Lineups from 11:30am
Manchester United: DeGea, Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw, Fellaini, Mkhitaryan, Pogba, Rooney, Zlatan, Lingard
Subs: Romero, Smalling, Herrera, Mata, Schneiderlin, Martial, Rashford
Manchester City: Bravo, Sagna, Otamendi, Stones, Kolarov, Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Silva (C), Sterling, Nolito, Iheanacho
Subs: Caballero (GK), Zabaleta, Fernando, Jesús Navas, Sané, Clichy, García Serrano
GAMEWEEK 4 PREVIEW
Yes I know Sergio Aguero is unavailable but we have to start with defenders.
It’s the rules.
DEFENDER: Calum Chambers, Middlesbrough
So, calm yourself down and let me talk about Calum Chambers. At Arsenal, he was a risky pick that might get a game with a run of injuries but at Middlesbrough he is a different prospect entirely. It’s a huge fall from grace to go from England International to Rob Holding’s understudy but Chambers has always seemed to carry himself with a lot of professionalism and this could well be the move that gives him a platform to impress again. The uncertainty comes from whether he will walk into the starting lineup but given Karanka’s love of a 0-0, if he does then he could be a cash cow at 4.5m. He is also under 5% picked and could therefore be described as The Chambers of Secrets…..righy guys? Guys? GUYSS!! HOW DO I MAKE THE FONT BIGGER? (Ed: you only have to ask)
HOW DO I MAKE THE FONT BIGGER
MIDFIELDER: MICHAIL ANTONIO, WEST HAM
The transfer window is like the young-ish teacher who joined at the beginning of a school year. She’s new, she’s exciting, she seem so hot and alluring but when you look back from a wiser perspective, she was just a window. A plain old transfer window. The temptation to pull a wildcard and flood in a load of fresh names into your squad is overwhelming. No, I don’t mean Mathieu Flamini. But sometimes, a new signing might not be initially appealing but can have a knock on effect. Arbeloa’s arrival at West Ham might not have you reaching for your transfer tab but it could have an impact on the already impressive Michail Antonio. In the absence of Cresswell, there was talk of Antonio filling in at right back, and even in midfield maybe having more of a defensive duty in certain games. Arbeloa is the perfect foil for an attacking player to have free reign ahead of him. Antonio go himself in the latest England squad and is surprisingly only 5.6% picked. Dimitri Payet is available for selection again and that’s only good news for Antonio’s goalscoring form.
FORWARD: HARRY KANE, TOTTENHAM
Permission to panic. Sergio Aguero is suspended. There’s a lot of posturing online about the best way forward with Diego Costa and Romelu Lukaku being tipped as the best replacements given the upcoming fixtures. Personally I need to see more from Lukaku if I’m going to part with 9 million of my fictional pounds. You could of course say the same for my actual pick Harry Kane. The difference for me though is that all does not seem well at Goodison Park. Harry Kane has never scored a Premier League goal in August, so this so called ‘drought’ is nothing new to him. People have short memories and seem to have conveniently forgot the goal spree he went on the other 9 months of the season last year. Tottenham have Stoke, Sunderland and Middlesbrough in the next 3 games and that would ordinarily be, much like Kane’s gaping mouth, impossible to ignore. So I’m not going to!
CAPTAIN: EDEN HAZARD, CHELSEA
A lot of people will bottle captaining Zlatan this week. There’s a misconception that you should’nt give the armband to players up against ‘big’ opponents. I would argue that the great players deliver in those games. So, first things first, I wouldn’t rule out Zlatan. That said, my option outwith the Manchester Derby is Eden Hazard on his comeback from last year’s catastrophe. He’s taken back his rightful place as the top scoring midfielder in the game and I fancy Swansea to have a difficult year. Also, let’s not forget Eden will have a score to settle with that ballboy who dived when he kicked him. Interesting fact, that ballboy is now Francesco Guidolin.
OUTSIDER:WILFRIED BONY, STOKE
Ok, so I will put in one shiny new transfer signing. Mark Hughes has done some incredible business at Stoke and there hasn’t been this much talent there since the pottery trade was booming. United fans will laugh at him, but Wilfried Bony is a coup for Stoke. He is an excellent player with a very good record and with Crouch starting recent games, you get the feeling Bony was a player Hughes really wanted at the artist formerly known as Britannia Stadium. He’s supplemented by Allen, Bojan, Shaquiri, Arnautovic and various other brainwashed continentals who think the Midlands is exotic. I honestly feel Bony could’ve one a job for ‘bigger’ clubs like Liverpool or Spurs and I’m confident he will start racking up points once he settles. And given he lived in Swansea without complaint, that shouldn’t take long.