Musings from Gameweek 28
United’s attacking trio
Against all predictions Ferguson started Van Persie against Norwich and he duly delivered with an assist for United’s opener. Then on the 65th minute he was subbed off as a precaution for the midweek Madrid game.
Cue the awakening of Kagawa and Rooney.
They combined for United’s second and third goal while Rooney’s dipping effort secured an easy 4 – 0 home win.
The results opens up the question of who to include in your team from Manchester United. Despite the threat of rotation, especially if United win the tie against Real Madrid, I believe coverage of the likely champions is crucial.
Kagawa could be a surprise late season hit and Rooney is always viable, but I still think Van Persie is the best option. Despite having a “quiet” game according to pundits he still had three shots and created three chances in his 65 minutes on the pitch. That is more than decent, and stats you would welcome for any of your players.
The Bulgarian is showing consistency with goals in consecutive games for the first time this season. He is another decent option in the now rather crowded third striker spot. While Lambert and Benteke returned blanks this Gameweek, the Bulgarian’s four shots resulted in eight points for his owners.
Fantasy managers have spent most of their QPR time on pondering whether to bring in the always-promising-but-never-delivering Taraabt. Other QPR players have not been viable, until the arrival of Loic Remy. Could he be the answer?
Suarez for the Golden Boot
Sturridge’s injury meant that Suarez led the line for Liverpool. And boy did he lead the line.
Three goals in four shots plus a well deserved three bonus points left his owners with a big grin on their faces that only the grim reality of Monday morning removed.
One is left to ponder whether Suarez would have had the same chance to score if Sturridge had been fit? Suarez is a valuable Fantasy pick nevertheless, but I suspect that his Fantasy effectiveness is reduced with Sturridge in the fold.
Everton’s midfield duo
Many a manager was left cursing Fellaini’s drop out of the midfield template. He delivered a goal in his five shots in Everton’s win and added an assist to boot.
Pienaar had the same Fantasy impact but had the reverse set of underlying stats. His five chances created speaks of the different role the midfield duo play in Everton’s setup.
While Sissoko and Michu returned blanks, Fellaini and Pienaar pose a conundrum to Fantasy managers. After their blank in Gameweek 29, Everton have three home games in the next four but face Manchester City, Stoke City, and Tottenham before a tasty home tie against QPR.
Bale and Walcott
The North London derby served up the expected Fantasy results. Both Bale and Walcott were in the points, although Bale’s afternoon was the happier one. I see no reason to drop either despite Arsenal’s blank in Gameweek 29.
So much has been written on both that I’ll simply say that both have returned a single blank in the last seven Gameweeks. That is exactly the consistency you need to win your mini leagues so keep them in and gamble with other players.
The latter part of the season often sees the elite defensive teams tighten up. This Gameweek was the perfect example. Both Manchester teams, Liverpool, and Chelsea kept out their opponents and returned valuable points to Fantasy managers wise enough to hold some more expensive defenders.
But what players to pick?
Liverpool’s choice is between Enrique and Johnson. Johnson is more likely to deliver attacking returns but comes at a premium.
While Kompany is injured Nastasic is a decent pick in the Manchester City defence but the most logical pick is Zabaleta, who offers an attacking threat in addition to a secure place in the starting lineup.
Surprisingly, De Gea is likely your best bet in the United defence. With Ferguson rotating his centre backs and Rafael, and Evra quite expensive, De Gea has suddenly become the safest choice.
I’m documenting whether I’m passing the test with my captain picks. If a captain pick scores over three points in the Gameweek it is considered a success and I am also noting double-digit Gameweek scores.
In the Friday Foreplay for Gameweek 28 I recommended Bale, Mata, and Aguero as captain picks. Sadly, only Bale delivered for me this Gameweek. Mata returned a disappointing blank and Aguero picked up an injury and didn’t play against Aston Villa.
Quality of captain picks:
- Good captain picks: 53/84
- Double digit captains: 22/84