Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Gameweek 18 Preview & Tips

CAPTAINCY CONTENDERS- In my opinion, there are 4 solid captaincy options this week, with all of them able to obtain a huge haul midweek. In the picture above, I have displayed my top 4 captain options this week.

Let's start from the top:

Luis Suarez- Who else to start with other than captain consistent himself; Luis Suarez. Time and time again he has proved he can score against anyone, and this week he will face the ultimate test. The Etihad is known to be a fortress for Manchester City on the attacking front, but they still aren't rock solid at the back. Liverpool should go in full of confidence, sitting atop the Premier League, and Suarez will undoubtedly lead the line while wearing the captain's armband for the third consecutive game. With his current form, Suarez is the "safe" pick this week.

Wayne Rooney- Those of you who listened to my advice last article were paid back in style, with Rooney notching 11 points after shaking off an injury. He is away to Hull city, who are never easy competition. In the three games Rooney has played against Hull, he has 5 goals and 3 assists (take into consideration 4 goals came in 1 match). He is a great captaincy differential if you own him this week, but I'd be a bit worried of his positioning.  In away games, Rooney tends to drop a bit deeper in order to support his midfield.

Romelu Lukaku- Lukaku has been streaky of late, only assisting 3 times in his last 4. I expect him to break his 4 game goalless drought this weekend against Sunderland. The struggling Black Cats with be without centre back Wes Brown, as he received a red card in the dying embers of their stalemate last week against Norwich. I expect Everton to win this one quite comfortably, with Lukaku being involved.

Yaya Toure- The jig is up. Those who have overlooked Yaya Toure find themselves in a deep deep hole. What has happened with Toure is very similar to what happened to Ramsey. People (including myself) overlooked them due to the fact that we thought they were over-performing. I have bad news: Yaya is the real deal. Despite the naysayers and fantasy doubters, Yaya has been racking in the points quite consistently. Yaya has accumulated 5 goals and 3 assists in 8 games at the Etihad, and has gotten attacking returns in every game in front of his home fans. If you feel this is the week to take a punt with your captain, Yaya could flourish once again. With his deadly set pieces as well as spot kick duties in replacement for the injured Aguero, Yaya Toure could be a great differential this week. 

CLEAN SHEET POTENTIAL- This week, I fancy four clean sheets:

Chelsea at home to Swansea

Everton at home to Sunderland

Tottenham at home to WBA

Arsenal away to West Ham

THE TIDES HAVE TURNEDDespite the early season tactics of 2 rotating cheap midfielders, many are trying to shift funds back into midfield. 

Many sub 5m midfielders are failing to fill their role, as the points have dried up for many of them. With a new plan in place, the suggested "template" that fantasy managers are going for includes a cheaper back line (for the time being) in order to fit 3 heavy hitters in midfield; along with Aaron Ramsey.

If you are planning to do so until January Wildcard, your midfield should look something like this:

Hazard - Yaya/Silva - Walcott/Ozil - Ramsey - (bench fodder)

This template midfield should do well going into January, as most of these players are essential to their clubs and should produce attacking returns.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Gameweek 17 Preview & Tips


Luis Suarez- Suarez has now played 11 games, and is averaging 12.4 points per game. That is absolutely mental considering if you captained him all 11 times he's played, he would be earning you around 25 points each week. With a home game to Cardiff at the weekend and with Suarez likely wearing the armband once again, no fantasy manager should or dare to look elsewhere for captaincy. It's plain and simple this week: captain Luis Suarez.

CLEAN SHEET POTENTIAL- This week, I  fancy three teams for a clean sheet.

Liverpool at home to Cardiff

Manchester United at home to West Ham

Sunderland at home to Norwich

WAYNE ROONEY DILEMMAThis week many did early transfers, replacing the injured Sergio Aguero with Wayne Rooney. Unfortunately, we found out later in the week that Rooney had also picked up an injury, and is doubtful for Manchester United's encounter with West Ham on Saturday.

My advice to those who are contemplating a hit to remove Rooney and have a healthy bench would be to hold off, as he should be back in time for United's mid-week clash with Hull City.

Usually in fantasy football "less is more", and it's always tempting to chase points from the week before. So strap down those knees and secure those trigger fingers, because it's never comforting going into a week already at (-4).

