Okay so Sunderland put up little or no opposition but any doubt we had that Chelsea could win and win well without Drogba was answered emphatically by Saturday’s 7-2 dismantling of the Black Cats.
Frank Lampard and Nicolas Anelka will get all the fantasy attention, and quite rightly. The pair stepped up to fire a brace apiece with Anelka, in particular, catching they eye. He moved on to 7 goals for the season – 4 of those have now come in his last 3 Premier League starts…
With Rooney and Tevez missing from gameweek 23, big investment in Anelka now looks assured. Chelsea have a double fixture in gameweek 24 so many will look to purchase and hold Anelka over their next 3 matches (BIR bur hul). That’s followed by a home game with Anelka’s former club Arsenal, before Drogba is expected to return in gameweek 26 for the trip to Everton. Anelka won’t lose his starting role on his return, but there will be concern that his goal output could suffer with Drogba back as Chelsea’s figurehead.
The same could be said for Frank Lampard. He has lived under Drogba’s shadow in fantasy terms this season but has still rolled on nicely to rank as the second highest scoring midfielder behind Fabregas. He too will surely gained new investment following his seventh and eigth league goals of the season against Sunderland.
Up until now Lampard has depended heavily on spot-kicks for his goals, Saturday’s strikes were only his second and third from open play in the league. Maybe that has kept the investors at bay somewhat. Now however, Lampard’s bandwagon is set to pick up speed. It will be interesting to see if Fabregas/Arshavin owners will be brave enough to contemplate a straight swap with Chelsea’s double fixture in mind and as Arsenal’s fixtures stiffen over the next few gameweeks.
Elsewhere in the Chelsea ranks, Belletti justified his placing on our Watchlist with an accomplished display in the holding midfield role. He will surely maintain this position throughout the absence of Essien at the African Cup of Nations. At 5.8 in the FPL , he will also gain attention for gameweek 24.
Then there’s Ashley Cole – who once again provided evidence that spending that little bit more on a Chelsea defender can pay dividends. Cole struck a beauty for his third goal of the season. One clean sheet in the last 7 outings is the stat that casts doubt over the wisdom of investment in Cole, but there’s no doubt that he continues to be allowed the freedom to attack down the left flank and promises more attacking returns in the weeks to come.