With the internationals now out of the way, our plans on the domestic front are kicking in and we’re already looking beyond Saturday’s Gameweek 4 deadline. Analysing the strength of schedule over the next four-to-six Gameweeks, there are some favourable fixtures on the horizon for both north London outfits, while the league leaders and defending champions also have reason to be cheerful.
Fresh from their north London derby triumph and with new boy Mesut Özil primed to take the top-flight by storm, the Gunners look set for a prosperous run of matches over the next six Gameweeks. With confidence high, Arsenal welcome Stoke and Norwich to the Emirates and are also handed road trips to out-of-sorts Sunderland, West Brom and Crystal Palace over the next six, with only a visit to Swansea a potential stumbling block.
The attacking midfield triumvirate of Özil, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott will be heavily backed going into that schedule, while Fantasy faith in Olivier Giroud has never been higher – with goals in each of his three appearances and no competition for the lone forward role, the Frenchman has earned himself a mighty bandwagon over the last few days. At the back, Per Mertesacker has already picked up a couple of bonus points as a result of Arsenal’s clean sheets against Spurs, while Laurent Koscielny should also benefit from the new Bonus Points System ruling providing the Gunners keep their opponents out.
Andre Villas-Boas’ side are handed the perfect opportunity to bounce back after losing their unbeaten record at the Emirates. Up next for Spurs is home games against Norwich, West Ham and Hull and with trips to Cardiff and Villa also on their agenda over the upcoming six Gameweeks, there’s plenty reason to be optimistic.
At the back, Jan Vertonghen and Kyle Walker offer the chance of clean sheets, attacking points and bonus points – Michael Dawson may be cheaper but the arrival of Vlad Chiriches casts uncertainty over his starting berth. New boys Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen should offer Spurs a real attacking edge as Villas-Boas looks to rectify a run which has so far seen his side fail to score from open play. With set-piece duties looking likely, Eriksen’s eye for a killer pass should offer support to Roberto Soldado and Lamela is set to reprise the right flank role which harvested 15 Serie A goals for Roma in the season gone by.
Three wins, three clean sheets and three goals for Daniel Sturridge sums up the league leaders’ form right now. Brendan Rodgers’ side have now kept out Christian Benteke and Robin Van Persie in back-to-back matches and with Mamadou Sakho added to the defensive ranks, further defensive points look on the cards as Liverpool prepare for a schedule which sees them play host to Southampton, Palace and West Brom in the next six, with away games against goal-shy Sunderland Newcastle also awaiting.
The injuries that have kept Sturridge and Glen Johnson out of the England squad over this past week are a real concern, though. Sturridge has gained a hefty bandwagon on the back of his scoring exploits but his propensity for picking up injuries continues to cause concern. The loan arrival of Victor Moses may afford Philippe Coutinho the chance to move into the middle behind a lone forward, with Iago Aspas offering an alternative to Sturridge ahead Luis Suarez’ return from suspension in Gameweek 6. Johnson’s potential 10-week lay-off could bring either Andre Wisdom or Martin Kelly into the picture at right-back and with both under 4.5 in FPL, the situation needs monitoring.
Having taken a single point from their two previous league matches and failed to net against either Chelsea or Liverpool, David Moyes’ side desperately need a pick-me-up. While a Gameweek 5 visit to City looks a little problematic, United are set for a run of four home games (CPL, WBA, SOT, STO) and trip to Sunderland in the next six which should see them return to winning ways.
With the Champions League program on the horizon, it remains to be seen just how much Moyes will be cautious with Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, having played both in all three league games thus far. With Rafael and Phil Jones picking up injuries, Patrice Evra may offer the greatest security of starts, while further up the field, question marks remain over the flank roles – not one winger has started all three matches so far. Danny Welbeck will be hoping of retaining his starting berth as a result of Wayne Rooney’s injury and offers a decent mid-price option – Robin Van Persie’s owners will be anticipating plenty of captaincy hauls after a disappointing last couple of fixtures has seen the Dutchman fail to muster a single effort on target. With three goals over the international fixtures, he looks firmly back in form though.
Southampton – with just two goals and a single clean sheet over the first three games, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have been somewhat hit and miss. The Saints have trips to Liverpool and United in the next six but with West Ham, Palace, Swansea and Fulham all rolling up to St Mary’s, there’s hope the tide will turn in their favour again. Rickie Lambert and Pablo Osvaldo will be looking to lead the charge up front and while Adam Lallana could be a mid-price option in the midfield, James Ward-Prowse has started all three of the Saints’ games so far and comes in at 4.5 in FPL. At the back, Artur Boruc has proved the safest of the budget picks in terms of game time so far, though Luke Shaw has returned to action for the England Under 21s after recovering from the knock that kept him on the bench in Gameweek 3.
Hull – three home fixtures (CAR, WHM, AVL) and a trip to Newcastle in the following four bodes well for Steve Bruce’s side. Having registered a clean sheet in their only game at the KC Stadium so far, James Chester’s stock as a budget defender looks set to rise, while Alan McGregor’s save points will likely play a part. Robbie Brady’s spot-kick duties have already come to fruition and helped the midfielder to a price rise and in attack, Danny Graham looks set to lead the line with Yannick Sagbo still suspended.
Fulham – Martin Jol’s side are desperate to recover after back-to-back defeats at the hands of Arsenal and Newcastle. Up next for the Cottagers is a run of three strong fixtures in front of their own fans (WBA, CAR, STO) and with trips to Palace and Southampton thrown in over the next six, Darren Bent could be set to prosper as a mid-price forward option. A drop into “the hole” is somewhat worrying for Dimitar Berbatov’s owners, though, while at the back, injuries to first-choice options such as Maarten Stekelenburg and Kieran Richardson lessen the prospects of clean sheets for Brede Hangeland owners. Aaron Hughes has also added to Jol’s worries after missing out for Northern Ireland with a thigh problem, though Fernando Amorebieta is now available after turning out for Venezuela in midweek.
