Gameweek 28 preview

March 8, 2012

It’s the first round proper of the Buckets Cup this week. Last week’s preliminary round threw up a few surprise results, with quite a few top half teams and Manager of the Month winners falling at the first hurdle. Neil Madrid, None of the Above, Crazylegs, Shadwell Town and Pretty Schitty City join the draw this week. One of Shadwell and the Dimbetweeners will make it through to the quarter-final. One of Crazylegs and Romeo’s will not. There’s forty quid in the kitty for the winners of the cup. It could go to a manager who has quite blatantly given up on their team. We might end up with a manager who has no idea that they have won the money. And therefore, I will keep it.

I won’t really.

This gameweek, however, has an extra fixture. The difference between winning and losing a cup tie could come down to which Liverpool and Everton players you have in your squad. The two sides meet midweek, with Liverpool at home. Over the weekend Liverpool are away at Sunderland, while Everton entertain Tottenham. Both are tricky ties, and picking out the best potential players isn’t that straightforward. Liverpool are OK away from home. They’ve won more than they have at Anfield. But Sunderland are a different prospect now under Martin O’Neill than they were under Steve Bruce. The reverse fixture was the first of Liverpool’s many home draws. Everton are classic mid table – winning one, losing one, drawing one etc etc. Spurs have conceded a few too many of late in a difficult run of fixtures, although they have missed some vital players. Van Der Vaart, Parker, Bale and King should all be back, and niggling knocks picked up by Walker and Assou-Ekotto look to have been shaken off. My tip – pick Liverpool defenders, and Everton midfielders. Neither are particularly lethal up front, and I’d predict that the three games in question are more likely top be low scoring affairs than mega goalfests. Although I have said that before – and been completely wrong.

Elsewhere, expect another City romp against Swansea. United may not have it too easy against in-form West Brom. They looked potent against Spurs last week, and are slowly locking into that groove they get into through the spring months through to the end of the season. Buckets teams may revert to how they were at the start of the season, when both Manchester sides were scoring for fun, and no-one else really looked up to scratch. Although Arsenal may now sniff a bit of Spurs blood. I think they believe they can pip their rivals to third. If they can stuff Spurs and Milan, and shell shock Liverpool on their own patch, I’d expect them to turn Newcastle over.

For good differential options, invest in the Norwich attack, who should bag a few against Wigan. And maybe Fulham, who’ve put a nice little run together. Pavel Pogrebnyak has played three games, scored in each, and his value has increased by 0.3 million already. They’ve assembled a fairly lethal forward line who are all chipping in.

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