Hey fellow addicts! This article is coming to you from my new work station at my brand new job in London – so it’s going to be pretty short and sweet I’m afraid! I’ve tried to squeeze in all the essential info that you’ll need in order to make those important picks this weekend. Good luck!
Newcastle v Liverpool
Newcastle: Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon, Tiote, Sissoko, Cabaye, Gouffran, Cisse, Remy
Liverpool: Mignolet, Sakho, Toure, Agger, Enrique, Johnson, Gerrard, Lucas, Moses, Suarez, Sturridge
Newcastle face a tough run of fixtures and will find themselves relying on Remy to continue his fine form. With 5 goals in his last 3, he seems to be the only exciting prospect in the Newcastle side at the moment. The Magpies will need him to perform, as I don’t see them keeping out the visitors – with a strike force of Suarez and Sturridge, there really aren’t many defenses in the league that could. With 5 goals between them in the last 2 matches, you probably couldn’t go too wrong captaining one of them. Keep an eye on Enrique, if Rodgers continues to roll out the 3-5-2 formation, the Spaniard will get ample opportunity to provide the deadly strike force with the ball they need to keep the goals coming. I can see the home side scoring, so I’m going with a 2-1 win to Pool.
Arsenal v Norwich
Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Flamini, Wilshere, Ozil, Giroud
Norwich: Ruddy, Martin, Bassong, Turner, Olsson, Snodgrass, Tetty, Howson, Pilkington, Fer, Van Wolfswinkel
The Gunners have kept just a single clean sheet in 7, but I can see them getting their 2nd in this fixture. Mertesacker is more than likely going to carry the most threat in the opposition box, so if you’re looking for a route into the Gunners’ defense, he may be your man. Norwich have been a bit of a bore this season, so I’ll be ignoring them, especially away from home. Giroud loves scoring at home and is one of the best Captain picks for this week in my opinion. Should Ozil be fit, he is sure to provide the Frenchman with the opportunities he needs to add to his tally. Gunners win with a clean sheet.
Chelsea v Cardiff City
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Bertrand, Mata, Ramires, Lampard, Hazard, Oscar, Torres
Cardiff: Marshall, Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Turner, Taylor, Gunnarsson, Medel, Mutch, Odemwingie, Campbell, Whittingham
Chelsea have some awesome fixtures coming up. With Cardiff, West Brom, Southampton, Newcastle and West Ham all in their next 6, you need to start looking at getting in a Chelsea defender if you haven’t already got. Terry and Ivanovic look nailed on at the moment and both offer a threat going forward. Eto’o and Ba will be battling it out to secure a spot in the starting XI and finally open their tally for the season. Looking at the midfield, Oscar remains the best bet. He’s the top scoring attacker for the Blues and Hazard just hasn’t hit his straps. Cardiff will be extremely lucky to get something out of this. They have a pretty horrendous run of fixtures so I’d be looking at offloading as soon as possible. Chelsea 2-0.
Everton v Hull City
Everton: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Barkley, Barry, McCarthy, Osman, Lukaku, Mirallas
Hull City: McGregor, Elmohamady, Faye, Davies, Rosenoir, Quinn, Huddlestone, Livermore, Brady, Aluko, Graham
Everton are looking like one of the most exciting sides in the league this season. Martinez’ men have the opportunity to keep the impressive run going with what should be a relatively easy game at home. With Robbie Brady still nursing a hernia problem, Steve Bruce’s side face an uphill battle. Quinn will step in should the on form midfielder not be ready in time for the trip to Goodison Park. The Everton defense could see themselves pick up some nice defensive points this weekend and the likes of Baines and Coleman could be in for some attacking points as well. Barkley and Lukaku are impossible to ignore at the moment. Lukaku has now scored 6 in his last 5 games and will be looking to fellow countryman, Mirallas, to provide the opportunities from the flank. I can’t really see a way through for Hull, so I’m going with a 2-0 win to Everton.
Man Utd v Southampton
Man Utd: De Gea, Rafael, Vidic, Jones, Evra, Valencia, Fellaini, Carrick, Januzaj, Rooney, Van Persie
Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Rodriguez, Schneiderlin, Wanyama, Lallana, Osvaldo, Lambert
Utd should have Rafael back and we’re likely to see Jones fill in for Ferdinand if the centre back is still unavailable. We could see Adnan Januzaj retain his spot in the starting XI after he rescued the Champions last week. You’d bet on Utd scoring at home so I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the Saints’ defense. Van Persie is primed for points in the next few fixtures. The United backline haven’t exactly looked solid either, so Lallana could see himself continue where he left off last weekend. I’m going for a 2-1 victory for the home side.