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Gameweek 16 Preview & Tips

CAPTAINCY CONTENDERS- In my opinion, there are 4 solid captaincy options this week, with all of them able to obtain a huge haul at the weekend. In the table above, I have listed my top 4 captain options this week.

Let's start from the top:

Luis Suarez- Suarez is FPL Gold at the moment, and giving him the armband with confidence should not be a problem. He has showed time after time that he is capable of delivering the points. This weekend he is up against Tottenham, who have recently suffered a defensive blow with Jan Vertonghen set for a spell on the sidelines. With the Big Belgian out, I can see Suarez causing havoc for the Spurs' backline. Another positive is that with Gerrard out, Suarez is likely to hog all the direct set pieces as well as penalty duty, increasing his appeal even more.

Sergio Aguero- Although Aguero hasn't gotten monster scores the last couple of weeks, he still was able to find the net in both matches. With the opportunities Aguero is getting, it's only a matter of time before the Argentine once again is among the top scorers for the week. This weekend he will be involved in an important clash of the titans, which involves both City and Arsenal. Aguero has done well versus all the top clubs this season, and playing at home gives him that cutting edge to perform in front of the City fans. He is my number two pick for captain this weekend.

Romelu Lukaku- Lukaku has only achieved double figures twice this season, but has steadily delivered fantasy points most weeks. He is very capable of delivering a double digit haul, he just needs the right fixture. This weekend he is at home to a struggling Fulham side, who have found it both tough to score as well as keep out their opponents. I see Lukaku among the goals this weekend for Everton, and could be a great differential captain if you're willing to take the risk.

Wayne Rooney- Rooney is back from suspension this weekend, and will be away to a makeshift Aston Villa defence, who is conceding loads of opportunities each game. With Rooney having served his suspension last week and United losing yet again, I expect Rooney to come back with a bang, lifting United to victory. Once again, Rooney is a decent captain differential this week as I expect most managers to go with Suarez, who seems to be the safest choice despite his tricky fixture.

CLEAN SHEET POTENTIAL- This week, I fancy three clean sheets:

Chelsea at home to Palace

Everton at home to Fulham

Hull at home to Stoke

RETURNING FROM INJURYManchester City David Silva and Swansea's Michu have both returned form injury. 

David SilvaSilva played a key part in City's 3-2 comeback win vs. Bayern Munich mid-week, scoring the first of City's 3 goals. He should feature again this weekend against Arsenal, and could be a great differential going into the December break if he can retain his fitness and stay injury-free.

Michu- Michu was involved in Swansea's 1-1 draw with Hull last weekend. Although he has a tricky schedule, if fit he will partake in all of Swansea's matches as their lone striker until Bony is back. When the Ivorian returns, Michu should drop back into his preferred center forward role, giving him the freedom to roam 'in the hole'.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Gameweek 15 Preview & Tips

CAPTAINCY CONTENDERS- In tribute to Luis Suarez's dazzling 24pt performance last week, I don't see a need to look anywhere else for this week's captaincy.

Luis Suarez- Suarez exploded as predicted last gameweek, notching 4 goals and 1 assist. He now leads the league in goals, as well as outscoring 8 other Premier League teams all by himself. This weekend he is up against a dodgy West Ham defence, who has struggled lately without CB Winston Reid. It's pretty simple from an FPL perspective: if you own Suarez, captain him. If you don't own him, do everything in your power to get him and captain him. At the moment Suarez is absolutely on top of his game, and will clearly stop at nothing. He has the killer instinct that many strikers lack, and shows no mercy to weak defenses. At this point in time, Suarez is averaging a ridiculous 11 points per game, and has played 90 minutes is every game bar 1. With such short rest between gameweeks, Suarez is the best choice for the armband, as his energy rarely runs out, and he will be raring to go at the weekend.

CLEAN SHEET POTENTIAL- This week, I  fancy three teams for a clean sheet.

