GWs 23 & 24 – Review

So how did you all find that?! The final week of footballing action in this entire decade has been utterly exhilarating, with the goals flying in across all our leagues. This week’s review will feature that exciting ‘Boxing Day bonus’ round as well as all the action from gameweek 24. With so many talking points to mull over, we need to crack straight on!

We’ll start with our Boxing Day table-topper; massive congratulations to Simon French! It was a slow start for gameweek 23’s Global League leader, as highly popular choice Rangers (92 picks) and League Two side Exeter City each scored solitary goals on x2 and x3. Sheffield Wednesday and Celtic (also popular as ever – 91 picks) each scored twice on x4 and x8 and those two teams bookended a sumptuous combination of 6 goal Yeovil Town (23 picks) on x6, themselves sandwiched between 4 goal Swindon Town and Liverpool on x5 and x7 respectively. This handed Simon a score of 113 and a ticket to Club 100, where he was joined by just two other players – well done to Charlie Chamberlain (109 points) and Jonathan Stewart (100 exactly).

However just a couple of days later in GW 24, the club was empty for the first time in nine gameweeks! It wasn’t even close either, Stewart Murdoch coming nearest to a ton by reaching the mid 70s. A combination of 2 goal Tottenham (39 picks), Edinburgh City and Cove Rangers (back to being heavily selected – 64 picks) on x5 through to x7 gave the week’s winner 36 points, while Montrose’s 3 goals on x8 handed Stewart a juicy 24 point boost. To reach that point, Arsenal and Liverpool (another huge 91 picks) scored a goal apiece on x3 and x4, but it was 4 goal Salford City that will probably be classed as Stewart’s best choice and yet biggest regret, as they sat on x2 and only rewarded him with a measly 8 points. This meant the top score for gameweek 24 was just 75 – the lowest high score this season! Well done to Stewart all the same, it was clearly a tough week for the masses! But the goals were being scored, with ‘Perfect 7’ scores of 163 and 161 available over the two festive gameweeks. 5 goal Stockport County and 6 goal Yeovil Town were the highest scorers on Boxing Day, while Leeds (11 picks), Raith Rovers (0 picks!) and Lincoln City (again, 0 selections!) each netted 5 to spearhead GW 24’s highest possible score.

The overall averages weren’t great over the two quickfire gameweeks, as  scores of 22 and 21 respectively were also recorded. Christmas fixtures have traditionally been wildly unpredictable, but 34 of you did predict Manchester Utd to do the business against Newcastle (which they did with a 4 goal haul), just 8 of you backed 4 goal Burton Albion as they put Tranmere Rovers to the sword and no one expected Crawley Town to put 4 past Northampton Town. There were some tasty fixtures over the weekend, none more so than at Celtic Park and for once the majority of you didn’t chance it when it came to backing Celtic or Rangers – the Old Firm clash is about as volatile as they come and it’s no surprise that we saw only 15 selections of Celtic and just 4 for eventual 2-1 winners Rangers. There was also a bonkers match at St Andrews where Leeds Utd (11 picks) beat Birmingham (2) by 5 goals to 4, with some fantastic end to end goalmouth action.

Those on Santa’s naughty list with minus scores will be looking to the New Year’s Day bonus round to recuperate lost points. We had a total of 37 minus scores recorded across the two gameweeks, made up of 28 minus 20s, 8 minus 40s and a thoroughly miserable Boxing Day minus 120 for Stephen Cruise. Not exactly the season of goodwill there!

That’s a wrap for this week! Remember to get your selections in for the second bonus round of this hectic period – the ‘New Year’s Special’, where the early fixtures include a trip to the south coast for Chelsea as they take on Brighton, while Burnley host Aston Villa in the two Premier League clashes. In the Championship the early kick off sees Millwall host Luton Town at The Den. Let us know how you fared over the busy Christmas in the comments below and good luck for New Year’s Day!

– Samuel Wilkinson