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Sunderland’s Jordi Gomez & The 5 #FPL Players You MUST Pick For GW37

DEFENDER: Nacho Monreal – £4.9m (Away v Man Utd, Home v Sunderland)

The loss at home to Swansea may have come as a shock to more than just Arsenal fans, but Gunners players deserve to be trusted for this final Double Gameweek of the season.

Having displaced Kieran Gibbs from the side in December, left-back Nacho Monreal has now played the full 90 minutes in 15 of Arsenal’s last 18 league games, and he’ll have good memories of his last trip to Old Trafford following his goal there in the FA Cup in March.

MIDFIELDER: Steven Gerrard – £8.5m (Home v Crystal Palace)

In his last ever game at Anfield, you just know that Steven Gerrard is going to do something.

The Liverpool captain has scored in his last two games (both headers, strangely) and he picked up all three bonus points from last weekend’s draw at Chelsea. With differentials crucial as we reach the very end of the season, he could just be worth a gamble. Face it, you can see him scoring a penalty in front of the Kop can’t you?

FORWARD: Jermain Defoe – £5.0m (Home v Leicester, Away v Arsenal)

His goal at Everton was incredibly fortunate, but it will have given Jermain Defoe a huge confidence boost heading into the week which will determine whether or not Sunderland are going to stay up.

The experienced former England forward didn’t return from the MLS in order to get relegated to the Championship, and you can expect him to do everything he can to find the net at home to Leicester and then away at Arsenal.

THE OUTSIDER: Jordi Gomez – £5.1m (Home v Leicester, Away v Arsenal)

UPDATE – JORDI GOMEZ NOW INJURED http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/sunderlands-jordi-gomez-wes-brown-9263975

Despite the fact that they are playing with three strikers, Sunderland’s penalties are taken by midfielder Jordi Gomez – who managed to net two spot kicks in the last home match against Southampton.

He managed an assist at Everton too (when his shot went in off Danny Graham) and he’ll be crucial in the Mackems’ two matches which are going to decide their future.

THE CAPTAIN: Alexis Sanchez – £11.5m (Away v Man Utd, Home v Sunderland)

He’s looking a little tired as his first season in England comes to an end, but given that just over a third of Fantasy bosses own Alexis Sanchez (and bear in mind just how many players will have given up by now) then you have to play the percentages and give him the armband this week.

The Chilean will be a threat to a Manchester United defence which still fails to convince many, whilst he’ll be looking to replicate his performance against Sunderland earlier in the season when he scored both goals in a 2-0 win.

Manchester United’s Radamel Falcao And The 5 #FPL Players You MUST Pick This Week

Gameweek 29: You’re the Captain!!

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

FPL: YOU’RE THE CAPTAIN

 

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

 

@RotoZdroik

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

Gameweek 27 preview: Giroud to lift the Gunners’ gloom?

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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.

@Mark_Jones86

Check out our new Club article – This week Fulham

Gameweek 26 preview: Time for some Stevie Glee?

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It may have snuck up on you somewhat, but Steven Gerrard (£9.7m) is currently the fourth top points scorer in Fantasy Premier League.

Only Robin van Persie (£14.1m), Juan Mata (£10.1m) and his Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez (£10.7m) have picked up more points than the Reds captain, who has benefitted from a new fitness regime brought in by Brendan Rodgers as he’s played every single minute of Liverpool’s 25 league games this season.

The likes of Gareth Bale (£9.8m), Theo Walcott (£9.6m) and Michu (£8.4m) have all been passed by Gerrard in recent weeks, as the frequent niggling injuries which have dogged his last few campaigns and seen his team struggle along without him have become a thing of the past.

Seven goals and 12 assists tell their own story of a player who is arguably in his best form for five years, and the England captain could be a man to trust ahead of Liverpool’s double Gameweek.

Points look on offer for the men from Anfield in home matches against a West Brom outfit who have lost five of their last six in the league and then a Swansea team which will be playing just a week before their appearance in the Capital One Cup final. It must be noted that Liverpool travel to Zenit St Petersburg for a Europa League tie in between those matches, but Rodgers is likely to chop and change things for that one. It’ll be the league that he’ll be focusing on.

Gerrard – having picked up bonus points in six of his last nine matches – won’t be in a hurry to let go of that 100% league record, and off the back of his trademark goal against Manchester City last weekend he’ll be vital in his team’s hunt for points, and maybe yours too.

