Manchester City coverage abandoned in shock early season FPL wildcard move
Despite a promising start to the new FPL campaign, we have decided to play our wildcard early. We were under no obligation to do so of course but a couple of factors have swayed our thinking and we’re determined to keep hits to the minimum this season.
Firstly, the closure of the transfer window makes it a bit easier to see how teams are likely to line-up as the season progresses and secondly, we can also make use of information we have garnered from the opening 3 game rounds.
We have discussed the Kevin De Bruyne dilemma previously and the midfielder himself has now confirmed that he is indeed playing a deeper role. We were also very keen to get Álvaro Morata into our forward line and feel that using the wildcard is the best way to achieve this.
The much-maligned Mesut Özil is added to the squad leaving us with no Manchester City coverage at all, while Burnley’s Robbie Brady also joins the party on the strength of some encouraging home fixtures. David Silva was seriously considered for the Citizens but Pep Guardiola is unlikely to alter his stance on rotation and, if anything, he has even more midfield options to choose from going forward.
Despite Crystal Palace’s poor start to the season, Reuben Loftus-Cheek would appear to have a bit more upside for that 5th midfield spot than Swansea City’s Tom Carroll, while the arrival of Renato Sanches means that the latter’s place in the Swans starting line-up is far from secure.
All this means that there are wholesale changes in defence.
Łukasz Fabiański replaces Ben Foster in goal, while Ahmed Hegazi, Kyle Walker and Antonio Valencia all make way. Alfie Mawson and Ciaran Clark come in and they are joined by Spurs’ Ben Davies.
Davies has taken 12 of the 31 corners Spurs have won this season, compared with just a total of 14 from 23 appearances last time around and the Welshman looks guaranteed starts until Danny Rose returns.
Our biggest dilemma was whether or not to give Sead Kolašinac a stay of execution, with Daley Blind and Serge Aurier very much in our line of thinking. The Bosnian international, who somehow won the Arsenal player of the month award for August, despite being benched for the 4-0 drubbing by Liverpool, will need to deliver some points quickly though, if he is to retain his place in our squad.
Blind has taken 14 of United’s 25 corners this time around, having been responsible for just 49 of the 217 the Red Devils accumulated last season. Spurs were the only side to match United for clean sheets as well in the 2016/17 Premier League campaign and like the North London club, United pose a real threat in the air.
The closure of the transfer window also added to the complication, with Spurs’ Serge Aurier priced at the same level as the Arsenal man, the only new arrival to significantly attract our attention. The controversial full-back has underlying stats that are off the charts and it looks just a matter of time before he makes his way onto countless team-sheets! Both players are very much on our watch-list.
Romelu Lukaku retains the arm-band, even though we were tempted to give it to Özil. The Arsenal play-maker has a good run of fixtures ahead of him and will be keen to prove some of the doubters wrong.
The wildcard is active – let’s see if it was a bit premature!