We prepare for Gameweek 10 in this edition of the Friday Foreplay by producing captain picks, investigating the heavy hitters, predicting clean sheets, and speculating on possible punts.
Remember that the game previews are in most cases short-term recommendations based on the next Gameweek. You should pick most of your squad for the long-term results, with a few players up for rotation since you only get one free substitution each week. The following recommendations should always be in consideration when picking your team for the Gameweek:
- Regurgitated recommendation 1: Captain one of your best attacking players because the bonus point system favors goal scorers.
- Regurgitated recommendation 2: Play the fixtures. The PL Fantasy blog offers helpful analysis. But don’t forget players in form.
- Regurgitated recommendation 3: Avoid silly mistakes in picking injured players by using injury information from the Physio Room and the suspension list from the official FA site.
Basing the captain picks on the above regurgitation and the analysis below we arrive at:
- Aguero, given City’s form, home game and opponents.
- Van der Vaart, because of the home game, opponents, and excellent form.
- Silva, in third only because he is less likely to get a twenty point Gameweek than Aguero and Van der Vaart.
- Adebayor, for form, home game, and opponents.
- Differential: Rooney, should you believe in a United backlash and be willing to gamble.
After last weeks Manchester Mauling the big question is what impact this will have on both Manchester teams. Manchester City host Wolves in a fixture that cries out for captaining City’s attack. Aguero, Silva, and Balotelli were rested in the Carling Cup tie against, funnily enough, Wolves. City put five past Wolves with a team featuring Dzeko, which should see Mancini start Balotelli and Aguero. In the League, before the 2 – 2 draw against Swansea, Wolves had lost five games in a row, conceding at least two goals in each of them.
Manchester United face a trickier test, away at Goodison Park, where they face an Everton side that caused United problems last season. I wouldn’t back any United player with the captain’s armband before we see how they respond last week’s result. I expect some backlash, but perhaps not until next week’s home game against Sunderland. Avoid defenders and focus on United’s attack in Rooney and Nani.
Tottenham has five games out the last six games and face a QPR team that could barely hold on to a one goal lead with a two man advantage against Chelsea last Gameweek. QPR is an unpredictable beast but the quality of Van der Vaart and Adebayor should see Tottenham win. Van der Vaart has five goals in four games and as a result has risen 0.3 in price this round. Even though Adebayor hasn’t scored in four games, he has picked up three goals, four assists, and stolen six bonus points in six games.
The neutral’s game of the week goes to Chelsea v Arsenal where Fantasy favorite, Robin van Persie, has his job cut out for him against a strong Chelsea side. I wouldn’t captain him this week as his away form is less impressive than his home form. Chelsea are facing an Arsenal defence that has had problems away from home all season. Torres, Mata, and Lampard are all reasonable picks with uncertainty clouding the choice of Sturridge or Anelka as Torres’s partner.
The clean sheet picks are:
- Manchester City at home against Wolves. With Zabaleta, Kolo Toure, Kolarov and Razak starting against Wolves you should feel safer puttin Kompany, Richards, Lescott, and Clichy in your team. While Kompany is the safest pick of the bunch Richards packs the highest upside with his frequent attacking forays.
- Stoke City‘s Britannia stadium is a clean sheet fortress. Stoke have only conceded one goal in three games at home this season and are playing three out of their next four games at home against winnable teams. Get in a Stoke defender (or Begovic) and play him for the next four games. Shawcross is the obvious pick, but for the cost-restricted Wilkinson is a great pickup at 4.0. He has played the last four games and looks set for an extended run in the team.
- Swansea have not conceded a goal at home this season and face a Bolton team that is still trying to recover from their tough early fixtures. Vorm is the goalkeeper bargain of the season while N. Taylor is competitively priced at 4.1.
You should generally gamble on defenders playing at home. Thus, if you don’t have defenders from the above teams, other possible options are Norwich at home against Blackburn, Sunderland v Aston Villa, and Tottenham at home facing QPR.
Taking a Punt
- Suarez scored a brace in the Carling Cup tie against Stoke. He was unlucky not to score against Norwich and has been playing better than his Fantasy statistics indicate.
- Bale has been threatening on the wings and will look to take on L. Young. Hasn’t shown goal-scoring stability after least season’s breakthrough but is likely to cause QPR problems.
- Graham has scored in Swansea’s last three games and is their best bet to get on the score sheet against a Bolton defence that has conceded heavily. Sinclair will look to drive at the defence and is also worth a punt.
- The United defence has looked suspect all season, and Tim Cahill will look to take advantage of that.
- Zamora will test the leaky Wigan defence that has conceded nine goals away from home.
Good luck, use your free transfer wisely, and please comment below.