Adam Lallana steers Southampton to fourth with the opener against Swansea. Ravel Morrison is amongst the goals as West Ham stun Tottenham at the Lane. Aaron Ramsey is moved to the Arsenal right, Morgan Amalfitano picks up the points once more for West Brom, while a trio of midfielders find the net as Chelsea clinch victory at Norwich.
Lallana’s Differential Appeal
Yesterday’s opener in the win over Swansea maintained an impressive run of form for the Southampton skipper. With the Saints defence hogging the headlines and most of the Fantasy attention, Lallana has remained firmly under the radar in recent weeks – having provided an assist in each of his previous couple of matches, he went one better and grabbed his first goal of the season as Mauricio Pochettino’s side chalked up a third straight victory.
While front pairing Rickie Lambert and Pablo Osvaldo continue to struggle for consistency, Lallana is steadily climbing the Fantasy standings – with the maximum bonus also received, he’s now on 34 points in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) game, seventh highest for midfielders. At present, the 6.0 priced Lallana has mere 2% ownership but with a security of starts and share of set-pieces, yesterday’s display may just be the catalyst for an extra influx of new owners – with home clashes against Fulham and Hull supplemented by a trip to Stoke in the next four, the schedule certainly looks optimistic for Pochettino’s charges to maintain their current form.
Another Clean Sheet for Saints
Yet again, Pochettino’s side picked up the defensive points, with Artur Boruc inspired between the sticks. The Pole made save after save to defy Michael Laudrup’s side and register his fifth clean sheet in seven matches – with a couple of bonus points also picked up, Boruc has now overtaken Simon Mignolet as the top scoring FPL stopper this term, yet due to the latter’s popularity, has risen just 0.1 in price this term. It’s four back-to-back shut outs for the Saints now as they head to Old Trafford when the domestic programme resumes – Robin Van Persie’s owners will be hoping he can rediscover his scoring form over the international break before United square up to the resilient Saints in Gameweek 8.
Davies Worry for Swans
Swansea rolled up to St Mary’s without the injured Ashley Williams and are now sweating on the fitness of another regular defender after Ben Davies picked up a hamstring injury. The left-back managed the full 90 minutes but the problem was revealed by Michael Laudrup after game – his potential absence will rule out him out the upcoming internationals and could bring Neil Taylor into the equation ahead of an eye-catching run of games for the Welsh outfit:
“It seems like Ben Davies got injured in the last ten minutes. It’s his hamstring and we are hoping it’s just a strain, so he will be out for two or three weeks. I hope not, but we will see tomorrow. He will miss them (Wales qualifiers) and maybe one or two games for us. He will have a scan and then we will know.”
Oscar On Target Again
The pre-match talk may have surrounded Juan Mata’s return to the Blues XI for the first time since Gameweek 4 but the Spaniard was left in the shade as Jose Mourinho’s preferred playmaker was amongst the goals once more. Oscar’s opener means he has now notched three of Chelsea’s nine league goals this term and with the maximum Fantasy Premier League (FPL) bonus points also in the bag, he has moved to 39 points thus far – fourth for midfielders in FPL and more than Mata and Eden Hazard combined.
Despite a multitude of attacking midfield options, the 8.8 priced Oscar is the only Chelsea attacker who has managed to strike any sort of consistency this term and with a hugely favourable schedule ahead, plenty will be plotting to bring him into their five-man midfields. Those eyeing up Mata’s acquisition were given food for thought after a lethargic display saw him hauled off on 80 minutes – with Eden Hazard and Willian both emerging from the bench to fire a goal apiece, Mata’s role on the right could be under threat from the latter, with Hazard expected to return to the opposite flank ahead of Andre Schurrle now his ankle problem is over.
After the match, Mourinho was quick to praise the instant impact made by his two late midfield substitutions after he moved to a three-man backline in order to go on the offensive:
“It’s good for the boy (Willian). It’s difficult to arrive at the club when we had started the season already, and it’s difficult to come from a league where normally a player loses a little bit of ambition, sharpness and condition. So step by step he’s getting there….I’m happy too with the medical department who worked hard to try to recover Hazard, not to play 90 minutes but to be available for me. I knew if I needed him he would be in the condition to give a push. So as a team and as a group, everybody did their bit today.”
Ba Is Back in the Frame
With Fernando Torres suspended for the trip to Norwich, many had expected Samuel Eto’o to lead the line but Mourinho raised a few eyebrows by including Demba Ba in his first XI instead. Having featured just once all season, the Senegal striker has been a peripheral figure for the Blues but quickly justified his manager’s selection by teeing up Oscar for the opener – with Torres expected to miss the Gameweek 8 clash against Cardiff through injury, Ba will be hopeful of retaining his slot up front. After the match, Mourinho offered an explanation for his decision:
“He (Ba) did what I was expecting him to do. This kind of match – very direct, small pitch, very British, I decided to start with a more physical striker, also for defensive set-pieces. He did his job.”
