After advising that you should take a look at Leighton Baines (11 points this Gameweek), Demba Ba (nine), Dimitar Berbatov, Kevin Nolan (both eight) and Glen Johnson (five) on Friday, Yirma’s favourite stats man @shots_on_target is back, not to gloat, but instead to provide a thorough review of Gameweek 5.
Swansea 0 – 3 Everton
Although the Swans had their moments in this game, Everton bossed throughout with an incredible 22 shots with 11 on target, a figure more reminiscent of City at home to Wolves last year than a team away at the Liberty. The star fantasy performers from Everton’s point of view were the goal scorers Mirallas, Anichebe, and The Great Fellaini TM, with a combined 23 shots between them, 11 on target. Good value for their 3 goals, in fact they should have scored more. Anichebe is a great one week punt for the Toffees next home game against Southampton but you will have to fancy Jelavic’s chance of regaining the striker role on return from injury (1-2 weeks). Fellaini, Mirallas are established in the side, as are Pienaar and Leighton ‘9 Points’ Baines. All are strongly expected to pick up point further points and Mirallas would be an excellent differential choice.
Swansea to their credit almost scored – with 18 shots in total but just 4 on target. Their failure to score is perhaps due to Everton’s well-drilled defence rather than Swansea’s poor attack and I wouldn’t give up on Swansea’s offensive or defensive options given their immediate fixtures – STO (A) RDG (H) WIG (H) – except for Nathan Dyer.
Fantasy Force: Everton’s Attack and Defence.
Fantasy Flops: No-one.
West Ham 1 – 1 Sunderland
West Ham peppered Sunderland’s goal here with 24 shots, 4 on target, compared the visitors 5 with just 1 on target. Sunderland as is their style, scored from their only shot on target. These stats are actually similar to Sunderland’s goalless draw at the Emirates on the opening day (ARS 23 shots, 3 on target, SUN 5 shots, 2 on target) indicating that Sunderland have the ability to weather a storm quite nicely and West Ham should not feel too disappointed, getting more out of this fixture than Arsenal did. Steven Fletcher provided more evidence of his finishing ability with 1 goal from only shot on target (3 shots in total). This kind of form cannot continue however and Sunderland really do not create enough chances for to warrant buying their forwards at the moment. They have two fixtures in the next 8 that attract attention (Home games against Wigan and Villa) but other than those it’s not so good and I can’t really see Fletcher get more than 2-3 goals over the month or two. Kevin Nolan’s goal for Wet Ham was just reward for his display, he really is a good prospect and West Ham’s main source of fantasy points.
Fantasy Force: West Ham’s Attack (Nolan), Sunderland’s Defence.
Fantasy Flops: Sunderland’s Attack (despite Fletcher)
Southampton 4 – 1 Aston Villa
Villa are in trouble. They can’t defend and it’s going to take a while for Paul Lambert to get this team playing the way he wants, and by then it could be too late. Stephen Ireland looks like he’s broken his arm and could be out for a while and has been one of their most creative players so far, albeit not creating that much. Southampton on the other hand seem to have no problem finding the back of the net with Rickie Lambert the chief threat, They managed 6 shots on target so 4 goals is slightly flattering scoreline, but if you want a £6.1m forward then you could not do much better and with upcoming fixtures home against Fulham and Tottenham and away at Everton and West Ham you’d be disappointed if he didn’t get 2-3 goals over this period.
Fantasy Force: Southampton Attack
Fantasy Flops: Aston Villa – attack and defence.
Wigan 1 – 2 Fulham
A pretty even game this one with both team’s creating plenty of chances, Wigan with 19 shots , 5 on target, and Fulham doing better with 12 shots and 7 on target )on target is best!). Dimitar Berbatov was again at the sharp end and this results, as well as the 2 goals at Old Trafford, demonstrates Fulham’s new found capacity to score goals away from home. Wigan failed to turn majority of both possession and scoring chances into anything more than 1 goal which need not be a major worry to fantasy managers given the budget price tags attached to their forward players. Defensively, this was a good result for Fulham and a bad one for Wigan. Allowing 7 shots on target from 12 attempts is not indicative a tight defence.
Fantasy Force: Fulham Attack & Defence
Fantasy Flops: Wigan’s Defence.
