In this weekly article , we answer the most asked questions ahead of Gameweek 26
FAQ1) Sell Liverpool defenders?
It’s the question on everybody’s lips now. For the first half of the season, there has been a certain comfort in relying on Liverpool’s defensive assets, even more so than their attacking assets. 13 clean sheets in their initial 22 starts was a phenomenal FPL measure. On top of their defensive solidarity, Robertson and Alexander-Arnold were bolting down the flanks and flooding in with assists and the odd goal, it seemed impossible to go a GW by without having at least one of the defenders in your team. However, since that 4-0 demolition of Newcastle at Anfield before the New Year, the Reds have now managed just one clean sheet in their previous seven outings including their FA cup loss at the Molineux to Wolves in January. What’s worse is that Gomez has just gone into surgery for his leg injury and the extent of TAA’s injury is still relatively unknown, though could return either this or next week.
Final verdict: Considering Liverpool play two of the Premier League’s hottest attacking units in Bournemouth and Manchester United in the next two fixtures, this bodes a brilliant opportunity reduce the capacity for Liverpool defensive assets to just one. If you own two or even three of the assets, it’s time to sell for defensive assets from teams like Newcastle, Cardiff or Brighton who all don’t have scheduled fixtures against a top six side for all of their next six gameweeks. Consider especially Etheridge, Ryan as GK or Bamba, Duffy, Dunk or Lascelles from the backline.
FAQ2) Keep or sell Hazard, Luiz and Alonso?
There just seems to be such an element of risk investing in the Chelsea side. Hazard had only scored 15 points in 5 games before inevitably exploding against Huddersfield and Alonso has been far from his regularly threatening self from previous seasons, due to his positional change to fullback rather than wingback, enforcing extra defensive duties and often nullifying his preferred desire of surging down the left-flank to join the attack. Chelsea have three clean sheets in their previous nine which feels just short of what seems to be required from defenders around the 6-7m mark that aren’t as offensively threatening in games. However, David Luiz has actually shed some light for his FPL trustees, posing 39 points in his last six appearances, including two blanks and two double-figure returns.
Final verdict: As I’ve mentioned in previous weeks, you should have sold Hazard far prior to the Huddersfield game. BUT, if you have braved the Belgian’s blanks and can somehow breeze passed Chelsea’s GW27 blank, then I would advise there is no use in selling him now. Chelsea have already beaten upcoming opponents Manchester City once this season where Hazard boasted 9 points and Luiz 15, and after battling big London rivals Tottenham, have five consecutive fixtures against teams outside the top six. It’s worth just holding onto Hazard and Luiz, though I would sell Alonso for previously mentioned defenders like Bamba, Duffy or Lascelles to invest elsewhere.
FAQ3) Keep or sell Bournemouth players?
The simple answer is sell ASAP, and prepare to bring them back into your squads from GW 30 onwards. Eight of their final nine meetings are against sides currently in the bottom half of the table. Look at Wilson and Brooks who will are expected to return well and truly in time for the easier run of fixtures, and I wouldn’t look passed Ryan Fraser either who has been absolutely standout all season.
FAQ4) Select two of the following three to start GW 25 - Wan-Bissaka (H v WHU), Doherty (H v NEW), Digne (A v WAT)
Easy. Wan-Bissaka is a bonus points magnet, and Matt Doherty is back into some serious offensive form with FPL returns in his last two Premier League fixtures and just scored a brace in Wolves’ midweek FA cup replay. No brainer for me. In fact, I would even mention now is the best time to sell Lucas Digne, from an Everton side who face Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United in their next four home fixtures.