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Week 14 Tactical Review

Monday, December 3, 2018


Welcome to this week's Tactical Look-in around the Premier League. The festive period is upon us and with it comes a deluge of games along with a deluge of content about them. This article will be shifting a little in order to be nimble with the number of games happening in a rapid-fire period.  

 

Considering the number of games that the big six has played/ will be playing, this is the time of year to give the smaller teams some love. Cardiff City, West Ham United, and Leicester City are a few teams that can use this time to shine and pick up points. A wildcard team here is also Southampton. The Saints let go of Mark Hughes yesterday and could possibly go for a double swoop on Ralph Hasenhuttl and Paul Mitchell (per the Telegraph) which would be a coup. Things are murky but if Southampton could become the Premier League version of Red Bull, it will be a return to their roots with a pressing manager and technical director who works well with him.

 

With just Hasenhuttl, Southampton bringing in a new manager likely doesn’t mean much but bringing in a technical director would show that change is on the horizon at St Mary’s. If the deal goes through, it’ll definitely make sense to tentatively invest in Southampton draft leagues. Looking at the FPL landscape, there’s no point to take -4 hits during the festive period as rotation will hit an all-time high. That rotation will make it hard to get a proper return on investment as even fully nailed on starters like Ryan Fraser may get a rest during this time. Save yourself the headache and roll with your team, it’ll have some hiccups but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

 

Now let’s get to the stories that stuck out from the weekend.



Arsenal are for real

 

Arsenal's unbeaten run has now reached 19 straight games but they keep being dismissed as a real threat. After a 4-2 victory over Tottenham in the North London Derby, it's time to take Arsenal seriously. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is leading the Golden Boot race with 10 goals to his name but while he's cheaper, his ownership is drastically behind premium strikers Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero (and he should be added going into the festive period). His partner in crime, Alexandre Lacazette is right behind with six more goals. The two of them have scored more than nine teams in the league making it easy to see how Arsenal has risen to fourth in the table.

 

Unai Emery has invigorated a belief into this squad that wasn't there under Arsene Wenger and while his defense is shaky at times, it's a perfect mix of bend but don't break. Playing a 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, or a 3-4-3 Emrey has kept the squad fresh while rotating players in order to reach the festive period with fresh legs on the bench. It's a refreshing change at the Emirates and is also one that makes Arsenal a real challenge for a Champions League place and the Europa League title.

 

 


 

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Huddersfield, losing the battle, winning the war?

 

Huddersfield saw their three-game unbeaten run come to an end at the hands of Brighton this past weekend but there are positives to be had. The Terriers scored the fastest goal of the Premier League season with Zanka knocking in a header 55 seconds in. After that, the midfield was bossing the game until the dismissal of Steve Mounie for a bad tackle on Yves Bissouma. While Huddersfield has appealed his three-match ban, it’s unlikely that it will be overturned leaving the Terriers light up top.

 

But looking at the team as a whole, the strength is in the midfield. Huddersfield has Aaron Mooy, Jonathan Hogg and Philip Billing anchoring a three-man midfield and becoming viable assets in Fantrax leagues. Mooy will cause David Wagner selection headaches when he heads to the AFC Asian Cup in January but the hope is that Huddersfield will bring in a like for like replacement during the transfer window. Wagner’s system is more of a plug and play system than being based on one specific player (not to diminish the importance of Mooy) and they can keep it going without their skipper. In the month of January, they’ll face Burnley, Cardiff, Manchester City, and Everton. Four points in that time should be enough for a team that didn’t have a pulse until mid-November to keep their heads above water. After facing Bournemouth and Arsenal, Huddersfield defenders will also be good FPL targets for differential points.

 

Everton taking solace in defeat

 

The Toffees deserved a point versus Liverpool and if Jordan Pickford doesn’t do the unthinkable on Divock Origi’s winner, then we’re looking at this result in a different light. Everton created chances, defended adequate and did all they could to contain the second best team in the Premier League. What’s worse is that without the awful ending to the game, Pickford had an all-around wonderful first 94 minutes.  

 

 

ABSOLUTE PANDEMONIUM IN THE MERSEYSIDE DERBY

In the last minute of stoppage time, Divock Origi heads in the winner for Liverpool after a crazy bounce off Jordan Pickford and the bar 😱😱😱 pic.twitter.com/IOdYlA2Krd

December 2, 2018

 

 

I will never understand what possessed Pickford to touch a ball that was going out of play in such an important moment but he did and he’ll have to live with it. Lucas Digne had the most touches of any Everton player in the game and moving forward he’s likely the best defensive FPL asset at 4.9m but as the defense stabilizes, everyone is in play. Gylfi Sigurdsson’s consistency and playmaking abilities should also see his ownership rise from its current 8.3 percent.

 




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