The post Wildcard blues are definitely hanging over me. Last week’s refresh failed to stave off a fourth consecutive red arrow and, inevitably, the symptoms have kicked in since. Pangs of dissatisfaction and regret, an urge to look on and covet other’s Fantasy lineups. I’ve seen it all before.
I shouldn’t be surprised, though. Rarely do my Wildcards have an immediate impact. I often use them to clear the decks of assets on the slide, opting for mid-term prospects who are more likely to deliver one or two Gameweeks down the line. Even so, it’s difficult to disguise the disappointment when the “emergency measure” failed to arrest the decline, leaving me dangerously close to slipping out of the top million.
While there are plenty of us treading water after a far from ordinary start to the season, there’s no dressing up my situation: it’s not good enough. Gameweek 6 simply has to deliver a green arrow and, having corrected my early “errors”, I’ve only got myself to blame it fails to turn up by Monday night.
Such expectations only build pressure, making my decision making all that more important and, today, I’m faced with one of those classic bench scenarios.
Arguably, I should play Chelseea’s Branislav Ivanovic week-in-week-out for his goal threat from set plays and yet, having taken a punt on Stoke’s Marko Arnautovic in midfield, I’m loathed to bench the Austrian differential against Norwich. Equally, do I put Ivanovic in over the equally unpredictable talents of Hatem Ben Arfa? The Frenchman faces a tough trip to Goodison on Monday night but does have magic in his boots, while Everton have surrendered opportunities to visiting teams.
With Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen in my midfield, I’m leaning towards benching Ivanovic and hoping that Spurs can break down the Jose’s rearguard, whilst keeping the Serbian quiet at set-plays. My fear is that, with Spurs and Chelsea kicking off at the Lane early, my Gameweek and could be ruined by Wayne Rooney has had a chance to sport my armband at three o’clock.
Rooney has, of course, recently relieved Robin van Persie of his duties in that respect. My Wildcard saw me dramatically eject the Dutchman from my squad and, having missed the City defeat through injury, I can at least point to that as a small victory.
In all likelihood, Van Persie will return to the United lineup today, although David Moyes remained hopelessly vague with his summing up of the striker’s groin injury. Certainly it seems the press aren’t totally unconvinced.
This morning’s predicted lineups find Van Persie absent from the Telegraph, Guardian and Daily Mail teamsheets with the likes of Shinji Kagawa and Javier Hernandez earning starts. While Wednesday’s trip to Shakhtar will be a factor, I can see Rooney and Van Persie starting the match. Whether Moyes has the opportunity to preserve the pair in the second-half, depends on whether United can click and put some daylight between them and the visitors. Apparently still struggling to find fourth, let alone fifth gear, that looks unlikely.
Over at City, we know that both David Silva and Sergio Aguero will be absent for the trip to Villa. That should give our Differential pick, Samir Nasri, the stage to impress once again, while Scout Pick, Alvaro Negredo, looks a definite starter up front. Both find their way in this morning’s press lineups, although there is some debate as to who will partner the Spaniard. Edin Dzeko is included in the Independent, the Times and Guardian, with our other three papers backing a second Premier League start for Stevan Jovetic.
Romelu Lukaku is another striker to split the press verdict. While we’re tipping him for a start against Newcastle on Monday, reserving the Belgian a place on the Scout Picks bench, the Times and the Mail both retain Nikica Jelavic in the Toffees frontline.
Elsewhere, the appears to be little fear that Aaron Ramsey will miss out for Arsenal – he’s in every press lineup this morning, despite Arsene Wenger suggesting that he would not take a risk on the Welshman’s thigh problem with the Champions League clash with Napoli looming on Tuesday.
Once again, it’s the Mail who claim our esteemed Saturday morning “do they know something we don’t?” accolade. So often going out on a limb with their predictions, today they’ve opted to stick Micah Richards at right-back over Pablo Zabaleta for City, while Martin Kelly also gets the nod in the same position for Liverpool at Sunderland.
Don’t panic; a hefty pinch of salt is required, here. Particularly when you consider that the Mail also tip Jason Puncheon for a start for Palace against his parent club Southampton – a move that would likely see Palace docked points and relegated before Christmas. Although, it might be worth it just to hear Ian Holloway’s interview.
My own post-match rage is hopefully on hold. I’m approaching the early kick-off with trepidation but, if I can navigate that one unscathed, I’m hopeful that Rooney and the rest can reward me with my first green arrow since that unusually successful Gameweek 1. I certainly need to rescue some respectability and, having fluttered the Wildcard in anger, failure this weekend would find me on “Plan C” by the time the whistle blows at Goodison on Monday night.
Maybe the key Lamela not starting are AVBs comments about him likely to find it difficult to adapt to life here due him not speaking any English.
- 2 months, 13 days ago
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Just goes to show that just because he cost £30m doesn't necessarily mean he will start all matches . There appeared to be more competition for his position anyway , the fact Sigurdsen also started to hit a bit of form kind of sealed his fate . I was in 2 minds of picking Lamela or Eriksen and unfortunately listened to the wrong people when I should have gone with my gut . You live and learn . Now all I need is for Soldado to start scoring . Another mistake I feel ! ( I only play the Sun Dreamteam by the way )
- 2 months, 13 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, £|
|Down||Clark||AVL||B, Vs, Rest, £|
|Up||Walcott||ARS||B, VsX, Inj|
|Up||Bannan||CPL||B, VsX, £|
|Up||Whittingham||CAR||C, Vs, £|
|Up||De Guzmán||SWA||C, Rest|
|No Change||Lallana||SOT||C, VsX|
|Up||Morrison||WHM||B, Rest, £|
|Up||Brady||HUL||C, £, Sus|
|Up||Barkley||EVE||C, Vs, Rest, Sus|
|Down||Townsend||TOT||C, Rest, £|
|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|
“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