The big one is here. There have been some pitiful scores floating around recently (read: my team), so a DGW is a perfect opportunity to get those scores near the 100 mark. Can we do it? I’m going to try something different this week- with my team news only focussing on implications for Fantasy Relevant players.
Arsenal will be welcoming back Walcott and Wilshere to their lineup, which could have implications on everyone’s new poster boy Santi Cazorla. Whether either of them start is completely speculative, as without them Arsenal have picked up 15 points from their last 6 games. If Walcott starts it’ll push Cazorla into the hole, and if Wilshere starts it’ll mean Ramsey is dropped.
Norwich don’t have many fantasy relevant players at all- although those with Mark Bunn shouldn’t start him with any confidence- he’s tipped to miss with Lee Camp deputising.
Arsenal are in a fantastic run of form, which sees them take 18 points from their last 7 games. They do concede the most home goals of any of the top 8 though, but against the toothless attack of Norwich I wouldn’t expect them to concede more than 1, if any.
Norwich are pretty much going the opposite way to Arsenal. No wins in their last 5 games and only one away win all year. Couple that with their 12 goals from 16 away games and you’ve got yourself a fairly one sided contest.
The task for Arsenal will be to break through Norwich, but if they can manage to they should cruise home. It won’t be pretty, but they’ll get the job done, especially with the inclusions they have. Arsenal 2-0
Villa’s main doubt is Agbonlahor, who is in doubt after suffering a thigh knock. His inclusion will be beneficial for Benteke, as the former international has been causing havoc down the left in recent weeks.
Fulham’s only fantasy relevant player is Berbatov, who will start up front with Ruiz tucked in behind. The Bulgarian seems to be flourising since Dejagah has been missing down the right, meaning most of the attacks have been threaded through the middle.
Villa were once the whipping boys of the competition, but their current form reads quite well for a side precariously placed in a relegation scrap. They’ve managed to take 3 wins from their last 4, and are FINALLY hitting their straps.
Fulham away from home have recently been conceding very few goals; 1 each against United and Newcastle and keeping away clean sheets against Norwich and Tottenham. Going forward in these games though they have offered very little, only scoring 1 goal in all of the above mentioned games.
I really have no idea what to think about this. Villa have been popping a lot of goals in recently, while Fulham have been conceding very few. Villa make a habit of conceding, while Fulham don’t threaten going forward that often. Given Villa’s desperation for a win though, I’ll tip a high scoring draw. 2-2.
Everybody’s first transfer Fellaini will return this week to play in the hole, while potential P.O.D Pienaar will also start alongside Mirallas. Baines is locked in to LB.
QPR are without Zamora after his moment of madness, which means Remy will be all by himself- meaning lots of chances for him! Townsend will also start for those having a risk on the P.O.D.
Everton have only lost one home game this year.
They play QPR this week.
I have absolutely no idea why anybody would have any Reading players that they are relying on, but those with Pogrebnyak on the bench will be hoping he gets a recall after Le Fondre started last time out.
Many coaches (myself included) will be hoping Sturridge gets a recall. After a 0-0 it looks likely, but my Liverpool supporting mate reckons they are easing him into things after he suffered a strain on international duty. Having missed the last 3, I’m 70% sure he’s due a start and I’ll be fielding him. Gerrard, Johnson and Suarez will all start.
Reading are woeful. They’ve lost 7 on the trot and only managed to score 4 goals in that time. They’ve conceded 17 during that period, meaning Liverpool are in for a treat.
Away from home Liverpool are a bit of a basket case, with their record reading 5-6-5 on the road. Recently they have won 4 of their last 6 though, and should have little trouble slamming Reading into the ground. I’ll go for a Liverpool 4-0 win.
Southampton have a couple of doubts surrounding Shaw and Rodriguez. I’m not confident Shaw will start, as he is only young and they’ve been inclined to rest him in favour of Fox when he’s picked up doubts previously. Rodriguez I’m more confident of starting, but his ownership is minimal anyway.
Carroll will play for West Ham after missing out against parent club Liverpool, while cheapie Noble is still out. Joe Cole is also still missing.
Southampton been quietly brilliant this season, eclipsing all expectations and now sitting 11th in the PL. They won each of their last three games, which saw them dispatch of both Liverpool and Chelsea at St. Mary’s Park.
West Ham are not a good travelling side, with a mere 9 goals all year on the road- making them the worst away goalscoring team in the PL. They also have managed to lose 10 of their 16 away games.