Crystal Palace at home to Cardiff

Liverpool at home to West Ham

Swansea at home to Hull City

SUSPENSION TIGHTROPEThis week, Wayne Rooney, Ravel Morrison and Jonas Olsson all fell victim to their 5th yellow cards respectively, earning each of them a 1 match ban. Here are some viable replacements for each:

Romelu Lukaku (8.2)- Everton's talisman on-loan striker has been bringing home the goods as of late, and his fixtures are set to turn for the best. Starting GW16, Everton have one of the best schedules leading up until Christmas, and if Rooney is too much of a burden to carry this week, Lukaku is a great replacement. Although this transfer may be a week early, Lukaku is rising in price and may do some damage at the Emirates as well.

Barry Bannan (4.4)- Having scored 1 and assisted 1 in his last 4 games, Barry Bannan may turn out to be a bargain at only 4.4. Although he does play for Palace, Bannan frees up a lot of cash in the midfield, which can benefit players planning to rotate their 4th and 5th mids up until Christmas. Also, Palace has a favorable fixture schedule coming up with some very winnable matches. With Palace looking to turn their season around, Bannan's set piece duty may benefit owners, as he looks to pick out target man Chamakh and co. on set plays.

Sylvain Distin (5.1)- Like I said above, Everton's fixtures are great starting GW16, and most fantasy managers will look to Everton defence as a good source for points. Distin, priced at only 5.1 is the cheapest of the Everton back-line, and is nailed on. He could be a great differential to highly owned Seamus Coleman and Phil Jagielka, and allows you to save your cash to upgrade elsewhere in your fantasy squad.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Gameweek 14 Preview & Tips

CAPTAINCY CONTENDERS- In my opinion, there are 2 solid captaincy options this week, with the rest of the "big hitters" having tricky fixtures. In the table above, I have listed my top 2 captain options this week, along with their fixtures.

Let's start from the top:

Luis Suarez- Suarez experienced just his second blank of the season Sunday, as Liverpool dropped points away to Hull City, losing 3-1. On the upside, Suarez plays his favorite team Wednesday. Suarez has scored a hattrick in his past 2 appearances vs. Norwich, and can make history by netting another 3 mid week. As funny as it sounds, it's not unlikely that Suarez runs riot once again vs. the Canaries, as his past performances against them will surely haunt the Norwich defence. If you have him, I suggest you back the Uruguayan and hand him the armband.

Wayne Rooney- If you're looking for that Mr. Differential this week, Rooney has been nothing short of spectacular in recent weeks. In the past 5 gameweeks, Rooney has accumulated scores of: 12, 12, 4, 11, 13. As most of us know, Rooney is a form player. When he's hot, he's on fire; and at the moment he is in the form of his life. Over 80% of United's goals in the past 5 gameweeks have either been scored or assisted by Rooney. That is a ridiculous stat. He's coming up against his former club Everton, who he usually struggles against. Although this time, he has Moyes on his side, and I fancy Moyes to perhaps tell Rooney the weak spots to attack in the Everton back line. If you don't have Suarez, Rooney is surely your man.

If you don't have either of these players, I suggest perhaps punting on an Arsenal mid such as Walcott or Ramsey. Might be worth a shot with the lack of captaincy options this week. I fancy Walcott to be handed his first start since returning from injury, and Ramsey has been in outstanding form this whole season.

CLEAN SHEET POTENTIAL- This week, I once again fancy three of the big clubs for a clean sheet.

Arsenal at home to Hull

Liverpool home to Norwich

Spurs away to Fulham

BORUC REPLACEMENTSWith Boruc out for up to 6 weeks, he is owned by 21.4% of players, and is dropping in price quite rapidly. If you are in need of a Goalkeeper replacement up until the January Wildcard, here are some direct swap options:

Costel Pantillimon (4.9)- Pantillimon replaced Joe Hart in net as City's starting goalkeeper, after they suffered defeat to Chelsea in gameweek 9. Having secured 3 clean sheets in 4 attempts, and only conceding 1 goal, Pantillimon has certainly made a claim to retain the #1 position long-term; or at least until January. With Kompany returning from injury soon, it could be a huge boost for City's back line. At 4.9m and only 1.2% ownership, Panti might be worth grabbing until January.

David Marshall (4.5)- Marshall has certainly been peppered with a lot of shots this season, already accumulating 56 saves. Although Cardiff have only kept 3 clean sheets this season, Marshall maybe worth looking at, with some decent fixtures coming up. Cardiff have 3 home games as well as an away trip to Palace, which may boost the likelihood of Marshall's clean sheet potential.

