Champions League. Europa League. FA Cup. It’s been great, but let’s get back to the Premier League. Here we go…
I. Chelsea @ Manchester City: This is, without a doubt, the match of the weekend. Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City are all but done when it comes to the Premier League title, while Chelsea are looking to keep pace in third place with Tottenham on their heels.
Aguero and Tevez are the obvious fantasy selections if both earn the start – they both scored against Leeds in a 4-0 win in the FA Cup just a few days ago. But perhaps Dzeko will shake it up. Aguero is the safest play from a fantasy perspective, but his 10.9m cost is prohibitive. Dzeko and Tevez are much more affordable, but both rotation threats.
For Chelsea, Juan Mata and Frank Lampard are both in form and despite the away trip, decent fantasy options.
I can see a well rested Manchester City win after Chelsea’s Thursday night Europa League pursuits.
Prediction: 2-1 win
II. Aston Villa @ Arsenal: Arsenal are in extremely poor form but at the Emirates against inferior opposition they have turned up this season, so they look like a fantasy friendly matchup, in addition to Manchester United’s trip to QPR. Theo Walcott is the main man – having returned 11 goals and 11 assists this season, while complementary players Cazorla, Giroud, and Wilshere offer some value.
The 4m rated Carl Jenkinson could be a nice short term option with Bacary Sagna suffering a recurrence of his knee injury. Jenkinson received a red card in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Stoke last time out at the Emirates, but should start this weekend if Sagna’s knee keeps him out. A 4m defender on a team with one of the best defensive records in the league is nice.
Prediction: 3-1 Arsenal
III. Studs & Duds: Wayne Rooney is a dud as he is suffering from a sinus problem and is a major doubt for Manchester United’s trip to QPR, but Robin van Persie is an absolute stud. RVP may not be the smartest guy off the pitch, but on the pitch he’s an automatic FPL Captain stud. Rafael played one of the most interesting games in recent memory last week against Real Madrid – his first 45 minutes were miserable but his second half was superb, and if he carries that form to the QPR match, will look like a stud.
Gareth Bale is a stud at West Ham, Dimitar Berbatov is a stud for Fulham at home to Stoke, and Marouane Fellaini is a stud despite the away trip to Norwich. Newcastle are home to Southampton so Sissoko is a potential bargain stud as well. Lukaku and Long should start together at home for West Brom and both are studs.
Duds this week include all Liverpool and Swansea players – who have the gameweek off after their quite profitable (Michu, Enrique, Suarez, Sturridge, etc.) double gameweek last time out. QPR’s recently reliable back four are also duds with Manchester United in town.
IV. Gameweek 27 Best Eleven:
D: Jenkinson – Baines – Rafael
M: Bale – Walcott – Sissoko – Fellaini
F: Lukaku – Giroud – Van Persie
Subs: Howard – Zabaleta – Demel – Yaya Toure