Matthew Penycae is arguably the best FPL manager in the world with three top 500 finishes, a further six top 10k finishes and he has never finished outside the top 20k in ten seasons. Every week Matthew writes his FPL Team Reveal article detailing his team, captain and plans for the coming Gameweek exclusively for Fantasy Football Hub members.

 

Gameweek 24 Review

Well, the Triple Captain Chip was a bit of a disaster. Faced with a “coin flip” decision between Mané and Salah, I chose the former, who promptly got injured after 20 minutes of his first fixture, with 1 point, and that was the end of that! To compound my misery, Salah went on to rack up 16 points for the many people that chose the other side of the coin flip. I ended up with 56 points and a red arrow from 212k to 251k. Things like this are down to bad luck and it makes me think that this is not meant to be my season. Here it is in all its glory:

Mané Problems

The headline this week for my team, and for many teams, is Mané’s injury. Not only did this cause a malfunction in my Triple Captain Chip, it has also produced a problem this week and potentially beyond. Keeping is an option although, unhelpfully, Klopp did not say anything about him in his Press Conference, so his availability against Norwich in GW26 is, as yet, unknown. That said, due to the staggered nature of GW26 (the mini-winter break), that fixture is over two weeks away so there must be a chance.

So, lets think about potential replacements, whilst remaining open to keeping and benching. There are a few factors to take into account here.

First, the fixtures:

Next, there are the potential upcoming blanks to keep half an eye on. Information here is courtesy of DGW King Ben Crellin.

GW28 – this one is now confirmed with the EFL cup final causing the following PL blanks:

With these blanks being both confirmed and only a few gameweeks away, that probably rules out players from these four teams in the short-term. There was some talk of an early Man City vs Arsenal preponement (GW25/26) but this seems unlikely now.

GW31 – this set of potential blanks is due to clashes with the FA Cup Quarter Finals. Given that these are subject to what happens in Round 5, not to mention 4th Round replays in some cases, together with the fact that they’re further off, I’m inclined to put less weighting on this information at this point, but it doesn’t do any harm to factor it in slightly.

So, the four teams at the bottom are clear, although I’m not that keen on any of them, apart from Wolves and I already have Traoré. I would say that the four teams at the top look highly likely to have the blank, whilst Leicester have a good chance of one as well. The rest is more up in the air.

I suppose one key takeaway from all this is that Man City and Sheffield United look highly likely to have blanks in both GW28 and GW31 so that’s just something to be aware of if looking at their assets.

Next, it’s over to the Hub’s trusty OPTA Stats Tool…here I’m looking at midfielders, over the last six Gameweeks and per start. Its sorted by ‘expected attacking FPL points’.

I have gone down as far as Alli, as I wanted to look at him and Son.

Salah and the injured Mané both showing up well here, the latter despite one of his starts only lasting 20 minutes!

Looking at some of the other options that stand out to me here:

  • Pérez – I think he tends to do better when Vardy is out so, together with tough short term fixtures I’m not sure how likely he is to keep this level up
  • Sterling – the two blanks together with his rotation recently puts me off here
  • Son – probably a popular replacement option, although his form hasn’t really been scintillating since his suspension, and he is quite pricey at 9.9m. He also has Man City this weekend, which is not the best fixture
  • Martial – continues to be almost a default option, being the central striker with little competition, although his form has just dipped recently and his fixtures over the next six are not ideal

Finally, not on the list above but may quickly become an option is Manchester United’s new signing Bruno Fernandes. Likely to play the “No.10” role, his productivity for Sporting CP in terms of goals and assists over the last couple of years has been outstanding, it just remains to be seen how quickly he adapts to the Premier League, although I think he’s got every chance. I fancy that he may start on the bench this weekend though.

Finally, I need to look at my “do nothing team”:

 

It looks OK and I do have some cover for Mané on my bench in Lundstram and Greenwood, although neither of these are sure starters.

I think my conclusion here is that none of the potential replacements are really shouting out to me. At this point in time, I’m not sure I would add any to my ‘Most Wanted List’. And, on that note…

Most Wanted List

Goalkeepers

None

Defenders

Williams – still on my radar at 4.1m although I feel that the threat on his place from Shaw is growing

Out-list – possibly Lundstram (!) if his place continues to come under pressure

Midfielders

None

I have removed Cantwell and Fleck – both are still very good value, its just that I’m not really in the market for a player in that price bracket right now. Also, Cantwell’s tough fixtures and Fleck’s two likely blanks are factored into this

Forwards

Calvert-Lewin (new) – he’s been a revelation lately, particularly since Ancelotti has arrived, although his fixtures turn tougher soon so maybe I’ve missed this particular boat. Still, great value at 6.1m

Martinelli (new) – two goals in his last two Premier League outings and a price tag of just 4.6m puts him firmly on my radar, although remember that blank in GW28

Jiménez (new) – back on form and seems to be quite fixture proof. Another one who is great value as well

Outlist – Vardy – has been out of form and fitness recently so I’m keeping a close eye on him at the moment

 

So, all in all, my Most Wanted List is looking a bit barren at the moment – maybe that’s a good sign? I’m sure it will all change soon though.

 

Gameweek 25 Plans

I think after all that, and having looked at it from all angles, I’m probably going to save this week. The alternatives to Mané are just not grabbing me and I think I’m happy to use my bench and save a transfer. So, this leaves my team as per the screenshot above unless anything dramatic happens between now and the deadline or unless I have a brainwave!

 

Captaincy

Salah. The end!

 

Good luck all!

 

 

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