In an interesting twist this Gameweek, all three promoted teams produced convincing wins while Arsenal, Liverpool, and Stoke lost ground in the battle for European places. Swansea hammered West Brom at home, QPR put three in the net away at Wolves (and could have scored more), and Norwich registered an important away victory at Bolton. Tottenham kept a clean sheet and scored four against a nine men Liverpool side, while Sunderland hammered Stoke with the same scoreline. Arsenal suffered a surprise loss away at Blackburn, supplying the home team with two own-goals.
In the most entertaining top of the table clash in some time Manchester United won 3 – 1 against an attacking Chelsea side. Meanwhile, City lost their first points of the season, drawing 2 – 2 against a spirited Fulham side.
In more anticipated results, Everton left it late in their 3 – 1 victory against Wigan and Aston Villa and Newcastle shared the spoils at Villa Park.
Only a slippery surface and the post denied Rooney a double digit Fantasy score this Gameweek. In his current form, he is as close to an automatic captain pick as Ronaldo was in his peak in the Premier League. Nani and Young register on the Fantasy score sheet, both stealing bonus points, and again it is hard to recommend one over the other. Nani is looking like the Fantasy monster of last year while Young continues to impress with assist potential and set-piece duties. Defensively, United continue to look less than solid at the back. I wouldn’t recommend United defenders unless you can pick them up cheap, which rules out all but Evans; however, he is likely to be rotated out when Ferdinand is back from injury.
I think it is safe to say that Aguero is City’s number one striker. A back to back hat-trick and double have probably saved him from rotation for the time being. With his high price (11.1), it provides an interesting dilemma with Rooney also a must-own at 12.4 and rising. Silva notched up another assist and is proving consistent both in Fantasy and real terms, having failed to provide a goal or assist in only one of five games. As I predicted, the City defence will not be as solid as last year, and it is still unclear whether they are worth investing in.
Torres and Mata both played well and caused Manchester United problems at the back. Torres was unlucky not to score two goals and seems to finding his form again. I wouldn’t purchase him over Rooney or Aguero at the moment, but is likely to start scoring freely with these kind of performances. Lampard is being played deeper by Villas-Boas and will not justify his price tag this season. He could produce great football for Chelsea but is unlikely to score and assist in quite the abundance he has done in the past. The Chelsea defence is too expensive to consider, unless you got Bosingwa on the cheap.
Adebayor produced the goods, as predicted in last weeks Gameweek review. Van der Vaart made a surprising return and provided an assist while Modric was excellent, scoring a scorcher. Remember that Tottenham’s two losses were against both Manchester teams, who will devour most opponents, and look strong again. Parker will prove to be an excellent acquisition for Redknapp, allowing Modric more freedom in the middle of the park. I wouldn’t go overboard for the defence, in spite of the clean sheet.
Both Wright-Phillips and Barton delivered for QPR with the former notching up an assist and the latter a goal. Warnocks’ preferred defensive lineup will likely be Traore, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, and Young. Not a title winning defence, but solid enough, especially with Barton marshalling the midfield. Gabbidon stands out from the group as a budget defender option.
I wrote off Sunderland’s Fantasy options last week, apart from value purchase Brown. Admittedly, that was a bit knee-jerk so I will try not to jerk my other knee this week. Sunderland blitzed ahead in the first half with the impressive Larsson providing two assists and a goal. Bendtner and Sessegnon got an assist each. Before the Stoke game, Sessegnon had failed to provide Fantasy the goods many predicted. If Sunderland start to gel, both Larson and Sessegnon bear keeping on your radar as Larson is a proven Fantasy scorer while Sessegnon is playing out of position as a second striker. Note that Sunderland’s two clean sheets this season have come with John O’Shea on the field. At 4.4 – 5.0 the Sunderland defence could provide value should the continue to impress.
A pattern emerges; Swansea could be this season’s defensive value team. One goal conceded since the opening day loss against Manchester City and cheap options in goal and defence combine to make the Swansea back-line an attractive investment option. Goalkeeper Vorm (4.1), defender Taylor (4.0), and goal scoring midfielder Dyer (4.7) should all be tempting following Swansea’s first win of the season. In spite of a goal and assist game for 5.9 priced Sinclair, I hesitate recommending him until we see a pattern Fantasy points.
Zamora excelled in Fulham’s impressive second-half comeback, providing a goal and assist. Murphy scored a deflected goal and has now has consecutive games of an assist or goal. At 6.7 and 6.0, respectively, Zamora and Murphy are the attractive options for Fulham. Other are simply overpriced, in my opinion.
Tim Cahill provided another assist but is likely still too expensive. Baines was not involved in Everton’s three goals and hence received no extra points this week. I believe 8.0 is too pricey for a defender that does not deliver regular clean sheets, despite the possible assists and odd goal. The new boys (Drenthe, Velios, Stracqualursi) scored and assisted and bear watching for the next few Gameweeks.
Another solid defensive display enforces the feeling that Newcastle are providing defensive value in Krul, R. Taylor, S. Taylor, and Simpson. R. Taylor is set for an extended run in the first team following news that new left-back purchase Santon is injured. Best now has three goals in three starts and is one to watch. I still rate him as a rotation risk.
The defensive premium on Villa’s players is probably too high at the moment. Apart from Agbonlahor, Villa players are not exciting Fantasy prospects.
The alarm bells are starting to ring at Anfield. We can’t read too much into this performance, because of the two sendings-off. However, Liverpool looked bereft of ideas before any red cards were flashed and Suarez and Carroll never looked like scoring. I still rate Suarez and Enrique as the most exciting options at Liverpool based on their supposed value price. But they are now on notice, pending the result against Wolves next Gameweek.
I predicted last week that Stoke’s Europa League campaign clouded the Fantasy value of Stoke players. This is likely to remain true so beware of investing too much in Stoke this season. Crouch started again and Pulis has demoted Jones to the bench.
Another disaster result for Arsenal. I would hold off Arsenal purchases until they start delivering results. Their defence is Fantasy radioactive; stay away.
Lambert keeps on rotating the team rendering the Fantasy potential of Norwich players dismal, in spite of positive results.
Back-to-back lackluster performances at home with zero goals scored and five conceded marks a unwanted turnaround for Wolves. The exciting Fantasy trio of Fletcher, Jarvis, and Ward now look unexciting. This could be a time to cash in on price rises for the trio.
An impressive win and a wait-and-see verdict on Yakubu and Hoilett.
Hopefully you were not fooled by last week’s clean sheet, as West Brom went back to their goal conceding ways. If you have West Brom defenders or Foster in goal, I would sell them as soon as possible. However, the front-line duo could be worth keeping. Swansea are solid at back so I wouldn’t write off Long and Odemwingie just yet.
With Klasnic’ silly sending off, Petrov is now the only realistic Fantasy option at Bolton, with Arsenal and Chelsea up in the next two games.
Di Santo is the only one worth investing in at the moment and is set to keep his first team place with Rodallega out injured.
Patterns are emerging and the managers’ preferred lineups are starting to become clear. Clean sheets remain devilishly hard to predict while attacking stars continue to consistently deliver. Your purchases should now focus on long-term value, especially as the attractive budget options pop up all over. Budget wise, consider the Swansea and Newcastle defence, to save for either or both of Rooney and Aguero. Further incentive to invest in a budget back-line is that the Manchester duopoly is producing consistent Fantasy midfielders (Nani, Young, Silva, Nasri) and you should be investing in at least two of them.
Remember to finish your purchases early if you are holding a sell player or are looking to buy a rising star.
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