I do solemnly, sincerely, truly declare and affirm that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The truths to be given include captain picks, heavy hitters, clean sheets, punts, and the big ol’ rumbling gut.
1. Rooney: United’s bright light this season, he was the only player that came away from the City loss with any distinction. His free kicks have been spot on this season, with a superb consolation goal last week. He has over 3 goal attempts per game and 2 chances created and was highlighted in both this week’s Watchlist and Market Mechanics articles. A home game against West Brom makes him the prime captain pick, and he could very well be your captain for the next four weeks given United’s juicy schedule (WBA, sun, SOT, STK).
2. Michu: A surprise to some but those that have their eye on underlying stats will be nodding their head in self-satisfying agreement. He has 14 goal attempts, 7 shots in the box, and 11 chances created this season and looks every bit the lethal finisher he proved to be last season. Despite facing table-topping Arsenal, Michu has every chance to score as Arsenal have conceded over a goal per game, relying more on their attacking gusto to win. Subject to scrutiny in an upcoming Comparing the Captains article, he’s a fine captain pick this Gameweek.
3. Aguero: The explosive Argentinian was unstoppable against Manchester United last Gameweek, scoring two goals and being an all around nuisance around the opposition penalty area. The City team looked cohesive and well drilled, a good sign for both Pellegrini’s men and Fantasy managers holding City players. Last season’s injuries, and Mancini’s rotation meant that Aguero didn’t live up to his potential, as witnessed by his amazing 23 goal and 9 assist first season in the Premier League. Despite Aston Villa’s fine performances this season they still rank 17th in the league in goals conceded at home. Aguero will get his chances to score.
Özil’s three assists last game have propelled to instant Fantasy stardom as almost 170.000 managers have purchased the wily German for an upcoming away game against Swansea. Last week’s Friday Foreplay highlighted his amazing assist stats over the last season and suffice to say he is already looking like the world class number 10 Arsenal fans hoped he would become.
Giroud should benefit from Özil’s vision and execution and is a definite starter due to Arsenal’s lack of other striking options, despite Bendtner’s decent performance against West Brom in the Carling Cup.
Despite some obvious rusty moments, Suarez was dangerous against Manchester United in the Carling Cup and could have had a couple of goals. He scored 23 league goals last season, as mentioned in this week’s Differentials, and shouldn’t take too long to make his mark this season. Especially if the opponent is Sunderland.
We are yet to see Suarez’s effect on Sturridge’s output, but should Rodger’s promise of keeping Sturridge up top hold true he will get chances, if only because the focus will now be on defences to stop Suarez. He’s a fine striker and should maintain a healthy goal output throughout the season.
Baines’s free kick brace was a stark reminder of both his abilities and Fantasy potential. In addition to the obvious set piece threat, he has attempted 50 crosses, created 11 chances, and is part of an Everton defence that has already delivered three clean sheets under Martinez. If you have the cash, a splash for a little left-back love is advised.
Lukaku enters the heavy hitter category for the first time this season, following his loan move to Everton. We know his power, skill, and finishing ability from his excellent season with West Brom last season. What we also saw in his debut for Everton is heading ability and courage. He will do well for Everton this season and is a steal at 7.4.
Manchester United, Southampton, and Stoke have home games against teams that have scored half a goal per game or less away from home.
United are the obvious choice and Evra is the least susceptible to rotation. He also offers some set piece threat and is often part of United’s attacking forays down the left wing.
Southampton’s Shaw and Clyne are both budget friendly picks, at 4.7 and 4.4 respectively, who are part of a mean defence, currently second in the league in goals conceded per game (0.4).
For Stoke, Huth offers set piece threat, with over three goals on average in the last four seasons, while Wilson is a budget pick at 4.5.
Lambert, the subject of this week’s Flying Under the Radar, has 15 attempts with 10 coming from within the opposition box, the second most from all forwards. Southampton welcome Crystal Palace to St. Mary’s in a fixture that promises goals.
Bent scored almost instantly in the midweek Carling Cup game and should have all the motivation he needs following Paul Lambert’s rather harsh rejection of his services.
Adam is one of the beneficiaries of Hughes’s change of tactics at Stoke. As highlighted in this week’s Statistics Lab, Adam carries the biggest goal threat for Stoke, ranking third among all midfielders in on target statistics.
BIG OL’ RUMBLING GUT PICK
Lamela hasn’t played more than twenty minutes in a league game this season in a midfield packed with talent playing for a team that has won four out of its five games. Most would say he will not even start but we say he’ll both start and deliver Fantasy points. Go prove us right Lamela.