Oh Lord, please have mercy on my FPL team. You have thundered down upon me with mighty vengeance these last two weeks. Please. I’m sick of scoring less than the average. Amen.
Let’s hope that helps, because I’m at my wits end. This week the same old selection issues will be a problem, those bloody CL and Europa League games disrupting our midweek. Who starts? Who gets rotated? Let’s take a look…
Man City v Sunderland
Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov; Milner, Barry, Y Toure, Nasri; Tevez, Aguero.
Loads of rotation risks here. Maicon and Richards are out so Zab keeps RB, while Kolarov looks set for LB given Clichy’s midweek involvement. Milner didn’t feature, and Nasri was subbed off after 50 minutes so they should be fresh. Silva played a full game, and could miss out. Tevez didn’t feature at all so he looks nailed on for a start! Toure also played a full game and could be rested in favour of Rodwell. Lescott has missed the last two games in favour of Nastasic, and should be cherry ripe to slot into the pairing this saturday.
Mignolet; Gardner, Bramble, O’Shea, Rose; Johnson, Larsson, Colback, McClean; Sessegnon; Fletcher.
Same as usual for Sunderland, although Bardsley is in contention after playing 45 minutes in a friendly, although I don’t think he’ll be risked just yet. Cuellar is set to miss as well, as MON is forced to play with the same makeshift backline that has been so tight over the past few weeks.
Chelsea v Norwich
Cech; Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Mikel, Oscar, Hazard, Mata; Torres.
The usual from Chelsea. Lampard’s time has been used sparingly this year, so I expect Ramires to continue playing deep where he has played well the last few games. Ivanovic may not be as nailed on at RB as people think, with a home clash against cellar dwellars Norwich a perfect opportunity to introduce Azpilicueta to Stamford Bridge.
Ruddy; Martin, Turner, Barnett, Garrido; Snodgrass, Howson, Surman, Johnson; Jackson, Holt.
Bassong is very close, but is set to miss, so Turner gets the chance to redeem himself after a terrible performance against Liverpool. Pilkington is also very close, but I think he’ll be afforded a substitute performance as a precaution- It’s not like they have any hope in this game anyway. Holt will start after his last bench appearances.
Swansea v Reading
Vorm; Rangel, Williams, Chico, Davies; Ki, Britton, Michu; Dyer, Graham, Hernandez.
No new injury worries for the Swans, fresh off their grand final glory. Wait what? Ki and Britton could possibly make way for De Guzman, who was dropped for the first time last week, while Routledge will be itching to get another chance after being dropped unluckily- Hernandez and Dyer will be feeling the heat to perform.
McCarthy; Cummings, Mariappa, Gorkss, Shorey; Kebe, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff; Hunt, Pogrebnyak.
McCarthy will continue between the big sticks, while Cummings should get the nod again over Gunter. Guthrie was dropped last week and that trend should continue this week, with Hunt being handed a start alongside the Pog. The exciting McCleary will probably start from the bench too.
West Brom v QPR
Foster; Tamas, McAuley, Olsson, Popov; Morrison, Yacob, Mulumbu, Dorrans; Long; Lukaku.
Tamas is the only person who is capable of filling in at fullback, given Reid is out as well as Jones. Popov will probably hold Ridgwell at bay, while McAuley is in doubt but should play. Lukaku seems to start only in home fixtures, so for that trend to continue Long drops in the hole and Morrison plays as a false winger. Gera could usurp Dorrans, while Odemwingie is back from suspension.
Cesar; Onuoha, Mbia, Nelsen, Hill; Wright-Phillips, Granero, Faurlin, Park; Hoilett; Zamora.
Cisse tends not to start in away matches, and leaves a spot in the hole for either Hoilett or Taarabt. I’m suspicious of the latter’s fitness, but either could start there. The main problem for QPR is in the fullback area. They are being forced to play Onuoha and Hill their, and essentially have 4 CB’s across the back 4. If Odemwingie starts, he will love it. As will Morrison. Alternatively, Hoilett and Taarabt could both start, at the expense of Wright-Phillips or Park. QPR are in strife…and it’ll only get deeper this weekend.
Wigan v Everton
Al Habsi; Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa; Boyce, McArthur, McCarthy, Beausejour; Di Santo, Maloney, Kone.
The usual from Wigan, with Alcaraz the only doubt. They haven’t had all of their defensive unit fit this year, so when they do, it’ll be interesting to see who drops to the bench. Kone is keeping Boselli out the side, while Di Santo will continue to partner him. Maloney will play Moses‘ role as he has done all season…He’s on my watch list!
Howard; Coleman, Heitinga, Jagielka, Baines; Mirallas, Osman, Neville, Pienaar; Fellaini; Jelavic.
Fairly stock standard again from the Toffee’s, with Hibbert still sideline, meaning Coleman can continue his impressive vein of form. Osman will continue to play in the centre instead of out wide, while Gibson is still battling a thigh complaint. Naismith is a doubt too, but I presume he’ll feature from the bench later in the match.
