As a frantic Friday nears its end, we roll out our regular ahead of tomorrow morning’s deadline. After our midweek headliner, Charlie Adam, failed to fire in Stoke’s win over Newcastle, we’re putting in faith in Harry Redknapp’s main man up top as the new QPR boss aims to earn his new side their first win of the season…
The Frenchman’s form in the second half of last season was a key factor in QPR’s escape from relegation. Arriving at Loftus Road from Serie A side Lazio in the January transfer window, Cisse ensured every one of his league appearances was unforgettable – he scored in six of his eight matches and was sent off in the two games he failed to find the net in.
This time round, his impact has been minimal. Mark Hughes’ summer spending spree left the R’s with almost too many options throughout the side, with an inconsistency of selection harvesting a series of dire displays. After starting the first two Gameweeks, Cisse found himself behind Bobby Zamora in the pecking order for the lone frontman role in Hughes’ preferred 4-4-1-1 formation but with Zamora now sidelined for three months after undergoing a hip operation and Hughes now out on his ear, Cisse looks set to be a pivotal figure for new boss Harry Redknapp as the Londoners attempt to beat the drop again.
Redknapp’s first official match in charge last Tuesday saw Esteban Granero moved further up the field, tucking in behind the Frenchman, and with Adel Taarabt also tasked with supplying creativity, Cisse could be set for an upturn in fortunes as the Loftus Road outfit go in search of their first win of the season. Tomorrow’s visit of Villa, followed by a trip to Wigan, affords Redknapp the perfect opportunity to make up ground on his relegation rivals. If Cisse can replicate last season’s goal returns, his stock would rise considerably – priced at 5.8 in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) and 7.5 in the Sky Sports game, and with an ownership of around 1% in both games, he’s a differential with plenty to play for.
It’s been a stop-start season for the West Brom midfielder, with calf and hamstring complaints curtailing his game time dramatically. Prior to Gameweek 11, Brunt had managed just a single start for the Baggies but, finally fit and injury-free, has made a significant stake for a regular role and could well be set to offer a viable alternative to James Morrison in Steve Clarke’s midfield.
The Northern Ireland international has now started three of the last four and has provided an assist in each of those games, outgunning Morrison by 16 FPL points to 13 over the period in question. A proven Fantasy performer, Brunt has produced six goals, 19 assists and 33 FPL bonus points over the previous two campaigns – he has also been handed a substantial share of corner kicks upon his return, furthering his appeal.
Priced at 5.5 in FPL and 6.1 in the Sky Sports game, Brunt has an ownership of less than 1% in both games and ahead of a run of three home fixtures in the next four (STK, ars, WHM, NOR) could be set for further returns as Clarke looks to cement his side’s spot amongst the top four.
While the Norwich backline have picked up the plaudits after a recent run of superb defensive displays, their summer signing from Leeds United has proven to be their most consistent attacking performer. Snodgrass welcomes Sunderland to Carrow Road this weekend on the back of a goal and double figure points haul at Southampton – this took his tally to 49 FPL points for the campaign, only three less than the Canaries top scoring defender, Javier Garrido.
Since returning to the first-team in Gameweek 10 after a brief omission, he has played a part in two of Norwich’s four strikes – with free kicks and corners also in his locker, the Scot’s creativity and eye for goal are clearly crucial to his side’s attacking endeavours as Hughton makes keeping out opponents a priority. Priced at 5.8 in FPL with a 1% ownership, Snodgrass also has games against Swansea and Wigan on the horizon to further boost his appeal over the short-term, at least.