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Gameweek 29: You’re the Captain!!

Thanks to @RotoZdroik for his guest post looking at Captain options for Gameweek29.



The list of captain options is extremely small this weekend due to the FA Cup. Out of the six matches, only four of the clubs are in the top half of the table. Two of those teams are Swansea and West Brom in eighth and ninth place, respectively. In a week with only six matches, your captain pick may be more important than usual.

  1. Luis, Suarez, Liverpool
  2. Gareth Bale, Tottenham
  3. Moussa Sissoko, Newcastle
  4. Steven Gerrard, Liverpool
  5. Grant Holt, Norwich


Most owners will have the task of deciding between Suarez and Bale. Those two have been the hands down hottest players in recent weeks. Robin van Persie isn’t even up there with them. Bale has seven goals in his last five games, receiving bonus points in all of them. Suarez’s form doesn’t extend to five games, but in his last two which Liverpool has dominated, he has four goals and two assists.


Suarez gets my pick for the top captain option this weekend, mainly because he’ll be at Anfield. In the last match between these clubs, Spurs took the win 2-1 at White Hart Lane with Bale getting the goal and assist. The Reds have been a much stronger team at home this year which gives them the edge in this one.


If you have Bale, it’s hard not to captain him right now. I know I listed Suarez above him, but you can’t really give one of these players a true advantage. No one has been able to stop Bale in all competitions and it’s going to take a lot in this one even on the road. As this is the biggest match of the weekend, hopefully we’ll get to see a few goals.


Sissoko didn’t find the score sheet in his last match which was the first time of his short Premier League career. Stoke is solid defensively, but you can’t really trust them on the road. Newcastle has been very good at St. James’ Park and Sissoko should capitalize on that.


This goes back to hoping there are plenty of goals in this match. Gerrard has fallen off a bit lately, but he has stepped up to the challenge in bigger games this season and scored when it counts the most. I’ll definitely take him over some of the other lesser options out there.


The last spot goes to famed goal poacher, Grant Holt. He’s having a rather disappointing season with only five goals and three assists, but he should get plenty of chances at home against Southampton. The Saints have lost two straight matches giving up six total goals to Newcastle and QPR. Norwich should be able to score a couple and that starts with Holt up front.

*Stats up-to-date as of Mar. 5



Adam joined RotoExperts in 2008 as a member of the Scout/Player Updates Team. Throughout the years, Adam has written articles encompassing a number of sports. If you like your Fantasy advice full of numbers and straight to the point, look no further. Find him (@RotoZdroik) on Twitter, to get a daily take of what’s happening in the sports world

Norwich: Standing on the shoulders of giants


Norwich City have beaten Arsenal and Manchester United this season and are currently on the same amount of points as Liverpool. They haven’t so much snuck up on the Premier League’s big boys as gatecrashed their party entirely.

It wasn’t always like this of course. There was genuine concern in Norfolk at the end of September and beginning of October when Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres and Eden Hazard cut Chris Hughton’s side apart as Liverpool and Chelsea beat them 5-2 and 4-1 respectively.

They were results which left the Canaries second to bottom of the Premier League with three points from seven matches, still winless and still licking their wounds from a 5-0 loss at Fulham on the opening day. A long, uncomfortable campaign beckoned for Hughton in his first season in the Carrow Road hotseat.

Yet the transformation since then has been nothing short of remarkable.

It started with the home win over Arsenal in mid-October, finally a first three points of the campaign and what looked a pretty decent platform to build upon. It’s proved to be the most solid.

The victory over the Gunners was the start of an eight-match unbeaten league run – nine if you count the Capital One Cup win over Tottenham – which has seen the Canaries concede only four goals. As QPR and Reading – their partners in the relegation zone in those uncomfortable early weeks – have failed to escape the bottom three, Norwich have soared up the table with the talk in Norfolk now concerning just whether Hughton can deliver a top half finish.

The most memorable of those eight unbeaten games surely came against Manchester United last month, when Anthony Pilkington’s winner underlined the quality within a squad which has largely been drawn from players in the lower leagues.

Pilkington, Bradley Johnson, Robert Snodgrass, Wes Hoolahan and Grant Holt have all served their apprenticeships away from the limelight – literally in the case of Holt who had spells at Workington, Halifax, Barrow and Singaporean club Sengkang Marine during his early years as a footballer, years in which he subsidised his income by working in a factory.

It’s been a long road to the top for him and for Norwich, who often impressed under Paul Lambert last season of course as their back-to-back promotions were topped off with a campaign which never saw them in serious relegation trouble.

Yet when Lambert went to Aston Villa there were concerns that Hughton would struggle with what is still largely the Scot’s team, with those concerns playing out on the pitch in the opening months of the season.

Things still aren’t perfect of course. The win over Sunderland on Sunday was only the second time all season after that Liverpool loss that the Canaries had scored two goals in a league game, whilst they are still to record a win away from home – something that they’ll be looking to put right at Swansea on Saturday.

It is their fine home form which is driving things forward at the moment though, with that Sunderland win opening up a seven point gap between them and the relegation zone. More importantly, there are only seven points between them and third-placed Chelsea.

Such heights might have to remain in the ‘dizzying’ category for some time of course, but there is no sense that Norwich are trying to run before they can walk as their impressive campaign continues.

Just where it will take them remains to be seen, but you get the sense that the club’s fans are more than happy to just enjoy the ride at the moment. Relegation fears shouldn’t be completely dismissed just yet, but they can surely be forgotten about over the busy Christmas period.

Their last two fixtures of a 2012 which has shown that they are not afraid of the big boys are at home to Chelsea and Manchester City.

The pair have been warned.


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