As City await knee scans on Sergio Aguero , Samir Nasri is the main protagonist as his side continue their penchant for 3-2 thrillers by coming back to see off Southampton. Carlos Tevez and Rickie Lambert both open their Premier League accounts for the season, while Eden Hazard and Branislav Ivanovic help steer Chelsea to a comfortable win at the DW in Sunday’s early game:
While David Silva fluffed his lines by missing a spot-kick and crashing a close-range effort off the bar, Nasri served a reminder of his potential in the City midfield with a solid showing. Last weekend, he was handed a role in “the hole” in the 3-4-1-2 system and produced a goal and assist against Chelsea – despite moving out wide as City shifted back to 4-4-2, the Frenchman replicated last week’s returns to steer his side to victory and deny Southampton a famous win. At 8.5 in FPL compared to Silva’s 10.0, Nasri looks a more than decent alternative right now, with the Spaniard seemingly slightly off the pace after a lack of pre-season matches.
The Tevez v Aguero debate raged for days on the site after the former’s strong display in last weekend’s Community Shield and he continued his pre-season form with the opener in yesterday’s 3-2 thriller. The case for his inclusion in our Fantasy teams could well be considerably strengthened, depending on Aguero’s upcoming knee scan – Tevez may also be set to move up the spot-kick pecking order after Silva’s dire miss yesterday and could well be first-choice if Aguero and Mario Balotelli are not on the pitch; that 9.0 price tag is looking more enticing by the day.
A goal on his Premier League debut just minutes after climbing off the bench capped a fairy-tale beginning for the Southampton striker but his omission from the first XI could well be a worry for Fantasy suitors. Nigel Adkins preferred the more dynamic Jay Rodriguez as the lone striker – a tactic he may well choose to deploy in certain away matches, with Lambert’s eye for goal perhaps saved for the final half hour or so. With a home clash against Wigan to follow next week, we should get more of an idea as to how the Saints will line up at St Mary’s – Adkins had consistently rolled out a 4-3-2-1 system in pre-season but could revert to 4-4-2 in front of his own supporters.
His Fantasy ownership had taken a dip prior to the season kick-off after a less than inspiring domestic debut in last weekend’s Community Shield but, with Wednesday’s game against Reading still to follow, the Belgian has his nose in front of Frank Lampard in the scoring order after accruing a pair of assists at Wigan. The summer signing was a shade more popular than Juan Mata in FPL heading into the double Gameweek, with 12.9% to 12.8% ownership reflecting our dilemma but, while Mata toiled in “the hole”, Hazard’s fleet-footed ball skills tore the Latics defence apart and helped him to a nine point pre-bonus return. While Lampard’s spot-kick duties delivered yet again, the Belgian looked in the mood early on and, having been subbed off on 64 minutes, should be fit to start on Wednesday once more.
The Serbian was the fourth most popular Chelsea defender in FPL (5.8% ownership) heading into the Gameweek, with Ashley Cole snapped up by over 23% in comparison but he stole the show with a strong attacking display from right-back. A goal and clean sheet harvested a 12 point haul but Ivanovic looks a good bet for bonus today and with the Reading game still to come, could be set to kick off the season with a bumper score. Recent reports suggest Roberto Di Matteo is shopping around for another right-back but if the Stamford Bridge outfit fail to bring anyone else in, Ivanovic is making a strong case for our consideration over the campaign ahead.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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