Much as I’m trying to focus on the Gameweek in hand, my mind is already wandering the double fixtures awaiting in Gameweek 26. That’s somewhat inevitable given that many will be preserving their free transfer this weekend, to roll it over for the two fixtures falling the way of both Liverpool and Swansea.
I’m already troubled by the dilemma this scenario provides. Stuck with Raheem Sterling in midfield, and with Ben Davies and Michu already on board, I could face a severe points hit if I wanted to be sure on getting eleven out when both Liverpool and Swansea put their feet up in Gameweek 27. Realistically then, I’m saving my transfer this week, with the prospect of having to choose between a Liverpool defender or Luis Suarez or Daniel Sturridge up front: get both, and I’d either need to put ten men out, or take a points hit in Gameweek 27. It’s a situation that has me starring wistfully into the distance, in memory of that Wildcard I fluttered prior to Christmas, fuelled by my misjudged Wayne Rooney gamble.
Luckily, there’s no obvious route for my transfer to take this week – making it somewhat easier to sit back and let events unfold, while I give myself the luxury of more flexibility to come. There’s something uneasy about skipping a transfer, though – a nagging doubt that suggests that I’m turning my back on points this week, in order to give myself more, perhaps less effective double Gameweek options, later.
In my case there’s an urge to finally cast aside the Edin Dzeko experiment, relegate him to the bench and go with Adel Taarabt in for Sterling for this weekend. Of course, if I was certain that Dzeko would again find himself on the bench on Sunday, having missed out on the teamsheet for the 0-0 at Loftus Road last time out, that decision would be a whole lot easier. As it is, I think there’s every chance he could earn a recall against Liverpool, given that City struggled for a cutting edge against QPR. Once again though, I’m at the mercy of Roberto Mancini on that one: that’s always a pleasure.
While I’ve struggled with it, I’m set on keeping the status quo, relying on Dzeko to at least make an impact from the bench and hoping that Sterling can somehow work his way back into favour, just in time to become effective as a double Gameweek player. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but then, if Granville’s theory on my current run of
form luck is correct, that chain of events will tumble into my lap.
This morning’s papers offer me very little by way of comfort on the Dzeko front. Having scanned through them, I find myself in the unenviable position of being in agreement with the Sun and relying on their, often sketchy view of the likely teamsheets. They opt for Dzeko up front, with Sergio Aguero in support for Sunday’s clash with Liverpool but they are the only one of our six sources this morning who back this lineup: every other paper opts to keep Carlos Tevez in attack, with Dzeko left to warm the timber.
There are doubts elsewhere, of course. While Demba Ba looks assured of his Chelsea start against Newcastle, with all the papers backing this, they are clearly undecided on what Rafa Benitez will do with his defence in the light of John Terry’s return. The Chelsea skipper earns a recall in every lineup this morning, with the majority choosing to relegate Branislav Ivanovic to the bench. Only the Guardian have Cesar Azpilicueta missing out, while the Independent opt for Ivanovic over Gary Cahill.
There’s another apparent split on the role played by Marouane Fellaini for Everton against Villa today – a crucial factor, given the impact he could have if pushed up on Paul Lambert’s obliging back four. In the majority, the press appear to have overlooked the return to fitness of Darron Gibson – only the Sun and the Mail choose to include the former United man in David Moyes’ midfield.
Gibson’s start would surely see Fellaini played up in support of the lone striker, with Phil Neville likely to earn a shift at right-back, with Kevin Mirallas out wide. It remains to be seen if Victor Anichebe remains a factor up front for Everton; while Moyes talks more on his decision to drop Nikica Jelavic, stressing that the aim is to get the Croatian back scoring again, only the Telegraph recall Jelavic to the Everton starting lineup.
There’s few surprises elsewhere – Danny Graham is given a Sunderland debut in three of our morning papers, who look to partner the former Swansea man up with Steven Fletcher, relegating both David Vaughan and James McClean to the bench.
The City defence, like Chelsea’s, has also caused a split, with the papers unsure if Matija Nastasic will earn a recall in favour of Javi Garcia or Joleon Lescott. Only the Telegraph and the Guardian opt for a Nastasic/Lescott partnership, with the Sun and the Times opting to leave the Serb out of their lineups.
As for Lewis Holtby, only the Independent are brave enough to predict that the young German will be handed a full Spurs debut at West Brom; he’s played up in support of Jermain Defoe with no place for Clint Dempsey or Gylfi Sigurdsson in their lineup.
While that bracing stroll through the press lineups offered some preparation for the day’s events, I can’t help but feel flat, knowing that I’m taking a risk by sitting on my hands come 11.30. The uneasy of feeling of the letting the deadline pass without intervention is not a pleasant one: I’ve mentioned before, it’s sometimes easier to get over mistakes made when they’ve resulted from positive action. Errors made through inaction and hesitations are often the hardest to forgive and forget. After enjoying several Saturday evenings with green arrows and smug smiles, I’m also overdue a fall. These are the nagging demons that often pay visit to Fantasy managers on a Saturday morning. Is it any wonder I’m not listening to a word she says over breakfast?
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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|
“I am happy with the way I’ve started, but on the other hand, I should have scored four or five more, so that’s something for me to work on.”Robin Van Persie talks about his early form at United ahead of his first Manchester derby