Welcome to the GW16 Review – Dodgy.
With no fewer than 5 matches being decided by penalty this GW we witnessed something of a new record, with VAR seemingly taking the weekend off City were the most fortunate of the lot with their award to overcome a dogged 10 man Wolves side – Dodgy!
The hit brigade were out in force this week with some of our brethren appearing to be truly addicted! -4s, -8s, -12s and even a hit-tastic -20!!! from Matthew Silley. The catalyst for most being the postponement of the Brighton Spurs match causing mayhem in teams with many Sanchez owners being left in limbo deciding whether to transfer in a replacement or start with 10 men! Personally i had no such worries as i pulled the trigger on getting Kane out midway through the previous weekend in a fit of FPL rage … transferring in Vardy as his replacement!! but we will get to that…
The Friday night “blockbuster” selected by sky was the BRE V WAT clash of the titans! Dennis continued his excellent form with an early strike, his ownership within the top 10k managers is now 47%. Personally i have put off getting him in on a number of occasions primarily due to the AFCON call ups, now looking like real mistake! Then there is that troll Mbeumo, hits the woodwork more than a lumberjack until the week i sell him! Toney (who i do own) out with COVID meant he stepped up for the first Pen of the weekend and slotted it calmly in the 95th min to give BRE the 3 points. Painful!
Saturday was all about the penalties, rewarding those managers who give due consideration to set piece takers when formulating their teams. First up MANCTY v WOL saw Jimenez sent off in the first half for what can best be best described as petulance. CITY owners stood by ready for a tsunami of points which unfortunately didn’t quite materialise. The first pen of the day awarded in the second half with a Dodgy handball decision allowing Sterling to step up and bang home the winner, somehow BILVA obtaining the Ass, no complaints here! Unfortunately Cancelo picking up his 5th yellow of the season means he will now miss the midweek match with Leeds.
Over at the Emirates ARS V SOU saw Auba left out of the squad for disciplinary reasons, finally looks like the end for him. ARS struggled to get going early in the game with SOU coming forward in waves, however a counter and goal from Lacazette set the gunners on their way to a convincing 3-0 victory, with goals for Odegaard and Gabriel sealing the points, 3 BPS shared between Ramsdale and KT rewarded those backing the ARS defence.
At the bridge Chelsea continued to look somewhat porous at the back against Leeds with both Raph and youngster Gelhardt breaching the blues Def. At the other end the ever dependable Mount bagged again before not 1 but 2 pens were awarded to CHE with Jorginho stepping up to dispatch both and pick up the 3 BPS #dependable. Although breached at the back those with Rudiger and Alonso were left happy with the former securing 2 Ass and the latter 1 to continue their fine returns. On the other hand there is James who after scoring 53 points through GW9-12 has now scored just 1 … yes just 1 point in his last 5 matches!!
Stevie G made his return to Anfield as the AVL manager and made me laugh when being asked by Michael Owen how do you feel going back, Michael stating he hated going back to Anfield not being a Liverpool player. Gerrard responded saying he would hate it too if he had played for Utd! cracker! The game itself was a tight affair with yet another pen settling it for LIV, Salah stepping up to do what he does best, hitting the back of the net! Jota missed a hatful of chances and TAA picked up the 3 BPS whilst Salah did his best to avoid them. After watching the match the eye test really got me thinking about Robbo who looks to be in top form post injury. I used FFS to do some analysis on Robbo v Trent over the last 4 GWs, Robbo comes out very favourably indeed as below, the penalty area touches really stood out for me 19 v 6 in Robbo’s favour over the last 4!
Robbo V Trent
NOR v UTD was a hard watch with the latter proving to be anything but fluent at the moment. Dalot starting once again definitely gives an option for that 5th defender slot with the recent downturn in output from Livramento. Another match another – DODGY pen and another premium player slotting it home, this time it was Ronaldo’s turn, much to the joy of his owners. I did note Telles seemed to be on FKs which offers another selection for the watch list if UTD can continue to keep it solid at the back. NOR are definitely a different proposition under Smith, with Gilmour offering a lot more in the middle of the park.
Sunday brought a mixed bag with BUR and the Hammers playing out a 0-0 draw, all the talk of Bowen and the ongoing questions around Antonio prompted me to have a look at their respective stats. Ant in the BUR match had an XG of 0.07, more concerning is that over his last 4 matches his XG is 0.22 with 6 shots and just 16 penalty area touches! Bowen had an XG of 0.09 in the match and over the past 4 GWs has an XG of 1.03 with 9 attempts, his XA is a lowly 0.18! It has been a difficult run of games for the Hammers when viewed in the context of FDR however there is definitely food for thought here for owners and potential buyers alike.
LEI battered a poor NEW with a 4-0 demolition, the return of Tielemans was a real highlight with 2 goals from a non pen XG of 0.54. The real lowlight however was the benching of Vardy after i had just brought him in for Kane #disaster. Daka scored again and looked to have a bit of quality about him, not an FPL option but may limit Vardys match time yet further. My other striker Wilson might as well have sat on the bench with Vardy with 0 attempts on goal and 0.0XG! arghhh!
Finally Palace battered the Toffees in the Conor Gallagher show, this boy is unbelievable, banging 2 goals and looking like one of the signings of the season. In conclusion he is now becoming essential!!! Tomkins scored the Palace 3rd with the much maligned Rondon scoring for EVE to wipe out the clean sheet. Rafa could be in a bit of trouble unless he can do some more good business in the January window.
Kings of the Gameweek
Some interesting analysis of the KOTGW from the Cup King himself Bakes has highlighted that the optimum team composition this year seems to be drifting towards a 3-5-2! 3 Defs have appeared 6 times, 4 or 5 mids, 5 times and 2 forwards 10 times! 4-5-1 has now been the optimum set up twice with only 1 striker being deployed 3 times -DODGY.
FFUK Top 20
The great and the good are really knocking on with their OR’s, putting them in great position within the FFUK top 20!! Kevin Flynn is continuing to hold onto 1st place with another solid 74 points this week! Tom Newman gets the nod for manager of the week, although unfortunately hitting the bar attempting to join the 100 club with a fantastic 99 points!!! Big shout out to my stablemate James Simpson who has moved into his highest ever FFUK position in 2nd, 1 point off Kevin at the top!! Another excellent score of 92 with no hits allowing him to continue his push up the table!
And so we come to the CONTS league, we are approaching the 12 CONTS of Christmas and things are about to get tough!! Unfortunately this week we say goodbye to Duncan Galloway and Stuart Newton, its been a pleasure FFUKers no one want to be a CONT anyway!!
Finally i like to keep an eye on the top 10K of managers and their ownership percentages as it stands pre GW17 the preferred formation by ownership is a 4-3-3 as follows:
Salah 99.97% (someone doesnt have him!)
Its been a pleasure
Roni Friel (Southbourne Celtic 35th)