Gameweek 13 preview

November 24, 2011

We’re at the 13th round of fixtures in a 38 gameweek season – and therefore, a third of the way through – there or thereabouts. We’re on the brink of knowing who the November Manager of the Month is. There are at least ten teams in it – maybe more. This week will be interesting. At present, Wayne Rooney is marked as being doubtful for United’s clash with Newcastle. So that transfer I’ve been threatening for weeks might have to happen….NOW. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only team in this position. I think there are a few teams who’ve been sat on Rooney for weeks in the hope he might find his shooting boots again. Him being doubtful for this gameweek might make a lot of manager’s minds up. Him out – RVP in.

The majority of managers either have one player or the other. The teams with Van Persie already in their squad are at an advantage. Bringing in Van Persie for Rooney is no longer a straight swap. We’ve seen the gap in price between the two players steadily increase over the last few weeks. It now stands at 1 million pounds. If you’ve got a spare million floating round in your bank – you’re in luck. One straight swap. No penalty points. Most players will have to make at least two subs to accommodate him. That four point penalty incurred could make all the difference in the race for this month’s prize.

Although, I’ve got a feeling Wenger might rest RVP this week. Just thought I’d throw that in. Gamesmanship.

So presuming all managers in the running will make the change if they haven’t already, the prize may well go to the team with the best back up – or the best differential, as they’re meant to be called. The player you’ve got in your squad, that nobody else has. Most squads have a smattering of Newcastle and Swansea defenders, Man City attackers and the Van’s. The best differentials usually fall in the mid price bracket. Not the big money, big scorers – nor the cheap necessities who make up the numbers, but undoubtedly have their worth – but the last few pieces of the squad jigsaw.

Stephane Sessegnon, Aaron Lennon, Scott Sinclair, Anthony Pilkington, Theo Walcott, Stewart Downing, Younes Kaboul – all in squads in with a shout. The biggest differential threat could be Uriah Rennie – who have a squad full of them. Only Sergio Aguero and Gareth Bale appear in more than one of the other teams, as well as their own. Jagielka and Cahill could easily have big scoring weeks for Everton. Niklas Bendtner has Wigan’s “defence” to deal with this weekend. Joleon Lescott is the least popular of the City defenders, but lets not forget his goalscoring form of recent years. Danny Graham and John Walters are Swansea and Stoke’s top scorers. And the best of them all is Frank Lamaprd – who, OK, isn’t cheap, but is nowhere near as popular as he once was (only appearing in 4.9% of all squads – whereas once it would be 49% of all squads). Uriah Rennie need a lot of things to fall into place this weekend, but keep an eye out for them. Whilst everyone else scores the same score with the same players – they may outscore us all.

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