Robin Van Persie grabs a goal and assist as United edge a thriller at the Bridge. Juan Mata dazzles once again for the Blues, Gareth Bale is amongst the goals for Spurs, while Luis Suarez and Demba Ba continue to rack up the points as the final four matches of Gameweek 9 deliver 15 goals and not a single clean sheet…
Van Persie Delivers Once More
Having been outshone by Wayne Rooney in the previous two, Robin Van Persie came to the fore yesterday afternoon with a goal and assist helping end Chelsea’s unbeaten run. Rooney dropped deeper as Sir Alex Ferguson did away with the diamond and brought Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia into the side but Rooney returned no more than a single point before being subbed off on 73 minutes. Van Persie continue his record of producing attacking returns in every start so far and, while Rooney seems a good option in the diamond, the Dutchman looks the stronger of the pair when Ferguson opts for a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-1-1 formation. While United’s leaky defence was breached yet again, their need to score means Van Persie is mirroring the same kind of threat and returns he offered at Arsenal in the previous season-and-a-half; pre-bonus, he is now just four point off the top of the FPL leaderboard and is now set to host his former employers next Saturday lunchtime.
Chelsea Midfield Dilemma Continues
A superbly struck free-kick maintained Juan Mata’s outstanding recent form for the beaten hosts. Transferred in by over 142,000 FPL managers ahead of Saturday’s deadline, Mata once again outshone Eden Hazard for the fourth time in five matches since returning from a rest in Gameweek 5. Mata has now moved up to 9.3 in FPL and while Hazard picked up an assist for the Spaniard’s strike, shipping out the 10.3 priced former Lille man for Mata is becoming more appealing by the Gameweek. Yet again, Mata’s price now looks set to soar before next weekend’s trip to Swansea; with 13 and 18 points returned in his last two away games, huge amounts will again snap him up. For those brave enough, there’s even the intriguing option of having both in our five-man midfields, should budgets allow it – with the likes of 9.5 priced Santi Cazorla faltering this weekend, Chelsea seem full of goals right now; a Hazard-Mata pairing would have produced (9, 15, 17, 27, 12) points over the last five Gameweeks, for example.
Liverpool’s Reliance on Suarez
His statistics have always suggested he’s capable of outstanding Fantasy performances but the Uruguayan finally appears to have stepped up this season. Yesterday’s goal and assist at Goodison took Suarez to six goals and three assists already – this means he has now had a hand in nine of Liverpool’s 12 goals this term; a clear indication of his importance to their attacking forays. With 51 FPL points, pre-bonus, he is now up to fourth top scoring forward in FPL and, while many other forwards are prone to rest and rotation, Suarez offers a consistency of game time and selection – Brendan Rodgers’ lack of options up top means he has fielded the 9.7 priced FPL forward for every minute of the season thus far.
Fellaini Returns and Picks up Points
Sold by over 332,000 FPL managers after being forced out of last week’s trip to QPR, the Belgian returned to the Everton fold and produced an assist in the 2-2 Merseyside derby. With Nikica Jelavic drawing a blank for the third time in four home matches, Fellaini – who has dropped from 7.3 to 6.9 – has now moved to 40 FPL points, second only to Leighton Baines for the Toffees. With the fixtures continuing to look prosperous for David Moyes’ side (ful, SUN, rdg, NOR), Fellaini could well be set for renewed investment and with his role in support of the Croatian looking nailed-on as the season unfolds, he continues to look strong value.
Spurs Consistent Goal Returns
Yesterday’s 2-1 win at Southampton continued Tottenham’s impressive attacking form as they moved up to fourth in the table. Spurs started the season with a single goal in each of their first three but they have now scored two or more goals in all of the last six Gameweeks; offering Fantasy managers a strong source of consistency. Having been afforded time off after his partner gave birth last week, Gareth Bale returned against his former club and produced the goods on the road once again – he has now scored in each of his last three away matches and, pre-bonus, has averaged nine points per game from Gameweek 4 onwards. Jermain Defoe provided an assist for his Fantasy owners and has now produced attacking points in seven of his nine appearances for the north London outfit – little wonder he continues to get the nod over Emmanuel Adebayor as the lone forward. Elsewhere, Clint Dempsey is starting to offer an alternative to Bale in the midfield – the US international grabbed a goal and has now scored or assisted in three of his last four under Villas-Boas.
