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
Are we on for another double winner in their debut season, much like FC Caligula did in 2015/2016? Hornets are still fighting on both fronts. Their score was the lowest of the quarter final winners this week, but still above the game average and most importantly, enough to see off Fun Lovren Criminals. They will play first time semi finalists, Game of Throw Ins, whilst another last four debutant, Atletico Chappers, will take on Emergency Gap Jumper. Should be an interesting final in Gameweek 31.
Manager of the week – The Vinegar Pissers – Paul Hawkins – 74 points
Three scores crept above 70 points this week, the highest of which was the 74 posted by The Vinegar Pissers. They’re the latest team to launch an assault on the Hornets domination, climbing up into third just behind Brexiter, who themselves, narrowed the gap by three. As well as picking up on another player of the week performance by Heung-Min Son, the Pissers also garnered 15 points from both of Brighton’s goalscorers in their victory over Arsenal. Glen Murray has six in eight games and only Mo Salah and Sergio Aguero have scored more since the turn of the year.
Player of the week – Heung-Min Son – 16 points
His second player of the week total and with that becomes only the third player this season to achieve the highest weekly score on more than one occasion. He had been on a run of blank weeks since his last double figure score and had started dropping out of teams. No goals and assists, the return to the team of Erik Lamela and the purchase of Lucas Moura obviously putting doubt about his return potential. That’ll probably reverse now and He’ll no doubt be a popular choice once Spurs’s double gameweek(s) roll round.
Bargain of the week – Ki Sung-Yeung – 13 points
A South Korean double at the top of the weekly player tables this week. Ki has played nearly every game under Swansea’s new manager and has obviously played an important part in their revival. His last run in the team under the previous manager yielded no returns at all. This time round he has two goals, two assists and two double figure totals in the last four games. And for under £5 million. There’ll be Swansea double gameweeks too.
Twat of the week – Ashley Williams – -2 points
Sam Allardyce solved whatever problems there were at Everton for all of about two games. They’re surprisingly leaky, especially away from home, and three red cards, the latest of which was dished out to their captain for the day, is the most for any team in the top flight. Apart from those bruising bastards over at Watford of course.
The preliminary round of the Buckets Cup was played this week. You can check the full list of results and the draw for the first round proper on the Buckets Cup page. Biscuitmen, adrift by over 100 points at the bottom of the league, scored a win over Kompany & Co. They played their wildcard this week to aid the victory and are maybe looking at sneaking through the cup to rescue their dismal league season. The Vinegar Pissers became the highest placed team to exit the competition, losing to new league leaders and highest scoring team of the week, Brexiter City.
Manager of the week – Colin Goulding – Brexiter City – 67 points
Speaking of which…Brexiter have made a bee-line for the top having spent most of the season loitering around the lower reaches of the top ten. Their week winning score pushes Hornets back down to second by three points. Both captained Salah for 30 points, but the player that arguably made the difference for Brexiter was Luca Milovejovic. The Palace midfielder is a regular pick now and on penalties. This was his sixth goal of the season – his fourth from the spot. It was also his second full bonus point haul in five weeks.
Player of the week – Aaron Ramsey – 20 points
A good week for Arsenal in which not only did Aaron Ramsey place himself back on our radar, but Henrik Mkhitaryan assisted three of the five they put past Arsenal and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored on his debut. Maybe that old Dortmund partnership is worth keeping an eye on. Both Ramsey and Mkhitaryan’s in and out seasons have seen their values drop to £6.9 and £7.7 million respectively. Depending on the make up of your team they could be nicely priced to slot in alongside those luxury midfielders from City and Liverpool. Ramsey’s total is only the second 20 point haul this season, equalling Sergio Aguero’s score from gameweek five.
Bargain of the week – Federico Fernandez – 10 points
The Swans revival continues apace. This is the third consecutive week in which Swansea have a leading player. It’s the second time in three weeks that player has been Federico Fernandez. They’ve just put eight past Notts County in a cup replay too, so this run could continue for a few more weeks yet. Their fixtures up to GW32 are all against teams in and around them at the bottom, and in their current form all look very winnable.
Twat of the week – Michael Keane – -1 points
A bad week for Everton. It looked like Allardyce had sorted their defence out, but it’s crumbled again in recent weeks. Keane was the fall guy getting hooked at half time having already conceded four. It has been six weeks since their last clean sheet.
