Gameweek 2 preview

August 22, 2014

23 Aug 12:45 Aston Villa v Newcastle
23 Aug 15:00 Chelsea v Leicester
23 Aug 15:00 Crystal Palace v West Ham
23 Aug 15:00 Southampton v West Brom
23 Aug 15:00 Swansea v Burnley
23 Aug 17:30 Everton v Arsenal
24 Aug 13:30 Hull v Stoke
24 Aug 13:30 Spurs v QPR
24 Aug 16:00 Sunderland v Man Utd
25 Aug 20:00 Man City v Liverpool

 

Week two may be the most common week for wildcards, especially if you got off to such a rotten start, and you feel you’re already way off the pace. Only 35 points separate our top and bottom teams – a gap that’s easily made up within a week with the right players. Every team in the league will have a group of players that only picked up one or two points in week one. Our leaders, RayCrawfordsCrackers, may have expected more out of Dejan Lovren, Gary Cahill, Loic Remy and Wilfried Bony in week one. They only mustered eight points between them.

So sticking or twisting?

No need to change your Chelsea players – surely? The twitchier among you may feel like swapping Hazard for Fabregas, but the wiser move would be to try to find a way to get both players in. Hazard played well against Burnley, and it won’t be long to wait before the Belgian gets on the scoreboard. His home scoring record was as good as any midfielder in the league last season, so those having their heads turned after only one game may be being a little hasty.

Those poor saps that were forced to play in the World Cup final should be back this week. Some made fleeting appearances in gameweek one. Not least Sergio Aguero, who in the 8 minutes he spent on the pitch still managed a goal and a bonus point. There’s a strong likelihood he’ll start against Liverpool, possibly at the expense of Stevan Jovetic. Arsene Wenger hinted that the three Arsenal Germans would all be available for selection for the first time in the second week of the season. Lukas Podolski is the least likely to feature. Calum Chambers will be unlucky to lose his place to Per Mertesacker, but a trip to Everton may call for the more experienced head. A tough away trip to Besiktas in midweek may lead to some early season rotation. So this  could guarantee Mesut Ozil a first start. In place of who is anyone’s guess. There are a number of forward combinations that Arsenal could try. Yaya Sanogo may miss out, but so might, for the second week running, Olivier Giroud, if Wenger opts for Alexis Sanchez as his central front man.

There’s been a reaction to United’s home defeat against Swansea. Put a fantasy manager in charge at United and Juan Mata, Ander Herrera and Ashley Young wouldn’t start this week. Mata has been ousted from nearly 80,000 fantasy teams based on his pointless appearance against Swansea. Robin Van Persie may start this week, and it may be Mata that makes way as Louis Van Gaal faces up to the same problem that David Moyes had last season – figuring out where and how to play RVP, Mata and Rooney.

And where managers are dispensing of the United misfits, the most popular replacement is Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Swansea midfielder is the only player to have seen his price rise by £0.2 million so far. Almost 300,000 managers brought him in following his performance against United. And with good reason. His stats for his first half season spell with Swansea are impressive. He managed 102 points in his January to May stint back in 2012. Lets double that to get a full season estimate. Only Yaya Toure and Luis Suarez would have beaten that total last season. Swansea play three of their next four games at the Liberty Stadium against Burnley, West Brom and then Southampton. Not just Sigurdsson, but Ki Sung-Yeung, Wayne Routledge, Jefferson Montero, Jonjo Shelvey and Wilfried Bony could all be racking up some tasty mid priced points totals over the next few weeks.

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