Chelsea 1 – 0 Stoke
Despite the pressure Chelsea heaped on the Stoke defence the Potters held firm and gave a good account of themselves, creating a few chances too with 13 shots, 3 shots on target compared to Chelsea’s 19 shots and 4 on target.. Big players such as Hazard and Torres failed to impress (zero shots on target between them) and with just one promising fixture on the horizon (Nor (H) GW7) it’s perhaps time to re-evaluate their place in your teams. Stoke are doing well. Despite a torrid run of fixtures so far they have defended resolutely and have only conceded 2 goals in games vs. City, Arsenal and now the European Champions Chelsea. Their fixtures don’t let up for a little while but take a look in GW9 after their game with Manchester United.
Fantasy Force: Stoke Defence
Fantasy Flops: Chelsea Attack
West Brom 1 – 0 Reading
A fair result from two teams who are not going to be atop of the scoring charts at the end of the season. Albion’s 4 shots on target from 11 attempts yielding the game’s only goal. With Reading managing just the solitary shot on target all game there’s no wonder they didn’t score, and bearing in mind they only hit the target against Tottenham in their last home game the prospects do not look good for Reading’s attacking players like Pogrebnyak and Guthrie. Lukaku grabbed the game’s only game and the immediate fixture list offers hope of a few more – AVL (A) QPR (H) – but I would not hold out too much hope on them ripping it up.
Fantasy Force: No-one
Fantasy Flops: Reading’s attack.
Liverpool 1 – 2 Man Utd
Many people’s highlight match-up of the weekend, Liverpool managed to dominate the scoring chances in this game despite Shelvey dismissal late in the first half, almost doubling United’s chances created (14 attempts, 6 on target to 8 attempts, 3 on target). I think Liverpool can take some optimism from this game and their fixture list should offer hope – (Nor (A) Sto (H) Rdg (H) – however long-term injuries to Agger and Kelly, a niggle for Borini, plus Shelvey suspension throw this into doubt somewhat. United looked poor but, as always, put away the chances they got to win the game. The team is yet to gel though and with Rooney’s return imminent and rotation around Champions Leagues games a concern it’s going to be a risk owning their attacking players this season methinks.
Fantasy Force: Liverpool’s Defence
Fantasy Flops: No-one
Man City 1 – 1 Arsenal
Arsenal controlled the game in large spells and their customary possession game melded with a new-found defensive resolution means their defensive players are arguably the best of all fantasy assets right now, particularly with Gibbs and Metesacker coming in at £5.6m and £5.1m respectively. The omission of Carlos Tevez would have caused heartache to over 1 million FPL managers this weekend and, with City’s available attacking options plus probable rotation for Champion’s League games, owning elite options from the blue half of Manchester could prove a tad frustrating at times. Santi Cazorla and David Silva were the stand out players from an attacking point of view, and Aguero showed what he’s about too.
Fantasy Force: Arsenal’s Defence
Fantasy Flops: No-one
Tottenham 2 – 1 QPR
Tottenham have been very creative in all their matches so far this season, with this one proving no different, with 20 attempts on goal, yielding 8 shots on target and two goals not a bad result at the end of the day. However, they don’t fill you with confidence. Does anyone else think AVB does not know what he’s doing? Does he think he is still playing Championship Manager in his bedroom? QPR did really well and are staring to play for Hughes now after the opening day calamity against Swansea. They mustered 4 shots on target from 9 attempts which is not bad going for a team away at one of last season’s Top 4. Whilst home games against West Ham and Reading in the next 6 offer potential it’s probably too early to get excited about anyone. As for Spurs, Gareth Bale and Jermaine Defoe (as long as he’s in the team) maintain their promising form.
Fantasy Force: Tottenham and QPR attack – maybe
Fantasy Flops: None.
Newcastle 1 – 0 Norwich
Newcastle have been a very “efficient” team under Pardew, not requiring a lot of the ball or many chances to score their goals. That they managed good but not great 6 shots on target against Norwich from 18 chances created. There should have been more goals but the best chances, including a penalty, fell to Cisse and he’s clearly struggling at the moment, perhaps feeling a bit poorly! Demba Ba took his chance well and continues to be a good option up front, as does Ben Arfa, with game away against Reading the next fixture. Following this though games at home against United, and a solid West Brom plus an away match at local rivals Sunderland aren’t the best in the short term. As for Norwich, it’s hard to call as to whether Newcastle just misfired up front or Norwich defended well. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and opt for the latter but they aren’t a strong defensive option yet.
Fantasy Force: No-one
Fantasy Flops: No-one