We were preparing ourselves for a points avalanche but Sunday added to a disappointing Saturday programme to consign us to the most mediocre of Gameweeks. Dimitar Berbatov’s goal at the Lane silenced those who once chanted his name, Wigan rallied to snatch a controversial late win over Newcastle, while Chelsea disposed of the Hammers at the Bridge with Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard amongst the goals again. Here’s the Stock Check from Sunday’s matches…
On the Up
Quietly, the Bulgarian has returned to prolific form, notching goals in his last three outings, with six goals in his last eleven league matches. Having climbed to 7.6 in the Fantasy Premier League game back in Gameweek 13, Berbatov’s stock has since fallen and he can now be acquired for just 6.9. With a double Gameweek date with Chelsea yet to be announced, Berbatov could yet attract keen interest and enjoy an end of season resurgence in Fantasy terms.
The Fulham Defence
An unlikely shut-out at White Hart Lane means that Martin Jol’s defence has now kept three clean sheets in the last four, having gone 11 matches without one prior to Gameweek 26. Indeed, with four goals conceded in the last six, there is clear indication that the Cottagers have tightened up. Sascha Riether, with his fifth assist of the season today and bonus likely, remains the weapon of choice at 5.0 in the FPL.
Eden Hazard & Frank Lampard
The Belgian combined a goal and assist to give him double figure returns for the second time in the last four league matches. With a strike against United in the FA Cup, Hazard is clearly in bloom right now. Lampard, meanwhile, has now started the last eleven league matches and chipped in with eighth goal in that spell with Chelsea’s opening strike against his former club. Despite an assist today, this will have many Juan Mata owners questioning whether a switch is in order. However, with the FA Cup replay with United looming, rotation is likely to bite at Southampton next time out, dampening the enthusiasm for any acquisitions from Rafa Benitez’s squad.
Having kept a clean sheet in the FA Cup victory at Everton, the Spaniard was retained in the Wigan goal ahead of Ali Al-Habsi in a surprising move by Roberto Martinez. With Mark Bunn possibly off the radar as an option, Robles could now be a dark horse contender for acquisition given his 4.0 price tag and the double Gameweek on his schedule.
While Sunderland were woeful as they huffed and puffed against 10-men, Fantasy managers will have noted that Carlos Cuellar was given the nod ahead of Titus Bramble having spent recent Gameweeks on the bench. The 4.4 FPL prospect was, however, forced off on 70 minutes with a knock.
A first league goal in front of the Wigan faithful since Gameweek 11 owed a lot to the official’s failure to see a Maynor Figueroa handball but neither Kone, nor his Fantasy owners will care. With nine for the season and three in his last three outings, the Ivorian is promoted in our thinking with a decent double fixture on the horizon in Gameweek 36.
Exposed again for the Wigan goal, the Italian made amends with a smart strike for his first league goal for Newcastle. Santon had looked suspect and under threat in recent weeks – replaced by Alan Pardew last time out – he now looks secure, despite his error for today’s goal, with Massadio Haidara suffering a serious-looking knee injury as a result of Callum McManaman’s controversial challenge.
Dismissed for handball at the Stadium of Light, pending an appeal from the Canaries, he’ll now face a one-match ban and will miss the away trip to Wigan. With John Ruddy expected to be pushing for a recall at the end of the month, it’s now a possibility that we’ve seen the last of Bunn as a Fantasy prospect this season.
Forced off after just 12 minutes of the clash at Wigan having twanged a hamstring, the Frenchman will now be a doubt for his nation’s World Cup Qualifiers against Georgia and Spain and will be a concern for Newcastle’s next league outing at Man City in Gameweek 31.
Removed half-time as Andre Villas-Boas introduced Clint Dempsey and shift Benoit Assou-Ekotto to left-back, Dawson was apparently nursing a slight hamstring injury according to noises coming from the Lane. Certainly the decision to replace Dawson was a puzzling one where it not for injury; we now wait on the prognosis.
Left out of the matchday squads for the FA Cup tie with United and the Europa League clash with Steaua in midweek, the Serbian looked to be in line for a recall against West Ham but was parked on the bench. Given the rotation habits of Rafa Benitez, it’s difficult to assess whether Ivanovic is out of favour but, having missed the last three outings, it does seem that something is awry.
The BAP CHAP Bonus Predictions
Sunderland 1 Norwich 1 – Gardner 3, Hoolahan 2, Snodgrass 1 (in the mix Larsson) (top 2 very tight)
Tottenham 0 Fulham 1 – Berbatov 3, Riether 2, Ruiz 1
Chelsea 2 West Ham 0 – Hazard 3, Lampard 2, Mata 1 (in the mix Dave, Cech, Cahill, Cole)
Wigan 2 Newcastle 1 – Beausejour 3, Santon 2, Kone 1 (in the mix Maloney) (top two very tight)
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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, £|
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|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