Thursday, 2 May 2013

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 36

Bayern continue to show us just how ruthless they can be, while a late show wasn't quite enough to salvage Real Madrid's campaign. That Mourinho will lead Chelsea into the next season is probably football's worst kept secret even after ITV's unforgivable gaffe (more on that later) concealed the complete details. With QPR and Reading relegated, Champions League qualification and the final drop spot are officially the only plot lines surrounding this Premier League season.

As for the absence - College means work, at some point. Never mind. Just like the best teams always do, we have come back!

Gameweek 36 fixtures

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

The Double Gamers

Juan Mata (10.0) isn’t the high-points machine that he was till March, but he is notching up consistent assists and this double gameweek seems made for him and Eden Hazard (9.6) to notch up the points given that they travel to a team that no longer cares, and will contest a high tempo home match that should play to their strengths. In terms of consistent points, little has been going for Spurs besides Gareth Bale (10.6). While the big money is on him, the smart money could well be on the now-fit Aaron Lennon (7.1).

With Aston Villa’s big win on Monday pulling them further away from the bottom three, Wigan will have to go all guns blazing in order to avoid relegation. This negates any possibility of rotation prior to the FA Cup Final. If Swansea are as listless at the DW as they were at Stamford Bridge, having Maloney (5.2) or Kone (6.8) in your team should pay dividends despite the tough Hawthorns trip during the weekend. Speaking of the Hawthorns, Romelu Lukaku (6.7) is on the double too, and on song.

Unlike Wigan, City’s league season is pretty much done and dusted, so expect a fair bit of rotation before the FA Cup Final. It’s hard to guess who will start both games, but if I were to guess, I’d go with Samir Nasri (8.1). Their first game is away to a listless Swansea (have I already said that?), who aren’t too bothered about being tight or scoring. If you have Michu (8.2), keep him, but don't consider buying him even with the double game.

The Other Guys

Villa’s big win confirmed QPR’s relegation. The now infamous image of Bosingwa in peals of laughter after last week’s condemning result goes to show that expecting QPR to play hard for pride when they couldn’t be bothered to play hard for survival is a bit rich. Good news for owners of Arsenal players – expect nice returns from Theo Walcott (8.8) and the Arsenal defence.

The blockbuster fixture of the gameweek is the Merseyside derby – always a fixture littered with action, goals, controversy and cards – your cue to avoid defenders of both teams. Daniel Sturridge (6.9) did a fine job at St. James’ (then again, who doesn’t?).

Newcastle are in dismal form. Last weekend saw them concede their 10th home goal without reply in all competitions. A team that are this dysfunctional at both ends of the pitch can’t be expected to give Sam Allardyce’s boys much trouble at home. Andy Carroll (8.2) will relish this one, while Jarvis (5.5) (who will be up against a second choice right back due to Debuchy’s suspension) wouldn’t be too untidy a pick either.

Christian Benteke (7.6) has turned it on in the last few months and has been instrumental in turning things around for Aston Villa. Even in this week of double gamers, he is surely worth considering. You should definitely hold him if you have him.

The di Canio fever was quelled emphatically by the Belgian tempest at Villa Park. A sober Sunderland, though still in the relegation fight, have shown enough under di Canio to make them favourites for shutting out a Stoke side that struggle to score away. It has to be said that buying someone playing this match may not be the best idea given all the cheap double gamers who’ll get 4 points or more just for showing up.

Reading have a Championship squad and will be in the Championship next season, while Berbatov is an injury doubt for a Fulham side who are on a run of three defeats. As with the Sunderland-Stoke tie, there are better places to look at for this gameweek.

The Blogger's Team

Not yet made transfer. Sissoko -> Maloney? Suarez -> Kone? Both? Neither? Choices...

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