POD… Point of Difference. What? If you’re still a little green to fantasy sports management you may not have a clue what I’m on about. I’m talking about a player who you think has been left out of mainstream discussions a little, they haven’t been picked up and have some excellent point scoring potential. There’s any number of reasons why that has happened… They may be a new player to the league or club, be a little unfashionable or we may have just forgotten how good they were once and worried if they’ll get back there!
I’ll be going through some players every week that haven’t been picked up as much as I thought they would and should come under consideration if you’re looking for someone to make you stand out from the rest. I’m always a strong believer in risk / reward, as long as it’s a calculated risk.
One thing to keep in mind is these are purely opinions and you may well agree with the 95% of people who haven’t picked these guys! There will be logical explanations for all of them however, then it’s up to you to use that how you wish. This week I’ve picked one seasoned veteran who is looking for redemption after being left on the sidelines for far too long, and a brand new player to the league with as much talent as anyone and playing in a team that may as well of been created for him!
Lescott (5.5m) – 3.3% ownership
Man City have a few injury problems in central defence don’t they? Kompany hurt his groin in last weeks win against Newcastle and looks like he might miss up to a month. Nastasic hurt his ankle back in July and is only back in training as of yesterday, so you could easily suggest another week out for him. It’s still going to be “weeks” until Richards is fit to play. That leaves the very inexperienced Boyata as the only fit centre back. I’m not sure they’ll even play him, they may turn one of their defensive mids into a key defender for a week or two, or move Zabaleta across from right back, until Nastasic is able to play.
You read that and you may think, “how are they going to stop the goals with a massive hole in their defence?” Cardiff away, Hull at home and Stoke away is why. I’m taking two clean sheets to the bank out of those three. Also, I am supremely confident that he will keep his spot even when all the other centre backs are fit. To be able to get a centre back in the best defence of the 2012/13 season at 5.5m is ludicrously cheap. Not too mention he has a history of scoring goals… In 2007/08 he scored 10 goals in 54 games for Everton. Yes, it’s a while ago but he didn’t do that by luck.
The only thing that could put a stick in the spokes is that Pellegrini is in the market for another centre back. They’ve already been thwarted in their attempts to get Pepe and are now looking at Demichellis. I’m thinking this is more a case that he knows he needs 4 quality centre backs so that City can manage the 60+ games they’ll potentially play this season and so he doesn’t get into this situation again. Please consider…
Aspas (7.0m) – 3.5% ownership
I fully understand why ownership of Aspas is as low as it is. He came to Liverpool via Spain and from a team in Celta Vigo that was extremely close to relegation. Also, Liverpool didn’t have to break the bank to buy him, his readily available stats don’t exactly jump out at you and let’s be honest he’s not a household name. But… Michu….
He had a decent goal scoring record last season. He scored 12 from 33 games (Celta scored 37 total) which isn’t great but you need to look deeper to find the nuggets of gold. He received rave reviews all last season as their main man in attack and the reason why they weren’t relegated. He was often left alone up front in a very defensive formation and asked to do all the work, which doesn’t suit him. He likes to roam around and create. This is the stat I’m hanging onto however… He created more goal scoring chances than both Ronaldo and Messi last season (69 v 62 v 45).
Some more stats for those interested… The season before last he scored 23 from 35 which is great, but it was in the division below. In this preseason for Liverpool he scored 3 and provided 4 assists.
Last weekend v Stoke he put in a very good performance for a debut, especially considering the type of team Stoke are. He played largely in the middle behind Sturridge but popped up on the right at times. He created 5 goal scoring opportunities and had 2 shots on goal, both on target. He is exactly the type of player that will fit in with Rodgers’ style of play as well as the players around him. He seemed to link up well with Coutinho and Sturridge and his simple passing was a highlight (if you’re into that kind of thing).
The negative side to Iago is that he has at times been a little sporadic with his performances, however I can see Rodgers managing him well and him being a revelation perhaps after a short bedding in period… We might actually see the best of him when/if Suarez is back in the team. Again, please consider!
Anyway, that’s my couple of cents! In no way am I saying go out and buy them now, just keep an eye on how they are going and if they start showing some form jump aboard. Some great PODs!