FPL Gameweek 8 Wildcard team reveal and tips from Rich Clarke.
Rich is an FPL veteran and has one of the most enviable records out there. Notching two top 500 finishes and eight top 10k finishes, he is the only FPL manager never to finish outside the top 35k in each of his 15 seasons.
Rich will be revealing his team on a weekly basis in the 2021/22 season; providing observations and strategies where appropriate.
You can catch all our other brilliant FPL Gameweek 8 Team Reveals here.
FPL Gameweek 7 Performance
Rank Change: 75k - Red Arrow
Overall Rank: 123K
FPL Gameweek 7 - Brief Review
What a humbling gameweek! A brilliant game at Anfield, saw Liverpool and Manchester City draw 2-2 while Chelsea recovered from a goal down to win 3-1 and go top of the league.
Manchester United continued to disappoint with a home draw against Everton as their kind fixture run ended.
Brentford and Wolverhampton Wanderers are now providing the 'value' assets and form combinations we crave as wildcards continue to be deployed..
FPL Gameweek 7 - My Team
This was the worst Gameweek for my fantasy team for about a year! After a great start to the season, my attempts to make it to the second International break 'unscathed' fell at least one, maybe two weeks short.
33 points only, was well below the average score and this meant a hefty ranking drop down to 123,000 last week. A one point cameo for my (benched) captain Cristiano Ronaldo was not the ideal start to the weekend. His teammates Luke Shaw and Mason Greenwood did little better as Everton almost won the game at Old Trafford.
Elsewhere in my team there were few positives to savour - a clean sheet from my Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez and 13 points from Mohamed Salah the only returns to speak of.
My two transfers in - Antonio Rudiger and Joao Cancelo (long term targets) returned just two points between them.
It actually feels like I got away from getting a bigger hiding! The main alternative captain choices to Ronaldo - Romelu Lukaku and Michail Antonio - also blanked. The many 'double-City, double-Chelsea' defences on Gameweek 7 wildcards also failed to fire.
In conclusion then - my team felt ready to wildcard on October 2nd so I activated the chip - happy to give it an overhaul for the upcoming fixture swings. I was away on holiday for a week, so hardly ideal but something to think about while walking the Llangollen Canal!
FPL Gameweek 8 Team Reveal : Wildcard in play
It was always my plan to play the wildcard in Gameweek 8. The big fixture swing in favour of Chelsea and Manchester City (arguably the two strongest teams in the league) is impossible to ignore. It is just a shame it is off the back of a poor Gameweek 7. In some ways it makes it easier to ditch many of the old squad and reorganise.
While a Gameweek 8 wildcard squad will likely resemble one from a chip played in Gameweek 7, we do have the benefit of a week's more information.
Some key learnings:
- Marcos Alonso and Ben Chilwell are now big rotation risks.
- There are lots of confirmed 'enablers' to choose from - particularly in the 5.5 - 6.5m bracket.
- Anyone - even Ronaldo, can be benched!
- The importance of having a strong playing bench is key - particularly for International breaks, or if investing in lots of players from top teams (who will rotate more).
Key Wildcard Decisions
Most of my choices are 'locked in' - pending team news and updates on certain injury positions. I will commentate on the changes made section by section.
I'm fairly settled on Aaron Ramsdale as a £4.5m Arsenal choice for my keeper. I had the option of keeping Robert Sanchez and there is not much in it between the two. If I re-sign Ben White before the deadline (see defence) - Sanchez or Raya (Brentford) could come in. Ben Foster is still holding down the spot at Watford at the moment - so a playing 4.0 is worth having at this stage.
There is positive news on the availability of Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) for the Watford fixture this weekend. He will almost certainly come back in and I'll likely revert to a 3-4-3 starting line up with two cheaper backup defenders.
With news that Antonio Rudiger is out of this weekend's clash with Brentford, I'm covering the Chelsea defence with skipper Cesar Azpilicueta (£6.1m) for the upcoming period of games. He seems fairly sure of a start with Thiago Silva having travelled to Brazil. Though not immune to rotation, I'm hopeful Azpi starts three of the next four for the Blues.
Joao Cancelo (£6.2m)keeps his place in my wildcard squad despite a blank last time out against Liverpool. I could go with the more nailed Ruben Dias or even double-up on City defenders but I will trust my back-up players and not over-extend the three-man core defence.
Brighton's Shane Duffy, joins Tino Livramento to complete my defensive line. Duffy's attacking threat appeals to me along with his combination with Ramsdale (over the perhaps safer Sanchez/White pairing in reverse). I also like the way Duffy and Livramento 'Ham and Egg' the next few gameweeks - in case one of my heavy-hitting defenders misses a match.
With Mohamed Salah a 'lock' in almost all active teams, the main decisions here are around the supporting cast. Raphinha (£6.6m) will come back in for me despite being a travel doubt this week due to Brazil's late fixture.