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Pearce Ivanovic A. Cole (Hangeland McCartney)
Bale Arteta Silva Ramires (C) (Guthrie)
Petric Bent Tevez
Gameweek 1 Review:
70 points first up in a solid start to the year for Woy’s Wandering Wonderboys. The move to spend big on the pair of Chelsea defenders paid serious dividends, with Ivanovic, in particular rampaging to 24 big ones. This is largely against our philosophy of scrimping on shot stoppers and defenders, so it was pleasing to see the gamble bear fruit. Our midfield drastically underperformed, particularly with the erroneous selection of Ramires to wear the armband. With Guthrie cooling his heals, despite a barnstorming 9 points for the 4.5 budget option, it was disappointing that our highly fancied Brazilian featured against reading. His quick 57 minute cameo cost us 19 points, as Cole was our next in line to the leadership throne. Nevertheless, goals from 2 of our 3 strikers is pleasing – and we still have cash in hand to hit the transfer market. New boy Petric was a particularly astute selection; if we’d say so ourselves.
Gameweek 2 Preview:
Looking forward, several of the big sides have difficult fixtures, with City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle players particularly facing a difficult weekend. Additionally, United have traditionally struggled against the Cottagers, and the Gunners travel to the Britannia for a marked clash of methodologies. This leaves Tottenham as the only serious certainly, but even they face a buoyant Albion who possess dangerous attacking threat. Jermaine Defoe has a simply astounding scoring record against West Brom, but the recent acquisition of Adebayor means Defoe becomes a more risky prospect. Of the remaining fixtures, we’re backing Swansea, Sunderland and Everton to earn 3 points respectively.
With Chelsea’s double gameweek done and dusted, it’s time to shed some of our London bias. Moving forward, with Mancini confirming the long term injury to Richards, we like Zabaleta over the next 2 months or so and will be a good replacement for Cashley at the back. While the Argentinian may not bring immediate results to your fantasy table, we need to shed Di Matteo’s players before their gameweek 3 blank. If you favour a top down approach to your selections, as we do, where you first choose a winning side and then pick the best options from that outfit, then Swansea should be top of the bill. Laudrup’s men have a string of home games over the next 6 weeks and a favourable draw coming up. With Sinclair looking to move on, the Swans offer a veritable smorgasbord of potential at low valuations. Routledge is our pick of the bunch.
Our other team in focus is the Toffees, who are traditionally undervalued by the men that matter. Pienaar looks to have picked up where he left off, with only an inspired de Gea keeping his tally to a measly 3 points. Despite being perennially slow starters, Moyes’ men have the softest draw imaginable, making any one of Everton’s midfield, as well as new boy Mirallas highly attractive.
Short Term Trade:
Our short term trade comes from a match up of the two worst performing sides of the opening weekend. We’re tipping QPR to bounce back away from home and fancy Adel Taarabt to lead the charge. Amazingly, 21% of the R’s successful passes were to the Moroccan against Swansea. We’re backing any creative player, with this type of service, to provide a return. With City, Chelsea and Spurs to follow, except Mark Hughes to have his charges well and truly up for their trip to Norwich. His forthcoming fixture run keeps him labelled as a short term, speculative buy.
Long Term Trade:
Rafael Van der Vaart looks drastically overvalued at current, with the Spurs man banished to the sidelines by AVB. Additionally, Spurs are linked with a raft of attacking options, making VDV’s place in your side, at a whopping 9.0, simply untenable.
Tip of the Week:
Liam Ridgewell has always been a fantasy favourite, but with the strict defensive structures of Roy Hodgson replaced by a fluidity unseen at the Hawthorns since the Mowbray days, look for Ridgewell as a cheap and promising defensive option. He fits our investment thesis of maintaining a bias to full backs over centre halves, and is employed under the tutelage of a man renowned for his “back-half coaching”. Against Liverpool, Liam popped up around the attacking 18-yard box frequently, giving us a cheap exposure to a Leighton Baines type option.
Gameweek 2 Team:
On a short term view, we’re hopeful for Gareth Bale who is up against Steve Reid, who struggled against Glen Johnson last Saturday. We’re giving him the armband, and hoping for a 20 point return. We also fancy Hangeland to cause the out of sorts and injury riddled United defence problems from set pieces, giving the defensive stalwart a starting berth for the first time this year. We’re also going for that Zabaleta trade – because who wants Ashley Cole in your side anyway…
Hangeland Ivanovic Zabaleta (Pearce McCartney)
Bale (C) Arteta Silva Ramires (Guthrie)
Petric Bent Tevez