Chelsea help themselves to three points and deliver the anticipated returns as Norwich are swept aside at the Bridge. City overcome an impotent Black Cats in similar style, while Everton and Swansea battle back for draws with some leading Fantasy candidates amongst the scorers. Here’s the Stock Check from Saturday so far…
On the Up
With three straight blanks, there were question marks over his future in our Fantasy lineups but, predictably, Hazard delivered on his undoubted class with a smart finish after some genius from the in-form Juan Mata.
Two more assists today continued his superb run of late and will again start drawing the eyes of Fantasy managers. The jury is still out on the Hazard vs Mata debate then but there’s little doubt on the man in form right now. Mata has returned a goal and four assists in the last three starts.
Chelsea’s midfield riches have drawn the attention and have seen us move our sights to other options up front. However, Torres has now notched four goals and three assists and remains in the mix. Those who have kept the faith since the opening double Gameweek have enjoyed very decent returns.
The clean sheet was spoiled early on but a goal and assist continued the Serbian’s outstanding start to the season and justified his Scout Picks selection. A further ownership rise looks likely, despite some tough fixtures to come.
A controversial player around these parts but there’s no getting away from it this season – when he plays, Kolarov produces. A stunning free-kick and a fine cross for Sergio Aguero’s strike was capped with another assists for James Milner’s late free-kick. If only we could be certain of Kolarov’s starts, we’d have a real asset on our hands. He has started three of City’s seven games so far.
A second league goal of the season opened the scoring against QPR, followed by his third assist of the season for Zoltan Gera’s strike. The lively Scot is unquestionably the best attacking option available in the Baggies lineup and is flourishing in his role pushed up in support of the striker.
His stock took a rise with a stunning goal in the defeat to West Ham and enjoyed another boost today with a second consecutive strike. Can he be trusted to cement a starting role in Mark Hughes’ side? Right now they appear to need his goals and inspiration.
We may have little room to accommodate a Wigan striker but, should we ever need to come knocking, Kone has emerged as their key threat and main source of Fantasy returns and an alternative to the largely unfancied Franco Di Santo.
Despite losing his clean sheet, the left-back proved his worth again, this time by converting a second-half penalty to earn Everton a point at the DW Stadium. He hit the post in the first-half and could have had a couple of spot-kicks.
Like Torres, Jelavic has been largely overlooked of late as a result of the availability of strong Everton midfield options. A fourth goal of the season has, however, again raised his profile as our striker options continue to blossom.
The Spaniard was another giving a cause for concern but Michu duly proved that, when Swansea score, he’s likely to be there or thereabouts. While his owners will be delighted at a turn in fortunes, there will be some concern with Michu collecting his fourth booking of the season (he has one in the Capital Cup).
Had we forgotten the value offered by Reading’s Russian? Pogrebynak has suffered a major fallout due to blank fixtures and the emergence of such strong competition for the striker spots. His goal at Swansea offered a timely reminder that at 4.7 in the Fantasy Premier League game, he can offer outstanding value.
A series of lively displays and another couple of assists today – McAnuff has now totaled five in all and, along with Jimmy Kebe, is the clear budget attraction in the Reading midfield.
Together with Southampton’s Paulo Gazzaniga, McCarthy is a 4.0 keeper now getting league starts. The Reading stopper looks to be cementing his starting role ahead of Adam Federici and put in an outstanding display in the draw at Swansea.
The City boss made seven changes to his lineup – that was somewhat expected. What came as a surprise was that Vincent Kompany was carrying a calf injury that ruled him out and allowed Micah Richards, who was supposedly short of match fitness, to return. The rotation of Sergio Aguero to the bench, the first time that Mancini has rested the Argentine after a Champions League game, also came as a shock. Mancini is not our friend right now.
Dropped to the bench by Chris Hughton, presumably as one of the scapegoats from the 5-2 beating last weekend, the former Leeds trickster had looked a Fantasy prospect. Hughton deployed Wes Hoolahan off the returning Grant Holt, however and Snodgrass is now, presumably under threat. Perhaps tellingly, he was left on the bench even with Norwich chasing the game.
The seesaw battle with Steven Pienaar continues but, as feared, Fellaini’s disciplinary problems could sway it in favour of the South African. The Belgian’s yellow card at Wigan now puts him just one booking away from a one-match ban. Fellaini had two bookings in the league before today and was also booked in the 90th minute of the Capital One Cup tie with Leeds.
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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|
“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