Olivier Giroud and Daniel Sturridge are amongst the goals again as Arsenal and Liverpool pick up vital wins at Fulham and Villa respectively. Darren Bent notches on his first appearance for Fulham, Marouane Chamakh is off the mark for Palace, West Ham earn a second successive clean sheet, while Norwich fail to break down Hull’s resilience at the KC.
Giroud Finds Consistency
It’s two goals in two now for the Frenchman after he once again notched an early opener for the Gunners. The summer form that harvested eight goals showing little sign of slowing down as Giroud continues to find the net with a consistency that deserted him last time around – having also struck in the midweek Champions League win at Fenerbahce, he’s doing all he can to convince Arsene Wenger he’s worthy of the lone forward role. After the game, Giroud’s recent displays were the subject of his manager’s praise:
“His second season is always better than his first one. You could see as well technically today that he was quite impressive. His physical presence up front is very important and I think he looks like he’s much more confident than last year.”
Podolski Stakes a Claim
Wenger’s decision to rest Jack Wilshere afforded the German a rare start. With Tomas Rosicky dropping deep and Santi Cazorla tucking in behind Giroud, Podolski slotted into the left and, rising to the occasion, bagged a brace against the Cottagers. After the game, though, his manager’s words hint that Podolski is by no means certain of a regular role when Wilshere returns:
“I am pleased for him because he hasn’t started much recently more because of the balance of the team than his performances….I changed the shape of our team today because I rested Jack. We played with four defenders and six offensive players so we had to make it tighter with numbers but of course when we had the ball we were always looking dangerous.”
With new arrivals looking inevitable at the Emirates, Fantasy managers will be approaching the current squad with caution. Aside from protagonists, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott, it’s likely that rest rotation will threaten other members of Arsene Wenger’s squad should they strengthen in the week to come.
Sturridge Proves the Difference
While Philippe Coutinho toiled on the flank and Iago Aspas picked up no more than a caution for his evening’s endeavours, the former Chelsea man grabbed the match-winner for the second successive Gameweek. Having fired home a long-range effort in the Gameweek 1 home victory against Stoke, Sturridge was again the Reds’ main man as Brendan Rodgers’ side edged a tightly-contested win at Villa Park; the January signing has instantly returned to the scoring exploits which harvested 11 goals and five assists in just 14 appearances over 2012/13. A clash against United next weekend is perhaps enough to slow down investment but with a superb looking run from Gameweek 4 onwards, Sturridge’s bandwagon could hit full speed over the upcoming international break.
Berbatov Drops Deep
The Bulgarian started as Fulham’s lone striker, with Pajtim Kasami supporting in “the hole” but a second-half switch will cause concern for his Fantasy owners. Martin Jol’s decision to replace Damien Duff with Darren Bent saw Kasami shift to the right flank and Berbatov drop deep, allowing Bent to lead the line – the loan signing notched his side’s only goal and his impact was highlighted by Jol after the game. With home games against West Brom, Cardiff and Stoke and a trip to Palace in the next six, the schedule certainly looks potentially profitable for the Cottagers, though Berbatov’s prospects will surely take a dent if he’s forced to drop deep to accommodate Bent.
Certainly, from Martin Jol’s post-match comments regarding Fulham’s lack of cutting edge, there’s every chance that a change to their system will come sooner rather than later. Jol went on to underline the fact that Bent gives Fulham a presence in the box…
“It’s all about the service…Sascha Riether, who had a good game, had six, seven, eight crosses and this was probably the first time that there was a little bit of fine tuning in the box…Berba had that ball near post, had the shot and then Bent scored…I think if you were playing with a lower number 10 then there would be no-one there, so that is the advantage you have got when Bent is playing.”
With a price tag of just 6.5 in the Fantasy Premier League, Bent undoubtedly has the potential to tempt investment but with Bryan Ruiz and Pajtim Kasami as further options in attack, we must wait to see how Jol settles his lineup.
Canaries Lack Bite
A trip to promoted Hull offered Norwich the chance of their first win – all the more so when the dismissal of Yannick Sagbo reduced the hosts to 10 men before 30 minutes. Chris Hughton’s men huffed and puffed and despite the introduction of fit-again Robert Snodgrass at the break – with Leroy Fer tucking in behind Ricky Van Wolfswinkel – the Canaries were simply unable to break down a resilient defensive showing from Steve Bruce’s side. While the clean sheet bodes well for those who snapped up Tigers centre-half James Chester as a cut-price Fantasy asset, Hughton has plenty reason to be concerned over his side’s display; bearing in mind they had just two shots on target in their previous match with Everton, Norwich, for all their summer signings, are still falling short in attack. The arrival of Johan Elmander and possible return of Gary Hooper may well see Hughton address his side’s failings with a shift from 4-4-1-1 to 4-4-2.