Julian Speroni (4.5)- Although Palace were terrible early on in the season, they have found a new source of hope in coach Tony Pulis. Pulis is well known for his defensive stronghold at Stoke, obtaining 12 clean sheets last season. With Crystal Palace's favorable fixtures, and Pulis in charge, we may see an increase in defensive returns. If you're willing to bank on a Palace turnaround with Pulis, Speroni looks nailed on as the #1 keeper, and may be worth a look at only 4.5m.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Gameweek 13 Preview & Tips

CAPTAINCY CONTENDERS- In my opinion, there are 4 solid captaincy options this week, with all of them able to obtain a huge haul at the weekend. In the table above, I have listed my top 4 captain options this week.

Let's start from the top:

Sergio Aguero- Aguero is proving to be one of the hardest forwards to mark, with his great movement and pace. He added yet another goal mid-week vs CSKA, which brings his total to 16 in 16 on the year, averaging 1 goal a game. This weekend he is at home vs. Swansea. At home this year, Aguero is averaging 11.2 ppg, which is massive. I would ramble on more but I think the stats do the talking here. If you own Aguero, hand him the armband this weekend and don't look back.

Luis Suarez- Suarez has scored or assisted in almost every game since returning from injury, Arsenal being the exception. This stat shows how vital he is to Liverpool's success, and the great form he's in. This weekend he travels to KC Stadium, where he's up against Hull City. Despite's Hull's great home record, I expect Liverpool to turn them over, with Suarez causing the most damage. If you don't own Aguero, Suarez is equally capable of delivering a double-digit haul, and is also a great candidate for the armband.

Christian Benteke- Benteke's recent struggles in front of goal may have you wondering why I have him in my top 4 captain options for this week. When starting without Agbonlahor or Weimann, Benteke has only scored 7 goals in 25 games. However, when he starts alongside his strike partners, he has scored 27 goals in 28 games. With Agbonlahor and Weimann returning to the lineup this weekend, along with the fact that Benteke scored his last hattrick at home to Sunderland, I think he's a great captain differential this weekend.

Alvaro Negredo- From a fantasy perspective, Negredo has surely been in Aguero's shadow this season. Despite his reduced minutes, the Spaniard has quietly gone about his business. He's scored 5 goals and assisted 3 so far, averaging about a goal or assist per 90 mins played. Despite being second fiddle to Aguero, of course not everyone can afford the Argentine. Having outscored their opponents 26-2 at home this season and winning their last two matches 7-0 and 6-0 at home, Man. City are in great form. If you don't own Aguero, giving the armband to his strike partner this weekend could be a good call.

CLEAN SHEET POTENTIAL- This week, I fancy three of the big clubs for a clean sheet, so I'll just state them because they seem quite likely.

Liverpool away to Hull

Chelsea at home to Southampton

City at home to Swansea

DEFENDER DIFFERENTIALSWith some injuries at the back such as Baines and Nastasic, many are looking for some differential replacements. Here's a couple you can consider, though they might not be 100% nailed on.

Jonny Evans (5.0)- Although Evans did not start the season, he has started 5 of the past 7 league games. At a reduced price at 5.0, he could well be worth investing in. Although United haven't been solid at the back recently, they have some favorable fixtures coming up, and Evans has played a big part of their recent success.

Daniel Agger (5.7)- Recently returning from injury, Agger has reclaimed his starting role in Liverpool's back line. Although many are jumping to hop on Glen Johnson, Agger may be a great differential to him, getting forward during corners. Also, Agger played a great part in Liverpool's early success, and can hopefully help stabilize the back line at Anfield. 

Vlad Chiriches (5.2)- Chiriches has obtained 3 clean sheets in 3 starts this season for Spurs. His experience in the back may make AVB think twice about leaving him out of the lineup, after being humiliated 6-0 away to Manchester City. If he can cement his spot in the starting XI over Dawson, he can prove great value at 5.2, with decent fixtures coming up after Manchester United at home this weekend.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Gameweek 12 Preview & Tips

CAPTAINCY CONTENDERS- This week is an odd one. Coming back from the international break, there is no standout option for the armband this week. Due to the tricky fixtures, this week's captaincy contenders will be split into 2 categories: the heavy hitters, and the 'maverick' picks. A 'maverick' pick is usually a pick that will separate you from the masses, and this week might not be a bad time for a differential captain.

