Gameweek 29 preview

March 13, 2015

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

 

It’s the first round proper of the Buckets Cup this weekend, and the three teams with byes enter the fray. Crazylegs defend their title with a game against No Recognised Plan. Pescara and Hedgehog Corpse earned their byes winning gameweeks 26 and 27. They play Sporting and Mindless Morons. Tie of the round could be that of Shoelace Untied, last weeks mighty high scorers, against current league champs, RayCrawfordsCrackers. Two previous winners also meet. Only one of *Your Ad Here* or Rip Roaring Reds will get a chance to put their name on the trophy for the second time.

The final is set for gameweek 32. In gameweek 33 we have another reduced week – due to that other cup competition. The semi finals of the FA Cup mean, at present, only eight Premier League fixtures are due to take place. This could be reduced to seven should Liverpool emerge victorious from their replay with Blackburn. Which could lead to Gameweek 35 becoming a bumper week. Already rescheduled for that week is Chelsea and Leicester’s unplayed game from gameweek 27. Could we also see all of the cup semi finalists playing their rescheduled games in that gameweek? Hope so. It could lead to some mega scores, and the massive 102 points collected by Shoelace last week could come under threat in the quest for the highest weekly score prize. Keep your eye on the fixture rescheduling. If you’ve still got your wildcard – well done – or wake up – whatever. If you haven’t, best start planning for a double free transfer week ahead of the reduced week of gameweek 33, then again appropriately, two weeks later.

We seem to be in a part of the season where drops and dips in form are more prevalent, particularly in among some big name players who in the first half of the season seemed almost undroppable. Cesc Fabregas is perhaps the most obvious to have suffered since the turn of the year. And apparently it’s a fairly common thing in his game. Some statistics produced this week show a dip in form in all of his last six campaigns. Into the teens for goals and assists until December, then struggling to get above ten for the second half. Interesting, and something that managers have clearly recognised with a pretty major slump in his value and ownership. Diego Costa’s form has stumbled again. He hasn’t netted since mid January in the 5-0 thrashing of Swansea. That game, arguably, is the last time Chelsea looked like champions elect, and all eyes will be on them again this weekend to see what kind of reaction there is to their babyish Champions League exit.

Still, a home tie against a faltering Southampton means Eden Hazard could still be the best captain choice for the weekend. Of all the elite players, Hazard remains the most consistent. He’s contributed in nine of the last 12 gameweeks – a stat that is only matched by Harry Kane. I’m sure Manchester City fans would expect a routine victory against Burnley this weekend, but bear in mind they played out a 2-2 draw at the Etihad earlier in the season. Sergio Aguero may appear to be in a poor run of form, but I think that’s only in comparison to his scoring rates before his Christmas injury. Since his return he has managed three goals and four assists in eight games. Also consider that he’s managed attacking returns in ten of his 12 road trips so far.

 

 

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