It was another week of surprises and dramatic twists: Pep told the truth; Rash succumbed to the Saturday lunchtime curse; the PGMOL apologised (again); Phoenix rose from the flames to scorch non-believers; an old flame paid the penalty (maybe for the last time); a Greek linesman mistook Robbo for Mitrovic; and Woy wins the prize for the best new manager bounce.
While the Premier League race continues, it’s knockout time in the SKLW community tournament. After spending 23 Gameweeks sorting out whose good, ropey, or in the toilet, and handing out the odd bauble, we now get a chance to see if it means anything as we enter the seeded knockout phase. Matches are played over two legs, and there’s the thrills of a penalty shootout awaiting those who can’t get it done over 180 minutes.
It’s half-time in the Last 16 matchups; let’s see who in danger of getting the elbow:
THE NEYMAR-LESS ONES 1-1 HURRIKANE’S MEAN SON THREE LIONS
The Naymar-less were seeded to advance, but will have it all to do in the away leg after running into a stiff breeze. Sam was particularly mean in goal for the HurriKanes, and Cak Juris notched in the H2Hs; however, the Naymar-less did just enough to restore parity in the Squad match.
CAFU GOOD MEN 2-3 ONE TCHOUAMENI
The Cafus raced out to an early lead, with FPL JUICE and PG being the beverages of choice in the H2Hs; but it was One Tchouameni who emerged with one too many following strikes from Rehan Amin and Tris Robinson, and superior diversity in the Squad match.
I GERD MÜLLER A PINT 1-1 BRITNEY’S QATAR POUNDER WITH GREAVES
We all like a burger with our pint, and we get to do it again next week, but we’re no clearer on who will get the relish. Chaballer kept the home team at bay, and CORF_FPL popped up with an away goal for the Britneys; but the Müllers had the best chasers in the Squad match. Still all to play for.
FABIO CANNAVARIANCE 0-2 SON OF A GÜN
These Gunners know how to finish off a good away performance, and the Fabios will have it all to do in the second leg. Jack and MAK exchanged clean sheets in the H2Hs, but after that it was a Son firing squad.
SHEIKH, BLATTER AND RAUL 2-1 FANGS OF SUAREZ
Finally, a victory for the Jules League, where the Skeikhs prevailed thanks to an anaemic squad performance by the Fangs after FPL_Jan and Ishaan had exchanged H2H strikes. The Fangs will be working on a new dental plan for the return leg and, as usual, the stakes will be high for the Sheikhs.
NETO THAT HAULAND 0-5 NETFLIX AND CHILWELL
Oh dear. The clue was in the team name, but the Netos will need a new Pep Whisperer after allowing Netflix to pick up 10 extra Haaland subscribers. It was high ratings all round for Netflix, who will be chilled about FPLYugi’s clean sheet; H2H strikes from Ad and FPLToni; and the Squad match haul. I predict a second series.
FONTAINE OF KNOWLEDGE 0-5 FC ZLATAN IBRA-HAMSTER-VIC
No hangover for the Hamsters, who swarmed all over the Fontaines like, well, hamsters. Boris set the tone with a brace, Wieddens3 also chipped in, and Kabayan kept it clean in the H2Hs; and there was more to come in the Squad match. It’s surely back to the dark ages for the Fontaines; however, the Hamsters can start sharpening their claws for the Quarter Finals.
A. WENGER’S ENDGAME 0-3 BANYANA – BAFANA
The Banyana–Bafana’s thirst for glory shows no sign of abating, and it looks like the end for the Wengers after a crushing home defeat. You know it’s going to be a difficult day when you run into Jon Ballantyne between the sticks, and Frodo Baggins appears as a ringer; and an army of Orcs wouldn’t have stopped the BBs in the Squad match. Can anyone save the diminishing honour of the Jules League?
YOU’RE ROPEY CUP OF GLORY
PETR CECH YOURSELF 2-0 WERNER BROS
So, this is the event for the also-rans, which is also known as the Cup of Glory if you win it. The Cechs made a good start in this matchup, with @fpl_timmy getting top billing for his H2H strike, and Tanveer Singh being nominated for his supporting role; but Werner Bros normally excels at B movies, so maybe this one isn’t done yet.
RUUD, WHERE’S MY KAHN 0-1 BAGGIO TROUSERS
After a stuttering home performance, the Ruud will need to find their car, and an extra gear, for the away leg. Goalkeepers were on top in the H2Hs, where David Strom and Darth_Krid excelled, but the Baggios had more girth in the Squad match.
CAMEROON DIAZ 0-4 WEAH ROBBEN BANKS
The Cameroons were in this match until the City team sheet came out, but ended up losing their deposit, and any hopes of advancement, after a smash and grab raid by the Weahs. Jake Donahue and the squad combined for four goals; and Krul Intentions’ clean sheet rubbed salt in the wound.
SILENCE OF THE LAHMS 2-1 NUSANTARA GAUCHOS
The Lahms had plenty to say for themselves, and will take a narrow lead into the second leg thanks to a quality strike from Ariya Das, and support from the Squad. @Nebalion responded for the Gauchos, but they’ll need to pick up the pace next week.
