Learning points from GW9
Blanks, blanks, blanks… GW9 was difficult for most of the managers. Quiet round for big players, few successes only from Vardy, Jimenez and Ings. Otherwise very unpredictable. None of the teams scored more than two goals. One of the key points was to have defenders from Chelsea or Man City, but now we can’t even forecast City’s backline? Bournemouth and Norwich got their first clean sheets by playing 0-0, who the *** saw that coming? Pep ran the roulette, which wasn’t that bad for the ones who picked Aguero as an automatic change got them Jesus with one goal. High roller game was won with benched Aguero as a captain (VC Sterling) and with very concentrated team: 3 from Villa, 3 from Chelsea, 3 from Wolves and 2 from City. Wolves guys blanked, but other picks were successful.
Any takeaways? Sigurdsson is back?! Marcos Alonso IS BACK. Grealish coming back into consideration for Aston Villa assets after getting his name on the scoresheet. Bournemouth couldn’t score a single goal against Norwich. Norwich couldn’t score a single goal against Bournemouth. No matter how bad Man United is, they can always challenge Liverpool at Old Trafford.
The decisive game
Liverpool – Tottenham
You can always find the one game that is usually going to shape your success in the Weekly Monster. Last week for me it was always Bournemouth – Norwich, where I expected 3-4 goals coming from the big names at the front. 0-0 and my week was done.
For this week, I would’ve picked Man City – Aston Villa, but it is the early Saturday game, so it’s not in the Weekly Monster. This makes managers’ choices easier as you don’t need to fit Man City assets in your team. This leads to managers looking at other big six clubs and finding out that Spurs is paying a visit at Anfield. So, now one of the biggest questions is to forecast a result for that game. Can Tottenham challenge Liverpool like Man United did or can Liverpool fly through the game with 3-0 or 3-1 win? I’d say the home team is clearly favorites, but the expected score line could be around 2-1.
How are the assets for this game then priced and should you take a stance for either of the teams or just ignore the game as it’s too difficult to forecast? For me it seems that Liverpool assets are overpriced for this GW. Perhaps because there’s no Man City players to pick, so managers turn their eyes on Salah or Mané and they can’t be too cheap. My suggestion would be either to ignore this game or take a risk with cheap Spurs assets and hope that Kane or Son can find a net. I’m aware that this might not be popular opinion and my writings will look pretty stupid after Salah and Mané have both scored and assisted. I just want to point out that the game is not about having popular opinion. It’s about beating other managers.
Top 3 captain picks
I‘m still backing for this guy. Before Lacazette is truly back and Pepe will score those free kicks also in PL, Arsenal’s attack is leaning on Auba. Home game against Crystal Palace is perhaps the easiest game in this round as Man City – Aston Villa doesn’t count. My model gives 8.44 xFT for Aubameyang.
Rashford would be nice differential for captain pick. Playing against Norwich should mean that he gets his chances to score. Scored against Liverpool and is still the number one guy in United’s forward line. Martial is coming back, Daniel James has looked dangerous. Could it be better run of results coming for United? My model gives 7.01 xFT for Rashford.
Although I wrote that it could be clever to forget Liverpool assets for the round, we still can’t deny their scoring potential. For this round I prefer Mané very little over Salah, so my third captain pick would be Sadio Mané. If you’re expecting Liverpool to run over Spurs, you should consider Mané (or Salah) as your captain. My model gives 6.45 xFT for Mané (6.43 for Salah).
Something you didn’t know about
Each week I’ll try to provide some interesting stat or aspect that most of the readers might not have thought about. This time it’s about Watford. Did you know they have scored only five goals in the first nine rounds? Five goals have been scored by five different players: Cleverley, Pereyra, Gray, Hughes and Doucouré. Many of Watford’s players are playing very bizarre minutes. Unpredictable changes at the half time, popular players benched early on or not even starting the game…
For today’s home game against Bournemouth, the market is expecting Watford to score around 1.7 goals. This time you can also see their starting 11 before you lock your team. There might be potentially great uplift for your team if you manage to pick the correct player but be aware of bizarre changes at half time. I’m not even trying forecast who would be the best pick. I’m just sad Will Hughes hasn’t got place in the starting 11 after 8-0 beat up from Man City and a knock that he had. Maybe today?