Our midweek regular returns to assess the upcoming schedules over the next four-to-six Gameweeks. While the fixtures continue to fall kindly for the likes of Everton and West Brom, Chelsea and United are bracing themselves for a difficult run of matches…
David Moyes’ side are full of confidence right now and welcome Southampton to Goodison on the back of a 3-0 away cruise at Swansea. Despite the loss of Nikica Jelavic for the Liberty game, the Toffees look irresistible at the moment and are primed for Fantasy investment with a strong run of upcoming fixtures.
Everton have trips to (wig, qpr, ful) in the next six and are also set to welcome Liverpool and Sunderland to Goodison – a home victory against United and an unlucky draw with Newcastle highlights their home capabilities. The bandwagons continue to roll – Leighton Baines, Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini have all picked up substantial numbers of new owners this week and with Jelavic returning in tonight’s Capital One Cup clash against Leeds, the Merseysiders offer plenty of strong options for our squads over the next couple of months.
Three home games have all returned wins and clean sheets under Steve Clarke as the Baggies maintain their solid Hawthorns showings. The next six Gameweeks offer West Brom a chance of further points – (QPR, MCI, SOT) all pay visit and, while the City clash will test their resolve, owners of Ben Foster will be confident of save points to fall back on; the keeper has picked up a combined seven FPL points over the two games he has conceded in.
With Clarke also taking his side to (avl, new, wig), the midlanders are likely to remain popular picks for Fantasy managers, offering mid-price value across the Fantasy games. Gareth McAuley and Liam Ridgewell are the standouts in defence, while Clarke will be hoping James Morrison can shake off the leg problem that forced the midfielder off around the hour mark against Reading last weekend. Having returned a goal on his first start, Romelu Lukaku looks in the driving seat to continue up top – his energy and raw, physical presence could be set to prosper over the next few weeks as Clarke looks to the on-loan Belgian to carry the threat up top.
The champions are afforded a strong run of fixtures over the next six as Roberto Mancini attempts to address a run of form that has brought just two wins and no clean sheets from the opening five matches. City welcome (SUN, SWA, TOT) to the Etihad and a return to the displays that saw them drop just two points at home last season seems essential, while trips to (ful, wba, whm) will offer Mancini hope.
It’s understandable that their defence is being ignored by Fantasy managers, though Vincent Kompany will surely start to pick up the points, with the City boss demanding an upturn in defensive resilience after some lacklustre displays at the back.
Yaya Toure continues to look the only guaranteed starter in midfielder – David Silva has yet to be selected for the first XI in back-to-back Gameweeks, while the return of Sergio Aguero has already seen Carlos Tevez drop to the bench for the first time this season as rotation hits hard. Mancini needs points, though, and less tinkering is required if he’s to replicate the form that saw City surge to the title in the latter months of last term.
The unbeaten Gunners look strong prospects at both ends of the pitch ahead of a short-term schedule that sees them square up to (CHE, whm, nor, QPR). With two goals conceded thus far and a win at Liverpool allied with a draw at City, the upturn in resilience will see plenty investment come Arsenal’s way – this weekend’s home clash against Chelsea is unlikely to deter many.
At the back, Thomas Vermaelen is the more explosive for returns and always capable of chipping in with double figure points hauls – Kieran Gibbs looks the safest bet at full-back, with Bacary Sagna’s imminent return casting doubts over Carl Jenkinson. Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski offer the best bet going forward, with the Spaniard’s assist at City maintaining a consistency that has seen him pick up attacking points in his last three appearances.
Fulham – a home clash with City hasn’t deterred Fantasy managers from jumping aboard the Dimitar Berbatov bandwagon – with Fulham averaging three goals per game at the Cottage right now it’s little wonder. Martin Jol’s side also host Villa in the next four and with trips to Southampton and Reading also on the agenda, Damien Duff is afforded the chance to add to his tally of three goals so far for the Cottagers.
Southampton – with a first win of the season under their belt, Nigel Adkins’ side will be in buoyant mood ahead of an enticing schedule. Granted, the weekend trip to Everton is far from straightforward but the Saints boss will be predominantly targeting home games as a source of points. Fulham, Spurs and Swansea all roll up to St Mary’s in the next six, with Rickie Lambert an obvious budget target for our forward lines, while Adam Lallana and Gaston Ramirez offer intriguing alternatives in midfield.
