December
28

We turn our attentions to North London and plunder a couple of overlooked alternatives ahead of the weekend deadline. Our third option will be expecting a start up top for City as Manuel Pellegrini’s side look for a tenth-straight win in front of their own supporters:

Edin Dzeko

As the festive fixtures arrive thick and fast, Manuel Pellegrini’s lack of forwards could prove beneficial to the big Bosnian’s short-term prospects. With Sergio Aguero sidelined and Stevan Jovetic doubtful once again, the City boss has been all too reliant on Alvaro Negredo to produce the goods up top and keep his side in the title race.

Having shifted to a 4-2-3-1 for the Boxing Day visit of Liverpool, Pellegrini now has the option of retaining the formation or returning to his preferred 4-4-2 as City prepare for the visit of Crystal Palace tomorrow afternoon. Certainly, the Eagles game looks the ideal opportunity to unleash Dzeko, either as the lone forward or alongside Negredo, with Pellegrini intent on maintaining the attacking verve which has seen his side average more than four goals per home game thus far.

Coming in at 6.7 in Fantasy Premier League (FPL), Dzeko (who sets you back 8.5 in the Sky Sports game and 4.0 in the Sun Dream Team), also has a trip to Swansea on his agenda before the winter wildcard kicks in and could be worth a punt for those Fantasy managers frustrated by the recent displays of Olivier Giroud and Romelu Lukaku in their three-man frontlines.

Christian Eriksen

A peripheral figure in the league under Andre Villas-Boas, Eriksen has been earmarked as key to Tim Sherwood’s new-look attacking approach. After arriving from Ajax at the end of the summer transfer window, Eriksen was afforded 90 minutes just once by Villas-Boas as the former Tottenham boss chopped and changed personnel with a frustrating regularity.

Since the Portuguese’s departure, Eriksen’s Fantasy prospects have taken a shot in the arm. Installed as a central midfield playmaker in Sherwood’s 4-4-2, he’s played every minute of the new manager’s two matches in charge and, with set-piece duties also part of his repertoire, fired a superb free-kick in Thursday’s draw against West Brom to serve a reminder of the talents that produced 17 goals and 36 assists in his final two seasons in the Dutch top-flight.

Priced at just 7.1 in FPL (7.0 in the Sky Sports game and 4.0 in the Sun Dream Team), he has home games against Stoke and Palace in the next three to arrive on our radars in perfect time for the winter wildcard.

Lukas Podolski

In his only start of the season, the German international bagged a brace in Arsenal’s 3-1 win at Fulham back in Gameweek 2. Before August was out, however, Podolski was stuck in the Emirates treatment room after sustaining a hamstring injury on Champions League duties – a bitter blow for a player who had racked up 11 goals and 10 assists in just 1,986 minutes across his debut season.

Finally recovered, Podolski needed just 26 minutes at West Ham on Boxing Day to demonstrate his capabilities. A devastating substitute appearance produced a goal and assist as the Gunners turned around a one-goal deficit to send Big Sam’s side into the drop zone and propel themselves back to the summit.

As Olivier Giroud toils up top, with two goals from open play in 14 starts, Podolski’s explosive display at Upton Park has made a real claim for consideration as the Gunners lone striker for the weekend trip to Newcastle. Arsene Wenger could also shift Santi Cazorla to the centre and allow the German the left flank berth if he chooses to finally rest Mesut Ozil but, either way, Podolski’s eye for goal could be just as vital as Theo Walcott’s to his side’s title aspirations.

With home games against Cardiff, Fulham and Palace and a trip to Villa in the five games following the Newcastle clash, the schedule is certainly in favour of the fit-again striker, who would set you back just 8.1 in FPL, 8.7 in the Sky Sports game and 4.0 in the Sun Dream Team.

About The Author

paul

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  1. Rooney, Silva or Suarez for the armband?

    • 11 months, 29 days ago
    1. I'm looking to get Rooney in and if I did he would get the armband.

      • 11 months, 29 days ago
      • 11 months, 28 days ago
  2. Krul
    Distin Coleman ridgewell
    Wally silva hazard Ramsay
    Suarez negredo lukaku

    Bench : rav m, shaw , fonte , boruc

    I want Ramsay out and I badly want Rooney in. Any thoughts on which striker is best to get rid of? I'm leaving towards negredo because I don't think he will play but do I just risk it and take lukaku away? I would have to take a minus 4 if I took lukaku away and just my 2ft if it was negredo!

    Pls help guys thanks

    • 11 months, 29 days ago
  3. Physio room says Sturridge will be back in a week. So that means i
    have to think of somebody else other than Sterling for my Ramsey
    replacement

    • 11 months, 29 days ago
    1. they have jan 14

      • 11 months, 29 days ago
  4. Am I good to go

    Schezney

    Williams. Chester. Dawson

    Silva. Wally. (Vc) Barkley. Januzai

    Rooney (c). Suarez. Negredo

    • 11 months, 29 days ago
  5. has anyone opted for Eriksen or should i get Junuzai?

    • 11 months, 29 days ago
  6. I went for Januzai, should start with Valencia out

    • 11 months, 29 days ago
  7. this is it. Should i take a -4 hit to swap Ward Prowse for Januzai folks?

