In the latest article from our team of Hall of Famers and guest contributors, FPL General reflects on Gameweek 22 and reveals his big team decisions for Gameweek 23 and beyond.
GAMEWEEK 22 REVIEW
The troops bounced back from a disappointing red arrow in Gameweek 21 with a midweek green. 64 points resulted in a rise from 98k to 77k. It took a lot of willpower to resist the FOMO on Kevin De Bruyne (£10.7m) and Erling Haaland (£14.0m). In the end, the free transfer was banked and trusting Julian Alvarez (£6.9m) with the armband paid off handsomely.
I was confident of getting at least 60-70 minutes from Alvarez playing through the middle and, with the possibility of penalty-taking, it was enough to swing the armband decision in his favour over team-mate Phil Foden (£8.0m). I like Foden as an FPL pick but find it hard to captain him.
It was very satisfying to see Bukayo Saka (£9.1m) outscore De Bruyne as that switch was very, very tempting. Having this extra free transfer feels good too. But Ollie Watkins (£8.8m) and Dominic Solanke (£7.1m) delivering the goods has made it a difficult call on how to bring Haaland back into the squad.
Cole Palmer (£5.8m) blanking doesn’t bother me, he’s a long-term hold. I’m more concerned about Jarrod Bowen (£8.1m). It’s three blanks in a row since he was purchased on the Gameweek 20 Wildcard and the Hammers next face Manchester United (a) and Arsenal (h), which isn’t ideal.
Quite a few alternatives are fighting for his spot in the team. For example, I still like Richarlison (£7.0m) despite the Blank Gameweek 26. If Liverpool announce a Double Gameweek 25 before this deadline, that would catapult Diogo Jota (£8.0m) to the top of my list. Manchester City’s De Bruyne is an option too as there’s £9.0m in the bank. However, if I moved Bowen to De Bruyne and waited another week for Haaland, it would require a hit in Gameweek 24.
Elsewhere, David Raya (£4.9m) and my three defenders combined for a total of four points. As Raya is a long-term set-and-forget asset, he’s also fine. And when he can’t face parent club Brentford in Gameweek 28, Alphonse Areola (£4.2m) will get a run out against Burnley.
Pedro Porro (£5.9m) likely stays put as Spurs have good fixtures and will definitely play in Blank Gameweek 29. I’ll simply bench him in Blank Gameweek 26. Furthermore, it was encouraging to see him taking corners over the returning James Maddison (£7.9m) against Brentford – hopefully that continues.
I’m not considering selling Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.5m) knowing there’s a possible double on the horizon. However, Pervis Estupinan (£5.1m) is on the chopping block. I somehow managed to get two Brighton and Hove Albion clean sheets out of him but there’s unlikely to be many more.
I’m not a fan of Estupinan being hooked at half-time in the Luton Town defeat. There are potentially better defenders out there, so I’m open to a sale despite the good fixtures.
GAMEWEEK 23 BUS TEAM
Best of luck for Gameweek 23 folks and have a great weekend!
Check out Friday’s episode of the 59th Minute Podcast if you get a chance pre-deadline.