Every week this season, two West Ham fans will compete at Fantasy Football to win money for their chosen charities.
Def: Lascelles, Saliba, Mitchell, Robinson
Mid: Gordon, Saka, Salah, Bowen, Ward Prowse.
FW: Watkins (c)
This is a proper ding dong.
My 66 edged James by a single point last week. And since he copied my team with his wildcard and now copies pretty much every transfer I do, each week is basically a battle of captains.
And if we both pick the same one like we did with Mo Salah last week it comes down to how well James’ Cole Palmer and Son Heung min do against my Bukayo Saka and James Ward-Prowse.
Anyway, just five points between us overall as my 975 plays James’ 980.
Just one transfer again this week as suspended Destiny Udogie drops out for Fulham’s Antonee Robinson whose side have Burnley at home this week and a trip to Bournemouth next. The full-back is Marco Silva’s highest scoring defender of the season with three assists and four clean sheets.
All changes to starting XI were enforced given City and Brentford aren’t playing aren’t playing with Erling Haaland and Yoane Wissa dropping to the bench in place of Robinson and the returning Tyrick Mitchell.
The captain armband moves from Salah to Ollie Watkins whose Villa side host struggling Sheffield United. With Liverpool taking on Arsenal I fancy a low scorer so couldn’t call it between Salah and Saka, even though the last two Prem games between the teams have produced nine goals.
James Tarkowski is my only sub whose team are playing so fingers crossed for no injuries. Let’s have it.
DEF: Romero, Pau, Gabriel, Burn
MID: Bowen, Salah, Son, Gordon, Palmer
FW: Watkins (C)
GW17 was a little better than my previous weeks. 65 points is a decent haul, albeit one point fewer than Will. It means my lead over him is just five points heading into GW18.
It frustrates me that I’ve let him get back to within touching distance of me but I remain confident I’ll pull away again soon. I just need that second wildcard to become active again so I can give my team the freshening up that it needs.
In the meantime, I’m left with no real choice but to take a -8 hit to fix my team ahead of GW18. I don’t like making a habit of taking hits to fix my team but I see no other way this week.
Therefore, the injured Fabian Schar and Sam Johnstone are replaced by Cristian Romero and Martin Dubravka. George Baldock is also sold, replaced by Dan Burn.
Romero’s return from suspension has seen him pick up 17 points in three games, including a goal and four bonus points. Spurs host Everton this week and while the Toffees are in superb form at the moment, this is good opportunity for Romero to build on his good form, especially at home.
Dubravka is back in Newcastle’s starting XI thanks to Nick Pope’s injury and with the Magpies playing Luton and Nottingham Forest in the next two gameweeks, there’s a chance he’ll return back-to-back clean sheets. Given that Arsenal play Liverpool this weekend, he’ll replace David Raya in my starting XI this week. It’s a similar story for Dan Burn, who goes straight into my XI, too.
The rest of my team is unchanged. Erling Haaland is on my bench as Man City don’t have a game this week, while Destiny Udogie is benched due to suspension. It means the only outfield player on my bench who is active this week is Divin Mubama.
As for my captain, I’m rolling the dice by giving it to Ollie Watkins. Aston Villa host Sheffield United and have a 100% home record this season, scoring 25 goals in eight games. If they extend that record, Watkins will no doubt be heavily responsible.