Brady’s Out of Position Switch
Steve Bruce’s decision to hand Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore their first starts for Hull afforded the Republic of Ireland international a new position against Norwich. Shifted to the left of the Tigers’ front three as Bruce retained faith in his recent move to a 4-3-3 set-up, Brady grabbed the only goal of the game, after slotting home a spot-kick after 22 minutes. While a trip to City next weekend is enough to slow down immediate investment, three home fixtures in the following four (CAR, new, WH, AVL) could bring the 5.0 priced midfielder onto our radars as a potentially cheap out of position option.
A goalless draw at Newcastle earned Sam Allardyce’s side their second consecutive clean sheet and highlighted their mid-price appeal. Having kept out Cardiff at home last weekend, West Ham proved impossible to break down once more – new boy Razvan Rat was again left to warm the bench, with Joey O’Brien and Guy Demel taking up the full-back roles on either side of James Collins and Winston Reid. The next four (STK, sot, EVE, hul) bode well for defensive returns before the schedule takes a turn for the worse for the Hammers but, while Allardyce has reason for optimism, the same can’t be said for Alan Pardew. Yesterday’s result means Newcastle have now scored two goals in their last eight Premier league matches and have failed to find the net in each of their last four at St James’ Park – the schedule may still be on their side (FUL, avl, HUL) but without a single shot on target in yesterday’s stalemate, there are real reasons for concern.
The Saints striker was left ruing his luck after failing to find the net against Sunderland. Having opened his account against West Brom last week, Lambert was subject to plenty investment heading into yesterday’s match and done everything aside from find the net in a display that will afford his owners plenty optimism. He managed as many as eight attempts on goal against the Black Cats – twice as many as any team-mate – yet was denied time and again by the heroics of Kieran Westwood for the away side; Lambert came away with no more than an undeserved blank but with five of the next seven fixtures falling firmly in his favour (nor, WHM, CPL, SWA, FUL) he looks primed to return to Fantasy form before long.
Osvaldo Off the Leash
In terms of the threat to Lambert’s start from new signing, Pablo Osvaldo, Mauricio Pochettino opted to start the Italian international on the bench, introducing him for the second period as the Saints chased a point. From previous comments, the Southampton manager has no doubts that his new signing can line up alongside Lambert and it’s perhaps Jay Rodriguez who is more likely to come under threat.
“Rickie has shown time and again that he’s a very important player for us. He welcomes the fact Osvaldo is here as it is going to help him raise his game. I think they’ll find it easy to play together. All great players know how to get along on the pitch, regardless of the characteristics they have.”
Rodriguez was retained in yesterday’s encounter and played out the 90 minutes, even with Osvaldo’s introduction. Fantasy managers will need to see how this situation settles before potentially considering Rodriguez as an option in the budget bracket but it seems that Lambert’s start is secure.
Shaw Still Troubled
Subject to a double price rise this week, Southampton’s Luke Shaw was replaced at half-time having been troubled by the knee injury that saw him a doubt going into the opening clash of the season at West Brom. He was replaced by Nathaniel Clyne who had to make do with a start on the Saints bench with 18-year-old Calum Chambers retaining his start at right-back. It remains to be seen, ahead of the trip to Norwich, how Mauricio Pochettino will approach the full-back situation and what his options will be.
Adam off the Mark
Handed his first start of the season, the Stoke playmaker helped inspire a comeback against Crystal Palace to help Mark Hughes register a win in his opening Britannia fixture. Tucking in behind lone forward Peter Crouch – with Jon Walters again kept wide right – Adam was the hosts’ chief goal threat and fired more attempts than any team-mate from his role in “the hole” against the Eagles and grabbed the equaliser just before the hour mark. Listed in the mid-price bracket across the Fantasy games, Adam’s keen eye for goal suggests he could be an option though it’s worth noting he seems to have been taken off corner kick duties – the Scot failed to deliver any of the Potters seven over the 90 minutes. Elsewhere in the Stoke midfield, Marc Wilson kept his place sitting in front of the back-four; he may be behind Erik Pieters in the race for the left-back role but has now started each of the opening two Gameweeks in central midfield with Glenn Whelan dropped to the bench for yesterday’s encounter.
