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.