As the minutes tick down until the Gameweek 17 deadline, we scour the market for some overlooked alternatives for your consideration. This week we bring you a couple of budget midfielders and turn to Old Trafford for our final selection as doubts continue to hover over a certain England international:
An injury to Daniel Sturridge prior to the Gameweek 13 trip to Hull has handed the youngster a first-team opportunity. Whilst Luis Suarez has hogged the headlines with a succession of dazzling displays, Sterling has quietly gone about his business on the flank – a goal in Sunday’s thrashing of Tottenham was his second strike in four appearances for the in-form Merseysiders.
Jordan Henderson’s goal and assist in the 5-0 win over Spurs has again kept Sterling in the shade. The former has earned over 52,000 new Fantasy Premier League (FPL) owners this week as Brendan Rodgers’ side prepare to welcome Cardiff to Anfield – double the number of Fantasy managers who have acquired Sterling, despite the winger being available for a mere 4.9 in FPL.
Coming in at 4.8 in the Sky Sports game and 2.5 in the Sun Dream Team, Sterling certainly looks a guaranteed starter until Sturridge is back in the frame after his ankle injury. Whilst upcoming trips to City and Chelsea understandably dent his appeal, a New Year’s Day home clash with Hull and subsequent trip to Stoke offer a chance to get amongst the points again as Rodgers looks to keep his side’s title bid on track.
A change of position brings the Sunderland midfielder onto this week’s radar. Gus Poyet’s decision to draft in Lee Cattermole in front of the back-four allowed the former Celtic star to move into a more advanced berth and fire numerous efforts on goal against West Ham last weekend. Whilst he failed to find the net in the draw with Sam Allardyce’s side, Ki’s eye for goal was more than apparent after he bagged the midweek cup winner over Chelsea.
As we reported in this week’s Say What? article, Poyet is keen for the Korean to join in the Black Cats’ attacking moves as he plots to steer his side to safety. This weekend’s visit of Norwich is the start of a highly favourable run of home games from here until the end of the season and certainly bodes well for the Wearsiders, who have won four out of six in front of their own fans in all competitions under the new man in charge.
Priced at a mere 4.8 in both FPL and the Sky Sports game and 1.5 in the Sun Dream Team, Ki is one to consider not only for the short-term but also for our winter wildcards, for those eyeing up a cut-price fifth midfielder.
With Wayne Rooney’s groin injury situation no closer to being solved thanks to yet another vague press conference from his manager, we’re opting for his fellow United forward for the home clash against West Ham. Handed his chance up top against Villa last weekend, Welbeck made a more than persuasive case for his continued inclusion as the champions’ lone frontman by bagging a brace to suggest that, regardless of Rooney’s availability, he may still be set to lead the line.
Despite a strong showing last weekend, Welbeck’s acquisition still carries a degree of risk, though. For all we know, Rooney is raring to go against the Hammers and, with Shinji Kagawa available, Welbeck could be forced onto the flank or even the bench, giving his manager’s propensity for tinkering. However, if Rooney is indeed forced out of the festive period, Welbeck could well be poised to take advantage – coming in at 7.0 in FPL, 7.7 in the Sky Sports game and 3.0 in the Sun Dream Team, he also has upcoming clashes with Hull and Norwich over the next week to boost his appeal for those willing to gamble.