Sergio Aguero is hopeful of turning out for Argentina next week. Martin Jol reveals Fulham may be set for a change in tactics, Brian McDermott could continue with a 4-4-1-1, while Stoke hand Michael Owen a one-year contract at the Britannia…
Sergio Aguero could be in line for a surprise return to action over the international fortnight. The City striker revealed he has joined the Argentina training camp ahead and, although he is suspended for the game with Paraguay on Friday, reports suggest he may be fit for the following Tuesday’s game with Peru:
“I explained to the manager that I would see the national team medical staff and he was satisfied with that. I am going to be well looked after. Three days ago I started running and now I am going to consult the doctor here. I still have some pain but we will see how it develops…I’m here until the Peru game.”
An early return to action would immediately make Aguero a huge differential across the Fantasy games. Ahead of a Gameweek 4 trip to Stoke, he has dropped to just 11.1 in price and is owned by a mere 6% of FPL sides after sustaining a knee injury in Gameweek 1 – Carlos Tevez is owned by 47%, in comparison. While it’s a little early to be optimistic over Aguero’s chances, it’s fair to say this is a situation we’ll be monitoring closely over the new few days.
Brian McDermott has hinted that Reading may continue with their recent 4-4-1-1 formation. The Royals boss rolled out a 4-4-2 for the season opener with Stoke but changed system for a trip to Stamford Bridge; a tactic he kept in place for the Capital One cup win over Peterborough:
“If you look back, when I first got the job I played 4-3-3 a lot, Gylfi (Sigurdsson) as number 10 and Shane (Long) up front. We played some fantastic football, Jimmy (Kebe) and Jobi (McAnuff) wide. We’ve changed it in the last couple of games and I just think in the Barclays Premier League, if you go to Chelsea and play 4-4-2 you can get out numbered in midfield. I thought the system worked well at Chelsea, and against Peterborough it worked well with the ball, we could have been better without it. But most of all, it’s about players.”
The news will certainly intrigue Danny Guthrie’s owners and could well further his prospects as a cut-price midfielder across the Fantasy games. The former Newcastle man was fielded as the most advanced central midfielder in both matches, providing the support for lone striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, with the wide men feeding the Russian with crosses aplenty. On the other hand, the prospects of Adam Le Fondre look set to take a dip – he grabbed an equaliser from the spot against Stoke but it’s likely he’ll be reduced to substitute roles, with McDermott turning to 4-4-2 when chasing games late on.
Martin Jol has admitted he may have to change Fulham’s tactics this season after losing both Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele to Tottenham towards the end of the summer transfer window:
“Dembele is in the same mould as Berbatov and you will see that in the future. He’s one of the best players in the Premiership. Clint is more of a goalscorer, getting on the end of things in the box. You build teams around good players and Berbatov is quality. When I saw him I missed it for a couple of years but saw it again. We have to find the right balance. If Bryan Ruiz comes back we will be okay. Maybe we have to change the system because with Dembele it was different.”
With Ruiz, Berbatov, Hugo Rodallega, Mladen Petric and Kieran Richardson all vying for either central or left flank attacking positions, it’s likely to be a case of wait and see here. Certainly, judging by Jol’s words, Berbatov looks set to be handed a key role at the hub of the Cottagers attacks – a fact that will surely entice further Fantasy interest, given his mid-price valuation in many Fantasy games. At present, there’s a degree of uncertainty surrounding the rest – Petric’s owners will be hoping his double in Fulham’s only home game will keep him at the at the top of the pecking order ahead of the Gameweek 4 visit of West Brom. Jol could be toying with a 4-2-3-1 perhaps; we can only wait to see how his current attacking options fit into such a system.
Harry Kane spoke of his intentions to win down a first-team place for Norwich after moving from Spurs on a season-long loan:
“I want to make the most of my time here and move on as a player. I’ll look to head up to Norwich on Sunday and meet up with the lads for training on Monday. I’ll be looking to score as many goals as I can for Norwich…that’s what I’ve done and that’s how I’ve built up my career until now, by scoring goals. Hopefully now I can take that into the Premier League.”
Third in line for the lone striker role at Spurs, Kane’s move to Carrow Road has Fantasy managers eyeing up his potential as a real cut-price option. Priced at 4.5 in FPL and 6.4 in the Sky Sports game, he could be an ideal third striker in the former game if he can find a place in Norwich’s attack. Chris Hughton has shifted back to 4-4-2 in recent matches, fielding Simeon Jackson alongside Grant Holt – with the skipper pretty much nailed-on, Jackson may have to maintain form if he’s to fend off the new boy’s challenge.
Stoke have confirmed the signature of free agent Michael Owen on a one-year contract, subject to Premier League approval. If the deal goes through as expected, it could be an intriguing one for Fantasy managers to ponder. Should Owen prove his fitness, owners of Jon Walters may well have reason to worry – Tony Pulis’ penchant for 4-4-2 means the Potters could be lining up with a former Liverpool duo up top, with Owen partnering Peter Crouch in a classic little and large front pairing. With Charlie Adam, Matt Etherington and Michael Kightly all capable of supplying Crouch with plenty of high balls to knock on for his strike partner, the idea of Owen as Fantasy target may not seem quite so far-fetched after all.
Michael Laudrup’s search for reinforcement in the left-back position appears to have intensified with the Dane indicating that he could be closing on targets. As we reported in scribbles yesterday, Swansea have just 19-year-old Ben Davies to turn to to help fill the void left by ankle break victim, Neil Taylor. Laudrup is, however, hopeful that a suitable replacement can be found and it looks as though he’s turning to the continent to find his target…
“We have been looking for a couple of days at the free agents who are available and I think there are a couple of players who could suit us. Now we have to see what happens…We have to do some research — we have to talk to a lot of people who have no interest in these players and get their opinions.”
Fantasy managers will have been keen to seize on the opportunity to acquire Davies with a budget price tag, as a means of securing coverage of a Swansea defence that has again looked capable of returns. Alan Tate is also an option – he is set to step in to replace the suspended Chico in central defence and has outlined his determination to retain that place once the Spaniard makes his return from the ban.
“I said I’d always want to be here and fight for my place and hopefully the manager will see that…If the manager chooses me to fill in and if I play well I expect to stay there, it’s as simple as that.”
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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“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