Wild Card Urgency

Remember when you were a kid and you had $5 burning a hole in your pocket? That’s how I’m feeling,  continuing to hold my wild card after many were activated last weekend. Looking forward, the tentative plan is to activate for GW6, but that could be postponed. Currently, I am just 22 (204 vs 226) points off where I was this point last season, but 600k lower in the overall rankings. Unlike last year, I don’t feel an urgency to make massive changes. There are some players, looking ahead that I want to move, while a few others are on my watch list to make the 15-man squad.

The 5-2-3 (#5mandefence) formation has been solid this season, so no complaints about not having a 4th or 5th midfielder or a consistent third forward. While I do need to address my defense, it’s not all that urgent.  Maya Yoshida relegated to bench could bring the “So’ton 3” to an end. While they have returned a CS in just two of the first four fixtures, it was a risk I was willing to take. I might even keep three So’ton defenders through GW11, their fixtures are THAT good. Now if they could only score a goal.

Yoshida could lose his place in my starting XI this week, as the FT will go towards replacing him. With the signing of Hoedt and Van Dijk, making an appearance with the U-23’s, his days and those of Jack Stephens could be numbered. Who do we replace him with?

Currently I have £1.9m ITB and a squad value of £100.2 (£0.2m lower than where I expected to be). There is just a short list of replacements for Yoshida. Marcos Alonso had been heading that list (2 goals/1 assist, 1 CS) for a few weeks, Chelsea’s fixtures are improving but still have ARS/MCI/MNU/liv through GW18. Ben Davies has matched Alonso with two, 14 point returns on the back of 1 goal, 2 assists and 2 CS. A staggering £1.4m difference in price and better immediate fixtures could mean holding Alonso for just a bit longer.

The problem with Spurs has been playing at Wembley Stadium, where they have conceded 1 goal in each of their home matches, while remaining perfect on the road with 2 clean sheets. Facing the likes of SWA and BOU at home should provide great CS potential. Away, HUD is ranked 15th, while WHU is ranked 20th in attack based on Sqwaka statistics. Could be a great time to invest in Spurs defense!

So the short term is resolved, Yoshida out, Davies in, which now gives me Kane/Eriksen/Davies as the treble moves from So’ton to Spurs, to go along with Man United. Based on the team comparison above, I will be tempted to bring in Alonso after GW7 against MCI.

I don’t believe you can discount So’ton at this point. Outside of GW6, home against Man United, their schedule is still very favorable; cry/MUN/stk/NEW/WBA/bha/BUR. Not sure if Newcastle is for real or not, but they have 2 CS in their last 2 fixtures with good looking run forthcoming, only LIV to challenge in GW7.

Unless I feel a need to change formation, I have no problems with my 5 attackers. The 2-man midfield of Eriksen and Mkhitaryan have been solid, so has the play of Firmino, Jesus and Kane up front. Although, 3 blanks by Kane to start the season has been tough to swallow, he’s now just 2 goals back of Lukaku.

I would like to add Eden Hazard to my starting XI, but I believe it could come at a cost of either Eriksen or Jesus. Right now, I am not keen on moving either player. A change in formation would also necessitate the addition of a third premium midfielder. Consideration has been made moving forward to move to a 4-4-3. But realistically with no glaring problems, I have an issues changing from my 5-2-3.

 

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