Hello there folks!

i don’t want to brag, but a lot of my picks in Gameweek23 did perform remarkably well… Joe Hart and Leighton Baines with clean-sheets…  Theo Walcott with an 18pt haul, Marouane Fellaini with a respectable 5, Luis Suarez and Romelu Lukaku among the goals and assists…

Could get my picks out for GW24, but it was a week of surprises – what with QPR keeping a clean sheet against Manchester City (!!), Wigan scoring 2 against Stoke, Ryan Shawcross with a goal (!!), Sunderland and Swansea in a stalemate 0-0, and Fulham winning 3-1 over West Ham…

Anyway, here’s a quick look at the fixtures this weekend:

QPR vs Norwich – Harry’s New Boys could claim their second home League victory of this season against a Norwich team which seems to lost some of the early season sheen…

Arsenal vs Stoke – I expected the Gunners to win the match against Liverpool, then have a 0-0/1-1 draw against Stoke. Now,  with the high stakes involved, Arsenal face a must win situation, but i fully expect Stoke to put in a real fight.

Everton vs Aston Villa – i expect Everton to win, but whether they shut out Aston Villa will depend on which side of the bed Christian Benteke woke up today..

Newcastle vs Chelsea – A classic “trap game” – the Toons could spring an upset and pile on the pressure on Rafa Benitez, but i fully anticipate a Frank Lampard goal – quite possibly from the penalty spot.

Reading vs Sunderland – An upset – a rare Reading win.

West Ham vs Swansea – West Ham win; Michu to score.

Wigan vs Southampton – Tooooo close to call, but i’d go for a Saints victory. Wigan will kick start their annual “escape from relegation” ritual next week with a shock result against Chelsea.

Fulham vs Man. Utd – Can Fulham pull off a shock victory?! Unlikely.. but this will be a typical MUtd match – a nervy 3-2 win with at least one RvP goal.. A brilliant performance from Berbatov is probably another guarantee.

West Brom vs Tottenham – Striker less Spurs have recalled Harry Kane, but latest news declare Jermain Defoe fit for this clash. Spurs will look to Gareth Bale to deliver yet another sizzling performance and grab three points in their quest for Champions League qualification.

Man. City vs Liverpool – Man City for the win. Edin Dzeko with a goal or two…

So now that we’ve had a quick look at the games, here are the picks for GW25:

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. Hugo Lloris (High)The Frenchman has finally cemented his place as the No.1 at Tottenham, and today will be great opportunity to stamp his authority and silence any remaining doubters. West Brom have been struggling of late, having lost 4 of their last 5 matches. The usually solid Spurs defense could manage a shut out today.
  2. Tim Howard (Medium) – Everton host Aston Villa, and will look to claim all three points in their quest for a top 4 finish. With Villans looking quite lost and the Toffees defense in solid if not impressive shape, this could be their third clean sheet in the last 4 games.
  3. Julio Cesar (Low) – Why Cesar wasn’t awarded all 3 Bonus points after last week’s stupendous performance is beyond me. He single handedly kept David Silva from claiming a hat trick!! Against Norwich, QPR will look to build on their January enforcements with Man Mountain Christopher Samba in the heart of defense.
  • Defenders:
  1. Jan Vertonghen (High)The Belgian has impressed in his first season in the EPL. He has been as important as Gareth Bale in their march towards a top4 finish. Expect him to put in a great shift today once again.
  2. Bacary Sagna (Medium) – The Gunners’ right back is having a torrid season – his slip in the last game led to Liverpool’s opening goal. With Stoke’s forwards rarely threatening to score, i expect Sagna to show us all (and maybe potential suitors in summer) what he is truly capable of.
  3. Christopher Samba (Low) – At 12.5 millions pounds and a salary of 100k, don’t expect Harry Redknapp to give the formed Blackburn Rovers man “time to settle” at QPR. Also, he won’t be caught unawares in the EPL, having left English shores only last January. He will slotted right in the centre of he action, and at the very low price of only 5.0m i fully expect the Congolese international to be a valuable asset – to QPR and to your FPL teams.
  • Midfielders:
  1. Gareth Bale (High) – Some research today confirmed that Jermain Defoe will be available for the match against West Brom. However, Bale’s position as the focal point of Spurs’ attack is beyond doubt. This could well turn out to be one of those games where the midfielder lights up the BPL with a brilliant display.
  2. Marouane Fellaini (Medium) – The Belgian is having a quite run of late, having scored his last goal over 2 months ago. Aston Villa will be the perfect tonic to kick start the new month and a crucial run of games to clinch the top 4 spot for the Toffees.
  3. Yohan Cabaye (Low) – Among the Frenchman who have arrived this year at Newcastle, let us not forget the “dreamboat” who came ashore last season.. Cabaye is already a vital cog in the Toons’ mechanism. With 2 goals in his last two outings, expect Cabaye – NUFC’s set-piece specialist to boot – to lift Alan Pardew’s men away from the relegation battle.
  • Forwards:
  1. Robin Van Persie (High) – If he isn’t in your FPL teams already, then you need to sell off 3 midfielders and get him in already! Agreed.. he costs more than any other player in the league, but bloody hell does he deliver! And now, Wayne Rooney has declared he will be relinquishing his penalty taking responsibilities to the Dutchman.  [http://www.manutd.com/en/News-And-Features/Football-News/2013/Feb/wayne-rooney-decision-not-to-take-penalties.aspx] So that means RvP – who is a Manchester United player now – will get at least 10 penalties from now till the end of… February. 45.2% of FPL Managers already own him…. Will i be surprised to find out the number’s doubled by next week?
  2. Olivier Giroud (Medium) – 3 goals, 1 assist – a maximum 6 Bonus Points in the past two weeks – yeah, the Frenchman’s a flop alright. i hope my wife’s like Oliver – wait, that doesn’t sound right.. Surely, he will muscle (or charm) his way into the starting XI against the Rugby team tonight, and chip with a goal or an assist.
  3. Rickie Lambert (Low) – The Saints are looking for their first win under new manager Mauricio Pochettino. Wigan gives them a great opportunity to claim three points. Rickie Lambert will the best man to score goals, set up team mates and take set pieces as well. And with a record as fabulous as “Career Penalties Taken: 33;  Career Penalties Missed: 0” and with 10 goals and 4 assists this season alone, who wouldn’t want Super Rickie Lambert in their team?! Or am i confusing him with some other penalty scoring Englishman?!

So, what do you think? Do my picks pass muster?!

in 48 hours we shall know for sure!

Cheers!

DesiEPLFantasyManager.

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