Thursday, 30 August 2012

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 3

This blogger had a pretty good gameweek 2 in Fantasy Premier League, be it with his team or with his post. This week sees Chelsea and Reading take a bye, so be sure to bench/sell players from those teams.

Down to business now.

Gameweek 3 fixtures:

Swansea v Sunderland
Tottenham v Norwich
West Brom v Everton
West Ham v Fulham
Wigan v Stoke
Newcastle v Villa
Manchester City v QPR
Liverpool v Arsenal
Southampton v Manchester United

The Big Boys:

The standout ties are those of the Manchester sides. In a throwback to the last season's finale, Manchester City welcome QPR with both sides looking shaky defensively, QPR more so than City. If you feel City were just taken aback by a combination of that pesky back 3 and Liverpool's energy, by all means invest in Zabaleta. More sturdy and reliable picks would be Tevez and Yaya Toure.

Wayne Rooney's injury is no doubt a blow, the footage was horrid and I wish him a speedy recovery with all my heart. On the pitch though, the goods will be delivered (as I've been saying for a while) by Kagawa and Valencia. And maybe, just maybe, it's time to start thinking of Robin van Persie?

Newcastle looked a shadow of themselves at Stamford Bridge, and were swept aside without the Blues even creating a clear chance in the game. No doubt they will bounce back against Villa, who are looking like relegation contenders again. In the thick of things should be ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse.

The box-office fixture of the week is Arsenal's visit to Anfield. It's a clash between sides with two contrasting problems - one can't stop conceding, the other can't score. Agger's return will bolster the Reds' defence (don't pick him though), but I'll put aside my 'No Liverpool law' from earlier and say, pick Suarez. It's unclear whether Sahin will start, so stay away for now. Arsenal's value has clearly been with their defenders so far, but it's unlikely they will escape Anfield unscathed, so Podolski and Cazorla are better ideas.

Tottenham host Norwich, and the North Londoners will look to get their first win of the season. Sigurdsson and van der Vaart are being rotated, so best stay away from the headache and avoid both. If you wish to invest, do so in Gareth Bale.

The Other Guys

Swansea players have been the gifts that kept on giving at both ends of the pitch, but the two-week fresh Sunderland could be the ones to beat Michel Vorm. Two players that will keep delivering though are Michu and Dyer. The key man for Sunderland will be Sessegnon.

West Brom and Everton are two teams that have given a good account of themselves in the opening two weeks. There's no clean sheet in this, but there is much to expect from Fellaini and Jelavic for the Toffees, and Gera and Morrison for the hosts.

West Ham take on Fulham in one of the not-so-fierce London derbies. Both sides will be looking to bounce back from away defeats, and here, again, clean sheets are out of the question. Brian Ruiz got an early assist last week, and should be getting points again here. Mladen Petric should find the net too. Expect Kevin Nolan to pull some strings for the Hammers.

Before the era of Roberto Martinez, Wigan v Stoke would've been a classic relegation 6 pointer - two sides kicking lumps out of each other in a bid to scrap for the 3 points. Wigan are now beyond that though, and classy play from Kone and Maloney should see them get points. Kightly has looked good for the Potters so far, and I expect Peter Crouch will get off the mark for the season.

Hunch of the Gameweek:

This edition's illogical stab-in-the-dark is West Ham's Mark Noble.

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