Liverpool – the form has been far from impressive but the first five Gameweeks were always going to be tricky to navigate for a team in transition. Brendan Rodgers is afforded a trio of upcoming fixtures (nor, STO, RDG) to engineer a climb out the bottom three – without a clean sheet thus far, Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez look the main protagonists, though Glen Johnson has offered decent threat from the back.
Stoke – trips to Liverpool and United in Gameweeks 7 and 8 look tricky but the fixtures are finally starting to turn favourable for Tony Pulis’ side. The Potters welcome (SWA, SUN, QPR) to the Britannia in the next six and also face a trip to Norwich as they look to bounce back from their first defeat of the season last week at Chelsea. Good news, then, for Ryan Shawcross’ 18.7% owners, while Jon Walters and Peter Crouch could be set to continue their steady starts to the campaign.
Reading – the fixtures look good over the next six; question is, can the Royals produce the form to justify any possible investment? It’s perhaps debatable but with (NEW, FUL, NOR) arriving at the Madejski and a trip to QPR also on the horizon, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Danny Guthrie look the men most likely to produce for Brian McDermott’s strugglers.
The league leaders are facing a real test of their title credentials over the next six. While the Gameweek 7 visit of Norwich looks prosperous, the Blues travel to Arsenal, Spurs and Swansea and also welcome United and Liverpool to the Bridge.
A backline that has returned four clean sheets in five has earned Branislav Ivanovic and Ashley Cole plenty of investment but Chelsea may struggle to maintain such resolve in defence. Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres owners may start to look for alternatives if the pair continue to falter, with neither producing attacking points in the last two against QPR and Stoke.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side square up to four of last season’s top six in the next five Gameweeks as the schedule takes a turn for the worse. United welcome Spurs and Arsenal to Old Trafford and face tricky trips to Newcastle and Chelsea – a worry for Robin Van Persie’s owners, with plenty other sides offering strong armband candidates over the next few matches. With Wayne Rooney nearing a first-team return and rotation hitting hard due to Champions League commitments, Shinji Kagawa’s appeal is also taking a turn for the worse; the former Dortmund man has managed the full 90 minutes just once this season.
Nemanja Vidic is expected back this weekend to bolster a backline that has picked up just a single clean sheet thus far but defensive returns may still be hard to come by. Rafael has boosted his tally with a couple of goals but the Brazilian will surely find it hard to replicate such form over the next few matches.
Two goals and three points from their opening five sums up the Canaries’ form right now. Unfortunately for owners of Norwich assets, there’s little cause of optimism in the short-term. Chris Hughton’s side now face Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal in the next three and with a trip to Paul Lambert’s Villa to follow the Gunners game, the prospect of points looks difficult. Grant Holt’s owners could be ready to jump ship after he was dropped for the first time this season at Newcastle, while the likes of Robert Snodgrass and John Ruddy offer little appeal until the schedule improves.
Also Be Wary Of
Tottenham – the fixtures are something of a mixed bag for Spurs. Home games with Villa and Wigan, allied with a trip to Southampton, offer undoubted potential for the likes of Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe but Andre Villas-Boas’ side also square up to United, Chelsea and City in the next six. A backline that has conceded in all five games so far holds little appeal here and with injury worries over the left-back area, the London outfit will need to produce goals if they are to flourish in the short-term.
Aston Villa – Paul Lambert’s side will be licking their wounds after the weekend hammering at St Mary’s and the next six hands them difficult trips to (tot, ful, sun). The midlands outfit may struggle to pick up anything from those games, with all three hosts particularly strong in front of their own fans. Villa have a home derby with in-form West Brom this weekend and with United also rolling up in the next six, the visit of Norwich offers the only crumb of comfort for owners of Barry Bannan, Matt Lowton and Darren Bent – the club’s top three FPL scorers so far.
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|
“I understand you don't consider Dempsey a striker. He has developed into playing in different positions, but for me he is a pure striker. ”Andre Villas-Boas reveals his views on Clint Dempsey's best position.