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Stag's Take - Gameweek 22

Sunday, December 31, 2017


Stag’s Take – Gameweek 22

 

Here’s a quick column to match the short decision making time we all have ahead of Gameweek 22, the first Double Gameweek (“DGW”) of the 2017/18 season!

 

 

Lessons from the past gameweek

 

Unfortunately, there is little to glean from the past gameweek’s action in relation to the double gameweek teams – West Ham and Spurs. They face each other, go figure, in the final match of DGW22 but their opposition in their respective first games have been on the pitch.

 

Spurs’ first opponents, Swansea, finally won a game! They had a remarkable comeback against wallowing Watford which is sure to boost their confidence and give them confidence ahead of hosting the London side. However, for much of the Watford game they struggled. New manager Carlos Carvalhal’s Flat 4-4-2 formation didn’t seem to suit the team but substitutions proved to be the catalyst for their comeback. However, their defence looked fragile and without Kyle Naughton, now suspended, they are even more likely to struggle at home. The Swans currently have the worst record of all sides in the division at home, where they have picked up just two wins and 8 points in all.

 

Unfortunately for the sake of getting this out early enough, I am typing this piece whilst West Brom face Arsenal. The only point I can offer you in favour of West Ham from this fixture without knowing the result or the performances is that West Brom’s recovery time is ludicrously short – about 48 hours between full-time and kick-off. That should aid the cause of the rested Irons.

 

Elsewhere, clean sheets were aplenty and just Mo Salah scored amongst the league’s most popular goleadors. For me, it was yet another week which highlighted the necessity of possessing premium defenders in your side – Man City, their impotent noisy neighbours (now without Lukaku for a while), and Chelsea all kept their opponents scoreless. For the first time since dinosaurs roamed, Man City failed to score in the PL (April v Man Utd). Whilst remaining unbeaten and not winning their 19th consecutive league game are hardly signs of the wheels tumbling off the wagon, the potential long-term absence of Kevin De Bruyne, the league’s best player, as well as Gabriel Jesus, may stretch even this squad. City were already under pressure trying to create chances through the middle when relying on just KdB with David Silva unavailable – that is sure to be stretched further in the coming weeks.

 

 

Captaincy Corner

 

Harry Kane (Swansea A, West Ham H)

 

Two decent games for the highest scoring player in Europe of 2017. Questions had been raised about an illness which had struck him down though it now appears that the Englishman will be fit to start on Tuesday. Poch only ruled Toby out of the DGW:

 

 

“...now it’s only Toby who is still out”. If you were a manager who was deeply worried about Harry Kane’s illness forcing him to miss a match, that sentence would not come out of your mouth. You can judge that for yourself but I have confidence Kane will play at least 150 minutes of the DGW. The question is to Triple Captain, or not?

 

 

 

Son Heung-Min (Swansea A, West Ham H)

 

Son has had six consecutive PL starts, dispelling any fears of the South Korean being a major casualty of rotation. Furthermore, he has done well with four goals and four assists in those games. Obviously that pales in comparison to consecutive hat-tricks but the point remains that he is in form. Eriksen and Alli haven’t displayed the form in front of goal which made them hot property last season and thus I don’t think anyone should be destroying their midfield to fit in such expensive players.

 

 

Marko Arnautovic (West Brom H, Spurs A)

 

Two goals last time out against Bournemouth compounded the arguments for acquiring the in-form Austrian midfielder, who has now scored five in five PL games. With Masuaku making runs down the left to drag defenders (not necessarily delivering good balls though), Lanzini orchestrating play in the middle, and Andy Carroll terrorising the opposition defence in front of him, all of a sudden Arnie actually has a good unit working around him and which works for him. West Brom’s defence is nothing like it once was under Pulis, whilst Spurs have struggled to shut out opponents since Alderweireld suffered his current injury. Arnie will have chances. He’s definitely one to have for the DGW, though I admit giving him the armband is a risk.

 

 

Sergio Aguero (Watford H)

 

 The maths (math for my American readers) suggests that it is folly to captain anyone but a DGW player. From the off they should get three or four points courtesy of appearances. Then if you have chosen well, returns in either game can be rewarded by bonus points, which when doubled certainly open up margins. However, with Jesus injured, Aguero is now up the lone available striker for the best team in Europe who face one of the league’s most out of form sides. It was 6-0 earlier in the season at Vicarage Road when the Hornets were flying high – what could happen this time when the Citizens need a good result to put the blip versus Palace behind them?

 

 

Follow the entire Rotoworld Premier League team on Twitter: Neal | Steve | Andrew | Sean | Stag (me) | Ben | Galin | Nik |

 

Stag has been providing #FPL Tips since July 2015 and has been a contributor for Rotoworld.com since August 2016. He is a self-proclaimed wannabe fantasy football genius, a student, and die-hard tea enthusiast.

 






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