Of course, it’s too early to write any team in the Title Contenders off. Deadly Daz may be 109 points off the summit, but he will have seen how King Ding has destroyed that sort of gap in just six weeks, and he will look to do the same himself. With the second-highest score in the division this weekend, he will know he has momentum entering the first double-gameweek of the season. Above him, the Masterchef leapfrogged Jockin’ Jeeves into third, now just 79 points behind the Butcher. The problem the Masterchef has is the lack of a Triple Captain chip. With the seemingly-unstoppable Liverpool having two favourable fixtures this gameweek, his Gameweek 3 triple-captaining of Kane for six points could really come back to haunt him, and he’ll be firmly rooting for Wolves and West Ham to limit any damage. It’s a similar story for Deadly Daz, whose Triple Captaincy of Sterling in Gameweek 6 saw the Manchester City man benched, leaving Mane picking up just six points. How he’ll wish he could Triple Captain Mane this gameweek, and how grateful Jockin’ Jeeves will be that he has that edge over his immediate rivals.
With most teams looking to the transfer market to maximise their Liverpool assets, it’s easy to overlook the fact West Ham also have a double-gameweek. Snodgrass has two assists in two starts under Moyes, and has two opportunities to add to that total. Meanwhile, only six players have shot in the box more than Haller in the same period. Both players could provide key differentials, as could the bargain-basement Noble, on penalty duties for the Hammers. Of course, West Ham are crap, and play Leicester and Liverpool, which decreases those players’ appeal, but for those managers who already own three Liverpool assets, the opportunity is there for a punt who should, at the very least, pick up four appearance points.
With all that in mind, let’s look at how Gameweek 23 affected the teams in the League of Gentlemen.
Just four points ahead in thirteenth are the Tiptoppers, who faced the FPL Nightmare of seeing ten-point Fleck left on the bench while six of his seven attackers let him down. Jimenez and Alexander-Arnold both secured double-figure hauls, which proved enough to fend off The Ox this week. The issue Slick Rick has is working Liverpool assets into his squad, with no premium players and only £1.2m in the bank. It could be that he gambles on switching Vardy to Firmino, Liverpool’s joint-highest FPL points scorer in away fixtures. A true FPL Nightmare of a gameweek for Lord Geord was rescued in the final minute of the gameweek, when Salah managed to break his duck against Manchester United. That goal, combined with Alexander-Arnold’s ten points, was as good as it got for the Lords, with only new signing Maupay getting an assist as consolation. Sadly, the man he replaced, Jimenez, outscored him by nine points, and with neither of the other two signings returning, Lord Geord’s double-hit gamble predictably backfired, as did leaving seven-point Hayden on the bench. With three Liverpool assets, the Lords could swoop for West Ham players, but their manager’s dismissal of their abilities renders this unlikely. Iceman Newton took advantage of the Lords’ transfer follies to move into eleventh, despite their only returns being from Van Dijk and Calvert-Lewin. With a million in the bank, Madelaine Milan have options in the transfer market, though Vardy to Firmino seems the most likely switch. Tense times in Lower Mid-Table, especially for Slick Rick and Jie, who have already used their Triple Captain chips. The other four managers will be hoping to use theirs to take advantage this gameweek, and finally find a way into the Chasing Pack.
A contrast in fortunes for Does It Mata and PKG FC, who are separated in seventh and sixth only by transfers made. For the Hitman, it was a very good gameweek, with double-figure hauls from Grealish, Traore and captain Salah supplemented by Robertson’s clean sheet. It could’ve been even better, were it not for Pope’s benching, but the Hitman won’t dwell too much on that, and will look instead to keep on building in Gameweek 24. For Private Parvesh, it was an FPL Nightmare, with the sixteen points of Aurier and Traore left on the bench, combined with only Robertson and Alexander-Arnold getting returns, meaning PKG FC finished the gameweek outside of the Title Contenders. A crumb of comfort for Parvesh is that he already has three Liverpool assets and, unlike two of the five teams above him, he still retains his Triple Captain chip. He will enter the double-gameweek knowing that, should the cards fall nicely, he has a good chance of returning to the Title Contenders or, at the very least, closing the 22-point gap to fifth place.
