Sunday, 27 November 2016

Gameweek 13 Review: The Week of the Super Strikers

I title this review 'the week of the super strikers' because this gameweek it was goals galore, with goals coming from usual sources. At last, a conventional FPL gameweek, though there were stumbling blocks to avoid. We can see a shift in where the points are coming from for various reasons.

Midfielders scored considerably less than the average striker this week. It was all about strikers scoring points and less about midfielders in a season where midfielders have been consistently hitting top points. Firmino, Coutinho, Lallana, Mane and Milner are big reasons behind this season's trends, but Liverpool's goals are beginning to dry up as Klopp looks to make his team more defensively solid as they make a serious title challenge over the Christmas period, when it is impossible to play intense football every game without getting injuries. It's working. The Reds have kept clean sheets in their last 2 games despite only keeping a single shutout previously, but have only scored 2 goals in those games. Liverpool midfielders are now much weaker options. Elswhere in midfield, Eden Hazard's popularity may have peaked. The Chelsea man was in fine form going into the game with Tottenham but had little involvement and Hazard owners endured a costly blank now Hazard's price has shot up to 10.2. It was Hazard's 5th points score of 3 or below, proving he is still not always reliable.

However, Hazard's teammate Diego Costa, although didn't score, managed to assist in Chelsea's 2-1 home win to Spurs on Saturday. Costa is a much better value option if you need Chelsea cover. Costa, Ibrahimovic, Aguero and Alexis Sanchez, who is playing as an out of position (OOP) striker, came up trumps while midfielders failed to deliver. Other strikers who deserve a mention this week are Alvaro Negredo, who hit a brace past the champions, Islam Slimani, who staked a claim for a regular starting berth with a goal on Saturday in a cameo appearance, Christian Benteke, scoring and assisting in the 5-4 thriller at the Liberty, a game in which another centre forward Fernando Llorente scored a brace and made an assist after a slow start to life in South Wales. Sakho was back in the West Ham team with an equaliser at Old Trafford and Charlie Austin scored the winner vs Everton, while Callum Wilson reminded FPL managers that he is rightly the Bournemouth penalty taker.

Austin Shows Signs of Things To Come

Charlie Austin is a player to watch in the next gameweek away to a leaky Crystal Palace, playing well in the forward role alongside Nathan Redmond. Redmond's pace and trickery and Austin's positioning and aerial ability make the Saint's forward line one of the most feared in the league at the moment. Boosted from a very good win v ex-manager Koeman's Everton, Southampton's fixtures from gameweek 13 through to 25 look very promising indeed, as Austin will look to hit the goal trail. If out-playing Everton was anything to go by, Spurs is the only test in that lengthy run of games.

Even at this stage of the season with 13 gameweeks played out there are still no must-have strikers yet. The next few weekends might change that however.

by Kyle Norbury
Follow me on Twitter: @SCFCNerd
Stoke fan and fantasy football nerd