So i’m back after ANOTHER looooong break… Quite the Tomas Rosicky i am, ehh?!
And what a time to comeback as well, with a MASSIVE fixture pile up over the next 5 days!! Unless you don’t know already 4 teams play twice over the Gameweek – and what a list of teams to boot: Arsenal, Everton, Fulham and Manchester United.
***Correction – 5 teams, i forgot dear old West Ham!! Sorry Big Sam!!!
MU will look to bury last week’s defeat under an avalanche of goals and 6 points… Arsenal and Everton will both be desperate to earn 6 points and stake their claim for a spot in the Top 4… And Fulham… will keep passing the ball to Berbatov.
The Tyne Wear Derby is perhaps the star billed match of the week, but with both teams hovering very uncomfortably above relegation spots a win will become even more crucial to both teams.
For multiple reasons – Arsenal vs Everton will be the match to look out for. It might just be a “six-pointer” though not in the strictest of senses.
A Toffees win wil inch them close to Europe, put a massive gap between them and Liverpool & boost their confidence massively for the rest of the campaign.
Arsenal – if they win – will overtake Chelsea and Tottenham and the psychological ramifications of 6 points this week will be **MASSIVE**.
Elsewhere, Wigan will potentially take a break from their Annual Avoid Relegation party and they visit Manchester City – who seem earnest in winning maximum points from the remaining matches.
Wit most of the big matches covered, let me head straight for my picks for this week:
- Joe Hart (High): With a severely over worked Chelsea playing the last match on this week, Hart playing against Wigan seems like a safe bet for a clean sheet. Hart is at the foremost in putting in a shift that’ll make the City supporters and in one of the few players who is still fighting for the City cause.
- David De Gea (Medium): After 6 clean sheets in a row, City finally breached the Red Devils defence twice last week. Expect SAF to demand that they embark on a new spree with two easily winnable games against teams who arn’t the most prolific of scores: Stoke and West Ham. With two games to be played, potentially penalty saves might just be a welcome bonus.
- Lukasz Fabianski (Low): Hey! i am just as surprised as you are to see Lukasz “Flappyhandski” here – but the Polish keeper has really put in impressive performances to snatch the starting spot away from Wojciech Szczensny. Once again – 2 games, maybe a clean sheet and a potential penalty save. A gamble, but the low price means it might just pay off handsomely.
- Patrice Evra (High): The only stumble in this pick – and i do have my doubts – is that Evra might just be rested for one of the two matches that MU play. With the title wrapped up, SAF might just let Buttner have a run of two away games against the physically imposing sides. That said, if he does play the Red Devils VC might just contribute to the attack – adding to his tally of 4 goals and 8 assists.
- Thomas Vermaelen (Medium): The Gunners skipper has now got the opportunity to play two games in a week – albeit only due to Per Merstesacker’s suspension. He will be keen to impress & with 2 games, he will get many chances to earn a starting spot. i reckon he will be eager to leave his mark.
- Sascha Reither (Low): Imported from FC Koln, Sascha has quickly established himself as a crowd favourite at Craven Cottage. With Fulham playing twice (yeah, it’s a recurring theme in my picks) and the second match to be played at home, he might just turn out to be a smart buy.
***** Note: Why did i leave out my perennial favourite Leighton Baines you ask, even though Everton play twice and Baines is generally awesome sauce this season?! Answer: He is on 4 Yellow cards – so a booking at QPR who are a scrappy lot – will result in him being suspended for the second match against Arsenal. *****
- Santi Cazorla (High): Regular readers (Bless You ) will be aware that i’m a sucker for footballers who have special reasons to perform – seminal matches, overtaking/equaling club records, playing against former clubs, personal joy etc. etc…. And also, players who play twice a week are easy shoo ins in my team. Without further ado – i present to you Santi Cazorla – who plays twice *at home* this week AND welcomed his daughter India (Reason No. 1588 to love him) last week after his wife/partner (?!) delivered the healthy baby girl. Soooo – he’ll either score and kiss both his wrists – or score twice for his two kids. My bet for fantasy Captain to boot.
- Marouane Fellaini (Medium): Regular readers (Bless You ) will know that rarely a Gameweek goes where i don’t have multiple Belgians in my Fantasy picks. So Belgian # 2 makes the cut again – Marouane “plays twice this Gameweek” Fellaini; who is back from his suspension and will be raring to contribute to the Toffees cause as they seek to sneak into Europe. Fantasy Captain Choice – Rank 2.
- Damien Duff (Low): It has been ages, but there was once a time when Damien Duff was a high flying winger for played for Chelsea. Therefore Duff ticks two boxes – playing twice and playing against a former club. i persist in my belief that Chelsea will be thoroughly exhausted after their lengthy season – and quite possibly slip up at the later stages when they are least expected to. Fulham are gasping for air and would want to pick up as many points they can at this stage, to stave a potential relegation battle.
- Wayne Rooney (High) – With That Dutch Snake on a mini drought (i fully expect him to end it over the next 2 games) i would still nominate Wazza for the pick. He’s hungrier to prove himself, well rested and more adept at playing physical sides like Stoke and West Ham. His efforts *for* the team are highly under-appreciated and i wouldn’t be surprised if he sets up team mates more than he scores from now till the end of the season. At least, that’s my take. Also, he’s a bit more economical than He Who Must Not Be Named.
- Olivier Giroud (Medium): He’s an Arsenal player… looks like a dream… has the body of a Greek God… Is French.. Smiles like a angel… i’m sorry, whaaatt?!! Oh – and he plays twice this week at home. Yup – THAT is why you should have him in your Fantasy…. Squad.
- Victor Anichebe (Low): Anichebe is a Fantasy Manager’s delight.. Costing only 4.3M £. And he plays with consistent regularity, now that Nikica Jelavic isn’t on the scincillating form that he displayed towards the end last season. Anichebe wasn’t given many chances at the start of the season, and missed out on a lot of games towards the middle. A run now has seen him contribute with 5 goals and assists. Dirt cheap, play twice – Great buy!
So that’s that…
How many of these will deliver, only time shall tell!!
Till next week..