- We prepare for Gameweek 14 in this edition of the Friday Foreplay by producing captain picks, investigating the heavy hitters, predicting clean sheets, and speculating on possible punts.
Basing the captain picks on the analysis below we arrive at:
- Adebayor: At home vs. Bolton and in red hot form.
- Van Persie: One blank does not a habit make.
- Silva: Will pull the strings against Norwich.
- Differential: Baines for the possibility of a clean sheet and attacking points against a struggling Stoke.
Tottenham host Bolton and are likely to get sixth consecutive win in the Premier League. Adebayor is red hot at the moment, as Four Four Two noted by pointing to Adebayor’s 9 shots on goal against West Brom. He has back-to-back braces as well as two assists and 7 bonus points stolen in the last three games. Bolton are abysmal at the moment, having conceded 31 goals, the most in the Premier League. With the news that Van der Vaart is back both him and Bale are also viable big hitters in what could be a big scoring game.
Aguero and Silva are prime Fantasy candidates with their home game against Norwich. Silva is the attacking brain in the City team while Aguero has been lethal in his first Premier League season. However, there is always the possibility that they will be rested for their midweek Champions League tie.
Despite Robin van Persie’s blank last Gameweek he is likely to be on the score sheet against a Wigan team one spot from bottom. After being rested in their Carling Cup tie against Manchester City he will be raring to go. He leads Fantasy Football Scout’s ICT Index and will be many a Fantasy manager’s captain yet again.
Baines has 20 Fantasy points in the last two games and a good bet for double figures again against Stoke City at home. Stoke have conceded 15 goals away from home this season and have problems coping with the rigors of the Europa League midweek games. Even though you can argue that his price is a bit steep, there is no denying his Fantasy point production in the last three seasons (128, 138, and 178).
Liverpool suffered a big blow to their top four hopes when defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva was ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. He has been the bedrock of a solid Liverpool defence and this could hamper Liverpool’s chances of picking up clean sheets.
- Manchester City haven’t kept a clean sheet in the last six so this isn’t a confident pick. Should they field their first team defence, they are a good bet for the cleanie. Either Richards or Kompany or good picks; Richards for his attacking prowess and Kompany for his consistency.
- Everton will look to keep a rather blunt Stoke side out to register only their third clean sheet of the season. That statistic alone should show you how desperate the clean sheet picks are compared to last season. The aforementioned Baines is a viable choice, only if you have the cash to spend. Hibbert is the cheapest option into the Everton defence, although he will not give any attacking returns.
- Other possible clean sheets, however unlikely, include the stingy Newcastle at home against Chelsea and Manchester United’s newly solid side away at Aston Villa. Omar Chaudhuri, at EPL Index, highlighted the decrease in shots conceded by Manchester United in the games since their loss to Manchester City.
Taking a Punt
- Walcott rewarded my punt last week with an assist and two bonus points and he is a punt again this Gameweek. He will look to trouble Wigan with his speed and will look to make a Fantasy impact in his fifth consecutive game.
- Should Sunderland be broken and bent after Steve Bruce’s sacking, Wolves midfielder O’Hara will look to capitalize. He has 22 key passes and is second only to Dempsey in shots on goal for midfielders.
- Such is the Fantasy fall of Rooney and Nani that they are relegated to the Punt league. Surefire bets at the start of the season, they have been streaky of late. They will come good, eventually. When, is the question.
Kick Off posted an interesting assist/goalscorer analysis that highlighted individuals that are involved in separate multi-goal combination (where different players pair together to assist and score). The stand-out players are Van Persie, Klasnic, Aguero, Dzeko, Milner, Rooney, and Adebayor. Of these seven, Klasnic and Milner stand out. Although the Fantasy point potential of these two is not on the same level as the other five, the analysis could be pointing to the multiple ways both players could assist and score which should do wonders for their Fantasy totals.