We switch formations this weekend and turn away from the usual three-man backline to roll out a 4-3-3. We’re backing the top three teams heavily for Gameweek 22 – Arsenal and City supply us with a trio of players apiece, whilst we double up on Chelsea, with United’s two main forwards remaining on the sidelines for Sunday’s clash at the Bridge:
John Ruddy gets the nod for Norwich’s home clash with Hull. Steve Bruce’s side roll up to Carrow Road having scored just three goals in their last six road trips, suggesting the Canaries could well be on course for a first shut-out in five league matches.
Per Mertesacker is our Arsenal defender of choice as Fulham make their way to the Emirates. The Gunners have conceded a single goal in the last six in front of their own fans and, with two goals, an assist and 15 bonus points already accrued, the big German will be looking for his third home set of double figures against Rene Meulensteen’s strugglers.
We’re calling up cult favourite Aleksandar Kolarov into the Picks as City prepare for the visit of Cardiff. Having been used as a sub for the midweek cup win over Blackburn, we reckon the left-back will return to the starting line-up to face a Bluebirds side that has drawn blanks in three of the last four – with a goal or assist in four of his last six starts, the Serbian’s explosive potential is obvious.
A home game against United won’t deter us from bringing in John Terry. With Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie ruled out once again for the visitors, Chelsea’s chances of a fifth clean sheet in six have taken a turn for the better – like Mertesacker, his aerial threat in the opponents’ box has already helped him find the net twice.
Joel Ward is our fourth defender as Palace welcome Stoke to Selhurst Park tomorrow. Tony Pulis will be desperate to get one over on his former club and, with three clean sheets in five at home, the Eagles look a decent sheet for defensive returns tomorrow. Furthermore, Ward has already been handed a share of corner kick duties in recent weeks, boosting his assist potential.
Mesut Ozil’s superb home displays bring the Arsenal playmaker into consideration. The German has produced four sets of double-figure hauls in seven Emirates appearances this season and looks poised to plunder the points against a porous opposition defence that has shipped 20 goals in the last six Gameweeks.
Eden Hazard’s current run of form cannot be overlooked ahead of a home clash against United. The Belgian seems to be improving as the season unfolds and has now scored or assisted in five of the last six Gameweeks for Jose Mourinho’s side. Similarly to Ozil, he’s on the lookout for a fifth set of double figures in front of his own fans and is in the mood to torment David Moyes’ side from start to finish on Sunday afternoon.
Passed fit by Manuel Pellegrini earlier today after missing the midweek cup replay with Blackburn, David Silva’s trickery may well prove the undoing of Cardiff tomorrow. The Spaniard has averaged 5.9 points per game at the Etihad so far and looks a likely contender to improve upon a run of consistent displays which have harvested a goal or assist in five of seven home appearances so far.
The overwhelming favourite in this week’s Captain Poll, Luis Suarez has earned 100 FPL points in just seven Anfield encounters already this season. The Liverpool talisman squares up to a Villa defence with a single clean sheet in eight league matches and, with sidekick Daniel Sturridge set for his first start since Gameweek 11, Paul Lambert’s outfit are in for a testing time of it tomorrow evening.
It’s rare to see the word “consistent” and Olivier Giroud in the same sentence, but the Arsenal frontman has started to string together a series of displays which are worthy of our attention. The Frenchman’s strike against Villa on Monday means he has scored in back-to-back league appearances for the first time since September and, with an assist also accrued over his last three, he’s picked up a bandwagon of his own this week. Priced at 8.6, Giroud looks a decent alternative for those who refuse to spend over 10.0 on Ozil.
There’s no doubt Sergio Aguero is the most explosive option up top for City but with Manuel Pellegrini admitting he’s uncertain whether to start the Argentine after a recent calf injury absence, we’re backing Alvaro Negredo as a safer option at home to Cardiff. The Spaniard has reached double figures only once this season but, like Silva, offers a real consistency at the Etihad, scoring in each of his last six starts in front of the City faithful.
Phil Bardsley warms the bench as Sunderland square up to Southampton at the Stadium of Light. With a couple of goals to his name already, the versatile full-back offers the best chance of attacking returns amongst a rearguard which has produced five clean sheets in the last 11 Gameweeks.
Our budget midfield option is Ki Sung-Yeung. The 4.8-priced Black Cats midfielder has justified our recent Watchlist faith by racking up two sets of double figures in the last four Gameweeks and he looks in fine form ahead of the Saints clash.
Swansea’s home game with Spurs brings Wilfried Bony onto the Scout Picks bench. The Ivorian bagged a brace against City in his last Liberty appearance and has now notched five times in his last four home starts.