The Fantasy Football transfer window for game week 33 is now closed. Join me in our virtual Fantasy Football world while we watch the games and hope our points rack up. Sit back, relax, enjoy the football and hang-out here with your fellow Fantasy Football managers and chat in real time as the action unfolds. Perhaps everyone else is experiencing the same “Aggghhhh” player difficulties you are, or the same “Yeahhhh” moment as your captain puts the ball into the back of the net? Talking Points is simply a chat area for us Fantasy Football First managers. Tell us about your highs and lows, and get into the match day atmosphere. Get involved.
To help you with your early transfer, these are the expected talking points for this weekend
Bottom club Sunderland’s hopes of avoiding relegation suffered another setback as Manchester United eased to victory. If we’re going to see another great escape from the Black Cats, then it must start now as they have an excellent schedule facing West Ham (H), Middlesbrough (A), Bournemouth (H), Hull (A), Swansea (H) and Arsenal (A) in the next five gameweeks.
While Sunderland might effectively be relegated in two weeks if results don’t go their way, their assets might still be useful as enablers for your team. Pickford has been a good option all season as he makes a decent number of saves, and the upcoming schedule might even return one or two clean sheets.
Up front it is worth holding onto Jermain Defoe if you still have him, despite the draught Sunderland is on. The Black Cats have now failed to score in seven successive Premier League games – the joint-second worst run in Premier League history. In that time, they have attempted 79 shots in total without netting any of them. Monitor Anichebe too as he might be useful as a bench filler while you load up in other positions.
Tottenham kept up the pressure on leaders Chelsea with an impressive home victory over Watford, their sixth consecutive Premier League win. This run doesn’t look like ending soon as the Spurs face Bournemouth (H), Crystal Palace (A), Arsenal (H), West Ham (A), Man Utd (H) and Leicester (A).
Walker is a concern in defence as Trippier took his place, and was one of the standout performers. His delivery was brilliant throughout as he picked up one assist and two bonus points. Given this uncertainty in the right-back position, Davies remains a good short-term option until Rose returns, while Alderweireld and Vertonghen are safe in the long run.
Dele Alli has been directly involved in 14 goals in 13 Premier League games for Tottenham in 2017 (10 goals, 4 assists). He has had a hand in as many Premier League goals before turning 21 (40) as Frank Lampard (15), Steven Gerrard (13) & David Beckham (12) combined and is an absolute must-have for any FPL team right now. Eriksen is worth holding onto but if you’re looking to bring in a Spurs midfielder then Alli is the better option.
Son Heung-min has had a hand in five goals in his last three Premier League games (4 goals, 1 assist), after none in the five before that. It’s difficult to see him being dropped after such an impressive performance, but as Harry Kane is fit again there might be some rotation or changes in formation. Kane himself could have scored some points as he struck the bar with an injury-time free-kick, and Son might have sealed his hat-trick from his earlier assist.
West Brom lost to Southampton to record their fourth loss in the last six games. Tony Pulis’ side stay in eight place in the league and are stuttering in their attempts to achieve their best league finish since 1981, when they came fourth. The upcoming schedules looks grim, as the Baggies face Liverpool (H), Leicester (H), Burnley (A), Chelsea (H) and Man City (A) in the next five gameweeks.
It’s a familiar story for West Brom as last season they failed to win any of their last nine league games, with five defeats and four draws. They are three games into their final nine matches of this campaign and their record reads two defeats and one draw. While goals are clearly a problem now, the Albion defence is also struggling with just three clean sheets in their last 20 league games. Given their form and the upcoming schedule this is an appropriate time to replace your West Brom assets as there’s better value elsewhere.
Burnley held Middlesbrough to a goalless draw at the Riverside Stadium and the point moves them eight points clear of the Premier League drop zone. The Clarets probably need one more win to be completely safe, but they might have to wait a bit longer to get it as they have a tough schedule that includes Everton (A), Man Utd (H), Palace (A), West Brom (H) and Bournemouth (A).
Burnley’s defence has been solid all season and against Boro the unlikely heroes were Lowton and Ward. The former made two vital clearances, while at the other end, Stephen Ward was exceptional down the wing in a game where the Clarets attack underwhelmed. They barely threatened the Boro goal, although they did hit the crossbar through Robbie Brady’s free-kick.
Without double gameweeks and nothing much left to play for, you can safely ignore Burnley and invest elsewhere. Heaton can be kept for save points and the occasional clean sheet, but even he might have to make way for cheaper alternatives like Valdes, Pickford or Hennessey.
Other Talking Points
- Townsend scored the opening goal, won the penalty for the third and was a constant menace to the Arsenal defence with his pace and direct running. Despite this man-of-the-match performance, we prefer Wilfried Zaha as the winger has had a hand in five goals in his past five Premier League games (two goals, three assists).
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored 17 Premier League goals this season – the same number as Chelsea’s Diego Costa. Remarkably, 10 of those goals have come away from home – with only Sergio Aguero (11) and Alexis Sanchez (12) scoring more on the road.
- An assist, a pat on the back from the manager and deserved praise – Luke Shaw made a successful return to Manchester United’s team. It would be brave to put him back in your FPL team if doubts over gametime exist. Rojo and Bailly look to be the safest routes in The Reds defence now, with Valencia struggling with fitness.
- As well as his two goals, Romelu Lukaku was a constant outlet for his side, contesting eight aerial duels with the Leicester defence. The Belgian now has 23 Premier League goals this season; one more than Middlesbrough have as a team (22).
- Sergio Aguero has scored 10 goals in his last 10 games for Man City in all competitions.
- Middlesbrough have been involved in seven goalless draws in the Premier League this season, at least three more than any other side. Indeed, the Riverside Stadium has seen fewer goals than any other Premier League ground this season (29 – 12 scored, 17 conceded).
- Diego Costa has now gone five domestic games without a goal, with the man who has netted 18 times this season often lacking sharpness when presented with an opportunity. Eden Hazard, took up an average position higher up the field than Diego Costa and looks to be in the form of his live right now after another tantalising display against Bournemouth. Hazard’s haul of 14 Premier League goals this season is his joint-best-ever return in a season in the competition (also 14 in 13-14 and 14-15).
- Joshua King has scored 10 goals in his last 11 Premier League appearances, after netting just three in the 20 before that this season.
- Marcos Alonso has netted five PL goals this season. Among defenders, only Gareth McAuley (6) has more.