Romelu Lukaku flexes his substantial Fantasy football muscles to wreck the Newcastle defence and leave us re-assessing our forward lines yet again. Meanwhile, the withdrawal of Hatem Ben Arfa and a transformed second-half showing from Newcastle has his owners hovering over the panic button.
The Game Changer
Lukaku simply ran riot in the first half with the Newcastle back four unable to cope with his pace and power. Having transformed and won the game at Upton Park from the bench, this evening, the Belgian dismantled the Magpies with a brace and an assist that put the game out of reach.
We shouldn’t be surprised by Lukaku’s impact. We saw last season that, when he is given pitch time, he can deliver, with 17 goals from just 20 league starts at West Brom. Jose Mourinho may feel that his game is not refined enough for the Chelsea squad but Lukaku has nonetheless proved to be hugely effective on the Premier League stage.
Fantasy managers now have to carefully consider their front lines. Lukaku at 7.6 and rising in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) will clearly represent outstanding value if he can replicate the strike rate shown at the Hawthorns. On tonight’s evidence, there’s every chance he can achieve that and more, putting further pressure on the three slots in our squad.
It seems almost folly to discuss yet another option up front but we shouldn’t ignore Loic Remy’s late goal which left the Goodison nerves jangling. Three goals in three starts underline the Frenchman’s impact that, while less explosive than Lukaku’s at Everton, has been no less effective.
Available in the same FPL price bracket, Remy’s performance will likely be overlooked but, having been shifted to a central role in place of Papiss Cisse tonight, it’s clear that Remy will, quite literally, be central to their aspirations this season.
The Selection Poser
Hatem Ben Arfa’s withdrawal at half-time took everyone by surprise and yet, minutes later, his replacement Yohan Cabaye, scored from range to hand the Magpies an unlikely lifeline. Despite attempting to focus play through Ben Arfa in the first half, Alan Pardew took the decision to replace him with the more combative Cabaye for the second period and the change appeared to pep up the visitors as they came close to an unlikely comeback.
The reason behind the change is uncertain. Certainly Alan Pardew gave no indication of an injury in his post-match comments, leaving Ben Arfa’s owners frustrated at the curtailed pitch time and somewhat anxious that the mercurial winger may have fallen out of favour ahead of the Gameweek 7 trip to Cardiff. We await further noises from St James’ Park.
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For Gameweek 15
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|Up||Howard||EVE||B, Vs, Sus|
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|Up||Pantilimon||MCI||B, Rest, £|
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|No Change||Suárez||LIV||A, Vs|
|No Change||Aguero||MCI||A, VsX|
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|Up||Deulofeu||EVE||A, Vs, Rest, £|
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|A, B, C||Current Form|
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“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