Chamakh’s Budget Appeal
The Moroccan opened his account for the campaign with Palace’s opener at the Britannia yesterday. Handed the lone striker role, with Jason Puncheon and Dwight Gayle fielded on the flanks, Chamakh found the net with just over half an hour gone to suggest he may be one to consider for the cheap third forward slot. With home games against Sunderland and Swansea in the next three, the Eagles need to start producing after back-to-back defeats – Ian Holloway’s decision to haul off the former Arsenal man just after the hour mark seems to be more fitness related, as he continues to build up his match sharpness after a lack of pre-season matches.
“Chamakh’s goal was very pleasing – I know he can score goals and I think he proved he wants to be here. But what we have to do is work as hard as we did in the first half all the way throughout the game. Unfortunately the fitness levels showed a little bit.”
Foster Concern for Clarke
Steve Clarke saw Ben Foster put on a heroic display in the West Brom goal to help them to a clean sheet at Goodison, only to be forced off with a foot injury in the second-half. With second choice, Boaz Myhill, also crocked, it saw young Luke Daniels take to the field between the sticks. Myhill is set to return to training in midweek and could return to contention should Foster miss out for the Gameweek 3 clash with Swansea. Clarke is awaiting scan results before he can be clear on Foster’s prognosis…
“The pain was obviously strong because Ben’s not the type of guy to go down if there’s nothing wrong with him. The fact he came off the pitch tells you he has an injury we have to be a little bit worried about. But until we do the scans and let the medical people do their jobs it is difficult to say what the prognosis is and the outcome.”
David Silva scores an own goal when he wants
- 3 months, 15 days ago
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Who Am I?
My passing ability and possession-retaining qualities have earned me the nickname "Merlin" from my teammates ....
- 3 months, 15 days ago
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Toure, Mert, Coleman, Clyne (?), Chester
Silva, Wally, Jarvis (Snodders), Barkley, Ward-Prowse (Michu)
RVP (Giroud), Soldado, Studge
Got Jaas instead of Migs because of WHU favourable fixtures and Migs United one... Clyne is my doubt at the back. Any suggestion? Yes, I know my midfield is weak but after GW3 will get Haz for Ward-Prowse and RVP will be out for Benteke!
Another option is to get Giroud instead of RVP for the Tootenham game, keep Snodg and get Michu instead of Ward-Prowse!
What do you think?
- 3 months, 15 days ago
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New Article Posted
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For Gameweek 15
Next Six Ticker
|Up||Howard||EVE||B, Vs, Sus|
|Down||De Gea||MUN||C, Vs|
|Up||McGregor||HUL||C, Vs, £|
|No Change||Speroni||CPL||A, Vs|
|Up||Pantilimon||MCI||B, Rest, £|
|Up||Williamson||NEW||B, Vs, £|
|Down||Evans||MUN||C, Vs, Rest, £|
|Up||Olsson||NOR||C, Vs, £|
|Up||Turner||CAR||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||McAuley||WBA||C, Vs|
|Up||Clark||AVL||A, Vs, Rest, £|
|No Change||Ward||CPL||A, Vs, £|
|Down||Flanagan||LIV||C, VsX, Rest, £|
|No Change||Ramsey||ARS||A, VsX|
|No Change||Ozil||ARS||B, VsX|
|No Change||Y Touré||MCI||B, VsX|
|Up||Walcott||ARS||C, VsX, Inj|
|Up||Bannan||CPL||B, Vs, £|
|Down||Sessegnon||WBA||C, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Whittingham||CAR||B, Vs, £|
|Up||De Guzmán||SWA||C, Vs, Rest|
|No Change||Lallana||SOT||C, VsX|
|Up||Morrison||WHM||B, Rest, £|
|Up||Brady||HUL||C, £, Sus|
|Up||Barkley||EVE||B, Vs, Rest, Sus|
|No Change||Suárez||LIV||A, Vs|
|No Change||Aguero||MCI||A, VsX|
|No Change||Lukaku||EVE||A, Vs|
|No Change||Rooney||MUN||A, Vs|
|No Change||Giroud||ARS||B, VsX|
|No Change||Negredo||MCI||A, VsX|
|No Change||Rodriguez||SOT||A, £|
|Up||Deulofeu||EVE||A, Vs, Rest, £|
|Up||Hooper||NOR||A, Vs, £|
|A, B, C||Current Form|
|Inj||Injured/Returning from Injury|
|OoP||Out of Position|
“I'm delighted, having time to re-evaluate his future, Christian has decided to commit to the Club. It's a huge bonus and I'm sure the supporters are every bit as delighted as me to have him on board and raring to go.”Paul Lambert revels in convincing Christian Benteke to revoke his transfer request