Premier League: Goal of the Season
There are just two weeks remaining in the 2012/13 season, and once again it has been one full of stunning goals and memories.
But just what is your favourite goal of the Premier League campaign?
Take a look at @Mark_Jones86’s favourites below and then cast your vote on our poll!
Hatem Ben Arfa, Newcastle v Aston Villa, 02/09/2012
Is it possible to bit a ball harder or with more precision? This superb strike from the gifted Frenchman was one of few highlights in a disappointing Newcastle campaign.
Luis Suarez, Liverpool v Newcastle, 04/11/2012
One of the players of the season scored one of the goals of the season in early November, when Suarez’s superb control from Jose Enrique’s lofted pass led to this stylish finish against Newcastle.
Jermain Defoe, Tottenham v West Ham, 25/11/2012
Usually seen scoring poacher’s goals, Defoe’s fine run and shot helped Spurs towards this London derby win in late November.
Gareth Bale, Norwich v Tottenham, 30/01/2013
If ever a goal summed up a man’s season this was it. With Tottenhama goal down with just 10 minutes left of the clock, the Welshman took it upon himself to drag his team level with a fine run and shot.
Jose Enrique, Liverpool v Swansea, 17/02/2013
Liverpool’s Spanish full-back was on the end of this superb team move involving Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge as the Reds saw off Swansea 5-0 at Anfield.
Rafael, QPR v Manchester United, 23/02/2013
Manchester United’s Brazilian full-back cracked home this stunning strike in a win at Loftus Road, as his club closed in on their 20th league title.
Gareth Bale, West Ham v Tottenham, 25/02/2013
With the clock ticking down and Spurs set to drop two points in their race for a Champions League place, Bale scored this remarkable effort from range to spark wild celebrations.
Matthew Lowton, Stoke v Aston Villa, 06/04/2013
Arguably the most important goal of Aston Villa’s season and undoubtedly the best, full-back Lowton smashed home this unstoppable effort in the closing stages on the way to a win at Stoke.
Loic Remy, QPR v Wigan, 07/04/2013
The season brought little hope for Queens Park Rangers but their French forward did hint that some was on the back with this superb breakaway goal. Typically, QPR conceded an equaliser in stoppage time.
Robin van Persie, Manchester United v Aston Villa, 22/04/2013
When they needed a win to secure the title United’s Dutch superstar stood up and was counted, scoring a hat-trick which included this stunning strike from Wayne Rooney’s fine pass.
So you’ve seen Mark’s selections, don’t forget to cast your vote!
Gameweek 9 preview: Sergio sets sights on Swans again
As introductions to English football go, it was a pretty spectacular one.
Sergio Aguero (£11.1m) entered Premier League life in the 59th minute of Manchester City’s first game of the 2011/12 season against Swansea City at the Etihad Stadium last August, and 31 minutes later he’d scored two goals.
It was the perfect beginning to a campaign in which Aguero would – in this writer’s opinion anyway – establish himself as the most complete forward playing in England right now, with his final kick of the season bringing the kind of joy to Manchester City fans that they hadn’t experienced in 44 years.
This time around things haven’t gone so smoothly, with the knee injury suffered just 13 minutes into City’s opening game of this campaign against Southampton stalling his progress and seeing him cast to the sidelines for over a month.
Now, having played a part in each of City’s last four games and registering two goals and an assist whilst doing so, Aguero will face up to Swansea again as a man determined to repeat former glories.
Picking City forwards is not for the faint-hearted, and nor is trusting them going by the Champions League loss in Amsterdam on Wednesday, which ended with Roberto Mancini fielding all four of his frontmen at once in a bid to get back into the game.
European disappointment will only make the Italian more determined to succeed on the domestic front just like last season of course, and there can be little doubt that a fit and firing Aguero looks to be a menacing addition to his teamsheet ahead of the weekend. He’d look good on yours too.
Other City options ahead of a game they’ll be expecting to win include midweek goalscorer Samir Nasri (£8.2m and worth serious consideration given David Silva’s injury), super-sub Edin Dzeko (£7.5m) and of course Carlos Tevez (£9.4m), but the latter hasn’t scored in his last five games after finding the net in his first three, and if you’ve got the spare cash then it could be time to switch to his Argentinean mate Aguero in a bid for more firepower.
Elsewhere the Sunday clashes at Goodison Park and Stamford Bridge will attract the most attention, but it is the two other fixtures on that day which should be catching the eyes of Fantasy bosses.
Tottenham go to a Southampton side who have shown a worrying inability to construct any form of functioning defence far too often this season, and with the revolving door policy in front of the Saints net set to continue the visitors will fancy some goals.
Jermain Defoe (£7.8m) is sure to prove a popular choice as his goals continue to keep Emmanuel Adebayor (£9.0m and falling) out of the Spurs side, but it is to a man who often provides him with service that we look to next.
Aaron Lennon (7.0m) only makes it into 4.3% of Fantasy Premier League teams, but the quicksilver winger will fancy his chances up against the creaking Southampton backline, and he could just make hay as Spurs chalk up goals and points on the south coast.
At the opposite end of the country, Newcastle take on a West Brom outfit who had the wind knocked out of their sails by Manchester City last weekend.
The Magpies, on the other hand, were solid before somewhat unfortunately letting their lead slip in the derby match at Sunderland last week, and this fixture might just be another home match in which Hatem Ben Arfa (£7.9m) will shine.
As we’ve discussed on these pages before, Ben Arfa is a man to back when Newcastle play at St James’s Park, and he’ll fancy improving on his record of two goals and one assist when the Baggies come calling.
Cloud nine on Gameweek nine awaits for him, and possibly you too.