Today it’s Everton who go under the microscope! Even though their early fixtures don’t make for pretty reading, they have some great fantasy talent on their list…
Howard is a lock in between the sticks for the Toffees. He was the highest scoring keeper in 2013/14, so don’t write him off totally thanks to Everton’s disastrous defensive record last season. At 5.0 he’s good value (once Everton’s fixtures clear up of course).
When fully fit Everton’s defence is as safe as houses (In terms of job security). Baines and Coleman are two on the most dangerous full backs in the league, with Baines taking most set pieces as well. Jagielka is a bonus point machine in the centre of the park. As long as Stones doesn’t go to Chelsea, he is clearly first choice to partner the skipper.
There is a chance that Barry may play the CDM role, allowing McCarthy to play as a centre mid. I just think he’s shite. Besic will also push for the defensive mid spot, so Cleverly will have his work cut out to get a place. Of these guys, McCarthy is the only lock for Roberto Martinez, and at 5.0 he could be decent value if he plays the box-to-box role. His career output isn’t pretty though.
Barkley should play ahead of Naismith in the attacking midfield role, one which he thrived upon back in 2013/14. He was tipped to be a breakout candidate last season, but succumbed to injury. Have him firmly on the watch list.
Mirallas and Deulofeu should provide the width, although Deulofeu will have to earn his place. McGeady hasn’t really cracked it in the PL but will still provide competition. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Martinez sign another wide player, as Pienaar is his only other option and at 33 he isn’t getting younger. At the moment, Mirallas looks a safe bet… However I’ve thought that before and been wrong!
Lukaku is the only forward you need to worry about. He is one of the most durable strikers you can buy, having played over 2000 minutes in each of the past 3 seasons. He struggled last year, but we need to remember he’s still young. At 22, this could be his biggest year to date. He’s a lock for Everton.
50/50: Mirallas is always tempting in that mid-price bracket, but every season he justifies why he’s there. In the few minutes he does play he’s very good, but a combination of injuries and inconsistency has never allowed him to break the 10 goal mark. Could this be the year? When (if) Mirallas does put it all together, he could be special.
Lock: None. Baines is usually a lock for my side, but losing penalty duties (Why did this happen again? 15 out of 16 ain’t bad…) hurts his value. Coleman would have also been in my side, but for Everton’s fixtures! He will be at some point for sure…
Breakout: Lukaku has threatened to become one of the Premier league’s top strikers for the past 2 seasons, but can’t quite establish himself for a whole season. After netting a ridiculous 17 goals and 7 assists in 2000 minutes at West Brom (Aged 20), everyone expected him to take the next step. This could be the year… He is capable of scoring 20 goals in a season and making a mockery of his price tag. Barkley is another breakout candidate, I’d just need to see some genuine form first.
Avoid: Everton’s defence. For the first 10 game weeks at least. After Watford (H) on the opening day, they have as follows; sou, MNC, tot, CHE, swa, wba, LIV, MNU, ars. That is all.
There you have it! Last season’s surprise packet Leicester are up tomorrow, see you then.