Goal of the week – Jose Izquierdo. Lots of contenders this week – Wanyama, Salah, Lemina, Danilo. Start 1m40s in
Manager of the week – Kompany & Co – Dean Cripps – 79 points
It all hinged on having Sergio Aguero and making him captain this week. A lot of managers probably can’t afford to have both Kane and Aguero and the midfield they want. Kompany & Co have shoe horned both strikers in with a reduced midfield and this week it produced the highest weekly score. Such is the dominance of Kane over every other high priced striker in the game that Aguero doesn’t really get a look in. His worldwide ownership is half that of the Spurs man, yet he has a higher points per match ratio. With Gabriel Jesus injured, Aguero is guaranteed more match time and City’s run of fixtures look a hell of a lot easier than Spurs’ in the coming weeks. Maybe it’s time for a switch?
The Winnings R Mine, for one night only, completed their remarkable rise to the summit. Hornets took over again after Sunday’s match. And all of this with no Kane, no Salah, no Aguero, no Man City at all, a West Brom defender, a third choice keeper and £2 million in the bank. What a maverick. Unsurprisingly, they’re in with a chance of the January manager of the month prize. The table currently looks like this with one round of fixtures to go.
Chelsea’s defence have been ultra-reliable since gameweek 10 returning 10 clean sheets in 15 games. Marcos Alonso has been in among the goals and is somewhat of an indispensable fantasy asset if you can stomach forking out over £7 million on a defender. Victor Moses, much like last season, has been slightly behind Alonso in the scoring stakes, but finally got a double figure total on the board. It’s easy to balk at his price too, but consider that’s what you would have paid for him as a midfielder last season and he’s doing exactly the same job now. Still, none of us had him.
Bargain of the week – Federico Frenandez – 11 points
An unexpected win and clean sheet for Swansea against Liverpool. I’m pretty sure we were all expecting a nice total boost with the Monday night fixture. Whatever you were on after Sunday’s games, admit it, you were expecting another 20 or so points to be added by the end of Monday night. Fernandez’s assist to Mawson’s goal made it a good night for the Swansea defence all round. Lukasz Fabianski took the remaining bonus mark and sits third in the keeper table surpassing the 100 point mark at the same time as Ederson Moraes. The reason – he’s made over twice as many saves as the City keeper.
Twat of the week – Shane Duffy – -1 points
For being on the receiving end of a 4-0 hammering. Brighton haven’t won in a while, yet a smattering of 0-0 draws still makes their low priced defence worth considering. Duffy is one of only two Brighton players to have seen their value increase over the season and there’s a fairly friendly looking set of fixtures coming up.
Man City v Chelsea Crystal Palace v Southampton Spurs v Swansea Stoke v Burnley Sunderland v Leicester West Brom v Watford West Ham v Arsenal Bournemouth v Liverpool Everton v Man Utd Middlesbrough v Hull
December is upon us. A six week slog culminating in the festive fixtures. You get £60 if you finish as manager of the month. Eyes down.
Whereas Chelsea’s lack of European action seems to be working out just fine – an unchanged first XI for seven consecutive games is a fantasy manager’s dream – the same can’t be said for Liverpool, who despite also being free from foreign travel, are seeing their much vaunted attacking options dropping like flies.
Biggest headache of the week is dealing with the Coutinho injury. The most popular player in the game before last Saturday’s fixture against Sunderland – his value has plummeted by £0.3 million in the space of a few days. Managers were so quick to get rid of him even before the length of the lay-off was announced. Those waiting till the end of the week to make their change might not be able to bring in their desired replacements as a result of the drastic price drop.
As well as the injury to Coutinho, Roberto Firmino also picked up a knock. Daniel Sturridge is out again and there’s no sign of a return for Adam Lallana, although both he and Firmino are tentatively pencilled in for the Bournemouth match. Klopp might have to play some actual defenders and attackers. Divock Origi is in with a shout having scored in both the victory over Sunderland and the League Cup win in midweek. And Emre Can offers a dirt cheap way into the midfield at £4.8 million. He’s started the last six league matches anyway and scored two goals in that period.
Chelsea conceded their first goal in seven against Spurs last weekend and now they come up against a Manchester City side who have only failed to score once this season. Chelsea will undoubtedly name that same trusted starting XI, but Guardiola has been teasing us with some unpredictable line ups of late. Last week Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva started on the bench – Ilkay Gundogan and John Stones didn’t even make it that far. For arguably their toughest game of the season to date, he’s got to name his strongest XI. Shame no-one seems to know what that is.
Away from the top three, who in truth don’t offer much captain material this weekend, Spurs’ home tie against Swansea is definitely worth looking at. There are plenty of armband options and potential Coutinho replacements. With a bit of tinkering, Harry Kane leads the list. His post injury form isn’t bettered by many and Swansea’s defence are the cheapest for a very good reason. If Palace can score four aganst this lot…