Champions League football kicked off this week, with all the intensity and passion we’ve come to expect from the greatest club cup competition. Last minute comebacks, goal bonanzas and refereeing blunders have already been aplenty, but our key concern from a Fantasy perspective focused on the teamsheets and rotation. These first weeks show us the measure of intent for both cup and league, and more importantly who will be assured of the 90 minutes on any given Saturday.
Chelsea edged their way to glory at the end of last season; with odds seemingly stacked against them, the Blues battled past the top teams of Europe to see their names engraved for the first time on the illustrious trophy. Roberto Di Matteo wants a repeat from his squad this season, buying strength in depth and putting a side bristling with intent against Serie A leaders Juventus on Tuesday. Eden Hazard has been pivotal to Chelsea’s success in the league so far this campaign, and looks like he’ll be playing his third 90 minutes in a week against Stoke this weekend. Such is his energy and fitness, this amount of pitch time seems more likely to leave him sharper rather than fatigued. Payddy’s 7/2 odds on a Hazard goal and Chelsea clean sheet against Stoke City therefore seems decent value. We’re gonna dip into our tenner for the first time this week with a £4 stake.
We go from Stamford Bridge at the top of the League, to St Mary’s at the very bottom. Southampton have suffered with the toughest fixture list imaginable in their first year back in the English top-flight but, although they have managed to net more goals than eighth place West Ham, Nigel Adkins’ side has leaked 14 goals in their four games to date. Dismal stuff. Despite this, Rickie Lambert’s goal record last season and his threat so far in the current campaign warrants him a place on the Scout Picks bench. As visitors Aston Villa are still yet to fully find their rhythm, Paddy’s 7/1 for a Lambert goal and a Saints cleanie is definitely worth a quid of our money.
West Ham haven’t notched too many goals this season, but they’ve certainly racked up the shutouts: four in five games in all competitions demonstrates that Sam Allardyce has established a settled back line which could provide the platform for survival. At the other end, Kevin Nolan is key – particularly while former housemate Andy Carroll lies stricken on the sofa. As Nolan’s already earned winnings for us this season, we’re going to go big and take our last £5 at 8/1 for a West Ham clean sheet and another Nolan strike.
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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