Three points ahead in third, the Masterchef will be delighted to have overhauled the man he’s been chasing for so long, but knows too well that his early use of the Triple Captain chip could result in his foray to third being short-lived. Captaincy of Aguero proved the key to this gameweek’s success, with the Argie Assassin securing 26 points for Hugh G. Rection XI. Further returns came from Alexander-Arnold, Aurier, Grealish and Maupay, though there will be considerable frustration at ten-point Traore being left on the bench. The worry for Masterchef is that, in addition to having no Triple Captain option, he only holds one Liverpool asset. It could be that his hand is forced into playing his Wildcard; without it, Jeeves has to be the favourite to end Gameweek 24 in third position. Ahead of the Masterchef remains King Ding, who extended the gap to third to a whopping sixty points, which will prove an almighty challenge to overhaul. Of course, inspiration for the Masterchef comes from King Ding himself, whose unprecedented six-week run of form has seen a hundred points slashed off Big Steve’s lead at the top. With Masterchef only needing sixty to catch Dinga and 79 to top the table, he will remain hopeful, though the form of the Ringers is intimidating to any team. What’s even more incredible is that the King achieved the highest score in the division for the second-successive week with returns from just four players, giving him an overall ranking of 33,544 – his highest ever. With fourteen points from Gazzaniga, eight from Holgate, ten from Alexander-Arnold and twenty-six from captain Aguero, the King’s 74-point total shows that you don’t need every player to return to have a great gameweek, just a key few. This gameweek leaves the King with a massive 37-point cushion in the race for Manager of the Month, with his nearest rival being, unbelievably, Wooden Spoon Helling. With this coming gameweek being the final one of the month, it will take a miracle to stop the King winning his second successive monthly award. With form like this, it’s going to take something special to stop him defending his League of Gentlemen title.
That concludes our round-up of Gameweek 23, which saw the gap at the top closed to nineteen points, which saw Deadly Daz gatecrash the Title Contenders, Jeeves drop to fourth and Mikey P move closer to escaping the wooden spoon position. With Liverpool up twice in the next gameweek, captaincy options are predictable and Triple Captain chips will be deployed, meaning there could be a lot of volatility in Gameweek 24 or, conversely, not much at all. May all your transfers be successes, may all your arrows be green and, as ever, may the FPL Gods be forever in your favour.
Hot on the heels of the LoG Cup, awarded to the manager who outlasts the others in the FPL Cup, comes The Gentlemen’s Trophy. Contested over nine gameweeks, the rules are as follows:
Round One: Ten teams compete in head-to-head, two-legged ties, drawn at random. The highest head-to-head score after two weeks progresses. The other eleven teams receive a bye, ensuring that, in Round Two, we are down to sixteen teams.
In the event of a tie, progress will be determined first by goals scored in the two gameweeks, then by fewest goals conceded in the two gameweeks, then, if necessary, by tossing the Coin of Destiny, broadcast live. Should it go to a Coin of Destiny toss, the team highest in the division will be Heads, the team lowest will be Tails, and it will be determined via best two-out-of-three tosses.
Rounds Two through to the Semi Finals: Sixteen teams compete in head-to-head, two-legged ties, drawn at random. The highest head-to-head score after two weeks progresses to the next round, until we are left with the two teams that will contest the Grand Final. In the event of a tie, the above mentioned Coin of Destiny toss rules will apply.
The Grand Final: After the previous four rounds whittle us down to two teams, those teams will compete in a one-week, all-or-nothing Grand Final – highest gameweek total wins. In the event of a tied score, on the first occasion, the two teams will compete again the following week. If they tie again, they will go head-to-head for a third and final time. If that too is a draw, and goals scored and conceded are the same, then we will revert to the Coin of Destiny toss to determine the winner of the Gentlemen’s Trophy.
The Gentlemen’s Trophy commences in Gameweek 27.