Gameweek 8 preview

October 18, 2011

This weekend starts with one of the most hotly anticipated damp squibs of the season. Man Utd and Liverpool come face to face. Steven Gerrard may be back. He’s made substitute appearances in the Scouser’s last three matches, and you would think is a certainty to start in this, their biggest match of the season. Nemanja Vidic could also return. I’m not sure whether he’s worth the gamble just yet. Doesn’t he almost always get sent off against Liverpool? Although his price has dropped since he has been out injured by 0.2 million. It’s bound to start increasing again as the weeks pass. Vidic’s presence will guarantee a few more clean sheets, and he’s always capable of scoring a goal. One player who may not get the nod is long time partner of Vidic (in a footballing sense), Rio Ferdinand. Why would you replace Phil Jones, arguably the best defender in the league at the moment, with a slow, lumbering, junkie arse hole like Rio? Well, why? Both teams will concede and both will score. Look forward for fantasy picks from this game.

On to City – Roberto Mancini, and every fantasy manager on the planet has a selection headache. City play Villa at home. You’d still expect them to win, and subsequently end Villa’s unbeaten run, but they’ll have to do it without Sergio Aguero. Let’s look at his other strikers. Tevez, Dzeko and Balotelli. I don’t know which is grumpiest? I guess he has to pick the least grumpy on the day. I hope Dzeko gets laid tonight. That might mean he’s in a good mood. He’s in my team. Come on Mrs Dzeko. He may do.

Newcastle could also lose their unbeaten record this week. It’s the first weekend that they’ve genuinely come up against a team that are more than likely to finish above them. The same situation as Villa. Spurs, however, don’t have an amazing record at St James Park, so maybe stick with those cheap Taylors for a little while longer. Spurs don’t keep clean sheets, so don’t go there, but the likes of Bale, Van Der Vaart, Adebayor and Modric all look in good form. There’ll be a goal, assist and some bonus points in amongst those players.

A clean sheet may be most likely at Arsenal this weekend, who come up against Sunderland. They might have the worst defence in the league, but Sunderland aren’t exactly scoring for fun, and Niklas Bendtner won’t be playing as it’s against his parent club. It says something when you have to rely on Niklas Bendtner! I can see Arsenal clicking this weekend. Maybe a goal glut. Van Persie to vastly improve his total.

Everton still seem tough to beat, despite the fact they keep getting beat. It never looks easy for their opposition. They’ll be hoping for a better ref than last weekend. If they go down to ten against Chelsea, they’ll find it equally as tough as they did last week. Chelsea don’t really have an outstanding player at the moment. A couple of players are chipping in with goals and assists. And Villas-Boas isn’t afraid to drop previously undroppables. Danny Sturridge looks like he’s flavour of the month. And why not. He should be capped. And picked in your team.

The other games could go either way. QPR could get back into clean sheets after conceding 6 last time. Warnock won’t stand for that again. And they’re up against Blackburn. So expect goals. Fulham and Stoke will probably slug out some kind of draw. Both look vulnerable after their Europa League games. Both have a match in Europe this week. I’m sure they’ll be glad to get through this one without dropping points. Could be a good bet for a goalless clean sheet fest. Begovic and Schwarzer have always been reliable better than average clean sheet keepers and save makers.

Norwich and Swansea are top half and going well. I predict an entertaining game. Swansea seem to have the more settled and predictable line up. Maybe the bargain of the week will come from this game. Wigan and Bolton is already a six pointer. Surely Bolton can’t be this bad for much longer. Maybe today’s the day. West Brom against Wolves could be a goal fest or a drab 0-0. Neither team looks prolific in fantasy league terms. No big scorers coming from either team. Predictably, Long and Jarvis may be the best options from this match.

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