there are two free transfers available to use this week.
Before a transfer is made, the team lines up as follows:
(3-4-3): Pope vs VIL (A), Soyuncu vs NEW (H), Digne vs MCI (H), Robertson vs SHU (A), Mount vs BHA (H), Sterling vs EVE (A), De Bruyne vs EVE (A), Maddison vs NEW (H), Abraham vs BHA (H), Aguero vs EVE (A), Pukki vs PAL (A)
Bench: Button vs CHE (A), Cantwell vs PAL (A), Lundstram vs LIV (H), Kelly vs NOR (H)
With two free transfers available, at least one move will be made this week. Despite their attacking potential, the nature of Everton and Sheffield United’s fixtures against the league’s top two massively harms Digne and Lundstram’s chances of picking up more than a couple of points apiece. Since Kelly has lost his place in Crystal Palace’s starting lineup, there is certainly a weak point at the back. But with only £0.1m in the bank, there is no obvious move. Diego Rico could replace Martin Kelly, but with namesake Lloyd playing all of Bournemouth’s 2-0 Carabao Cup loss to Burton, this will only create another problem down the line. Nicolas Otamendi, joint second for goal attempts amongst defenders, is a viable replacement for Digne but this a) requires one of De Bruyne, Aguero or Sterling to be sold and b) leaves the issues of Kelly (out of favour) and Maddison (injury) unsolved.
Maddison could provide the key to this week’s transfers. Rated as a major doubt for Sunday’s visit of Newcastle, he is then a candidate for my bench in Gameweek 8 as Liverpool host Leicester and Todd Cantwell’s Norwich take on Aston Villa. If he misses the visit of Newcastle, Maddison will not deliver much value over the next couple of weeks at a fairly hefty price of £7.1m. On the flip side, he has made an excellent start to the new season, is ranked first for goal attempts amongst midfielders and Leicester are about to enter a favourable run of fixtures – as a long-term hold, there currently appear to be few better midfield options at Maddison’s price. Taking such a good option out based on just two weeks is unappealing, especially as he could still be available for the Newcastle game.
Ultimately, there is no obvious transfer to be made. But as mentioned, Otamendi is a potential target to replace Digne, if one of the Manchester City attackers is offloaded. One such switch would involve selling Raheem Sterling for Mohamed Salah, with the £0.5m gained from selling Digne. This move may seem knee-jerk, risky or stupid and that’s understandable – for many FPL teams, offloading Sterling is simply not an option. However, those people may not have De Bruyne or Aguero or have a different balance in defence that does not require Otamendi. Sterling will score a LOT of points this season, but having faith in a player’s ability does not mean you have to own them and this is one of those instances. De Bruyne and Aguero are on fire, Otamendi is a great price for a City defender and Salah is well, Salah. The same goes for Aubameyang, Son, Mane and others – all are great picks, but nobody can have them all. You simply have to find what you believe is the best mix of players to get the most points.
A premium switch becomes particularly significant when looking at the captaincy, which has been a real toss-up this week. Despite Everton’s poor start to the season, it is not the standout fixture that last week’s home game against Watford was. Goodison Park has been a fortress of late, with two wins from three this season and a 2-0 loss that saw opponents Sheffield United manage just two shots all game. That follows a run of matches since Manchester City’s last visit, against Burnley, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, in which they accumulated 13 points out of a possible 15, scoring nine times and not conceding a single goal. Of course, Manchester City are of course a different animal to any other English side when it comes to scoring goals and Everton are still learning to cope without ball-winning midfielder Idrissa Gueye. In the end, it really comes down to a coin toss between Aguero vs Everton or Salah vs Sheffield United for me, with Sheffield United’s comparatively less favourable underlying defensive statistics edging Salah just ahead.
- Overall Points: 374
- Overall Rank: 151k
- GW7 captain: Mohamed Salah
- GW7 transfer plans (unconfirmed): Digne/Sterling to Otamendi/Salah [Two free transfers]
- Potential GW7 team: (3-4-3): Pope vs VIL (A), Soyuncu vs NEW (H), Otamendi vs EVE (A), Robertson vs SHU (A), Mount vs BHA (H), Salah [C] vs SHU (A), De Bruyne vs EVE (A), Maddison vs NEW (H), Abraham vs BHA (H), Aguero vs EVE (A), Pukki vs PAL (A)
- Stats via Fantasy Football Scout
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