December
12

Having analysed the teams with Strong fixtures on the horizon, our second instalment concentrates on those with harder runs to come. The top two face a tricky task to maintain their lofty perches, while Southampton continue to fight with their backs to the wall as the schedule proves unrelenting for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.

Liverpool

lpool16
While the Blue half of Merseyside looks set to go from strength to strength with a friendly festive fixture list, the Reds face a daunting test. With trips to Tottenham, Man City and Chelsea in the next four, and just the visit of Cardiff to help catch their breath, Brendan Rodgers’ team are about to be stretched to the limit.

Injuries to Daniel Sturridge, Steven Gerrard and, potentially, Jordan Henderson couldn’t have come at a worse time, and the loss of creativity could even cast doubt over the prospects of Anfield’s prolific Uruguayan. Luis Suarez has, of course, been a phenomenon this season but these fixtures and the loss of certain team-mates are set to provide his stiffest test since returning from suspension. The defence presents less of a puzzle. With just one clean sheet since Gameweek 3, despite a bevy of toothless opponents, many managers will take these fixtures as the final signal to drop under-performing assets such as Glen Johnson and Simon Mignolet.

Arsenal

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In a similar vein, Arsenal will need to step up to the plate to defend their spot at the summit. With three away games in the next four, including a trip to the Etihad, and their only home match in that period being a showdown with Chelsea, the Gunners’ hitherto profitable Fantasy assets could suffer a blip in productivity.

With just the first two of those fixtures being truly testing, it is unlikely that any managers holding players such as Mesut Özil, Aaron Ramsey or Per Mertesacker will drop them now. But these fixtures ought to serve as a warning to any would-be investors to postpone any acquisition until at least Gameweek 18. Indeed, suitors of Theo Walcott may view these tricky games as a small blessing, giving him time to return to full match fitness before bringing him in as a possible, potent differential.

Crystal Palace

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Few would argue that Tony Pulis’ instalment at Selhurst Park hasn’t had an immediate impact on the Eagles. Having conceded just one goal in the last five games – an incredible achievement considering their early season form – the Crystal Palace defence has been the subject of an unlikely mini-bandwagon. Latecomers to the party might want to think twice before jumping on board, though, as the fixtures take a turn for the worse. With trips to Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham in the next six, only home games against Newcastle and Norwich appeal in that period.

There’s no doubting the budget appeal of Joel Ward and Danny Gabbidon, but suitors may wish to wait a week or more for the worst of those fixtures to pass, unless they have a solid rotation plan in place. Similarly, anyone scouting for a budget midfielder could do worse in principle than Barry Bannan, who has both recent returns and the numbers to back it up, but now is probably not the time to take advantage. Gameweek 20 appears to be a better time to invest.

BE WARY OF

Southampton
The Saints are still right in the middle of their trickiest patch of fixtures all season, a spell which has unhappily coincided with a spate of injuries to key defensive personnel. Mauricio Pochettino has his work cut out to arrest their descent down the table in the face of tough adversaries. Trips to Newcastle and Everton and home games against Tottenham and Chelsea in the next five look unprofitable for The Saints. Anyone still holding the likes of Dejan Lovren, Jose Fonte or Nathaniel Clyne may be tempted to part ways, while Adam Lallana’s output has slowed to a crawl, with attacking returns in just one of the last seven Gameweeks.

Swansea
As predicted by many, Europa League duties appear to have taken a heavy toll as the fatigue-hit Swans have failed to make the most of a recent stretch of kind fixtures. Not good news for Michael Laudrup, as the schedule starts to turn against his team. Games against Everton, Chelsea, Man City and Man United in the next six look distinctly unappealing for holders of Michel Vorm, Chico Flores and Ashley Williams. These fixtures, combined with the return to fitness of Michu and Wilfried Bony may also put the kibosh on the appeal of Jonjo Shelvey, whilst Pablo Hernandez has been somewhat out of sorts anyway since returning from his own early season injury. Gameweek 23 looks like a good time to revisit the Welsh outfit.

Fulham
And then there was one: Rene Meulensteen. The departure of Martin Jol has so far looked like a positive for the Cottagers – their numbers are up across the board and even the ever-languid Dimitar Berbatov has shown signs of life. The bad news is that the next two fixtures could put their renaissance on hiatus – a trip to Everton, followed by a home game against Man City, are daunting. After that, though, the fixtures take a decided upswing and the likes of Sascha Riether, Patjim Kasami or even Berbatov himself could come into contention if Meulensteen can continue to improve his new team’s attitude and performances.

About The Author

roscola @rosco

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  1. My team for the weekend

    Mignolet

    Jagielka Distin (originally comically mistyped as "Fistin" - arguably better name Sylvain - take note) Ridgewell

    Ramsey Nasri Hazard Morrison

    Lukaku (C) Suarez Aguero

    Thoughts?

    1. Good team wouldn't mind knowing your bench though.

      1. Jaaskalainen
        Coleman caulker ivanovic
        Silva Mirallas morrison hazard
        Lukaku kun remy

    2. My team : jaaskalainen

      Coleman ivanoviç caulker

      Silva hazard ravel Mirallas

      Lukaku(C) kun Remy

      1. My new team:McGregor

        Coleman/Caulker/Ivanovic

        Silva/Hazard/Fer/Schurrle

        Lukaku/Rooney/Deulofeu

        THOUGHTS??

