The final installment in our Watchlist refresh round-up has us examining the options up front, where we find the clamour for the template lineup is en vogue. Such is the form of the heavy-hitters, our forward lines almost pick themselves with five clear candidates emerging – Robin van Persie is, however, not amongst them.
There’s little argument that Fantasy managers need to consider arming themselves with a Liverpool striker. The dilemma is, of course, which of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge should be the target. Right now, it’ s almost impossible to separate the two but, for now, we’re coming down on the side of Sturridge, with his Uruguayan strike partner showing just a little bit of rust when it comes to his shooting on his two-goal return at the Stadium of Light.
Sturridge delivered both of Suarez’s goals on a platter in the 3-1 win, earning himself a brace of assists to go with a first-half goal. That demonstrated that the England man could keep pace with Suarez and, for now, with the price difference favouring Sturridge, that’s enough to just give him the edge. Saturday’s events at Anfield could swing that back to Suarez, however.
Those two top the Watchlist rankings, leaving United’s Wayne Rooney and Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud to battle it out for our attentions. A slight injury concern and David Moyes’ obvious options to rotate Rooney in the weeks to come just give Giroud the edge, with the Frenchman holding in third following his assist in the win at Swansea. The Gunners man is without a goal in his last two and will need to get back in the saddle at West Brom this weekend if he is to avoid a sudden cull, such is the competition for a place in our forward lines.
Romelu Lukaku’s emergence in Monday night’s 3-2 win over Newcastle added to that fierce scramble for our striker slots. The Belgian is, without question, a major consideration given his form and price point. Enthusiasm is tempered somewhat by the trip to City this weekend but, following that, the Goodison clash with Hull will surely lead to increased investment. While he doesn’t boast the kind of favourable fixtures that bless the Liverpool pairing and Rooney, we’ve every reason to believe that Lukaku will prove a handful for any rearguard and offer points potential that could well keep pace with the heavy-hitters currently ranking above him.
That all means that both Robin van Persie and Roberto Soldado drop out of our top five. For Van Persie, his recent lack of pitch time has been hugely damaging. With Rooney scoring consistent points via his dead-ball strikes, the outlay for Van Persie can hardly be justified, particularly given the current trend that makes three strong scoring forwards the tactic of choice. Those holding the United man will need to see an upturn in form that surpasses Rooney and the Liverpool pair for him to prevent more owners from jumping ship. Blank at Sunderland and we would anticipate major sales over the international break.
Soldado is another striker of huge potential who is currently struggling to convince. The two spot-kick goals that opened the season perhaps disguised the fact that the Spaniard was taking his time to adjust. Spurs are creating chances, they’re just not resulting in goals and, while we see an upturn in fortunes for Soldado, it’s questionable if he can currently be backed above the established form strikers right now.
Indeed, there’s a strong argument that both Rickie Lambert and Loic Remy should be above the Spurs man in our rankings. Both notched in Gameweek 6, with Remy now having scored three in three matches for Alan Pardew’s Magpies. Lambert has the fixtures to boost his tally further, with St Mary’s meetings with Swansea, Fulham and Hull in the next five. Remy is not so blessed and will need to show fixture proof form in his next two home encounters with Liverpool and Chelsea.
The 7.5 spend on either Lambert or Remy could, arguably, be the minimum outlay on a forward right now given the consistency in the higher price brackets. Budget options are available but perhaps not advisable as investments. Cardiff’s Frazier Campbell has fixtures that could see him add to his two-goal tally thus far, although there is some threat from Peter Odemwingie here if Malky Mackay chooses to field Craig Bellamy and bring the Nigerian inside.
With Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez an uncertain starter, it leaves us looking at Darren Bent of Fulham at 6.5, Andreas Weimann of Villa at 6.0 and Sone Aluko of Hull at 5.0 as options. West Brom’s Saido Berahino, at just 4.5 in the FPL, is another candidate to monitor. Offering a rock-bottom budget option, if he can cement a starting role over both Nicolas Anelka and Shane Long, he would certainly provide an option for those requiring to free up frunds from their forward line.
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