Starting with Friday night, the lesser-spotted Frederic Guilbert made his first start of the season for Aston Villa as they faced Everton at Villa Park. I was spoilt for choice for captain in this fixture. I had Jordan Pickford pencilled in after two previous clean sheets and decided to roll with it.
I evidently made the wrong choice – as Guilbert finished the match with six points from Villa’s clean sheet, minus a third-minute booking, compared to Pickford’s solitary point after conceding twice.
Saturday was not looking great either. Teemu Pukki scored his fifth goal of the season and claimed an assist in the early kick-off against Chelsea. This is really awkward for me – being a Norwich fan who doesn’t own the Finn, I have mixed emotions when he scores.
He is so widely owned, and is currently in 43.3 per cent of the top 1,000 Sky Sports Fantasy Football teams, that every time he scores, it is causing some serious leaderboard damage for my team. Speaking of damage limitation, I was seriously concerned with Marcus Rashford having a field day against Crystal Palace, but it wasn’t to be as Manchester United suffered a somewhat unexpected defeat. To make matters worse, Rashford missed a penalty and ended up on minus one.
There were no points from Aaron Wan-Bissaka, despite thinking beforehand that he would be in line for a clean sheet and tackle bonus. The two goals conceded and yellow card meant that he finished the game on zero points.
Gerard Deulofeu again didn’t have any returns and was withdrawn after 74 minutes for Watford in their loss to West Ham. He has been a really disappointing pick for me. At least James Maddison added another assist for some attacking returns.
On to the evening kick-off at Anfield between Liverpool and Arsenal. Having only Andy Robertson from the Liverpool defence, with Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in attack, I was more than happy for it to be a high-scoring event. A 3-3 would have been great as long as those two were the main beneficiaries.
I decided to captain Mohamed Salah and he did not disappoint, scoring a double and earning the Sky Sports Man of the Match award, resulting in a 34-point haul. Unfortunately, Aubameyang could not muster any points even though I was adamant he had claimed an assist. He was denied by a touch off Jordan Henderson as his ball found its way to Lucas Torreira, who grab a late consolation goal. Despite owning Robertson, I was pleased Arsenal scored as I know that many Fantasy Football managers have Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
My plan was to take out Aubameyang for Raheem Sterling, who is highly owned and would provide a good captaincy choice. On seeing the news that Gabriel Jesus would be out until after the international break, I decided to transfer out Salah for Sergio Aguero with the knowledge that he should start the next two games.