We prepare for Gameweek 12 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:
- Robin van Persie: Who else?
- Silva: Manchester City’s Mr. Consistent.
- Adebayor: Is picking up assists when VdV plays and goals otherwise.
- Aguero: Should he play, he could grab you a brace.
- Differential: Lampard: Is scoring regularly again and will take his fair share of shots against Liverpool.
What can be said of Robin van Persie’s current form other than he seems unstoppable. If you have him, captain him. If you don’t have him you should better have a damn good reason and be putting your Fantasy money to good use elsewhere.
Manchester City face Newcastle at home. Despite Newcastle’s defensive solidarity this season, City are favorites. Silva has been ever-present for City this season, scoring consistent Fantasy points. Currently the highest Fantasy scoring midfielder in the game he seems unaffected by Mancini’s rotation. You could also gamble on Aguero, who played only 45 minutes in the international break. Beware of Dzeko and Balotelli; both played both games with their national teams during the break.
Van der Vaart were obvious choice, should he not be an injury doubt this Gameweek. The free-scoring Tottenham play at home against an Aston Villa team that has conceded two or more goals for four consecutive Gameweeks. Bale has stepped up in recent Gameweeks, and Adebayor has been scoring consistent Fantasy points since his arrival at White Hart Lane.
Probable clean sheets are getting harder to predict by the week. Basing your strategy around defenders is risky prospect this season and more gains are to be found in goal-scoring midfielders and strikers.
The clean sheet picks are:
- Manchester City are the obvious clean sheet this Gameweek. Kompany is back after his suspension and will lead from the back. Newcastle have based their rise up the table more on defensive organization than on goal threat.
- Despite the battering Stoke City received last Gameweek, they are likely to keep a clean sheet. Stoke is a different beast at home and face a QPR team struggling for goals.
- Everton are conceding few shots on goal and should be a tough nut to crack for Wolves away from home.
You should generally gamble on defenders playing at home. Thus, if you don’t have defenders from the above teams, other possible options are Tottenham at home versus Aston Villa and Sunderland at home against Fulham.
Taking a Punt
- Ramsey has been supplying the “assist assist” in Arsenal’s games and could start picking up real assists against Norwich.
- Drenthe is finally fit, following Moyes’s training regime, and could explode onto the Fantasy scene. He’s my pick for this season’s Charlie Adam.
- Walters is likely to be involved in Stoke’s attacks. They are stronger at home and will be looking to prove that last Gameweek’s score was an anomaly.
- I believe that Klasnic is the real thing, and I am backing that with his purchase this Gameweek. He has fantastic stats this season and will score away at West Brom. There, I’ve said it.