Demba Ba breaks Everton’s hearts with a double as Newcastle pick up a point at Goodison. Steven Pienaar supplies the assist for both the Toffees goals, while Leighton Baines opens his account for the season in the 2-2 stalemate:
His owners feared the worst after Alan Pardew rolled out a 4-2-3-1 with Papiss Cisse named as the lone frontman. A change of tactics at half-time saw Ba climb of the bench to bag a brace and rescue a point for the Magpies – with maximum bonus secured, he’s currently on 25 FPL points and with a home clash against Norwich and a trip to Reading to follow, that 7.7 price tag will tempt many into snapping up his services. While Ba thrives in a more central role, Papiss Cisse continues to falter – after a superb second-half of last season, the latter looks a forlorn figure right now – sales look set to continue, with a move to Ba the obvious option for his owners. The goal hero hinted that he’s not best pleased with matters right now, however:
“It was good getting a draw because it was difficult. I was determined because lately I was not so happy with some of the things goings on. But after the bad comes the good.”
Grabbing the opener in last night’s draw, the left-back was superb again and moved ominously up the Fantasy scoreboards with his first goal of the season. Along with Steven Pienaar, we handed Baines a place in the Scout Picks and he duly delivered, returning nine points for his FPL owners in a Gameweek many will have quickly written off. Priced at 7.1 in both FPL and the Sky Sports game, Baines is likely to rise in ownership with a strong upcoming set of fixtures – he welcomes (SOT, SUN, NOR) to Goodison and travels to (wig, qpr, rdg) over the next nine Gameweeks.
The South African continued his accomplished start to the season by providing a pair of assists last night. Pienaar has maintained an average of more than five FPL points per game – a continuation of his form on-loan at Goodison during the second half of the previous campaign. Priced at 6.6 in FPL and just 6.0 in the Sky Sports game, Pienaar looks a strong mid-price option in both games and will surely pick up plenty more Fantasy interest on the back of the above-mentioned schedule. He has now overtaken Marouane Fellaini in FPL, with 22 points to 20; in spite of Pienaar’s exploits, he’s only risen by 0.1 in comparison to the Belgian’s 0.4.
The Croatian took a bit of a battering from the home defence and he woodwork before being subbed off just before half-time. Post-match reports suggest Jelavic left Goodison on crutches but David Moyes would only say:
“”He banged the side of his knee against the post…I’ve not had the outcome – hopefully we’ll get that tomorrow – but I don’t think it’s too severe.”"
Right now, it’s a real concern for his owners – with a superb run of fixtures over the next couple of months, Jelavic could be primed for some strong returns but Fantasy plans will be on hold for many until the club finds out extent of his problem. Any possible absence could afford Kevin Mirallas a chance to lead the line – the Belgian was handed his first start for the Toffees last night and looks in the driving seat to profit from any Jelavic injury, though Victor Anichebe done his chances no harm with his side’s second – he also had a goal wrongly disallowed last night after climbing off the bench.
In Other News
Brian McDermott has revealed Adam Federici is expected to be sidelined for the short-term with a knee problem.
”Adam has also got an issue with his knee so we need to have a real good look at that and get it sorted. He could be out for a little while, he has to recuperate and when he comes back he’ll be challenging for that position.”
The keeper was omitted from Sunday’s match with Spurs due to “tactical reasons” according to his manager, after his blunders cost the Royals goals in both their opening matches. It now affords Alex McCarthy a chance between the sticks – priced at 4.0 in FPL and 3.6 in the Sky Sports game, he’s an intriguing option if he can impress over the next few matches. Yesterday, he spoke of his determination to do so:
“I hope I can get a run in the Reading team now. I played in the Championship last year and I’ve been wanting to play in the Premier League for a long time. It’s a massive league. The game’s a lot quicker so I was pleased to get a start and I hope I can go on and build from that. I just have to get on and play my best.”
Martin O’Neill has called on Stephane Sessegnon to up his game after a series of below-par performances so far this season.
”Some of things you can put down to lack of fitness, other things you can put down to not brilliant play, really, because some of the things that you expect of him, like being able to keep the ball not giving it away early in the game, wouldn’t have anything to do with fitness, you know. So he just needs to get sharper in every aspect, sharper in fitness and sharper in the brain, because we know what he’s capable of doing. But it’s been a tough old time for him.”
The midfielder failed to feature in pre-season for the Black Cats but O’Neill is clearly refusing to accept this as the sole reason for his poor form. While Steven Fletcher has slotted in seamlessly with three goals in his first two appearances, Sessegnon has been a shadow of the player who lit up the league for a good few months last season. The problem for O’Neill is his threadbare squad affords him little chance of rotating – he also admitted yesterday that Adam Johnson remains a doubt for the weekend trip to West Ham, with Seb Larsson primed to fill in on the flank once again.
Dimitar Berbatov has spoken of an upturn in confidence now that he is reunited with Martin Jol once again:
“If I feel the coach is trusting my ability then I can do special things on the pitch. Now that I play for Fulham, I just want to show that I appreciate that they took me to the club. I know the coach, he trusts me. I feel good if the coach trusts the way I play and you saw that with the way I performed on the pitch.”
The Bulgarian’s brace on his home debut against West Brom has already seen his FPL price rise to 7.0 since the weekend. With another price hike expected, plenty are jumping on the bandwagon as we quickly reassess his worth as a bona-fide Fantasy asset this season. It remains to be seen whether Fulham can produce their home form on the road, though – trips to (wig, sot, rdg) in the next five look prosperous, though the Cottagers were anything but prolific on their travels last time round, scoring just 12 away goals all season.
Arsene Wenger has hailed the role played by new coach Steve Bould and issued a reminder that, despite three clean sheets in the first four, the Gunners philosophy remains one of attacking football…
“Don’t forget that the basis of our team is a very offensive philosophy. So sometimes, if we concede goals in the future, it will not be Steve Bould’s fault. It will only be a consequence of the way we see football.”
Fantasy managers have been investing in a back four that has returned handsomely in the opening games but now faces two back-to-back tests with a trip to City and an Emirates clash with Chelsea. Those fixtures, coupled with this latest statement from Wenger, offer evidence that caution is perhaps required – over 27,000 Fantasy Premier League managers have this week acquired Kieran Gibbs, with Carl Jenkinson also attracting another 12,000 new suitors.
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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 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