Friday, 1 February 2013

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 25

The midweek saw QPR manage yet another draw (at least they're not losing), and Manchester United pull further ahead in the title 'race'. Chelsea's performances at Brentford and Reading make them look less like a team and more like Juan Mata + 10. Tottenham failed to capitalise on a tough game for Arsenal (which they did well to draw, mind you) and a bad result for Chelsea by failing to beat a struggling Norwich. So it looks like the title is heading to Manchester, but hopefully it won't be that simple in your FPL league.

Moving on to a gameweek where it really isn't mentally healthy to gamble on who's keeping a clean sheet.

Gameweek 25 fixtures

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

The Big Boys

Olivier Giroud, Arsenal forward

Arsenal have been scoring lately, and Stoke have been conceding lately, so it wouldn't be too much of a push to suggest that the gameweek will be a good one for Giroud (7.9), who's put in some good recent performances.

The box office fixture at the Etihad against Liverpool is a sort of must-win for the hosts given the ground they've given up in the title 'race' (have I already covered that one?). Liverpool haven't defended well away from home at any point this season so despite an aberration at Loftus Road, Aguero (10.9) should be primed to net in this one. For the Reds, Suarez (10.5) is the gift that keeps on giving. Also remember that Gameweek 26 is a double home gameweek for Liverpool, so prepare to take full advantage.

As for Chelsea, the question mark that none of us wanted was one over the fitness of Juan Mata (10.1), and the good news is that Juan Mata is declared fit. And how about Moussa Sissoko (6.0)? Great Premier League debut, first home game for an improving team against a struggling team without a holding midfielder to speak of.

Manchester United's work is eased by an injury to ex-player Dimitar Berbatov. This raises the value of United's defenders. Hang on to van Persie (14.1) and Wayne Rooney (11.8), of course.

Tottenham failed to beat a struggling Norwich, and their next trip is a much harder game. West Brom's home defence is bettered only by Manchester City's, so there's not much value in retail for Spurs players. Keep their premium-priced attackers if you have them.

The Other Guys

Yes, I realise Michu (8.4) hasn't had a goal for a while now, and that is causing some angst, particularly for those who bought him on retail recently. But also realise that Liverpool's second opponents in GW26 are Swansea, so GW26 is a double gameweek for Swansea too. So I'd hold on to the lad, and the cheap yet valuable Ben Davies (4.5).

Hosting Manchester United aside, the upcoming fixtures aren't too daunting for QPR, and if there's any time for them to get points, this is it. Loic Remy (6.0) could prove quite the differential bargain in this period, and if you want any cheap defenders, then maybe Fabio (4.2) is your way in. QPR kept 3 clean sheets in their 4 league games last month, and those shutouts came against Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City.

Wigan are witnessing an upturn in form in front of goal, and that's due to the creation of Shaun Maloney (4.8). di Santo (5.3) is a one-week-only purchase that could pay off. Observe Southampton a bit more under new management before deciding who has retail value.

Sunderland had a wretched home performance against Swansea, so I'm a bit cold on them for this one, despite them playing a relegation-battling team. Adam le Fondre (4.8) scored 5 goals in his last 72 minutes for Reading, it's quite extraordinary that he isn't starting. Hard to imagine his bench status will continue, but better you than me to gamble on that.

Aston Villa have been wretched for weeks, and the return to fitness of Darron Gibson should push Fellaini (7.7) back to a more attacking role. Hold on to Baines (7.5).

The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's Team
No transfers this gameweek

Meme of the Week

Football Meme of the week

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