Lambert’s Drought Continues
With goals against City and United in the opening three Gameweeks, Rickie Lambert had seamlessly adapted to the step up to the top-flight following Southampton’s promotion. Recently, though, question marks are beginning to hover over his Fantasy worth with yet another blank in yesterday’s home loss to Tottenham meaning Lambert has now failed to score or assist in each of the last four Gameweeks. Worryingly for his owners, Lambert now has two away games in the next three; considering he has been benched for two of the Saints’ four away fixtures so far, there would be little surprise if he is omitted from the first XI for next weekend’s trip to West Brom, with Jay Rodriguez -who scored the consolation in the 2-1 defeat – perhaps set to lead the line instead. Adkins had this to say on Rodriguez post-match…
“Jay has come in as a young lad and he works ever so well on the training ground and out there on the pitch, his movement is exceptional as far as I am concerned and he has a very good goalscoring record so we know he can score goals…Like everybody he needs a little bit of time but he is a special talent and he has a great future in the game.”
Lukaku Stakes a Claim
The on-loan Belgian has only started two games for West Brom and has scored in both of them. Lukaku grabbed his side’s solitary strike at Newcastle to offer a real alternative to Shane Long as the Baggies lone striker – he has now notched three times in just 296 minutes, equalling the Irishman’s tally, despite the latter managing 511 minutes by comparison. Baggies’ boss, Steve Clarke, sung Lukaku’s praises post-match…
“I’ve got really good forwards at the club. Sometimes, it’s really difficult for me to make the rotation because Shane’s been in great form. I just felt today Romelu could cause them some problems from the start. His movement was good. He got in some great positions in the first half and missed the finish. But he’s a striker. He kept getting in there and eventually got his reward with the goal. On another day, he maybe could’ve had a hat-trick.”
Clarke introduced Long for Lukaku after 65 minutes of the game, only to slip to a late defeat with some claiming that the change swung the momentum in Newcastle’s favour…
“Rom has been a good sub for us in recent weeks. He’s been patient and every now and again I have to give him a chance to play. Today was his chance. Playing one striker on his own can be a difficult shift. Shane normally gets that and then after 60 or 70 minutes, he’s the one coming off. I just felt today was the time to reverse it. Unfortunately, because of the result, it may be looked on as a negative. But in terms of the performance and the way the team played, I’ll view it as a positive.”
Long was somewhat unlucky to be dropped yesterday; he had produced attacking returns in six of his first eight appearances and ahead of the visit of Southampton next weekend, Clarke has a real quandary on his hands as the midlands outfit looks for a fifth home win in six at the Hawthorns against the weakest defence in the top-flight.
Ba Keeps on Scoring
Once again, the Newcastle forward produced the goods as Alan Pardew’s men won for the first time since Gameweek 5. Ba went into yesterday’s game having scored six and assisted one of the Magpies first nine goals and fired the hosts ahead at St James’ Park before being forced off with a knock midway through the second-half. While Papiss Cisse grabbed the headlines with a late, late winner, Pardew will be sweating on Ba’s fitness for next weekend’s trip to Liverpool, with his contribution crucial to their chances of goals; with (WHM, SWA, sot, sto, WIG) after the Anfield clash, Ba will undoubtedly pick up huge interest if he’s fit and available ahead of next weekend’s deadline. Post-match, the Newcastle boss would only admit:
“Demba scored today but then got injured so we are going to look to Papiss now. He just feels like there is a nerve issue going on, so we are going to have to inspect that and see what it turns up this week.”
Williamson Ousts Taylor Again
Steven Taylor’s Fantasy owners were given plenty to ponder after Mike Williamson was once again preferred at centre-half for yesterday’s match. Williamson has now started the last six for Newcastle and has kept his place in spite of Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini recovering from recent injury; while skipper Coloccini was automatically handed a first-team return, Taylor’s omission is a real surprise but if Williamson continues to nail down a regular role, his 4.3 FPL price tag could be an intriguing option, given the above-mentioned run of upcoming fixtures.
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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