- James Thorogood boasts back-to-back Project 50 wins.
- 'The Coach' prepares to gamble on Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez .
- 'The Scout' and 'The Expert' opt for intriguing Matchday 13 picks.
James 'The Coach' Thorogood is on a roll after successive 'Project 50' triumphs but he can't rest easy this week with Matt 'The Expert' Howarth and Flo 'The Scout' Reinecke plotting his downfall in the battle of our Official Fantasy Bundesliga insiders.
So, how does Project 50 work? With a budget of 50M, our three experts must choose two defenders, two midfielders and a striker. After back-to-back victories, James is thumbing his nose at his rivals this week, but while 'The Coach' has been celebrating, Matt 'The Expert' Howarth and Flo Reinecke, a.k.a. 'The Scout,' have been studiously dissecting the Bundesliga in search of the players who can stop James in his tracks on Matchday 13. Let's take a look at who the trio have opted for this weekend?
James 'The Coach' Thorogood
Wahey back-to-back victories! Sead Kolasinac proved to be an inspired choice last week and I'm hoping I've got another trick up my sleeve with my Matchday 13 picks, which again include three from my favourable fixtures recommendations.
- Konstantinos Stafylidis (DF, FC Augsburg, 6.9M): Augsburg have kept three straight clean sheets and have all the qualities needed to keep a rather slow-paced Frankfurt frontline quiet. Even if that doesn't pan out, Stafylidis is still likely to get an above average score.
- Anthony Jung (DF, FC Ingolstadt 04, 1.4M): I almost brought Jung into the Project 50 fold last week and instead opted for Benno Schmitz. Jung, of course, went on to score. I'm not expecting him to repeat that feat, but I needed a low-budget option to be able to spend big elsewhere.
- Michael Gregoritsch (MF, Hamburger SV, 10.15M): Hats off if you picked Gregoritsch last week. His 16-point haul was incredibly impressive and I'm expecting another double-digit return with Hamburg taking on Darmstadt in a relegation six-pointer.
- Marco Reus (MF, Borussia Dortmund, 13.9M): It's been a long time coming, but I can't wait to see Marco Reus make his first Bundesliga start of the season. He's got goals, assists and set-pieces in his locker, not to mention a good chance of winning plenty of challenges based on his dribbling skills.
- Chicharito (FW, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 15.55M): Now here's the risky pick. The Mexican megastar hasn't scored since Matchday 6, but having seen how Freiburg defended against Leipzig on Matchday 12, I'm confident Chicharito will break his duck this weekend.
Matt 'The Expert' Howarth
Time to knock the coach off his perch. Here are my fantastic five for Matchday 13...
- David Abraham (DF, Eintracht Frankfurt, 7.85M): The Eagles are flying at the minute and are up against an FC Augsburg side that has failed to score in its last two outings. Abraham picked up 12 points in his last away appearance, in a 2-1 win at SV Werder Bremen. If Eintracht can keep a clean sheet, the Argentine could get at least another dozen on Matchday 13!
- Niklas Stark (DF, Hertha Berlin, 9.85M): Hertha are another side with an impressive defensive record this season. Like Frankfurt, the Old Lady travel to a team with one of the worst home records in the division - VfL Wolfsburg. Stark has collected 25 points in his last two outings. Need I say more?
- Kevin Kampl (MF, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 12.6M): Leverkusen have lost their last two in the league, but Kampl has been one of Die Werkself’s most consistent performers this term. Indeed, the 26-year-old had one of the most impressive tackle success ratios in the game prior to the Matchday 10 win over SV Darmstadt 98, which he missed through injury. Time for Kampl to rediscover that form.
- Szabolcs Huszti (MF, Eintracht Frankfurt, 6.3M): Having scored one and set up another against Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 12, the pressure is on Huszti to pick up where he left off against Augsburg on Sunday. I’m counting on you, Szabolcs!
- Emil Forsberg (FW, RB Leipzig, 12M): The Sweden international has had a hand in seven goals in his last three league appearances (two goals, five assists). The league leaders face a tough clash against in-form FC Schalke 04 on Saturday, but Forsberg is practically unplayable at the moment. He might just prove the difference for my side this weekend.
Flo 'The Scout' Reinecke
Does James 'The Coach' dare go for a Project 50 hat-trick this week? Not if I can help it. Here are my picks ...
- Sokratis (DF, 13.5M, Borussia Dortmund): It's hard to argue against the uncompromising Greek in Official Fantasy Bundesliga. I expect Sokratis to rack up plenty of points against a Borussia Mönchengladbach side who have hardly been setting the world on fire in terms of their goalscoring rate of late.
- Benjamin Hübner (DF, 11.2M, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim): Hübner took some time to bed in at his current club following a switch from FC Ingolstadt 04 but he has since become an integral part of Hoffenheim’s three-man central defensive partnership. He was a rock in the 1-1 draw against Gladbach, winning 17 challenges.
- Kai Havertz (MF, 1.6M, Bayer 04 Leverkusen): When writing an article about three aspiring Bundesliga stars, I made up mind that the 17-year-old Havertz must be in my team. As well as boosting my regular Official Fantasy Bundesliga side, I will reap the rewards in this five-man selection too!
- Julian Brandt (MF, 14.75M, Bayer 04 Leverkusen): I am placing my midfield firmly in the hands of Die Werkself. Brandt is always good for a goal or an assist. When this player is on fire, he can’t be stopped – much like me.
- Borja Mayoral (FW, 5.3M, VfL Wolfsburg): The Wolfsburg striker is set for his first Bundesliga start for the team he joined from Real Madrid. I expect the 19-year-old Spaniard to rise to the occasion. I'm confident that he will also offer a firm challenge against Hertha’s tough defence.
Watch: The Battle of the Borussias - Dortmund vs Gladbach!