In the League of Gentlemen, the drama was at fever pitch. With both Jockin' Jeeves and Lord Geord playing their Wildcards, there were sure to be implications both for the Title Contenders, and in the heated battle between the Chasing Pack and Lower-Mid Table. So it proved, with a massive ten teams changing positions - the most in a gameweek for a very long time. Adding to the drama was the first leg of Round One of the Gentlemen's Trophy, with the ten teams unlucky enough to have missed out on a bye fighting to stay in the competition. We had five dramatic matches, all of which remain in the balance. So anticipated was the competition that, for the first time since Gameweek Two, twenty-five long gameweeks ago, both Metal Marc and Tits-Up Thompson resumed control of their teams.
Before we get into the Weekly Round-Up, let's look at the results from Round One, Leg One of the Gentlemen's Trophy:
Farcselona 27 - 46 PKG FC
Metal Marc's return proved to have little impact, with Private Parvesh taking a 19-point advantage into Gameweek 28. The signing of Moise Kean was a strange one, with counterpart Calvert-Lewin cheaper and the man in form. That one misstep could cost Metal Marc severely.
Micky Quinnaj 33 - 31 Oxsmorons
The Revolution versus The Revolution goes into the second leg with just two points in it. With a blank week ahead, just one player's absence could be enough to send these two evenly-matched teams into a tie-break situation. Will the Coin of Destiny need to be deployed?
Really 60 - 43 Cows Arse Shovel
A big gameweek from Big-Time Birkett gives him the advantage ahead of the second leg, as Flash's transfer hit comes back to haunt him. With two free transfers and only one player blanking in GW 28, Big-Time is the big favourite.
White Warriors 51 - 66 Geord’s Lords
The highest-scoring tie of the round, with Lord Geord's Wildcard proving essential in gaining a 15-point lead. Who Horner's score would have given him the advantage over anyone but Lord Geord and Big-Time Birkett, yet the luck of the draw means he has a tough task on his hands.
Does It Mata? 38 - 51 Rodallega Bombs
Perhaps the first giant-killing of the newly-established trophy is on our hands. Tits-Up Thompson, languishing in 19th, pulls his first managerial stroke in 25 gameweeks, using his Free Hit to gain a 13-point advantage. Hitman Hodgson is thanking the FPL Gods this is a two-legged competition, and will have to use all his nous to keep his chances alive - especially with four players absent next week.
Dramatic times in the League of Gentlemen and, with Gameweek 28 being a blank gameweek, there promises to be many more twists and turns. Having discussed the cup results, let us turn our attention to how Gameweek 27 caused fortunes to change in the league table.
Retaining thirteenth position, with a gameweek score of 43 points, were Madelaine Milan. Patricio again secured a goalkeeper return, with a further three outfielders boosting Iceman Newton's score enough to bring them closer to twelfth position. Just one point ahead are the Oxsmorons, who brought home a mere 31 points this week. Only Jimenez and captain Salah scored extra points, leaving The Ox sliding down the table and staring at a cup exit. Another team falling were Cows Arse Shovel, who ended with a solid score of 43 points after their hit, but were left to rue leaving nine-point Pope on the bench. Being just eleven points off the Chasing Pack gives Flash hope, but he'll need a massive touch of luck to overcome a seventeen-point deficit in the Gentlemen's Trophy.
Eighteen points ahead in eighth are Boom Xhakalaka, who drop a place in the table following a 49-point gameweek. With eight players scoring just 14 points between them, it fell to Martial, Aubameyang and captain Salah to limit the damage. With only £0.3m in the bank and four players not playing in Gameweek 28, questions remain over what All-Star Vogt will produce in the transfer market. Lundstram is the most obvious risk of losing his place, but you can't rule out Vogt producing a trademark maverick midfield move, and gambling on replacing de Bruyne. Moving two points ahead into seventh is Big-Time Birkett, whose rise comes as a result of a 60-point gameweek, the third-highest in the division. Six players secured returns to achieve that total, including double-figure hauls from Alexander-Arnold and captain Salah. Looking secure in the Gentlemen's Trophy, while having two free transfers and eleven available players for the weekend, Really are in a strong position entering the new gameweek, and will look to capitalise by closing the gap further to the Masterchef, 27 points ahead in sixth. A tough few weeks continued for the Masterchef, his troubles compounded by Maupay getting nine points while left on the bench. With five outfielders unavailable next week and Minamino yet to receive any real gametime, Hugh G. Rection XI could struggle to field a team in Gameweek 28. They retain both a Wildcard and a Free Hit, and now face a dilemma as to which, if either, of the chips to use. It wasn't all bad for the Masterchef, though; the total he needs to re-join the Title Contenders was reduced by four points.
Last week's hard-earned exclusive from Jez Messing proved correct, as Jockin' Jeeves invoked the unholy power of the Wildcard. Immediate frustration came from Traore and Hayden being named only as substitutes, it continued with the substitute goalkeeper, McCarthy, outscoring the starting Henderson by five points, and was cemented when Vardy again failed to get a return, making it a meagre one assist and zero goals in nine gameweeks for the Leicester man. Returns from Liverpool trio Mane, Salah and Alexander-Arnold, plus a goal from Jimenez, ensured a good 55-point gameweek amidst the disappointments. While the gap on King Ding was reduced to 40 points, Deadly Daz is gaining, and it remains to be seen whether loading up on Mane, Salah and de Bruyne in midfield will leave the Juggernauts lacking quality cover, with three players no longer confirmed starters.
King Ding had an FPL Nightmare of his own this week, and not entirely through his own making. While the signing of Jimenez in place of Aguero paid off to the tune of five points, his only other returns were from McCarthy, Alexander-Arnold and captain Salah, leaving the Ringers with a gameweek score of 48 points. While this was above the FPL average, it should have been more, with no less than three of the Ringers defenders scoring just a single point, while seven-point Webster sat on the bench. The real Nightmare came not so much from the King's own performance, but those of his rivals. Both the Dazzlers and the Juggernauts made up ground behind him, while the Butcher extended his lead at the top by 24 massive points. With only eleven gameweeks left to make up 72 points, time is running out for the King as he seeks to become the first-ever defender of the League of Gentlemen title. The average score he needs to beat the Butcher by each week has risen from 4 points last week to almost seven after Gameweek 27 - an achievable goal, yes, but the margin for error is getting ever smaller. Normally so cautious and meticulous in his approach to transfers and chips, it could be that the King needs to throw caution to the wind if he is to have any chance of a historic victory.
That concludes our review of Gameweek 27 of the League of Gentlemen, which saw the start of the Gentlemen's Trophy, which saw Deadly Daz continue to pressure Jockin' Jeeves, and which saw Big Steve take some massive strides closer to wresting the crown from King Ding. As we enter Blank Gameweek 28, may all your transfers be successes, may all your arrows be green, and may the FPL Gods forever be in your favour.