Luiz Gets the Nod Again
At the back, Mourinho opted for David Luiz alongside John Terry once again yesterday. Whilst Gary Cahill had started the season as a regular due to Luiz’ hamstring problems, he seems to have fallen out the picture in recent weeks – the Brazilian player has now partnered Terry in three of the last four Gameweeks as Mourinho looks for an established pairing at the heart of his backline. With just four goals conceded so far, the Blues have the second most resilient defensive record so far and with Cardiff, Newcastle, West Brom and West Ham in the next five, Luiz – at 6.1 in FPL and with an 8% ownership – could find himself subject to extra investment in light of Chelsea’s promising schedule.
Elsewhere in the Chelsea backline, Ashley Cole requires a scan on a rib complaint after picking up the problem in yesterday’s game. Mourinho revealed he only found out about the issue after he subbed off the left-back, with his decision to sub off Cole and move to three at the back purely tactical:
“I hope he is fine. I want England to do well. I didn’t know [that Cole was injured]. We were in a difficult position before. He had something in his ribs that we need to assess, but hopefully it’s fine. He goes for a scan now, when we arrive [back in London].”
Pilkington Stakes a Claim
Handed a chance on the Canaries left last week as a result of a thigh problem to Nathan Redmond, the midfielder supplied the assist for Jonny Howson’s winner at Stoke. Although Redmond recovered from the injury this week, Pilkington kept his place and vindicated his manager’s decision with the hosts only strike in the home defeat to Mourinho’s men. With returns in both of his starts this season, Pilkington looks to have edged ahead of Redmond in the pecking order now – the next six sees the Canaries face Cardiff, West Ham, Newcastle and Palace and could afford the 5.3 priced FPL option the platform to continue his impressive recent form.
It’s four clean sheets in seven now for Sam Allardyce’s side after yesterday’s stunning win at the Lane. The Hammers have been particularly impressive on their travels, conceding just a single goal in four away games so far, whilst over the course of the campaign, Everton are the only side to score more than once against Allardyce’s outfit thus far. As mentioned in yesterday’s Knee Jerk, the decision to drop Joey O’Brien from the XI means Winston Reid is the only defender to start all seven Gameweeks – with a goal and maximum bonus points, the 5.0 priced centre-half is now up to 42 points this term; fifth highest defender in the standings. The Hammers have City and Swansea up next but after that, games against Villa, Norwich, Fulham and Palace in their following five will surely afford Reid and co further chance of points at the back, with Razvan Rat the cheaper option at 4.5.
Morrison’s Budget Appeal
Yesterday’s outstanding run and cool finish from the halfway line cemented the young midfielder’s place as a genuine cut-price contender for the season. Morrison has been tentatively eased into the first XI this term and only earned his first start in Gameweek 4 due to injuries to others – his displays have since convinced Sam Allardyce he is worthy of a regular role, though, and with two strikes in his last three it seems Fantasy managers have another budget prospect on our hands. Coming in at a mere 4.4 in FPL, Morrison joins the likes of Robbie Brady, Ross Barkley and Peter Whittingham to stake a claim not only as a cheap fifth midfielder but as a legitimate option for our starting XIs – in a game where the heavily-backed Tottenham big-money buys such as Christian Eriksen and Paulinho faltered, it was Morrison who stole the show in midfield and earned a 10 point haul for his display.
After the game, Allardyce heaped praise on the former United man, who seems to have finally turned his career round after threatening to go off the rails on several occasions before:
“The penny has dropped with him. It has dropped in lifestyle and attitude and his timekeeping, all of a sudden there is a belief that he doesn’t want to do anything other than break into our first team. I think that 12-month spell at Birmingham gave him a time to reflect on what it takes to be a player on a week in and out basis. When I signed him Sir Alex said ‘I hope you can sort him out because if you can he will be a genius.’ He needed to get away from Manchester and start a new life and it looks like it is paying off for us…That was a genius goal. Tottenham had conceded two goals before today, but he just headed directly to Vertonghen and Dawson, slipped them like they weren’t there and he used his outstanding ability to dink the goalkeeper. For me you will struggle to see a better goal this season.”
Tottenham Toil Up Top
Prior to yesterday’s result, the Londoners solid defence had somewhat papered over the cracks as Andre Villas-Boas’ side found goals hard to come by. Spurs had scored just six times in their opening six matches and had relied on their backline to keep out opponents – nevertheless, the decision to drop Roberto Soldado for Jermain Defoe was still a huge surprise. Forced to chase the game, Villas-Boas afforded the Spaniard a brief second-half sub appearance alongside his fellow forward but with both Gylfi Sigurdsson and Christian Eriksen failing to impress, and Erik Lamela still unable to oust Andros Townsend in the XI, it’s more than apparent that the north London club are very much a work in progress. Owned by 14% of FPL managers, Soldado can now expect a substantial exodus over the next fortnight as three-man frontlines are reassembled, while those who invested in the midfield in recent weeks may also think twice after yesterday’s disastrous display – with Villa, Hull and Newcastle in the next four, though, the fixtures are still very much in Tottenham’s favour.
