Five Premier League clubs. Only three will survive. Two will be relegated. And Fantasy Premier League managers could see their mini-leagues won and lost with some last gasp inspiration from N’Zogbia, Fletcher, or Charlie Adam.
Let’s take a look at the five clubs’ chances and if Fantasy Premier League managers can profit in these dour and anxious times:
Blackburn: On 40 points with a great goal difference and with an away game at Wolves they look like a path to safety is theirs with just a draw on the road against Wolves. In fact, both teams would probably stay up on 41 points so don’t be surprised to see a lot of passes backwards and sideways in the second half if news comes out that Blackpool are losing at Old Trafford or Birmingham getting blown out at Tottenham… Not too much worth investing in on the road though if you need to free up funds to bring in Berbatov or Nani for the home game against Blackpool, Hoilett is a striker who costs only 4.0M. What a deal. Samba is the popular pick at the back but probably not worth spending your final transfer of the season on. Pretty vanilla.
Wolves: Like Blackburn, they are in good position with a home game against the aforementioned Rovers. The attacking talent is solid with Fletcher (4.8M) in amazing form and the dead ball specialist O’Hara (5.1M) also worth a look.
Birmingham: They are in big, big trouble. On 39 points and with a road trip to Tottenham, they could end up relegated despite winning the Carling Cup. Ben Foster has been an absolute beast in goal this season, but I can’t see much investing as they travel to White Hart Lane and Spurs have the Europa League to play for. Will be tough to get something out of this one and they will be hoping that Blackpool and Wigan both lose by greater margins on the road. Larsson (5M) is the cheap midfield fantasy selection in case they see a breakthrough on the road.
Blackpool: It will take a mini-miracle for Ian Holloway’s men to stay up, but if anyone can do it – it’s the in form Charlie Adam (5.9M). We’ve spoken about Adam all year on the blog and his set piece responsibilities combined with Manchester United’s likely second string defense (Smalling – Evans) could produce a dramatic finish. However, United, even with their ‘B’ team, are superb at Old Trafford and I would certainly not invest in any Blackpool players this week other than fielding Adam if you already own him. I expect around a 2-1 Manchester United victory and think Blackpool will go down.
Wigan: The big toss-up in the equation it’s Roberto Martinez’s Wigan. They were 2-0 down at home to West Ham last weekend and somehow managed to win it 3-2. Amazing. Charles N’Zogbia costs only 5.7M and is one of the hottest players in the league at the moment, and worthy of investment despite the away trip to Stoke. Stoke will turn out a team of professionals but they are tired after an emotionally draining FA Cup loss and a physically draining beatdown 3-0 by Manchester City. Their stars are injured and with nothing to play for. Wigan could get a breakthrough here and a draw should be enough to see them stay up if Blackpool and Birmingham both lose on the road against European opposition. Hugo Rodallega (5.4M) is another darkhorse but it will surely be N’Zogbia who sees all the investment on current spectacular form.
So there you have it. 5 teams for 2 spots. Who will stay up? Who will go down? Will N’Zogbia and Adam have one last day for heroics or are they spent? Have they used up their miraculous free kicks for the season? Do they have one last trick up their sleeves? We’ll all find out this Sunday…
Good luck to all fantasy managers.