A frustrating week for many Fantasy managers has passed and with it another notch on the fixture ticker. Our map of plain sailing and choppy waters has moved around a little to reveal a particular Spanish midfielder, as well as continued rosy prospects for a trio of the top four teams.
David Moyes’ boys will be licking their wounds and plotting a comeback after being given a good schooling by City. With three home games in four against West Brom, Southampton and Stoke as well as trips to Paolo Di Canio-less Sunderland and Fulham, United’s Fantasy prospects look appealing as they attempt to get their title defence back on track.
Robin Van Persie’s owners will be hopeful of a swift return from his unwelcome groin injury to spearhead the recovery, while in-form Wayne Rooney offers a cheaper way into the champions’ attack, with the Dutchman rated as only having an ”outside chance” of making the weekend clash against the Baggies.
In the middle of the park, Antonio Valencia looks to have his manager’s faith and, before the Manchester derby at least, seemed to have regained some of the potent form that made him near-essential for parts of the season before last. West Brom, Southampton, Stoke and Fulham are all ranked in the bottom ten teams for shots on goal, providing as much reason as you need for buying into United’s defence. Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra are the least and most expensive options respectively but captain Nemanja Vidic is the Watchlist choice by way of his bonus point potential; he is top of the Bonus Point System table on Fantasy Premier League (FPL) for United defenders.
A home clash with Arsenal isn’t the best fixture in the world, but as lowly Fulham and Sunderland found, the Gunners backline can be breached. Following that, a run of three home games (SUN, WHM, STO) ought to be profitable, whilst visits to Southampton and Cardiff will hold no fear for Laudrup and his men.
Fantasy legend Michu has recently sparked into life, with three goals in three games in all competitions, the stage is set for an encore. With several strong striker options available, and Wilfried Bony yet to live up to his billing, few managers will be willing to punt on the Ivorian over his midfield team-mate, despite the saving. Jonjo Shelvey is an intriguing budget punt for those managers looking for a rather extreme differential. Defensively, Angel Rangel is the Watchlist choice; whilst Ben Davies is showing slightly better numbers, his place may be threatened by Neil Taylor’s return from injury this week. Michel Vorm has proved himself more than capable between the sticks and could be a viable alternative to Simon Mignolet.
Another team looking to return to winning ways, Liverpool certainly have the fixtures in their favour. Home games against Crystal Palace, West Brom and Fulham look fruitful at both ends of the pitch, as do trips to Newcastle and Sunderland. Mesut Özil et al at the Emirates will provide a stern defensive test but investors in Liverpool’s attack will take heart from the fact that Arsenal have failed to shut out two of their three visitors so far this term.
Simon Mignolet, now the most owned player in the game, needs no further explication here. Budget friendly Kolo Toure continues to oscillate in apparent Fantasy value; “Hold if you have him, avoid for now if you don’t” appears to be the best advice there. The surprise omission of Jose Enrique against Southampton means no single defender has started every game for the Reds, an annoyance for those looking to invest. Further up field, the return from suspension of troubled genius Luis Suarez coincides with Daniel Sturridge’s first blank to bring the Uruguayan onto our radars as a very enticing differential. In midfield, the prolonged absence of Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho shines a favourable light on Victor Moses.
Top of the Premier League, Arsenal are in full flight. Although three of their next four games are away from home, the fixtures still hold promise: between them, in their eight home games, Swansea, West Brom and Crystal Palace have conceded 13 goals with just a single shut-out, whilst a home game against Norwich is sure to bring investment the Gunners way.
The in-form Aaron Ramsey continues his improbable rise to ascendency and while there is some scepticism surrounding the longevity of his current strike-rate, there is no doubt that he is currently offering spectacular value for money. “King of the Assist” Mesut Özil clearly has every intention of living up to his moniker, while Theo Walcott’s owners are quickly making their excuses and moving the winger on after today’s injury update. Olivier Giroud’s owners are unlikely to be deterred over last Sunday’s blank, while at the back, Per Mertesacker seems the weapon of choice – with clean sheets far less abundant than goals scored for the Gunners, though, defence is perhaps not the best area of investment.
A 1-0 win in Cardiff was the third time in five matches Andre Villas-Boas’ side have registered such a result. Reading these scorelines in isolation would not encourage much positivity but delving just a little deeper shows far more promise, with a burgeoning attack kept at bay only by gloved heroics. Potentially poised to inflict some serious damage, then, Spurs’ upcoming fixtures could hardly be more conducive to highlighting their offensive capabilities.
