So another round down… most of you wildcarded, some brave souls held on. Big names missed out on scores this week, with Rooney, Bale, Silva and Adebayor screwing a lot of teams over!
Swansea and West Ham kicked us off, where Graham, Michu and Rangel found the back of the net. Rangel slotted a cool 14 points for those starting him in their back line, while Michu carved 10 and Graham 8. West Ham looked fairly flat and tried to be as defensive as they could, starting Demel on the right side of the midfield. It didn’t work though, and as was highlighted, their physical game style crumbled around Swansea‘s tika-taka passing game.
Everton and Aston Villa looked to be a good game, with plenty of unique options in action. Fellaini, Pienaar and Baines didn’t disappoint, linking up fantastically. Jelavic also found his groove again, slotting home an emphatic strike. If you were someone who was anticipating Villa to be semi-competitive this year, you- like me, would be bitterly disappointed. N’Zogbia and Bent crawled to 2 again, showed that no Villa player looks to be a good buy at this stage, even with their easy draw. I for one am dropping them both this week.
The main talking points of the week came from Man Utd v Fulham. On the starting sheet, RVP was preferred to Rooney, causing a blow to many people who had captained the latter. Duff shocked the Red Devils when he swept home a Ruiz cross, to get the scoring underway in the 3rd minute, for his second goal in as many games. From there, United scored thrice, through RVP‘s thunderous finish and Kagawa and Rafael’s opportunistic goals. Rafael looked particularly dangerous. Vidic and De Gea had a horror mix up which resulted in an own goal, which would have been painful to watch for their owners. The main talking point however came from Rooney’s leg gash, where he is expected to miss 4 weeks. All aboard the RVP express!
Norwich and QPR also played. Apparently it was a draw or something. Meh. For those who had Ruddy between the sticks you would have been stoked with his penalty save, but fuming at the consequential goal from the rebound. Cissè looked dangerous, as did Hoilett, but these two teams really don’t provide much fantasy value (especially with QPR’s next three weeks. Talk about a shocking run.)
Southampton played Wigan in another ‘meh’ game, where Wigan ended up trumping them 2-0. Di Santo and Kone scored, and given that they are both vying for the same position expect plenty of rotation in the coming weeks. Southampton opted to start with Lambert this time, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a 0-goal outing.
Tottenham hosted West Brom in a game that really should have provided AVB with his first three points at the spur’s helm. Unfortunately for him, although they went ahead through a lucky Assou-Ekotto deflection, Tottenham had a horror show in the last minute of the game and failed to clear the ball three times. Morrison obliged, and equalised. Serious questions must now be posed, as with Bale, van der Vaart and Sigurdsson in their midfield, they are not short of creativity, and should really be winning more games. Expect Adebayor to start next week.
Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the table with an assured performance v Newcastle. The Blues defence actually looked sturdy, while Hazard and Torres turned it on again. If you have Mata, get rid of him. No game this weekend and playing with no confidence on an empty tank (He’s been playing competitive football straight for about 12 months now. He needs a rest.) I’m holding Hazard and Torres this weekend, and I think you all should to, with a fixture against QPR in GW4 to look forward to. For Newcastle, Ba looked more dangerous than Cisse, while Tiote again missed out surrounding transfer speculation linking him to Arsenal.
Stoke City held Arsenal to another 0-0 draw. For Gunners fans it’s hardly the start to the season they were looking for, but with 2 clean sheets registered they are going in the right direction. A defence that was peppered continually last year has been solid so far, and with attacking players such as Cazorla and Podolski coming into their team expect them to gel eventually and start putting results on paper. They had 70% possession after all- the chances will come. Stoke continued to be solid, with Kightly surprising me and looking the most dangerous.
Liverpool and Man City faced off in the last game of the round… and what a belter it was. Skrtel got things underway with a booming header. Why Kolarov was left marking him is beyond me, but anyway… Man City replied through Toure, who is looking very very dangerous. Suarez finally put his foot through one and bended in a beautiful free kick, before Skrtel undid his earlier good work with a shocking backpass even a Port Adelaide player could have made falling to the feet of Tevez. For City fans, they should be upset with their manager. Changing formation to a 3-5-2 after winning the league playing a 4-4-2/4-2-3-1 is an odd choice, and one can only assume it was made to perform better at European level. Regardless, Nasri was woeful, Balotelli anonymous, K.Toure awful and De Jong fouling everybody as usual. Tevez again showed why you should really have him in your side, while for Liverpool Suarez created huge chances and Borini looked lively. Imagine if Suarez could finish…. he would be a world-class striker.
Anyway, how did you go? Personally I got 69 points (dinner for two), which I’m happy with given that only one defender registered a clean sheet and my captain Bale scored two points.
Lord: Hazard, Torres, Tevez, Ruddy
Overall Rank: 140,380
Vent: Bale captain killed me. If i stuck with Hazard I’d be about 20 points better off.