Despite the Englishman’s form, Suarez is still likely to be captaincy choice of the majority – and six goals in his last six games tells you just why – whilst the impact of Daniel Sturridge (£7.7m) at Anfield also makes him worth considering despite a niggling injury.

However with Liverpool now boasting the Premier League’s best home defensive record having conceded just 10 goals, a move for Glen Johnson (£6.4m) could prove wise given the right-back’s qualities going forward. The Reds are likely to be on the front foot in both of their matches, and Johnson could prove to be a key part of that.

Elsewhere the first of Swansea’s pair of matches is at home to bottom of the table QPR, and so there will be support for Michu and the increasingly popular Ben Davies (£4.6m).

Chelsea will be backed to beat Wigan at Stamford Bridge in a match which could see Fernando Torres (£9.4m) fire given the facial injury suffered by Demba Ba (£8.2m) – well, it could ― whilst Eden Hazard (£9.3m) will return from his ban. Wayne Rooney’s (£11.9m) renaissance might continue at home to former club Everton at Old Trafford, where Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea (£5.5m) will be looking to follow up what was only a fourth clean sheet of the season at Fulham last time out with another shutout.

Sergio Aguero’s (£10.9m) stunning goal against Liverpool last weekend might finally convince many that he is the Manchester City forward to bank on ahead of his side’s trip to Southampton, whilst Emmanuel Adebayor (£9.0m) is set for a return to the Tottenham squad for the home clash with Newcastle.

Whilst the Togolese was away at the African Nations Cup, Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke (£6.7m) picked up support from Fantasy bosses as the key man in his struggling team, and with the Belgian hitting five goals in his last five games to become one of the 26 players have reached over 100 points by Gameweek 26 he is sure to keep that support onside.

Villa face West Ham at Villa Park on Saturday, and with the visitors losing eight of their 12 away games this season, Benteke can improve on his tally even more.

@Mark_Jones86

Still time to join the FantasyYirma mini-league!!

You can still join the #FantasyYirma mini-league – be warned the competition is tough! The FantasyYirma mini-league is one of the TOP RANKED  in the overall game! Click the link below to Join.

The Official FantasyYirma League is FREE  TO PLAY and has a £50 cash prize for the winner.

Click to Join. http://fantasy.premierleague.com/my-leagues/15005/join/?autojoin-code=44397-15005

The prize money is provided by the FY Admin team member with the lowest total score at the end of the season…

To take £50 off your mate in a bet is fun- to make him sponsor the league for an entire season …is funnier.

Gameweek 20 preview: Theo to thrill against Magpies

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Just where he’ll be spending the majority of his 2013 remains to be seen – although counting the extra money that Arsenal will be paying him seems to be a decent bet – but Theo Walcott (£8.5m) will end 2012 facing Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium.

He’s likely to be facing them in his favoured forward position too, as Arsene Wenger continues to bow to the demands of the England man, whose period playing as a forward is seen as crucial to his decision over whether or not he’ll sign a new contract with the Gunners.

Walcott’s relocation upfront in recent matches has seen the likes of Olivier Giroud (£7.9m) and Gervinho (£6.8m) shunted to the sidelines, and with Walcott looking to link up with Lukas Podolski (£8.2m), Santi Cazorla (£9.6m) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£7.2m) against a Newcastle side who have lost their last four away games and are without a win on the road all season, the Gunners could well be set for a successful ending to their year, with Walcott contributing to that more than most.

Newcastle’s last defeat saw them concede four goals at Old Trafford, where Javier Hernandez (£6.9m) scored a last gasp winner the likes of which Manchester United have made their trademark over the Premier League era.

With Wayne Rooney (£12.0m) reportedly missing for the next two to three weeks with a knee problem, Hernandez is likely to be given another start upfront alongside Robin van Persie (£13.9m) when West Brom come to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

This is of course another match that Sir Alex Ferguson will expect his side to win as they continue another march towards the Premier League title, and with the Scot demanding the best of his players going into the New Year then a win is surely what he’ll get – with Hernandez ready to contribute towards that.

The game of the weekend is surely Everton’s meeting with Rafael Benitez and Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, when fifth faces third at Goodison Park.

Benitez had a decent record against the Blues of Merseyside in derby games when manager of Liverpool, but this Everton side is much stronger now and will fancy their chances of upsetting the European champions and a manager who they would love to get one over.

