Whether you had a good or indifferent GW13 there is little opportunity to dwell on it now as GW14 starts in earnest on Tuesday night as Crystal Palace host West Ham to kick us off again on the merry-go-round that is fantasy football. We will as ever cast an eye over the next four weeks to give you an indication as to who we feel will prosper and who will possibly falter and tell you which players we feel may do likewise. Of paramount importance though is that you are aware that this week’s deadline is on Tuesday night at 7.30pm.
LIVERPOOL – Norwich (H), West Ham (H), Tottenham (A), Cardiff (H)
A surprise defeat at Hull on Sunday has dented slightly what was looking to be a very promising start to the season for Liverpool. Their fans will be hoping it was just a blip though and these things can happen. Their upcoming fixtures should see them rebound nicely from this setback.
Three home games in the next four put Liverpool firmly at the top of the favourable fixtures list this week. Add in that those home games are against Norwich, West Ham and Cardiff and we expect that there will be plenty of investment in Liverpool players over the next few weeks. Liverpool are looking irresistible at home right now having notched 11 goals in their last 3 at Anfield. A visit to White Hart Lane in GW16 is their only road trip in this sequence but given that Spurs are struggling to score and Liverpool have scored 4 in their last two away then we suspect this game could well bear fruit for them as well.
With that run of fixtures we expect there will be plenty of chances for clean-sheets coming up so if you have Simon Mignolet then we suggest you play him but many may be tempted to double up for this run. With Glen Johnson now back and fit having started the last three, he usually offers some good attacking potential whilst Jon Flanagan has filled in at left-back in the last two now so could be a very cheap way to capitalise on this fixture run.
Further forward Steven Gerrard is Liverpool’s Mr Consistent still after all these years and leads their midfield points scoring by quite some distance. Apparently not the driving force he once was but 3 goals and 5 assists so far as well as being on most set-pieces he still makes a compelling case for inclusion in our sides. Phillippe Coutinho had a five week lay-off but had started the last three prior to the Hull game and he will be looking to push Gerrard in terms of production for the rest of the season. A derby day goal was his first of the season but we expect he may well kick on from here and begin to replicate the promise he showed at the end of last season. Assuming his latest ankle injury is a minor one, and judging by the woeful performances of his stand-ins Moses and Sterling on Sunday, then he will not have much trouble regaining his place once fit.
That’s it for our Liverpool tips, we can’t think of anyone else. No? Oh ok, go on then. Luis Suarez. Not got him? Get him. Especially at home. Probably captain him. Enough said.
MAN UNITED – Everton (H), Newcastle (H), Aston Villa (A), West Ham (H)
Much like Liverpool, Man United now enjoy a run of three games from the next four at home. Everton on Wednesday could well be tricky for many reasons. The visitors will be sure to be fired up facing their ex-boss for the first time and may be out to prove a point and arrive at Old Trafford in good spirits having thumped Stoke at the weekend. Don’t discount Moyes having his boys fired up as well though for the same reasons. This one could be a cracker! Beyond that though United would expect to take full advantage of next three. Newcastle are themselves finding some form but trips to Villa and West Ham at home look good on paper for them.
Patrice Evra is once again United’s outstanding points scorer in defence which is largely down to his consistency of starts compared to his team-mates but he has also chipped in with a goal and two assists so far. United have only managed a surprising three clean sheets so far this season but this may be due in part to not having a settled back-line.
One of the stranger quirks of recent seasons has been the lack of any United midfielders that have warranted inclusion in our fantasy teams and this season is no different. If Shinji Kagawa is afforded some decent game time then he may well emerge from the pack but Moyes seems uncertain as to how to fit him in, barely playing him and then when he does seemingly out of position, which is a massive shame given the glimpses we have been afforded and his undoubted quality as evidenced from his spell with Dortmund.
Wayne Rooney is the obvious choice up top for United at the moment. 8 goals and 7 assists so far suggests he is bang in form and owned by only a surprisingly low 17% of fantasy managers he is a touch of a differential still. RvP seems to be struggling with any number of injury complaints as of late but if he can return to fitness, then he too warrants our attention again having scored 4 and assisted 2 in his last four starts.