Ramsey on the Right
The Welshman’s scoring spree came to an end yesterday after Arsene Wenger shifted him out to the flank. With Mikel Arteta partnering Mathieu Flamini in central midfield, Ramsey’s versatility saw him move into the role vacated by the recently injured Theo Walcott as Wenger chose to bench Serge Gnabry despite his goal at Swansea last weekend. As our members can attest to, Ramsey afforded little width on the right, however, with a tendency to drift inside to look for the ball – while this role paid off with an against Napoli in midweek, his failure yesterday resulted in Wenger hauling him off with less than 60 minutes on the clock. Indeed, Arteta’s return from injury seems to have handed the Gunners boss an unexpected problem – Ramsey’s displays were more efficient alongside the more defensively-minded Flamini but it seems unlikely a fully-fit Arteta would be omitted from the XI – the picture will hopefully be a little clearer upon Walcott’s return in a few weeks’ time.
Amalfitano Delivers Again
The on-loan Frenchman continued to pick up the points as the Baggies took their unbeaten run to four in yesterday’s draw with the Gunners. Yesterday’s assist for Claudio Yacob’s opener means Amalfitano has now played a part in four of West Brom’s last six goals, with two goals and two assists from Gameweek 5 onwards. His growing influence on the West Brom right is clearly key to his side’s fortunes and at just 5.1 in FPL, Amalfitano’s eye for goal and outstanding delivery from the flank will surely persuade more managers to jump on board the bandwagon – trips to Stoke, Liverpool and Chelsea may now be the most straightforward but his impact at the midlands makes a more than convincing case for investing in form over fixtures right now. Subbed off with a minute remaining of the 1-1 draw, his withdrawal is reported to be no more than knock.
..which is a better and more urgent upgrade: (curious if any one else considering the oscar upgrade from for ex;guy like paulinho who is set for 90 min e/gw)
1--Paulinho > Oscar (oscar + ramires are set for 90min e/gw...hazard,lampard,willian,mata,schurle,mikel are in the mix for rest of min)
- 2 months, 1 day ago
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Need some help for possible transfers in/out of my team
Got 2.5 in the bank
Soldado->Giroud for an 8p hit?!
Big thumbs up for any sugestions!!
- 2 months, 12 hours ago
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Thsi could end up being a big couple of weeks in Fantasy Footie land, what with the international fixtures and possible injuries to players I wager a number of you are keeping fingers crossed that Sturridge (who can be a bit injury prone but not yet this season) keeps healthy withEngland but waht with Welbeck seeming in prime position to play up with Rooney you may be safe.. But mores so with the returning of early season favorite picks in Walcott and Bentake, will the Giroud/Ramsey axis still pick up points? how long will Southamptons defence retain a surprising watertightness? Has RVP been cloned or is it his cousin Ali Dia that has replaced him.
- 1 month, 29 days ago
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For Gameweek 15
Next Six Ticker
|Down||De Gea||MUN||C, Vs|
|Up||McGregor||HUL||C, Vs, £|
|No Change||Speroni||CPL||A, Vs|
|Up||Pantilimon||MCI||B, Rest, £|
|Up||Williamson||NEW||B, Vs, £|
|Down||Evans||MUN||C, Vs, Rest, £|
|Up||Olsson||NOR||C, Vs, £|
|Up||Turner||CAR||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||McAuley||WBA||C, Vs|
|Up||Clark||AVL||A, Vs, Rest, £|
|No Change||Ward||CPL||A, Vs, £|
|Down||Flanagan||LIV||C, VsX, Rest, £|
|No Change||Ramsey||ARS||A, VsX|
|No Change||Ozil||ARS||B, VsX|
|No Change||Y Touré||MCI||B, VsX|
|Up||Walcott||ARS||C, VsX, Inj|
|Up||Bannan||CPL||B, Vs, £|
|Down||Sessegnon||WBA||C, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Whittingham||CAR||B, Vs, £|
|Up||De Guzmán||SWA||C, Vs, Rest|
|No Change||Lallana||SOT||C, VsX|
|Up||Morrison||WHM||B, Rest, £|
|Up||Brady||HUL||C, £, Sus|
|Up||Mirallas||EVE||B, Vs, Rest|
|No Change||Suárez||LIV||A, Vs|
|No Change||Aguero||MCI||A, VsX|
|Down||Rooney||MUN||A, Vs, Sus|
|No Change||Giroud||ARS||B, VsX|
|No Change||Long||WBA||B, Vs, Rest, £|
|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