Gameweek 11 preview

November 3, 2016

Bournemouth v Sunderland
Burnley v Crystal Palace
Man City v Middlesbrough
West Ham v Stoke
Chelsea v Everton
Arsenal v Spurs
Hull v Southampton
Liverpool v Watford
Swansea v Man Utd
Leicester v West Brom

I guess by now we’ve all realised how good Chelsea are at the back, playing this 3-4-3 system. But are we four games too late? There’s not really a cheap way into the Cheslea back line. Any squad surgery you’re thinking of carrying out will probably need to come at a cost, unless you’ve got money in the bank – or Antonio Valencia. Chelsea’s immediate run of fixtures may look hard, but you should definitely consider doing your Christmas shopping down the Kings Road.

From December the 11th, they take on West Brom, Sunderland, Palace, Bournemouth and Stoke in successive weeks. Now consider the possibility of them keeping their defensive form in two of the four games they face against Everton, Middlesbrough, Spurs and City until then. Maybe it’s worth investing in the defence now before those £6 million price tags become slightly less affordable £6.2’s and £6.3’s. 

Marcos Alonso, a defender starting as a midfielder, is a tempter. As is Victor Moses, who has cemented a place as a right wing back, contributing 21 points in the four game run and costing you only £5.5 million. He’s filling the role of an elite midfielder at a bargain price.

And then there’s Eden bloody Hazard. First he’s hot. Then he’s not. It’s difficult to trust him given the guff he produced last season. However, it’s three goals in the last three games plus an assist and three bonus points. Other managers fancy him – in the last week he’s dramatically jumped back up to £10 million from £9.8 million. Here’s a stat attack – at this point last season there had been 19 penalties awarded. So far this season there have been 33. Hazard takes penalties. Hazard’s problem is his price tag and the sheer amount of choice among the other elite teams. It would mean taking a punt on dropping a Liverpool, Arsenal or City midfielder. Walcott’s injury and Sterling’s dip in form might tempt you that way.

But why venture into a team with a tricky fixture run when you’ve got Ilkay Gundogan? Middlesbrough, Palace and Burnley await Manchester City, who silenced any doubters in the best way possible by beating Barcelona in midweek, thanks in no small part to Gundogan. WHO WILL COST YOU £5.5 MILLION. The only question mark is whether he’ll be occasionally rested, having come back from such a serious injury. That might happen – but four goals in two game must nail him a start on Saturday.

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