Aaaaand we’re back!
After yet another round of pointless international friendlies, which have resulted in a lot of players probably injured and facing the prospect of a lay off.. ESPECIALLY if you a member of the Arsenal starting XI…
My focus this week, are mainly the players who didn’t play mid week – they will surely be well rested and looking to capitalize their opponents’ fatigue.. it’s my perspective – hope it works…
A quick round up though on the matches this weekend – it’s yet ANOTHER London Derby as Arsenal face Tottenham Hotspurs at the Emirates in the biggest derby of all – the North London Derby!! All form can be thrown out of the window and keep no hopes of a clean sheet in this one – avoid Arsenal and Spurs defenders/goalkeepers like the plague! Plenty of attacking options for Spurs – Gareth Bale (i hate to admit it but i really think he’ll score today), Clint Dempsey, Aaron Lennon (if he’s up against Santos or Vermaelen, i’m afraid i know who’ll win) and former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor that Spurs will *score* is a forgone conclusion.. Arsenal have a long injury list with most of the midfielders suspect for the big match… Yet again, there’s a high possibility that Aaron Ramsey will start in right wing (:|).. Now if only he translates some of his “promised potential” into a real performance, he’s make for a great Fantasy Buy, but until then the highly jaded Santi Cazorla seems the safest FF bet from Arsenal’s ranks…
Elsewhere, Manchester City take host Aston Villa in what i consider should be an easy win for the Champions.. but the whole world claims it’s a classic “trap game“… Can Christian Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann improve on their result against Man United and claim a result at the Etihad Stadium?! Or will Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and co. ensure a regulation win over the Villans?
John Ruddy and Norwich City have kept 3 clean sheets in their last 4 games… But this week they’re up against the team that’s scored the most goals in the EPL yet – Manchester United. With Wayne Rooney possibly out of the game with an injury, and Robin van Persie “supposedly” injured, all signs point to last week’s hero Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will most likely start against the Canaries.. Will he grab the opportunity and further threaten Rooney’s position as a forward?!
Perhaps the most interesting match up this weekend neutrals and Fantasy League players is the bottom of the table fight between Southampton and QPR.. Both teams will throw everything and the kitchen sink at the opposition goal, so expect Djibril Cisse, Adel Taarabt, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Esteban Granero, Rickie Lambert, Jay Rodriguez, Adam Lallana and Morgan Schneiderlin to score points off goals and assists…
Without further delay!
- Tim Howard (High) – i’m gambling today’s spot for the High spot knowing very well that Joe Hart plays against Villa at home AND Petr Cech against West Brom for Howard, because he is the keeper facing 18th place Reading and i fancy for my chances for a clean sheet. Of course, we’ve seen that the Toffees can’t keep a clean sheet to save their lives, but if there’s a chance to turn the tide this should be it..
- Mark Schwarzer (Medium) – After last week’s erratic performance, the Australian ‘keeper saved a penalty and scored 5 for the effort.. This week Craven Cottage welcomes notoriously goal shy Sunderland. Fulham are always a sure bet to win their home matches, but can the defense deliver as well?
- Jussi Jaaskelainen (Medium) – Yet another team with similar situation like Fulham, West Ham have had an impressive start to the season, currently sixth in the league with a clinical 1-0 over Newcastle last week. They face Stoke City who are also hardly a dangerous opponent away from home – at least when it comes to *scoring* goals. Reid and Co. eke out a similarly clinical result once again?
- Patrice Evra (High) – i’m just as surprised as you are, but one good look at the fixtures this week Patrice Evra could emerge as one of the better defenders this week. Norwich do struggle to score, with Grant Holt employed as the lone striker upfront.. The Canaries midfield should have a busy time keeping United’s attack under control, leaving Holt with little service.. Man. United are also great at setpieces, with Evra having scored off a header earlier against Newcastle. Seems like a reasonable bet…
- Aleksandar Kolarov (Medium) – i nominate Kolarov today not for his defensive skills BUT his attacking contributions… And with Mancini deploying the Serbian as a free agent on the left flank, i expect him to lay in an assist or, or maybe score a breathtaking free kick! Of course, Mancini may rest him altogether… So a risk, in its own way…
- Steven Caulker (Low) – Yet another goal scoring defender, Caulker could take advantage of the defensive frailties that Gooners have against set pieces, having scored two from two in his last two matches, one against Sweden and one against Manchester City last week. And if he lays a cold turkey, i can only be too pleased!
- David Silva (High) – All signs point to it – last season’s Spanish wizard is back.. Those who saw last week’s game against Tottenham will attest to the same. His game was dynamic, creative and sharp – the smart chip to assist Dzeko’s winner was truly the icing on the cake. He seems to be refreshed and hungry, and will be crucial to City’s dominance in the EPL.
- Steven Pienaar (Medium) – The South African had a great start to the season and was a FFan favourite until the double Yellow at QPR. With the Toffees facing Reading and with Everton playing some of the best football in the league, expect him to the take the Reading defense to the cleaners along with Marouane Fellaini.
- Adam Lallana (Low) – As i said, the Battle of the Bottom Dwellers will be won by the team that scores the most. The Saints skipper is the chief architect of all their attacks, and also a set piece specialist. Can he inspire his team to a much needed win against QPR?!
- Sergio Aguero (High) – Yet another City player featured today, Aguero will benefit massively from Silva’s return to form. A classic goal poacher and a tireless athlete, he should score at least a goal against Paul Lambert’s defense if all goes as per script..
- Javier Hernandez (Meduim) – With Rooney and van Persie considered “suspect” for the match against Norwich, Little Pea will be a handed a rare League start which is a fair deal considering his past week’s rescue mission heroics. One of the best goal poachers in the League currently, he will have to deliver if Man. United are to stay on top of the table at the end of the week..
- Christian Benteke (Low) – Andreas Weimann may have scored two goals last week against United but it was the Belgian (seriously, what do those Belgian mothers give to their kids for breakfast?!) who was singled out for praise by Sir Alex Ferguson. The 7million pound buy looks like one of the best across the league, and if any player can breach the Citizen’s defense today, Benteke is the man for the job!
So that’s my list for Gameweek 12. Lets hope they deliver!