    • 11 months, 29 days ago
    1. I mean put in Januzai

      • 11 months, 29 days ago
  8. who should i put as my captain

    negredo, rooney,suarez, yaya or silva

    was thinking negredo as capt, rooney as vice in case negredo doesnt start

    thanks for your help guys.

    • 11 months, 29 days ago
  9. SILVA (C)

    Who is with me?

    • 11 months, 29 days ago
    1. Accidentally I am. Meant to switch to Rooney but forgot.

      • 11 months, 29 days ago
  10. whos got the best chance of picking up the most points

    shelvey ,mutch or ravel

    thanks

    • 11 months, 29 days ago
    1. I would think Mutch.

      • 11 months, 29 days ago
      1. Mutch based on *rate my team*

        • 11 months, 29 days ago
  11. Rooney has 1 goal in his last 500 minutes of Premier League football

    • 11 months, 29 days ago
      • 11 months, 29 days ago
  12. 1 minute... Here we go lock and load

    • 11 months, 29 days ago
    1. Go Negredo!!

      • 11 months, 29 days ago
  13. I wanna see some serious diving from utd's wingers today

    • 11 months, 29 days ago
  14. Sorry, but West Ham v West Brom is just, well, Meh.

    No offence to the supporters of these teams of course

    • 11 months, 29 days ago
  15. I meant to change my armband from Silva to Rooney but fell asleep and didn't do it - did I make a right balls up or will things be OK? Someone reassure me. :)

    • 11 months, 29 days ago
  16. Rest Ozil when he plays Newcastle away? A team who has beaten Utd,Tottenham,Chelsea and drew with Liverpool? Give up first place before the end of the year? Nah I don't think so. If Ozil isn't playing, he is injured or sick. He can always rest him for Cardiff at home.And the cup is not that important anyway, he doesn't need to field his best team vs Tottenham.

    • 11 months, 28 days ago
  17. Loving my Eriksen punt :D

    • 11 months, 28 days ago

Scout Picks

For Gameweek 17

  • Lloris
  • Zabaleta
  • Ivanovic
  • Cresswell
  • Sánchez
  • Eriksen
  • Y Touré
  • Downing
  • Bony
  • van Persie
  • Austin
  • Evans
  • Nasri
  • Carroll

Fixture Ticker

The Watchlist

Goalkeepers

Last updated: 19 Dec, 2014 1:25pm
Player Club Factors
Up Hart MCI A, Vs
Up McGregor HUL B, Vs
Up Guzan AVL B, Vs
Up Green QPR B, Vs
Down Pantilimon SUN A
Up De Gea MUN A
No Change Fabianski SWA B
Up Adrián WHM B

Defenders

Last updated: 19 Dec, 2014 12:51am
Player Club Factors
Up Zabaleta MCI B, Vs, Rest
Down Ivanovic CHE B
Down Baines EVE C
Up Yun QPR C, Vs, £
Up Davies TOT C, Vs, Rest, £
Up Janmaat NEW B, VsX, Inj
No Change Cresswell WHM B
Down Hutton AVL B, Vs, £, Sus
No Change Taylor SWA B
Up Chester HUL C, Vs, VsX
Up Evans MUN B, Vs

Midfielders

Last updated: 17 Dec, 2014 1:40pm
Player Club Factors
Up Hazard CHE A, VsX
Down Sánchez ARS A, VsX, OoP
Up Y Touré MCI B, Vs, Sus
Up Downing WHM A
Up Eriksen TOT A, Vs
Up Nasri MCI A, Vs, Inj
Down Sigurdsson SWA B, Vs
Up Sterling LIV C, Vs
No Change Bolasie CPL A, VsX
Down Oscar CHE B, VsX
Up Fer QPR B, Vs
Up Sissoko NEW B, Vs, VsX

Forwards

Last updated: 20 Dec, 2014 10:12am
Player Club Factors
No Change Diego Costa CHE B
No Change Bony SWA A, Vs
Up Austin QPR A, Vs
Up van Persie MUN A
Up Kane TOT B, Vs, Rest, £
No Change Sakho WHM B, Rest, £
Up Giroud ARS B, VsX
Up Benteke AVL B, Vs
Down Rooney MUN B, Inj, OoP
Up Carroll WHM B
Up Cissé NEW A, Vs
No Change Pellè SOT C

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

The Suspension Tightrope

Player Team YC
Cazorla ARS 4
Oxlade-Chamberlain ARS 4
Agbonlahor AVL 4
Boyd BRN 4
Marney BRN 4
Chamakh CPL 4
Besic EVE 4
Naismith EVE 4
Chester HUL 4
Robertson HUL 4
Moore LEI 4
Vardy LEI 4
Balotelli LIV 4
Gerrard LIV 4
Skrtel LIV 4
Kompany MCI 4
Mangala MCI 4
Y Touré MCI 4
Fer QPR 4
Clyne SOT 4
Mane SOT 4
Mame Biram Diouf STO 4
Shawcross STO 4
Wilson STO 4
Gómez SUN 4
O'Shea SUN 4
Ki SWA 4
Williams SWA 4
Mason TOT 4
Dorrans WBA 4
Tomkins WHM 4

“Last year was quite open for me, I was in good positions, but I was quite lucky because I was getting free kicks and some penalties as well.”

Yaya Toure Manchester City midfielder