Gameweek 5 preview

September 20, 2013

21 Sep 12:45 Norwich v Aston Villa
21 Sep 15:00 Liverpool v Southampton
21 Sep 15:00 Newcastle v Hull City
21 Sep 15:00 West Brom v Sunderland
21 Sep 15:00 West Ham v Everton
21 Sep 17:30 Chelsea v Fulham
22 Sep 13:30 Arsenal v Stoke City
22 Sep 13:30 Crystal Palace v Swansea
22 Sep 16:00 Cardiff City v Tottenham
22 Sep 16:00 Man City v Man Utd

Firstly, there’ll be a very brief results round up and preview for gameweek 6 as I’m away out of the country all week on holiday. That’s not to say I’ll be taking my eye of the Buckets. There’s a manager of the month prize to play for. This weekend and next weekends fixtures will decide that, and with last weeks final scores being so tight, it’s all to play for.

We have a Manchester derby to worry about – or ignore, as is often best to do. Both teams won the away fixture last season, and there’s only been one draw since 2005. The match at the Etihad is generally tighter, and with less goals. Five of the last seven games have been 1-0. The Old Trafford fixture has produced some ludicrous scores over the years, including the 6-1 City win and the 4-3 Fergie time special in 2009. It’s City who host this particular fixture, so if it goes to form, defences could come out on top. City should be stronger at the back with the return of Vincent Kompany. Nastasic looks his likely partner, with Zabaleta and Kolarov as full backs. Rio (who now seems capable of playing successive games), Vidic and Evra will line up along United’s back line with one of Fabio, Smalling or more likely, Phil Jones, if he’s fit.

There are other more predictable results. Arsenal and Liverpool both have winnable games. You’d think both Olivier Giroud and Danny Sturridge would be confident of adding to their goal tallies at home against Stoke and Southampton respectively. Despite their disastrous start against City in gameweek 1, even Newcastle, particularly with the startling form of Hatem Ben Arfa look a good bet for a win against Hull City. Midfielders have been slow to get going so far this season, but Ben Arfa’s price has risen by 0.3 million in the last two weeks, and leads the way in the bonus charts in his position.

West Ham and Everton have played out two goalless draws each so far. The Hammers look pretty toothless without Andy Carroll, although Everton will finally get to unleash Romelu Lukaku this week. Lukaku’s parent club probably wish they hadn’t farmed him out. Their West London derby clash at home to Fulham normally only goes one way, but they’ve found it hard to find the back of the net in their opening games. No doubt there’ll be more squad rotation as Mourinho tries to find his best starting XI. Only Eden Hazard seems guaranteed a start of his attacking players, and none of their forward three look anything like the threat their wages suggest they should be. Still, you feel it’s only a matter of time before they batter somebody.

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