Footstock Prediction League #1: Holly Shand
The Footstock Prediction League is a new series on the Footstock Blog that sees some of the biggest names in fantasy football and trading pick 1 attacker, 1 midfielder and 1 defender that they think is going to perform on Footstock in the following Gameweek.
We’ll tally the combined scores of their chosen players, build a leaderboard and give the winner at the end of the season a prize. Think of Top Gear’s Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, but football.
We kick things off with Footstock player and Queen of the FPL Community, Holly Shand.
Attacker: Dominic Calvert-Lewin vs Fulham
Dominic Calvert-Lewin was the star man of the opening weeks of the season: he’s now in nearly 60% of FPL sides, with his price increasing by £0.8 million. On Footstock, his price has increased from £5 in late-August to a peak of £20 before settling down at around the £15 mark following a quiet few weeks.
He’s had a meteoric rise through the Footstock categories from Common to Epic in this period, and is now a mainstay of Gold and Silver contest teams. Many Footstock users will be tempted to look elsewhere given his performances in recent weeks: he registered less than five points against Southampton and Manchester United in Gameweek 6 and 8, while an injury time goal against Newcastle United in Gameweek 7 spared his blushes in that appearance.
However, this down-turn in form is no coincidence: Richarlison has been suspended and James Rodriguez injured – they are both expected to bolster this Everton attack come Gameweek 9. This coincides with yet more favourable fixtures for Everton, including a trip to Fulham this weekend. Fulham have conceded eight goals across their four home games this season and are sure to be tested by this attacking Toffees side. Expect to see Calvert-Lewin back in the goals again, as he looks to improve on his tally of eight for this campaign.
Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes vs WBA
I’ve always had a soft spot for Bruno Fernandes since he joined the Premier League, so I couldn’t not pick him as my midfielder pick this week with a plum home game against relegation favourites West Brom.
He’s the famous white elephant of Footstock and I’m famed for tipping him to have a 300 point FPL campaign – something which he is on track to achieve. Fernandes has three double digit FPL hauls this season, although admittedly all of them have come on the road. His brace and assist against Everton demonstrated his worth as a fantasy option, hopefully this performance is the springboard to greater things for Manchester United this campaign, after an inconsistent start to the season.
The most encouraging aspect of his performance against the Toffees was that his goals came from open play and he didn’t have to rely on set pieces for his attacking returns: having penalties in his locker always creates a high ceiling for his levels of returns. He’s well-suited to the Footstock scoring matrix, among the top 10 players for points per start in this campaign. His opponents West Brom are without a clean sheet on the road this season, having conceded 10 goals across four trips on the road. The stars are aligning for Fernandes once again, with his goal and assist threat obvious.
Defender: Ben Chilwell vs Newcastle
Chelsea are the in-form side in the Premier League right now, with their new-found free flowing style of football and defensive solidarity. This has been hugely bolstered by their new signings, one of which is Ben Chilwell.
Chilwell is one of many players to have an injury scare over the International Break, but is expected to be in contention to start against Newcastle in Gameweek 9. Ben Chilwell is the perfect fantasy defender right now as he carries significant goal and assist threat (he has two goals and two assists already) plus Chelsea have a great chance of keeping a clean sheet too, with two in their last three Premier League games.
Newcastle United are likely to be without their talisman Callum Wilson in this game, which further bolsters Chelsea’s clean sheet potential. He’s among the top 10 defenders on Footstock for base statistics alone, looking per start this season. According to the Bookies, Chelsea carry the second highest chance of a clean sheet this weekend and Chilwell is among the top five defenders for expected goal involvement over the last two games, with his goal in Gameweek 8 against Sheffield United coming from one of three shots on target: seeing him attacking the back post will be a common theme this season!
Be sure to check in next week, where we’ll be tallying up Holly’s scores and welcoming our next predictor!