Christmas period review

Happy new year, all. Let’s hope 2019 brings us a prosperous few fantasy football months. After a Christmas special over which my differential XI scored more than 300 points over two double gameweeks, it’s full steam ahead to GW23.

My gut instinct for a Man United revival under a club legend interim manager paid off big time. I backed Paul Pogba as captain through his run of monster hauls, totting him up 128 points in four games. A 36-point cameo from teammate Marcus Rashford also fully justified the youngster’s selection.

Pogba is now owned by 12.2 per cent of managers, up from 7.12 per cent when we tipped him ahead of GW20. If you did, too, your team should have shot up the rankings.

Both gameweeks resulted in solid totals. The first was about 40 points short of my normal team but the second matched it – and actually beat it by a single point. Remember, my differential teams contain no players with less than ten per cent ownership and clubs’ most-backed

How the XI performed: GW20 (two games)

Key: G = goal, A = assist, CS = clean sheet, MOTM = man of the match, T1T/T2T = tier-one/two tackles, T2P = tier-one/two passing, TI/2S = tier-one/two shots, TI/2SA = tier-one/two saves  (c) = captain YC = yellow card, RC = red card

Lukasz Fabianski – 1 & 2 = 3

David Luiz – 5 (T2P) & 5 (T2P) = 10

Antonio Rudiger – 5 (T2P) & 4 (T1P) = 9

Matt Doherty (C: Dec 21) – 2 & 2 = 4

Jose Holebas – 6 (CS, YC) & 4 (A) = 10

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 4 (A, YC) & 0 = 4

Paul Pogba (c: Dec 22/26) – 22 (A, A, T2P), 48 (G, G, MOTM, T1S, T2P) = 70

Robert Snodgrass (c: Dec 27) – 2 & 8 (T2T) = 10

Lucas Torreira – 1 & 5 (T2P) = 6

Gerard Deulofeu – 8 (G) & 2 = 10

Marcus Rashford = 7 (G) & 2 = 9

TOTAL: 145

 

How the XI performed: GW21

Lukasz Fabianski – 1 & 1 = 2

David Luiz – 12 (A, CS, T2P) & 10 (CS, T2P) = 22

Antonio Rudiger –  9 (CS, T1P) & 9 (CS, T2P, YC) = 18

Matt Doherty (c: Dec 29) – 10 (A) & 3 (T1T) = 13

Jose Holebas – 1 & -1 (YC) = 0

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 7 (G, T1S, RC) & 0 = 7

Paul Pogba (c: Dec 30/2) – 54 (G, G A, MOTM, T1S, T2P) & 4 = 58

Robert Snodgrass – 1 (YC) & 2 = 3

Lucas Torreira (c: Jan 1) – 2 & 2 = 4

Gerard Deulofeu – 5 (A) & 2 = 7

Marcus Rashford – 10 (G, A) & 17 (G, A, MOTM, T1S) = 27

 

TOTAL: 161

CHRISTMAS PERIOD TOTAL,  GW20/GW21 = 306

 

Looking ahead to GW23

In my first article for Fantasy Football Hub, Leicester’s attacking wing-back Ricardo Pereira (7.6m/3.47%) graced my team.

It’s fair to say he didn’t set the world alight back then but in recent weeks, Pereira has really found his form.

A total of 18 and 14 points in GW20 and GW21 respectively, he racked up two clean sheets, two tackle bonuses, a goal and an assist for a near full set of point-scoring methods.

Now, he faces a visiting Southampton side which have had mixed fortunes under their new manager. Saints ground out a 0-0 draw away at Chelsea, so will be no pushovers, but Pereira is one of those players who could pick up points in a variety of ways. That’s great for a defender.

 

Bluebirds midfielder a risk worth taking?

I’m penning this ahead of Cardiff manager Neil Warnock’s press conference, so a word of warning comes with the next pick.

Victor Camarasa (£6.6m/0.5%) may appear like a bit of a curveball, especially when Sky gives him a 25 per cent chance of missing out against Huddersfield on Saturday.

There’s method in the madness, though. If he plays, the cut-price Spaniard brings form which has seen him score two goals in four games, as well as a MOTM.

Key to his potential is his active role in set pieces and penalties. He’s not been one for bonus points but if you’re trying to shoehorn a big name into your side in the next few weeks ahead of the overhaul, Camarasa could be one way to finance the move.

Chelsea defender criminally under-owned

David Luiz (£8.8m/6.96%) might look a bit like Simpsons villain Sideshow Bob but the only thing which is criminal about the Brazilian defender is his ownership.

A player who is fourth-highest points scorer in the game should be on more team’s radars. And while we’re on the subject, his defensive partner Antonio Rudiger (£9.5m) is one point behind him in fifth place and has attracted just four per cent of managers.

The duo’s opponents, Newcastle, have failed to score in three out of four of their last Premier League games.

When they faced Chelsea at home back in August, the Magpies did net. The visiting side did, however, boss possession at 82 per cent. That bodes well for the bonus points we’ve become used to seeing these two score with regularity.

 

Neil Etheridge (£6.2m/1.6%)

 

David Luiz (c) (£8.8m/6.96%)

Antonio Rudiger (£9.5m/4%)

Ricardo Pereira (£7.6m/3.47%)

 

Gerard Deulofeu (£7.7m/3.72%)

Ryan Fraser (£8.3m/7.8%)

Kevin de Bruyne (c) (£12m/7.95%)

Victor Camarasa (£6.6m/0.5%)

 

Son Heung-Min (c) (10.6m/4.6%)

Marcus Rashford (£10.4m/4.3%)

Roberto Firmino (£12.2m/8.7%)

 

TOTAL: £99.9m

 

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