Gameweek 26 preview

February 7, 2013

09 Feb 12:45 Tottenham Tottenham v Newcastle Newcastle
09 Feb 15:00 Chelsea Chelsea v Wigan Wigan
09 Feb 15:00 Norwich Norwich v Fulham Fulham
09 Feb 15:00 Stoke City Stoke City v Reading Reading
09 Feb 15:00 Sunderland Sunderland v Arsenal Arsenal
09 Feb 15:00 Swansea Swansea v QPR QPR
09 Feb 17:30 Southampton Southampton v Man City Man City
10 Feb 13:30 Aston Villa Aston Villa v West Ham West Ham
10 Feb 16:00 Man Utd Man Utd v Everton Everton
11 Feb 20:00 Liverpool Liverpool v West Brom West Brom
17 Feb 15:00 Liverpool Liverpool v Swansea Swansea

 

Double gameweek time again. Liverpool and Swansea. Swansea would have played Liverpool in gameweek 27, but they’re in the League Cup final against Bratfud, hence the rearranged fixture. The Liverpool Swansea game takes place next weekend – an FA Cup weekend. So we’ve a long wait until this week’s final points are decided. This weekend Swansea take on QPR at home, whilst Liverpool entertain West Brom. There is definite potential for lots and lots of points. Both teams have plenty of top level FPL performers to pick from.

Liverpool, in recent months, have become a lot less reliant on Luis Suarez. Daniel Sturridge has made a great start to his career there, having contributed in each of his 4 league games so far. He did pick up an injury against City on Sunday which kept him out of the midweek England game, so there’s no guarantee he’ll play both matches. Suarez undoubtedly will. As will Steven Gerrard, who by contributing in all but 1 of the last 9 weeks, has crept up, kind of quietly, and almost unnoticed, to be the 2nd highest scoring midfielder in the game. He and Juan Mata are also the 2nd highest assisters in the game, with 12. Even Jordan Henderson has been getting in amongst the points. Possibly having his best game in a Liverpool shirt against Arsenal, he scored a great goal, assisted the other in the 2-2 draw, and managed 2 bonus points on top. Brendan Rodgers has a full strength defence to pick from. A defence that have kept 4 clean sheets in their last 8 games. Not bad. Also consider that 3 of those other 4 games were against City, United and Arsenal. Two clean sheets for Liverpool thsi gameweek? Perhaps. They’re a much more attractive fantasy option than they were last season, or at the start of this. They currently head the best of the rest league after their winter resurgence, but whose to say they can’t push on for Europe. If they win these two games they could be level on points with Everton by the next gameweek.

Swansea have been steadily chugging along – winning here, losing there, not conceding many, but not scoring as many as they did in the early days of the season. And that’s probably because the goals have dried up for Michu. He’s slipped to 4th in the midfielders table, and hasn’t scored a goal since the 23rd December. He’s still in over 40% of teams across the game. Compare that to Gerrard who only appears in just over 10% of teams. Gerrard may be slightly more expensive, but is in way better points scoring form. I expect a lot of Michu owners are clinging on in the hope that his early season form comes back. There’s no sign of his value diminishing. I expect there’s been a rush on buying him back in for this gameweek. However, there are other options in the Swansea squad – all much cheaper, and in much better form. Jonathan De Guzman, Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge and Pablo Hernandez are all priced at under 6 million. Ben Davies, however, is the best value Swansea player of them all. The defender is still only priced at 4.6 million, although that may rise by the weekend. He’s the third best value defender in the game across the whole season, after Joey O’Brien and Sebastian Bassong. He’s the best value defender in the game on current form.

It’s the middle week of three in this short game month. How well you use your double gameweek options will determine how good a position you’re in for gameweek 27, and the February manager prize. And remember – the cup starts next week.

 

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