We’re in super speed this week as there are only two days between Gameweek 24 and Gameweek 25. Here is a very quick 10-game review from the midweek matches.
Villa headed toward relegation. Newcastle is alive. QPR playing tough. Man City lackluster. Stoke City lost its defense. Wigan still fighting. Sunderland needs another scorer. Swansea is better than you think. Arsenal comeback. Liverpool lose two points. Everton led by Baines. West Brom still struggling. Norwich shows some life. Tottenham saved by Bale. Fulham better at home. West Ham terrible on road. Man United likes playing from behind. Southampton not an easy win. Reading has another ridiculous come back. Chelsea has another late draw.
See? Now you know everything that happened on Tuesday and Wednesday and it only took a minute.
FORM AND FIXTURES
Here are seven clubs that I would like to highlight because you need to pay attention to them for Fantasy purposes.
The first four are known commodities and are at the top of the table for a reason. The bottom three are not talked about enough and deserve some mentioning.
Last 6 Matches
|Last loss: Nov. 17||at FUL, vs. EVE, at QPR|
|4 wins last 5 matches||vs. LIV, at SOT, vs. CHE|
|3 straight draws||at WBA, vs. NEW, at WH|
|1 loss in last 12||vs. AVL, at MUN, at NOR|
|1 loss in last 6||vs. SUN, at STK, vs. WIG|
|9 goals allowed on road||at WH, vs. QPR/at LIV|
|Unbeaten in 4 straight||vs. NOR, at SWA, vs. MUN|
I’m starting with QPR first because no one is talking about them. No one gave the Rangers a chance against Manchester City and yet they stopped the giants from scoring. Of course if you listened to Premier League Plus last Friday, you wouldn’t have been as high on City as we predicted a draw.
I’ll start with their defense. Julio Cesar may be old, but he’s still a great keeper. Why else is Real Madrid trying to pick him up? QPR now has three clean sheets in their last four matches. More importantly, those three clean sheets have come against Chelsea, Tottenham and Man City. No one else in the league has had a similar stretch.
On the other end of that, their offense has been struggling, but still gets some looks. Adel Taarabt is their best attacker and had a few chances against City. At 5.7m he is still a great value. Loic Remy scored in his debut and also deserves a look.
Get a Swansea defender on your squad. In 12 road matches, they have allowed just nine goals, best in the Premier League. It wouldn’t hurt to add one of their defenders who are all under 5.0m. Ben Davies is the most desirable as he gets forward a lot. One thing to keep an eye on is Michel Vorm and his transfer status. There are reports that Man United and Barcelona are fighting for the keeper. That would mean that Gerhard Tremmel would get the permanent job in net at 4.1m. Also, they have a double in Gameweek 26 so that’s something to prepare for.
One of the bigger surprises in the above table is that Everton and Reading have the same amount of points in their last six matches. The overall difference is that Everton has a 12-spot lead in the main table.
Reading has a favorable upcoming schedule, which only helps. They have two home matches against Sunderland and Wigan and then go on the road to a struggling Stoke. Adam Le Fondre has not started in a while, but he has five goals in the last three matches. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get the start against Sunderland. Jimmy Kebe and Pavel Pogrebnyak also deserve a look. If you need a fifth defender, there’s no reason not to go for someone on their back line as they are all 4.0m or less.
Tottenham still needs to be looked at even though they are coming off three straight draws. Their next three opponents (WBA, Newcastle, West Ham) have been struggling and that should open for at least one or two wins in the upcoming stretch. Michael Dawson is a great value at 4.5m and should be looked at no matter what your situation.
Looking at the two Manchester’s, the safe route will be to go for United players. They get Everton, Fulham and QPR while City has to face Liverpool, Chelsea and then Southampton on the road.
The conversation between Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie has never been stronger after Rooney nabbed a brace against Southampton. As he is a little cheaper, there is a good reason for people to get Rooney over RVP. Here’s some more reasoning behind that decision.
Take a look at my rankings below and some of the points I just made are reflected into them. Cesar and Tremmel are at the top of the goalkeepers list for a reason. Those are just two examples, but there are plenty more players to get on clubs you normally don’t think about.
