Thursday, 13 December 2012

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 17

Last week’s derby win leaves Manchester United 6 points clear at the top of the table. A wrong offside call and a dodgy penalty decision probably saved City from an emphatic defeat, and Tevez being let off without a second yellow helped avoid total embarrassment. Such a gap at the top approaching half-time in the season isn’t going to do United any harm, particularly given that (a) Valencia is back, Vidic and Kagawa will follow soon, and (b) all the fixtures till mid-January seem eminently winnable. Meanwhile, Torres scoring five goals in three games isn’t helping deter doomsday predictions (Just 8 more days to go, people!)

The world might end, but FPL will live on forever! Right, that sucked.

Gameweek 17 fixtures:


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

Due to Club World Cup commitments, neither Chelsea nor their scheduled opponents Southampton feature in this gameweek. Nobody has any idea when the re-scheduled fixture is, so don’t hold on to every player from these teams expecting it to be any time soon. You will lose points needlessly. Keep only Mata and perhaps Cech, if you have a sub keeper who’ll play this gameweek.

The Big Boys


Luis Suarez, Liverpool striker

The plum fixture of the gameweek is Aston Villa’s trip to Anfield. Villa have averaged 1 goal per away game this season (it’s the same case for them at home too, they’ve generally been a good team to bet against), and it’s hard to see that average go anywhere but down. Monitor Jose Enrique’s fitness closely before making a decision. Raheem could also be a sterling choice at this point, and did you know Luis Suarez is back?

Tottenham and Swansea are two good, attacking teams, and is horrible value for defenders from both teams. Bale is still out with an injured hammy, and it’s not clear what the return of Adebayor means to the value of either striker, so I’d do no more than hold on to Defoe for now. Instead of wondering what on earth happened to the Premier League that a player bought from a promoted La Liga club is laying waste to every defence in England, just pick Michu, the first player to cross the 100 point mark this season, and reap the dividends.
 
Santiago Cazorla, Arsenal midfielder

Despite his excellent general play, Cazorla’s points return has not been worth his price. Give him a go at Reading’s pathetic defence before thinking of cutting and forgetting him. It’s hard to say much more than that about Arsenal in terms of FPL really. And hopefully you don’t have too much dead wood (face it, that’s what they are) remaining from Reading’s double gameweek 16. They’re unlikely to do much more. Even against the inconsistent sine curve team of the season.

Dead wood isn’t the term I’d use to describe the other double-gamers from last week though. Manchester United apparently have a grudge against Sunderland for not taking a final day home defeat on the chin, but do they have the defensive strength to keep out the Black Cats? Steven Fletcher smacks his lips. Wayne Rooney looks like he’s up for it again, and Sunderland aren’t exactly filled with Maldinis themselves. The derby also saw good performances from United’s wingers, which is another promising area. Wait and see how they do on Saturday before buying them at their 8+ prices. Never drop van Persie.

Carlos Tevez, Manchester City striker

Manchester City are still smarting from derby defeat, and travel to face a Newcastle side who are also not at the same level they were last season. Carlos Tevez has been pretty much the only consistent FPL scorer for City. Keep Demba Ba and 7.5 is as cheap as Hatem ben Arfa will ever be. (while it is as cheap as he will ever be, he's injured again)

The Other Guys


Stoke City’s fixtures take a significant turn for the worse here. Here’s a list of their next 8 fixtures: Everton, Spurs away, Liverpool, Southampton, Man City away, Chelsea, Swansea away, Wigan. Considering that the only players from this team with any consistent FPL value for the past couple of months have been the keeper and defenders, you would be wise to get rid of/stay away from Stoke players till the winter transfer window has shut. Everton’s most consistent performer has been Marouane Fellaini, and he will relish this battle.

West Brom have been a bit off the boil recently, with two defeats in the last two weeks without having found the net, which has been most uncharacteristic of them. Hold Shane Long and Morrison for now – the next three games are West Ham, Norwich and QPR away. Not too shabby. Patience must be running out with Nolan, and rightly so. West Brom’s defence hasn’t been the best but there is little joy in the Hammers’ fixtures till the new year, so ditching Nolan after this match might not be the worst thing you’ll ever do.

The Little West London derby (my own name, and yes I’m calling it ‘Little’ only because Chelsea aren’t involved) between QPR and Fulham should really be easy pickings for the Cottagers. Much was expected of Harry Houdini, but it’s just more of the same – no wins. But while it’s a match Fulham will win, they’ve become a bit like Wigan over the past 3-4 gameweeks. It’s hard to tell where exactly the value lies after Berbatov went off-boil.

Speaking of Wigan, “stay away” is always good advice, but never more so when they travel to a team that’s unbeaten in the last 10 games in all competitions. Chris Hughton’s really got Norwich going after a sluggish start to the season. All their big name attackers netted in last week’s extraordinary game in Wales, but we don't know how they will fare. You can bet on Grant Holt getting another one, but I wouldn't blame people who jump on the Bassong bandwagon.

The Blogger's Team



fantasy blogger's team
Mata and Cech won't play, Bale injured. "I will survive..."


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