The Heavy Hitters

Sergio Aguero- Despite City losing it's 4th straight match at the Stadium of Light last gameweek, Aguero has been absolutely outstanding at home. In the 5 league games he has played at the Etihad Stadium, Aguero has scored 5 goals and assisted 4 times. Despite Tottenham's resilient defending away from home this season, I think they will be overwhelmed by the City attack. I don't see them keeping Aguero out, therefore making him a great captaincy choice for this weekend.

Luis Suarez- At the moment, Luis Suarez is the closest a player can possibly get to "essential" status, averaging 10.7 points per game. Suarez means so much to the Reds, that they sent a private jet to escort the Uruguayan back from his playoff fixture vs Jordan Wednesday evening, to allow him more rest. Suarez will take part in the Meyerside derby vs. Everton at the weekend, and we all know how involved he is in Liverpool's attack. I don't see Everton keeping a clean sheet, and of course Suarez will be pestering the Everton back line. With Suarez's willingness to score and grab the full 3 points for his team, I think he's a great shout for the armband.

Robin Van Persie- Due to his high price tag, the flying Dutchman has been overlooked by many. Having recently strung together scores of: 8, 11, 12 and 9 the past 4 weeks, RVP is starting to regain his golden scoring touch. Away to Cardiff this weekend, Van Persie is up against a team that allows the most chances per game, which will have RVP licking his lips. I know many can't afford him, but if you have him in your team currently, there's no doubt who you should hand the armband to this weekend.

The 'Maverick' Picks

Loic Remy- Remy has slowly and steadily been doing the business for Newcastle up front this season, already having grabbed 7 goals and an assist. Remy has been involved in 57% of all Newcastle's goals this season, and is up against a Norwich side who are not exactly rock solid at the back. If you feel like taking a risk, this is the perfect week to do it. With no standout captaincy option, Remy may turn out to be the perfect choice.

Eden Hazard- Mourinho must have been exstatic last gameweek, with the Begian grabbing the game tying goal at the death, to preserve Mourinho's unbeaten streak at home at Stamford Bridge. This weekend Chelsea have a tricky fixture away to West Ham, which have proved to be a thorn in Chelsea's side in the past. This year though, West Ham is ridden with injuries, having 3 of their starting 4 defenders out. This may well be a blessing in disguise for Hazard owners, as he is lethal on the counter-attack, and will also be on PKs with Lampard off the pitch. Once again, if you want to take a risk with the armband, Hazard is a decent option.

Christian Benteke- Benteke owners must be kicking themselves at the moment, having rushed him into their teams after his return from injury. As we all witnessed early this season, Benteke has the power and technical ability to punish teams, both in the air and on the counter attack. But without his "buddies" Agbonlahor and Weimann, Benteke has struggled to find the net. Although he hasn't scored since being back from injury, he has been rather unlucky. Benteke has hit the post and crossbar quite a few times in the past 2 gameweeks. Away to WBA isn't an easy fixture, but if you want to have that last minute Monday night captain, Benteke is a punt that may just come good.

CLEAN SHEET POTENTIAL- This week I fancy most games to be quite tight, so here's the teams that I believe will keep a cleanie:

Hull at home to Crystal Palace

Newcastle at home to Norwich

Man. City at home to Tottenham

THEO WALCOTT UPDATEWith many wanting to bring in the Arsenal man, here's the latest news on him:

Arsène Wenger believes the return of Theo Walcott will provide his team with a different option when they go forward.


Arsène Wenger has revealed the following team news ahead of the Southampton game:
on Theo Walcott....
Theo will be back for Saturday in the squad. He's completely fit again. He has not played for a long time, of course, he has not played even a reserve team game, but I will put him in the squad on Saturday. Yes [I will use him cautiously].

Friday, 8 November 2013

Gameweek 11 Preview & Tips

CAPTAINCY CONTENDERS- In my opinion, there are 4 solid captaincy options this week, with all of them able to obtain a huge haul at the weekend. In the table above, I have listed my top 4 captain options this week.

