January
01

There’s just over two hours left until the first Gameweek of the calendar year gets underway. As always, we’ve come prepared for the occasion and roll out a trio of overlooked alternatives for your consideration, with an option for each of the three outfield positions considered as the winter wildcard looms large:

Steven Fletcher

Climbing off the bench at Cardiff last weekend, the Black Cats forward proved the catalyst for a late comeback that extended his side’s unbeaten run to four matches. Having been used somewhat sparingly over the festive period, Fletcher now looks set to return to the Sunderland starting line-up with the praise of manager Gus Poyet ringing in his ears:

“Fletch is key, he is a key player for us and we need to make sure that we give him more chances. He had one only against Everton and he couldn’t score, but then he had one and somehow – I don’t know how, still, he stretched himself to score the goal – so we need to put him in there many, many times so that he will score plenty of goals. I need to find the balance for him to have chances, yes, no doubt, and that’s what we are thinking about.”

Clearly, if Sunderland are to beat the drop, Fletcher looks pivotal to their fortunes. He’s scored 10+ in each of the last three Premier League campaigns and, with Jozy Altidore continuing to toil up front, the Scot’s predatory instincts are likely to make all the difference inside the opponents’ box.

At just 7.2 in Fantasy Premier League (FPL), (8.0 in the Sky Sports game and 3.0 in the Sun Dream Team) he is poised for a superb run of fixtures which could barely be kinder. Villa, Southampton and Stoke all roll up to the Stadium of Light and, with a trip to fellow-strugglers Fulham also on their short-term agenda, Fletcher may well be set to grab the goals that will help steer the Black Cats away from the drop zone.

Jesus Navas

The summer signing was slow in showing his talents for City since arriving from Sevilla. Navas managed just a single assist in the opening nine Gameweeks and, after a number of starts, looked a peripheral figure under Manuel Pellegrini, with his game time mainly consisting of appearances off the bench as the season unfolded.

Sergio Aguero’s calf injury has benefitted Navas’ prospects in the last few matches, though. With Edin Dzeko looking an unsuitable partner for Alvaro Negredo up top, Pellegrini seems to prefer a 4-5-1 formation, allowing the Spaniard more minutes on the right.

With David Silva sitting out the trip to Swansea due to suspension, Navas looks a key figure as City seek their fifth successive victory tomorrow lunchtime. A run of form which has harvested a goal or assist in his last four appearances is far more consistent than Samir Nasri, for example – the Frenchman has only managed to produce back-to-back attacking returns once this season. Such form could even afford Navas the chance to oust Nasri as a regular under Pellegrini, even when his side is injury and suspension free – at 8.2 in FPL (7.6 in the Sky Sports game and 4.0 in the Sun Dream Team) he may well be worth a gamble for those looking to roll the dice before assessing their options with the winter wildcard.

Antolin Alcaraz

An injury to Everton’s Phil Jagielka brings the Paraguayan into consideration as a short-term option. Alcaraz made his first start of the season against Southampton last weekend and, with the Toffees skipper expected to be sidelined for up to four weeks, his replacement looks poised to retain his role ahead of upcoming games against Stoke, Norwich and West Brom.

Certainly, if you are not a fan of doubling up in defence, then Alcaraz is likely not the man for you – Seamus Coleman is far and away the best option amongst Roberto Martinez’ defenders. If you’re on the lookout for a budget route into a backline with eight clean sheets to their name already, though, Alcaraz (at just 4.3 in FPL, 5.3 in the Sky Sports game and 2.0 in the Sun Dream Team) could be worth mulling over whilst Jagielka sits in the Toffees treatment room.

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paul

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  1. Giroud defo out?

    My H2H did Rooney > Giroud for a hit :shock:

    • 10 months, 1 day ago
    1. Wow.

      Dumb move

      • 10 months, 1 day ago
      1. You reckon Rooney will play SZ?

        • 10 months, 1 day ago
    2. Yes!

      • 10 months, 1 day ago
  2. Kolarov is the only thing getting me through this hangover :)

    • 10 months, 1 day ago
  3. New Article Posted
  4. azpilicueta now nailed on ?

    • 10 months, 1 day ago
  5. Come on the Swans :D

    • 10 months, 1 day ago
    • 10 months, 1 day ago
    1. It only started in GW13. Could happen to anyone!

      • 10 months, 1 day ago
  6. Dean Saunders = tramp who got lucky

    • 10 months, 1 day ago
  7. Have you tried moving the mouse cursor quickly from one player score to the other, so the mouse over info just slides to the next player? Just love that.

    #kickoffthegamealready

    • 10 months, 1 day ago
  8. C'mon Yaya !

