Gameweek 34 preview

April 11, 2014

12 Apr 15:07 Crystal Palace v Aston Villa
12 Apr 15:07 Fulham v Norwich
12 Apr 15:07 Southampton v Cardiff City
12 Apr 15:07 Stoke City v Newcastle
12 Apr 15:07 Sunderland v Everton
12 Apr 15:07 West Brom v Tottenham
13 Apr 13:37 Liverpool v Man City
13 Apr 16:07 Swansea v Chelsea
15 Apr 19:45 Arsenal v West Ham
16 Apr 19:45 Everton v Crystal Palace
16 Apr 19:45 Man City v Sunderland

As well as being aware of the fact that it’s a double gameweek for Everton, City, Sunderland and Palace, managers should also take note that Hull and Manchester United don’t play at all. Hull are competing in the FA Cup semi finals this weekend and their league game with United has been rescheduled for the next double gameweek – gameweek 37.
Of the four teams playing twice, three are definitely worth some transfer investment. You know which three. If you’ve any Sunderland players already in your squad, then by all means play them, but it’d be a waste of a transfer bringing in any Mackem fresh faces. Never mind the fact that they’ve beaten both Everton and City already this season. Their current form is bad, and getting worse. They look resigned to relegation, and their own manager has said they need a miracle. There are plenty of players from the teams playing once this week (Southampton and Stoke in particular) that offer up more points potential than most of the likely Sunderland starting XI.

One more win for Palace could see them safe. They’ve given us the bargain player of the week for the last two weeks. Jason Puncheon at £5 million will probably start both of their games, as should Joel Ward, who at £4.4 million, and along with his fellow defenders, offers the best chance of good double gameweek returns. You could optimistically expect them to keep a clean sheet at home to Villa. Against in-form, free scoring Everton that’s a less likely prospect. Although the ever present Julian Speroni could rack up some decent save bonuses in that game, and post a healthy double figure score.

Everton will expect six points from their two games and a hatful of goals. They’ve scored three in their last four league outings. Which makes Romelu Lukaku the obvious choice for a transfer. Ably assisting Lukaku in recent weeks has been the much cheaper, but no less lethal Gary Naismith, who will only set you back a measly £4.6 million. If clean sheets come with the goals, then Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines can be expected, as usual, to also offer good returns.

Don’t be put off by the potential injury indicator next to Yaya Toure’s name on your team sheet. It’s highly unlikely he’ll be missing for what could be a title decider, and the game of the season. Good news for City is that Sergio Aguero is back in contention, although that may not be the best news for those managers who’ve been benefiting from Edin Dzeko’s goals in his absence. Will the manager ease Aguero back in, risk him from the start or pair the two strikers together? Aguero will get game time, but Dzeko should still get more.

As we saw in gameweek 31 fleshing your team out with double gameweekers does reap rewards. This week you need to decide whether you drop your single gameweeking big names in favour of those playing twice. Could you be tempted to leave the slightly out of form Danny Sturridge on the bench – or any Liverpool player for that matter, given that they’re playing Man City? Eden Hazard’s injury gives those with the Chelsea’s main man in their teams a bit of breathing space for transfers. Early reports are that he’ll miss two games. Benching him until then is an option, but when there’s a double gameweek to take advantage of, you may be foolsih not to take the opportunity

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