Welcome all. We’re back again and back down to earth.
Anything that could’ve gone wrong in game week 21 did go wrong. Four key players failed to make their respective starting elevens which resulted in big fat zeros for each and, to compound matters further, one of those was my captain, Sterling.
Of course, Pep Guardiola struck the rotation button again. Not only did he change Sterling but also left out John Stones – you really couldn’t make it up. That was Saturday, fast forward to Sunday and Chilwell didn’t make Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea starting team in which both the other blue’s fullback scored. Where does that leave Chilwell going forward? New manager with new ideas or merely just rested?
As Sunday progressed, to compound a pretty desperate weekend, news filtered in that Mané wasn’t in the Liverpool team and has a possible injury. Bleak reading and one probable change needed going into GW22.
The only bright spark, lucky break and slight consolation weekend salvager were the 2 goals Callum Wilson (my toon representative😊) scored at Everton. The lucky part coming in the fact I didn’t have him in my line up but the auto change of players not playing meant I received his 13 valuable points.
We ended the weekend on 34 points in a weekend average of 48 which is disappointing but, given the good run we’ve been on, I can’t complain too much. It seems like it was a poor round across the board for most so in the grand scheme of the season, it doesn’t appear to have done too much damage. Those without Salah really have felt the fantasy pinch this week. Those with the Egyptian are counting their lucky stars. Those with him as captain are dancing the streets and have made tremendous ground. Going into next week we are left we so many more questions and problems than answers and solutions. We lick our wounds and go again.
We have another full midweek fixture list for game week 22. Manchester City away to Burnley is a point scorer if you are willing to play Pep roulette. If, like me, you were burned badly at the weekend you might be thinking twice but it is a good fixture if you can get it right.
Liverpool at home to Brighton also looks a tasty proposition but, again, team selections have been very erratic. This is clearly due to a very congested fixture set, the big clubs especially with bigger squads opting to rotate in order to avoid injuries.
The safest option this week maybe looking at somewhere like Leicester at Fulham. Leicester will be looking to bounce back from a bad defeat against Leeds and don’t have a big enough squad to swap their best players. Also remembering Vardy is injured should be even more reason for them not to rest other key members of the squad. Players like Barnes and especially Madison maybe be good shouts without having to break the bank.
In terms of what I’m doing, I’m not happy with my team at all but a bold decision has been made.
THIS WEEKS PICKS
*Takes a deep breath* We aren’t, I repeat, AREN’T making any changes to our squad this week. Yes it’s a huge gamble when you look at the weekend we just endured but my thinking behind it is
1. Those players rested at the weekend should be in line to play this time round
2. It will give us two free transfers to use in game week 23.
The only change to the starting XI will be Wilson coming in for Chilwell, reverting the formation back to the usual 3-5-2. Mané remains in despite being an injury doubt. Should he fail to play, hopefully Chilwell will accumulate points during his match to replace.
I was tempted to bring in Mo Salah but I think he may be a resting risk with Liverpool set to host Manchester City at the weekend. It would have also meant freeing up funds elsewhere meaning another negative points hit. 2 freebies for the weekend gives us a good platform, let’s hope we can have a better week than last.
Sterling will be captain. Wilson, the mighty mag’s main man, will be vice. Praying the big gamble pays off.
GET UP FOR THE HEADER.