With another international break now behind us, we can once again focus on domestic matters ahead of tomorrow’s deadline. The fortnight has been relatively kind to Fantasy managers – in terms of popular picks, only David Silva and Marouane Fellaini are suffering on the sidelines with injuries, while the return of a certain Bulgarian has certainly played a part in our selection for Gameweek 8:
Mark Schwarzer gets the nod between the sticks ahead as Fulham prepare to welcome Villa to the Cottage. The Australian has produced a clean sheet in two of his three home games already and with the visitors scoring just twice in four road trips, defensive returns look a strong possibility for Martin Jol’s side tomorrow.
Leighton Baines continues in the Scout Picks with a trip to struggling QPR on the agenda. Everton may have registered just one clean sheet in their last six but Baines’ attacking threat shows no sign of abating – he has produced six or more points in five of the first seven Gameweeks. As always, his creativity will be crucial against a side that have shipped 16 goals already this season.
Rafael’s potential at both ends of the pitch earns the United right-back a place. Stoke arrive at Old Trafford having failed to score on the road since Gameweek 3 and with a couple of goals already accrued over his six appearances, the Brazilian looks a strong prospect against the Potters this weekend.
Having returned his first clean sheet of the season last time round, Glen Johnson keeps his place in the Scout Picks ahead of Reading’s visit to Anfield. Going forward, the full-back has offered plenty threat so far for Brendan Rodgers’ side but only has a single assist to show for his endeavours; the Royal’s visit could well offer him the chance to produce tomorrow.
Steven Pienaar is the second Everton player to get the nod – a clear sign of our faith in David Moyes’ outfit. Having recently retired from international duties, the South African will be fully refreshed for the weekend trip to QPR and has either scored or assisted in three of his four away games so far; averaging 6.5 FPL points per road trip, Pienaar looks poised to heap further misery on Mark Hughes’ side at Loftus Road.
Michu gets one last throw of the dice before Swansea’s fixtures stiffen. The Spaniard returned to goalscoring ways against Reading last time round and has found the net in three of his four home fixtures – up against a Wigan side that have conceded at least twice in five of the first seven Gameweeks, the Swans midfielder should be afforded further chance for attacking returns tomorrow afternoon.
We’ve opted for Kevin Nolan ahead of West Ham’s home showdown with Southampton. Similar to Michu, the Hammers skipper has also found the net in three of his four home appearances and is set to welcome a side that has conceded 12 goals in just three away matches so far. As Sam Allardyce looks to steady the ship after the Gameweek 7 defeat to Arsenal, Nolan’s contribution looks key.
Santi Cazorla is nailed-on ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Norwich. The Gunners playmaker has been in sensational form of late, particularly on the road – he has produced attacking returns and picked up FPL bonus points in his last three away trips, averaging more than nine points per game over those fixtures, and is up against a Canaries side that have shipped nine goals in their last two matches. A real captaincy contender this weekend.
Robin Van Persie is another obvious choice. Rested for one of Holland’s recent World Cup qualifiers, the former Arsenal skipper welcomes Stoke to Old Trafford tomorrow – while the Potters have been particularly resilient this term, with just five goals conceded, Van Persie has either scored or assisted in all five of his league starts for the Red Devils so far.
The fit-again Dimitar Berbatov earns an instant recall to the Scout Picks ahead of a home clash with Villa. With two goals and an assist over his two starts for the Cottagers so far, in addition to maximum FPL bonus points in both games, the Bulgarian looks another armband option against a side that have picked up a single point from four away games under Paul Lambert.
Luis Suarez is the third and final forward ahead of Liverpool’s Anfield showdown with Reading. With the visitors yet to produce a clean sheet this term, Brendan Rodgers’ patched-up side look to have the perfect opportunity to record their first home win of the new campaign – bearing in mind Suarez has scored or assisted six of the Reds’ nine goals so far, he looks a decent punt for returns.
Angel Rangel makes the bench for Swansea’s home game with Wigan. While Michael Laudrup’s side have been unconvincing at the back in recent matches, their visitors have failed to score in their last two games on the road. The right-back’s attacking endeavours have already helped him grab a goal at the Liberty and his forward forays down the flank should pose the Latics plenty problems this weekend.
Raheem Sterling offers a cut-price option for Liverpool’s home clash with Reading. With two assists in the last four Gameweeks, the teenager has proven to be more than just a squad-filler and with Fabio Borini out for three months, Sterling looks nailed-on for the Reds in the meantime.
Andy Carroll is a little unlucky only to make the bench. The on-loan forward prepares to welcome Southampton to Upton Park tomorrow and with the visitors’ vulnerability in the air proving their undoing time and again, Sam Allardyce will ensure Carroll is fed crosses aplenty as the Hammers go in search of their fourth win of the season.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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“I love to attack and I love to go up front...It is a little more difficult than when you are playing centre-back. If you play the way that I want to play, I think my influence is better as a left-back. For the team, it is best that I play as a centre-back. I like to bring the ball out. You need to move the game quickly, and that is one of my qualities as well.”Jan Vertonghen outlines what he feels is his best position for Andre Villas-Boas