Thursday, 7 February 2013

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 26

Manchester City and Liverpool both ended the weekend 9 points off - what I believe to be - their respective aims for the season. There were several eye-catching goals from the big names for the neutrals to enjoy. Chelsea have now become easy opponents home and away and have North London breathing down their necks while United are typically relying on muscle memory to get through this time of the season with one win following another.

This is the last gameweek before another FA Cup round, and hopefully both your real and fantasy teams give you reason to smile for the next two weeks.

Gameweek 26 fixtures

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

The Big Boys

Liverpool’s double gameweek simply cannot be overlooked, given that both of their matches are at Anfield. Gifts galore for owners of Gerrard (9.7), Suarez (10.7) and Sturridge (7.7). Liverpool have kept 7 clean sheets in their last 9 home games, so Jose Enrique (5.7) is definitely a prospect considering that.

Much to the relief of tortured Chelsea fans who’ve had to watch Bertrand make a poor fist of being a winger, Eden Hazard (9.3) has finished his 3 match ban and has a favourable match-up at home to Wigan. And Juan Mata (10.1), as always. Lampard (8.5) is on a run of goals and seems determined not to stop till he breaks Tambling’s record.

Everton face a daunting trip to Old Trafford to face a team that has won every home game bar one. Despite European commitments, it’s hard to imagine that United will rest any of their big names, so don’t drop/sell them. Fellaini (7.8) is back playing an advanced role after Gibson’s return, and if the reverse fixture is anything to go by, he will prove a handful once again.

Sissoko (6.0) had a great home and away debut, and early signs suggest he could be as valuable in this year’s Feb-May period as Sigurdsson was in last year’s. Bale (9.8) is an FPL stud who takes plenty of shots and scores his fair share, particularly in this strikerless formation Spurs will use for the rest of the month, so don’t drop him. The same applies to Lewis Holtby (7.5) who had an impressive Premier League debut start.

The tie that comes closest to the “plum” region is Manchester City’s trip to St. Mary’s. Aguero (10.9) found the net last week and with no European commitments for City to consider, should be a season-long starter for them.

Sunderland aren’t playing well, whereas Podolski (8.3) and Walcott (9.6) are. It’s that simple.

The Other Guys

Ben Davies (4.5) is something of a must-have given the combination of his low cost and the two matches of which one is at home against an ultra-low-scoring QPR. Owners of Michu (8.4) should give him one last chance considering that it’s a double gameweek. Nothing lost if he fails to produce yet again, as most of you bought him when he cost well below 7 and you will gain a hefty profit by selling him if he does fail again.

Stoke-Reading feels like one match that is best avoided in the retail market this week (I don’t even know why I’m saying this, everybody’s just after Liverpool players anyway).

Norwich v Fulham. See above.

Villa have been getting on the scoresheet lately, but there are a bad couple of fixtures following the international break, so hold Benteke (6.7) if you’ve got him, but no retail purchase.

The Blogger’s Team

Fellaini has a bright yellow mark now. Never mind it.

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