MAN CITY – West Brom (A), Southampton (A), Arsenal (H), Fulham (A)
In contrast to Liverpool and United, City have three away in the next four and their home game is against title rivals Arsenal. Despite this we feel that City are building momentum and this little spell could tell us if they are genuine title contenders which they surely must be? Their away form has been patchy but this cannot continue if their home displays are any indication of what is to come from them. This is not an easy set of fixtures by anyone’s imagination but we would not be surprised to see them come through it and emerge near the top of the league come Christmas.
City’s defence is a bit of a lottery but the imminent return of Vincent Kompany could finally give us at least one nailed on starter each week assuming he stays healthy this time!
In midfield Yaya Toure is proving to be as consistent as anyone in the league and his new found free kick speciality is delighting his fantasy managers no end. Jesus Navas arrived with a word of caution for fantasy managers as his goal rate was poor in Spain but his brace against Spurs has shown his potential in this respect and he could well put himself firmly in our thinking should that form continue. Samir Nasri has never been the same player as the one who left Arsenal since his big pay rise move to the Etihad but he seems to be firmly in favour with Pellegrini and his two goals on Sunday will only further cement this.
Sergio Aguero is the obvious choice up top so we will not dwell on him too much as his appeal is obvious and immediate and hard to ignore. The intriguing alternative is his strike partner Alvaro Negredo. We shall leave you with an interesting stat on Negredo. He has only completed 90 minutes on four occasions this season for City yet he has managed 6 goals and 3 assists. At £3.1m less than Aguero he could prove to be an excellent cheaper differential
THE BEST OF THE REST…
West Brom host City in GW14 but then have Norwich (H), Cardiff (A) and Hull (H) to follow. Gareth McAuley is West Brom’s leading scorer so far from a fantasy point of view but Sessegnon, Amilfitano and Long are all vying for our attentions at the moment.
Swansea are another that have three home fixtures in the next four. Newcastle, Hull and Everton all visit the Liberty and their away fixture is Norwich. Europa concerns do seem to be a factor for Swansea and seem to be impacting negatively on their FPL season. Three at home in four though may afford them the opportunity to get their season back on track. They may need to find a striker from somewhere though unless they decide go down the West Ham / Spain route!
FULHAM – Tottenham (H), Aston Villa (H), Everton (A), Man City (H)
Having finally parted company with Martin Jol, Fulham will be hoping that a new manager can turn their season around. Rene Meulensteen is that man and will be hoping that he can last longer than he did at Anzhi (16 days)! He may want to do the good old ‘new manager’ trick though and stay in the stands for a few games as their next four look a bit daunting to say the least! Villa at home may be their best chance of points in this run as Spurs and City at home offer little hope and Everton away probably none!
EVERTON – Man Utd (A), Arsenal (A), Fulham (H), Swansea (A)
Having dispatched with Stoke so easily Everton will be looking to cement their place in the top four but their ambition will be severely tested this week with trips to both Old Trafford and the Emirates within a few days. Should they come away from that double header still in the top four then maybe the Fulham and Swansea games might not start to look too bad for them.
ARSENAL – Hull (H), Everton (H), Man City (A), Chelsea (H)
Being top of the league does not make you immune from a challenging run of fixtures and that’s what Arsenal have coming up make no mistake! Hull will be no pushovers fresh from their fantastic victory over Liverpool and then the next three may well define Arsenals season one way or another. They will do well to come out of that lot with anything like the lead at the top that they currently enjoy but if they do then we have serious title contenders on our hands. Time will tell…
BE WARY OF…
Southampton are a success story so far but exactly how far they have come will, and is, being tested at the moment. Aston Villa (H), Man City (H), Newcastle (A), Spurs (H) is a challenging run for them and may well indicate whether they are serious challengers for the European slots or not.
Sunderland have a way to go to climb out of the bottom three and their upcoming fixture list may suggest that this challenge is still some way off. Chelsea and Spurs at home are followed by a trip to West Ham and then they host Norwich at home. The last one being their only decent fixture on paper and even then it’s by no means guaranteed by any stretch.
As mentioned in the intro, it is worth repeating – THIS GAME -WEEK BEGINS ON TUESDAY AT 7.30PM!
We shall be back with another Tips / Fixtures article later on in the week to prepare you for GW15 on Saturday but until then…
Good luck everyone!
This article was written by inittowinit