In this Gameweek 27 edition of the Friday Foreplay I present the captain picks, investigate the heavy hitters, predict clean sheets, and speculate on possible punts.
Manchester City and Fulham provide the player pool for this Gameweeks’s source of big hitters, with a little bit of Manchester United, Newcastle, and West Brom sprinkled in.
- Aguero: You can’t look past Manchester City’s excellent fixture this Gameweek. Playing at home against a miserable Bolton team Aguero will be looking to extend his exemplary attacking statistics at the Etihad Stadium this season. He has delivered Fantasy points in ten of his twelve home games this season and is the best bet for a double-digit Gameweek 27.
- Silva: Also benefitting from the fixture, Silva is likely to notch a couple of assists and will get plenty of space to weave his magic against the Wanderers. If you don’t have Aguero, Silva is the next best choice.
- Dempsey: The American is a valuable home game bet, as this season he has delivered eight of his eleven good games (scoring over three points) at the Cottage. Wolves are defensively awful, having kept only one clean sheet away from home this season, in the 0 – 0 draw against Aston Villa in August 2011. A goal or two wouldn’t come as a surprise.
Restating the absurd statistic from last week’s Friday Foreplay, Manchester City have scored a massive 40 goals at home this season, an average of almost 3.1 goals per game. That means that any player that starts for City in midfield or the forward line is a consideration. The problem lies with being able to guess Mancini’s team sheet. The Guardian has Milner, Y. Toure, and Balotelli starting.
Rooney missed the last two games with a throat infection. Ferguson has confirmed that the striker is fit to face Tottenham. Rooney has a brace in his last two games and looked to be starting a goal-scoring run before the illness. Tottenham are shell-shocked, having conceded five goals against Arsenal, and could be in for more punishment from the newly hairplugged one. Tottenham will be missing Parker, who would have sat back and covered the space between the midfield and defence that Rooney so often exploits.
It will be interesting to see how Sunderland react to being spanked by West Brom. Derby day will ensure that the game will be played with intensity which should suit the athletic Demba Ba. Despite Sunderland’s resilience, I predict a comfortable Newcastle victory as the positive effects of the new manager starts to wear off.
Other strong plays include:
- Odemwingie, who is facing the much maligned Chelsea defence. Odemwingie has five goals in his last two games and has finally looked like the finisher we saw last season.
- Pogrebnyak has started his Fulham career with two goals and five bonus points in two games. With the same argument against the Wolves’ defence as in Dempsey’s case above, the Pog should find get the opportunities to make it three goals in three games.
- Manchester City is the obvious clean sheet choice this week. They’ve kept eight cleanies already while Bolton have failed to score away from home six times. Play your city defenders as well as Joe Hart, if you have him.
- Despite Wolves’ impressive comeback last Gameweek I’m predicting Fulham’s home advantage to seal a clean sheet. Kelly is the cheapest part of the playing defenders.
- Newcastle welcome Sunderland, who despite excellent results only had 28 attempts on goal before their 4 – 0 loss against West Brom. Expect Newcastle to concede few, and perhaps keep a clean sheet. R. Taylor is popular because he is playing out of position and is on set-piece duties.
Taking a Punt
- Morrison is in great form for West Brom, with two goals, four assists, and two bonus points in his last five games. West Brom are showing promising attacking numbers in their last four games so Morrison’s profligacy isn’t a fluke.
- Huth is always a threat for Stoke, especially when the opposing team hasn’t kept an away clean sheet all season. He has chances for points via attack and defence and is therefore a viable punt.
- Take the following with a grain of salt. I predict Liverpool to ride the high of their cup winning wave helping Arsenal to plummet quickly to the ground after their rise to ecstacy after the North-London derby. I would play Liverpool defenders, such as Enrique and Skrtel.