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West Ham Fantasy Football Challenge: Gameweek 26

22 Feb | BY Betway Insider | MIN READ TIME |
West Ham Fantasy Football Challenge: Gameweek 26
West Ham United Fans Challenge

Every week this season, two West Ham fans will compete at Fantasy Football to win money for their chosen charities.

Will’s Team

GK: Martinez

DEF: Saliba, Mitchell, Van Hecke

MID: Rice, De Bruyne, Saka, Kudus 

FW: Watkins, Alvarez, Haaland (C)

I’d rather have points on the board than imaginary points in my head from games in hand. 

That sounds like something a famous manager would have once said. And that’s exactly what I am saying this week after my second of three chips failed to produce huge returns – just like the first one. 

It was no disaster by any means as Erling Haaland did eventually manage to score from the two games I triple captained him for. 

But the fact his 10 points (tripled to 30) was beaten or matched by three other players on my team, two of whom only played once in the gameweek, is somewhat disappointing. James is no doubt crowing about what an excellent position he finds himself in because of the chips he has remaining. But given the quality of his judgement for most of the season whether or not he will play them well is a different question entirely. 

But again, I am not being too hard on myself as my strategy was sound. Two home games against two mid-table teams for one of the greatest goalscorers ever. It’s not my fault he missed about 700 sitters against Chelsea! 

93 points for the week beat James’ 65 convincingly to leave me on 1,436 and 35 points clear of the fun vaccum. But I was stung by Alisson AGAIN with the Brazilian’s late muscle injury only coming onto my radar after I had submitted my team and this blog post for the week. However, the 22 points returned by my three defenders, thanks to Virgil Van Dijk’s goal, was pleasing having focussed on improving my defence in recent weeks. 

One transfer this week as Alisson drops out for Emi Martinez who has two clean sheets in his last five and only conceded once in the other three games. Villa also have bottom half Nottingham Forest and Luton in their next two games so I fancy at least one shut out from those. 

Haaland keeps the armband as City go to Bournemouth. 

And spare a thought for James on Sunday as we are running a 10km race together and I will be chirping at him the entire way round about how awful he is at FPL. 


James’ Team

GK: Raya

DEF: Burn, Estupinan, Gabriel, Cash

MID: Foden, De Bruyne (V), Garnacho

FW: Solanke, Haaland (C), Watkins

I told you Will would play his triple captain. In fact, I noticed that quite a few FPL players did. At one point I considered whether I’d made a grave mistake in not following the crowd, and then Erling Haaland blanked against Chelsea and all was right in the world again. Quite simply, a 30 point haul for a triple captain just isn’t good enough. You want 40 points or more for it to be worth it. I’m glad I still have it up my sleeve.

That said, I must doth my cap to my ol’ friend and foe. Will pulled in an impressive 93 points anyway (versus my rather modest 65), and he did it with just 10 players as Alisson missed both of Liverpool’s fixtures. It puts him 35 points clear of me. I had a similar lead at the top earlier in the season, so I’m not worried. Yet.

On to GW26 and, as is becoming something of a routine, I have a dilemma. It’s a blank gameweek, with Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham not playing, which means four of my players are out of action this weekend. 

My hunch is to replace Richarlison with Bukayo Saka. The Arsenal winger is in amazing form with four goals form his last two games, and Will has benefited from that. If I own him, I prevent his points from hurting me in future. But, I need to gain points on Will, not match him. 

The plan was to wait for the perfect opportunity to bring Heung-min Son back in, but he’s not playing this weekend. So perhaps owning Saka for one week and then making the switch to Son is the best option. Damage limitation and all that. 

But no, wait. I think I have a better idea. The move to Son is going to be tricky when it comes to my finances, so I’d rather stick with at least one Spurs attacker and upgrade elsewhere. Poor ol’ Darwin Nunez must be confused. One minute he’s in, then he’s out, then he’s back in again. 

And he’s out once more, as I’ve decided to bring Ollie Watkins back into the team. Will also has him, so it’s damage limitation still, while Aston Villa play Nottingham Forest (H) and Luton Town (A) next, and I think he has a chance of getting more points than Saka over that period. 

There are still question marks throughout my team, though. Pervis Estupinan appears to have fallen out of favour at Brighton and Solanke faces Man City at home, so I’m not expecting much from either of those this week. 

Betway Insider

Betway Insider

The Insider is an editorial blog for Betway, one of the best betting sites, featuring sporting insight, intelligent comment and informed betting tips for football betting and all other major sports.

Betway Insider

Betway Insider

The Insider is an editorial blog for Betway, one of the best betting sites, featuring sporting insight, intelligent comment and informed betting tips for football betting and all other major sports.