Having publicly slated his side and lost his captain for Gameweek 4 through suspension, Paolo Di Canio doesn’t have his troubles to seek. The Wearsiders have picked up just a single point from the opening three matches and without a clean sheet so far, faith in their defence is pretty non-existent ahead of a run which sees Arsenal, Liverpool and United all make their way to the Stadium of Light in the next four fixtures. Steven Fletcher’s return from injury is the one crumb of comfort but Fantasy managers will be happy to steer well clear of the out-of-sorts Black Cats.
The only team yet to find the net, Steve Clarke’s side face further woe as the schedule stiffens. The Baggies face United, Arsenal and Liverpool over the next six Gameweeks and also square up to neighbours Stoke at the Britannia – hardly the easiest remedy for their goal-shy attack. Clarke will be hoping new boys Stephane Sessegnon, Morgan Amalfitano and Victor Anichebe bolster his side’s offensive forays, though with Ben Foster out for three months between the sticks, clean sheets look hard to come by.
Ian Holloway’s side may have earned their first three points of the season but the Eagles’ wings could be quickly clipped by a run of three road trips on four. Up next, Palace make their way to Old Trafford and also travel to Southampton and Liverpool – leaving only a home clash against Michu and company in Gameweek 5 as Swansea roll up to Selhurst Park. Julian Speroni looks set for a busy time of it between the sticks while the likes of Dwight Gayle and Marouane Chamakh could struggle to find the net after both notched a goal apiece over the previous two fixtures.
Also Be Wary Of….
Stoke – Mark Hughes’ side will be buoyed by their win at West Ham but with back-to-back games against City and Arsenal, the Potters face a testing time of it. With a trip to United in Gameweek 9 also on the horizon, owners of Robert Huth and Asmir Begovic won’t fancy their chances of clean sheet returns – home games against Norwich and West Brom lend the upcoming six fixtures a little optimism, though.
Norwich – the Canaries picked up their first victory of the season with a narrow home win over Southampton last time out but points may be scarce over the next few fixtures. Chris Hughton’s side go head-to-head with Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal in the next five and with a trip to Stoke in addition to the visit of Aston Villa, defensive returns, in particular, look hard to come by. Nathan Redmond may struggle to justify the recent new investment, while Robert Snodgrass and Ricky Van Wolfswinkel owners may be pondering a switch with better mid-price options on offer elsewhere.
Everton – without a goal in each of their last two, Roberto Martinez’ side square up to Chelsea and City in the following four and also have a trip to West Ham on their short-term agenda. The Toffees are without on-loan Romelu Lukaku for the Blues’ clash due to the conditions of his loan deal and will be hoping the misfiring Nikica Jelavic and Kevin Mirallas can produce the goods, while at the back, the resolve that has registered two consecutive clean sheets will be put to the test. Ross Barkley’s new owners will be hoping he can hold onto his first-team place after the arrival of James McCarthy and Gareth Barry in the last day of the transfer window.
Gents, can I get a little help with my team please??
It's a giant mess and I feel like my world is falling down around me*. I thought this painful process would end after the opening fixtures.
Koscielny Lescott Toure Shaw Brayford
Silva Snodgrass Mirallas Giacherinni kim
Soldado Dzeko RVP
Do Dzeko and Silva have to go this week? Will cost me 4pts, wh're my best options?
Any broader advice on where I should be steering my side towards in the next few weeks?
*only slight exageration
- 2 months, 27 days ago
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Any suggestions? NOTE: I am using my WC...
Koscielny / Coleman / Ivanovic / Chester / Coloccini
Hazard / Moses / JWP / Walcott / Brady
Soldado / Giroud / Sturridge
I have 1.7 in the bank. I am thinking maybe switching out Hazard for somebody else? Thoughts? thank you.
- 2 months, 26 days ago
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SHOULD I BRING IN BRADY FOR SILVA???
ZABALETA, COLEMAN, MERTESAKER (CHESTER, BRAYFORD)
WALCOTT, COUTINIHO, SILVA, MIRALLAS (LUCAS)
SOLDADO, GIROUD, LAMBERT
So sorry about the captial locks but no one has replied to any of my posts since 8pm. Please reply. I'm desperate
- 2 months, 26 days ago
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Well, here's my WC. Any thoughts would be welcome £0.0 in bank and have two non-players atm in Lewis and Brayford. I usually like to keep playing backups, but I think Migs and my Defence help avoid that.
Dawson - Kos - Evra (Chester, Brayford)
Michu - Coutinho - HBA - Brady (JWP)
RVP (c) - Benteke - Giroud
- 2 months, 26 days ago
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For Gameweek 15
Next Six Ticker
|Up||Howard||EVE||A, 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||B, Vs, £|
|Up||Turner||CAR||C, Vs, £|
|No Change||McAuley||WBA||C, Vs|
|Up||Clark||AVL||B, Vs, Rest, £|
|No Change||Ward||CPL||A, Vs, £|
|Down||Flanagan||LIV||C, VsX, Rest, £|
|Down||Gerrard||LIV||B, VsX, Inj|
|Up||Walcott||ARS||B, VsX, Inj|
|Up||Bannan||CPL||B, Vs, £|
|Down||Sessegnon||WBA||C, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Whittingham||CAR||C, 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||C, 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