Thursday, 26 April 2012

Fantasy Football: Gameweek 36

It has been a fantastic week of football so far. A 4-4 draw at Old Trafford and a team coming back from 2-0 down at the Nou Camp are both spectacles the football world has been fortunate to witness in a space of three days. That has set the stage for an ending to the season that would’ve had the best pundits laughing at you had you predicted such things two weeks ago. As it stands, City could regain top spot by Tuesday, and the Champions League Final will not have a Spanish club in it.

Enough rambling, moving on to business...

Gameweek 36 fixtures:

Chelsea v QPR
Everton v Fulham
Norwich City v Liverpool
Sunderland v Bolton
Stoke v Arsenal
Wigan v Newcastle
West Brom v Villa
Swansea v Wolves
Tottenham v Blackburn
Manchester City v Manchester United

Stoke v Everton
Chelsea v Newcastle
Liverpool v Fulham
Bolton v Tottenham

NOTE: This is a double gameweek for Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Everton, Stoke, Bolton, Newcastle and Fulham

Player picks:

The big game this gameweek is the Manchester Derby, no contest. Sir Alex grudgingly agreed that this is the biggest match between the two sides in his reign, and City will be tasting blood after finding the dominant side of their game just as United look like losing theirs.

It’ll be a match with goals, and that is something both sides have no problems with, so it should be quite some spectacle. Expect a straight shootout between the electric English pair of Wayne Rooney and Daniel Welbeck, and the electric Argentine pair of Sergio Aguero and ex-Red Devil Carlos Tevez.

Chelsea head into the double home gameweek on the back of some incredible cup results against Tottenham and Barcelona. They are four points off the top 4 and will now start hacking away at Newcastle’s lead in earnest. Two home games means untold joy for Juan Mata, who has thrived in the surroundings of the Bridge. Points could come from Frank Lampard and Ramires too.

Newcastle are doublers of their own, and as always, their players are easy to name – Papiss Cisse, Hatem ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye. Both games are away to opponents who have had a great April, which is all that stops me from suggesting the excellent and consistent Krul. He will have to face Chelsea, and the duo of Shaun Maloney and Victor Moses at the DW stadium.

It’s a double home gameweek for Stoke as well. That is no guarantee of anything, but surely Peter Crouch and Matthew Etherington will fancy themselves. Stoke are strong at home, and van Persie (and therefore Arsenal) hasn’t been ‘the usual’ lately. I do fancy points for the Arsenal captain though.

Everton are other doublers who have testing games against the awesome Fulham and away to Stoke. They have one player in form who is something of a must-have – Nivica Jelavic. Points could also come from Marouane Fellaini who is good at making a nuisance of himself up front. Fulham’s double Merseyside adventure will be spearheaded by the in-form Clint Dempsey. Pogrebnyak netted last week and could do so again.

Liverpool have been as awful in the league as they have been awesome in the domestic cups. Tempting as it may be, do not buy many of their players. The only one worth taking a look at is Luis Suarez. Norwich City and Grant Holt in particular will relish a match against Liverpool, as will anyone.

Spurs play two relegation battlers, and if this doesn’t shake them back into nick, they have no right to be in the top four anyway. This should be a big kick in the backside (and the points tally) for Adebayor, Bale and van der Vaart.

Bolton won’t take anything lying down from now. To aid them will be Martin Petrov. Sunderland will not be silent themselves – Sessegnon is due a good game, pointswise.

Finally, the 100% single-gamers tie: West Brom-Villa. Villa have been dire of late and are in danger of relegation , while Roy’s boys are coming off a 0-1 win at Anfield. Easy pickings for Odemwingie and Brunt.

Hunch of the Gameweek:

This gameweek’s stab-in-the-dark is Steven Gerrard

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