I do wonder sometimes whether this game is sent to test my resolve. All the signs, stats, form, fixtures and even Pep’s murmurings made the Ramsey to Sterling switch seem like a no-brainer. But, in a cruel twist of fate, the Welshman duly delivered 14 points and Pep benched Sterling. That combined with a captain no-show from Suttner and a captain yellow card and blank from Morata, saw my team slide for the third week on the bounce to its lowest position yet.

 

Transfers Remaining: 28
In the Bank: 1.8m

There were some positives from last time out. I did transfer in Otamendi, who produced a tidy 17 point haul, and captain Kane broke his Wembley hoodoo to put Liverpool to the sword. Regular readers will notice that I also brought in Coutinho for Morata. Chelsea seem in flux at the moment and I’m not convinced that the Spaniard is fully fit. Coutinho also offers a plum home tie and a great captaincy option this Saturday.

Overall, despite my team in free fall, I’m strangely happy with my set-up. I’m hoping this week is the one to turn it around. That said, I’m still eyeing up a couple more transfers…

Richarlison

The young Brazilian’s assist at Stamford Bridge means he has notched up attacking returns in each of his last four league outings. Having taken 11 shots inside the box over the last 4 gameweeks – that’s top among midfields – his underlying stats point to this being no fluke.

With two Sky Sports MOTM awards thus far, priced well at 7.6, and with a kind run of fixtures over the next four matches, he looks a prime candidate to bring in. Not to mention the Brazilian has the added benefit of being a captaincy option in a couple of weeks when West Ham travel to Vicarage Road in the only match on Sunday. I had penciled to draft him in that day, but on his current form, I see no reason to delay. With Lowe travelling to Anfield this week, and seemingly not getting regular 90 minutes, I’m almost certainly making the straight switch.

Some may question why I’m not dispatching Suttner instead. Well, Hughton has hinted that he’ll play home games and he is needed for captaincy in three weeks’ time.

Pope

For Monday night, I’m likely to switch out Fabianski for Pope. Fabianski has served me well, but Pope is dirt cheap at 5.5 and has a very kind run of fixtures on the horizon. That said, if Suttner misses out on Sunday, I may draft in Stephen Ward instead.

Captaincy

I expect there to be big variation on Saturday, be interesting to see who comes out on top.

 

 

 

I’ll be plumping for Coutinho on Saturday. The diminutive Brazilian maestro is owned by less than 6%, so a big haul from him could send me flying up the ranks. Vardy will take armband duties on Sunday in the hope that he can re-discover the form that made me bring him in. As mentioned above, Pope or Ward will come in and take armband duties as Burley play host to Stoke at Turf More.

Transfer check

I have been fluttering away the transfers in recent weeks as I felt my team was in need of a major re-shuffle. After a couple more this week, I’ll be sitting on 26, so will need to tighten ship. The good news for those low on transfers is that the upcoming captaincy schedule is a lot kinder than the last few months, with most of the big guns able to take armband duties… No more Suttners!

You can enter two answers, if you’re playing with two teams.

 

My other team

My other team is doing well and flying high in the top 100. I have taken a very different strategy with this team and I’m now focusing most of my limited brain power on it. I’m wondering whether I should switch my diary to reflect this. Part of me wants to, but another part thinks that the point of writing a diary is to go through the bad patches. After all, the positions of my two teams may well switch around in a couple of weeks and it would be pointless to start yo-yoing between the two. Anyway, I’ll let you decide:

 

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