In this Gameweek 32 edition of the Friday Foreplay I present the captain picks, investigate the heavy hitters, predict clean sheets, and speculate on possible punts.
- Valencia: The Ecuadorian winger is proving to be the main source of attacking thrust for Manchester United in the latter part of this season. United play QPR at Old Trafford and should win despite Ranger´s impressive win against Arsenal last week. Most will be captaining Rooney, but I believe Valencia is marginally a better bet this Gameweek.
- Rooney: The only reason Rooney isn’t up top this week is the likelihood that he will be dropping back to dictate the play, as opposed to finishing off the chances others create. If you are leading in your minileague the safe play is to captain Rooney.
- Sigurdsson: A controversial captain´s choice and one for those seeking differentiation. The players of the month scored four goals in March and faces a Newcastle team that has conceded almost 1.5 goals per game in 2012, most of them away from home. If Swansea score, Sigurdsson is the likeliest to be involved. Factor in set pieces, an extra point for a clean sheet and you´ve got a decent captain´s pick.
Wolves are in freefall and face Stoke City this Gameweek. Peter Crouch isn´t normally a strong play but against Wolves, I would bet on him.
Sessegnon showed his creativity against Manchester City and outplayed City´s midfielders. Tottenham have only kept one clean sheet since the fateful Arsenal loss and I suspect that they will concede yet again.
Mata has five goals and twelve assists in his first season in the Premier League. A fine return and one likely to be improved on versus Wigan at Stamford Bridge. One thing to keep in mind is the chance of rotation from Di Matteo, in preparation for the FA Cup and Champions League games.
Manchester City haven´t kept a clean sheet in four consecutive games as falter in their quest for the Premier League title. Van Persie is having the season of his life and is still many Fantasy managers’ bet for captain. He isn´t likely to score big, but he is perfectly capable of claiming the sole goal that makes the difference.
Other strong plays include:
- Walcott, who has finally found his feet in this campaign with four goals and four assists in February and March.
- Bale, who was beck to his menacing best playing on the left against Swansea.
- Baines who poses the triple threat of assists from open play, set piece duty, and clean sheet potential.
- Manchester United is the obvious pick of the Gameweek. By now everyone is aware of Evans, but Rafael is also a good bet at right back.
- Stoke City face a dire Wolves team and should be strong at home. If you have the cash, Shawcross also offers threat from set pieces.
- Swansea have been tight at home all season long and are a decent bet for a clean sheet. Caulker is back at centre back after missing the Tottenham game and offers more protection for the Swansea rear guard.
- Liverpool are in rotten form at the moment so take this one as a bet for the ones chasing in their minileague. Enrique is still the cheapest link of the bunch.
Taking a Punt
- Torres is the biggest risk of all but also the one most capable of massive rewards.
- Even though Holt is facing a rejuvenated Everton defence, both him and Norwich have played attacking football at home and will test Tim Howard in goal.
- Should Hernandez start, he will be playing furthest forward for United and hence, is very likely to score.
- Bendtner is on form and isn´t a bad shout at home. He should benefit from Sessegnon´s comeback and could add to his four goals in five games.