On this Friday road, trying to make it home
Doing the Foreplay-p***ed off, who wants some
I’m fighting for my soul, God get at your boy
You try the Foreplay–fall back, I go hard
Prepare for a culture shock as yet another tune gets trounced on. Done shaking your head? Good. Ride along with this lonely traveler in a paradox of pain and captain picks, heavy hitters, clean sheets, punts, and the big ol’ rumbling gut.
1. Van Persie: Despite Manchester United’s horrific season, Van Persie is as reliable as ever, with nine goals and two assists in thirteen fixtures in the league. Since coming back from injury he hasn’t skipped a beat two goals in two and consecutive bonus points. More importantly, United are at home against Fulham who, as pointed out in this Gameweek’s Captains Analysis, have conceded a Premier League leading 28 goals away from home (2.33 per game). If United’s power trio of Van Persie, Rooney, and Mata can’t strike against Fulham, they are screwed.
2. Suarez: Not the first pick despite playing at home, as ATFPL headquarters have judged the Arsenal defence as too solid to destroy. Liverpool can certainly win, and Suarez may score, but don’t expect explosive returns.
3. Hazard: Alongside Matic, Hazard was the best player on the pitch in Chelsea’s convincing win against Manchester City. Despite blanks in three consecutive Gameweeks, a dominating Chelsea team could follow Sunderland’s lead and score a plethora of goals against a Newcastle team devoid of its spine following the sale of Cabaye.
Conflict almost bubbled over at ATFPL on the issue of Lallana’s suitability as captain this Gameweek. Although he was promoted in the Captain Analysis and demoted in the Foreplay we still agree that he’s still a great pickup at 7.9 mil and fine choice against a Stoke team not showing the defensive resolve under Hughes that we came to expect under Pulis. Rodriguez is another option from Southampton who has been rising in popularity due to new found consistency. His recent return of two goals and an assist in the last three outings is coming from 2.5 shots and 0.7 key passes per game, indicating a decent chance that the former Burnley striker will continue rewarding Fantasy managers.
Few teams are able to contain Silva as well as Chelsea did last Gameweek. He’s mobile and wily and has great underlying offensive statistics (2.2 shots and 3.8 key passes per game). Manchester City should bounce back quickly under the steady guidance of Pellegrini and will score against Norwich. A bet on the Spanish midfield maestro or Dzeko, ATFPL’s Risk vs. Reward captain pick, are approved by ATFPL’s quality control.
With two assists in two games since joining Manchester United, Mata continues where he left off last season under Benitez’s Chelsea. He’s a Fantasy force and is always likely to return points, whether United are winning or losing. He’s the only viable United midfielder at the moment and comes in strong against Fulham.
ATFPL’s think-tank is not worried about Eriksen’s first blank in five games in last Gameweek’s fixture. Playing away at the KC Stadium is a tough task as Hull rank 3rd defensively at home. A home game against Everton is a better fixture for attacking assets, believe it or not, and the Danish midfielder’s three goals and four assists in his last eight league games keeps him firmly on our radar.
Sturridge’s 7.2 points per game eclipse even Suarez in games where they both play. Doubling up or even replacing Suarez is a viable move, but comes with major risks. Should you need to catch up a Shrewd Move or two are required, so don’t be afraid to take your chances on the most in-form English striker at the moment.
Highlighted in this week’s Differentials, Lambert is set to benefit from Osvaldo’s departure and could be a sneaky performer in the run-in. He’s a solid finisher and a proven Premier League player, as witnessed by his last season’s performances that resulted in fifteen goals and eights assists in 38 appearances.
Benteke’s back, much to Paul Lambert’s delight. Three goals and two assists in his last five outings resulting in four consecutive Fantasy returns are enough to whet any Fantasy manager’s appetite. However, some reservation is called for as Aston Villa face West Ham, who have found their defensive resolve again with clean sheets against Chelsea and Swansea. Play Benteke if you have him, but don’t expect a goal-fest.
Cazorla is Arsenal’s midfielder in form, as noted in this week’s Watchlist. Two goals and an assist are backed by shooting and passing numbers on par with Walcott’s before his injury (2.5 shots and 1.8 key passes per game). We don’t expect Arsenal register a goal haul at Anfield, but wouldn’t be surprised to see Cazorla pick up an assist or goal in a tight game.
Chelsea, Southampton, and Manchester United are playing at home against opponents that have struggled for goals away from home.
Matic’s influence on Chelsea’s defensive performance against Manchester City was a topic of this week’s Mid-Week Round-Up, and serves to highlight the best defence in the league at the moment. Although Cahill is cheaper, ATFPLs purchasing department likes the cut of Ivanovic’s jib as well as his guaranteed game time at right-back.
We Learned from last Gameweek that getting aboard the Southampton bandwagon is a strategy worth noting, and with Boruc back in goal, Southampton’s chances for clean sheets increase.
If Moyes gets Manchester United playing well again, Rafael is likely to benefit as his manager likes a marauding full-back. The Brazilian is desperate to prove his worth ahead of the World Cup and a game against Fulham is the perfect spot to pick his first attacking points this season.
Big ol’ Rumbling Gut Pick
No goals, no assists, and being substituted in his last two games can only mean one thing: We found our Gut Pick. Not only is Jelavic yet to score, he also faces a resurgent Sunderland team at the Stadium of Light. You might think ATFPL’s gut is crazy (and you would be right) but remember last week’s pick?