Our midweek regular returns once again as we cast an eye over the upcoming schedules and reassess our Fantasy options. West Brom climb in our thinking, while Swansea and Tottenham continue to be smiled upon kindly by the fixture list:
Steve Clarke’s side are offered the perfect opportunity to bounce back from a first defeat of the season with a strong run of upcoming fixtures. Reduced to 10 men after Peter Odemwingie’s rush of blood to the head at Fulham, the Baggies were resultantly battered but now have four home games in the next six to get their campaign back on track.
West Brom welcome (RDG, QPR, SOT) to the Hawthorns and also have a derby trip to Villa on their short-term agenda. The schedule looks likely to attract further investment in a backline that has yet to concede at home this term, with Ben Foster, Liam Ridgewell and Gareth McAuley the usual suspects, while further forward, James Morrison’s role in “the hole” has helped him accrue 20 FPL points thus far. Up top, Shane Long is the likeliest starter, though Romelu Lukaku could be set for more game time in light of Odemwingie’s suspension.
The fixture list continues to look prosperous for Michael Laudrup’s troops, with three home games in the next four. A couple of defensive slips saw the Swans lose their unbeaten record at Villa last time round but we still have plenty faith in the likes of Michel Vorm, Ashley Williams and Angel Rangel ahead of the visit of (EVE, RGD, WIG).
Ben Davies looks a decent cut-price option at left-back over those fixtures and with a trip to Stoke also thrown in, Michu and Nathan Dyer still look primed for points. Wayne Routledge and Danny Graham owners might be a little concerned after they were both replaced midway through the second-half last weekend and with their schedule taking a turn for the worse from Gameweek 9, many Fantasy managers will already be planning an exit strategy.
Having registered their first win of the campaign under Andre Villas-Boas, Spurs have further reasons to be cheerful. The London outfit have four strong looking fixtures in the next six, with (QPR, AVL, WIG) all rolling up to the Lane, while a Gameweek 9 trip to Southampton seems another winnable fixture.
Clashes against United and Chelsea will no doubt test their resolve but the aforementioned quartet of matches will surely see investment come Gareth Bale’s way. Jermain Defoe remains in the driving seat as the lone striker, while Aaron Lennon has quietly, but effectively, been adding points to his tally with a couple of assists so far. At the back, Kyle Walker picked up his first attacking returns of the season with an assist at Reading, though Kyle Naughton could be a cut-price short-term alternative, should Benoit Assou-Ekotto required a spell on the sidelines with a knee problem.
More than a little unlucky to register a home draw with Newcastle on Monday evening, the Toffees favourable schedule over the next couple of months suggests they will feature highly in our weekly Frisking articles.
The next four sees David Moyes’ side head to (swa, wig, qpr) in addition to a home clash with Southampton – Leighton Baines, Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini will all continue to pick up interest, though Nikica Jelavic’s owners are holding their breath over the injury that forced him off just before half-time against the Magpies. Kevin Mirallas could be set to prosper if the Croatian is absent, though Victor Anichebe may prove to be a real differential punt.
West Ham – Sam Allardyce’s troops have shown plenty of defensive resolve with three clean sheets in the opening four Gameweeks. A run of fixtures which sees the Hammers square up to (SUN, qpr, SOT, wig) in the next five is likely to see further investment in their Fantasy assets – Jussi Jaaskelainen has also been racking up the save points, Guy Demel offers a cut-price option at right-back, while Kevin Nolan, with a goal in each of his two home games, are the stand-out options.
Fulham – normally, a schedule that reads (wig, sot, rdg) would be considered kind but when it comes to the Cottagers, there’s reason to be wary. Martin Jol’s side scored just 12 times on their travels last season but with Dimitar Berbatov now on board, they could well prosper over the upcoming Gameweeks. Fulham’s superb home form under Jol will certainly hold no fear ahead of visits from City and Villa in the next five.
Southampton – bottom of the table within a single point to their name, the Saints are in dire need of an upturn in fortunes. Nigel Adkins’ side now have three home clashes in the next five, with (AVL, FUL, TOT) all making their way to St Mary’s – if they are to get their season back on track, a couple of wins here look essential. Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana are the obvious names, though Gaston Ramires looks a decent differential in midfield.
Wigan – the Latics will look to recover from a 4-0 Old Trafford mauling and have three home games in the next five to return to form. Roberto Martinez’s side welcome (FUL, EVE, WHM) to the DW in the next five Gameweeks – Emmerson Boyce’s forward forays from the right of midfield could come to fruition for the out of position defender, while Shaun Maloney, with spot-kick duties in his locker, has already returned a goal and assist for his owners.
After a 5-0 opening day drubbing, Chris Hughton has steadied the ship with three back-to-back draws but the Canaries are braced for a difficult next few matches before the schedule begins to ease up. With Norwich facing (new, LIV, che, ARS) in the next four Gameweeks, John Ruddy can be expected to rack up plenty of save points, though faith in the likes of Robert Snodgrass and Grant Holt may be somewhat tempered.
Tony Pulis’ side registered their fourth consecutive 1-1 draw of the season last weekend at home to City and while the Potters have been typically resilient, the fixture list shows no let-up. Stoke travel to (che, liv, mun) in the next four Gameweeks, with a home clash against Swansea offering the only respite in a tough start to the season. The fixture list smiles a little kinder from Gameweek 9 onwards, though – good news for owners of the likes of Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross, Peter Crouch and Jon Walters. Crouch, in particular, has been a stand-out for the Potters – he currently sits on 27 FPL points, one more than Robin Van Persie.
With a single point from their first three and seven goals conceded in the last two matches, it’s not been the best of starts for the Championship winners. Brian McDermott’s side now hit the road three times in the next four, with an upcoming schedule that reads (wba, NEW, swa, liv). While the Royals boss will be comforted by the fact his side have found the net in all their games so far, Pavel Pograbnyak’s 11% of FPL owners may well be thinking of jumping ship with a difficult time ahead.
Also Be Wary Of…
Man United – Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have, conceivably, one straightforward fixture in the next six Gameweeks. With (liv, TOT, new, STO, che, ARS) on their upcoming agenda, though, Ferguson may well decide to do away with the rotation policy that bit hard against Wigan last time out – the club can surely ill-afford to bench the likes of Robin Van Persie and Shinji Kagawa if they are to successfully navigate such a schedule.
Arsenal – Arsene Wenger’s new-look side will be put firmly to the test over the next few Gameweeks, with a number of tricky trips ahead for the Gunners. A period which sees Arsenal travel to City and United, in addition to a visit to West Ham, also hands them a home clash with Chelsea in Gameweek 6. The defensive resilience which has seen Wenger’s side concede just a single goal will be key to their chances, while Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski offer the main attacking threat, as both look to add to their respective 24-point FPL tallies thus far.
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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