Carroll will help West Ham, who will bang the ball long at every opportunity and try to peg Southampton in their half. It won’t work though, and Southampton will have too much class for the unfashionable hammers. This will be a real match of contrasting styles- 1-1 draw.
Newcastle will rotate a fair bit after their Europa exploits on Thursday, where Ben Arfa made his return in a sub appearance. He may be in line to start, meaning the cheapie Marveaux will have a massive doubt over his playing time (I’d trade him out now HBA is fit anyway). Debuchy and Santon are also doubts, so if you had them don’t count on them too much.
Cheapie Gardner serves his first game of a two match suspension this week, while Sessegnon will line up as per usual. Graham never really was fantasy relevant, and should be even less so now that Wickham has jumped him in the striking queue.
Newcastle have managed a result in each of their last 10 games, meaning that Sunderland will like their chances of coming away with 3 points. Their form record reads LWWLWLWLLW. No draws. Whether they turn up after their Europa league clash is anybody’s guess!
Sunderland have been absolutely diabolical under MON, however last week against Chelsea the revamped Black Cats looked a little better going forward. Still, they haven’t won since they beat lowly Wigan in January, and have since lost 6 games and drawn 3.
Newcastle should have too much on paper, but again it’s a tough one to pick. 2-1 Newcastle.
Wilson is the only minor doubt for Stoke, but the extent of his injury is currently unknown- he’s down for a test on physioroom.com. Wilkinson might have to fill in at LB should he fail to be deemed fit.
For United Smalling, Vidic and Evans are all listed as doubts, meaning that Ferdinand may become an attractive option for the DGW if you’ve got balls of platinum. RVP and Rooney will probably start this week, but we all know how much SAF likes to play with our FPL emotions. Kagawa is in line for a start after Nani fell out of favour, but again, I wouldn’t bank on him starting 2 times this GW.
Stoke have only won 1 of their last 10, with their last three home games containing losses to West Ham (who are terrible away) and Aston Villa. Their goalscoring records speaks for itself, as you all should know very well by now…
Man United are Man United. Yes, they lost last week in the derby, but before that they had gone around 142,157 games unbeaten. Their away record reads slightly worse than their home, but it’s not enough to save Stoke getting thumped. 2-0 United.
Arsenal’s home record has been mentioned already, but Everton’s away record is a bit worse than their home record. They have however managed to draw 7 of their games away from Goodison this year, making them the highest away drawers (probably not a real word) in the PL. They haven’t conceded many goals away though; merely 18, meaning this has the hallmarks of a low scoring encounter, especially seeing as both teams will have played already. 1-1 draw.
Pretty much a clean bill of health for City, meaning Tevez and Aguero are in the box seat to start- Dzeko hasn’t featured for the last month on the starting sheet. Silva is listed as a doubt, and again no further word about his availability has been passed down, but I expect him to be ready.
Man City are finally hitting their straps, culminating in their 2-1 win at Old Trafford last week. They are also the best home side in the PL, with a record of 11-3-1 and having considered merely 11 goals.
Wigan are Wigan. I often find it completely pointless analysing them around this time of year, as time and time again they prove everybody wrong. If they turn up to play, they can beat anyone, but if they give the ball away (which I predict they will against Toure and Barry) they can get killed on the counter.
As such, I’m tipping a City mauling- a 4-0 win.
West Ham are substantially better at home than they are away, having scored 17 more home goals than away, and managing 4 more wins. Unfortunately, this won’t help them against United. Yes they will be tired, but so will West Ham. United have the list to rotate and still get the result, and should beat West Ham in a scrappy game. 0-1 United.
Rotation will cause havoc again, with Chelsea having their FA Cup Semi vs City on Sunday, meaning Rafa will rotate like he normally does for this fixture. The starts of Hazard, Mata, Azpilicueta and Ba all depend on whether they qualify or not, so I’d proceed with caution; Azpilicueta especially looks like he needs a rest. Lampard will definitely not feature in both games either.
Fulham at home = Ok. They haven’t lost at home since United took them down 1-0 in early February, meaning Chelsea will have their work cut out for them. After playing two high pressure games against Rubin Kazan and Man City, I can see this as a real chance for Fulham to steal a few points, especially given all of Chelsea’s last 3 losses have come in away games. I’ll go an upset- 2-1 Fulham.
That’s it for this week, remember to load up on your DGW players and to avoid West Brom, Swansea and Tottenham like the plague! Take it easy guys