Manager of the week – The Craggy Islanders – Adrian Roche – 125 points
We may have our champions. An expertly played double gameweek has (probably) pinched the highest gameweek score and has created a gap at the top of the table with three gameweeks left to play. The Islanders scored one of only eight triple figure scores in the week in which they were more likely to happen. The bench boost was the chip of choice for the Islanders and they managed to pick two of the three players that amassed 17 points – Gerard Deulefeu and Jonny Castro Otto. Add to that a 16 point captain contribution from Raheem Sterling, a double clean sheet 15 pointer from Aymeric Laporte and a much welcomed improvement in Brighton’s form offering 12 points from Mat Ryan. The Islanders are left with their triple captain, as are their closest challengers, Da Pitch. Albion and Madrid are chipless and will more than likely battle it out for third and fourth.
Player of the week – Ayoze Perez – Newcastle United – 17 points
It’s not uncommon for a single gameweeker to triumph in a double gameweek – it happened last week of course. Thanks Brighton. It was maybe less likely to happen this week given the larger pool of double gameweek players to pick from and the teams that were playing – six of the top half. I mentioned a few weeks ago as Ayoze Perez posted a 16 point gameweek that at the same time last season he came into incredible goal scoring form to save Newcastle from a relegation scrap. And that the same thing could happen last season. It is.
Bargain of the week – Jonny Castro Otto – Wolverhampton Wanderers – 17 points
Manchester City were the only team to keep two clean sheets of the double gameweekers. Wolves kept one against Brighton and were unlucky not to add a second against Arsenal. Despite conceding one against the Gunners two of their three goals had wing back involvement. Matt Doherty scored his fourth league goal of the season, assisted by his mate on the opposite flank, Jonny, who added a second assist to help him to his second double figure total of the season.
Twat of the week – Nacho Monreal – Arsenal – 0 points
It was difficult to pick a twat this week. Monreal scored zero and was the costliest of those players so he takes the honour. Both Arsenal and Manchester United shipped six and did their Europa League hopes the world of good.
I told you they were the ones to watch. As predicted they played their free hit – and with some success. Other free hit scores by other managers have been higher across the season, but Caligula’s was perhaps better timed and sees them climb into second place, marginally closing the gap on The VPs to 50 points. Is that too big a gap to overcome? It will all depend on their GW37 teams and captains. The only real disappointments for Cailgula were James Milner’s 1 point when they may have expected a clean sheet, Ilkay Gundogan’s virtual blank in among Man City’s five goal thrashing of Swansea and the in-form Wilf Zaha having a week off diving about the Watford penalty area. They will return to their GW34 team already containing thirteen GW37 double gameweekers. The VPs have eight and some big decisions to make. And lets give an honorable mention to Edgbaston, who also had their Free Hit in storage and picked up 71 points to move into fourth. They will proceed next week with 10 GW37 double gameweekers and a triple captain up their sleeve.
Player of the week – Alexandre Lacazette – 13 points
Those free hit scores were low-ish for a reason. Obviously, it being a reduced gameweek – although remember what happened in GW31. And despite four and five goal matches at Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City, the points were spread around a host of players. Lacazette was the only player to bag a brace and is having a strong end of season – as Arsenal always tend to do. Maybe with extra incentive of giving their manager a good send off. Arsenal have two very winnable fixtures to finish the season but with the Europa League in mind, rotation could play a part. The only player I’d say guaranteed a start – although that didn’t happen at the weekend – is Pierre Aubameyang. He’s cup tied in the Europa, so should, in theory, be first name on the team sheet.
Bargain of the week – Wayne Hennessey – 10 points
I suppose you’ve got to totally ignore what I said about Wayne Hennessey last week. I guess they were due a clean sheet – as were Watford. Hennessey picked up top bonus and an extra save point. And just to completely back track – his run of fixtures don’t look too scary, so maybe there’ll be another clean sheet to celebrate before the end of the season.
