Edin Dzeko proves the value of goals from the bench yet again with a decisive blow to see off Spurs. Kevin Nolan returns to haunt the impotent Magpies, while Luis Suarez strikes to silence Stamford Bridge. Here’s Sunday’s stock check…
On the Up
A first goal since Gameweek 7 brought City back into the game and served a reminder of his capabilities. With just one start in the previous four, Aguero has hardly been given much opportunity to shine but with Carlos Tevez struggling to find the net, his compatriot’s keen eye for goal will be crucial to the champions’ chances of retaining their title.
Notching a late winner after climbing off the bench, the Bosnian vindicated his super-sub tag once more. Despite starting just four of City’s 11 games and playing 389 minutes, Dzeko has scored six times and is City’s top scorer thus far.
The Spaniard recovered from a hamstring injury to make his first appearance since Gameweek 7. Silva’s brilliant assist for Dzeko’s late winner highlighted just how much City have missed his talents – he now has an assist in three of his last four starts.
Today’s strike took his tally to two goals and an assist since coming off the bench as a sub back in Gameweek 5 at QPR. Caulker has now started the last six for Spurs and priced at 4.8 in FPL, his ownership of 2.3% could be set to increase on the back of another fruitful attacking performance.
A first strike away from home against his former employers took Nolan to five goals for the season. One of several strong “in the hole” midfielders, along with the likes of Maraoune Fellaini and Michu, Nolan goes on delivering in the mid-price to question the merits of the established heavy-hitters, some of which are stalling by comparison.
The West Ham Defence
Sam Allardyce is always quick to talk up the importance of clean sheets and he’s now seen his keeper and back four keep unlikely back-to-back shut-outs against City and Newcastle. The Hammers have now kept five clean sheets this term – the joint highest in the league with Stoke City.
The Uruguayan struck again to put himself level with Robin Van Persie in the race for the Golden Boot with eight goals. Suarez has now scored or assisted in his last five league outings as he finds a new level of consistency that has led to his Fantasy ownership gradually climb. He remains just one booking from a ban but, like Fellaini at Everton, his form is so strong, there’s an argument for taking that on the chin. It’s Wigan at home next for Liverpool.
With 35 points accrued over four home starts, Tevez had scored or assisted in all of his outings at the Etihad prior to today. His run finally came to an end and while his consistency has seen him produce four goals and six assists over 11 outings, a single goal since the end of Gameweek 3 is something of a worry.
A midweek Europa League hat-trick was not enough for the forward to keep his place in the Spurs XI. While replacement Emmanuel Adebayor may not have produced the goods today, the Togo international‘s first start of the season has certainly placed question marks over Defoe’s regular starting role.
The Welshman who has now gathered just a single goal in his last four outings for his owners. Bale suffered sales going into the Gameweek and with mid-price midfielders flourishing and David Silva and Mata returning assists, there’s every chance we’ll see that trend continuing as Spurs prepare for the trip to the Emirates in Gameweek 12.
While Newcastle have strong fixtures to come, the Magpies have now scored just four goals in five league games and Ba’s owners will surely be fidgeting having seen their man toil for a blank. With just a single goal in the last five Gameweeks, returns have deserted him and with in-form options available elsewhere, it remains to be seen how many will keep patience with Ba for the forthcoming Gameweeks. Meanwhile, Papiss Cisse’s miserable season continued as he was hauled off at half-time.
Hatem Ben Arfa
The Frenchman is another to suffer from Newcastle’s recent lack of potency. Owned by over 14% of Fantasy Premier League managers, Ben Arfa has notched just one assist in his last six league matches to offer very little reason to retain his services. With a whole raft of midfield talent available, patience with Ben Afra is being tested and, having suffered big sales in four of the last five Gameweeks, this trend looks set to continue.
Dropped to the bench to make way for John Terry’s return, even with David Luiz absent through illness, Roberto Di Matteo elected to omit Cahil and leave Branislav Ivanovic at centre-back with César Azpilicueta retaining the right-back role. Terry’s first-half injury may confuse matters further but it seems that Cahill currently ranks below Ivanovic in the pecking order for a centre-back role and that could even mean more regular starts for Azpilicueta. We’ll know more when Luiz is available once again.
A second consecutive blank for Hazard means that he’s now without a goal in four matches, while Juan Mata again returned to ensure that he’s offered a goal or assist in his last six league starts. Hazard owners may have other priorities to address in their squads but, if not, Mata’s continued form could well see another bout of managers switching allegiance.