HAND OF ZOFF 5-1 CASH BANDICOOT
The Zoffs palmed the cash in this match, and can already start planning for the next round. The damage was done by a brace from FPL Tombx, and a strike from AJ, and there were further withdrawals in the Squad match. There was a consolation goal from @FPLHow, but how the Bandicoots can get back into this match is another matter.
KHAN YOU FEEL THE LÖW TONIGHT? 4-0 SHEARER’S BUNCH OF FLOWERS
There was definitely something in the air tonight, as the Shearers wilted in the face of a Haaland-inspired Pep-talk. It was a team effort for the Löws, but FPL Nits also scratched out a goal, and Belalugozi cleaned up in goal. It would be depressing if the Löws mucked this one up.
MURDER ON ZIDANE’S FLOOR 1-2 PJANIC AT THE DISCO
It was a picnic at the disco as the Zidanes were floored on their own dance floor. Rodney McCain led the way for the Pjanics, and was ably supported by his people; however, they will need a new routine for the return leg. GreenDragon reduced the deficit, and all Police leave will be cancelled ahead of the rematch.
KLOSE THAN EVER 4-2 LUCIÓ AND THE VIKING SEAMAN
The differentials were flying in this bonkers goalfest which leaves Klose closer to a semi-final berth. The Vikings hit the ground running, with Pingreen adding to his haul, and further goalhanging from The FPL Hangover Podcast; but Zeeshan reduced the deficit, and the squad delivered a healthy half-time lead.
MARADONNA KEBAB 1-2 UNBELIEVABLE GEOFF
In the tournament designed to find out who looks pretty in pink, the Unbelievables made a bright start by seeing off the higher ranked Maradonnas. FPL Timbers and @Palmnation2 exchanged strikes in the H2Hs, but it was the UGs who prevailed by just one point in the Squad match.
QATAR HEROES 1-1 MERCEDES BENZEMA
Still all to play for in this one as the Qatars needed help from the squad to offset a misfiring H2H performance. The Benzemas were like a finely tuned machine, with Kse7en keeping it clean, and FPL Tombadinho making a fast getaway; but they’ll need another gear for the return leg.
KING OTTO’S GRECIANS 2-1 VUVU ZIZOU
Vuvu Zizou’s season looked done three months ago, but they’re still hanging around, and the Grecians still have work to do. It was a stalemate in the Squad match, but strikes from Alastair Cowper and Alasdairtweets ensured that the Grecians will take a narrow lead to the Transvaal.
IT’S A WONDERFUL CRUYFF 3-3 SEVENS!
In a marvellously mad matchup, the Cruyffs wasted an outstanding squad performance by picking the wrong goalkeeper. By contrast, the Sevens had their top scorer in goal, and KtK_interista’s clean sheet, combined with strikes from jhashhashank89 and Jay, meant that it’s all square going into the return leg.
SWEET 2FA 1-2 RYAN’S RONALDOS
The Ronaldos will like their chances thanks to H2H strikes from Ro and Fpl Flannel, and a clean sheet from Pras; but Sweet 2FA reduced the deficit in the Squad match to keep their hand in the cookie jar.
NO KOEMAN NO CRY 2-5 SHELBY COMPANY LIMITED
The Shelbys were way too sharp for the blubbering Koeman, who based on this performance will need extra hankies for the return leg. FPL_Ezra filled his boots with a brace; Ayan also notched; and the squad feasted. There was some damage limitation, thanks to tantrums from FPL Gundo and Dannymorata, but tears of joy look to be a distant prospect.
SHEIKH’S DAYLIGHT ‘RIBERY’ 2-2 GARUDA IN COUPE DE MONDE 38
The Sheikhs dominated the H2Hs, with strikes from Dog God It and Surotia, and a clean sheet from Tom Freeman; but the Garudas levelled it up in the Squad match. All to play for.
NOT THAT EASY FERGUSO 1-2 GENTLEMAN’S GREALISH
The Fergusos’ performance difficulties continue; and the Grealish are on the rise thanks to strikes from ChewieFPL and Dan the FPL Fan, and a clean sheet from FPL A+. The Ferguso squad reduced the deficit, but it will be a tough task next week.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Hauls were harder to come by this week: Ariya Das (78 pts) deserves an honourable mention, but the podium is occupied by Bragazeti (79), Geoffrey Tahir (84), and Rascalthebear (86), the latter of which is this week’s top banana. The top overall SKLW points scorer is FPL_Jan (1782), closely followed by elevenfly (1762) and Jon Ballantyne (1758).
Pingreen added to his haul in the golden boot race, and now leads the field by six goals, which is also the size of Chayuth Wongthongsri’s lead in the battle for the golden gloves.
Well done all.
That’s all for now, but Boris will be back next week to report on the return leg fixtures, and advise on what happens next (I think it’s the beach for me).
Don’t forget that there’s no need to fret in ignorance; you can keep track of your aspirations, and allay your nerves, by accessing Livescores by TopMarx throughout the Gameweek; and then peruse the gory details, and learn the finer details of penalty shootouts, via SKLW Scores 22/23.
I’m off to consult a groin specialist. Stay safe.