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?

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. I'm looking to get Rooney in and if I did he would get the armband.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      • 2 years, 1 month 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

    • 2 years, 1 month 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

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. they have jan 14

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
  4. Am I good to go

    Schezney

    Williams. Chester. Dawson

    Silva. Wally. (Vc) Barkley. Januzai

    Rooney (c). Suarez. Negredo

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
  5. has anyone opted for Eriksen or should i get Junuzai?

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
  6. I went for Januzai, should start with Valencia out

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
  7. this is it. Should i take a -4 hit to swap Ward Prowse for Januzai folks?

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. I mean put in Januzai

      • 2 years, 1 month 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.

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
  9. SILVA (C)

    Who is with me?

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. Accidentally I am. Meant to switch to Rooney but forgot.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
  10. whos got the best chance of picking up the most points

    shelvey ,mutch or ravel

    thanks

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. I would think Mutch.

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
      1. Mutch based on *rate my team*

        • 2 years, 1 month ago
  11. Rooney has 1 goal in his last 500 minutes of Premier League football

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
    1. *Apologies, 400

      • 2 years, 1 month ago
  12. 1 minute... Here we go lock and load

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
      • 2 years, 1 month ago
  13. I wanna see some serious diving from utd's wingers today

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
  14. Sorry, but West Ham v West Brom is just, well, Meh.

    No offence to the supporters of these teams of course

    • 2 years, 1 month 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. :)

    • 2 years, 1 month 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.

    • 2 years, 1 month ago
  17. Loving my Eriksen punt 😀

    • 2 years, 1 month ago

Scout Picks

Gameweek 25

  • Forster
  • Janmaat
  • Williams
  • Alderweireld
  • Wijnaldum
  • André Ayew
  • Dele Alli
  • Roberto Firmino
  • Sánchez
  • Aguero
  • Kane
  • Moreno
  • Arnautovic
  • Giroud

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Goalkeepers

Last updated: 26 Jan, 2016 10:34pm
Player Club Factors
Up Hennessey CPL C, Vs, £
Down Butland STO C, Vs
Up Schmeichel LEI A
Up Forster SOT A
Up Courtois CHE B, Vs
Up Fabianski SWA A
No Change Boruc BOU B
No Change De Gea MUN B
No Change Cech ARS B, VsX
Up Foster WBA C, VsX

Defenders

Last updated: 3 Feb, 2016 9:04am
Player Club Factors
Up Ivanovic CHE A, Vs
Up van Dijk SOT A
Down Baines EVE B, Vs
Up Dann CPL C, Vs
Up Cresswell WHM B, Vs
Up Williams SWA A
No Change Dawson WBA C
Down Alderweireld TOT B
No Change Daniels BOU A, £
No Change Fuchs LEI A
No Change Van Aanholt SUN A, VsX
Down Bellerín ARS C, VsX
Down Smalling MUN C
Down Moreno LIV C, Vs
Down Johnson STO B
Down Kolarov MCI B, Rest, Inj

Midfielders

Last updated: 3 Feb, 2016 11:14pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Payet WHM B, Vs
Up Roberto Firmino LIV A, Vs, OoP
Up Dele Alli TOT A, Inj
Up Barkley EVE C, Vs
Up André Ayew SWA A, OoP
Up Eriksen TOT A
Down Ozil ARS C, VsX
No Change Mahrez LEI C, VsX
Up Sánchez ARS C, VsX, Inj
Up Antonio WHM A, Vs, Rest, £
No Change Willian CHE B, Vs, Inj
No Change Wijnaldum NEW B
Down Arnautovic STO C, Vs, Inj
Up Silva MCI C
No Change Johnson SUN B, VsX

Forwards

Last updated: 3 Feb, 2016 11:14pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Aguero MCI A
No Change Kane TOT B
Up Vardy LEI C
Up Diego Costa CHE A, Vs, Inj
No Change Ighalo WAT C, VsX
Up Rooney MUN A
Down Lukaku EVE C, Vs
No Change Giroud ARS B, VsX, Rest
Up Afobe BOU A, £
Down Austin SOT B, Inj

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
Player Team YC
Colback NEW 9
Byram WHM 9
Lucas LIV 8
Jones SUN 8
Yacob WBA 8
Westwood AVL 7
Diego Costa CHE 7
Huth LEI 7
Can LIV 7
Mangala MCI 7
Shelvey NEW 7
Pieters STO 7
Dele Alli TOT 7
Dier TOT 7
Noble WHM 7

“All players will blank a few times during the season. When almost all do it in the same Gameweek, it is tough to take, but that's just the dark side of probability.”

Abreu 42 Community regular