We are at the crossroads as the season has just ticked over the half way point. Looking forward can be pretty difficult, especially for the top half sides that have had a stunning start (West Brom, Everton) or have been quite up and down (Arsenal, Liverpool). Combine that with the fixture card repeating & ‘winter’ wildcards being activated makes it a confusing time of year.
Undoubtedly a man in form (and always in the news for the wrong reasons) Luis Suarez is the asset of choice in this week’s piece. Coming in at a tender 10.4 compared to the other big hitters (Aguero, Rooney & RVP) he appears a no brainer.
Liverpool though is very much the unknown quantity in the premier league. Sitting in 8th position, 8 points outside the top 4 (predicting Chelsea to beat Southampton in the game in hand).
This raises an interesting point:
Some Liverpool assets are noticeably in form (Suarez, Gerrard) but can’t be recommended without bearing significant risk of inconsistent returns.
Lets look at some numbers:
Liverpool have lost three home games (out of 11) to Arsenal, Manchester United & Villa.
Liverpool have won 3 games on the road (out of 10) to Norwich, West Ham & QPR.
Interestingly enough Liverpool face
- 3 of their next 4 games on the road
- Against 3 of last seasons top 4 (Man City, Man United, Arsenal)
- In which they only picked up 1 point from 9 at home (0 W, 1 D, 2 L)
The stats presented point towards a VERY tough run of games for Liverpool although a wider discussion is needed. One could argue Liverpool were adjusting to Rodgers style of game and hence were not quite ready to take on the big boys.
The current form points towards a slightly different tale 9 points from 15.
1-3 Loss at Home to Aston Villa
4-0 Win at Home to Fulham
3-1 Loss Away to Stoke
0-3 Win Away to QPR
3-0 Win at Home to Sunderland
Although I would say Fulham were in their worst form for the season with QPR & Sunderland amongst the favorites to get relegated.
My opinion is Suarez is not fixture proof, the next 4 games will decide whether or not I am right. If you own him I would hold he tends to destroy Norwich. That should make up for the lack of returns against the 3 stronger sides (only 9 points against the teams at home from Suarez).
If you don’t own him wait and see how he shapes up against the league leaders (and with sturridge playing) before investing.
If you’re after my personal position on Suarez I jumped ship mid-gameweek before the QPR game. I collected those points but missed out last week, regretfully so as Ba did not even play (lesson learnt don’t trade mid gameweek especially during a transfer window). The silver lining Ba has a double gameweek vs Suarez’s united away trip. Can he make up the 16 points? It is certainly possible
My out of form pick is for those of you holding Glen Johnson or Enquire. I have been waiting for some value in the price bracket for sometime (4.5-3.8). Wisdom of Liverpool is firmly sticking out. I know I just discussed the 3 tough games in the next 4 but this guy really is underpriced. If you can snag him in your wildcard he could be a solid 4th or 5th defender and even make you a few dollars. Enquire is out for the next 6 and wisdom could get 2-3 clean sheets during that time at a measly 4.3.
If you believe me when I say Liverpool will struggle in the next 4, Demel from West Ham is another out of form option. He has been struggling to regain a first XI place after an injury lay off. However O’Brien is injured (probably another game, will know more later this week) and so to McCartney (long term) which saw Potts play at left back in the FA Cup. This means Demel’s spot is almost nailed on at right back for the coming double gameweek.