Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 30
So the mayhem that was GW29 is now behind us and those of us who planned for it hopefully came through it unscathed and possibly even picked up those all important green arrows. Unfortunately things don’t get any easier as the mammoth DGW31 is only around the corner, although we’re pretty sure most of you have been planning for that over the past few weeks. One piece of advice we would like to offer at this stage is to not get blinded by the double game-week, after all there are another seven game-weeks following it, oh and we still have GW30 to deal with! Anyway, below we have outlined a number of players who we feel can deliver over the coming weeks.
As good old Cilla would say, ‘surprise surprise’ our first tip this week is Chelsea’s Petr Cech! Chelsea now boast the league’s best defensive record having conceded just 22 goals in 29 games, with the Czech international picking up 13 clean sheets along the way, with 9 of them coming in the last 13 games. Take a look at their remaining fixtures and you will see that they only have two games remaining against the current top ten teams, so we see no reason why he cannot get close to the 21 clean sheets he kept in the 2004-05 season. Granted, at £6.3m he is the most expensive keeper in the FPL but he is playing behind an extremely solid back for and his recent stats speak for themselves.
At the turn of the year there was talk that Sam Allardyce could be for the chop as West Ham languished in the relegation zone. Fast forward a few months and West Ham are one of the league’s form teams with five wins and a draw from their last eight games, during which time which time Adrian has conceded just five goals and has kept an impressive five clean sheets. The Hammers’ upcoming games would suggest that Adrian could quite easily add to his clean sheets and it’s worth noting that West Ham have two home games in GW31. As a result of this recent form the Spaniard’s price has risen to £4.5m, however we feel that given his form and fixtures that this is still a bargain.
Two weeks ago Sunderland lost the League Cup final while last Sunday they crashed out of the FA Cup, what effect, if any, this will have on their league form we don’t yet know. Admittedly Sunderland do not have the easiest fixtures over the remainder of the season, they play five of the current top six, however they will have three double game-weeks, the first of which is scheduled for GW31 and because of this we feel that Vito Mannone warrants some consideration. The Italian has picked up seven clean sheets which is nothing to get excited about, however on five occasions when he has kept a clean sheet he has picked up ten or more points as a result of bonus & save points, in fact Mannone has picked up more bonus points than any other keeper this season.
Finally, a couple of keepers who we feel warrant a mention are Norwich’s John Ruddy and Everton’s Tim Howard. Norwich have been somewhat like Jekyll & Hyde of late, one week they beat Spurs the next they lose 4-1 to Villa. Despite conceding four against Villa, Norwich have only conceded a total of nine in their last eight games with Ruddy keeping four clean sheets in this period. With just nine games remaining Norwich will need to secure their safety in their next five (take a look at their last 4!) and because of this Ruddy deserves consideration for the next few weeks. Just like Norwich, Everton have also conceded nine in their last eight, although Howard has only managed two clean sheets in this period. Therefore it may surprise many of you to see us tip the American, however their next four fixtures are relatively straightforward and as well as featuring twice in GW31 they will also have another double game-week in the future.
In the past we have tipped two defenders from the same team but this week we are taking it a step further and we’re tipping ‘The Chelsea Back 4’. As a result of the stats which we have outlined above we feel it to be extremely prudent to have at least one of their back 4 in your squad and there is a strong case to be made for doubling up, particularly when you take a look at their upcoming fixtures. They are a very settled unit and Jose has been reluctant to tinker with it in recent months, however as long as they are in the Champions League there is always the chance of rotation. It is quite easy to make a case for each of them, Azpilicueta is considerably cheaper than the others and features in far fewer teams, however he doesn’t offer the attacking returns that the others do. If you’re after an attacking threat then Terry & Ivanovic are the men for you as both have chipped in with three goals to date, however you will pay a premium for these goals as they cost £6.8m & £6.7m. This isn’t to say that Cahill should be ignored as he is priced at £6.2m and has chipped in with a goal and two assists. So as you can see, they each have their own merits…we’ll leave it up to you to choose!!
As we have alluded to above, clean sheets have not be the order of the day for Everton in recent weeks, however they haven’t exactly been haemorrhaging goals and with a relatively kind fixture list for the remainder of March we foresee a number of clean sheets over the coming game-weeks and with this in mind our next tip is Leighton Baines. The English international has not yet hit the heights of previous seasons but he has still managed three goals and two assists as well as an extremely impressive 21 bonus points. With Romelu Lukaku fit and amongst the goals once more we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Belgian profit from a number of Baines assists over the coming weeks. Seamus Coleman has arguably been one of the players of the season and while he hasn’t chipped in with any attacking returns of late we feel as though it would be remiss of us not to highlight him particularly with Everton having two double game-weeks before the end of the season.
