Gameweek 23 preview

January 27, 2014

28 Jan 19:45 Man Utd v Cardiff City
28 Jan 19:45 Norwich v Newcastle
28 Jan 19:45 Southampton v Arsenal
28 Jan 19:45 Swansea v Fulham
28 Jan 20:00 Crystal Palace v Hull City
28 Jan 20:00 Liverpool v Everton
29 Jan 19:45 Aston Villa v West Brom
29 Jan 19:45 Chelsea v West Ham
29 Jan 19:45 Sunderland v Stoke City
29 Jan 19:45 Tottenham v Man City

It’s the last week of January. This is what the January manager of the month table looks like…

1 Real Jorvik Simon Brown 75 200
2 The Magico Rob Buttaci 66 194
3 Panza Grande XI Stuart Baker 66 190
4 Uriah Rennie 2nd XI Neil Greenwood 53 183
5 pretty Schitty City Alex Michaluk 61 181
6 Upper Bullens Scouse Mouse 72 181
7 Romeo’s-honda-van Rob Hewer 59 177
8 Hedgehog Corpse FC Nick Smith 62 176
9 Shoelace Untied Caroline Strong 52 171
10 Shakin’ Stephens P Hawkins 49 171

The five previous managers of the month are all first time winners. If Jorvik, Pretty Schitty City or Shoelace win this month we’ll have six first time winners across the first six months of this season. And it’s proof that no matter where you are in the table, there’s still money to be won. Two of those teams are ensconced in the bottom five.

This week is significant for another reason in that whoever posts the highest score will receive a bye into the first round proper of the cup. Again, for those languishing in the bottom section of the table, secure your bye, and go all out during March, and you could end up with a cup win and that usually goes hand in hand with the March manager of the month award.

For those who haven’t used that January wildcard yet, this is your pen-ultimate opportunity. You can buy Juan Mata now. He started at £10.5 million, but will now cost you £9.4 million. As well as Mata’s transfer in, Moyes has shipped out Zaha and Fabio to Cardiff. Wilfried Zaha in particular, at £5.4 million, could become of interest again. And there’s plenty of rumour and gossip surrounding other transfer targets for the reigning champs, who need to do something pretty special to get back in the hunt for a Champions League place.

Nikica Jelavic has switched to Hull, and should start more regularly, and will be hoping to find the form he had when he first moved to Everton two January’s ago. Lacina Traore has been brought in to Everton. He’s about 7ft tall, but starts injured. West Ham have brought in two Italians on loan. Antonio Nocerino in particular could effect West Ham’s relegation battle, and could be a bit of a coup. Marco Borrielo, and a proposed bid for Ross McCormack, will strengthen their attack in the eternal quest for someone to fill in for Andy Carroll, during the 35 games of the season that he doesn’t play.

Alternatively, don’t take any risks, and try your hardest to shoe horn Sergio Aguero back into your squad. It’s seven goals in four matches since his return.

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