It seems strange – given a run of fixtures which sees Newcastle now square up to (AVL, eve, NOR, rdg) – that Papiss Cisse has been transferred out by over 24,000 Fantasy managers prior to this weekend’s matches. With wildcards wielded at a quick-fire pace, the Senegal striker has racked up a significant number of sales after failing to find the net against Tottenham and Chelsea in his opening two Gameweeks:
It’s almost as if many have forgotten his impact last season. Having joined up in January from Bundesliga outfit SC Frieburg, Cisse’s scoring exploits quickly saw him cement the position as the main attacking source of points for the Magpies. From 13 starts and a single substitute appearance, his owners were rewarded with 13 goals and a pair of assists in the FPL game; factor in 20 bonus points and Cisse had accrued 105 points – an average of 7.5 points per game, which was second only to Robin Van Persie in the previous campaign.
While Cisse’s arrival on Tyneside afforded Fantasy managers with a consistent source of points, his presence in Alan Pardew’s first XI proved hugely detrimental to Demba Ba. Shifted to the left flank as the Magpies boss rolled out a 4-3-3, the former West Ham man failed to replicate the returns accrued over the first half of the season and drew a blank from February onwards as his compatriot went from strength to strength.
Ba’s chances of increased points potential looked prosperous as Pardew returned to 4-4-2 for the season opener with Spurs but a half-time switch to 4-3-3 saw him moved back to the left wing. Ironically, Ba’s goal came from out wide but his overall goal returns from his position on the flank have been far from fruitful. While the 4-3-3 also gives Hatem Ben Arfa a more advanced role, it’s already apparent that Pardew is prepared to tinker with his tactics in accordance with the Magpies’ opponents – the only real constant has been Cisse’s central role up front, regardless of formation.
In spite of this, he has received relatively few investors ahead of the above-mentioned upcoming schedule. From an FPL perspective, the less expensive Ba (7.5) and Ben Arfa (7.6) have been drafted in by 87,000 and 51,000 managers respectively this week, while Cisse, at 9.5 in FPL and 9.3 in the Sky Sports game, has made his way into just 13,000 FPL teams by comparison. Price, clearly, has proven to be the sticking point for many but, as Cisse’s history shows, there’s every chance many could come to regret their decision to overlook the January signing, with the clash against an out-of-sorts Villa just the type of platform to elevate his potential as armband material this weekend.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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