Carlos Tevez produces a goal and assist as City grab a 2-2 draw at Anfield. Yaya Toure finds the net again, Luis Suarez opens his account for the campaign with a sublime free-kick, while Arsenal play out a goalless draw for the second time in the opening two Gameweeks:
Two clean sheets from their first couple of Gameweeks suggests an upturn in resilience at the back for Arsenal right now. Arsene Wenger’s decision to install Steve Bould as the club’s new defensive coach seems to have paid off – Arsenal looked far more organised at the back and easily dealt with Stoke’s aerial bombardment, overcoming a tactic that has caused them untold damage in previous visits. Carl Jenkinson continues to look strong cut-price value across the Fantasy games, though with Bacary Sagna nearing a comeback, snapping up the former could be a little risky. While Thomas Vermaelen has yet to find the net, his Fantasy owners can’t complain with his returns so far – with goals surely set to come, the Belgian could be set up for a strong season if his side continue their form at the back.
Arsenal’s new playmaker drew another blank, despite another impressive showing yesterday afternoon. Cazorla has been handed corners since the departure of Robin Van Persie and also has a fair share of direct free-kicks; his scheming in “the hole” is sure to come to fruition sooner rather than later, judging by his two displays thus far. Post-match, Wenger admitted his new recruits have yet to gel up top but bearing in mind yesterday was the first time Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud have started together, it’s clear we need to have a little patience with the Gunners’ attacking assets right now.
A strong source of Fantasy points last season, the winger dropped to the bench as Wenger opted for Gervinho on the right flank. Handed a role as a mere second-half impact sub, Walcott’s owners will have real concern over his game time – with Gervinho more reasonably priced across the Fantasy games, the former Southampton man could well be cast aside in our Fantasy thinking. Bearing in mind the likes of Cazorla are similarly priced in FPL at 9.0 and cheaper in the Sky Sports game (6.7 to 7.5), Walcott looks set for an exodus of Fantasy owners if the current situation continues.
City Switch Back to 3-4-1-2
We had expected a 4-4-2 yesterday but Roberto Mancini rolled out the pre-season formation that had served his side so well. The City boss is clearly keen to rotate his backline once again, with the new system meaning Joleon Lescott unexpectedly dropped to the bench – with Gael Clichy attending the birth of his child, it means that only two City defenders have started the opening couple of Gameweeks; Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta. Bearing in mind that Micah Richards is currently injured, Zabaleta will surely be under pressure for a starting berth when the England man returns in a month or so, making Kompany the only secure option already. The only problem is his price across the Fantasy games is far costlier than any of the champions’ backline but with no clean sheets so far, Kompany is finding it hard to justify such a lofty valuation, particularly in light of the strong starts by a variety of costly defenders such as Branislav Ivanovic, Leighton Baines and Thomas Vermaelen.
There’s no denying both his goal and assist was somewhat fortuitous but the City man delighted his many new backers with another points haul at Anfield yesterday. Tevez soared by 0.3 in the FPL game on the back of Sergio Aguero’s knee injury against Southampton last weekend but looks the only City forward on form ahead of a home clash with QPR next weekend – Mario Balotelli and sub replacement Edin Dzeko both looked out-of-sorts, suggesting Tevez will be an armband favourite for many in Gameweek 3, as his price continues to climb across the Fantasy games.
The Ivorian notched to follow his assist in the 3-2 win over Southampton and is currently looking like the only City midfielder guaranteed game time right now. With doubts over his form and fitness, David Silva dropped to the bench after an ineffectual display at the Etihad in Gameweek 1 and, while Samir Nasri was handed a role in “the hole”, the Frenchman was hauled off for Jack Rodwell on the hour mark as City chased the game. The move immediately paid dividend – Rodwell’s introduction allowed Toure to move into the role vacated by Nasri and the Ivorian netted the equaliser within two minutes of the switch. Mancini may well move back to a 4-4-2 at the Etihad next weekend, though, but Toure looks a sure starter regardless of formation – something that perhaps can’t be said for his fellow City midfielders at present.
A superbly executed free-kick saw the Uruguayan open his account in his first home game of the season. Suarez had hinted at a points return last week – he had eight shots in the 3-0 defeat at West Brom but with a share of set-pieces now adding to his points potential, there’s a hint that he could produce the goods this time round. With home clashes against Arsenal and United in the next three Gameweeks though, few will be ready to get on board until his schedule takes a turn for the better.
Five goals conceded in two games suggests Liverpool may need some time to adjust to Brendan Rodgers’ tactics at the back. In a similar situation to last week at West Brom, the Reds inability to clear their lines proved costly, with individual errors from Martin Kelly and Martin Skrtel allowing Toure and Tevez the chance to net. Skrtel still managed a nine point FPL return for his FPL owners with a goal and a couple of bonus points but the upcoming schedule suggests he may well need to maintain his offensive returns if he is to prosper in the short-term.
Handed a start on the Liverpool left with Fabio Borini shifted to the opposite flank, the youngster is clearly one to keep an eye on. Sterling impressed without quite producing yesterday but his price (4.5 in FPL and 4.3 in the Sky Sports game) certainly elevates his appeal. Much depends on the next few days, though; with the transfer window set to close on Friday, it could well be Rodgers finally seals that mooted move for Clint Dempsey and resultantly curbs our enthusiasm over the teenager’s Fantasy prospects.
Commenting is now closed for this post.
For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
Next Six Ticker
|No Change||Hart||MCI||B, Vs|
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|No Change||Lloris||TOT||C, Vs|
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|No Change||Mignolet||SUN||B, Vs|
|No Change||De Gea||MUN||A|
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|Up||Hazard||CHE||B, Vs, Rest, Inj|
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|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, £|
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|A, B, C||Current Form|
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|OoP||Out of Position|
“We have dynamic players with good movement, so if he can link with them fine. He can play a bit higher because his timing getting into the box is very good.”Rafa Benitez talks up the role that Frank Lampard can play in his Chelsea revolution