Boro hitman comes into the mix
At the start of a new gameweek, it is normal to have a number of concerns about the state of your squad but this is part of the appeal of the Fantasy Premier League. Since Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur have the highest GW32 goal expectancies, having a squad packed without any of their players is obviously a worry, while Philippe Coutinho’s ongoing sickness rumours don’t bode too well either.
However, the Liverpool man has only completed 90 minutes on two occasions since November, so we’re not too worried about that situation. On the other hand, despite the fact that Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane, Sergio Agüero and Kevin de Bruyne have featured for us at various stages of the season, failing to include the brilliant Dele Alli is obviously a regret. Having said that, Spurs and Manchester City will both be involved in the FA Cup semi-finals that are scheduled to take place in GW34, so bringing in players from either side at this stage isn’t really an option. Sure, we still have a wildcard burning a hole in our pocket but that needs to be preserved for a later double gameweek, to give us the best possible chance of pushing ourselves up the overall FPL rankings.
Unfortunately, our gamble on Jermain Defoe seems to have backfired spectacularly. Sunderland look like dead men walking, having failed to score in any of their last 6 matches and things won’t get any easier when Manchester United visit the Stadium of Light.
Middlesbrough have scored fewer goals than any other side during the course of the 2016/17 English Premier League season. Bringing in any of their offensive players is certainly something of a gamble but Álvaro Negredo has directly contributed to 50% of these goals and Boro do have a double gameweek coming up.
It’s a case of now or never for the Teesiders, so we’re going to take a chance on the Spanish international producing the goods and he comes into our squad at Defoe’s expense.
We had planned to give Romelu Lukaku the armband since he was the highest ranked member of our squad in terms of goal contribution expectancy but we have decided to pass him over for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, he had a bit of a spat with his team-mates during the course of Everton’s 1-1 draw at Old Trafford but perhaps, equally important, is the fact that we need to get as much mileage as possible out of Alexis Sánchez. Arsenal’s top-four hopes have been rekindled and we’re convinced that Sánchez is the only player that can make it happen.
Josh King and Oumar Niasse, who both scored in midweek get relegated to the bench but it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise in the world to see either player coming in as an automatic substitute in GW32.
Can Negredo justify his inclusion and breathe a bit of life into Boro’s survival hopes?