Everton v Watford West Brom v Chelsea Man City v Leicester Bournemouth v Burnley Middlesbrough v Southampton Sunderland v Swansea Stoke v Arsenal Crystal Palace v Hull West Ham v Liverpool Spurs v Man Utd Chelsea v Watford Arsenal v Sunderland Man City v West Brom Southampton v Man Utd Leicester v Spurs
Here it is. The gameweek that will probably decide so much. The title chase could take a dramatic turn this week. It’s a three horse race. Aquamar have been at the top since February 2nd. They built a lead, but over the last few weeks, The Craggy Islanders and When Harry Met Alli have chipped away. Aquamar go into this double gameweek with 12 players potentially playing twice, as do WHMA. Both have played their bench boost. The Craggy Islanders haven’t. They have 13 players lined up for a double appearance and their bench boost chip remaining. They’ve two free transfers this week. Expect 15 double gameweekers and put your money on The Craggy Islanders for the trophy.
The race for fourth should be as keenly contested. Rico, Hedgehogs, Kebab Eaters, Edgbaston and Caligula are separated by 38 points. Rico are in the box seat at the moment but have no wildcards or chips remaining. Hedgehogs are somehow still sat on their bench boost AND triple captain. Kebab Eaters have a wildcard left, and both Edgbaston and Caligula have their bench boost to play. I’m predicting a bench boost bonanza this week. How well that chip is played will probably determine our fourth place finisher.
Release The Hounds are the current holders of the highest weekly score. It’s 108 points, and they managed that in GW21. That’s got to go this week. If When Harry Met Alli can get a triple figure score from a double gameweek in which only two teams played twice, imagine what could be achieved this week. Ten teams take to the pitch for a second time, and that includes five of the top six. That’s 21 of the top 30 available players POTENTIALLY playing twice.
But only potentially. Chelsea could have the league wrapped up by this evening. If that happens, with the FA Cup final on the horizon, expect rotation for the Watford game. John Terry is bound to get a run out. Cesc Fabregas and Willian deserve more than a few more cameo appearances and will also probably start. We need a West Brom result – with a few Chelsea goals. That would keep Spurs going too. There’s less chance of rotation at the Lane, mainly because there’s not really anyone to rotate to, but how demoralised might they be come Sunday knowing they came so close for a second consecutive year? Surely Harry Kane’s pursuit of the golden boot should keep him motivated. It’s tricky. With something to play for, Arsenal and Manchester City are much better placed for this gameweek. If you’ve a wildcard kicking around – lucky you.
It looked like an even split of managers hoping for either a Harry Kane week or a Romelu Lukaku week. Everton welcomed Sunderland, while Spurs had Stoke to contend with. The odds may have been slightly with Lukaku, but it was Kane who provided the bigger points haul – 20 in total – 40 if you had him as captain. Lukaku’s goal came as welcome relief to those who went with the Everton striker, but come mid-afternoon Sunday, that would have been no consolation has a whole host of teams came sailing past carrying the Spurs forward and their 70+ scores.
Our weekly winner, monthly winner and most of the teams that advanced to the Buckets Cup quarter finals all had Kane, and most had him with the armband.
No-one could top Bermie United, whose unwavering faith in Leicester City finally paid off with a mindbending final total of 92 points. And all achieved whilst the manager is biking round ‘Nam for charity. Maybe Claudio is with him. Last season’s holy trinity of Vardy, Mahrez and Drinkwater contributed 23 points on top of the 40 from Kane. They made one transfer in gameweek four, and only managed to put out nine players for the weekend. Classic ghostship.
Uriah’s deserve a mention. Playing the game properly, they amassed 88 points. As well as captain Kane, they benefited from Christian Eriksen’s assists and another goal scoring performance from Gareth McAuley. He’s West Brom’s second top scorer, the league’s top scoring defender and moves into sixth place on the defender charts.
The manager of the month changed hands dramatically at the final reckoning. Both Lukaku and Kane had carried RG XV to the top of the monthly table before Monday’s game – they were 9th after last week’s fixtures. RG also had McAuley – and Seamus Coleman, who contributed anther double figure total with a seventh consecutive scoring week. Yet it wasn’t enough to hold off Rico United who pipped them by a point and have Matt Phillips to thank – for not playing. Rico utilised the bench boost expertly. Captain Phillips defaulted to vice captain Alli, and the extra eight points carried them past RG to the prize. They’re our first double month winner.
Our cup quarter finalists have been decided. FC Caligula will not defend their trophy, falling to Release The Hounds, who will take on Jarvis FC in the next round. Rico’s month winning total was enough to see them through to play Upper Bullens. Bakerlona are the lowest ranked team left in, creeping through in a battle of the ghost teams. They face league leaders Aquamar, who only just squeezed through themselves with the second lowest cup score of the week. Joey Bosa and Shoelace Untied make up the draw. Aquamar are the only top 10 team left in the competition and there are more bottom half than top half teams remaining.
Player of the week – Harry Kane – 20 points.Another hat trick. Time for a few weeks off now, eh Harry.