A number of other defenders who we would like to bring to your attention at this stage are Sunderland’s Phil Bardsley, West Ham’s James Collins and Scott Dann of Crystal Palace. Gus Poyet rested a number of key players for Sunday’s cup defeat to Hull, but given their current precarious league position that was hardly surprising. If you were to judge Sunderland on their remaining fixtures you would probably steer clear of their defence but with three double game-weeks before the season ends we feel that this might change your thinking and we firmly believe that Bardsley is the best option, due to the two goals and an assist that he has picked up. Granted West Ham have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last two games but it is still quite difficult to ignore James Collins as in the previous four games he picked up an impressive 36 points. West Ham face trips to Stoke & Sunderland and welcome United & Hull in their next four games and these fixtures point to a couple of clean sheets and at just £4.3m the Welshman could prove great value for money. Much has been made of the effect Tony Pulis has had at Selhurst Park and he has certainly tightened them up at the back, they have conceded just nine in their last eight games. Pulis brought Dann to the club on transfer deadline day and he has flown pretty much under the radar since then, featuring in just 0.3% of teams and at just £4.0m he’s nicely priced to be your 4th or 5th defender.
Our final defensive tip is one for the gamblers amongst you and it’s Newcastle’s Paul Dummett. The Welsh U21 international has started three of the clubs last four, deputising at left back for the injured Davide Santon in the last two. Alan Pardew is said to a big fan of the youngster and it is believed that he is keen to give him an extended run in the side over the rest of the season, the fact that Dummett is a left footer might also give him the edge over the right footed Santon. Given the fact that Newcastle travel to Fulham this weekend and then have two home games in GW31 Dummett could turn out to be an inspired choice for the braver fantasy manager. The Welshman is priced at just £3.9m and has been spotted on the odd corner and indirect free kick in recent weeks.
They said it couldn’t last, but we’re now into March and Yaya Toure is still scoring goals, in fact in his last five league games he has scored three and created one. As a result of City having two blank game-weeks his priced has dropped to £9.9m so for those who missed the train first time around, maybe it’s time to hop on board. As a result of exiting the FA Cup and Champions League in the space of four days City now only have the league to concentrate on and if they are to reclaim the title which they won in dramatic circumstances two seasons ago the Ivorian is likely to be a key figure. It’s also worth noting that with Sergio Aguero struggling to prove his fitness, Toure is likely to remain on spot kick duty. Of course there are other options from the City midfield but the likes of Silva, Nasri & Navas have failed to deliver on a consistent basis over a lengthy period of time this season making it quite difficult to look past Yaya.
Liverpool have scored 27 goals in their last eight games with Steven Gerrard scoring five and picking up three assists in this period. As a result of this form his price has risen to £9.1m, however this would still appear to be great value for money as he has averaged just under seven points per game across the last eight game-weeks. Liverpool are unlikely to win the league but one thing is for sure and that is that Gerrard will battle until the very end and therefore we believe that he will remain among the fantasy points for the remainder of the season. For those of you who can’t afford Gerrard but are eager to get as many Liverpool attackers into your team well then Raheem Sterling is probably the man for you. Granted he was benched for the recent trip to Southampton but once he was sprung from the bench it didn’t take him long to remind the gaffer what he is capable of and we would expect him to start more often than not over the remainder of the season.
Despite what Jose Mourinho and John Terry may say most people including the bookies now make Chelsea favourites for the league and should they be crowned champions come May, they will have a lot to thank Eden Hazard for. The young Belgian has taken over from the likes of Lampard & Drogba as the clubs talisman, scoring 13 and creating another 10 to date. There’s no denying that Chelsea have the easiest run of all the title contenders and we fully expect Hazard to take advantage. While he doesn’t have a double game-week coming up we firmly believe that he will still be one of highest scoring midfielders over the remaining nine game-weeks.
A number of mid-priced midfielders who we feel warrant a mention this week are West Ham’s Kevin Nolan (£7.1m), Sunderland’s Adam Johnson (£6.5m) and Moussa Sissoko (£5.6m) of Newcastle, you’ll probably have noticed that they all have something in common, a double game-week. Nolan has been in great form of late, scoring five and picking up one assist in his last five games. Given West Ham’s current form they will be quietly confident of picking up ten or even twelve points from their next four games and with Andy Carroll back from suspension we’re confidently tipping Nolan to remain amongst the goals. Adam Johnson went through something of a purple patch between game-weeks 21 and 24, scoring six and picking up two assists in that period. Sunderland will hoping he can rediscover that form again and if he does he will become a ‘must have’ player for a short period of time as Sunderland face three double game-weeks over the remainder of the season. Would we talking about Sissoko had he not scored a brace against Hull in GW28? Probably not, but the fact of the matter is that he did score a brace and he has been taking up some rather advanced positions in recent weeks. Newcastle face Fulham side this weekend, a side who are more porous than a tea-bag and then have two home games in GW31 so don’t be too surprised to see Sissoko’s name on the score sheet over the coming weeks.
