Gameweek 23 preview

January 30, 2012

Gameweek 23 – and it’s midweek matches spread over two nights – with five on each night. For those of you who haven’t used your January wildcard, my understanding is that this is your penultimate chance to use it. It looks like you can use it for the last time to make changes to your squad for gameweek 24. Which makes sense, given that the January transfer window shuts at midnight on the 31st January, midway through this gameweek. And the whole idea of the January wildcard is to give you the opportunity to bring in players bought during this window. Not that there’s been much action yet. It’s pretty much as it was last time I wrote something. More players have left than come in – so for all those squads containing Mame Biram Diouf, Alan Smith, Dinyar Bilyaletdinov and Roman Bednar – I’m sorry, but it’s time for a change.

Nedum Onuoha has made the switch to QPR. As has Taye Taiwo. Jean Beausejour has joined Wigan and Jonny Howson has joined Norwich from Leeds. Worth picking any of those? Probably not.

Senegal were thankfully shit at the African Cup of Nations, managing to lose all three games against Equatorial Guinea, Libya and Zambia. So it’s an early return for Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse. Although I’m not sure they’ll make an instant return and debut for Newcastle against Blackburn. Also coming home are Mohamed Diame and Armand Traore. Elsewhere, the Ivory Coast have booked their place in the quarter finals, so we won’t be seeing Drogba, Tiote, Kalou, Yaya or Gervinho until at least gameweek 25.

This week sees some interesting match ups. Chelsea visit the home of clean sheets – Swansea. Chelsea themselves have been pretty tight of late. They haven’t conceded in four games. It’ll probably be a goalfest. Bolton have always been a bit of a bogey team for Arsenal. Cold nights in the North don’t suit Wenger’s team, and Bolton have looked a bit better in recent weeks. I’d still expect RVP to score. Kompany is back for Man City. His four match ban took in both Carling Cup semi final legs. He was always worth clinging on to for that reason. He, of course, will go straight back in to the back four against Everton in place of the dodgy looking Savic. This should shore up that back line and offer a reasonably good chance of a clean sheet. Best bet for a shut out however, should be Spurs home match against Wigan. Expect a few goals in at the other end too. If you’ve still got your wildcard, bringing in three Spurs players in any position will probably be a wise move, although be aware that Gareth Bale is doubtful.

January Manager of the Month is decided this week. I’d say there were five teams in it. I’m one of them. And I expect to win it.

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One Response to “Gameweek 23 preview”

  1. Jonny said

    No Mr Strong, I expect you to lose. TO LOSE I TELL YOU!

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