Let’s celebrate the holiday that is Gameweek 19. Festivities include captain picks, big hitters, clean sheets, and punts. Also, a clichéd Christmas analogy.
The preview is on the short side this Gameweek, for festive reasons.
Van Persie: An automatic pick with United playing at home. The risk is rotation, but based on Rooney’s uninspired performance against Swansea I would pick him to start on the bench against Newcastle.
Mata: After Van Persie, home game captain picks are less than obvious. We have Berbatov against Southampton and Cisse against WBA, but neither have inspired confidence in recent games. Instead, I’m opting for Chelsea’s Mata. He was substituted early in the rout against Aston Villa, hopefully because Benitez wanted to spare him for the game against Norwich.
Michu: He’s defying all odds, with even Ferguson admitting that he had never heard of Michu before the start of the season. At home Reading will have to open up more than they did against Manchester City which will open up space for Michu to exploit.
More responsibility falls on Pienaar following Fellaini’s dismissal. With Mirallas injured, Everton will lean on the creativity of their left sided duo of Pienaar and Baines. Two goals, two assists, and six bonus points in three games is phenomenal and a home game against Wigan offers the South African a chance of more attacking spoils.
Most were expecting a goal-fest in Manchester City’s last Gameweek’s home game against Reading. Instead, a stilted City side showed up only to be saved at the whistle by a Silva assist. He’s the creator-in-chief and responsible for much of the good that happens in City’s attack.
Last Gameweek, Tottenham and Bale were neutered by what Villas-Boas called the best defence in Europe. This week, they face the team that shipped eight goals against a tired Chelsea team. Bale will get chances and, more likely, create a fair few.
Despite his blank Ba had eight shots on goal against QPR. He faces a Manchester United team that have only kept a single clean sheet at home this season. Newcastle will likely lose, but even more likely in a shoot out than a tactical 1 – 0.
Baines is a decent pick this Gameweek, more for his attacking qualities rather than a likely Everton clean sheet.
Stoke have been defensively stunning at home and Begovic leads goalkeepers with 86 points.
QPR will have to tighten up at home to survive and Nelsen is a decent budget pick.
I’m one of the frustrated Berbatov owners but selling now would be madness. Ruiz is expected back for the Southampton game and Fulham then face SWA, wba, and WIG in as good a four game run as you could hope for.
Young’s three assists in the last four should give the winger confidence to inflict damage against Newcastle.
In the puntiest of punts, Sessegnon has to be on the top of his game if Sunderland are to come away with all three points against Manchester City.