Our final two midfield tips this week come from the bargain basement and they are Norwich’s Bradley Johnson and Southampton’s Steven Davis. Obviously neither have a double game-week, but how many of you plan on having 11 players for the forthcoming double game-week, but both are in good form, have relatively easy fixtures coming up and they’re cheap. Johnson has a goal and an assist in his last three games and is priced at just £4.4m while Davis has a goal and an assist in his last five and is priced at £4.7m
As a result of Liverpool not featuring in GW29 coupled with what many saw as a dip in form Luis Suarez is now priced at £13.1m, ok so he’s not cheap but he gave us all a reminder of what he’s capable of with a goal and two assists last time out against Southampton. Many will argue that this dip in form coincided with Daniel Sturridge featuring as the focal point of the Liverpool attack and while this may be the case there can be no denying the Uruguayans talents and while he didn’t reap the fantasy points which we have all become accustomed to his overall performances for the team were excellent and as far as we’re concerned he will continue to deliver over the remainder of the season. Luckily for Liverpool, while Suarez experienced this dry spell Daniel Sturridge stepped up to the mark and has now scored nine in eight appearances since his return from injury. At £10.4m Sturridge is £2.7m cheaper than Suarez and this money could be used to great effect elsewhere, but the question is, are you brave enough to forgo the Uruguayan? With a double game-week against Cardiff & Sunderland on the horizon our tip is to double up and then re-evaluate your options following GW31.
Robin van Persie or Wayne Rooney? Given United’s recent form it’s highly unlikely that you will want to double up on their attack, so do you go for van Persie or Rooney? Let’s take a quick look at their stats over the last six game-weeks, van Persie has four goals and an assist while Rooney has two goals and an assist. Should you base your decision on these basic statistics alone van Persie would appear to be the obvious choice, but is he worth over £2.0m more than Rooney, no we don’t believe he is! Those of you who have seen United play in recent weeks will have noticed that while Rooney appears up for the fight, it would appear that van Persie would rather be at home in Holland doing what the Dutch do best (we’ll let you come to your own conclusions as to what that might be!). Rooney has recently commented about how it’s difficult to see both City & Liverpool do well while United falter and with games against both to come in close succession we’re tipping Rooney to be United’s main man over the coming weeks.
A couple of cheaper strikers who warrant some consideration at this time are Romelu Lukaku (£8.3m) and Edin Dzeko (£6.6). Having missed the previous three league games Lukaku climbed off the bench against West Ham in GW28 to net the only goal of the game and followed it up with another against Arsenal in the Cup last weekend. Prior to his recent injury Lukaku had become a little goal shy and had scored just once in ten league games but he will be quite eager to prove himself to Jose Mourinho over the remainder of the season and with Lukaku having two double game-weeks over the remainder of the season he is certainly worth consideration. Many fantasy managers had planned to build their squad around Sergio Aguero for the remainder of the season but a potential injury setback for the Argentine has thrown a spanner in the works. As a result maybe it’s time to once again consider Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian would appear to be ahead of Negredo in the pecking order, with the Spaniard last completing 90 minutes back on January 21st. So should Aguero’s injury only be a minor scare it would appear that Dzeko is the favourite to partner him should Pellegrini out for two up top, while should Aguero miss a number of matches surely Dzeko is nailed on to start. With three double game-weeks and a title battle on their hands Dzeko could prove to be a shrewd purchase. Obviously we’ll have more details following Pellegrini’s press conference on Friday so check in with us for ‘Team Talk’ when we’ll have all the details.
Finally, we’ll leave you with two for the gamblers amongst you and they are Sunderland’s Fabio Borini and West Ham’s Andy Carroll. Borini failed to impress at Liverpool last season and was quickly dispatched on loan to Sunderland where he struggled to settle during the early part of the season. However, of late he has looked like a player who belongs in the Premiership and he has scored a couple of key goals for the Black Cats. There’s no denying that he would be a massive gamble but at £6.2m he’s possibly cheap enough to bench allowing you to field five in the middle when needed and there is the added bonus of two double game-weeks, it would be three but the Italian will have to sit out the Liverpool game as he is on loan at Sunderland from the Anfield club. We’ve tipped Carroll in the past and he hasn’t delivered but we’re willing to take a chance on him once more. Before his recent suspension Carroll had picked up three assists in four games as he returned from a lengthy injury and the big man will know that if he can score maybe five or six goals over the remaining ten games that a trip to Brazil this summer with Roy and the boys is not out of the question and for this reason we’re willing to take a gamble on him once more.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 30, this article was written by Kop