ARSENAL: Szczesny, Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs, Ramsey, Arteta, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Welbeck, Sanchez
Subs: Martinez, Bellerin, Flamini, Rosicky, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud
MAN UTD: De Gea, Smalling, McNair, Blackett, Valencia, Carrick, Fellaini, Shaw, Di Maria, Rooney, van Persie.
Subs: Lindegaard, Fletcher, Herrera, Young, Mata, Januzaj, Wilson.
Preview Written by James Martin
Follow @JamesMartin013 on Twitter
Today, Manchester United travel to the Emirates to take on Arsenal. These sides are two of the multiple teams in the fight for the top 4 – this season it’s seemingly a case of who can be the least awful rather than who can be the best. As such, both sides will be determined to get the win today and further their cause for 4th place. However, neither of the clubs will be fielding full strength teams; they have both been hit pretty hard by injuries.
Injury crises always provide opportunities for bargains on Fantasy Football. McNair and Blackett both fall into this category – prior to the season they were expected to get little or no game time, so they’re consequently priced extremely cheaply. People have started to cotton on to this, meaning they now cost 4.4 and 4.2 respectively, but that’s still pretty good value for defenders from a top team. From Arsenal, Chambers is a good option: he’s risen in price to 4.9, but with 25 points in his last 3 games that looks like a very reasonable sum.
That said, the fact that both sides are having to put out makeshift defences means that neither team are likely to keep a clean sheet. As such, it might be wiser to splash a little more cash and go for the attackers. Sanchez is the obvious option from Arsenal; his recent scintillating form has seen him bag an astonishing 54 FPL points in the last four games. Up against a frail-looking United defence he will certainly fancy his chances of adding to his goal tally, especially if De Gea’s injury keeps him from playing. Oxlade-Chamberlain could be a good differential – Walcott’s recent groin injury has delayed his full return, so the Ox will continue to wreak havoc down the flank for the time being.
From a United perspective, Robin Van Persie could be worth considering. At 12.4 million he would be an extremely expensive gamble, but Rooney has been playing deeper lately meaning that RvP could well be the lone striker against a central pairing of Mertesacker and Monreal. Fellaini is also one to consider; he has looked more like the player we saw at Everton lately, getting further up the pitch and causing defences problems. Di Maria has been going off the boil a little recently, but certainly has the capability to produce goals and assists against the weakened Arsenal back line.
Seeing as nearly all the major injuries for the two sides are in defence, it’s hard to predict anything other than a high scoring game. I don’t expect a high quality encounter, although the likes of Sanchez and Di Maria are obviously capable of producing some magic. Much like the wider fight for 4th place, this game could well be a case of who can manage to be the least bad. My final score prediction is 4-2 to Arsenal, purely on the basis that their injury-ravaged back line looks marginally less awful than United’s. That said, confidence could play a part – United are coming into the game on the back of a win against Palace whilst Arsenal’s last fixture was a 2-1 loss to Swansea, so it would be foolish to write off the Red Devils.
My name is James Martin, (follow me on Twitter @JamesMartin013) and I’m a keen blogger as well as a huge Liverpool fan. I’m also a complete FPL addict. I guest blog for multiple websites, and have my own blog (www.jamesmartinblogs.blogspot.com) where you can see all of my Liverpool-related articles. Enjoy!
FantasyYIRMA EXTRA TIME
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