FPL Dugout’s 5-a-side Team - Red October
I have decided to break out a new feature this Thursday evening: the birth of FPL Dugout’s 5-a-side Team – a group of players I’m tipping for good things over the coming Gameweeks.
As always, I’m looking to avoid the obvious picks. You don’t need me telling you that the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Leighton Baines and Sergio Aguero are worth investing in this Gameweek and beyond.
The team has a distinctly red feel to it, and a couple of Uruguayans thrown into the mix.
My goalkeeper is Stoke’s Begovic, who faces a home clash against stuttering Swansea this weekend.
Begovic has one of the most favourable home ties on paper this week, and Stoke’s resolute home form always carries a good chance of a clean sheet. While Stoke face Liverpool and Man United in their next two, their fixtures clear nicely from Gameweek 9, and 4.5 looks great value for Stoke’s number one.
He also rotates very nicely with Ben Foster, right up until the winter wildcard.
Priced at 6.4, many Fantasy managers will balk at the thought of investing such money in a Liverpool defender, but with Norwich (A), Stoke (H), and Reading (H) in the next three, clean sheets and attacking returns are likely.
With Martin Kelly ruled out until next year, Johnson looks set to return to his natural right-back role, and with Brendon Rogers encouraging his full-backs to get forward more, Johnson’s relentless forays forward recently haven’t gone unnoticed.
Johnson delivered the assist for Steven Gerrard’s equaliser against Man United last week, and I think it’s just a matter of time before further attacking returns.
While watching Match of the Day last week, Ramirez really struck me as one to watch, creating 5 goalscoring chances against Aston Villa.
Deployed in a central role just off Rickie Lambert, the creative Uruguayan was given plenty of opportunity to influence the game, assisting Nathaniel Clyne’s second half goal with the most deft of touches, and slipping through a defence-splitting pass for Jason Puncheon to win Southampton’s penalty.
Signed for a club record 12 million, Ramirez will surely be nailed on in the Southampton attack, and at 21 years-old, he already has 13 caps for the Uruguayan national side. Ramirez also has a deadly free-kick within his armour.
While Everton away is a tough ask this weekend, Southampton are full of goals, and the Saints then face a long run of favourable fixtures, starting in Gameweek 7 at home to Fulham. Ramirez, at 6.0 in FPL, is definitely one to watch.
Fantasy managers are losing faith in Michu, after two blanks in his last two games. But I’m keeping the faith, at least for three more Gameweeks.
Stoke away is a tricky match this weekend, but following that, home games against Reading and Wigan are just too good to ignore.
Swansea attacking cover looks sensible, and with Pablo Hernandez, Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge threatened by constant rotation on the wings, and Danny Graham looking far from convincing, Michu is the most secure and reliable option. Add in his midweek Capital One Cup goal, and Michu looks far from finished as a fantasy force.
A hate figure for many, Luis Suarez was the first name on my 5-a-side team sheet.
As with Glen Johnson, Liverpool’s next three fixtures are pivotal to Suarez’s inclusion, but a look at Suarez’s stats over the first five games seals it. Bearing in mind Suarez has faced both Manchester clubs and Arsenal in the first five, it’s some achievement that the Uruguayan has created the most goalscoring chances of any forward, and fired off 13 more goal attempts than all forwards, except Jermain Defoe. It’s a familiar tale for Suarez, I know, but with two goals already, surely one or two more goals are on their way?
Every team needs a sub, of course, so here’s our bench-warmer…
Overshadowed by the likes of Dimitar Berbatov, Rickie Lambert and Steven Fletcher, Zamora has quietly scored three goals in five, notching against Man City and Tottenham. With poor travellers West Ham at Loftus Road this weekend, and a half-decent run after that, Zamora could certainly bang in a few more.