Let's start from the top:

Luis Suarez- The Uruguayan obtained his first blank since returning from injury last time out vs. Arsenal. Suarez was unlucky not to have scored; hitting the post, and shooting a great opportunity narrowly wide. Up against Fulham this weekend, I have no doubt in my mind Suarez will return to his regular goal scoring ways. Fulham have allowed 5 goals in their last 2 matches, and I don't see them keeping Liverpool out at Anfield. I see at least 3 goals for the Reds, with Suarez involved in at least 66.6% of them.

Sergio Aguero- Aguero continued his great form in the Champions League mid-week, with two goals and an assist to lead City to a 5-2 wni over CSKA Moscow, assuring City's place in the next round. He goes into the weekend on fire, and is up against relegation fodders Sunderland. Don't be fooled, the last 3 meetings City has travelled to the Stadium of Light, they have lost all 3. I can't say I see the same fate this year for Sunderland, as City look to have too much firepower up top. I reckon Aguero continues to fill his boots at the weekend, notching at least a goal.

Romelu Lukaku- Lukaku is up against last place Crystal Palace this weekend, as is coming off a nitty-gritty match vs. Tottenham, which ended in a 0-0 draw, and also saw Lukaku withdrawn early, after colliding with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. The Belgian has now been cleared for the weekend, and has resumed full training. I expect Everton to have their way with Palace, as they look absolutely helpless at the moment. It won't help that they'll have Lukaku running at them all game, as I expect him to add to his goal tally this weekend. He's a great shout for the armband.

Daniel Sturridge- Wittle baby Daniel will have had enough time to recover from last weekend's tamper tantrum, which saw the England international flail his arms in disgust and aggravation  after teammate Luis Suarez did not square him the ball in front of goal. Despite his frustration last weekend, I expect SAS (Sturridge and Suarez) to make peace this weekend, setting up each other for goals as they rip Fulham to shreds. He's a decent captaincy option if you don't own any of the other three options mentioned in the article.

CLEAN SHEET POTENTIAL- This week, I fancy quite a few teams for a clean sheet, so I'll just state them and keep it short and sweet. 

Chelsea at home to WBA

Southampton at home to Hull

City away to Sunderland

Swansea at home to Stoke

SILVA/MICHU REPLACEMENTSWith Silva and Michu both red flagged, it is clear that a replacement is in order. Two players I fancy a punt on are Coutinho and Nasri.

Phillippe Coutinho- Although Coutinho disappointed owners earlier in the season, his background stats look quite good. Here's his stats in comparion to leading midfield scorer Aaron Ramsey:

4(1) appearances. 2.8 shots per game, 1.4 key passes. 

13 appearances. 2.3 shots per game, 1.3 key passes.

Of course the sample size in small in comparison, but the future looks bright for the Brazilian, especially if he features "in the hole" in behind SAS.

Samir Nasri- With David Silva out injured, we could see Nasri as the key orchestrator of City's attack. Here are his stats GW4-6 when Silva was out earlier this season:

Against Stoke : 1 shot, 1 on target, 2 key passes. 
Against United : 3 shots, 1 on target, 3 key passes. (Scored a goal) 
Against Villa : 1 shot, 0 on target, 3 key passes. (An assist and a yellow card)

Friday, 1 November 2013

Gameweek 10 Preview & Tips

CAPTAINCY CONTENDERS- In my opinion, there are 4 solid captaincy options this week, with all of them able to obtain a huge haul at the weekend. In the table above, I have listed my top 4 captain options this week.

Let's start from the top:

Sergio Aguero- The little Argentine is starting to run riot up front, having scored in his past four league starts. He is up against a leaky Norwich defence at the weekend, and is likely to be involved in the goals.  The little bugger is always running off the shoulder of the opponent's last man in defence, and has caused havoc to many back lines already this season. With Norwich having conceded 7 goals between the Arsenal and Chelsea matches, it's not looking good for them. I fancy a City victory, and Aguero is always up for a goal or two.