Stoke City v West Brom
Stoke City: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Pieters, Walters, Wilson, N’Zonzi, Arnautovic, Ireland, Etherington
West Brom: Myhill, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Amalfitano, Jacob, Mulumbo, Berhinho, Sessegnon, Anelka
This could be an interesting, albeit, boring game. I don’t see many goals here but West Brom have looked decent lately. Berahino should retain his spot with Anelka upfront. Anichebe has returned from injury though, so will be challenging the Frenchman for that spot. Stoke may find themselves without Walters which will mean they will be relying heavily on Arnautovic to produce the goods. Pennant is likely to step in for the injured Walters and Ireland offers us an intriguing option should he be given a role “in the hole”. Tough to pick a result here, but I’ll go with a 1-1 draw.
Swansea v Sunderland
Swansea: Vorm, Rangel, Amat, Chico, Taylor, Dyer, Jose Canas, Shelvey, Hernandez, Michu, Bony
Sunderland: Westwood, Celustka, O’Shea, Roberge, Colback, Johnson, Larsson, Gardner, Giaccherini, Cattermole, Altidore
Swansea come into an amazing set of fixtures over the next few weeks. Williams and Davies remain doubts at the back and we should see Amat and Taylor step in. If Bony starts, he could be a great differential. The Ivorian hasn’t shown his quality yet, but if he manages to hit his straps in this one, will get the attention of many managers. Michu, as always, remains Swansea’s main man. It looks as though Fletcher is back from a shoulder injury, but I doubt he’ll be given a starting role so soon. Sunderland will look to Larsson and Gardner in the midfield to give them some kind of impotence. I don’t think it’ll be enough though. Swansea 2-0.
West Ham v Man City
West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Tomkins, Reid, Rat, Morrison, Nolan, Noble, Diame, Vaz Te, Downing
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Nastasic, Lescott, Kolarov, Navas, Toure, Fernandinho, Silva, Aguero, Negredo
O’Brien seems to have lost his spot to Demel, but I don’t think it’ll matter too much this week as the Hammers face an uphill battle against the Citizens. They’ll be hoping to pull off an upset again and will look to Downing on the flank after he forced Jarvis to the bench last week. Vaz Te should retain his role upfront. The City side may be tricky to pick this week as we need to bear in mind that the side from Manchester have a tough Champions League match midweek. Silva should retain his spot in the middle of the pitch, but we may see Dzeko in with a shout this week. Kompany remains sidelined. The Hammers will put up a good fight but I just can’t see them duplicate the result against Spurs. 2-1 City victory for me.
Aston Villa v Tottenham
Aston Villa: Guzan, Bacuna, Clark, Vlaar, Luna, Westwood, El Ahmadi, Delph, Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Naughton, Townsend, Dembele, Paulinho, Sigurdsson, Eriksen, Soldado
Villa will be buoyed by the return of Christian Benteke and will be facing a side that had 3 put past them at home before the International break. If the Belgian is on the park, he’s likely to put one in the net. At the back, Clark and Bacuna look set to retain their place in the starting XI. Soldado found himself on the bench last time out, but I think we’ll see him return this week. Rose is sidelined and we’ll more than likely see Kyle Naughton come in to replace him. Spurs will be eager to rights the wrongs from 2 weeks ago, but I can’t see them keeping out the Villa attackers. I can see them matching them for goals though. I’m going for a 1-1 draw.
Crystal Palac v Fulham
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Delany, Ward, Moxey, Dikgacoi, Campana, Jedinak, Puncheon, Chamakh, Kebe
Fulham: Stockdale, Reither, Amorebieta, Hangeland, Hughes, Kasami, Sidwell, Parker, Duff, Bent, Berbatov
Neither of these sides have given us too much to think about and it’ll probably stay that way. If Gabbidon doesn’t make it back in time, we’ll see Adrian Mariappa fill in at the back. It’s tricky picking the players up front for Palace, but I wouldn’t be bothering with them too much anyway. Fulham have choices upfront as well. Ruiz will be battling it out with Bent for game time and it looks like Berbatov will be fit. We could also see a return to the side for Aaron Hughes at the expense of Senderos. I wouldn’t be looking to invest in either of these sides at the moment. A goalless draw looks likely.
It’s pretty short, sharp and to the point, but hopefully the article has helped in making those tricky decisions. Good luck!