Made a meal and threw it up on Sunday
I’ve got a lot of things to learn
One famous saying about Fantasy Premier League (FPL) is that the week after wildcarding, you really wish you could wildcard all over again. Luckily, this isn’t the case with my team but still, one gameweek after I pulled the trigger, I find myself three days before the deadline with just So. Much. Doubt.
I guess I’m partially at fault for that, creating a Wildcard squad with a full-playing bench where everyone is on a very kind run. I felt like I had to take that route after picking a few ‘unsafe’ picks like Marcos Alonso (£6.0m), Joao Cancelo (£6.2m) and Aymeric Laporte (£5.5m). What I didn’t know is that – after just one (catastrophic) gameweek – I’d have to add the very ‘safe’ picks of Antonio Rudiger (£5.8m) and Romelu Lukaku (£11.7m) to the list of major Gameweek 8 doubts.
Said I would and I’ll be leaving one day
Before my heart starts to burn
At the moment, this is what my team looks like:
Ismaila Sarr (£6.3m) will probably be moved on for Phil Foden (£7.9m) by the time you read this, so he’ll go straight into the XI – maybe even get the vice-captaincy.
That leaves me with a decision on who to bench that may not eventually matter, as Rudiger’s and Lukaku’s flags fill me with uncertainty. Here is a rundown of what my starting XI should look like after using my free transfer, assuming everyone is fit:
Aaron Ramsdale (£4.6m) is probably in goal until the next Wildcard. A home meeting with newly-rejuvenated Crystal Palace isn’t a match I’m banking on for a clean sheet but it is still a very realistic possibility. I’d take a couple of save points if not the clean sheet, to be honest.
Times are hard when things have got no meaning
I’ve found a key upon the floor
Going forward, my key plan was always to play four at the back. My Ederson (£6.0m)-less double Man City defence looks good for a clean sheet at home to Burnley, even though Oleksandr Zinchenko’s (£5.3m) return could mean we see Cancelo missing out for the first time this season. The Chelsea pair, on the other hand, looks a bit trickier. Rudiger looks like he might miss the Brentford trip while the presence of Ben Chilwell (£5.6m) puts Alonso at risk. Personally, I think the Spaniard is still first choice. Time will tell if that’s biased wishful thinking on my behalf, or a correct reading of the situation. Either way, from what looked to be a very solid back four a fortnight ago, I’m left sweating over fitness and selection, trying to guess at what point Tino Livramento (£4.2m) comes in and who for.
Maybe you and I will not believe in
The things we find behind the door
Because of Raphinha’s (£6.6m) inevitable absence (he looks set to start for Brazil 37.5 hours before Leeds’ kick off at Southampton), I chose to go 4-3-3 for the first time this season, leaving a trio of open spots (two plus Salah if we’re being honest). Foden will likely be the second, leaving one more spot to be decided between Said Benrahma (£6.6m) and Emile Smith Rowe (£5.4m). The initial thought was to always go with the more expensive player but I am rethinking this. Home match versus Palace looks very appealing for the under-21 star. Appealing enough to possibly bench Benrahma away to Everton.
So what’s the matter with you?
Sing me something new
It’s the first time this season that I use the entire frontline, meaning that Lukaku (if fit), Michail Antonio (£8.0m) and Adam Armstrong (£6.0m) all start. Southampton begin their kind run at home to Leeds and their new number nine looks good for some attacking returns. In fact, taking into account James Ward Prowse’s (£6.4m) sending off at Chelsea, Armstrong could even be on penalty duty, adding to his appeal in the upcoming weeks.
Don’t you know the cold and wind and rain don’t know
They only seem to come and go away
From the looks of it’ll be Benrahma or Smith Rowe as first sub, Livramento as the second and then Raphinha. One gameweek after my first Wildcard of 2021/22, the only thing that’s left to see is if I can field a playing 11 or does my Wildcard jinx continue. Good luck everyone!
Stand by me, nobody knows the way it’s gonna be