First Team 12/02/2019

FPL Review: Gameweek 26

By Sachin Dholakia's resident FPL expert Sachin Dholakia reviews the latest weekend of Fantasy Premier League action.

It was a very welcome return to winning ways for the Golden Boys as a second half Andre Gray winner was enough to hand Watford all three points against Marco Silva’s Everton at Vicarage Road in Gameweek 26.

Gray (7 points) came off the bench to bundle home thanks to a sharp cross from Will Hughes (7), but it was defender-turned-playmaker Craig Cathcart (6) who did the hard work, as his no-look pass broke the Everton defence to put Hughes through on the right.

Will Hughes laid on the goal for Andre Gray

The Hornets back line all gained clean sheet points with Ben Foster (10) the standout player, picking up all three bonus points in addition to his saves and clean sheet. Fantasy favourite José Holebas (7) also impressed despite his yellow card, as the former Greek international claimed man of the match and outpaced former Hornet Richarlison for the ball.

José Holebas - if he hasn't been in your fantasy team, you've been missing out!

The Hornets stay ahead of the Toffees in the league table, with only Wolves the team in between them and the ‘Big 6’. A trip to QPR in the FA Cup is followed by a tough away tie against an in-form Cardiff side with back-to-back league wins. Watford’s defence are on fine form with three clean sheets in the last four games, with Craig Cathcart (£4.5) and Ben Foster (£4.6) particularly impressing.

Elsewhere in the league, Manchester City stole the show yet again with a thumping 6-0 win over Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium. Raheem Sterling (18) was the highest scorer, contributing with two goals and an assist, while Sergio Agüero became the top-scoring Manchester City player in the top flight with a hat-trick. Both sides face each other again in the League Cup final in the next Gameweek and will have no FPL game, so be wary of transferring in players immediately.

Raheem Sterling continues to defy his critics and deliver consistently

Paul Pogba (16) continued to justify his 40% ownership with another brace as Manchester United eased past Fulham at Craven Cottage, with Anthony Martial (12) also adding a goal and an assist following his return from injury.

Christian Eriksen (13) made the most of injuries to Harry Kane and Dele Alli with a goal and an assist in Tottenham’s home win over Leicester, while Chris Wood (13) was an unlikely Dream Team addition with a brace in Burnley’s impressive 3-1 win at Brighton. The Clarets are unbeaten in seven league games and Wood himself has 24 points in the last three Gameweeks.

Wolves are flying high this season - a place and two points ahead ofd Watford in 7th

Willy Boly (11) grabbed a 95th minute equaliser to rescue a point for Wolves on Monday night against Newcastle, while Georginio Wijnaldum scored a wonderful lobbed goal in Liverpool’s comfortable 3-0 win over Bournemouth.

Just two points separate the top two!

Liam Moretti held firm at the top of the Watford global league but with a two-point gap on 2nd place as we enter into the final 11 Gameweeks of the season. Amr Yasser was the high-scorer in the Top 10, achieving an impressive 100 points. Congratulations if you made the Top 10 this week!

Tip Of The Week

With the League Cup Final in the next Gameweek, it may be tempting to use your ‘Free Hit’ chip if not used already, but it could also be worth holding out for FA Cup Semi-Final weekend where as many as four Premier League teams could be out of action as well as the sides they were scheduled to play.

If you heavily rely on Manchester City players and the transfer costs to replace them would be too high then the chip is worth looking into, otherwise it’s worth holding firm for a few more weeks.

Players to Watch

Ricardo Pereira has been a key player for the Foxes this season, and worked with manager Claude Puel while at OGC Nice

1) Ricardo Pereira (Leicester, £5.3) is the highest-scoring Leicester player so far this season, and the Foxes do not play a team in the top six until the three weeks before the end of the season. If affordable, should be a mainstay in your team until then. 

2) Marko Arnautović (West Ham, £6.8) is a risk having only started two of his last four games, but the Austrian international is too valuable a player to not be a regular in the team, and the Hammers have some favourable fixtures either side of an away tie to league leaders Manchester City.

3) Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal, £9.5) has started the last six games for Arsenal and is now preferred to start alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang instead of on the bench. With a lack of striker options next week for the cup final, could be worth a look at with back-to-back home games against Southampton and Bournemouth to come. 

Likely Price Rises:

Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal, £9.5), Heung-min Son (Tottenham, £8.9), Paul Pogba (Manchester United, £8.8), Ricardo Pereira (Leicester, £5.3), Anthony Martial (Manchester United, £7.2)

Likely Price Falls:

José Holebas (Watford £4.8), Richarlison (Everton, £6.7), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal, £11.1), David Luiz (Chelsea, £5.9)

Best of luck for Gameweek 27 FPL managers!

Under-18's 12/02/2019

FA Youth Cup: Ipswich Town Preview

By Kevin Affleck

Watford’s Academy are gearing up for their biggest game in many seasons tonight when they host Ipswich Town in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup.

The Hornets have been in giant-killing form in this season’s competition, knocking out last season’s semi-finalists, Birmingham City, in the third round and then toppling Southampton, a Category One Academy outfit, in the fourth round.

Now they are pitched against the Tractor Boys, and Under-18 Assistant Coach Tom Hart is excited about overseeing another special night under the lights at Wingate & Finchley FC, the scene of their last two wins.

“We’re so excited,” said Hart. “These are massive games for us. We are back at Wingate where we have really created some momentum and it’s a big game for their development. It’s a little bit different from playing at 10.30am at London Colney. We are playing for a quarter-final spot in the FA Youth Cup. The draw has really opened up and we are just trying to see how far we can go.”

Ryan Cassidy scored both of Watford's goals as the young Hornets beat Southampton 2-1 in the last round

The winners will play Leicester City away next month, but first Ipswich need to be overcome, which will be no mean feat. They are second in the Under-18 Professional Development on the back of seven straight wins. They beat Andover Town 4-0 in the third round and then Gillingham, 2-1, in the last round. 

Honours are even after the two league matches between the two sides: the Hornets won the home game 2-0 in October thanks to goals from Dom Hutchinson and Jayden Bennetts, while Ipswich won the return fixture 3-1 in December.

“The league is a lot different to the FA Youth Cup as their better players will have played up in the 23s so we might not have seen them,” said Hart. “We'll do our homework and just worry about ourselves. We’ll try to be at our best and hopefully that is enough to beat Ipswich.”

Tickets for the game, which kicks off at 7pm, can be purchased on the turnstiles at The Maurice Rebak Stadium this evening.


Adults: £6
Concessions: £3
Season ticket holders go free!