We present three wise men for the Boxing Day “differentials”, bearing possible gifts of double-figure potential, set-piece threat and midfield budget appeal…
Emmanuel Adebayor is a Fantasy asset who comes complete with a health warning – he’s not to be trusted. Equally capable of spectacular brilliance and bafflingly abject displays, the Togo international is nonetheless that rare commodity – a differential capable of exploding points.
Sunday demonstrated Adebayor’s potential, not just to Tottenham’s campaign but also to Fantasy managers as a new consideration for our forward lines. While we’ve waited patiently for Roberto Soldado to click and deliver on his La Liga promise to help break up the template up top, it could well be that Spurs harbour another player who can play his part.
Tim Sherwood did not hesitate to bring Adebayor in from the cold, pointing to his “history” as a player for the justification of his faith. Having recorded 17 goals and 12 assists back in 2011/12, Fantasy managers also have a recent track record to cling to when considering Adebayor as an asset.
Even with a modest 7.7 price tag, Adeabyor’s uncanny ability to disappoint provides a major caveat. However, with just three Gameweeks to go before we earn the opportunity to refresh our lineups, Adebayor offers a tantalising option – a new proposition up front capable of double-figure returns with back-to-back home matches against West Brom and Stoke as a platform for his resurgence.
The Everton left-back is expected to be restored to the starting lineup for the Toffees’ home clash with Southampton – a fixture that offers Baines a perfect re-introduction to the Fantasy reckoning.
Despite this, Baines faces a battle to win a place in our affections. In his absence, Seamus Coleman has built on his promising early season form with an explosion of three goals in five outings, cementing his place at the top of the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) defender rankings and as Everton’s key option amongst their rearguard.
However, even with a lofty 7.4 price tag, Baines should not be overlooked. Set-pieces have already played a significant role in our seasons with Yaya Toure a major benefactor of the points they can bring. Baines has already gained from two strikes from dead-balls against West Ham and will be back on set-pieces for the Boxing Day clash, along with spot-kick duties.
Now owned by just 13% of FPL managers, Baines makes an unlikely differential but, such is the strength of Coleman’s recent charge, he’s set to become just that in the months ahead.
While Peter Whittingham is the undisputed weapon of choice in a limited arsenal of Cardiff options, Mutch has gradually emerged as a worthy consideration at the very bottom of the budget bracket. Available for 0.7 less than his team-mate, if you can’t stretch to Whittingham’s set-piece prowess, Mutch is shaping up as viable cover for Cardiff’s impending survival scrap.
A third goal of the league campaign arrived at Anfield on Saturday, with Whittingham typically providing the cross, as Mutch continued to build on his reputation in the Bluebirds lineup. With a pair of assists and six consecutive starts in the league, this 4.5-priced asset could provide a decent midfield enabler in our January wildcard tinkerings. Sort by value in the FPL stats and Mutch is rated fifth but, along with Hull’s Jake Livermore, is by far the cheapest option on show.
A home clash with Southampton on Boxing Day, followed by the visit of Sunderlad two days later, provides Mutch with another opportunity to stake his claim and edge his way into our thinking for 2014’s refresh.