Roberto Soldado has been testing the patience of his owners but with four goal attempts against Cardiff alone, he look set to come good sooner rather than later. New boys Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela are the headline acts in midfield, but had their show stolen by Paulinho last time out. The Brazilian is an intriguing option, Fantasy-wise; ostensibly defensive by trade, he’s clearly more of a box-to-box type; with a penchant for unexpected potshots, his price could make him a canny acquisition.
Tottenham’s hugely resilient defence warrants investment with or without these fixtures. Jan Vertonghen is the money-no-object target of choice, with goals aplenty in his locker and only once so far failing to register any bonus points. But money is an object and many will accept the lower goal threat of Kyle Walker, or even the budget charms of Michael Dawson, though with much-lauded Vlad Chiriches waiting in the wings to stake a claim to a centre back position, managers should be wary.
Also consider …
Widely tipped to be this season’s over-achievers, Southampton have yet to really get going. Up net, though, are four home games (CPL SWA, FUL, HUL) in the next six to help light their fire. In a similar vein to Soldado, Rickie Lambert has offered plenty threat without quite delivering. Between the sticks, Artur Boruc’s budget appeal continues to flourish with these fixtures. Luke Shaw and Nathaniel Clyne seem to have recovered from injury to take their places in the first team but it’s Dejan Lovren who’s stolem the limelight with a goal and seven bonus points already.
Mark Hughes’ appointment raised several eyebrows, particularly after his less-than-stellar performance at QPR last season. Five games in, though, and it’s obvious to even his harshest critics that the Welshman has moulded Stoke into a far more aesthetically-pleasing team this time around. The fixtures now turn in their favour; home games against Norwich, West Brom and Southampton, allied with a trip to Fulham in the next six afford ample opportunity to continue growing into their new style of play.
Two clean sheets so far, including one against Man City, tell us that the new methods haven’t robbed them of the resilience that made them such an essential defensive outfit for so much of last season. Ryan Shawcross may be a little too expensive for some tastes but Marc Wilson’s new midfield berth offers a bargain basement ‘Out of Position’ option. In midfield, Charlie Adam is hoping to reignite his form of old but it’s Austrian firecracker Marko Arnautovic who could prove to be this season’s budget gem. If Hughes can tame his temperament, the midfielder has flair in spades and a real eye for goal; he’s even been touted as a possible striker.
The Cottagers are still looking to settle into the new season but the next four games (CAR, STO, cpl, sot) may be just the tonic they need. Providing he recovers from a hamstring problem, Dimitar Berbatov will surely open his account for the season, while Patjim Kasami could use these fixtures to make good on his exceedingly pocket-friendly price tag. At the back, Sascha Riether and Brede Hangeland could be worth their asking prices, though Fernando Amorebieta made his first start last weekend and comes in at just 4.3 in FPL.
After a 3-0 win hammered the final nail in the coffin of Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland career, Steve Clarke’s side now face an unenviable mountain climb towards greener fixtures. In the next six games they take trips to Man United, Liverpool and Chelsea and also host table-toppers Arsenal. Slight relief by way of games against Stoke and Palace do little to sweeten the medicine. In light of this, only the most ardent suitors of new arrival Stephane Sessegnon will take the plunge now and their goalscoring defenders Liam Ridgewell and Gareth McAuley are hard to recommend. With not one of their strikers managing to find the net so far, the Baggies appear to be a no-go area, at least until their fixtures ease up around Gameweek 12.
The Magpies have turned in some mixed performances so far. Understandably overwhelmed by City, they were abject against West Ham and Fulham, superb against Aston Villa and, most recently, underwhelming at home to Hull. Those jumping on the early Hatem Ben Arfa bandwagon were warned that the upcoming fixtures weren’t good and they really aren’t – in the next six they face Everton, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham. Anyone eyeing up the undoubted talents of Loic Remy after his brace against Hull would do well to wait until this storm has passed. Home games against Norwich and West Brom in Gameweeks 12 and 13 usher in a better time of it for Alan Pardew’s francophiles.
With Paolo Di Canio given his marching orders, caretaker manager Kevin Ball has a real task on his hands to turn things around. Four home games in the next six sounds enticing until the identities of their foes are revealed: The Stadium of Light plays host to Liverpool, Man United, Newcastle and Man City. Visits to Swansea and Hull provide some small respite but only the bravest managers will keep faith in the likes of Adam Johnson and Keiren Westwood. Perhaps by the time Gameweek 17 rolls around, Sunderland’s new manager may have instilled some fresh belief in the Black Cats; we could then look again at their assets as a home game against Norwich inaugurates a prolonged period of more enticing fixtures.