    • 10 months, 1 day ago
  9. Safely say i'm through round 3, with Fellaini in his midfield.

    • 10 months, 1 day ago
  10. Hey,
    Thinking about playing my wildcard today,
    I'm a transfer junkie so it could backfire if I pick up injuries or players bomb,
    my teams is:
    Mannone
    coleman, koscielny, bardsley, (collins, turner)
    walcott, hazard, cabaye, sterling, (silva)
    rooney, suarez, negredo

    Thinking of collins to shaw or nastasic,
    negredo to soldado,
    mannone to szcesny,
    turner to ward

    would anyone make these transfers now or hold off?

    • 10 months, 1 day ago
  11. Hernandez hamstring

    • 10 months, 1 day ago
  12. Bye bye MCI clean sheet :D

    • 10 months, 1 day ago
  13. Confirmed liverpool team:

    Liverpool FC ‏@LFC 42s
    Confirmed #LFC team v @hullcityteam: Mignolet, Johnson, Cissokho, Skrtel, Agger, Lucas, Henderson, Coutinho, Aspas, Sterling, Suarez

    Confirmed #LFC subs v @hullcityteam: Jones, Rossiter, Kelly, Toure, Moses, Alberto, Gerrard

    • 10 months, 1 day ago

Scout Picks

For Gameweek 9

  • Fabianski
  • Baines
  • Dawson
  • Bertrand
  • Sánchez
  • Sterling
  • Eriksen
  • Tadic
  • Pellè
  • Aguero
  • Berahino
  • Vlaar
  • Chadli
  • Lukaku

From the Community…

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Articles

Fixture Ticker

The Watchlist

Goalkeepers

Last updated: 28 Oct, 2014 7:32am
Player Club Factors
No Change Forster SOT A
Up Adrián WHM B, Vs
Up Courtois CHE B, Vs
No Change Howard EVE B, Vs
Up Schmeichel LEI C, Vs
No Change Szczesny ARS C
No Change Lloris TOT B
No Change Foster WBA C
No Change Guzan AVL C
No Change Krul NEW C

Defenders

Last updated: 28 Oct, 2014 8:43am
Player Club Factors
No Change Baines EVE A, Vs
Up Ivanovic CHE B, Vs
No Change Bertrand SOT A
No Change Chambers ARS C, £
Up Cresswell WHM B, Vs
No Change Kaboul TOT B
No Change Vlaar AVL C
Up Alcaraz EVE C, Vs, Rest, £
No Change Dawson WBA B
Up Trippier BRN B, Vs
Up Moore LEI C, Vs
Up Shaw MUN C
Down Lovren LIV C, Vs
No Change Taylor SWA B, VsX

Midfielders

Last updated: 28 Oct, 2014 9:14am
Player Club Factors
Up Sánchez ARS A, Vs
No Change Tadic SOT A
Down Sterling LIV A
No Change Di María MUN A
No Change Sigurdsson SWA B, VsX
Up Hazard CHE B
Up Mane SOT B
Up Downing WHM B, Vs, £
No Change Chadli TOT B, Inj
Down Fábregas CHE B
No Change Eriksen TOT A, Vs
No Change Silva MCI B
Up Moses STO B, £
No Change Bolasie CPL B
Down Henderson LIV B

Forwards

Last updated: 28 Oct, 2014 8:44am
Player Club Factors
No Change Aguero MCI A
No Change Pellè SOT A
No Change Welbeck ARS B, Inj
Up Berahino WBA A, £
Down Diego Costa CHE A, VsX, Inj
Down Sakho WHM A, Vs, Inj, £
Up Lukaku EVE B, Vs
Up Bony SWA A, VsX
Up van Persie MUN B
Down Ulloa LEI C, Vs
Down Cissé NEW A, Vs, 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

The Suspension Tightrope

Player Team YC
Fábregas CHE 4
Naismith EVE 4
Pellè SOT 4
Cattermole SUN 4
Gardner WBA 4
Reid WHM 4
Diego Costa CHE 3
Jedinak CPL 3
Barry EVE 3
Huddlestone HUL 3
Robertson HUL 3
Moore LEI 3
Moreno LIV 3
Fernandinho MCI 3
Mangala MCI 3
Y Touré MCI 3
van Persie MUN 3
Colback NEW 3
Janmaat NEW 3
Dunne QPR 3
Henry QPR 3
Schneiderlin SOT 3
Mame Biram Diouf STO 3
Shawcross STO 3
Wickham SUN 3
Taylor SWA 3
Rose TOT 3
Dawson WBA 3
Dorrans WBA 3

“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