Mousa Sissoko inspires Newcastle to victory in his home debut against Chelsea. Marouane Fellaini and Christian Benteke are both at the double in a six-goal thriller at Goodison, QPR rack up a fourth clean sheet in five, Rickie Lambert continues his superb away form for Southampton, while Wayne Rooney is the goal hero again as United squeeze past Fulham at the Cottage.
Sissoko on the Radar
Having produced a midweek assist at Villa from his role in “the hole”, the Magpies new boy stepped up a gear by turning in a superb home debut at St James’ Park. Bagging a brace in a fine comeback win over Chelsea, Sissoko is quickly establishing himself as a key protagonist for Alan Pardew’s side over the remainder of the season and the latest “advanced” midfielder to promote themselves to Fantasy managers.
He arrived in the North East with the reputation as a box-to-box midfielder but with Toulouse but scored just a single goal in 19 appearances for them this season, with just two goals in 35 appearances in 2011/12. Such statistics can only have been hindered by tactics and formation as his impact played central and furthest forward as part of a three-man midfield behind Papiss Cisse has been remarkable: he’s helped fire Newcastle to their first back-to-back victories of the season. Coming in at 6.0, there seems little doubt he’s in line for bandwagon already – overnight Sissoko has seen more “transfers in” than any other player. While a trip to Spurs looks tricky next Saturday, Pardew’s side are then afforded a superb run of fixtures (SOU, swa, STO, wig, FUL, SUN) in the following seven to maintain their climb up the table. While Michu’s owners will no doubt hold in light of Swansea’s double, many may be looking to Sissoko after the Spaniard struck a blank for the sixth game in succession yesterday.
Fellaini Back in the Goals
Faith in the Everton man had understandably declined in recent weeks after a run of six games without a goal but Fellaini proved pivotal as the Toffees clawed back a two-goal deficit to salvage a draw at home to Villa. A 12 point pre-bonus haul saw the Belgian return his sixth set of double figures this season, highlighting his explosive armband potential, as he took advantage of a Villa backline that had conceded at least twice in all but one of their previous six. With United, City and Arsenal in the next five, many may feel his fixtures could halt his return to form but it’s worth noting that Fellaini has scored against all three already this term – with his confidence back on track, he could well be considered a season-keeper once again.
Anichebe’s Budget Appeal
The Nigerian was handed the lone forward role at the expense of Nikica Jelavic and continued his recent run of form at Goodison. A goal and assist in yesterday’s draw means Anichebe has now scored or assisted in six of his last eight and his current level of consistency suggests David Moyes will be more than happy to keep him in the starting XI ahead of the misfiring Croatian. Priced at a mere 4.3 in FPL, Anichebe looks a genuine contender for our cheap third forward slots given his flourishing form.
Benteke the Talisman
Yet again, the Belgian produced for Villa. Benteke arrived at Merseyside having scored or assisted eight of his side’s last 10 goals and continued in the same vein with a brace against the Toffees but once more, his side’s inability to defend cost them dearly. Paul Lambert’s side have now gone eight games without a win and with games against Arsenal, City and Liverpool in the next six, many may choose to overlook Benteke. Priced at 6.5 and with an ownership of less than 4%, he’s likely to remain under radars and offer us a real low-to-mid-price differential. Benteke has proved that his pace and power can trouble any defence and, despite Villa’s form, nobody will relish having to contain the Belgian.
Gunners Rotation Worry
Mikel Arteta’s return from injury, allied with the availability of Abou Diaby, afforded Arsene Wenger the chance to rotate as Stoke rolled up to the Emirates. Santi Cazorla was omitted from the starting line-up for the first time this season as Jack Wilshere took up a more advanced role in “the hole”, while Lukas Podolski was unexpectedly benched in favour of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the left. Granted the latter rewarded his owners with the match-winner after arriving as a late second-half sub but it’s something of a concern that rest and rotation are creeping into Wenger’s plans, given the Gunners have FA Cup and Champions League duties also on their agenda later this month. Theo Walcott’s assist for the Podolski winner means that he’s now returned either a goal or assist in eight of his last nine starts – that’s in stark contrast to Santi Cazorla who has clearly surrendered the mantle as Arsenal’s key midfield Fantasy target.
Blues Midfield Produce Yet Again
Once again, Juan Mata and Frank Lampard grabbed the goals for Chelsea but the Blues stuttered yet again, throwing away a lead for the third to in four. Both players have now notched in each of the last three – Mata’s superb strike helped continue his relentless march ahead of the chasing midfield pack in FPL, with attacking returns in 15 of his last 17 starts his consistency is simply staggering.
Lampard seems to be almost immune to Benitez’s rotation; he has started eight of the last nine now and has scored in six of those first XI appearances – at 8.5 to Mata’s 10.1 and with an ownership under 5% his differential appeal is obvious ahead of games against Wigan, West Brom, Fulham and West Ham in the next five. For Demba Ba’s owners, however, it was another day to forget. Handed a starting berth for the first time in three, he sustained a broken nose in a challenge with Fabricio Coloccini and was replaced by Fernando Torres late in the first-half. As yet, it’s unclear if he is expected to be sidelined with Chelsea’s official site stating that Ba is due to see a specialist before an estimation on his term of absence can be given. Ba is cup-tied for the Blues’ upcoming Europa League matches, though, he could be given the nod at home to Wigan next weekend if Benitez maintains his rotation policy but much depends on his availability in light of the injury.
