Time for Gameweek 6 preparations. The topics: Who to captain, who are likely to score, and what defences we should bet on. Add a sprinkling of punts, digest for half an hour, and we have the Friday Foreplay.
- Fellaini: He leads midfielders in touches in the penalty box (57), attempts on goal (23), and is eleventh in chances created (11). He also leads midfielders in attempts from set pieces (10) which means he could grab a goal even if he isn’t too involved in Everton’s open play attacks. Everton play Southampton who have a dreadful time defending Premier League teams in their first five games. Added to Everton’s current form and Fellaini looks the pick of the Gameweek.
Van Persie: Despite two wins in a row, Tottenham look like they are still finding their feet under Villas-Boas. Van Persie has scored five goals in five games for Manchester United since his move from Arsenal and seems as deadly as ever in the penalty box. He is also on penalties, at least until Rooney returns from injury. The only caveat is that United seems to not have figured out how to play with Kagawa and Van Persie, leaving the new pair isolated up front. This was the case against Liverpool and would lessen the attractiveness of most forwards, but Van Persie’s movement and clinical finishing is such that he’s almost an automatic captain’s pick when playing at home.
Baines: Baines is the rarest of defenders that offers consistent Fantasy attacking potential. He leads all players in chances created (24) and crosses (47), and has a decent goal attempts in five games. Considering Everton’s form he has a decent chance of getting a clean sheet, and should he also get some attacking returns and double digit Gameweek beckons.
Continuing the Evertong love, Pienaar is a constant menace on the left. He cuts in on his preferred right foot, leaving it to Baines to supply width. He’s cheaper than Fellaini and is a good bet for a goal and an assist against Southampton.
Ba is the Newcastle striker on form. This has been duly represented in his price which has gone up by £0.4. He has four goals and nine bonus points and is likely to score, despite an away game.
Manchester United’s defence has been unconvincing and Vidic’s setback further adds to their defensive injury woes. Bale’s move from left back to left wing in the second half against QPR lifted Tottenham’s attacking play to a higher level. Villas-Boas is unlikely to move Bale back, especially after Vertonghen’s capable display at left back.
Cazorla is an early contender for player of the season and is the fulcrum of Arsenal’s fluid attack. He has created the most chances of midfielders (20) and trails only Fellaini in total shots (19). Despite facing a defensively sound Chelsea, Arsenal will get their chances.
Crouch and Walters have been swapping between creator and finisher roles and face a Swansea team that has conceded at least two goals a game since the opener against QPR.
Manchester City haven’t kept a clean sheet yet and Fulham have been very attacking for their start of the season. Their play will be based around Berbatov and he has every chance causing big problems for City.
Everton’s defence has looked solid and they kept a clean sheet away from home last Gamweek. Since Baines is already in the captain’s picks, I’ll go for Jagielka who is the other definite starter. Hibbert is registered as a doubt in the FPL game with a 50% chance of playing due to an unknown reason.
Stoke are a tough team to visit and will sit deep against Swansea, relying on counter attacks and set pieces to do damage. Huth and Shawcross are both threats at set pieces, but Shawcross’s cheaper price makes him a more interesting Fantasy option.
Martin O’Neill likes his teams to play a tight game, based on discipline and wing play. Sunderland are no excpetion this season and host Wigan on Saturday. With the injuries to Cuellar, Bardsley, and Brown, O’Shea is the safest pick of the defence.
Anichebe’s strength and speed has been on display since his introduction this season due to Jelavic’s injury. He’s a good short term punt if you have transfers to spare but watch out for Everton’s press conference on Friday too see if Jelavic is set to be restored to the starting lineup.
Pogrebnyak scored midweek for Reading and will test Newcastle’s injury stricken defence.
Silva seems to be stuck on my “punts” list this season. He’s was too consistent a Fantasy performer last season to belong here but hasn’t hit the heights of last season in the first five games of the new one. Mancini’s explanation is that Silva is “not 100 per cent” but insists that he doesn’t need rest. This probably means he just needs a few games under his belt, he should get better by the game and likely see more fruitful Fantasy returns.