Thursday, 13 September 2012

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 4

There are two sides to most issues, but there is one issue most people agree upon - the international break is an unwelcome hindrance. Reasons vary, of course. For some of us, it means lack of our Premier League diet and the mini-hangover that follows. For others, it's the danger that a vital player could pick up an injury. It has gone though, and it'll be a welcome next few weeks of domestic football. Back to business for the clubs.

And back to business here too.

Gameweek 4 fixtures:
Arsenal v Southampton
Villa v Swansea
Everton v Newcastle
Man United v Wigan
QPR v Chelsea
Reading v Tottenham
Stoke v Man City
Sunderland v Liverpool
Norwich v West Ham
Fulham v West Brom

The Big Boys

Three teams likely to finish in the top four have the pick of the fixtures this gameweek. Manchester United usually do a lot of damage to Wigan's goal difference at Old Trafford, and should be at it again. Kagawa and van Persie are injury doubts but if declared fit, they'll be the ones improving your ranking. The safe picks are Vidic and Valencia. Kone has found a bit of FPL form, and he might not be too untidy this weekend.

It has been ages since one could trust the solidity of Arsenal's defence, but it's finally happening. The Gunners seem watertight at the back, and Thomas Vermaelen should walk into your team based on that. A cheaper, diet pick would be Kieran Gibbs. Going forward, it's worth repeating last gameweek's suggestions: Podolski and Cazorla.

Chelsea's visit to QPR is a fixture that seems like a volcano waiting to blow, given the non-football issues surrounding the game (which everyone is aware of, no doubt). As far as FPL is concerned, Fernando Torres has been in the sort of form not seen from him in years, so stick with him a bit longer. And pick Eden Hazard. You shouldn't have to ask why.

The fixtures just do not ease up for Liverpool, do they? Sunderland away is the latest tough nut they have to crack, and the team's form isn't promising. It looks promising for Steven Fletcher though, who could build on his brace last gameweek. As for Liverpool, it's about time Fabio Borini earned his keep.

Will he, won't he? Aguero's return to training has some FPL players in a dilemma, but it is still not clear if he'll start, so steer clear this week. He won't affect City's 'FPL gold', Carlos Tevez. Expect Yaya Toure to keep delivering too. Stoke are tough nuts of crack, especially at home, and Peter Crouch could get a sniff of points given the way City's defence has started the season.

Tottenham have had an indifferent start to the season, and it's about time they pick up. The form man, Jermaine Defoe, should keep delivering. I wouldn't trust the Spurs defence yet though, and I'm going to back up that opinion by suggesting you pick Pavel Pogrebnyak.

The Other Guys

Newcastle are stricken with injuries at the back, and that's good news for owners, or to-be owners, of Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic. Everton's bubble burst at West Brom last gameweek, and expect Hatem ben Arfa to work as hard as he can to pop it further.

Swansea should be favourites, even at Villa Park, and the gifts that will keep on giving are Michu and Dyer. Seriously. Never drop them unless they're injured.

West Ham enjoyed a good win last gameweek, and expect Nolan and vaz Te to help them carry that form forward. And it's about time Grant Holt got going, don't you think?

West Brom are a team in very good nick, and Shane Long could have some good chances this weekend. Morrison isn't one to be overlooked either. Fulham's points, fantasy or otherwise, will hinge or their attacking duo of Petric and Berbatov.

Hunch of the Gameweek:

More logic to this one than the previous three, this gameweek's hunch is Norwich's Robert Snodgrass.

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