Manager of the week – Edgbaston – Micheal Dineen – 82 points
A crazy week of rotation as we start the slog through December. It gives you an indication of what it will be like once the festive fixtures kick in and highlights the need for a strong bench to cover those rests and knocks. Liverpool virtually fielded a second XI, electing to drop Salah and Firmino to the bench, while leaving Mane and Robertson at home. The most notable restee (?) was perhaps Raheem Sterling who wasn’t needed from the bench in City’s latest victory. Can we assume that those who didn’t play or had reduced minutes this midweek will be in the starting line up at the weekend? That’s the game. There were no clean sheets this week either, so any five man defences were in for a rough couple of nights.
The Kane to Aguero switch proved popular ahead of this gameweek, aided a little by the Aguero injury. I wonder how many would have taken the plunge if Aguero hadn’t been out. Spurs run of fixtures into the new year look like a potential goalfest for Kane and Aguero is much less rotation proof that the Spurs man with Gabriel Jesus waiting in the wings. Other than a potential rest around Tottenham’s important European game next week I think it’s safe to assume Kane will start every game through Christmas, probably earning his eventual break for the FA Cup 3rd Round against Shepshed Dynamo. Edgbaston made that move and captained Kane to good effect. Other goals from Wilson, Fraser, Pike, Mainwearing and Richarlison totted up an impressive 80+ total to move them from 6th all the way up to 5th.
Player of the week – Riyad Mahrez – Manchester City – 12 points
The City guessing game is never an easy one, but is made slightly less complicated by the long term absences of Kevin De Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy. There seems to be some kind of rough three way rotation working around the central striker, whether that be Aguero or Jesus, and also around the central midfielder, who is the ever present Fernandinho. Dilva, Bilva and Gundogan rotate around the midfield positions, with Gundogan being perhaps the slightly less favoured, while Sterling, Mahrez and Sane do the same either side of the attacker. Mahrez, like Gundogan, is getting slightly less minutes than the others, but it’s still enough to allow him to score his fourth double figure haul of the season. Will he play the next game? Who knows. It’s Chelsea, so Pep may choose his strongest XI, in which case Sane and Sterling may be the preferred two. Having said that, Sane has started and finished each of he last three games, so maybe Mahrez picks up another start and don’t bet against him adding to his double figure scores.
Bargain of the week – Lucas Perez – West Ham United – 12 points
Further proof the West Ham fixture swing is worth a look, although hats off to anyone who took a punt on Lucas Perez being the beneficiary. It took him 50 minutes to register his brace having come on for the injured Arnautovic. It looks likely the Austrian striker will be out until the New Year, so expect more minutes for Perez, although still perhaps playing second fiddle to Javier Hernandez.
Twat of the week – Marcos Rojo – Manchester United – -2 points
An unfortunate own goal put pay to any chance of Rojo keeping a minus score, despite what should probably be considered in terms of Man U at the moment, as a good performance against an in form Arsenal. United can’t seem to get a settled back line. Their combined ownership is probably at an all time FPL low.
Goal of the week – Florin Andone.
No vid. He ran a long way with it.