Thursday, 15 October 2015

Stag's Knight - Gameweek 9

The Stag surveyed the expanse of colours laid out before him. The jerseyed knights jostled for positions, snarling as they sought the upperground and overenthusiastically celebrated their triumphs. However, The Stag required a differential.  Only a knight less than 20% of the herd would do.  Only one knight could help him vault the others over the next 3 gameweeks.  Only one knight could bring him the fabled Green Arrows.  A knight to brighten his day.

Can you smell that in the air? I shouldn’t have to tell you that that whiff is the much anticipated return of everybody’s favourite self-torture device, FPL! Luckily for you all reading this, FPL’s return correlates with the return of Stag’s Knight. Hopefully, all of you are celebrating the triumphs of your respective countries over the International Break. I for one had a fantastic time, managing to attend mighty Ireland’s 1-0 crushing of world champions Germany. That night, I would have told you Shane Long was the most gifted striker ever to grace the emerald isle and the planet as a whole. Unfortunately, the hero of our age sustained a minor (thank goodness) injury in our defeat in Warsaw so he is ruled out of Premier League contention for at least 2 weeks. Had he been fit, I probably would have ignored all logical argument and selected him as Stag’s Knight for Gameweek 9.

Instead, I’ve gone with 22 year old English striker Saido Berahino of West Brom as my Stag’s Knight for the coming gameweek. At this stage, we all know about Bera’s controversial summer transfer window when he failed to sign for Spurs and announced he’d never play for the club again. Isn't it amazing though how a player’s opinion and attitude on the pitch can change when they realise that only good performances will help them get a move away! Tony Pulis has slowly begun to reintroduce the young striker back into his match-day squads in an effort to score much needed goals with the Baggies hanging precariously, 4 points clear of the relegation zone in 17th place. I do stress the word slowly though!

Bera’s last 3 appearances have seen him on the playing field for 66, 90 and 45 minutes respectively. Don’t be too alarmed though, he managed to score 2 goals in that limited time accruing 5 Bonus Points along the way. Why isn’t the starlet playing 90 minutes every game? Well obviously he is still going through “rehab” after his transfer saga. Along with that, Pulis is trying to share playing time with misfiring club record signing Salomón Rondón (who hasn’t hit the back of the net in 4 PL games) and Rickie Lambert.

I usually try to judge a player’s FPL potential by looking back on their last 5 games and looking forward to their fixtures to come. Berahino’s form I’ve already outlined, there is no more to go by. In terms of what’s to come, this is where my argument in favour of the striker gains more traction. West Brom’s next two games are relegation “6 pointers”. First, they host Big Sam’s Sunderland at the Hawthorns. No matter how much of a kick the new boss gives the Black Cats, I can’t see their lousy defence suddenly becoming impregnable. Next they take on Norwich away before finally hosting Leicester. Fascinatingly, these are the three teams in the league that are yet to keep a clean sheet!

As further back up, we see that Fantasy Football Fix’s algorithm churns out the Baggies as the team with the best attacking potential for the next 3 gameweeks. What I do concede is that their algorithm is nowhere near as optimistic as I am about Berahino’s points potential!!

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Saido Berahino - He’s sharp, he’s got a point to prove, owned by 7.9%. He’s my Knight for Gameweek 9.

Ask me questions, follow me and laud me @FPLStag

Results haven't gone our way of late. Hopefully things change this weekend.

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