So after much debate Everton v Manchester City has been moved to February 6th causing the first Double gameweek of the season.
Everton v Wolves
Manchester City v Arsenal
Everton v Manchester City
The overriding consensus seems to be that it’s a banana skin of a week to use our Triple Captain chip. However I believe now could be perfect timing.
The most common chip strategy seems to be to FH in 32 BB 35 or WC 32 BB 35 leaving us none of the larger double gameweeks to TC in. The plan from there was to either wait for Chelsea or City’s double and use it there or rely on a Salah haul, probably in GW 36 against Huddersfield.
With Chelsea not yet able to reschedule their game and doubts over Higuain and Hazard’s position on the pitch and effectiveness I believe striking on City is the way to go.
The biggest issue seems to be the Guardiola Tombola and the fact the fixtures appear tricky on paper for City.
On rotation and assuming no one will TC a defender, we can safely rule out the following as options. Both Jesus and Aguero have shared minutes for the last few weeks and indeed both played in the cup games against Burton and Burnley. Both are also in form. Relying on one of them to start both could be an issue. De Bruyne is still feeling his way back from injury and again couldn’t be relied on. Neither Silva has great FPL form although both are playing well, whilst Gundogan and Fernandinho aren’t attacking options. This leaves Mahrez, Sterling and Sane.
Mahrez has been reduced in recent weeks to cup games and his City career has been stop start to say the least. His goal and assist figures look good at face value but most have come against weaker opposition in the Cups.
Now we are left with two players I believe are both great captaincy options. Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane.
Both players played against Huddersfield last Sunday and then played 0 minutes in either cup game effectively meaning they have had a 10 day break before the trip to Newcastle. Is asking either player to play the following unheard of?
Newcastle A Tuesday 29th
Arsenal H Sunday 3rd
Everton A Wednesday 6th
Chelsea H Sunday 10th
Bare in mind these are must win games in a title race and they could be rested for the FA Cup weekend of February 16th before the Champions League game on February 20th.
The other thing to consider is both players gametime recently.
Raheem Sterling was rested for the game against Everton in week 17, before starting every single Premier League game since
Saturday 22nd December – 68 mins
Wednesday 26th December – 90 mins
Sunday 30th December – 90 mins
Thursday 3rd January – 90 mins
Monday 14th January – 90 mins
Sunday 20th January – 90 mins
Leroy Sane has started every league game since week 12 bar a rest against Southampton on 30th December.
Whilst of course one or both of Sterling or Sane could miss out in the double there is nothing in recent weeks to suggest they will be rested again given they have both just missed two games in a row.
The next point to consider is their form. Sterling is the 3rd highest scorer in the game and 7th in form rankings with no blanks in his last 4. Sane is the 7th highest scorer in the game and 5th in the form charts with no blanks in his last 3.
Double figure returns 5/20
Highest weekly score 21
Double figure returns 5/21
Highest weekly score 19
The next worry seems to be the fixtures but the games only look tricky on paper. Both Everton and Arsenal are in patchy runs of form and are verging on a shambles at the back.
Everton have conceded 16 in 12 at home this season, 14 in 6 against the top 6 and conceded 6 goals in their only home game against a top 6 side this season and come into the game off the back of a 3-2 loss against Millwall with pressure on manager Marco Silva.
Arsenal have conceded 22 in 11 away games, the league’s 3rd worst record, have conceded 15 in 7 against the top 6 and 10 in 3 away trips to top 6 opposition. They also at the time of writing have injury issues with Bellerin, Koscielny, Sokratis and Holding meaning any defence could be a patched up one.
The next drawback is the Salah issue. Most people’s fallback is to use the TC chip on Salah at home to Huddersfield in GW36. My issues with this are the guesswork involved compared to the up to date relevant information we have on the City players now. Week 36 is a long way off yet and Huddersfield could either be back in a battle to stay in the league and fighting with all their hearts, or they may already be down and freed up to shock Liverpool. Liverpool could have already wrapped up the title and have little to play for, or have already blown the league and be deflated, or resting players for Champions League games.
And even if we take it at face value and that Salah scores let’s say 15 points. Us GW25 TC’ers can still captain him that week meaning we would only lose 15 points on the people who do TC Salah. He will be the highest captained player that week anyway meaning any TC gains will be minimised. Sterling and Sane are owned by 11 and 17 per cent as it stands. The possible gains to be made this week are colossal compared to triple captaining 50 percent plus owned Salah.
I am in no ways saying that Triple captaining a City attacker is the only way to go but there is certainly enough information available to suggest that the rotation of Sterling and Sane isn’t that much of a risk and the current form of both players and both opponents means we could have a field day by TC in DGW 25.