Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres produce a goal and assist apiece as Chelsea maintain their winning start to the season. Michu and the Swansea wingmen are amongst the Fantasy points once again, Robin Van Persie takes 10 minutes to open his United account, while Marouane Fellaini notches in back-to-back matches as Everton grab the points at Villa…
A goal and assist against Newcastle continued the former Lille man’s sublime start to the season. Hazard’s potential is also boosted by the fact he seems to be on spot-kicks when Frank Lampard is absent –after last night’s exploits, he has now played a part in seven of Chelsea’s eight goals and is clearly set to be a huge Fantasy favourite for the campaign ahead. He’s already risen 0.2 and is set to climb in price yet again to 9.8 in FPL, despite the fact he has a blank Gameweek next weekend. With a double figure points haul in all three of his games now, Hazard has already accrued 34 points – Juan Mata has eight in comparison and with Lampard featuring briefly as a second-half sub, Hazard is looking almost possible to ignore for Fantasy managers already.
Equalling Hazard’s goal and assist contribution after executing a superbly-taken finish from outside the box, Torres picked up maximum bonus in FPL – confidence returned, he is clearly flourishing following the influx of new recruits. Factor in his goal against City in the Community Shield and the much-maligned Blues forward has now scored three and provided an assist in four matches – hardly a man out of form. With Hazard and Mata weaving their magic behind him, Torres looks set to continue in the same vein and with his place under little threat right now, that transfer-out that many had pencilled in may be put on hold as we start to reassess our Chelsea options in light of the three matches so far.
The only question mark against Torres will be whether Fantasy managers will be reluctant to use up a slot in their forward line and potentially double up on Chelsea assets with Hazard in the midfield. The likes of Carlos Tevez and Robin Van Persie look the strongest and most secure options in the City and United lineups, while arguably Hazard is the leading Fantasy attraction on Roberto Di Matteo’s teamsheet.
The Swansea Midfield
There’s just no stopping Michu after he notched another in yesterday’s stroll over West Ham. The summer signing leapt 0.3 in price in the FPL last week but the investors continue to line up for a piece of the action ahead of a strong run of fixtures – Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge also continued to plunder the Fantasy points with an assist apiece and with Danny Graham also breaking his scoring duck, the Welsh outfit offer plenty of mid-price options with four home fixtures in the next six Gameweeks to follow. It’s hard to argue against one, if not two of their attacking options right now.
The Swansea Defence
While the attackers rip apart opposition defences, Michael Laudrup’s backline has been equally impressive. We had our doubts as to whether a more offensive style of play would dent Swansea’s defensive potential after last term’s 14 cleans sheets but so far, it’s been two clean sheets from their first couple of Gameweeks. With Angel Rangel also chipping in with a goal and the maximum bonus points, the hike in price for Swansea defenders across the Fantasy games is currently looking decent value for money. While the centre-backs will be a threat from set-plays, on yesterday’s showing, Rangel is enjoying his football under Laudrup and could well enjoy improved attacking returns as a result of the Swan’s new cutting edge.
Robin Van Persie
Handed the starting role as Wayne Rooney dropped to the bench, the Dutchman needed just 10 minutes to announce himself to the home fans on his Old Trafford debut. With Rooney now likely to be sidelined for around four weeks according to his manager, Van Persie looks nailed on for a starting role for the trip to Southampton and home clash with Wigan in the next couple of Gameweeks at least. Goals looks likely to follow and if he can replicate his Arsenal form from last season, he looks a strong armband candidate for many, having picked up the maximum bonus for his display in the 3-2 win.
The United Midfield
At the moment, only Shinji Kagawa looks the likeliest to maintain a regular role of United’s attacking midfielders – a real source of frustration for Fantasy managers. In a clear reaction to the defeat at Everton, Sir Alex Ferguson dropped Nani to the bench, moving Antonio Valencia onto the right wing, while Danny Welbeck made way for Ashley Young on the opposite flank – although Valencia has also started both the opening matches, his right-back role at Goodison is something of a worry for his owners. Rafael returned to defence and grabbed a goal but his defensive frailties on the road, allied with Phil Jones’ current absence, means Valencia could yet return to right-back on occasion. While Kagawa looks to be a strong option, in the long-term, the potential partnership between Rooney and Van Persie will likely increase the threat of rotation – the role behind Van Persie will surely be taken up by Rooney, leaving Kagawa to fight it out for a wide berth. Unless, of course, Ferguson shifts formation to accommodate both his playmaker options. The tactical nuances available to Ferguson are fascinating but that’s far from good news for Fantasy managers looking to pin down attacking potential.
The left-back turned in another superb creative performance yesterday, with his partnership with Steven Pienaar proving a crucial aspect of Everton’s attacking forays. Having returned a nine point haul in Gameweek 1, Baines picked up an assist in the win at Aston Villa and, after dropping in price this season across the Fantasy games in light of a disappointing previous campaign, he may well begin to pick up in popularity, as the Toffees go against type and get off to a flying start. Defensively they remain sound, while Baines is amongst the most creative players in the league after just two weeks. The EA SPORTS PPI also smiles on Baines – attacking contributions by defenders, when paired with clean sheets or a victory, are always likely to trigger a high return and potential bonus points.
Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar
It’s two goals in two games for the big Belgian as Everton saw off Villa in a 3-1 away win. Fellaini continued in his support striker role, thrust up with Nikaca Jelevic with Steven Naismith drafted in to tuck in from the right side of midfield. With a strong run of fixtures to follow, Fellaini’s mid-price offering across te Fantasy games is surely set to rise. The same applies to Pienaar – the South African also found the net and his suitability to the EA SPORTS PPI scoring system continued with the maximum bonus points at Villa Park. The Pienaar vs Fellaini contest within Everton’s midfield is a close call with both offering obvious mid-price value. Acquiring one of the pair to cover Everton’s form looks a very wise move if either Baines or Jelavic is out of reach.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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|No Change||Hart||MCI||B, 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