- Julio Cesar, QPR, 4.9m, vs. Norwich
- Gerhard Tremmel, Swansea, 4.1m, at West Ham
- Tim Howard, Everton, 5.5m, vs. Aston Villa
- Joe Hart, Man City, 6.9m, vs. Liverpool
- David de Gea, Man United, 5.5m, at Fulham
- Leighton Baines, Everton, 7.5m, vs. Aston Villa
- Patrice Evra, Man United, 7.1m, at Fulham
- Ben Davies, Swansea, 4.3m, at West Ham
- Gael Clichy, Man City, 5.6m, vs. Liverpool
- Branislav Ivanovic, Chelsea, 7.1m, at Newcastle
- Fabio, QPR, 4.2m, vs. Norwich
- Bacary Sagna, Arsenal, 5.2m, vs. Stoke City
- Phil Jagielka, Everton, 6.0m, vs. Aston Villa
- Phil Jones, Man United, 5.6m, at Fulham
- Kyle Walker, Tottenham, 6.1m, at West Brom
- Juan Mata, Chelsea, 10.1m, at Newcastle
- Theo Walcott, Arsenal, 9.4m, vs. Stoke City
- Gareth Bale, Tottenham, 9.8m, at West Brom
- Marouane Fellaini, Everton, 7.6m, vs. Aston Villa
- Adel Taarabt, QPR, 5.7m, vs. Norwich
- David Silva, Man City, 9.4m, vs. Liverpool
- Steven Gerrard, Liverpool, 9.4m, at Man City
- Michu, Swansea, 8.3m, at West Ham
- Frank Lampard, Chelsea, 8.5m, at Newcastle
- Yohan Cabaye, Newcastle, 6.6m, vs. Chelsea
- Robin van Persie, Man United, 14.1m, at Fulham
- Luis Suarez, Liverpool, 10.5m, at Man City
- Demba Ba, Chelsea, 8.9m, at Newcastle
- Wayne Rooney, Man United, 11.8m, at Fulham
- Carlos Tevez, Man City, 8.9m, vs. Liverpool
- Sergio Aguero, Man City, 10.9m, vs. Liverpool
- Lukas Podolski, Arsenal, 8.3m, vs. Stoke City
- Jermaine Defoe, Tottenham, 8.2m, at West Brom
- Christian Benteke, Aston Villa, 6.5m, at Everton
- Adam Le Fondre, Reading, 4.7m, vs. Sunderland
- Rickie Lambert, Southampton, 6.4m, at Wigan
- Steven Fletcher, Sunderland, 7.1m, at Reading
YOU’RE THE CAPTAIN
- Robin van Persie, Man United
- Juan Mata, Chelsea
- Theo Walcott, Arsenal
- Gareth Bale, Tottenham
- Luis Suarez, Liverpool
My captain rankings look very similar to last week’s. This is mainly because we are more than halfway through the campaign and we know who the best players are. In addition to that, the big name players are all performing up to their potential ,which never seems to happen. Of course after saying this, one of these guys will get hurt or go on a cold streak.
Surprisingly, the only player that didn’t back up my rankings last week was RVP. He had a few chances, but was denied by keeper Artur Boruc. While his 10-game scoring streak was snapped, you don’t have to worry about him because of that. No one else in the league has had a 10-game scoring stretch. Van Persie had to be stopped at some point. Fulham plays solid defense at home, but that shouldn’t matter against the Red Devils.
Mata had a slow start to the season, which saw his value dip as low as 8.9m. Hopefully, you picked him up then because his value has only gone up since. The Spaniard now costs 10.1m and for good reason. He has at least two bonus points in six of his last nine matches. That usually means good things. Chelsea is on the road, but I wouldn’t put money on Newcastle holding them to a clean sheet.
Walcott deserves the next spot in my rankings for two reasons: He’s on fire and Stoke’s defense has been non-existent as of late. Walcott has now scored in three straight matches and has seven goals and five assists in the past eight games. Once a solid defense, Stoke City has allowed 15 goals in their last five matches.
Gareth Bale is fast and he has a great left foot. That was all on display in his equalizer scored at Norwich on Wednesday. Spurs are on the road again and against a very questionable defense in West Brom. While the Baggies are in the top half of the table, they have allowed more goals than any other club also in that position.
I pondered leaving Suarez off this list mainly because Man City has four straight clean sheets. The problem with that is they haven’t played Luis Suarez in those games. Suarez is on fire with six goals in his last five matches. City has to give up a goal at some point.
*Stats up-to-date as of Jan. 30
NBA legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving has joined the Anthem Media team. Find out more about the Doctor’s arrival here.