With only eight games remaining in the 2018/19 Premier League season, it's probably not the most natural time to be thinking about the birth and growth of new beginnings. Besides, by now the pre-season optimism tends to have vanished entirely for many fans, as they struggle to come to terms with their club's season of mid-table mediocrity/underachievement. Instead, the focus shifts to convincing themselves there is something more than just pride to play for; or worse - that their team has enough to survive the dreaded 'R' word. Unfortunately, if you're a fan of either Fulham or Huddersfield Town, only a resurrection of biblical proportions can save your team now, but at least you won't have to suffer the ignominy of the league's lowest ever points total. Derby County fans can sleep safe in the knowledge that their record from the 2007/08 season is intact for another year.
Now what was that I mentioned about the birth and growth of new beginnings? Oh yes, it's worth reminding ourselves that Spring is just around the corner, so it's time to start looking forward to (theoretically) more sun, warmer temperatures and also the rebirth of your FSM Superliga title challenge. In other words, we're entering the business end of the season. This is what separates the men from the boys, so I urge you to arise from your Fantasy Football hibernation and transfer in those players who will be your springboard to success. Not sure who to buy? Please read on!
Tikka Mo Salah
Manager: Richard Merritt
Gameweek Points: 52
Overall Points: 1,921
Not since the great Real Madrid team of the late 50s, have we witnessed such domination in world football. It's difficult to remember the last time Tikka Mo Salah didn't occupy top spot in the FSM Superliga and given how they've been so hot to handle this season, Richard might as well change the name to "We're gonna score one more than you FC" or simply "Vindaloo". One grain of hope for the chasing pack is that the business end of the season tends to throw up more than its fair share of surprises, with the form book going out the window. Those chasing the title grind out performances (Liverpool in recent weeks), whereas teams fighting for survival score last minute winners.
Salomon Rondon's goal against Everton may not have come in the dying seconds, but it set struggling Newcastle on their way to a remarkable comeback victory, which now leaves The Magpies 6 points clear of the drop zone. It also contributed 11 points for Tikka Mo Salah, to give the runaway leader a relatively modest score of 52 in Gameweek 30. Along with strike partner Ayoze Perez, Rondon is one of the form players at the moment with 3 goals in his last 7 games and either of the Newcastle forwards would be useful additions to your squad for the run-in. However, one player you cannot do without right now is Raheem Sterling, who was Richard's standout performer with a colossal 21 points. He continued to show how much he has developed under Guardiola as he scored all three goals in City's home win over Watford and so good was his performance, that even Piers Morgan tweeted his praise! So there you go, if you're not going to listen to me, then at least take the advice of one of Britain's national treasures. It is also worth noting that the scorer of Watford's consolation, Gerard Deulofeu, is currently the Premier League's form player and with a price tag of only £5.6m, he comes at an absolute steal. Anyway, well done Richard - hold your nerve in the final weeks and your name will be etched into Fantasy Football folklore!
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
Manager - Andrew Sharples
Gameweek Points - 99
Overall Points - 1,698
What a performance it was from the Fairview Flyers, who will have left Andrew feeling on cloud nine (or cloud 99) after almost racking up a three figure score in Gameweek 30. Quite frankly, the Fairview Flyers sound like they should be competing in the Super Bowl, but we don't expect Andrew to be coming down from his cloud to 'touchdown' on earth any time soon. The makeup of his team very much sacrifices defensive solidity for attacking flair, and with a midfield quartet of Eden Hazard, Sadio Mane, Raheem Sterling and David Silva, it has the potential to cause some serious damage when they're all on song. Last week they all hit the high notes, with Mane leading by example as he bagged a brace in Liverpool's 4-2 victory over Burnley to register a captain-inspired 28 points. Sterling wasn't too far behind, who as we mentioned was the hat-trick hero against Watford and he had Silva to thank for playing the killer pass for his third goal. As for Hazard, he hasn't quite managed to replicate his early season form in recent months, but was Chelsea's saviour against Wolves as he scored a last minute equaliser. Elsewhere, Jamie Vardy's goals proved the difference for Leicester in their win over Fulham, which makes it four in his last four games, whilst Salomon Rondon also starred in attack. Nice work Andrew, the Fairview Flyers have got the business end of the season off to a flying start!