A new year in the Bundesliga is always a bit of a leap into the unknown, and friendly matches and training camps are often rendered somewhat meaningless when the whistle sounds to restart the campaign.
Thankfully the campaign is now back underway in earnest, and so I’ve analysed all nine matches from last weekend in detail to bring you my Official Fantasy Bundesliga five-a-side team for Matchday 18.
Pavel Olkowski (DF, 1. FC Köln, 5.25M)
My colleague James ‘The Coach’ Thorogood has been a huge fan of Olkowski for some time now, and in this case (surprisingly enough) he deserves credit. Olkowski played on the right of Köln’s 3-5-2 formation at Mainz last weekend, giving him more freedom to get involved, both going forward and tracking back. He won a remarkable 20 challenges and helped his team keep a clean sheet, winning him and his managers 17 Fantasy points. In a word: sign him up!
Raphael Guerreiro (DF, Borussia Dortmund, 10.55M)
Yes I’ve mentioned Guerreiro many times and no, I don’t receive a percentage of the millions that you guys have spent in signing him. I’m just completely and utterly convinced that he’s pure quality. I was at the game in Bremen last week when he came off the bench on 70 minutes and swung the game in BVB’s favour. He won six challenges in his time on the pitch and was involved in the winning goal. I’m pretty certain he’ll start against Mainz this weekend, and that he’ll score double figures in points.
Leon Goretzka (MF, FC Schalke 04, 11.65M)
While Schalke didn’t hit many heights against Ingolstadt last week, Leon Goretzka stood out thanks to his 16 successful challenges and four shots at goal, exploits that earned him 12 points. It’s that combination of tenacity and a willingness to get forward that makes him a great investment for managers out there, so make some room for him in your side!
Franck Ribery (MF, FC Bayern München, 12.1M)
Somewhat surprisingly, Ribery was left out of the starting line-up away at SC Freiburg, but he immediately impacted upon the game when he came on, assisting Robert Lewandowski’s winning goal with a trademark weaving run down the wing. He could start against Bremen, and if he does, expect him to score heavily against his favourite side to play: in 16 matches versus Werder, he has scored ten goals, provided eight assists and never lost.
Mario Gomez (ST, VfL Wolfsburg, 12.5M)
With three wins in a row, Wolfsburg are on the right track to leaving the relegation zone behind, and an important factor in that run has been Gomez rediscovering his scoring touch. He’s scored the winner in the last two matches and I’m confident he’ll continue that run against FC Augsburg this weekend. In Yunus Malli and Paul-Georges Ntep, he’s also got two great new providers to feed him.
Now I know you can only make a maximum of three new signings each week, so pick the three from my A-Team that will best suit your line-up. I guarantee you won’t regret it.
Your Scout Flo