Wayne Rooney- Wazza continued his great form, sparking United's comeback victory at the weekend, with a goal and an assist. He comes to the weekend clash against Fulham having scored or assisted in 5 of his fast 6 league games. Facing a depleted Fulham back line without captain Brede Hangeland, I really fancy United to dominate the game. With Rooney full of energy and creating most of United's attacking opportunities, I really fancy him to get some returns against the Cottagers at the weekend.

Luis Suarez- Suarez is making quick strides for this year's golden boot, after letting it slip last year to United's Robin Van Persie due to suspension. Suarez is only 2 goals behind league leader and teammate Daniel Sturridge, despite playing 5 matches less than Sturridge. At this rate, Suarez is undoubtedly the most consistent in terms of points per game, averaging 11.5! Playing league leaders Arsenal at the weekend, Suarez will be full of confidence, wanting to push Liverpool to the top of the table. He is a great captaincy option despite opposition, because at the moment, he is unstoppable. 

Robin Van Persie- Despite the Flying Dutchman not being able to justify his price tag up until now, I'm not writing him off for the season just yet. Having scored in his past 2 appearances, it might just be what the doctor ordered for Robin Van Persie's confidence. He goes into the weekend like Rooney, facing a Fulham side with a depleted back line, without their captain and tall-figure Brede Hangeland, it will increase the likelihood for United goals. If you still own him, he is very capable of repaying the faith this weekend.

CLEAN SHEET POTENTIAL- This week, I fancy 2 teams for a clean sheet; Man. City, and Man. United.

Man. Utd vs. Fulham- Despite United conceding two at home at Old Trafford last weekend, I think it's safe to say nobody expected that. Away to Fulham, I expect Moyes to keep it tighter at the back, re-instilling Vidic into the back four. Despite Fulham playing in front of their home crowd, they lack any attacking intent at the moment, and just look lackadaisical going forward. I see United winning 2 or 3-0 in this one. 

Man. City vs. Norwich- Man. City have been absolutely brilliant at home this season in the Premier League  only conceding 2 goals in 4 matches. Home to Norwich, I expect them to largely dominate possession, with Norwich barely getting a sniff at goal. Although I do expect Pantilimon to be given the nod over Hart just to prove a point, I don't think he'll face much threat of conceding.

PUNTY McPUNTERSONTwo players I fancy as one week punts this week are Sessegnon and Mutch.

Stephane Sessegnon- Although Sess has blanked since scoring vs. his former club in Gameweek 5, you'd have to back him to return some points this week vs. Crystal Palace. Palace aren't exactly a palace at the back, if you know what I mean. Having allowed 19 goals in only 9 games, Palace sit dead last in the table with only 3pts. Sessegnon will likely be deployed in an advanced midfield role, and he's a great differential, with only 2.4% of players selecting the Benin international.

Jordan Mutch- Having tallied 2 goals and an assist in his past 4 appearances, Mutch looks hungry in front of goal. He will take part in the South Wales derby this weekend, which will see the Cardiff-Swansea rivalry be rejuvenated in the Premier League. If you need a cheap midfielder and want a differential, Mutch sits nicely priced at  4.4, and with a low ownership of only 1.2%, he could be a great shout for the derby.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Gameweek 9 Preview & Tips

CAPTAINCY CONTENDERS- In my opinion, there are 4 solid captaincy options this week, with all of them able to obtain a huge haul at the weekend. In the table above, I have listed my top 4 captain options this week.

Let's start from the top:

Olivier Giroud- The Frenchman continued to impress as he notched 2 assists last weekend against a helpless Norwich side. He is up against a manager-less Crystal Palace side, who are low on confidence after being battered 4-1 at home by Fulham, which ultimately led to the sacking of Ian Holloway. I reckon Arsenal will continue their great scoring form, as they'll be looking for some revenge after losing in the Champions League 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund. Giroud is a great option for the armband this weekend if you own him.

Luis Suarez- Having already risen 0.5 in value after only 4 weeks back from his suspension, Suarez looks like he's back to his old scoring self. Already with 3 goals and 2 assists in three games, Luis will face his toughest opponent yet; West Brom. The Baggies have been keeping it tight away from home, allowing only 2 goals in 4 games so far. Despite this statistic, they have not come up against a striker like Luis Suarez. He will jump at every opportunity to score, and always wants the ball at his feet. I reckon he's a great captaincy contender, as he's always involved in Liverpool attacks.