Lambert’s Away Displays
The Saints striker moved up to fifth in the FPL forward standings after his eleventh goals of the season in a 2-2 draw at Wigan. Lambert has now notched in five of his last six on the road, with a blank against United the only away game he has failed to produce since Gameweek 15 at Liverpool. Strangely, this is in direct contrast to his displays at St Mary’s – he has scored in just one of his last nine home matches and with City, QPR, Liverpool and Chelsea his next four visitors, Lambert’s toils in front of his own fans could continue. At 6.4 in FPL, though, he remains the top value outfield player thus far.
Kebe’s Flourishing Form
The Reading winger maintained his recent impressive form by bagging both his side’s goals in the 2-1 home win over Sunderland. With Raheem Sterling’s owners looking for an alternative for their cut-price fifth midfielder, 4.6 priced Kebe is certainly coming to the fore as the Royals registered their fourth win in six yesterday – he has now scored or assisted in three of his last four and has produced two sets of double figures across his last three at the Madejski. Trips to Stoke and Everton look tricky, though home games against Wigan and Villa in the next four afford Kebe the chance to climb up the Fantasy standings. Royal’s boss, Brian McDermott reserved special praise for the Mali international in his post-match comments…
“Jimmy has been terrific for me for three years now. He scores goals, makes goals, defends for the team and it was fantastic for him today…His first goal was fabulous, a good cutback from Jobi and then great skill from Jimmy to smash it in the top corner. And then for the second one it’s a great header. We’d talked in the dressing room before the game about how phenomenal Jimmy’s heading is, for some reason it ended up being a laugh but nobody is laughing now! He’s great in the air, it’s a great finish and Jimmy is brave both physically and mentally, we also saw that against Chelsea with his header just before the second goal.”
McDermott chose to start with Adam Le Fondre on the bench once again, despite the striker’s recent flurry of goals. It’s become clear that Reading’s 4-5-1 system, with Pavel Pogrebnyak leading the line and Le Fondre introduced late on against tiring legs, has become McDermott’s recipe for success. The Reading boss also spoke out on Pogrebnyak’s performance in yesterday’s victory…
“Pavel was outstanding, the workrate he has put in again today. He’s such a selfless person, they all are and I just took him off because of the effort he put.”
While the Russian, along with Le Fondre, offer value up top, Ian Harte also chipped in with a crucial assist from a dead-ball delivery to supply Jimmy Kebe’s winner. Harte is now established at left-back and, at just 3.8 in the FPL, is providing outstanding value as a bench defender with the potential to return assists as he did in yesterday’s game.
Maloney’s Recent Consistency
Similar to Kebe, the Wigan man has struck a strand of consistency in recent matches. Maloney’s last-ditch equaliser against Southampton was his third set of attacking returns in the last four, as he steps up in performance in light of Arouna Kone’s departure to the African Cup of Nations. Coming in at 4.8 in FPL, his support role behind a lone forward – in addition to spot-kick duties – also boosts Maloney’s potential but with Chelsea, Liverpool and City in the next four, his acquisition still looks a risky one.
With Ryan Nelsen departing for FC Toronto and Nedum Onouha missing out through injury, the R’s were without two of the back-four that held City to a goalless draw last Wednesday. Nevertheless, Harry Redknapp’s side registered a fourth clean sheet in five, with new boy Chris Samba and Fabio slotting in alongside Clint Hill and Armand Traore in front of Julio Cesar against Norwich. While the likes of Hill offer a budget option at 4.3, Cesar’s propensity to pick up save points continues to make a persuasive case for his inclusion in our squads – an eight point haul took his tally to 34 points in the last five. A favourable upcoming schedule suggests further defensive returns for Redknapp’s side – with record buy Loic Remy potentially sidelined up front due to a groin injury, the R’s backline is becoming more crucial than ever to their chances of survival.
The Case For Rooney
A return to the first XI in midweek saw the former Everton keep Robin Van Persie in the shade with a double in the 2-1 triumph over Southampton and Rooney was at it again yesterday, grabbing the only goal in a narrow win at Fulham. Somewhat worryingly for the Dutchman’s owners, he had registered returns in each of the previous 10 but has failed to fire since Rooney’s return – many are contemplating a straight swap due to the FPL budget difference (14.1 to 11.8) in Rooney’s favour. Ironically, this shift in recent form comes off the back of Rooney handing spot-kick duties to Van Persie after recent misses – a factor that was previously cited as a potential leveller between the pairing.
The Rooney vs Van Persie debate will continue to split opinion, though in terms of consistency it’s a lot closer than perhaps anticipated. Rooney has returned blanks in five of his 14 starts, whereas Van Persie has failed to produce in four of his 22 appearances in the United first XI. Despite starting eight games less than the Dutchman, Rooney has equalled his strike partner in terms of double figure returns with five apiece, suggesting he’s just as capable of producing explosive figures. With a superb run of fixtures on the horizon, the Rooney-Van Persie conundrum may well prove crucial over the final few months of the season, with some even considering doubling up in order to spare themselves a potential selection headache.
- 4 months, 15 days ago
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So i have to sell one of baines, fellaini, bale to get dgw coverage, which one eould you prefer:
A bale/ba to studge/gerrard
B fellaini/ba to studge/gerrard
C baines/ba to GJ/suarez
- 4 months, 15 days ago
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Ok, dilema time. What to do for this week?
Sagna Zab Davies Clyne Harte
Fell Mata Walcott Gerrard Punch
RVP Suarez Ruiz
a) Fell + Ruiz --> Sturridge + 5.8
b) RVP + Ruiz --> Sturridge + Rooney
c) Something else.
Just thinking with the Champ League coming back up possible RVP rest coming up? Any thoughts appreciated.
- 4 months, 15 days ago
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Team of the Season 2012/13
- 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 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