Our Friday evening regular returns once again, with a trio of overlooked options rolled out for your consideration. Last week’s headline act, Peter Crouch, produced the goods with a brace against Swansea and with Dimitar Berbatov also coming up trumps in Gameweek 5, the differentials have hit a reasonable run of form recently. Let’s hope this weekend’s hopefuls can justify our faith..
There’s little doubt his summer exertions with Spain played a major part in Mata’s slow start to the 2012/13 campaign. The Chelsea playmaker’s involvement in Euro 2012 and the Olympic games afforded him little chance for rest and recovery and with Eden Hazard quick out the blocks, the former Valencia man slipped off many radars.
While both midfielders started the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) season priced at 9.5, Hazard has climbed to 10.3 but Mata now sits at just 8.8, with a straight swap between the pair an obvious move early on for huge numbers of Fantasy managers. Afforded a fortnight’s rest in the first international break, the Spaniard was also given time off for the Gameweek 4 trip to QPR by Roberto Di Matteo and since then, the club have reaped the rewards.
Over the last four matches in all competitions, Mata has been simply outstanding – four goals and four assists over that quartet of fixtures, including a midweek brace in the 4-0 Champions League win in Denmark. While Hazard’s owners will be more than happy to hold ahead of tomorrow’s home clash against Norwich, those who don’t currently have the Belgian could well be tempted by his in-form team mate. With an ownership of less than 5% in FPL, Mata looks primed to produced once again as the Blues go in search of their fourth straight home win of the season.
Returning from a hamstring injury somewhat earlier than expected, the on-loan forward climbed off the bench in West Ham’s 2-1 win at QPR on Monday evening to hand Sam Allardyce a timely boost ahead of Arsenal’s visit tomorrow. Carroll managed 19 minutes at Loftus Road last time out and, having suffered no after-effects, looks likely to be tasked with leading the line as the Hammers attempt to maintain their unbeaten home start to the season.
Arsenal arrive at Upton Park with Per Mertesacker a doubt – a positive sign for the hosts, with Carroll’s aerial presence set to pester the Gunners’ backline from start to finish; a factor Arsene Wenger acknowledged earlier on today. His role as the lone forward in the Hammers’ 4-3-3 is the perfect fit for Allardyce’s tactics and with Kevin Nolan buzzing around him, Carroll – with an ownership of less than 1% in FPL – certainly has the potential to produce this weekend.
The US international seems to have finally nailed down a place in Andre Villas-Boas’ starting XI following his transfer from Fulham late in the summer transfer window. With his match-fitness now finally up to scratch, Dempsey has taken over the role in “the hole” from Gylfi Sigurdsson, knocking the Icelandic international down the Tottenham pecking order.
Dempsey was, of course, the top scoring FPL midfielder last season for the Cottagers after racking up an incredible 209 points, with 17 goals, seven assists and 22 bonus points indicative of his stunning season. Unbeaten now in eight games in all competitions, the London outfit are beginning to produce the goods and welcome Aston Villa to the Lane in buoyant mood, having notched a crucial win at Old Trafford last Saturday evening.
Having now started each of his side’s last two league matches, Dempsey opened his account for the season against United and with a mere 2% FPL ownership, has the pedigree to produce against a side that shipped four to Southampton in their last road trip in Gameweek 5.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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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.