An international break is always a good time to wildcard. With two full weeks to analyse the stats and chop & change different line-ups, you’re in a better position to make a long-term decision for your new-look squad. Below is my ideal GW8 wildcard team, barring any last-minute injury updates.
The best strategy for a wildcard during the first half of the season is surrounding your must-have players with a blend of long-term safe bets, a few calculated punts on players with good form and/or fixtures, and then one or two risky differentials, depending on your play style. Usually, I’m a bit of a maverick and always try to convince myself of one extra risky differential, but I’ve learnt over the years that having more safe bets at this stage of the season is a wise tactic.
GW8 Wildcard Team
GK & Defence
Similar to last week’s wildcard, I feel confident in most of these assets performing well all season and now feel set on a back 4 formation. The only difference is bringing Trent back in for Semedo, and doubling up on City rather than Chelsea. I considered 5 at the back, but with Livramento’s fixtures swinging, he’s the perfect bench player. In goal it’s Ramsdale, I still believe a 4.5m keeper is the best option so have stuck with my assessment of Ramsdale. I did toy with the idea of Ederson, but ultimately there’s more value and flexibility in Dias.
My must-have midfielders are Salah & Raphinha. My calculated punt is Mbeumo, whose fixtures turn after this week and is playing out of position. Then my risky differential is Phil Foden, who could well be the flavour of the month for Pep, and has great fixtures. Then my bench fodder is Douglas Luis, who will crop up with the occasional assist but it’s more that he’s a guaranteed 2 points off the bench.
My must-have is Antonio, until he gets injured he’s a set & forget option. My safe bet is Lukaku, he’s a borderline must-have, so these next set of fixtures will help in that regard. Then my final forward slot has gone to Hwang. He is a punt, but his partnership and understanding with Jimenez look promising, and at 5.5m, he rotates well with Mbeumo and allows me the funds for a strong defensive lineup.
Two other options I’ve considered: Swapping Foden, Mbeumo & Hwang for Toney, Smith-Rowe & Torres/Benrahma. Or swapping Dias, Hwang & Mbuemo for a 4.5m defender (White, Henry, Marcel) plus Toney and Smith-Rowe. The rest of the team I feel really confident about long-term.
Good luck with any transfer/wildcard decisions you have to make, and if you’re still here, why not check out our writer’s hot takes on the best manager & player currently in the Premier League…