Liverpool eventually delivered for Fantasy bosses on their Double Gameweek, but the absences of Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge this time around will have those managers looking elsewhere.
Neither Liverpool nor Swansea are in action in Gameweek 27 following the Reds’ 5-0 win at Anfield last Sunday, and so without the Reds and the Swans to call upon then points will have to be picked up from other sources. It’s not the happiest of places right now, but maybe one of those sources will be the Emirates Stadium.
Defeats to Blackburn and Bayern Munich have left Arsenal in the grip of the usual ‘crisis’ they go through about seven times a season, but purely in Premier League terms they aren’t doing too badly.
Three wins and a draw from their last four matches have taken the Gunners to within four points of fourth-placed Tottenham, and with Spurs not playing until a tricky trip to West Ham on Monday night then Saturday’s visit of Aston Villa offers Arsene Wenger the chance to lighten both his own and the club’s mood.
Wenger should start with his compatriot Olivier Giroud (£8.0m) upfront, especially given that the French forward has scored five goals in his last five Premier League appearances at the Emirates.
The experiment of playing Theo Walcott (£9.5m) through the middle has produced good results, but Arsenal looked stronger when Giroud came on against Bayern in midweek and can make that strength tell against a notoriously weak Villa back line. If you’re a striker short given the non-appearances of Suarez and Sturridge, then he could be your man.
Elsewhere it’s top against bottom at Loftus Road, where it is simply impossible to ignore the claims of Robin van Persie (£14.0m) as your captaincy pick.
Manchester United’s mercurial Dutchman actually came down in price for the first time since October before United’s last league game against Everton, but he responded by registering a goal and an assist – a 19th and 10th of the campaign respectively – in his team’s 2-0 win. He was rested for his team’s FA Cup exertions on Monday night and so should be primed and ready to go for this visit to Queens Park Rangers.
As always with United it can be quite difficult to pick their midfield, but with an apparent injury to Phil Jones (£5.6m), then Sir Alex Ferguson could look to pair Michael Carrick (£5.8m) – who scored in this fixture last season and is United’s top points-scoring midfielder this time around – with Tom Cleverley (£5.6m, and the pair will be targeting points in what should be a routine victory.
There will be nothing routine about the big game of the weekend, as Manchester City host Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.
There is an intriguing battle going on to see who will finish as City’s top points-scoring forward, and although he is bottom of the list at the moment the smart money should perhaps be on Sergio Aguero (£10.9m), who has started the last three league games whilst Carlos Tevez hasn’t played a minute of the last two.
Clean sheets might be hard to come by in that clash, but they could be seen in the opening game of the weekend at Craven Cottage.
Stoke have only scored once in their previous five away games, and against a Fulham defence marshalled by Brede Hangeland (£4.8m) they could find that record tough to improve.
The Norwegian centre-back was once a Fantasy favourite but he has seen ownership dwindle due to not yet scoring a goal this season. That could all change here.
Another player who hasn’t scored as often as he’d like this season is Papiss Cisse (£8.8m), but it might be worth keeping an eye on Newcastle’s Senegalese forward ahead of what looks a huge game against Southampton at St James’s Park.
A goal there could kick off a much-needed run of form for both him and his team, and perhaps provide you with that all important edge in the coming weeks.
Check out our new Club article – This week Fulham