Friday, 28 February 2014

GW28 FPL #JackInTheBox

Well, although his strike partner upstaged him quite dramatically last week. Shane Long came through with an assist to keep a decent run of #JackInTheBox picks alive.  With these weekly picks, I am finding it harder and harder to come up with any surprises.  I am lucky to have many Twitter friends who quite often nail their predictions on the very first try, and I am extremely grateful that people are interested enough in the weekly pick from the bottom 8 to participate and play along.  It has become something that I really look forward to.

This week, 2 of the bottom 8 sides have blanks; so the "six-pointer to be" that was the Sunderland-West Brom fixture will have to wait to another gameweek.  That leaves only 6 sides to choose from (sound familiar, #FPL'ers;)) Other than the tough fixtures of Fulham (even though it's a hotly contested derby, I'm not going to venture a shout on a Fulham player vs. Chelsea) and Stoke, we have some juicy stuff going on as Aston Villa and Norwich face off against each other at Villa Park while both Cardiff and Crystal Palace come up against tired sides coming off of Thursday's Europa fixtures.

Cardiff will visit a tired Tottenham side who are facing off against Dnipro as I type, while Palace travel to a weary Swansea side just knocked out of the Europa League by Rafa Benitez and his Napoli squad.  I don't know how the Tottenham match is going to end up (only 16th minute right now), but the Bluebirds have really been struggling lately, so I'm going to avoid Cardiff this week.

Heck, I'm just gonna throw it out there.  I have the feeling that Swansea have had the wind knocked out of them and could drag their knuckles through the foreseeable future.  It happened last year and the ingredients seem to be mixing together pretty well for a similar situation to occur this year. They've frankly been disappointing this year, and the knock-down, drag-out affair that had them concede twice late to see their Europa dreams dashed is sure to weigh heavily when a well-rested Crystal Palace come to town, bringing with them the speedy and dangerous Ince.
To be honest, this is somewhat of a punt for me.  I've heard so much about him but only was able to see him play for the first time against Manchester United this past weekend.  His play was less than stellar during the portions of the game that I got to watch (I still have flashbacks of the open volley he roofed from inside the penalty area), but I could see the promise and what the hype is all about.  Ince will be leaned on in the coming weeks as Palace attempt to pick themselves up off of the EPL goal-scoring floor (they have netted only 18 times in league competition this season) and he could be exactly what they need over the next 11 fixtures to secure their spot in the league next year.
Ultimately, in addition to his vast promise, it is my belief about Swansea, combined with an upcoming double gameweek, that is causing me to strongly consider pulling Ince into my #FPL squad instead of Snodgrass, and best of all, the possibility of having someone as both my #JackInTheBox selection and a member of my #FPL squad at the same time is just too darn juicy to pass up.

Ince it is.

Note: After Eriksen's strong performance yesterday in Europa, at the time this article is being published, I have not yet decided whether to bring Ince in for Eriksen or to give Eriksen one more chance.
Sending you all big-time GW28 well-wishes from over here in Charlotte, North Carolina,