Wayne Rooney grabs a double as United stutter in an eight-goal thriller with Everton. Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar pop up on Fantasy radars ahead of the Toffees’ double Gameweek, Sergio Aguero notches on the road for the second week running, while Liverpool’s woeful league form continues with a home defeat by West Brom.
Despite a run of eight goals in his previous five home appearances, the United forward was sold by more than 24,000 Fantasy managers ahead of yesterday’s clash with former club Everton. Rooney made them regret that move, bagging a brace (and the maximum bonus) against the Toffees to take his tally to 26 goals for the campaign, equalling his best ever Premier League haul. With many Fantasy managers now pondering a reshuffle of their front line ahead of double Gameweek 26, both Rooney and Robin Van Persie are the main men most likely to be moved on, though with Rooney scoring six in the last seven Gameweeks compared to the Dutchman’s one, the United man is clearly the man in form of the two. With his contribution key to his side’s chances of retaining the title, many will be thinking twice over selling him, with next week’s crucial trip to City followed by (SWA, sun).
The forward picked up only his second double-figure points haul of the campaign yesterday, after scoring and providing a pair of assist against the Toffees. Welbeck has now overtaken Javier Hernandez in the Fantasy rankings – priced at 6.5 in comparison to the Mexican’s 9.9 he has proven to be a decent cut-option and is the top-ranked United attacking player in terms of value over the course of the season so far.
Having climbed off the bench to notch against Villa last time out, Nani was handed a starting role against the Toffees, with Ashley Young only making the bench after picking up a knock against his former club. The winger served a reminder of the form that saw him last season’s top-scoring Fantasy Premier League (FPL) player by grabbing a goal and a couple of assists in yesterday’s 4-4 thriller – a worrying sign for Young’s 10% Fantasy owners, with the Portuguese star staking a strong claim for a starting role on the left for next Monday’s visit to the Etihad.
Yesterday’s brace at Old Trafford is set to get the bandwagon roaring ahead of Everton’s pair of upcoming fixtures. Priced at a bargain 5.9, with an ownership of under 3%, the Croatian looks an outstanding differential candidate ahead of the home game with Fulham and trip to Stoke. Jelavic has now scored six goals in six starts for the Toffees and, with a match away to Wolves in Gameweek 37, the schedule ahead looks more than a little kind.
The on-loan midfielder continued his impressive recent form since returning to Merseyside in January with a goal in yesterday’s draw. Pienaar has now produced attacking returns in each of his last four Gameweeks, with two goals and three assists helping him average over eight points per game. The Toffees seems an altogether different side going forward with the likes of Pienaar and Jelavic in David Moyes’ first XI – they have scored 14 goals between Gameweek 30-35, equalling their tally from the previous fourteen matches. While Marouane Fellaini also caught the eye with a goal and assist contribution, Pienaar’s consistency looks the strongest route into the Toffees midfield with the double Gameweek in mind.
Moyes sprung a surprise in light of Leighton Baines’ hamstring absence, naming Sylvain Distin at left-back, with Phil Jagielka and Johnny Heitinga in the centre of defence. While Tony Hibbert picked up the points with a pair of assists, it’s worth noting that he had provided just two over his previous 27 appearances, suggesting he’ll struggle to replicate such form. At 4.6, nevertheless, he looks a decent cut-price route into a defence that had conceded in only one of their previous four, prior to their visit to Old Trafford.
Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez
With many expecting a Molineux goalfest, the pair were each drafted in by 70,000 Fantasy managers ahead of the trip to Wolves. In the end, Aguero’s owners had to settle for a single goal – his fifth in the last three Gameweeks. The 2-0 win, combined with United’s draw, puts City’s title bid firmly back in their own hands – three wins will almost certainly now clinch the title, given their superior goal difference to United’s. With this in mind, owners of Aguero have a real dilemma ahead of the double Gameweek – given that he’s failed to produce attacking returns in just two of his fourteen Etihad appearances, there’s every chance he’ll get amongst the points against United in a week’s time and, with a trip to Newcastle followed by a home clash with QPR, the potential for points looks promising as City go all-out for points. Tevez picked up an assist, bringing his points haul to 31 since returning to the first-team in Gameweek 35 and surely looks likely to continue against his former club next week, with suspension-free Mario Balotelli likely to be consigned to the bench.
While David Silva failed to flatter and lasted just 58 minutes, the former Arsenal man clinched victory with his side’s second and picked up the maximum bonus. Nasri has cemented a place in Roberto Mancini’s first team over the past few months, missing only one of the last nine games due to injury. His recent home form has taken an upturn – with a nine point return in each of his last two at the Etihad, he could be an overlooked differential over the remaining three games, with those two home fixtures against United and QPR to follow.
West Brom may have only scored two goals over the last couple of Gameweek, but the Nigerian has played a significant part. Odemwingie grabbed the only goal of the game at Anfield as Roy Hodgson recorded back-to-back 1-0 wins – he also provided the assist for Graham Dorrans last time out in the home win over QPR. While the Baggies may be safe from the drop, they are proving to be a reliable source of points and, with Villa and Bolton up next, are afforded further opportunity to produce before a tricky final day home clash with Arsenal.
With Daniel Agger back in the starting line-up, Kenny Dalglish rolled out his first-choice back-four for the visit of West Brom, suggesting rotation may not be his main concern ahead of the double Gameweek and FA Cup Final. The likes of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll also started, with the Reds boss confirming Steven Gerrard missed out altogether as nothing more than a precautionary measure. Their woeful league form continued, though, and, with one clean sheet and two wins in the last 10 Gameweeks, many Fantasy managers will be reluctant to load up on their assets ahead of the upcoming pair of matches against Norwich and Fulham.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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|No Change||Hart||MCI||B, Vs|
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|Down||van Persie||MUN||A, Vs|
|Up||Lukaku||WBA||B, Vs, Rest|
|Down||Aguero||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Rodriguez||SOT||A, Vs, £|
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“I am happy with the way I’ve started, but on the other hand, I should have scored four or five more, so that’s something for me to work on.”Robin Van Persie talks about his early form at United ahead of his first Manchester derby