In the Friday Foreplay I provide Captain Picks, ponder the Big Hitters, pick the Clean Sheets, and predict the Punts.
- Bale: Of the three “big” sides with favorable home games this Gameweek, Bale is the player most nailed on as both starting and finishing the game. Against Newcastle he hit the woodwork, created two chances, and was dangerous, especially in the first half. He scored 10 goals and assisted 14 in 36 games last season and should at least match that this season playing attacking football under Villas-Boas.
Hazard: Providing five assists in your first two games in the Premier League is nothing to sniff at. He was the further forward of him and Mata, the much debated attacking midfielder selection for Gameweek 1, and provided the returns his owner’s had hoped for. There’s no reason to think it’s a fluke based on his impressive statistics for Lille.
Van Persie: A risky pick for sure. But should he start he has the highest ceiling of the captain picks (meaning he could deliver a ridiculous Gameweek such as a hattrick and an assist). If Ferguson plays him and instructs his players to play to RvP’s strengths he is the obvious choice. If not for the risk, that is.
Nani and Rooney had a stinker against Everton. Valencia could start at right-back. However, Kagawa had a good game and seems to be the only United attacker pundits agree will start against Fulham. Based on his few games, he will create chances galore for his teammates.
Torres’s revival continued against Reading, although based on an offside goal. He’ll feed on Hazard and Mata and should get a few chances. If class is indeed permanent, the classy Spaniard will deliver.
Michu will be a popular captain’s pick this Gameweek based on his first game and Swansea’s home game against West Ham. It’s too soon for me. But he’s a keeper and you should start him if you have him.
McClean three bonus points against Arsenal were surprising but perhaps a hint that his defensive qualities are recognized by the EA Sports PPI. A home game against Reading should be one of the easier matchups this season allowing him to attack more freely.
Tevez looks sharp and ready to bang them in. Should he be matched up against Carragher, he should be able to create opportunities, both for himself and his teammates.
- Fulham don’t have a Fellaini in their ranks so Manchester United’s job should be easier. Plus, they are at home. Rafael can be had for £5.5 and has a decent chance of creating a chance or two while bombing forward.
- Sunderland kept out Arsenal away from home and should face an easier task at home against Reading. Cuellar is their cheapest playing defender at £4.5.
- Kaboul is still injured guaranteeing Gallas’s place in Tottenham’s starting lineup. And he’s a cheapie, costing half a Torres.
- I went for Defoe last week and it paid off. I don’t think Adebayor will start right away which means another start for Defoe.
- Based on his killer touch against Manchester City, I doubt that Nigel Adkins will leave Lambert out his starting lineup anytime soon. At home against Wigan I would bet a few Kronur that “Ricky Lambert celebrate”.
- With all eyes on Michu, Graham could get more space to do damage. He’s got goals in him and could be helped by Laudrup’s tactic of instructing his wingers to move inside.