West Ham v Arsenal
Jaaskelainen; Demel, Tomkins, Collins, O’Brien; Noble, Diame, Nolan; Vaz Te, Carroll, Jarvis.
Tomkins should feature in place of Reid, who was subbed out of the first half of the match v QPR. O’Brien was also subbed off and will be monitored- McCartney is the obvious replacement there. Noble may surrender his position to Benayoun, who knows the Gunners fairly well having spent the last season there on loan. Carroll is ready to play after featuring after the break for the Hammers last week, and Allardyce will be keen to exploit Arsenal’s susceptibility to set pieces.
Mannone; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Ramsey, Arteta, Cazorla; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho, Podolski.
Mannone starts as Szczesny is still injured. Mertesacker will start over Koscielny after his horror show last week. They’ll need him to help deal with the physicality of Carroll. I’ve been hearing twhispers (twitter whispers -check out my cool guy lingo), that Coquelin and Walcott are suffering from a virus. This’ll mean Ramsey starts in the midfield, while the Ox is nailed on if that is true. Gervinho will keep Giroud on the bench, largely because he knows what football is.
Southampton v Fulham
Gazzaniga; Clyne, Hooiveld, Fonte, Fox; Schneiderlin, Davis, Ramirez; Rodriguez, Lambert, Lallana.
Gazzaniga seems to be favoured over the veteran Davis between the sticks. Hooiveld is fit after limping off a few weeks back, and Yoshida should be the man to make way. Rodriguez might keep his spot over Puncheon, while club captain Lallana will man the other wing.
Schwarzer; Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise; Duff, Baird, Sidwell, Ruiz; Rodallega, Petric.
The usual stuff from Fulham, with the only uncertainties appearing up front and on the left flank. Ruiz started the last game there, but Kacaniklic is itching to start and Richardson will be returning to fitness. Berbatov is likely to miss, so Rodallega is handed another start. Alternatively, Ruiz could drop into the hole ahead of Rod, and Richardson/Kacaniklic start on the left.
Liverpool v Stoke City
Reina; Wisdom, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson; Sahin, Allen, Sterling; Suso, Gerrard, Suarez.
Last week we saw Rogers hand debuts to Wisdom and Suso, while Sahin looks like maintaining his spot as Shelvey still misses. Gerrard started as a false no 9 and it saw a return of 5 goals for the Reds…Whether they maintaing this outlook against a physical Stoke remains to be seen, but it certainly worked last week. Why fix what’s not broken?
Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson; Whelan, Nzonzi, Adam, Kightly; Walters, Crouch.
Unchanged side for Stoke, with no new injury worries surfacing. Etherington has been the impact sub in the last few games, while Wilkinson serves the final game of his red card ban, which means Cameron remains at RB. Pennant must be getting frustrated sitting on the sidelines as he looks nowhere near the First XI.
Tottenham v Aston Villa
Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen; Dembele, Sandro; Dempsey, Lennon Bale; Defoe.
Vertonghen will continue at left back in Assou‘s absence, which also hands Caulker the start at CB. Dempsey will start over Sigurdsson, who must seriously be regretting moving to White Hart Lane over Anfield. Defoe will start again, as Adebayor is still out injured.
Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett; Albrighton, El Ahmadi, Bannan, Holman; Bent, Agbonlahor.
Guzan has been favoured to Given while Bennett will build on his debut game last weekend. Albrighton is back and should keep N’Zogbia on the bench, while Bent looks likely to partner either Agbonlahor or Benteke, after scoring from the substitutes bench last week.
Newcastle v Man United
Harper; Simpson, Williamson, Perch, Santon; Ben Arfa, Tiote, Cabaye, Guitierrez; Cissè, Ba.
Harper will continue between the posts, while Coloccini is still out, leaving Williamson to pair up with Perch. Taylor is out with the same hamstring niggle he picked up against Reading, leaving a makeshift CB pairing to deal with RVP. Have fun boys. The front six is at full strength, leaving Newcastle in prime position to back up their 3-0 win last year against United.
Lindegaard; Fabio, Evans, Ferdinand, Buttner; Nani, Carrick, Scholes, Kagawa; Rooney, Van Persie.
Lindegaard will continue the trend of starting every league game, even though De Gea is a better keeper. Evans is in doubt after copping a knock midweek, but should start. Nonetheless, Wootton will be on standby. Buttner should start over Evra
, mainly due to the fact that Patric is old, slow, and can’t defend. Can you tell I’m not a fan of him? Nani and Kagawa will start on the flanks- Shinji didn’t feature midweek. Rooney and VP will get a chance to forge some chemistry up front together.
So that just about does it for the teams. Make sure you check twitter throughout tomorrow as late injury doubts are ALWAYS forecast after I put this post up. Here’s to hoping this week is shedloads better than last… if it’s not, it was a pleasure writing for you all- I’m seriously considering throwing in the towel. FMFPL.