David Moyes is still missing Marouane Fellaini (£7.5m) though, and Benitez and his side will be looking to take advantage of that, with Juan Mata (£9.6m) again ready to impress after becoming Boxing Day’s matchwinner at Norwich and Fernando Torres (£9.8m) no doubt wanting to impress against his old neighbours.

Sunday also sees a schizophrenic Liverpool go to bottom club QPR where Steven Gerrard (£9.3m) will be looking to score for the fourth successive game, whilst Gareth Bale (£9.7m) will be hoping to make it four goals in two games as he goes to Sunderland on the back of his hat-trick against Aston Villa – those of us who had him as captain are still wearing our smug smiles.

Villa haven’t been smiling following that 4-0 loss to Tottenham and the 8-0 defeat at Chelsea either side of Christmas, and if they are to bounce back at home to Wigan then Christian Benteke (£6.7m) is sure to be vital.

Stoke will be more confident going into their meeting of the red and white stripes at home to Southampton, and after his double strike helped see off Liverpool on Boxing Day Jonathan Walters (£6.4m) is sure to be a popular choice amongst Tony Pulis’s men.

Kenwyne Jones (£5.0m) could well be an astute cheap choice if you are in need of a forward, but if you’ve got much more to spend then it might be worth casting an eye towards Carrow Road as Manchester City look to bounce back from their loss to Sunderland as they go to Norwich.

Carlos Tevez (£9.5m) scored a hat-trick in this fixture last season, and he’ll be looking for a repeat performance for the champions just as their crown begins to slip.

@Mark_Jones86

Gameweek 17 preview: No Chelsea, no problem?

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The Hazard lights are flashing as Fantasy bosses come to terms with the Mata at hand. Chelsea aren’t playing this Gameweek.

Sorry, that was an awful pun-related start to a weekend which looks as though it could offer up quite a lot of points if you stay away from the west Londoners and focus your attention on the red halves of Manchester and Merseyside.

Having come through last Sunday’s fixtures clutching 3-2 away wins and in some cases a few scars, Manchester United and Liverpool return to action in home matches that they should take three points from.

United host Sunderland at Old Trafford, and although the Black Cats saw their form dramatically improve in midweek thanks to a 3-0 win over Reading which mercifully featured goals from Steven Fletcher (£7.2m) and Stephane Sessegnon (£7.6m) for those managers who trusted the Black Cats pair during their double Gameweek, this contest looks like being one that the home side will have the upper hand in.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s men have hit ominous form and with a relatively kind fixture list over the Christmas period their players could be ones to follow as they seek to extend their lead at the top of the table.

Robin van Persie (£13.8m) grabbed the late glory at the Etihad Stadium last weekend, but it was the two goals from Wayne Rooney (£11.9m) which really attracted the attention and has seen his price begin to slowly rise back towards its original £12m.

Rooney tends to score in bursts, and with braces in his last two games he is certainly experiencing one of those now. He has apparently complained of illness in midweek, but he is unlikely to let a little thing like that affect him as he bids to shoot down the Mackems on a Saturday afternoon when his inclusion in your team could prove crucial.

Not far away on Merseyside, Liverpool will be bidding to build on their run of back-to-back league victories as they welcome Aston Villa to Anfield.

Like United they have a somewhat welcoming set of fixtures to negotiate over the Christmas period – albeit without the certainty that Ferguson’s men bring to the table – and whilst most might be looking at selecting Luis Suarez (£10.3m) now that he has returned from the one-match suspension he served at West Ham last weekend, it might pay to look elsewhere especially if Chelsea’s lack of action has left you short in defence and midfield.

Glen Johnson (£6.3m) was on the mark last weekend and Raheem Sterling (up to £5.7m now) has showed terrific promise all season, but if you need a one-week replacement for a Mata or a Hazard then perhaps a move for Steven Gerrard (£9.3m) could pay off.

Gerrard has scored more goals against Villa than any other team, and although he blotted his copybook with an own goal last weekend he’d already chalked up an assist for Johnson’s strike. He has created more chances than any other player in this season’s Premier League bar Leighton Baines, and he’s likely to have opportunities for more against Villa.

Speaking of Baines, his Everton side go to Stoke in what looks to be an uncompromising encounter which could see defenders on top, whilst the opposite is likely to be true of Tottenham’s clash with Swansea on Sunday. Jermain Defoe (£8.4m), Aaron Lennon (£7.0m) and Michu (£8.0m) could all be in the points in a match which should produce goals.

