Manchester United and Chelsea strong between the sticks : Gameweek7 Review



Most important business first, patting one’s self on the back until the palm is sore. Two weeks ago I touted the miraculous recovery of one Papiss Demba Cisse from a broken kneecap, pointing to his very very low ownership (0.1%) and similarly low price (£5.9m) as a reason to invest. Despite our best efforts – and honestly, if one post on the internet does not qualify as ‘best efforts’ what does? – his ownership suffered a dip ahead of his GW7 brace. With net transfers of -105 heading into action on Saturday, there was little confidence shown in the Senegal international. To show my money is where my mouth is – both firmly up my own backside, no doubt – I present my GW7 squad.

It could use some work, but the fact remains that I’m sold on the player I tout. Cisse remains an outstanding value. Coming out of the international break he will face: Leicester (H), Spurs (a), Liverpool (H), WBA (a), QPR (H), West Ham (a) and Burnley (a). That run of fixtures takes us through 2 December and provide ample opportunity for the 29-year-old to make amends for his two-goal campaign a season ago. He may even have time to save Alan Pardew’s job. As of writing, his price has not fluctuated, and he is all of 0.4% owned. The price is right, the potential is astronomical and the differential is some 3.28 millions players who haven’t found a spot for the most prolific forward in FPL over the past three gameweeks.

Talking of once-great forwards returning from potentially career threatening injuries – Radamel Falcao scored the winner at Old Trafford on Sunday. The Colombian broke his League duck for United, securing three points after Angel di Maria’s opener was cancelled by a Steven Naismith header. Falcao has exceptional over the past three matches, with two assists and a goal while still not playing more than 72′. With Wayne Rooney still missing through suspension for the West Brom and Chelsea encounters, Falcao can be expected to earn his place. Remarkably, he saw a dip in ownership despite recording five or more points in three of the four weeks he has played. The current pace would see him earn 171 points over a 38-game season, despite one of his performances a late bow which netted a single point.
For some perspective, last season Daniel Sturridge earned 197 points, Wayne Rooney earned 190 and both of those players relied heavily on assists to get there (Sturridge with 8 helpers; Rooney had 12). Assists are valued evenly across all positions in FPL and those players most involved in the attack have a disproportionate ability to benefit. If Falcao is able to to find the net at his historic level, the additional value provided by assists should push him ahead of nearly every forward in the League.

What Falcao has provided upfront, several players – including teammate David de Gea – have provided at the back. 60′ and a clean sheet will earn a ‘keeper six points. This week that honor went to Petr Cech, despite the Czech international starting the match on the bench. Cech came on to replace an injured Thibault Courtois and the duo combined to blank Arsenal’s front six.
It is hard to argue with Jose Mourinho when he says:


“‘We have two of the best three goalkeepers in the world. When one is injured and comes off, and the other one comes on, no problem. There is no change in my heart. I was so confident Petr would once more do a fantastic job for us.’”


The injury to Courtois, which occurred when he collided with Alexis Sanchez, saw him depart with less than half-hour played in the match. It is unknown how long the younger ‘keeper will miss, but with the international break providing a respite from club play, it is possible that he returns for GW8. Cech was given little opportunity to impress, but did his job well and his form didn’t suffer from lack of match action.
Cech was not the only netminder to earn a clean sheet, nor earn six points, but he was not the best at his position this weekend. Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris (9 points), Manchester United’s de Gea (8 points) and West Ham’s Adrian (7 points) all posted season-best performances. Of the trio, de Gea was the only one to concede a goal with the lost clean sheet off-set by a save on Leighton Baines spot-kick to preserve United’s 1-0 lead. De Gea also recorded four other saves, including two spectacular full-body efforts.

Finally, a word on the assist. As noted above in the section on Falcao, assists are an often undervalued aspect of fantasy premier league performance. This may be because assists are difficult to predict and every year sees different players lead the League. This is really only true because Cecs Fabregas left the Prem for Spain. In his five seasons in England, Cesc recorded 14, 20, 10 (in 1900′), 15, and 13 (in 1880′) before departing for Barcelona. In those years he was never worse than third in the assist table. He is back and looks set to lead the League this season. While Gylfi Sigurdsson recorded a brace of helpers to draw level with Cesc on six assists, the Spanish international quickly regained the lead as he created Diego Costa’s ninth goal. All three of those players (Cesc, Gylfi and Costa) are heavily owned (51.1%, 43.8% and 66.2%, respectively), but continue to deliver outstanding performances each week – two of them on the back of their superb skill creating goals.
To read more on the fantasy premier league draft analysis, please visit the Togga Blog and read the recent match recaps of from GW7. See you after the international break.


To read Fantasy Premier League draft stats and analysis, please visit the Togga Blog where you can find the sister post to the one you’ve just read. You can follow the author @FantasyGaffer on Twitter.





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Posted on 7 Oct 2014, in Player Selection and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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