Laurent Koscielny steps in for the flu-stricken Thomas Vermaelen to extend Arsenal’s unbeaten run at City, while a tactical switch at half-time earns Andre Villas-Boas his first home win at the Lane. Here’s Part Two of the Stock Check:
On the Up
Handed a chance in the back-four with Thomas Vermaelen sidelined by flu, the Frenchman returned Arsene Wenger’s faith with a late equaliser earning his side a deserved draw at City. With Vermaelen expected to return to the first XI next weekend, though, Koscielny looks set to vie with Per Mertesacker for the other central defensive berth after an impressive showing.
The playmaker was in the points once again this afternoon, supplying the assist for Koscielny’s equaliser. After starting the season with a couple of blanks, Cazorla is starting to pick up in consistency and has now produced attacking returns in each of his last three games.
Initially, it didn’t look good for his Fantasy owners. With Kyle Naughton and Benoit Assou-Ekotto ruled out, the Welshman started at left-back against QPR but was moved to his familiar left wing berth after the break as the hosts trailed 1-0. The switch turned the game in Spurs’ favour – the home side were far more threatening and with Bale providing the assist for Jermain Defoe’s winner, it’s unlikely Andre Villas-Boas will be in a hurry to repeat such an experiment again.
Climbing off the bench for his first league minutes this season, he provided the assist for his side’s own goal equaliser. It wasn’t so much the attacking returns that has boosted his appeal, though – the tactical switch that saw Jan Vertonghen move to left-back may convince Villas-Boas to continue with the back-four that ended the game if Kyle Naughton fails to recover in time for next weekend.
While plenty of other names have been mulled over for the third striker slot, the QPR man seems to have slipped under the Fantasy radar of late. Today’s goal at Spurs was his third in four appearances, though, and with (WHM, EVE, RDG) in the next five, he could be a decent differential.
The City Defence
Joleon Lescott may have handed his owners plenty points with the opener against the Gunners but City once again disappointed at the back. The 1-1 draw means Roberto Mancini’s side have yet to register a clean sheet this season – the sales looks set to continue, with several mid-price options proving strong value right now.
City Forward Rotation
Mancini freshened up his front two from last week, with the return of Sergio Aguero seeing Carlos Tevez drop to the bench for the first time this season. With Edin Dzeko replacing Mario Balotelli, the City forward line looks set to frustrate plenty Fantasy managers as Mancini has one eye on the Champions League. Already, some are considering selling on Tevez after today’s teamsheet but, having been dropped for today’s match, you’d expect him to return to the first XI for the trip to Fulham.
The Icelandic international was the man sacrificed in Villas-Boas’ half-time switch in a continuation of his dire start to the Fantasy season. Sigurdsson may have started four matches but the most he’s managed is 71 minutes – Clint Dempsey moved into the role in “the hole” after the break and could well be called upon from the start next week at United, with a move to the bench for Sigurdsson looking a real possibility.
Commenting is now closed for this post.
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|
“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