Two draws, two very different matches. While Liverpool and City played out a ding-dong battle at Anfield, there was further frustration for Arsene Wenger as the Gunners again struggled for a cutting edge at the Britannia. Here’s today’s Stock Check…
On the Up
The Arsenal defence
The installation of Steve Bould as the Gunners’ new defensive coach has already made an impact. Arsenal coped comfortably with Stoke’s physical approach at the Britannia this afternoon and have now returned back-to-back clean sheets in their opening couple of Gameweeks. Carl Jenkinson continues to present value while Bacary Sagna remains sidelined.
Handed corners and a fair share of free-kicks, the former Malaga man was once again impressive. Clearly, the Gunners need time to gel up front but when the goals start to flow, he looks likely to be central to their attacking returns.
Grabbed a goal on his debut at Reading last week playing on the right wing, the summer signing started off on the left this time out, after Matthew Etherington was ruled out through injury. Impressing again, he could well oust Jermaine Pennant as a first-team regular this term and establish himself as a key member of Tony Pulis’ side.
A surprising inclusion on Brendan Rodgers’ team sheet that immediately put Fantasy managers on alert. His encouraging performance only compounded matters. At just 4.5 in the Fantasy Premier League and 4.3 in the Sky Sports Game, Sterling could emerge as a huge budget option should he cement a starting role in Liverpool’s system. However, with Nuri Sahin and Oussama Assaidi to integrate, perhaps we shouldn’t take too much for granted with Rodgers’ tactics and lineup just yet.
Another outstanding display, this time capped by a superb curling free-kick for Liverpool’s second. Fantasy managers will have nodded in appreciation but there’s likely to be a long way to go before the Uruguayan becomes a serious consideration given the current crop of options up front.
We stuck with him in the Scout Picks and he duly obliged by delivering a goal and assist return. As discussed in yesterday’s Knee Jerk, he looks to have a starting role in our forward line reserved in this form and with Sergio Aguero crocked.
A priceless goal from the Ivorian to accompany his assist in Gameweek 1. Pushed forward with the introduction of Jack Rodwell, Toure duly punished some poor Liverpool defending to draw City level and deliver yet again for his Fantasy owners. With David Silva still weary and Samir Nasri likely to come under threat from rotation, Toure is a consistent Fantasy force.
Dropped to the bench and utilised as no more than an impact sub, question marks must be against his role as a regular starter under Wenger right now. Walcott has been handed a high price across the Fantasy games after a strong previous campaign – if the current situation continues, plenty Fantasy managers will be parting company with Walcott, with Gervinho perhaps offering a cheaper route into Wenger’s midfield.
The City Defence
Roberto Mancini rotated his formation and dropped Joleon Lescott, while Gael Clichy was absent to attend the birth of his child – in truth he may not have started in the 3-5-2. While that will concern their Fantasy owners, with City conceding again, those holding Vincent Kompany will also be wondering if the City skipper justifies the fee given the scarcity of clean sheets right now.
Did he really have any Fantasy backers after last season’s blank? It seems unlikely but, having been relegated to the bench to make way for Raheem Sterling, his potential for regular starts is now under real threat as Rodgers puts his stamp on the Liverpool squad.
A good option in the Sky Sports game with strong passing and tackling bonus potential, Lucas hobbled off early on with a thigh injury and will now surely be rested for Gameweek 3 and over the international break.
Samir Nasri and David Silva
Can Fantasy managers rely on either in the coming weeks? Nasri started the season spectacularly but looks set to come under threat of rotation should Roberto Mancini persevere with the 3-5-2 system experiments. As for Silva, his season is yet to click into gear – relegated to the bench today, he’s reportedly short of 100% match fitness and is being overshadowed by Yaya Toure in Fantasy terms.
Commenting is now closed for this post.
For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
Next Six Ticker
|No Change||Hart||MCI||B, Vs|
|Up||Robles||WIG||C, Vs, £|
|No Change||Lloris||TOT||C, Vs|
|No Change||Foster||WBA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Vorm||SWA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Mignolet||SUN||B, Vs|
|No Change||De Gea||MUN||A|
|Up||Boruc||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Kompany||MCI||B, Vs, Rest|
|No Change||Vertonghen||TOT||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Luiz||CHE||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Boyce||WIG||C, Vs, OoP|
|No Change||Cuéllar||SUN||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Rangel||SWA||C, Vs|
|Up||Clyne||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Mata||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Hazard||CHE||B, Vs, Rest, Inj|
|Up||Maloney||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Y Touré||MCI||B, Vs|
|No Change||Silva||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Tevez||MCI||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Koné||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|Down||van Persie||MUN||A, Vs|
|Up||Lukaku||WBA||B, Vs, Rest|
|Down||Aguero||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Rodriguez||SOT||A, Vs, £|
|Up||Defoe||TOT||B, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Ba||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|A, B, C||Current Form|
|Inj||Injured/Returning from Injury|
|OoP||Out of Position|
“I love to attack and I love to go up front...It is a little more difficult than when you are playing centre-back. If you play the way that I want to play, I think my influence is better as a left-back. For the team, it is best that I play as a centre-back. I like to bring the ball out. You need to move the game quickly, and that is one of my qualities as well.”Jan Vertonghen outlines what he feels is his best position for Andre Villas-Boas