Let’s do some analysis in preparation for the our Gameweek 27 paper. Topics of research include captain picks, big hitters, clean sheets, and punts. Also, a much too obvious scholarly analogy.
- Van Persie: He was rested against Reading in the cup, only coming on in the end and should be fresh for the trip to Loftus Road. Signs of QPR’s improved defence, after consecutive goalless draws against Manchester City and Norwich, were not on display in their dreadful 4 – 1 loss against Swansea last Gameweek. Considering the talent and form of Van Persie, and the state of affairs at QPR, handing the Dutchman the armband seems most reasonable.
Walcott: Despite Arsenal’s horrible week in the FA Cup and Champions League they are in good form in the League. Arsenal have Walcott to thank for three wins and a draw in the last four. He has seven goals and seven assists in his last 10 games with only a single game without either. Arsenal welcome Aston Villa to the Emirates and should score a goal or two, with Walcott likely to be involved.
Bale: The Welsh winger is unstoppable at the moment, with 4 goals in his last three league games in addition to his brace against Lyon in the Europa League. Nine of his thirteen goals in the league this season have come away from home, indicating that an away game against West Ham shouldn’t be of concern.
Cazorla, for the same reasons as Walcott, should have plenty of chances to create mayhem in Aston Villa’s defence on Saturday. His excellent start to the season was somewhat of a false dawn, but his quality is apparent. He has nine goals and eight assists this season, which goes to show how one can harshly judge talented players.
Aguero is almost an automatic pick when Manchester City play at home, largely based on his excellent performances last season. He hasn’t been as electric this season but still has nine goals in 16 starts. Chelsea might seem a tough nut to crack but upon closer inspection they haven’t kept a clean sheet since their 1 – 0 win against Norwich in Gameweek 19 in December.
Mancini surely must start Dzeko upfront after his six goals and two assists in his last seven games. If you are willing to gamble on the Mancini rotation machine, the Bosnian represents excellent value at only 7.5.
Mata’s blank last Gameweek was due to him starting on the bench and only being given 14 minutes at the end of the second half. Before the Wigan game he had scored in three consecutive games and averaged an impressive 9.67 points per game. He’s your best bet at Chelsea.
Arsenal’s well documented defensive problems leaves the door open for Benteke to cause Wenger more heartache. Six goals in six games is nothing to sneeze at, and he’s another value purchase, even though his price has gone from 6.5 to 6.9 since Gameweek 25.
Fulham’s home displays are much more resolute than their away form, as illustrated in their 1.31 goals conceded on average vs 1.92 away from home. They are far from a “good” bet this Gameweek but I would play a Fulham defender, such as Hangeland, if I owned him.
Despite Everton’s attacking prowess I think Norwich have a decent chance of keeping a clean sheet at home. Bunn is a cheap goalkeeper choice, at 4.2.
Manchester United’s defensive displays have picked up of late, culminating in a fine performance against Real Madrid in the Champions League. Rafael offers attacking threat as well as the chance of a clean sheet and is much cheaper than Evra.
Rooney is set to be out against QPR, giving Hernandez a chance to add to his impressive goal tally for the season.
Berbatov has done his thing for Fulham, showing glimpses of brilliance with too little end product for large parts of the season. Call it instinct, call it a dumb guess, but I think he can do some damage against Stoke.
Wigan’s Maloney has two goals and two assists in his last five games and is coming into form just as Wigan are in line to start their customary end of season ass-whooping.