Friday, 11 January 2013

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 22

Another late post, because I was out all day yesterday enjoying dad’s birthday. Apologies.

This is a double gameweek for Chelsea and Southampton, and next week is a double gameweek for Arsenal and West Ham. Do keep this in mind to maximize your points in the immediate gameweeks as many of you will no doubt play your January wildcards (if you have not already done so).

Gameweek 22 fixtures

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

The Big Boys

Juan Mata, Chelsea midfielder
Yes, I know this is last season's kit. I love it.

Chelsea have become a fantastic away team under Rafael Benitez and Stoke have begun to leak goals, so that means armband for Juan Mata (9.9) who is the surest starter among Chelsea’s attackers. If he's out of your budget, Eden Hazard (9.4) is an equally good choice. Ross Turnbull (4.3) will play the next two games for Chelsea, and all he has to do to score his price is show up. A clean sheet would be a welcome bonus. UPDATE: Petr Cech might be back.

It’s been a while since we had a blockbuster weekend in the Premier League. The biggest of the matches this weekend is the latest edition of the historic Man United-Liverpool rivalry. Given the way the sides have shaped up this season, it looks set to be a straight shootout between Luis Suarez (10.4) and Robin van Persie (14.1). Keep your eye on Sturridge (7.3), his playing position (if he starts) and what value he might offer.

The other box office fixture is Manchester City’s visit to Arsenal. They do say “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”, and City have taken it quite literally – they have not scored at the Emirates since 2007. With Yaya Toure in Africa and Nasri and Aguero injured, City will likely struggle to end that run. What Aguero’s hamstring and recent matches mean is that Edin Dzeko (7.4) is the best bet if you’re buying City. In view of Arsenal’s upcoming double gameweek, Theo Walcott (9.0) is something of a must-have, and Bacary Sagna (5.1) could provide some cheap differential.

Harry Redknapp faces his previous employers. Tottenham have the joint best form with Man Utd in the league over the last 5 matches (4 wins, 1 draw). Ignoring all the irrelevant subjective variables (like “Harry knows Spurs inside out” - Fat lot of good that did AVB against Chelsea), Spurs should kill QPR. Gareth Bale (9.8) is back from his suspension, and should enjoy himself. Defoe is inconsistent, and Spurs defenders aren’t a good idea given the upcoming fixtures.

The Other Guys

Pavel Pogrebnyak, Reading forward

West Brom haven’t been the best away team this season, and Reading have tightened up at the back since set-piece taker Ian Harte (3.8) replaced Shorey at left back. Also, Pavel Pogrebnyak (4.3) is back in the team and back among the goals. Cheap value.

Sunderland have some promising fixtures coming, which is good news of present and future owners of Steven Fletcher (7.0). Joe Cole (5.6) had a good debut with a brace of assists in the cup, and is worth a punt given his quality crossing from left. With 0.9% ownership and a double gameweek coming, he could provide some value differential.

Everton face a Swansea side fresh from two great cup matches against London’s biggest teams. One word – Michu (8.2). Graham (5.4) has embarked on quite a scoring run, though it is uncertain whether he will start. He’s more of a hold than a buy. Everton have Fellaini (7.4), who was quite devastating in the reverse fixture in September.

Southampton play away twice and despite being a terrible away team, they should have a good time against Villa. Enter Rickie Lambert (6.3). You can apply the Turnbull logic to Luke Shaw (4.0). Southampton have a bad defensive record away, so hold Benteke (6.7) unless you have someone better in mind.

Wigan have the joint worst form over the last 5 games, and they travel to a Fulham side who have their attackers fit. It’s going to be a field day for Berbatov (7.1) and Ruiz (5.4).

And who do Wigan have the joint worst form with? Norwich and Newcastle, who face each other. Neither team is particularly adept at parking the bus, so there should be goals in this one. Joy for owners of Snodgrass (6.2) and Cisse (8.8, probably overpriced), who will play a central striker role now that Ba is gone.

The Blogger’s Team

Meme of the week


  1. Eden Hazard? Go home blogger, you are drunk. Hazard has been a flop

    1. In FPL, he has 11 assists (highest) and has normally been excellent when Benitez has started him.

      Nobody's forcing you to pick him. Obviously Mata's the better choice.

    2. @Anon: Yeah, you were saying?

  2. Hazard has not been flop their strikers had failed which is going to improve with Ba


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