Daniel Sturridge moves to the top of the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) forward standings after producing a goal and pair of assists against Sunderland. Luis Suarez bags a brace upon his return to league action as the Reds move to second. Elsewhere, a change in tactics helps Norwich bring home the points at the Britannia courtesy of a Jonny Howson strike:
Suarez and Sturridge Tame Black Cats
Back in league action for the first time since April, Luis Suarez wasted no time in racking up the Fantasy returns as Liverpool ensured Sunderland remained rooted to the foot of the table with a 3-1 win. Lining up alongside Daniel Sturridge in a 3-4-1-2 formation, the Uruguayan bagged a brace as the Reds produced more than two goals in a league game for the first time this season – his headline-grabbing act has already seen significant investment as Fantasy managers look to bring the Uruguayan on board ahead of a superb run of games which pits Rodgers’ side against Palace, Newcastle, West Brom and Fulham in the next five Gameweeks.
Sturridge wasn’t to be outdone, though. Atoning for his blank against Southampton last weekend, his haul means he has now scored in five of the first six Gameweeks and with sidekick Suarez now back to wreak havoc, he looks set for a prosperous next few matches. Coming in at 9.6 in FPL to Suarez’ 10.9, Sturridge’s more budget-friendly price makes him an obvious target for those looking to swap out the similarly-priced Roberto Soldado, with owners of the stricken Christian Benteke also targeting the former Chelsea player. Suarez, though, remains a real differential – only 9% currently own the Uruguayan compared to Sturridge’s 32% but yesterday’s display is likely to see plenty more acquire the duo, with some even looking to grab both for their three-man frontlines.
So often panned for a somewhat selfish streak in front of goal, Sturridge admitted Suarez’ positioning for both goals made the decision to pass a straightforward one:
“Luis gives me angles to play in and for me it’s about getting assists as well as scoring. It’s about the team winning games. If someone’s in a better position, you put them in and allow them to score the goal.”
Rodgers Talks Tactics
With Glen Johnson still sidelined, many had assumed Liverpool’s move to a 3-4-1-2 in the midweek cup clash against United was a result of the unconvincing Gameweek 5 home defeat by Southampton. Brendan Rodgers’ decision to rest Jose Enrique that day and field four natural centre-halves in a back-four saw Liverpool lose their unbeaten league record – a shift to a three-man backline, with Enrique on the left of midfield, was rolled out at Old Trafford on Wednesday, with Suarez returning from a 10-match ban to partner Sturridge up top.
After yesterday’s game, however, Rodgers revealed he’s been looking at the new formation as a way to incorporate Suarez and Sturridge up top together. If the Reds boss retains the same shape, then, it could potentially afford Enrique and Johnson the wing-back roles and boost their out of position prospects, while Philippe Coutinho – once fit – would be expected to move into the “the hole” behind the front two:
“We’ve changed the structure of our team a bit to allow us to pass it better – we’ve still got a lot of work to do – but also to fit in with the type of players that we have. Those two (Suarez and Sturridge) will only get better; you see the understanding. They looked very bright today. They have worked a lot in training – it’s not just something that has been dropped in. We looked at 3-4-1-2 towards the end of last season. We did some work on it, looking at Luis coming back, and they have struck up a very good partnership. “
Potters Attacking Woes
The arrival of Mark Hughes may have proved the catalyst for a change in Stoke’s tactical approach but while their play is less blood and thunder this term, the goal-shy problems of seasons gone by remain. The Potters registered the second lowest goal tally in the Premier League last time out with a total of 34 strikes and yesterday’s 1-0 home loss at the hands of Norwich means Hughes’ side have now scored in just one of their three fixtures at the Britannia, with four goals in six Gameweeks overall.
Kenwyne Jones replaced Peter Crouch as Stoke’s lone forward in Gameweek 3 but neither player has scored or assisted in the league all season – given that his side managed a single shot on target all afternoon, courtesy of a long range effort from Steven Nzonzi, Hughes may consider shaking things up after naming an unchanged side from the previous weekend’s loss at Arsenal yesterday. With Fulham and West Brom up next, the short-term schedule is enough to persuade those holding Stoke’s assets to hold for now, though their display against the Canaries will be enough to deter any would-be investors.
After the game, Hughes admitted that while a change in approach will result in the occasional off day, too many of his players simply failed to produce yesterday:
“To be honest, we didn’t see that coming today because we’ve been really good and that’s the most disappointing thing. We talked at the beginning of the season that on occasions there would be days when we wouldn’t get it right and there would be days like we’ve had today. But there’s minimum requirement in terms of what you have do in a game to affect it and that means the vast majority of your players playing at a level that allows you to compete. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough players playing at the right level today.”
Hughton Shifts Shape
Chris Hughton’s side arrived at the Britannia having failed to notch in each of their first two away trips and with Stoke having kept out City in their previous home game, a clean sheet for the hosts looked on the cards. The Canaries boss made a subtle change to his formation, dropping Johan Elmander from the role in “the hole” behind Ricky Van Wolfswinkel and bringing in Alex Tettey to sit in front of the back-four instead. This allowed Robert Snodgrass and Anthony Pilkington (in for the injured Nathan Redmond) to push up on the flanks, with the visitors looking more like a 4-3-3 when in possession, as our members can attest to.
After the game, the Norwich boss was quick to praise match-winner Jonny Howson and also admitted he was happy with the slight alteration to his team’s shape:
“He is a talent. He is one that there is some debate over, and that’s with us as well. What we do know is that he is a talent. He’s a player from midfield who likes to break, so it’s the same with him as it is with Leroy Fer – it’s about getting those right balances. It was really good to get Anthony Pilkington back, a player who we have missed, and overall tactically we got it as well as we could have done.”
Given that Norwich now have back-to-back games against Chelsea and Arsenal, there’d be no surprise if Hughton kept faith with the same formation – in spite of his impressive midweek cup double against Watford, then, new boy Gary Hooper looks likely to warm the bench once again as Hughton looks for a little more resilience. The Canaries boss went on to explain his decision to drop Hooper to the bench and recall Ricky Van Wolfswinkel, after the Dutchman missed out with a toe injury in midweek:
“Yes, Gary was very much in my thoughts. I really had to give that one some serious consideration because I wanted to be positive, in whichever way it was we set up. In the end I felt we could get more joy from having a bit more possession and breaking from midfield, and that is how it proved. We know Ricky is a goalscorer but sometimes it takes time. He is the type of player who needs help from his team mates to create chances. What you can’t fault with him is his work-rate for the team. We have to give him enough decent service to score goals, but the other side of his game and his work for the team is excellent.”
Shaw Walker Vertonghen
Brady Sigurdsson Ramsey Michu
Sturridge Suárez Giroud
SUbs: Boruc Davies Barkley Wilson
£1.9m in the bank
Thoughts? Planning to swap Vert/Walker for Baines after the next GW (poss Suarez to Rooney depending on form)
- 2 months, 10 days ago
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Had a better week this week, but got 0.9m in the bank and wondering whether to upgrade yet or hold on and use 2 FT next week, any suggestions?
Terry Coleman Whitaker (Turner Collins)
Ozil Lampard Ramsey Barkley (HBA)
Rooney Sturridge Giroud
Want to get Yaya in as he seems the only nailed Citeh starter...
- 2 months, 9 days ago
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For Gameweek 15
Next Six Ticker
|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||Walcott||ARS||B, VsX, Inj|
|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, £, Sus|
|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|
“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