Gameweek 20 preview

December 29, 2012

29 Dec 12:45 Sunderland Sunderland v Tottenham Tottenham
29 Dec 15:00 Aston Villa Aston Villa v Wigan Wigan
29 Dec 15:00 Fulham Fulham v Swansea Swansea
29 Dec 15:00 Man Utd Man Utd v West Brom West Brom
29 Dec 15:00 Norwich Norwich v Man City Man City
29 Dec 15:00 Reading Reading v West Ham West Ham
29 Dec 15:00 Stoke City Stoke City v Southampton Southampton
29 Dec 17:30 Arsenal Arsenal v Newcastle Newcastle
30 Dec 13:30 Everton Everton v Chelsea Chelsea
30 Dec 16:00 QPR QPR v Liverpool Liverpool

There’s a couple of selection headaches that will probably affect most managers this weekend. I say probably – I mean hopefully. It seriously affects me anyway. It’s put a massive spanner in my works. Silly season is claiming it’s fair share of suspension and injury victims. There’s a few undroppables that may have to be dropped. And probably at a cost.

Michu is out. Shawcross and Cameron are suspended. Carlos Tevez is doubtful.

Given the fixture build up, and the wealth of attacking options that City have, don’t be surprised if Tevez has the week off, regardless of his fitness. He’s maybe the least risky of these players to drop. His value has been dropping a touch in recent weeks anyway due to some iffy City performances and a lack of any meaningful contribution for 3 weeks.

As for the others – it’s a bit more of a conundrum. Take them out completely, or bench them? It all depends on the price you bought them at compared to the value they carry at this moment. Michu’s price has risen week on week on week. He’s at 8.3 million at the moment. His value will drop if lots of managers shift him out of their team, but I’m not sure that will happen. If, as most Buckets managers seem to have done, he’s been picked up in the mid 7 millions, or cheaper (lucky buggers), then it’s a bit of a hit to take. You’ve got to bench him haven’t you? He’s due back for the Villa game on New Years Day. If he starts against Villa, he’s odds on for a goal, and would be a front runner for the captaincy.  Keep him and bench him.

Shawcross and Cameron are suspended for Stoke’s home tie against Southampton. Had  they played you’d bet on another clean sheet to add to the 9 they’ve kept already. I imagine Pulis will replace them with Ryan Shotton and maybe Matthew Upson (remember him?). Huth and Wilkinson will retain their places. It’s still a strong defensive line up, but is it worth chopping and changing for a week? Both players will inevitably be straight back in for their next game. Andy Wilkinson is priced at 4.4 million. He doesn’t contribute highly with goals, bonus or assists – and he’s on 4 yellows. He could be suspended himself next week. Shotton is listed as a midfielder, so there’s no benefit there. And Upson is shit. Shawcross’ value is on the rise too – quite steeply in the last few weeks. If you’re going to kick him out with the intention of bringing him straight back in again, you might end up losing out on some valuable transfer fees. Keep and bench?

My head hurts.

Manager of the month is decided with these results.

Good luck and happy new year.


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