Premier League: GW27 Retrospect

It’s Sunday and just finished watching an unimpressive display by Man City and their 2-0 victory over Sunderland. Can’t say I was all too pleased with the performances of Aguero and Sterling, both added this week for a -8 because of the City’s DGW. Thankfully both returned points, but City did not dominate as I had expected them too. Unlucky for Sunderland who hit the goal frame numerous times and had one called back for offside or the score could have been different. However I figured Pep would try to run the score up but that was not what City appeared to have in mind on the pitch.

As for starting XI, I took an -8 point hit as indicated late Friday, after being persuaded to active the Triple Captain Chip on Aguero and his fixtures against Sunderland and Stoke City. Further discussion left in doubt the fitness, form or fixtures for future DGWs later in the year. Candidates to wear the TPC would be none other than Sanchez or Kane, but much can happen between GW27 and GW34, the next possible DGW. As it turns out, Sanchez didn’t start against Liverpool, which has many questioning Arsene Wenger’s decision to bench the Chilean. Not surprisingly Kane continues his blazing form with a brace against Everton, scoring 6 goals/1 assist in his last 4 games. I will look to be targeting him come GW29, most likely in place of Aguero. It’s not my intention to bring Costa back into the mix, with just 1 goal in his last 5 games.

For GW26 I “wasted” my FT on Gabbiadini with So’ton on a blank game week, resulting in another -8 point hit to bring in Snodgrass and Mane to have a full starting XI. The move appears to be paying off, as Gabbiadini continues his great form with a late goal (and 5 points) against WHU to give him 4 goals in 3 EPL games since joining. Lukaku was primed to be the top forward for GW26 through GW28, as Everton had 3 games during that period with no blanks. He continues his form by finding the back of the net against Spurs, giving him 6 goals/2 assists in his last 4 games. However come GW30 I might be looking to ship Lukaku with the Toffees facing Liverpool and Man U away. Many managers should be looking forward to  the next 2 home games as Lukaku face WBA and Hull City.

I said hello again to my “man crush” Kun Aguero after transferring him back in, after an absence from my squad since GW10! With just 4 goals since that time, it was one of my better decision this EPL season. Aguero just happened to wear the armband and carry the triple captain chip this week against Sunderland and Stoke City. I had no intentions of running Aguero out this week, but was persuaded after listening to a few podcasts and reading threads on the “why” and “why not” for Aguero this weekend. Originally I had Sterling slated to be my captain and not take the hit for Aguero, but changed my mind. It’s a case of I would rather be with Aguero than without this week, just on the off chance he goes off for big points. Can’t say a goal and 1 BPS is a great first of two games, but 21 points had boosted my weekly score to 61 points. His addition to my squad will be short lived, as I don’t plan on keeping him, opting for Kane come GW29.

Outside of Eriksen (2 points) I was pleased with the play of my midfield players. Sterling continued in his fine form with the assist on Aguero’s goal, as well as a CS totaling 6 points. Much like Aguero though, I don’t plan on sticking with Man City players, so his departure is imminent after the DGW. Mane might make the grade, but at 9.3m I am not sure I want to stick with him. Outside of Man City in GW29, L’pool has a great run to the end of the season and Mane has been the midfielder in form. Even with the price tag I might stick it out for a few more weeks. He finished the week with 13 points on a goal, assist and CS with 3 BPS! That’s 3 goal/1 assist in the last 3 games.

Sigurdsson has now returned in his last 7 of 8 games, 3 goals/5 assists and is still the key for Swansea. The schedule is kind with just Spurs and Man U still to come, he may stick around the rest of the season in my midfield. At 7.6m and his current form, he is worth the investment. Some thoughts of doubling up with Llorente up front for the short term as well.

Defensively, I brought in Mawson this week for Alonso in order to support the addition of Aguero. Chelsea has not secured a CS in the last 5 weeks with their match against WHU on Monday and just a single goal in the last 7 weeks. Difficult to run without Chelsea assets, which I will look at after GW28. Mawson didn’t impress as Swansea couldn’t keep a clean sheet, which tells me he needs to score to be a strong differential. Brunt and Coleman were the other starters in my 3-4-3 and each were held to a single point. Brunt is going to be moved, if not for GW28, then GW29, as WBA has a difficult run of fixtures through GW34. Thankfully I didn’t double up on Everton defenders, as I had plans to pick up Funes Mori, but didn’t like the Spurs match, as the Toffees go down in defeat 3-2. With Hull and WBA in the next 2, I might double up on their defense as I look for 2 clean shhets before Livepool and  Man U.

Oddly Heaton was left on the bench in favor the old man, Paul Robinson. Left me frustrated, but Jakupovic will be subbed in for this game week thus increasing my weekly total to 63 points on the back of 1 save point. I don’t favor Heaton next week against Liverpool and will run out Jakupovic against Swansea.

As it stands now I have nobody in the Monday game, but am already seeing a green arrow for the week. I feel pretty confident I will end this ugly run of red arrows and climb in the global rankings. Hopefully this spawns a bit of a run for me, as I continue to struggle with form. Looking ahead to GW28 it appears I will only run 10 starters out. As it stands now I have 8 starters, including Jakupovic, Coleman, Mawson and Brunt defensively. The midfield sees just Mane, Sigurdsson and Snodgrass to start, while up front it’s just Lukaku. The FT will be used for a midfielder. If not Sterling, then Eriksen in order to free up enough budget to bring in Kane and potentially Hazard to my starting XI, which would leave me with 0.3m ITB and 8.1m if I move Sterling the following week.

Currently I have my eye on Pedro as well, through the Palace game in GW30. Not sure I want to double up in the Blues midfield, but it’s an option I can look forward to. Currently he’s pegged as the starter, but usually sees an exit before 90 minutes. After the exclusion of Sanchez from Wenger’s starting XI, I am having second thoughts about him. Talented and sensational are only two words to describe his play this season for the Gunners, but could be paving a way for his exit? A bit of doubt in my mind is a scary thing, which now has me looking in the direction of Hazard as a replacement for Mane in a few weeks. More dynamic than Costa, we know what Hazard can do. Third in points from the midfield, he has 6 double digit hauls this season but has only returned in 2 out of the last 4 games. Looking at hiss remaining fixtures only City and United look to be the formidable opponents in GW 31 and GW33.

With two games remaining in GW27, we will see if any other questions are answered. Hopefully Kun and City come out to play against Stoke.