Be wary of…
With just one goal in four games, faith in Norwich’s attack has never been lower. To compound Chris Hughton’s problems, they face a formidable short term fixture list, with ties against Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City in the next four – given that Seb Bassong is a doubt with a hamstring problem, clean sheets looks hard to come by. Those considering the likes of Robert Snodgrass or summer buys Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper will be hoping for an upturn in form from Gameweek 11 onwards.
The Hammers’ only home game in the next four is against Man City, which sounds a warning to owners of cut-price pick James Collins. With away games at Hull, Tottenham and Swansea also up next, it’s hard to make a case for investment anywhere in Sam Allardyce’s side. In fact, looking purely at the fixtures, one could almost make a case for writing off the Hammers’ appeal until the January wildcard, at which point they embark upon an eye-catching stretch of profitable-looking games.
With a single win so far, Ian Holloway’s team now face three away games in the next five which will test their mettle. Trips to Southampton and Liverpool are followed by home games against Fulham and Arsenal and, as the treatment room piles up with injury concerns, it looks like Palace are in for a rough ride. The likes of Danny Gabbidon will struggle to produce points for his 4.7% owners, while those few brave souls who took a punt on Marouane Chamakh may want to look elsewhere.
The silver lining for owners of injury-doubt Christian Benteke is that Villa now enter a period of unpleasant fixtures. With Man City, Tottenham and Everton in the next four, many had already earmarked this week as the week to say farewell to the Belgian, injury or not. With Villa showing little defensive resolve so far, the already low stock of their defence takes another knock. Most will choose to steer clear before a trip to Cardiff in Gameweek 11 signals the start of a nicer patch for Paul Lambert’s men.
Anyone got any further word on the RVP injury situation?
I am so edging on moving him out for either Suarez or Rooney... Thoughts?
- 2 months, 18 days ago
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Looking at form lately, I'd transfer RVP simply because of Rooney being in better form. Additionally, Suarez just came back and already he looked sharp. I'd go safe bet of Rooney and monitor Suarez for the next two-three gameweeks.
- 2 months, 17 days ago
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Interesting, so with that said, I think I will use my WC and use the extra cash across the board...
I will do anew post to ask opinions!
- 2 months, 17 days ago
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What do you guys think? This is my current WC draft
Should I take do Baines>Coleman for maybe Aluko>Lukaku?
Or maybe change up the midfield for a better attacker?
- 2 months, 18 days ago
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Hey guys these are my 3 options what would use recommend?
I heard from someone that sturridge was poor against united and he was drifting wide while suarez was getting all of the service through the middle.
1- Sturridge -> Suarez -4 (he could start off with a bang against 3 of the worst defending teams)
2- Sturridge -> Rooney -4 (great form and a good run)
3- Keep sturridge and assess next week.
- 2 months, 17 days ago
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Baines Ferdinand Lovren (coleman,gabiddon)
Barkley Paulinho Brady Ozil (noble)
Suarez Giroud Rooney
Do you think Paulinho will perform against Chelsea?Or I should transfer him for Michu?
Who you think the best options to be (C)
I have no idea since there is no Walcott and Benteke LoL
I hope that my wildcard spend well this week..Help me please..
- 2 months, 16 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, VsX|
|Up||Pantilimon||MCI||B, Rest, £|
|Up||Williamson||NEW||B, Vs, £|
|Up||Olsson||NOR||B, Vs, £|
|Up||Turner||CAR||C, Vs, £|
|No Change||McAuley||WBA||C, Vs|
|Up||Ward||CPL||A, VsX, £|
|Up||Bannan||CPL||B, VsX, £|
|Up||Whittingham||CAR||C, Vs, £|
|Up||Michu||SWA||C, Inj, OoP|
|No Change||Lallana||SOT||C, VsX|
|Up||Morrison||WHM||B, Rest, £|
|Up||Brady||HUL||C, Rest, £|
|Up||Barkley||EVE||C, Vs, Rest, Sus|
|No Change||Suárez||LIV||A, VsX|
|No Change||Lukaku||EVE||A, Vs|
|No Change||Rooney||MUN||A, Vs|
|No Change||Giroud||ARS||B, 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|
“He has qualities modern football demands, he is fast, he has a good shot, he can also play on both sides or through the centre. He is multifunctional in attack and I'm very happy the club signed him.”Jose Mourinho talks up his new German forward