This is a new Sky Sports Fantasy Football series by Dan Cox 2016/17 winner. Dan will be casting his eye back at the previous weeks action before preparing you for the incoming Game-week. Dan will examine the recent run of Man of the Match (MOTM) awards, the bonus point beneficiaries and transfer trends before moving on to his team and future plans.

GAME-WEEK 20 SKY SPORTS MAN OF THE MATCH AWARDS

These were the players who caught the eye of the Sky Sports reporters and earned an extra five points as a result.
Fixture

FixtureMoTM
Wolves v LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk
Arsenal v BurnleySead Kolasinac
Bournmouth v BrightonDavid Brooks
Chelsea v LeicesterBen Chilwell
Huddersfield v SouthamptonNathan Redmond
Man City v PalaceJames Tomkins
Newcastle v FulhamAlfie Mawson
West Ham v WatfordBen Foster
Cardiff v Man UtdAnthony Martial
Everton v SpursSon Heung-min

 

FixtureMoTM
Fulham v WolvesAleksandar Mitrovic
Burnley v EvertonLucas Digne
Spurs v BournemouthKyle Walker-Peters
Liverpool v NewcastleDejan Lovren
Man Utd v HuddersfieldPaul Pogba
Palace v CardiffNeil Etheridge
Leicester v Man CityHarry Maguire
Brighton v ArsenalDavy Propper
Watford v ChelseaEden Hazard
Southampton v West HamFelipe Anderson

Man of The Match Awards

Eden Hazard earnt his fifth of the season in the win over Watford, that now puts the Belgian as joint top with James Maddison with five apiece each. Virgil van Dijk earnt his third in the win over Wolves and he joins a host of players all with three, including Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic who also picked up an award on Boxing Day and Felipe Anderson who also took home his third of the season in the win over Southampton.

Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Sead Kolasinac and Son Hueng-min all won their second awards, with Pogba and Son being in great form of late.

Bonus Points – Part One 22nd & 23rd December

Goalkeepers

Ben Foster made T2 saves for three bonus points, while Begovic, Patricio, Alisson and Schmeichel all made T1 saves with five saves each.

Defenders

Five defenders made T2 passing bonus – Laporte, Stones, Walker, Luis and Rudiger. Only one defender made T2 tackle bonus, Willy Boly v Liverpool.

Only two players made T1 passing bonus – Azpilicueta and Lovren, with the Chelsea man also making T1 tackle bonus. Lovren just scrapping T1 passes with exactly 60 passes.

A fair few players made T1 tackles, most notably Aaron Wan-Bissaka ( again! ) and Luke Shaw.

Midfielders

Firstly, looking at T2 passing and six players achieved this, Jorginho, Matic, Pogba, Milner, Surman and Xhaka. A few made tackle bonus but none of any note.

Strikers

Salah and Son both achieved T1 shots bonus and they were the only two strikers to do so.

Bonus Points – Part Two – Boxing Day

Goalkeepers

Lossl made T2 saves with seven in the defeat to Manchester United, and again Cardiff’s Etheridge features with T1 saves.

Defenders

A whole host of players made T2 passing bonus, all the usual suspects. Lovren, van Dijk and Robertson, Luiz and Alonso – surprisingly not Rudiger though. For Spurs it was Alderweireld and Foyth that made T2 bonus. It was an off day in more than one way as no Man City defender made T2 bonus. The Wolves duo of Boly and Coady also made T2 passing bonus in the 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage.

Seven players made T1 passing – the Man City trio of Laporte, Stones and Danilo. Chelsea’s Rudiger and Azpilicueta, and Luke Shaw and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Midfielders

T2 passing bonus was achieved by a fair few – get ready. Delph – despite being sent off, Jorginho, Arsenal’s Guendouzi, Torriera and Xhaka, Henderson, the Wolves duo of Moutinho and Saiss, Pogba and Winks.

Moutinho also made T2 tackle bonus. Whilst only three players made T1 passing bonus, Kovacic, Matic and Gundogan.

Pogba also made T1 shots bonus, and was just one tackle away from T1 tackle bonus. Other players to make T1 tackles bonus were De Bruyne, Billing and Ndidi. Whilst Hazard also made T1 shots bonus.

Strikers

Aubameyang was the only striker to make T1 shots bonus.

 

Transfer Trends and Captains

I was unable to get the stats this week as my guy at sky has been off. I did get the transfers and they are below. I’m hoping that after Christmas that everything will be back to normal and I’ll have weekly top fives in and outs and the percentage of captains picked. So apologies that this info isn’t available this week.

 

Average Transfers Remaining

As of 28th December 2018

Top 1016.6
Top 10015.3
Top 100015.3
Top 500015.7

Top 10 is up 2, Top 100 – is up 0.2, Top 1000 is down 0.5 and Top 5000 is down 0.5 also.

