League leaders – The Craggy Islanders – Adrian Roche – 2086 points
As we get to the arse end of the season we’ll take a gameweekly look at how the title race is panning out. It looks like one of three teams for the top prize. All have undertaken a slightly different end of season strategy regarding their chips and wildcards. Of the three it’s the Islanders that appear to be in the strongest position with a wildcard, bench boost and triple captain remaining. I predict a wildcard in the coming gameweek with a bench boost following in GW35. That leaves their triple captain possibly for the last week when the scores can go crazy, form definitely goes out the window, all defences tend to go on holiday and strikers fill their boots. Albion have the highest accumulative score over the last three weeks but only have their free hit remaining. Watch out for that being played in GW35. Da Pitch have dropped back slightly, being the least successful of the three at negotiating the last three weeks, but with two more double gameweeks remaining and their triple captain and bench boost chips untouched, they could force their way back into the reckoning. Maybe we’ll see a brave punt on a GW34 Lewis Dunk triple captain?
Manager of the week – Neil Madrid – Neil Strong – 90 points
Virtually the same team that failed in blank gameweek 31 came through this reduced gameweek to spectacular effect. Backing any striker worth his salt against Huddersfield seems to be the sensible way forward at the moment – step forward Jamie Vardy. Eden Hazard would have been as effective a captain choice. They were the players of choice for the top nine teams in the league. Having both, as many teams did given the smaller pool of players to pick from, guaranteed you a score somewhere in the 70’s or above. Youri Tielemans may have been the player making the difference for Madrid, tipping the score out of the 80’s. The young Belgian has a goal or assist in each of the last six games. It’s a shame and a bit of a headache given his (and Vardy’s) form that Leicester don’t appear in either double gameweek.
Player of the week – Jamie Vardy – Leicester City – 16 points
Two goals and an assist against a Huddersfield team now totally devoid of any fight was as obvious a captain choice as there’s been all season. Especially for a striker in a rich vein of form – Vardy has eight in eight. I’m not in sure you need to be a striker in form to get something against Huddersfield. Harry Kane faces up to that defence next week. In his quest for the golden boot, it could be brutal.
Bargain of the week – Phil Jagielka – Everton – 15 points
In gameweek 1 he was sent off after 39 minutes, collected -3 points, and looked likely to never play again. He did – two more performances amassed 7 more points to put him back in the black. A warm up injury to Michael Keane promoted him to the starting line up this weekend and he quadrupled his total for the season in the space of 90 minutes.
Twat of the week – Nathaniel Clyne – Bournemouth – -1 points
Hooked at half time having already conceded two and been booked. Bournemouth aren’t the most dependable when looking for clean sheet points and Clyne hasn’t provided any attacking full back assists as it was hoped he might since his loan move.
Goal of the week – Eden Hazard (1st goal).