Gameweek 22 preview

January 15, 2016

16 Jan 12:45 Spurs v Sunderland
16 Jan 15:00 Bournemouth v Norwich
16 Jan 15:00 Chelsea v Everton
16 Jan 15:00 Man City v Crystal Palace
16 Jan 15:00 Newcastle v West Ham
16 Jan 15:00 Southampton v West Brom
16 Jan 17:30 Aston Villa v Leicester
17 Jan 14:05 Liverpool v Man Utd
17 Jan 16:15 Stoke v Arsenal
18 Jan 20:00 Swansea v Watford

 

The last two weeks have produced the two lowest manager of the week scores of the season. Last week the majority of teams, including most of the title challengers, couldn’t even scrape over the 30 point mark. Had someone took a punt on captaining Jermain Defoe, they’d have scored more with one player than 29 Buckets managers did with their entire teams.

Only no-one did, and yet turning to the veteran (veteran?) striker may not be such a bad move. Defoe has scored five goals in his last two league games and that has moved him up to eighth on the striker charts. Does it make a difference that those five goals have come against Swansea and Villa? Possibly. And will he necessarily be able to continue that form against the meanest defence in the league? Spurs have slipped into this annoying habit of conceding one goal a game. It’s keeping their against column down, but it’s frustrating for those with Spurs defenders in their team. We’d much rather they conceded three goals in one game and kept two clean sheets in the others.

It took Leicester until the end of October to keep their first clean sheet. Now they can’t stop. It’s been at the expense of scoring goals, but that could all change against Villa on Saturday. They may need Vardy and Mahrez to rediscover their Autumn form ahead of a tough run of fixtures through to the end of February.

Dimitri Payet is back – and immediately back among the goals, points and bonuses. He was still West Ham’s highest scoring player on his return from his two month lay off, and has contributed 12 more points in 104 minutes of football since his return. This has put him back into the top 10 midfielders, and he’ll undoubtedly rise higher. He hasn’t been as cheap as he is now since September. Certainly one to watch if you think your midfield needs freshening up.

 

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