Thursday, 20 September 2012

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 5

Last gameweek was a lower scoring one than all the previous ones, with the average dipping to a season low of 40, beating Gameweek 1 by 9 whole points. It was probably to be expected with the Premier League fixtures sandwiched between the international break and European ties for the top clubs. Expect (both yourself and your rivals) to score far more points this time round.

Right, down to business.

Gameweek 5 fixtures

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

The Big Boys

Without a doubt, the fixture of the week is the potentially explosive one at Anfield. There's always a story when these two English giants face off, and expect this to be no different. Man United are on a great run of form, having won their last four games, while Liverpool are yet to win a domestic game this season. Logic dictates that Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie will be at the races. But Liverpool haven't lost at home to United in the last four seasons, and they'll need Luis Suarez at his best if they are to maintain that record. Raheem Sterling has impressed, and is cheap to boot.

Among the big sides, Chelsea come closest to having the plum tie of the gameweek. They have never failed to beat Stoke City at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, and with Eden Hazard on their books, they look well primed to extend that run. Branislav Ivanovic is another one you must have (and Cech as well, it goes without saying)

Tottenham turned their game up several notches last week and produced a sterling performance to put Reading away. Should they extend that performance to this week's London derby, they will need Jermaine Defoe to keep on delivering. This could be Spurs' first clean sheet too, so the gamblers among you can go for Vertonghen. QPR gave a good account of themselves against City and Chelsea and won't be beaten easily. Expect Esteban Granero to be in the thick of things for the R's.

The other blockbuster fixture of the weekend is Manchester City hosting Arsenal. Samir Nasri will miss the game due to injury, but Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez should make sure he isn't missed much. Aguero might return to the lineup, but hold your horses, he's better bought next week. As for Arsenal, there are now two players consistent on the pitch and in this blogger's FPL's posts - Cazorla and Podolski.

The Other Guys

Newcastle are still injury stricken at the back, with Krul, R. Taylor, Simpson and Coloccini set to miss out. This is good news for Robert Snodgrass, who should have a field day at St. James'. Newcastle's attacking talents are still fit and firing, and they should put Norwich to the sword via Monday's brace hero Demba Ba and ben Arfa. Not so much for the clean sheet but much for the ease it puts on your budget, take a look at Steve Harper.

The Martin O'Neill era must seem like a long time ago for the Villa faithful. From being Champions League hopefuls, they've fallen to a position where they look beatable. They've had a hard time picking up points away from home, and will rely on Bannan and Bent to get any from this tie. A job for Rickie Lambert is in the offing. Gaston Ramirez looks set to start, and is also a prospect to be considered. For the gamblers, attack minded full back Daniel Fox is an option.

Fulham are terrible on the road, and this could be Wigan's chance to put their Old Trafford drubbing (they're probably used to that by now) and notch up a victory. di Santo and Kone will be smacking their lips. Fulham have a new attacking force of their own now though, and Wigan should be wary of Dimitar Berbatov.

Swansea were brought back to earth last week with a 2-0 defeat at Villa Park, but should sober up in time for Everton. Picking Michu is still worth your while, I'll have you know. But the Swans are as injury-ridden at the back as Newcastle, so Everton should get some joy going forward, even with the Jelavic injury doubt. I am talking Steven Pienaar here.

West Ham are performing quite well on their return to the top flight, but face stiff opposition in the form of Martin O'Neill's Sunderland. Kevin Nolan has been consistent for the Hammers, and should be on target against the Mackems. Steven Fletcher is in real good nick now, and his poacher's instinct could deprive West Ham of a hat trick of clean sheets.

West Brom took a bit of a pounding at Craven Cottage last week but they're a strong home side who should put Reading away. James Morrison is this season's Brunt for WBA, and could cause no end of trouble for the Royals along with Shane Long.

Hunch of the Gameweek

It's been a while since he's featured in this part of the blog, but here I go: Fernando Torres

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