It’s time to draw the curtain on Gameweek 6 and consider the mercurial gifts of Liverpool’s Uruguayan, the emerging pool of talent at White Hart Lane and the struggle to settle on class over form…
Luis Suarez’ performance at Carrow Road was, for the second season running, a demonstration of his genius. Three sublime finishes – perhaps atypical of a player who has so often frustrated, knocked the stuffing out of the Canaries and propelled Suarez up our Watchlists.
The Uruguayan could be a supreme Fantasy talent. His numbers suggest that returns should be plentiful with almost unrivaled goal threat, plus the potential to create opportunities for others. Crucially, while the likes of Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney fit the same profile, Suarez stands alone in a Liverpool side without competition for his start and with little chance of rest and rotation biting.
And yet, there is an element of mistrust when it comes to Suarez. In reality and in the Fantasy realm he is perhaps the most exasperating of talents. Shots come in from all angles, one-on-one opportunities are missed, half-chances go wayward. So often Suarez has shown the intent and ability to fetch big points hauls, without delivering; except, it seems, when Delia is watching.
With a slew of options tussling for three striker slots, the fervour to grab Suarez off the back of his trip to East Anglia is somewhat dampened. He remains a gamble and one for the high rollers.
However, there is plenty of logic on show: if Liverpool have turned a corner with Saturday’s 5-2 win, then Suarez will surely be in line to profit with three home games in the next four. Stoke, Reading and Newcastle visit Merseyside, with a delicious but potentially tempestuous derby clash at Goodison looming in Gameweek 9. That boiling pot is perhaps one concern for investors; Suarez’ trips out to Argentina and Bolivia after this weekend presents another.
Suarez is never an easy option, never a player who offers comfort and assured returns. He’s a world class talent who can detonate points and controversy in equal measure. Those who acquire his services are certain of a thrilling ride; those who ignore him will be hoping that he somehow finds a way to frustrate once again.
Spurs are in our sights once more. They featured here following the win at Reading but that did little to prepare us for the events of Saturday’s trip to Old Trafford. It seems we’re being forced to reassess Andre Villas-Boas’ side with every passing week.
Back in Gameweek 4 it was Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe who drew the attention. While Bale remains a delicious midfield option, the win over United brought further alternatives to the fore.
Jan Vertonghen’s tackle on Junior Hoilett in Gameweek 5’s win over QPR demonstrated his defensive prowess, his opening goal against United showed his attacking potential. Having notched in the Capital One Cup, it’s clear that the Belgian has arrived and his threat is revealed. Fantasy managers, starved of clean sheets and coming around to the allure of attacking defenders led by Leighton Baines, will now be contemplating Vertonghen. We’ll discuss him further later this week.
The Belgian has been freed at left-back as a result of Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s injury, which has in-turn introduced Tottenham fans to the talents of Steven Caulker. It remains to be seen if he can now cement a starting role while Younes Kaboul remains sidelined – if he can, Caulker is another who could draw interest.
Clint Dempsey’s goal also marked his return to the fray. Starting in a central role, tucked in behind Defoe, the American appears to have the opportunity to banish Gylfi Sigurdsson to a season of cameo appearances from the bench. Dempsey’s goal power is undoubted, his potential only dented by the new consistency being shown by Bale as the midfield option of choice in the Villas-Boas revolution.
With Emmanuel Adebayor set to enter the picture soon, the landscape could change again. Tottenham appear to be a moveable feast with Bale the headline act, amongst a string of worthy differentials.
The Talking Point
Bale’s resurgence sums up a common conundrum that faces Fantasy managers. We’ve previously discussed the merits of showing patience with proven class, waiting for form and resisting the surge from short-term bandwagons.
Owners of Eden Hazard and Michu have been subjected to three consecutive blanks as the backdrop to Bale’s string of returns. That would have been painful for those who sacrificed the Welshman to acquire two players who began the season in explosive style but have since fizzled out. However, Bale demonstrates that sitting still can pay off.
Both Hazard and Michu are clearly big talents but there are concerns about the Belgian’s role now that a rejuvenated Juan Mata has returned to Roberto Di Matteo’s lineup, while Michu is suffering from Swansea’s recent demise.
This weekend promises to be a turning point. Both have strong fixtures which promise returns. Hazard currently leads our captain poll, emphasising that confidence in him has yet to totally evaporate. Fail to deliver against Norwich and he’ll likely suffer significant sales ahead of encounters with Spurs and United.
Michu may just get two bites. He has home fixtures with Reading and Wigan – grand opportunities for Michael Laudrup to restore confidence. If Swansea are to score goals, it’s difficult to imagine Michu being out of pocket.
Faith in the Spaniard is easier to show, then, but with Mata and the likes of David Silva, Bale and Santi Cazorla on offer, it’s Hazard that is under pressure. There’s little doubt he has the class – it’s now down to whether he’ll get enough opportunity to show it in Saturday’s crucial window. Hazard is rested to the bench for tonight’s Champions League tie in Denmark – that could well prove significant. Norwich could be in the firing line again.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
Next Six Ticker
|No Change||Hart||MCI||B, Vs|
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|Down||van Persie||MUN||A, Vs|
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|Down||Aguero||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
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|Up||Defoe||TOT||B, Vs, Rest|
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|A, B, C||Current Form|
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“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.