Let’s get right to it. A difficult week for fantasy managers with injuries, suspensions, and more, but here is your Fantasy Premier League preview…
I. Manchester United @ Chelsea: The tastiest tie of the gameweek comes at Stamford Bridge where an in-form Nicolas Anelka, an out of form Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba, and an in-between form Frank Lampard look to put some goals past Manchester United.
United, of course, will rely on Nani, Rooney, and potentially Berbatov (if he’s not rested in favor of a five man midfield) to lead the attack. A draw is good enough for Sir Alex in this one, so I expect a packed midfield with the likes of Fletcher and Vidic in charge of patrolling the central areas. Chris Smalling (4.3M) is a potential bargain buy (if Rio Ferdinand misses both of United’s games in this double gameweek) and has looked great recently. He will start at least against Wigan and maybe at the Bridge too… NOT a long term purchase though.
I think we’ll have a shock on the cards here with out of form Chelsea beating United with Torres or Drogba saving the day. Lampard and Anelka could contribute as well.
If Ferdinand and Vidic are both fit, that partnership could sway things to a 1-1 draw but I have memories of Torres burning Vidic in the past few seasons at Liverpool, so I’ll stick with a home win.
Prediction: 2 – 1 Chelsea
II. Fulham @ Manchester City: Note – Manchester United have a double gameweek! They should beat Wigan with 2-3 goals to their name, but then they are away at Chelsea. So it’s really just a 1.5 gameweek. Add the uncertainty of their preferred formation (Rooney played left midfield yesterday against Marseille and Berbatov was benched all-together in their last few “Big 4″ matches) and Nani is really the only stud worth captaining.
So let’s cross town to Manchester’s blue half. Edin Dzeko scored twice today as City won 3-0 in the Europa League and I expect a home win and clean sheet this weekend against Fulham.
Carlos Tevez is the best player in the league (in my opinion) and I would captain him if Nani didn’t have two matches this weekend. Dzeko also provides a slight threat to Tevez’s production if Dzeko turns “goalscoring poacher” (a la Berbatov) to Tevez’s “assist provider” (a la Rooney) in the City lineup. There are plenty of great options in the City team. Yaya Toure and David Silva are the best midfield options. Kolarov is the best defender. And of course Hart, Tevez, and Dzeko. Have a City player or two in your team despite Fulham’s recent great result -a 0-0 draw against Chelsea.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-0 win
III. Studs & Duds: On Wednesday I wrote about the players to avoid. Check the list of duds here in this article. They include Adam, Van Persie, Fabregas, Walcott, Van der Vaart, Ben Foster, and others.
Let’s move to studs, then.
Nani, Rooney, and Berbatov are all studs at Wigan. Less so at Stamford Bridge. Nani swings it for me in the Captain choice as he’s guaranteed two starts in his preferred position. Berbatov is really only guaranteed a start against Wigan while Rooney (other than his overhead kick a few weeks ago) has looked poor against both Crawley Town and Marseille in the last week.
Everton have a home game with Sunderland, so if Tim Cahill is fit (BIG IF) he is a stud. Saha is in the same boat. Studs if fit but both potentially out due to injury. We’ll update our Twitter feed tomorrow if we hear anything.
Aston Villa are at home to Blackburn so play Darren Bent and Ashley Young with confidence. Their young defender Kyle Walker (4.0M) is also a peach at that price.
Stoke have West Brom at home so Begovic and Huth look solid. John Carew too.
Liverpool are at Upton Park and should win despite the road game, though I think they’ll concede. 2-1 away win perhaps. Demba Ba and Scott Parker have looked good recently. Stud/dud fence is Newcastle and Bolton players – no idea what will happen there, but Barton is your main man if you are looking for a set piece hogger, who for me, has been one of the top 5 distributors in the league this year. Just so accurate in his deliveries.
IV. Gameweek 28 Best Eleven:
GK: Van der Sar
D: Kolarov – Baines – Huth
M: Nani – Cahill – A. Young – D. Silva – Meireles
F: Tevez – Rooney
Subs: Begovic – Bent – Agger – Walker