NO TIME TO BREATHE IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE

Adam Zdroik, Staff Writer November 30, 2012

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I’m going to make this article quick, much like how this week has gone for anyone following the Premier League.

Sunderland has three 0-0 draws this season and has allowed only 16 goals all season. They have zero Top 25 Fantasy Defenders.

QPR allowed zero goals for the second time all campaign and the first time on the road. It was just their fifth point in 14 matches. They are still in last place.

Surprisingly, Aston Villa now has two straight clean sheets at home. Their next match is on the road at QPR. Villa has a -11 goal differential on the road through seven games.

Reading’s goalkeeper Adam Federici has 16 saves in his last three games. Manchester United’s keeper, Anders Lindegaard, has one less save in four more starts.

Since Rafa Benitez took over, Chelsea has played to two 0-0 draws. In their previous 12 matches, only two had fewer than two total goals. These clean sheets were their first since Sept. 22.

Fulham got their first clean sheet since Oct. 20 against Aston Villa. There was a total of 21 goals in their previous five matches.

Everton has not lost at home in seven league matches this season. They lost six last year. Midfielder Marouane Fellaini added his seventh goal of the season. He had three all of last year.

Theo Walcott has been a spark for the Gunners in recent weeks. Photo Credit: Ronnie Macdonald

Arsenal has scored nine goals in Theo Walcott’s last three starts. In the last seven matches that Walcott has not started in, they only have seven goals.

Southampton has a positive goal differential at home even though they have the third worst differential in the league. Forward Rickie Lambert has as many goals (six) as Carlos Tevez and more than Nikica Jelavic.

Norwich has not lost a Premier League match since Oct. 6 at Chelsea, a streak of seven straight games. They have beaten Arsenal and Manchester United during that stretch. Also in those seven games, neither Norwich nor opponent has had more than one goal.

Stoke City scored more than one goal for only the fourth time all season and the first time in seven matches. They have allowed only two goals at home in seven games.

Newcastle has lost four straight games even though they haven’t allowed more than two goals once. On the other end, they only have two goals in those four matches.

Swansea has five Top 25 Fantasy Midfielders. The next highest club only has three. Even after losing manager Brendan Rodgers to Liverpool, the Swans have four more points than the Reds.

Even with the loss, West Brom still sits at fourth in the table. They have six wins in seven home matches on the year. They get Stoke City at The Hawthorns this weekend.

Gareth Bale leads all Fantasy Midfielders this year with six goals and four assists. He has a goal in three straight games. Tottenham only has one clean sheet all year.

Liverpool had an eight game unbeaten stretch in all competitions broken at White Hart Lane. No one on their team has scored a goal in two straight games as Bale had an own goal in this one.

Manchester United has zero Top 25 Fantasy Midfielders, but they have the best player in the game in Robin van Persie. The Red Devils have zero draws on the year and will go to Reading this weekend who has six draws in 13 matches.

West Ham has four points out of their last six matches yet still sit at 10th in the table. They face Chelsea and Liverpool at home in their next two games. Their highest scoring forward (Ricardo Vaz Te) has not played in seven straight games. Andy Carroll has one goal in nine starts.

Wigan has as many wins as ninth-placed Stoke, but as many losses as 18th-placed Southampton. Their most consistent player all year has been first-time Premier League player, Arouna Kone.

Mario Balotelli scored his first goal of the season at Wigan. He had 13 goals all of last year. Man City is now one point behind United in the standings even though they have drawn in four of seven road matches. They are the only club in the Premier League without a loss.

WEEKLY RANKINGS

Goalkeepers

  1. Tim Krul, Newcastle, 5.3m, vs. Wigan
  2. Boaz Myhill, West Brom, 4.4m, vs. Stoke City
  3. Mark Bunn, Norwich, 4.0m, vs. Sunderland
  4. Anders Lindegaard, Manchester United, 5.4m, at Reading
  5. Joe Hart, Man City, 6.9m, vs. Everton

Defenders

  1. Jose Enrique, Liverpool, 5.8m, vs. Southampton
  2. Patrice Evra, Man United, 6.8m, at Reading
  3. Branislav Ivanovic, Chelsea, 7.2m, at West Ham
  4. Danny Simpson, Newcastle, 4.8m, vs. Wigan
  5. Liam Ridgewell, West Brom, 5.0m, vs. Stoke City
  6. Javier Garrido, Norwich, 4.8m, vs. Sunderland
  7. Matthew Lawton, Aston Villa, 4.5m, at QPR
  8. Carlos Cuellar, Sunderland, 4.5m, at Norwich
  9. Rafael, Man United, 6.5m, at Reading
  10. Matija Nastasic, Man City, 5.5m, vs. Everton

Midfielders

  1. Gareth Bale, Tottenham, 9.7m, at Fulham
  2. Juan Mata, Chelsea, 9.6m, at West Ham
  3. David Silva, Man City, 9.4m, vs. Everton
  4. Marouane Fellaini, Everton, 7.6m, at Man City
  5. Michu, Swansea, 7.4m, at Arsenal
  6. Santi Cazorla, Arsenal, 9.5m, vs. Swansea
  7. Charlie Adam, Stoke City, 6.6m, at West Brom
  8. Wayne Routledge, Swansea, 5.4m, at Arsenal
  9. Esteban Granero, QPR, 5.5m, vs. Aston Villa
  10. Theo Walcott, Arsenal, 8.7m, vs. Swansea

Forwards

  1. Robin van Persie, Man United, 13.7m, at Reading
  2. Luis Suarez, Liverpool, 10.4m, vs. Southampton
  3. Carlos Tevez, Man City, 9.5m, vs. Everton
  4. Demba Ba, Newcastle, 8.2m, vs. Wigan
  5. Sergio Aguero, Man City, 11.0m, vs. Everton
  6. Wayne Rooney, Manchester United, 11.7m, at Reading
  7. Jermaine Defoe, Tottenham, 7.9m, at Fulham
  8. Shane Long, West Brom, 6.4m, vs. Stoke City
  9. Olivier Giroud, Arsenal, 8.4m, vs. Swansea
  10. Rickie Lambert, Southampton, 6.0m, at Liverpool

YOU’RE THE CAPTAIN

  1. Luis Suarez, Liverpool
  2. Robin van Persie, Man United
  3. Carlos Tevez, Man City
  4. Gareth Bale, Tottenham
  5. Demba Ba, Wigan 

Suarez was held off the sheet at Tottenham, but he still was a constant problem for their back line. Does Southampton have anyone to stop him from scoring at least once? Very doubtful. They have given up the most road goals of any club this year, which is why he’s my top option.

It only took 30 seconds for RVP to redeem his No. 1 ranking in my captain list. Unfortunately, that was the only goal scored for the rest of the game. I’m not worried and you shouldn’t be worried. United will get more than one goal against Reading even on the road.

Tevez hasn’t started in two straight matches, but that’s exactly why he’s here. He is rested unlike Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli. Tevez should (hopefully) get the start against a vulnerable Everton defense.

A midfielder on the road seeps into my captain rankings for the first time in a while. Bale is on the top of his game and Fulham isn’t playing great defense at the moment (I’ll exclude that Chelsea game).

Ba is the only sensible reason for the final spot in these rankings. Even though Newcastle has lost four straight games, Ba has been the lone bright spot. Toon Army will figure things out eventually and that will only help Ba. He deserves a look as a captain with eight goals on the season.

*Stats up-to-date as of Nov. 29

 

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