Norwich are finding goals easy to come by at the moment, with defender Sebastien Bassong (£4.9m) proving a recent hit thanks to his three strikes in four games. As they entertain Wigan he’ll be hoping for defensive points too, with Javier Garrido (£4.8m) and Steven Whittaker (£4.3m) other cheap choices who have impressed.

Manchester City go to struggling Newcastle as they bid to get over last weekend’s derby loss, and with Carlos Tevez (£9.4m) failing to complete 90 minutes since his 19 point haul against Aston Villa in Gameweek 12, Sergio Aguero (£11.0m) again looks likely to lead the line.

The Argentine hasn’t scored in four games, and although Dimitar Berbatov (£7.2m) hasn’t netted in five he looked sharp against Newcastle on Monday night and could be worth backing as Fulham go to bottom club QPR.

@Mark_Jones86

Liverpool: The kids are alright, but is that enough?

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As symbolism goes the image was a pretty stark one.

On a chilly Sunday afternoon when there were many more serious issues than football to ponder at Anfield it seems wrong to pay so much attention to the mere matters that were going on at pitch level, but just seconds into the second half there was a moment that spoke volumes for just where Liverpool are heading under Brendan Rodgers.

The 18-year-old Jesús Joaquín Fernández Sáez de la Torre – or ‘Suso’ to his mates and now the millions worldwide who watched his Premier League debut on Sunday – picked the ball up on the left corner of the penalty area and was suddenly face-to-face with the man he’d entered the pitch with seconds earlier.

Whilst Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had turned to Paul Scholes, 37, at half-time as his side sought to gain control of midfield now that Liverpool were down to 10 men, Rodgers had opted for Suso to replace the injured Fabio Borini.

Undeterred by the sense of occasion, the fact that this was his first act as a Premier League footballer nor that his side had seen a man sent off, Suso faced up to Scholes on the corner of the box, showed him the ball and then quick as a flash burst past a man more than twice his age. At that moment the great Scholes could probably feel his old bones creaking.

That Suso’s cross was only half-cleared and eventually – via the good work of Glen Johnson – resulted in Steven Gerrard firing Liverpool into a deserved lead only crystallised the moment more. These young Liverpool players, regardless of who they are facing and how many players they are facing them with, are fearless.

At 18 Suso wasn’t even the youngest Reds player on the pitch at the time, with that honour going to the 17-year-old Raheem Sterling. Jonjo Shelvey, 20, had somewhat harshly been sent off by then, whilst the injury suffered by the 22-year-old Martin Kelly would leave Liverpool with just nine men by full-time. Borini, 21, and Joe Allen, 22, were playing in their third Anfield league game since big summer moves to Merseyside, a switch made by 22-year-old second half substitute Jordan Henderson last year. The 19-year-old Andre Wisdom scored in the Europa League last week and could now be set for more appearances given that Kelly is out for the foreseeable future with an ACL injury. Many more young players at set to feature in the Capital One Cup at West Brom on Wednesday night.

The omnipresence of Gerrard and a late cameo from Jamie Carragher reminded everyone that this isn’t a total revolution just yet, but it is hard to think of a club operating at the levels Liverpool are that is currently putting so much faith in youth. As admirable as it is, the worry has to be that it is too much too soon.

The club’s failings in the transfer market have a lot to do with it of course, but Rodgers is on record extolling the virtues of his young charges.

As he and Ferguson have said in the past, young players will rarely let you down when called upon, but at a time when the club are coming to terms with a new style of play as well as new personnel with which to play it, the potential for errors has crept in. At this level such mistakes can and will be capitalised on, as United showed in coming back to win on Sunday.

The next three Premier League fixtures – away at Norwich and then at home to Stoke and Reading – have already been identified as crucial to Liverpool following their tough start, and the youngsters in the team are likely to have to grow up quickly if success is to be achieved in all of them.

There is no doubt that a great excitement builds when the likes of Suso and Sterling get the ball, but it is up to Gerrard and Luis Suarez to show seniority and help guide them. Allen, the excellent Johnson and the still acclimatising Nuri Sahin will prove important in this regard too.

Is it too much too young for some of these Liverpool players? That remains to be seen, but one thing that they are certainly not lacking in is confidence. If Suso can do that to Scholes, then anything is possible.

The kids aren’t United, they’re Liverpool, and this could just be the start of something special if it is given time.

@Mark_Jones86

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