Hello once again, DesiEPLFantasyManager is back after last week’s unplanned hiatus.. i don’t reckon anybody was holding their breath for the next post.. still, i’d have been very happy if somebody at least fainted from the lack of air..!!

So the blog’s been getting a lot of comments (mostly spam :p ), and very few page visits… i’d be lying if i say it doesn’t disappoint me, but all i can do is chin up and soldier on for the few loyal readers i’m aware of…

Also, i’ve decided that i will have to modify my post pattern… instead of posting player performances AND predictions in the same post, i will post twice a week – the review right after the Gameweek ends, and a preview before the next one starts.

Hopefully that’ll give me more time to analyse performances and explain/elaborate my tactics and selection criteria… (also, that’ll mean more posts!)

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. Jose Reina (High) – Liverpool’s woeful start to the season needs no reminder. But with a seemingly easier schedule ahead, the Reds can be expected to start mounting the “Top 6” finish challenge that seems to be long overdue. They have the best possible opportunity this week, against Norwich City, who have yet to win a single game this season. A lot will depend on the Spaniard, will this be the week he finally delivers?
  2. Cesar (Medium) – Perhaps one of the biggest transfer coups across the entire EPL, the Brazilian is earnestly performing for the Rangers. A dream clean sheet debut against Chelsea was followed by a loss to Tottenham. With  QPR hosting West Ham at home, a second clean sheet in three matches seems a reasonable accomplishment.
  3. Steve Harper (Low) – With Tim Krul injured, Harper is expected to start against bottom of the table Reading. The Toons’ forwards and midfielders will dominate possession, giving the home team barely any chance of a goal scoring attempts. Expect Harper to have a leisurely day in the office.
  • Defenders
  1. John Terry (High) – A clean sheet will be a highly unlikely situation in the North London Derby this week. However, with off the field troubles cast side, the Blues Captain will be looking for an opportunity to start his 4 match ban after a blockbuster performance.  A valuable asset during set pieces, JT might score off a corner. A man to watch out for.
  2. Ryan Shawcross (Medium) – Stoke at home are always be a formidable opponent. With Swansea having misplaced their scoring boots, this might well be the best chance the Potters have to record their first win of the season. Their skipper will have to step up to the plate, and don’t be surprised if he delivers. But his tendency to pick up a card might just do his inclusion in your FPL team some harm..
  3. Billy Jones (Low) – Injuries to the West Brom defense has provided young Billy Jones the opportunity to start in the match against Aston Villa. With Wes Brom battling to extend their fairy tale start to the season, a trip to Aston Villa, who could be tired after a long midweek Capitol One match against Manchester City. Easily the bargain basement buy of this week.
  • Midfielders:
  1. Juan Mata (High) – The one match that Chelsea rested Mata was the only one in which they dropped points. Although Eden Hazard has dazzled the EPL, it is Mata’s intricate and intelligent passing that will be key to a victory at Arsenal. Expect the Blues’ crucial plays of the day to heavily involve the Spaniard.
  2. Hatem Ben Arfa (Medium) – Newcastle will be aiming for a solid performance against Reading. With their forwards seemingly in goal scoring form, expect the mercurial Frenchman to dance around the Royals’ defense.
  3. Raheem Sterling (Low) – The Reds are away to Norwich City, and while the Canaries have managed to shore up their defense after the 5-0 opening day loss to Fulham, they will struggle against the lively 17 year old. With a lot of pressure and responsibility to be shouldered among the Liverpool midfield, this might just be the occasion when the new “Merseyside Messiah” delivers.
  • Forwards:
  1. Lukas Podolski (High) – The German international has settled down fantastically at the Emirates. Great work ethic, combined with a fierce drive and an even fiercer left foot make the former Cologne one of the best buys across the league. HE was largely absent in the previous match against Manchester City. Expect him to make for the lost time. Adept at set pieces, he will look to impress the home crowd against title contenders Chelsea.
  2. Demba Ba (Medium) – Week 3 of the “Demba Ba Audition Show” promises to be as fruitful, if not more, than the previous two. Unsettled by the lack of playing time and seemingly wanting to move out during the January transfer window, expect the Senegalese hitman to put yet another impressive display against a Reading team that languishes at the bottom of the table.
  3. Steven Fletcher (Low) – If he scores today, he will be only the second player in the history of the EPL to score all the first five goals for his side. A comfortable fixture against Wigan should pose a great opportunity for the record to be matched – and possibly bettered.

That’s it for this week’s predictions! Here’s hoping these picks come in handy for your FPL team!