    3. Is hazard a guaranteed starter seen as thou he played 90 mins midweek?

  2. AJT
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member

    Migs
    Terry / Dawson / Shaw
    Ramsey / Hazard / RMorrison / Brady
    Lukaku / Rooney / Suarez

    Subs: Boruc / Collins / Whittaker / Cabaye(sus)

    1 FT and 1.2 in the bank. I'm lacking City coverage, would like to get Silva but no real way to do it quickly... should I drop Shaw and get Jags? I'll have to hold out until WC to get Silva realistically, or take a hit

    1. You don't know how silva is gonna be yet in the premier league so you don't need to worry just now. Get him later somehow. I would defo get jags in if you can!

  3. Mcgregor
    Terry, Mert, Chester (baker, gabbidon)
    hazard, ramsery, yaya, brunt (jwp)
    rooney, aguero, suarez

    1 ft, should I

    a) get some everton cover, but who?
    b) brunt -> redmond

    1. or c) jwp to oviedo and bench brunt

      1. How much cash have you got?

    2. Looks like funds are tight. Maybe downgrade Terry for Jags

  4. 0.1 in the bank

  5. AJG

    Hey guys, need some help with my team of the week.

    Migs

    Terry, Walker, Jagielka, Gabbidon

    Lallana, Y. Toure, Ramsey

    Lukaku, Giroud, Suarez

    Subs: Ward-Prowse, Rosenior, Cabaye (susp)

    *I FT, 0.7 in the bank. Thinking of Migs -> Howard or Lallana -> Paulinho
    With Cabaye suspended, I've no choice but to play Gabbidon/ Ward-Prowse

    Would really appreciate your feedback. Thanks in advance!

  6. it my opponent's team says wildcard : active....does it mean hes using the WC this week??

    Cos a different player in my mini league whos not used his WC comes as wildcard : available

    1. Take a guess...

      1. yessssss

        1. If it says active it means inactive

  7. Now that Suarez has been officially credited with the extra goal against West Ham, will that be creidted to his Fantasy Premier League and Telegrah totals? With him being Captain for a lot of players, the extra few points doubled is always gonna be smiled upon!

    1. once the points have been finalised that is that, they won't be edited.

Scout Picks

For Gameweek 34

  • Speroni
  • Zabaleta
  • Coleman
  • Shawcross
  • Mirallas
  • Eriksen
  • Y Touré
  • Lallana
  • Suárez
  • Lukaku
  • Aguero
  • Fonte
  • Puncheon
  • Lambert

Comments

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Next Six Ticker

Watchlist

Goalkeepers

Last updated: 15 Apr, 2014 5:24pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Hart MCI B, Vs
Up De Gea MUN C
No Change Cech CHE A, Vs
No Change Szczesny ARS B
No Change Mannone SUN B, £
Up Foster WBA B
No Change Guzan AVL B
Up Stockdale FUL B, £

Defenders

Last updated: 15 Apr, 2014 7:35pm
Player Club Factors
Up Terry CHE A
No Change Zabaleta MCI B, Vs
Up Koscielny ARS B, Vs, Inj
Up Skrtel LIV A
Up Evra MUN B
Up Kaboul TOT B, Vs
No Change Alonso SUN C, OoP, £
Down Coleman EVE B, VsX
No Change Vlaar AVL C, Vs, £
Up Ridgewell WBA C, OoP, £
Up Caulker CAR A
Up Heitinga FUL B, £

Midfielders

Last updated: 15 Apr, 2014 7:31pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Silva MCI A, Vs
Up Eriksen TOT A, Vs
Up Mata MUN A
Up Gerrard LIV A
Up Lallana SOT B
Up Sterling LIV A, £
Down Ramsey ARS C, Vs, Inj
Down Hazard CHE C, Vs, Inj
Up Amalfitano WBA A, £
Down Puncheon CPL A, VsX, £

Forwards

Last updated: 14 Apr, 2014 1:03pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Suárez LIV A
Up Aguero MCI C, Vs, Inj
Up Adebayor TOT B, Vs
No Change Dzeko MCI B, Vs, Rest, £
Down Lukaku EVE B, VsX
Up Giroud ARS C, Vs
No Change Lambert SOT B
Down Sturridge LIV B, Inj
No Change Rooney MUN A, Inj
Up Rodallega FUL A, £

Selection Factors

A, B, C Current Form
Vs Favourable Fixtures
VsX Unfavourable Fixtures
Rest Rotation Risk
Inj Injured/Returning from Injury
OoP Out of Position
£ Potential Bargain
Sus Suspended/Near Suspension

Suspension Tightrope

Player Team YC
Ramires CHE 9
Barry EVE 9
Gerrard LIV 9
Zabaleta MCI 9
Tioté NEW 9

“A hit a week every week and finish in the top 50k is just fine and dandy for me. I play the game for the fun and how it improves watching Stoke vs Cardiff on a Monday night in November.”

Wakey on his fantasy management style