Our refresh of the Watchlist rankings is rolled out once again this afternoon, with only four Gameweeks left to focus on. There are injuries to key midfielders and doubts surrounding a couple of heavy-hitting frontmen for us to ponder, whilst the double Gameweek 37 also plays a part in our assessment:
Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta maintain their lofty places as the schedule remains kind for City. West Brom, Villa and West Ham have all still to pay visit to the Etihad in the final four Gameweeks, whilst a trip to Palace will hold little fear, given the Eagles’ struggles in front of goal – leaving only a trip to Everton as a potential stumbling block.
Petr Cech and John Terry also look on course to finish the season strongly. The Chelsea pair racked up a twelfth clean sheet in 18 matches last week in a run that has seen them concede just six times – Terry’s goal threat and bonus appeal earns him the nod over any defensive team-mate, with three very favourable matches in the last four (SUN, NOR, car) still left to play.
Man United’s David De Gea and Patrice Evra are on the rise as United prepare for a run of five fixtures in the final four Gameweeks. An upcoming trip to Everton is perhaps a deterrent but three home fixtures in the following two (NOR, SUN & HUL) look promising for David Moyes’ side. Whilst the likes of Chris Smalling (4.7) is far cheaper than the 6.4-priced Frenchman, Evra’s attacking potential has ensured he sits 58 points clear of any team-mate thus far.
Arsenal duo Wojciech Szczesny and Laurent Koscielny have trips to Hull and Norwich on either side of home games against Newcastle and West Brom to finish the season. The latter has now dropped to 5.4 but returned to action in last night’s win over West Ham and has a mere 6% ownership compared to fellow centre-half Per Mertesacker’s 24%, suggesting he could be an ideal differential as the Gunners look to improve a run of just one clean sheet in the last eight Gameweeks.
The goal threat of Martin Skrtel, Steven Caulker and Seamus Coleman keeps them bubbling under. Certainly, of the three, Skrtel (5.9) has the kindest run-in – trips to Norwich and Palace in addition to a home clash with Newcastle amongst his final four. Caulker entertains Stoke before travelling to Sunderland and Newcastle, whilst Coleman’s 40% ownership may be contemplating their options as the Toffees face United, Southampton and City in the next three.
Sunderland’s Vito Mannone and Marcos Alonso are still in the mix. Granted, a trip to Chelsea this weekend is far from straightforward, but with three home fixtures against their fellow strugglers in the final three Gameweeks (CAR, mun & WBA, SWA), the Black Cats could still offer us defensive returns for the run-in, with Mannone’s price-tag (4.5) still very budget friendly for those shopping for a stopper.
Lower down, Ben Foster and Liam Ridgewell have home games with West Ham and Stoke on either side of a double Gameweek 37 which also includes a trip to Sunderland. Tottenham’s Younes Kaboul is available for just 4.6 and has a kind remaining schedule (FUL, sto, whm, AVL) – the downside is that Tim Sherwood’s side have failed to keep out their opponents in the last six.
Fulham budget duo David Stockdale and Jonny Heitinga (4.3 and 4.6) have home clashes with Hull and Palace still left to play. Stockdale has earned two clean sheets in five appearances since returning to the first XI and has picked up save points in each of those matches, whilst Heitinga has chipped in with a goal, assist and three bonus points in the last seven.
With Yaya Toure now sidelined for a couple of weeks, David Silva consolidates his spot at the summit ahead of City’s kind run-in. Three goals, four assists and 10 bonus points in his last six appearances highlight the little Spaniard’s scintillating form – his team-mate’s absence has made him the ideal replacement for many managers, with over 56,000 snapping him up since the previous weekend’s deadline.
Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen is another in-demand option. Priced at just 6.8, the Dane has thrived since returning to the first-team last month and has delivered four goals, a trio of assists and eight bonus points in his last four matches. Similarly to Silva, he’s becoming less of a differential as a result of the Toure exodus.
Up to third is Juan Mata, with United’s trio of above-mentioned home games looking very inviting. The Spaniard racked up 31 points in his last couple of appearances thanks to a move into “the hole” behind a lone forward, and with United’s main strikers still nursing injuries, Mata’s contribution could be key as David Moyes attempts to finish the season strongly.
Liverpool duo Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling offer options across the price brackets for the last four fixtures. The former’s spot-kick duties have come to his rescue time and again, whilst Jordan Henderson’s three-match ban suggests there’s less likelihood Sterling will be ousted from the starting line-up as Brendan Rodgers looks to make minimal changes to his settled side.
Aaron Ramsey shrugged off a muscle problem to climb off the bench and supply an assist in last night’s win over West Ham – at 7.0, the Welshman is the most budget-friendly route into the Gunners’ attacking options in the centre of the park.
Sunderland’s schedule over the final three Gameweeks is enough to keep Adam Johnson in our thoughts. The Black Cats wide man has managed just a goal and assist in his last four, but with a trio of home games against the porous defences of Cardiff, West Brom and Swansea, he cannot be overlooked as Gus Poyet’s side go for broke. Morgan Amalfitano is an in-form budget option at just 4.2. The Frenchman has scored or assisted in each of his last three, picking up 22 points, and may appeal to those looking for a cut-price midfielder with a double Gameweek 37 on their schedule.
Luis Suarez remains at number one, though Sergio Aguero is hot on his heels after returning from injury last weekend. A start against Sunderland this evening would be likely to elevate the latter in our estimations, bearing in mind City have an extra fixture yet to play. The Argentine’s average of 7.3 points per game is far superior to team-mate Edin Dzeko’s 4.6 ppg, though with Toure out and the fixtures looking very favourable, there’s a chance Manuel Pellegrini may go for two up top, keeping Dzeko – priced at just 7.4 – high in our rankings for now.
North London duo Emmanuel Adebayor and Olivier Giroud rise as a result of their remaining fixtures. As the interest in Tottenham team-mate Eriksen intensifies, Adebayor remains under the radar – at 7.7, he’s owned by just 5% of teams, and having bagged a 13-point haul in his previous home appearance, welcomes Fulham to the Lane this weekend. Giroud is undoubtedly frustrating to own but his goal and two bonus points against West Ham last night took him into fourth spot for strikers, with an average of 5.1 points per game over the season.
Romelu Lukaku drops down as Everton prepare to face United, Southampton and City in the next three Gameweeks. For those who snapped up the Belgian ahead of their double and are considering a transfer out, it’s worth noting that he’s already scored or assisted against all three of those sides this term, and with the Toffees in flourishing form, we keep him relatively high in this week’s Watchlist.
Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge are both injury worries. Whilst Sturridge has toiled in recent matches, scoring in two of his last seven, Rooney’s form has been on the rise – six goals in as many matches, with 50 points delivered over that period, signifies just how important his return to fitness could be for United and Fantasy managers alike. Now down to just 11.1, those three home games against Norwich, Sunderland and Hull look too tempting to ignore if he recovers from a toe problem.
Fulham’s Hugo Rodallega offers an option in the budget bracket. Priced at just 5.0, the Colombian has struck the winner in each of the last two Gameweeks and still has home games with Hull and Palace to help steer the Cottagers to safety.