When picking our teams we always hit little impasses, little player v player duals that we can’t decide over. Over the next few weeks we will have a look at a few of the best, starting with Shawcross v Hangeland.
Both are 5.0 and seemingly bargains but let’s delve a bit deeper.
Both Fulham and Stoke are generally fairly tight at the back. Last season Fulham kept 11 clean sheets compared to Stokes 9… but Stoke were playing in Europe and their small squad didn’t seem to cope with the extra games. Tony Pulis game style generally lends itself to tight encounters and clean sheets especially at home.
Both Clubs have good reliable keepers. Shawcross has the imposing Huth partnering him at Stoke while Hangeland has the slightly speculative Senderos partnering him at Fulham (speculative thanks to Drogba). Fulham have a kindish start to their fixtures, Playing Norwich and West Brom at home, West Ham and Wigan away with 2 tough games against the Manchester clubs in between. Stoke have a tough start playing all off Arsenal, City and Chelsea in the first 5 weeks. So Hangeland has the edge in fixtures, but how about the players themselves?
Shawcross is 24 with seemingly his best years ahead of him, last season he started 36 games scoring 118 points. He scored 2 goals and made 2 assists while picking up 8 yellow cards. As I said earlier Stokes clean sheet potential was slightly down because of Europe.
Hangeland is 31 and probably heading towards the twilight of his career. Last year he started 38 games scoring 103 points. He didn’t score or assist and picked up 7 yellow cards. Interestingly he scored 6 goals the year before and was a huge goal threat…. Did he have an off year or is the goal threat gone with age? This decision will tell us whether he is a sleeper or on the decline.
So in a tight call I’m slightly leaning towards Shawcross in this decision, purely on age, Hangeland has been a good fantasy prospect and does have nice fixtures but if his goal threat has gone, so will he be from my team!
If you have any more player X vs player Y’s you are struggling with post them here and i’ll try to get to them at some point