Wayne Rooney- Rooney showed his class midweek vs. Real Sociedad, as he danced around defenders in the opponents box before ripping a shot off the post, which eventually ended up as an own goal. Wazza looks energized as ever, and is home this weekend to Stoke City. Although Stoke have not allowed more than a goal in 3 away games, we did see them dismantled by an organized Arsenal attack, putting 3 past them. With Van Persie possibly injured, we may just see Rooney spearhead the United attack, and he's always a good bet at Old Trafford. If you're feeling a bit risky, Rooney is your man this weekend.

Roberto Soldado- Soldado finally found his shooting boots last weekend, scoring his first goal from open play this season. He's up against Hull City, who recently lost their starting goalkeeper McGregor to a thigh injury. Don't be fooled though, Harper is an experienced back up keeper. Hull have not been the greatest away from home this season, so if you fancy Soldado to continue his scoring form, he's also a valid captain option this week.

CLEAN SHEET POTENTIAL- This week, I fancy 3 teams for a clean sheet; Man. United, Southampton and Tottenham. 

Man. Utd vs. Stoke- United will try to make it two clean sheets in a row, after securing a clean sheet midweek vs Real Sociedad. With Stoke only scoring 2 goals in 4 away matches this season, I just don't see them scoring. I expect United to keep the majority of the possession in this game, and cruise to a pretty simple victory, including keeping Stoke off the score sheet.

Southampton vs. Fulham- The Saints have been absolutely outstanding this season, having obtained 3 clean sheets in their past 3 home games. Mauricio Pochettino's double training sessions are clearly working, as he has his backline in top shape to start the season. Although Fulham are coming off a 4-goal performance (2 goals being wondergoals), I can't see them penetrating this resilient Southampton back line.

Tottenham vs. Hull- Like United, Spurs are also coming off a clean sheet Thursday in the Europa League. They will try to continue their defensive form into the weekend, where they are up against Hull City. Although Hull's leading scorer Robbie Brady is back from injury, I don't see Hull scoring in this one, with Tottenham winning by a comfortable margin.

FLYING UNDER THE RADARTwo players I fancy to keep producing and who have low ownership are Morrison and Lallana.

Adam Lallana- Having scored double digit points in two straight games and 33pts in his last 4, it's beyond me how Lallana has been overlooked by many. Cheaply priced at only 6.2 and having a low ownership of 5.2%, Lallana is clearly having a great season. If you need a short term punt, Lallana has great fixtures for the next 3 gameweeks, playing both Fulham and Hull at home.

Ravel Morrison- Morrison is proving to be the greatest value for a 4.5 mid at the moment. With already two goals and an assist, Ravel is becoming an excellent bench fodder, or even rotating midfielder (for those choosing to rotate two cheap mids). If you're looking for a cheap mid to fill a vacant hole in your lineup, Morrison is your guy.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Cheap Midfield Rotation (GW9-GW16)



Townsend and Amalfitano:

GW9      HUL(H)           GW13    NEW(A)
GW10   CPL(H)            GW14    FUL(A)
GW11    NEW(H)         GW15    NOR(H)
GW12   AVL(H)          GW16    CAR(A)

Brady and Morrison:

GW9      SWA(A)          GW13    FUL(H)
GW10   SUN(H)           GW14    CPL(A)
GW11    NOR(A)          GW15    SWA(A)
GW12   CPL(H)            GW16    SUN(H)

Barkley and Januzaj

GW9      STO(H)           GW13    STO(H)
GW10   FUL(A)          GW14    EVE(H)
GW11    CPL(A)          GW15    NEW(H)
GW12   CAR(A)          GW16    FUL(H)

Townsend and Brady

GW9      HUL(H)         GW13    LIV(H)
GW10   SUN(H)         GW14    FUL(A)
GW11    NEW(H)       GW15    SUN(A)
GW12   CPL(H)          GW16    STO(H)

Whittingham and Amalfitano

GW9      NOR(A)        GW13    NEW(A)
GW10   CPL(H)          GW14    STO(A)
GW11    AVL(A)        GW15    NOR(H)
GW12   AVL(H)         GW16   WBA(H)