We haven’t looked at the world of POD in a while, but with Wildcard season amongst us a lot of attention has been on the popular and inform players. As you can imagine. But it can sometimes lead to a little bit of similarity in our teams, and we should be trying to look outside of the box and to the less popular picks so we can get a jump on our opponents. Today I’ll be looking at some players you can trade in right now, but also a few crystal ball picks for the second half of the season.
Azpilicueta (5.3m) – 2.8%
Chelsea’s defence has really tightened up since just before Christmas, about the time Jose said they would! 4 clean sheets in 6 games is the sort of form we’re looking for when drafting in new defensive talent. We need to look for some value though because the likes of Terry and Cole may be a little rich for some of our team structures… How about Azpilicueta? He’s played consistently for some time now keeping Cole out of the team and even playing out of position on the left to do so. Now that Ivanovic is out for a little while he can go back to his natural position on the right which must be more comfortable. It will be interesting to see what Jose does when Ivanovic can come back. Is Cole playing well enough to keep going on the left or does Azpilicueta go back to playing out of position? Or do they both play and Ivanovic misses out? Either way he’s a great POD, and at a great price for a player in one of the best defences in the EPL. Until Dave Luiz pokes his nose back in there…
Dembele (5.1m) - 3.0%
Adebayor has come out in the past couple of days and basically called him out as being a selfish player, which in isolation is hilariously ironic, but there is some truth to it. Dembele has some rare strengths for a central midfielder, he has a supernatural dribbling ability that you don’t find very often for his position. It can often lead him into dead ends but can also create some very good chances, which he often takes on himself from distance. When a teammate comes out and does what Adebayor has done, it can lead to two very different outcomes. The recipient resents it and has a sook. Or they take it on board and become a better team player. I’m backing the latter. He’s spent far too much time at Spurs trying to find his place there to throw it away now that he is a key part of it, and every article and interview I’ve seen with him makes me think he’s a pretty grounded bloke. He’s getting regular games now in the post AVB era with his never ending rotation so has the chance to take off. 5.1m…
Noone (4.3m) - 0.1%
If you remember all the way back to the start of the season I did a little piece on Cardiff and some players to look out for. Noone was one of them, although it was with the disclaimer that he got regular game time. Last season he had a great season, albeit a brief one. He scored 9 goals and 7 assists from just 25 starts (plus 6 subs), which is a phenomenal strike rate for a winger. As it turned out, this season he has got zero regular game time up until the end of December. He’s done himself no disservice so far and you could see some form building, so much so there are whispers of a seat to Rio. In the game he played against Man City last GW he was easily Cardiff’s best player in a 4-2 loss. He was waltzing past some very good defenders like they were under 8’s players, and topped it off with a beauty of a goal. He’s bargain bin value giving you some cash to upgrade elsewhere and has a bright future ahead of him.
Bony (7.3m) – 3.7%
I’ll get this one right eventually! Swansea are struggling right now, anyone who’s watched them play recently knows that. Their one shining light last week was Bony. Granted, Spurs’ defence isn’t as good as it was under AVB but Bony showed a lot of strength and speed throughout scoring one and nearly snapping the crossbar in another attempt from half a kilometre from goal. Why have I given him yet another shout out? Fulham (H), West Ham (A), Cardiff (H), Stoke (A), Liverpool (A), Palace (H). If Swansea are going to salvage anything from this season it will need to be during this run of games, and will be on the back of Bony.
Watch out for…
Jelavic (6.9m) - 0.9%
Jelavic arrived in the EPL with a massive bang scoring 11 goals in 16 games in all comps back at the start of 2012, in a team that was struggling for goals at times. Last season however saw a tweak in tactics which marginalised Jelavic and greatly decreased his potential output. Fellaini was pushed higher up the field with the direct result being the focal point in the final third shifted to the big Fella and away from far more creative players who brought Jelavic into the game more and provided better chances. Cue a perceived drop off in form and confidence. He was then pushed aside this season to accommodate the Manimal, Lukaku, and never really got the chance to re-establish himself. The few minutes here and there off the bench has definitely shown he still has a massive hunger but unfortunately it’s not been enough for his career prospects and he moved on to Hull City. If anyone has seen Hull play, their style is actually quite attractive to the eye and is a style that would suit a good striker being fed good chances. There’s not many more purer finishers than Jelavic when he’s on song and I reckon he will suit what Steve Bruce is trying to do over there. Keep an eye out, if he scores one he’ll score a dozen.
Carroll (7.2m) – 0.3%
No, I’m not crazy! If Big Sam had the choice of any striker in the world to fit his style of play and to be part of a relegation dogfight, I reckon it would be Andy Carroll. For all the joking about his transfer to Liverpool and his inability to get on the park through endless injuries, don’t forget this bloke can play a bit. His style takes us back to the traditional English number 9… Big, strong, courageous, inspirational and with a massive heart for the fight. Andy has been inching his way back to full fitness appearing late in both of West Ham’s last 2 games and it won’t be long before he’s in the starting line up. When he is, he’ll be the focal point in a team built around him and will be fed some delicious crosses from the likes of Jarvis and Downing. He’s too good to not go on a purple patch at some time this season.
Zaha (5.4m) - 1.2%
Some serious crystal ballin! Zaha can’t stay at Man Utd, he just can’t. I don’t know what he’s done to annoy Mr Moyes but he’s as close to getting a game for them as I am. He has to go out on loan during this window and when he does, you just know he’s going to pop. A lot will depend on who he actually goes to however… A team like Newcastle I reckon would be a perfect fit and he will flourish there but there’s strong rumours of Cardiff which would be pretty interesting as he might be The Man there. He’s awkwardly priced but has massive upside and a lot to prove if he can get on the park somewhere.
So there you go… There’s some players to at least put some thought into during the second half of the season. Not all of them will come off but it’s the risk we take in FPL. Remember… High risk, high reward!