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West Ham Fantasy Football Challenge: Gameweek 35

26 Apr | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
West Ham Fantasy Football Challenge: Gameweek 35
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: Dubravka

DEF: Branthwaite, Saliba, Mitchell

MID: Gordon, Palmer (c), Son, Foden, Saka.

FW: Watkins, Haaland

That’ll do Donkey, that’ll do.

A superb 14 point victory over James last week as my 95 points put his 81 to shame.

My double transfer cost me four points so I only actually increased my lead over him by 10 – with me sitting pretty on 1,961, 28 points clear of James’ 1,933. 

But I can tell by the tone of his voice this week, the defeat came as a huge psychological blow to the poor lamb.

The thing I enjoyed the most was Jarrad Brathwaite, who I had agonised over starting instead of Mo Kudus, came off the bench as a result of Cole Palmer’s surprise absence through illness to boost my score by 20 points thanks to his shock double clean sheet and even more shocking goal against Liverpool in Everton’s even more shocking than that 2-0 win.

The thing that made it even more sweet? Palmer and Erling Haaland dropped out of James’ team and the latter’s failure to feature for Man City meant Luton’s Alfie Doughty came off his bench for a -1. Lovely stuff. Especially given the vast quantities of luck James has relied on to score points throughout the season. 

My approach until last week was stay calm, don’t do anything drastic and wait for the chaser to act before the chasee. 

Well that has been cast out the window as I have played my wildcard and hope to capitalise on my momentum and put the season beyond James once and for all. My strategy is centred on Liverpool collapsing and Man City pushing on to claim a fourth title.

So Haaland comes in for Carlton Morris, Phil Foden displaces Mo Kudus, Son Heung-min replaces Mo Salah, Anthony Gordon takes Luis Diaz’s place and Chris Richards turfs out Virgil van Dijk. 

Martin Dubravka starts instead of Raya as I simply cannot see Tottenham failing to score past him as they try everything to stop hated rivals Arsenal winning the title. Newcastle also host rock-bottom Sheffield United so every chance Dubravka keeps a clean sheet. 

Palmer gets the armband with Chelsea’s double gameweek against Aston Villa away and Tottenham at home appealing slightly more to me than Son’s against Arsenal at home before Chelsea away.

Lots of work for James to do. His triple captain chip is basically all he has to count on now. And even that may not be enough. 

Four weeks to go. Feeling strong. Pressure on James. 

James’ Team

GK: Raya

DEF: Senesi, Maguire, Burn

MID: Palmer (v), Foden , Saka, Son (c)

FW: Haaland, Isak, Solanke

BENCH: Areola, Garnacho, Gabriel, Van Dijk

Fantasy Football should be a game of skill but, for Will, it’s a game of pure luck.

I thought I had him, having closed the gap to just 18 points ahead of GW34. It was all going to plan, too. Mohamed Salah, his captain, blanked over two games, Diogo Jota registered an assist and my captain Bukayo Saka returned 18 points. Will was on the ropes, he was in trouble.

But then his luck kicked in. Blind, irrational, inexplicable luck. His decision to leave Jarrad Branthwaite on the bench got a few giggles from me to begin with. Everton had a double gameweek, yet he benched him in favour of players who only had one game.

But then Cole Palmer didn’t feature for Chelsea, bringing Branthwaite into play. The Toffees defender then proceeds to net 20 points, including a goal and two clean sheets.

It’s the type of luck you only get once a season. It’s just so gutting that it came at a point when I had Will where I wanted him. I don’t respect it. I don’t respect luck, only skill.

Anyway, time to move on and plan for GW35. My plans are, though, in the bin. The gap is 28 points with just four weeks to go. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

So it’s an 8-point hit for me this week, taking the gap to 36 points. Diogo Jota is injured, Darwin Nunez can’t be trusted and, to be quite honest, I’m sick of the sight of most of my players at this point.

Jota, Nunez and Doughty are out. Good riddance. Phil Foden, Alexander Isak and Harry Maguire are in. The Maguire transfer was a little forced due to the funds I had available, but Man United have some good remaining fixtures, including two in GW37, and he’s found a bit of form of late.

However, the way the fixtures have lined up for me this week has left me with a selecting issue. I just can’t decide who to start and who to bench. Therefore, two weeks ahead of schedule, my Bench Boost is in play.

It’s not the end of the world, though. Even with a tactical transfer next week, I’ll have less than 11 players with two games in GW27. Making a Bench Boost just as effective as it would be if I played it this week. If anything, it would be better to play it this week because of the fixtures are kinder.

As for my captain, it’s a toss-up between Cole Palmer and Heung-min Son as both have two games. At the moment it’s with Son, who plays Arsenal and Chelsea. I’m just waiting for confirmation of Palmer’s fitness ahead of Chelsea’s games Villa and Spurs after he missed the Blues’ game v Arsenal through illness. Then a decision will be made…