My Team

Overall points: 1523
Gameweek points: 186
Rank: 288th

Alisson

Doherty, Boly, Laporte, Luiz

Richarlison, Sane, Sterling, Hazard, Snodgrass

Kane

Transfer Plans

I’m looking at bringing in Pogba as a matter of urgency. But to do it I’d have to lose Sterling, I’m 0.1 short of being able to do Sane to Pogba which is annoying. I may just keep Sterling and hope for the best. I’ve made a bit of a pig’s ear of my team. I seem to be making the wrong choices week in, week out. And now I find myself having used too many transfers and still not happy with my team.

I think the best option would be a 532 with Kane and Salah up top, Pogba, Hazard and another and then as many premium defenders as you can afford. You could have the above four with Luiz, van Dijk and Alisson but you would need the likes of Snodgrass, Boly, Coady and Doherty as cheap fillers.

I’ll be going Kane to Salah on January the 3rd as I rotate the pair just playing a 451 formation. Unless I take more drastic action and bring in Pogba and go back to a 532.

Captaincy Plan

Saturday – Kane

Sunday – Hazard

Tuesday – Kane

Wednesday – Hazard

Thursday – Salah

The Festive period – What have we learnt?

Pogba

Pogba looks like a must have, he scores, he makes passing bonus and shots bonus. He’s a MOTM favourite, he was only one tackle away from a hat-trick of bonus against Huddersfield and finished on 24 points. Before that against Cardiff he finished on 11 points with passing bonus and two assists. The Frenchman looks rejuvenated and is capable of all sorts of bonus and passing bonus especially always looks likely when he’s on form. Let alone assists and goal potential. 

Hazard

Hazard as I said before I think just put him in your team and leave him in all season. He’ll have a run of three or four games where he’s just in incredible form and scoring and getting MOTM and then he’ll have three or four games when he doesn’t. Just get him in and leave him in. 

Manchester City

I don’t know what has happened to Pep’s side. They’ve lost three out of the last four. Sterling and Sane have been on a fairly barren run. Sterling in city’s last five games has managed just one goal and just 13 points. Whilst Sane has faired slightly better with two assists and a goal in his last five for a return of 24 points. If you have either of these do you hold on in the hope they’ll start on a scoring run or do you get onto Pogba/Son straight away?

The return of Kevin De Bruyne is one I’ll monitor as I’m a big fan of the Belgian but at the minute City are on a horrid run of form so I’ll staying away from him at the minute. 

Virgil van Dijk

The Dutchman has stormed to the top of the player points rankings in sky. 156 points for the season and above team mate Mohamed Salah and Eden Hazard. Liverpool just love a clean sheet and van Dijk has been instrumental in that. In the game against wolves he even scored and took home the MOTM for a cool 19 points. In most games he’ll make tier two passing bonus. So that’s more often than not a guaranteed ten points each week. 

Alisson has just been a steal at 7.3m and I’m a big fan of the other premium defenders, Luiz, Rudiger, Robertson, I do like Laporte but it just seems that Man City can’t keep a clean sheet anymore. But all these defenders I mention each week that make tier two passing bonus are the ones to have. 

Richarlison continues to chip in with the odd assist and goal here and there and is a steady enough pick. I also still like Maddison but I think he will have a run of games where he’s just returning two points but will get the odd assist, goal MOTM along the way. 

Strikers

Onto the strikers and Son Heung-min has been on one hell of a purple patch with seven goals, four assists and two MOTM in his last seven games. However he will most likely only make another three/four games before he departs to the Asian Cup so be aware it’s a short term move. 

Salah is still Salah. He’s the most owned player in the game and it’s a huge risk to go without. Kane the same – second most owned. Aubameyang has been on a decent run and does top the charts with 13 goals. One ahead of Kane and Salah. 

And as for Aguero he’s been disappointing, I still am amazed that a striker for a team that has scored 51 Premier League goals has only managed eight and three of those were in one match.

But there in lies the problem, you can’t have Alisson, Van Dijk, Robertson, Hazard, Pogba, Kane, Salah and Aubameyang in one team. Which is where I have struggled this season trying to accommodate them all. 

Transfers

I think you should aim to be anywhere between 15-20 left, if you’ve used a few more then slow down a bit and if you have more than 20 then this will give you a great advantage heading into the second half of the season. 

Again I just look at your position on the leaderboard and the average transfers left for that bracket. If it’s above it then that should allow you to climb up considerably. 

As always make a plan as far ahead as you can – know who you’ll captain each day and plan future transfers to cover captains or get in someone for a 3-1 etc. 

Simply a player whose team will play three games in the time that the player transferred out plays just once. So, for example, take Kane out after Spurs play on December 29th for Hazard who plays on 30th, January 2nd and 12th before bringing Kane back in on the 13th having just one game on January 1st. So Chelsea play three games in that time to Spurs one game. Not that I’m advocating that move I’m just highlighting what I mean.