Gameweek 34 in the English Premier League is almost complete and my wildcard team is off to a rather underwhelming start. I loaded up on Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool players for their favorable fixtures and future double Gameweeks, giving me a full squad of Aaron Ramsdale, Kasper Schmeichel (goalkeepers), Joao Cancelo, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Aymeric Laporte and Joel Matip (defenders); Mason Mount, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, Mohamed Salah, Jacob Ramsey (midfielders), Timo Werner, Teemu Pukki and Sam Greenwood (forwards).
I feel fairly good about my picks despite a slow start. They set me up nicely for the final few Gameweeks and the ability to play my bench boost chip in Gameweek 36. However, I am a little worried about squad rotation, as both Foden and James missed out this week. My Manchester City and Chelsea assets were also disappointing, with Cancelo and Laporte losing their clean sheet in a 5-1 win against Watford and Mount and Werner failing to tally a goal or assist in a 1-0 win against West Ham.
Among the bright spots were Matip and Alexander-Arnold picking up a clean sheet in Liverpool’s 2-0 win against Everton, with Salah contributing an assist in that same fixture. Saka also came up big with 13 points against Manchester United and Schmeichel contributed eight from the goalkeeper position. I still have my three Chelsea players to play again against Manchester United, with Mount as my captain, but I am unsure if all three will continue to start. James especially worries me as he was completely left out of the squad against West Ham due to a recurring muscular problem. With my plan to use the bench boost chip in double Gameweek 36, I want to ensure that all 15 of my players will be guaranteed at least one start across the two games, so I will most likely look to ship out some Chelsea players over the next few weeks along with upgrading Greenwood to a viable forward option.
The most likely replacement for Greenwood at this moment is Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis, who plays Crystal Palace and Everton in double Gameweek 36. How I fund this move will depend on which Chelsea players I think will be most likely to get the most minutes over the next few Gameweeks. One option is to downgrade James to Aston Villa’s Matty Cash, who has a double Gameweek in both 36 and 37. I could also downgrade Werner to Everton striker Richarlison. If I want to ship out two Chelsea assets, I could also get rid of Mount for Philippe Coutinho, who also plays four games in Gameweeks 36 and 37. One very aggressive play that I’m eyeing up includes bringing in Gabriel Jesus, who has been in fabulous form over the last few games. My plan is to swap Coutinho, Cash and Dennis for Werner, James, Foden and Greenwood for an eight-point hit. This would allow me to attack the bench boost with a well-rounded squad, though I doubt I’ll pull the trigger on this as Mount’s minutes as well as Jesus’ are not guaranteed over the next weeks.