Well we’re nearly there aren’t we?
As the season’s finish line looms large over the horizon each and every point becomes vital in your head-to-head, mini-leagues and of course the #FYCup, the fact that six teams are playing in a double Gameweek shouldn’t be ignored.
More important still, is that three of those teams happen to house three of this season’s Fantasy favourites.
Okay, maybe Sergio Aguero (£11.0m) doesn’t have the ownership percentage he deserves following a campaign which has been blighted by injuries, but there should be little doubt that he is Manchester City’s best forward when on form, and after a goal against West Ham last week and with an FA Cup final place to play for he is sure to be ready to impress as City go to Swansea and then face a home game against West Brom in the next week.
As usual with Roberto Mancini you have to be careful when selecting his forwards, but with the Italian likely to go with a front two of Aguero and Carlos Tevez (£9.2m) for the showpiece final against Wigan next week then he’d be wise to give them as many minutes on the pitch together as possible ahead of Wembley.
That should mean they play the vast majority of the fixtures against Swansea and the Baggies, and although the threat of Edin Dzeko (£6.8m) can’t be ruled out the Bosnian has failed to score in City’s last eight matches, of which he only featured in five.
Whilst City’s two opponents this week do possess popular players on double Gameweeks in Michu (£8.2m) and Romelu Lukaku (£6.6m), our next port of call is the Champions League-chasing Tottenham Hotspur.
Gareth Bale (£10.6m) received much Fantasy Premier League attention before, during and after Spurs’ visit to Wigan last weekend – from which he eventually emerged with a goal, an assist and two bonus points.
The PFA Player and Young Player of the Year will be looked to by many as a solid captaincy choice ahead of Tottenham’s matches against his old club Southampton and then a trip to Chelsea which is likely to go a long way towards sorting out those all-important top four places.
Bale is almost certain to be joined by Jermain Defoe (£7.9m) in both of those contests, and the form of both could well be key to just how Spurs do now the pressure is on. The good news for them is that Bale has responded well to pressure all season.
The impressive form of Wigan’s Shaun Maloney (£5.2m) is an aspect to consider ahead of the double Gameweek for the FA Cup finalists which sees them face must-win matches at West Brom and at Swansea in their battle to stay up, but it is Chelsea we focus on for our third key pick.
The sixth of the teams facing this crucial double header, the Blues have tricky fixtures away at Manchester United and at home to Spurs.
The likes of Juan Mata (£10.0m) and Eden Hazard (£9.6m) will of course be looked to to shine in both of those fixtures, but the recent goalscoring form displayed by their teammate Oscar (£7.8m) surely makes him worthy of recognition.
The Brazilian struck in the draw at Anfield and the win over Swansea in Chelsea’s last two Premier League fixtures – matches that he picked up 18 Fantasy Premier League points from.
Crucially cheaper than the rivals he battles for a Chelsea starting berth with, Oscar seems to be coming into form just as the season draws to a close and can take these good performances into Chelsea’s double Gameweek.
He could just be a handy addition as the clock ticks down on your campaign.
For Chelsea fans, the good things are coming in threes.
The club have won three of the last eight Premier league titles, there’s only been once this season when they didn’t take three points from a league game, and they’ve only conceded three goals at home and three goals away during their unbeaten first eight league fixtures.
Key to that success has been the terrific trio of attacking midfielders who appear to have the fate of their side at their feet.
In Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar the Blues possess the kind of talents that the rest of the Premier League can only dream of owning.
They don’t come cheap of course – with the trio costing around £80million to unite – but with Mata the oldest at 24 and Hazard and Oscar both just 21 it’s not inconceivable to believe that they’ll all be strutting their stuff at Stamford Bridge for the best part of the next decade. If you’re a Chelsea fan and that didn’t get you licking your lips then I suggest you might like to try another sport.
All three stars have taken the spotlight at some stage already this season, with Hazard shining in his first weeks in English football, Oscar delivering a scintillating Champions League debut at home to Juventus and Mata currently enjoying the limelight thanks to a series of impressive displays and goals over the past few weeks.
The Spaniard had a restricted beginning to 2012/13 following a 12 months which saw him complete his debut Premier League campaign, become an FA Cup and Champions League winner, score in and win the Euro 2012 final and then compete for his country at the Olympic Games, but now his true quality is shining through and Chelsea are reaping the benefits.
The manner in which his two goals transformed last weekend’s 2-1 deficit at Tottenham into a 3-2 lead had a kind of quality about it that you often only associate with championship winning teams, and if Chelsea carry on like this for much longer then it surely can’t be long before they are installed as favourites to win the league ahead of the Manchester clubs.
The chance to get one over on one of them comes on Sunday when Manchester United visit Stamford Bridge for probably the biggest game of Hazard and Oscar’s fledgling Chelsea careers so far.
The Belgian and the Brazilian might have been playing second and third fiddle to Mata’s leading man in recent weeks, but all three have the quality to decide a game which, given United’s recent defensive problems, looks to be Chelsea’s for the taking regardless of their Champions League loss in Donetsk on Tuesday night.
The attacking nature of his trio might have led Roberto di Matteo to occasionally rein them in, but the platform provided by the solidity of John Obi Mikel and the energy of Ramires behind them allows Chelsea’s fab three to be let off their leashes. It is a setup which means that the pressure to score goals isn’t suffocating Fernando Torres the way it used to do, whilst it’s also made Frank Lampard realise that he might as well start getting comfortable on the substitute’s bench.
Di Matteo has fielded the three stars in matches at Arsenal and Tottenham this season, and so a home game against Sir Alex Ferguson’s side isn’t likely to see him abandon the approach.
Beat United and Chelsea suddenly go seven points clear of them, whilst increasing their opponents’ league defeats this season to three.
There’s that number again. Chelsea fans won’t tire of seeing it throughout the season.
By the end of it though, if their star trio can keep on performing there is every chance that they’ll see their team at number one.