Let’s jam like nobody’s business, in the melody that is Gameweek 14. Instruments include captain picks, big hitters, clean sheets, and punts. Also, a pained musical analogy.
- Van Persie: A third consecutive blank would start giving the Dutchman’s owners jitters for the first time for over a season. Ferguson has confirmed that Anderson will start against West Ham. He should provide more penetration than Scholes and Fletcher against QPR, and create more space for Van Persie to maneuver in the box.
Silva: Owned only by 6.4% of Fantasy managers due to his poor early season form and injury in Gameweeks 8 to 10, Silva could be an essential differential for the festive period. He trails only Baines in chances created (30) despite having played less than most of the players around him at the top. He creates a chance every 23.4 minutes and will surely rack up the assists with an occasional goal throughout the season.
Mata: A risky pick as we don’t know how Benitez will play his three midfield maestros. We can expect him to rotate Mata, Hazard, and Oscar more than Di Matteo did but Mata should be the first name on the team sheet. He has had a quiet time lately, helped by him missing out on Gameweek 10 and coming on as a substitute in Gameweek 12. However, he continues to be dangerous in the final third and is seventh in minutes per chance created, supplying a teammate a chance to score every 31 minutes. He also has a respectable 17 shots, firing away every 51 minutes.
Rooney outscored Van Persie against QPR and has been as, if not more, threatening in their last few games together. He has turned more creator than finisher since Van Persie arrived at Old Trafford, but he is taking shots and should be scoring more.
I’m still not sold on Sunderland’s attack but they are registering more shots and showing promise in the final third. This is in large parts due to Sessegnon waking up from a long slumber and Fletcher providing excellent movement in and around the box.
Bale’s goal was the first at home this season, a strange fact considering his total of 40 shots in the league. He trails only Suarez and Ba in shots taken and is one of the best midfield picks due to his attacking instincts and being almost immune to rotation. Defoe’s excellent game against West Ham meant that Tottenham didn’t miss Adebayor. With both firing on all cylinders, and Dembele returning to action, Liverpool will not be able to focus on a single threat.
Aguero and Tevez are always threats but rotation is the ugly duckling in Manchester City’s Fantasy flock. Aguero is the safer pick and Tevez the cheaper one.
Swansea are conceding an awful amount of shots, both at home and away. West Brom must now be considered a threat in all games and Long’s five goals and five assists is nothing to sneeze at for 6.3.
At home, Stoke are the best defensive team in the Premier League, having conceded an average of 0.17 goals per game at the Britannia. Begovic is the pick of the goalkeepers at the moment, although now rather expensive at 5.2.
Aston Villa showed resilience against Arsenal and now face Reading. Enda Stevens has played the last three games and is a budget pick at 3.9.
Chelsea should be much tighter under Benitez. Having kept out Manchester City, I would venture a guess that Chelsea will restrict Fulham’s chances of scoring to a minimum. Azpilicueta has started the last four games and provides an excellent price into the Chelsea defence at 5.6.
Puncheon doesn’t really feel like a punt with all the publicity he has received in Fantasy circles. His cheap price and attacking returns has put him firmly on the map as a fifth midfielder in a resurgent Southampton unit.
Adam has shown, with Blackpool, that he knows how to find the back of the net and could benefit from Crouch’s flick ons against a down-in-the-dumps Newcastle.
Dempsey had an excellent game against West Ham and could be playing his way into our Fantasy hearts yet again.