Bargain of the week – Idrissa Gueye – 10 points. Everton’s Kante. The scoring will stop here.
Donkey of the week – Ashley Barnes – -1 points. Another cheapo striker’s honeymoon period is over.
Goal of the week – Danny Drinkwater. They won’t get relegated.
There were plenty of big scores around this week thanks to many of our elite players and popular captain choices getting in among the points. Covincing wins for Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs, all with clean sheets, almost guaranteed a good captain score. Unless you’d picked Diego Costa. If you’d plumped for any of the other usual suspects – Hazard, Pedro, Eriksen, Alli, Kane, Sanchez or Ozil – you’d have bagged yourself a good double figure total.
The most profitable of those was Harry Kane, whose patchy form has seen him drop in and out of teams all season. He’s on an upward slope at the moment with six in four. Cue a rush of transfers in ahead of next week, probably in place of Costa – probably ahead of his next dip in form.
Not many Buckets teams are carrying Kane at the moment. Release The Hounds are. They made him captain. They scored 108 points. It moves them up nine places in the league. It also guarantees them a place in the first round proper of the Buckets Cup. But best of all, it puts them in the lead for the highest weekly score, eclipsing The Craggy Islanders’ 104 points from gameweek 14. Congratulations to them. For now. Those double gameweeks aren’t far away.
If only RTH had Marcos Alonso in their defence. I suggested a few weeks ago the possibility of captaining a Chelsea defender. I don’t think anyone has been brave enough to do that yet. Two goals, a clean sheet and top bonus marks equals 21 points as a defender and that equals this seasons highest weekly player score. He’s a dream fanstasy defender, spending most of the time in the opposition’s third, yet racking up the clean sheet points that come largely courtesy of his buddies in the back three. But now at £6.5 million he’s going to be a bit of a squeeze to get in unless you’re willing to sacrifice elsewhere.
Player of the week – Marcos Alonso – 21 points. Two goals and a clean sheet>better than a hat trick.
Bargain of the week – Abel Hernandez – 13 points. Hull need this guy to stay fit.
Donkey of the week – Gareth McAuley – -3 points. Should have beena City player.
Goal of thew week – Andy Carroll. The GOTS contenders are coming thick and fast now.
We have two scores above a hundred this week in a high scoring week all round. Release The Hounds hit 105 points with only one player, Nathaniel Clyne, scoring nothing other than their appearance points. The front six scored 79 points between them, which included eight goals. I’m not sure what Kevin De Bruyne was doing as captain, but having Dele Alli as vice certainly helped.
Weekly winners however are The Hardy Boys who, with 116 points, have guaranteed their bye through to the first round of the cup and risen four places in the league. They are now within touching distance of the mid table scrum. Hardy Boys were helped by playing their bench boost to the tune of 13 extra points. The rest was made up largely from scoring seven goals and keeping five clean sheets.
It was a week on which most of the old faithful could be relied upon. All of the top seven teams kept a clean sheet. Ten teams in all didn’t concede. Most Buckets teams were able to keep at least three clean sheets. And at the other end Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane and Ross Barkley all netted twice. Barkley’s status as a midfielder edged him ahead of his rivals to collect the player of the week award.
Our top three have been pegged back a little further. The 49 point gap between fourth and first last week is now down to 24. A 49 point gap now encompasses the whole of he top 10. FC Caligula have finally dismounted Golden Boys from the top spot, but they and Your Ad Here should be looking over their shoulders. Atletico Chappers, Bisciutmen and Rocky B Bauer have all moved within striking distance.
Player of the week – Ross Barkley – 16 points. His second award.
Bargain of the week – Fraser Foster – 12 points. Four games back from injury – four clean sheets.
Donkey of the week – Jamaal Lascelles – -3 points. Classic defender’s bad week – three conceded and sent off into the bargain.
Goal of the week – Jamie Vardy. His third nomination, and Leicester’s fifth.
Too much Christmas pud maybe? A low scoring week in which Release The Hounds and SS3 both scored 56 points to be in contention for the manager of the week award. SS3 become the first team to pick up three weekly awards, scoring one more goal than RTH. The fact that only Romelu Lukaku of our super six contributed anything extra may explain the low scores. Riyad Mahrez and Mesut Ozil even dared to add a minus score to their finishing totals. Mahrez missed a penalty and Ozil was booked.
Laurent Koscielny and Petr Cech boosted SS3’s total. A risky punt on Cech as skipper yielded 20 points. SS3 may have expected a standard six point clean sheet haul, doubled to twelve. Thanks to Newcastle actually competing, Cech made six saves, which converted into two save points, which led to two more bonus points. The extra (possibly unexpected) eight points helped SS3 climb seven places in the table into the top ten and up to eighth.
Player of the week – Laurent Koscielny – 15 points. Toe poke and a clean sheet.
Bargain of the week – Jermain Defoe – 13 points. To move 7 points ahead of Villa.
Donkey of the week – Simon Francis – -2 points. Lasted less time than Geoff Cameron, and is owned by more people.
Goal of the week – Carles Gil. In a week of crackers…as much for the ridiculous headless chicken run that set it up.