- We prepare for Gameweek 15 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 thoughts below we arrive at:
- Van Persie: He is just too hot not to tip for the captain’s armband.
- Rooney: A home game against Wolves is statistically one of the best games for United to get on the score sheet.
- Nani: Has the quality to be involved in goals, both by providing assists and scoring.
- Differential: Aguero’s speed could be the undoing of Chelsea should they play a high defensive line.
Robin van Persie’s didn’t blank two games in a row and delivered handsomely last gameweek. He was rested for Arsenal’s Champions League game so he should be raring to go against Everton. He has an incredible 14 goals, 5 assists, and 20 bonus points in 14 games and will define the Fantasy League season if his current form holds up.
A home game against Wolves is a perfect game for Rooney and Nani to reap attacking rewards. With Hernandez’s injury Ferguson pushed Rooney upfront with Nani in support; a setup likely to benefit both players’ Fantasy totals. Both have been inconsistent of late but have the quality to start delivering again in an attractive December fixture list. Manchester United often come back strong from setback and Wolves could bear the brunt of the Champions League disappointment.
Manchester City are just too good at the moment to bet against. They have scored in all of their away games to date and have failed only once to score two or more goals (vs Liverpool in gameweek 12). Aguero is their most dangerous striker and Silva is their most consistent player. Chelsea have kept two clean sheets in a row, but can they withstand the might of the most expensive team in the world?
Adebayor, Bale, and Van der Vaart are playing a tough game away at Stoke. I wouldn’t captain any of them this week but Tottenham are in such a hot streak that I would play them and be sufficiently disappointed if they come up short. Please note that according to most sources, Bale is an injury doubt for the game.
In addition to the shock of not qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League, Manchester United was rocked with the news that Vidic’s injury rules him out for the season. This has a massive effect on United’s chance of grabbing clean sheets, as Vidic has been at the heart of a five game streak where they have only conceded one goal.
- Swansea is a yo-yo team being defensively excellent at home and certain to concede away. The host Fulham, who have scored an average of a goal per game since their destruction of QPR in gameweek 7. If you have Vorm in goal, you play him.
- Arsenal have looked stronger at the back since Vermaelen returned from injury. He’s an obvious play this week, both for his clean sheet potential and attacking prowess.
- Liverpool are a stronger team at the back when Agger is playing. However, in Fantasy terms Enrique is the more logical choice because of this attacking involvement.
- Despite the loss of Vidic, Manchester United are likely to concede few at home. Jones is the most popular choice at the moment, but Evans could be a shrewd budget pickup. He attracts heavy criticism from media and fans but seems to enjoy Ferguson’s confidence.
- Other possible clean sheets are West Brom at home against Wigan and Fulham away at Swansea.
Taking a Punt
- Long has two goals and five bonus points in his three games since he returned from injury. The Irish international is preferred to Odemwingie at the moment and faces possibly the worst defence in the Premier League.
- And finally I’m taking a punt on Baines out of pure feeling. Apart from his obvious qualities there is no real argument for Everton away at Arsenal. But I’m predicting at least an assist and perhaps, just perhaps, a clean sheet. Just don’t remind me when this punt comes back to haunt me.
- Adam has been a consistent source of assists this season and should be in the thick of things when Liverpool host QPR.
PL Fantasy had an interesting piece on the budget forwards where the analysis produced a shortlist of Yakubu, Helguson, Klasnic, S. Fletcher, and Morison.
Of those, Klasnic has the easiest fixtures which was the reason I bought him three gameweeks ago. Yakubu is of course the hot property at the moment, following his haul last gameweek.
Are you sporting a budget striker in your setup? If yes, who? If no, why not?