Twat of the week – Martin Olsson – -1 points
Poor Swansea. City were due to give someone a pasting and with the title won it was inevitable that this gameweek’s opponents were the most likely to be on the receiving end. I doubt the defeat will effect Swansea too much, but the goals conceded might be a problem. Olsson is this week’s worst for picking up a yellow to go with the drubbing.
Goal of the week – Kevin De Bruyne. Screamer. 4m40s
Quite a few managers played their all out attack chips this weekend. Well, you’ve got to get rid of it sometime I suppose. This was on the Saturday in which seven of the ten teams to play kept a clean sheet, and the player of the week was the game’s lowest priced first team regular, penalty saving goalkeeper, Eldin Jakupovic.
Maybe Aquamar thinks the league is won. They’re taking hits for fun at the moment. Another three this week for eight more points, although all worked out ridiclously well. Aguero, Stephens and Hazard returned 37 points – and all are set up nicely for the upcoming double gameweeks. The gap has closed up at the top again – now at 50 points. And there continues to be a lot of jostling for position behind. Kebab Eaters, second two weeks ago, are now down to sixth. Rico United climb into prize money contention with the highest score of the week, and down in seventh, Biscuitmen posted an 80 point score to keep themselves in the hunt.
Rico’s week winning 86 points wasn’t quite enough to pinch the manager of the month prize. They fell short of Hucking Fell who also held off challenges from The Craggy Islanders and Shoelace to pocket the £60.
Southampton v Hull Stoke v West Ham Sunderland v Bournemouth West Brom v Leicester Crystal Palace v Burnley Man Utd v Swansea Everton v Chelsea Middlesbrough v Man City Spurs v Arsenal Watford v Liverpool
An island of single gameweek calm in between the double gameweek madness and a week in which we might see a lot of wildcarding, bearing in mind you can’t wildcard and chip at the same time. Arsenal and Southampton have two consecutive double gameweeks coming up. Gameweek 37 has five extra games with all of the top six playing twice. Good luck figuring all that out.
Southampton could be worth investing in ahead of time given they’ve got Hull at home this weekend. Hull’s resurgence has been built on a strong home record. Away, they’re a slightly less threatening proposition. Their last away point came back in January. Southampton come in relatively cheap. Three of their regular back four come in at under £5 million and those of us that have persevered with Manolo Gabbiadini may finally see some attacking returns for only £6.4 million.
We’ll know our April manager of the month after this weekend. Here’s the table…
The reduced gameweek. That’s less games – so low scores were somewhat inevitable. Or perhaps they shouldn’t have been given that four teams managed to score four goal victories. But, the worldwide average was only 39 points. Maybe it had something to do with the scorers in those games – Eden Hazard? Or it may have had more to do with the fact that everyone was expecting another Tottenham rout – and that didn’t materialise.
In fact this could be the weekend that the Premier League title was effectively decided. Any doubts over whether Leicester could cope without Jamie Vardy were answered emphatically as they thumped Swansea (defo on the beach) 4-0. The contrasting form of Leicester and Spurs players over the last few weeks has seen a lot of managers opt to dispense of the likes of Mahrez and Vardy, yet keep hold of Kane, Alli, Eriksen etc. That tactic didn’t pay off this week. Vardy’s replacement, Leonardo Ulloa, proved what a useful asset he is, scoring twice and picking up 13 points for anyone that dared take the punt.
One of whom was Hedgehog Corpse, our highest weekly scorer with 66 points. Ulloa came in alongside Mahrez, who was made captain, and Robert Huth, to contribute 39 points to their overall score.
The top eight are all non-movers this week, although Your Ad Here’s 16 point swing against Caligula moves them closer to the top and further away from the chasing pack. Maybe it is back to that two horse race again.
Player of the week – Kelechi Iheanacho – 16 points. Better than Bony and half the price.
Bargain of the week – Ashley Westwood – 15 points. Probably the best Villa performance of the season – and they still got hammered.
Donkey of the week – Ashley Williams – -1 points. Beach.
Goal of the week – Daniel Sturridge. Bit of a dearth this week