The Tinkers gave you Clint Dempsey as Captain last week, a move that paid off handsomely. Of course, had you just left the armband on Robin van Persie, you’re likely just as happy. And a good deal better off than those who used their transfers to bring in Sergio Aguero…we can’t win them all.
Of the regulars we discuss here – the suspension of Sessegnon will be the most important as he misses Liverpool, Blackburn and QPR. At least the later two of those matches would have been ripe for double digit fantasy premier league points. Instead, we’re left with the unfortunate discussion of sale or bench. We’ve elected to sell him in favor of Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson. The double fixture game week was too enticing.
Bolton (2-2-9 15:27) v QPR (3-2-8 14:24)
We were wishing that Ivan Klasnic would be back in the starting XI. With just 28′ in the last 8 EPL fixtures we’ve given up on seeing him on the pitch. 7 goals, 4 assists in just 1196′. Just one goal – in a 1-2 loss against Wigan; scored by M Davies – in the last three game weeks inspires no confidence in the Wanderers and we can’t reccomend buying any just to start against the Hoops week away defense.
Similarly, QPR aren’t putting up top FPL numbers. If you’re a Zamora owner, this is a great time to start 3 up front. Similarly, Djbril Cisse will return from his suspension this week. He’s only played 113′ in this side since his arrival and we’d normally wait to see if he got his spot back immediately. Given that Rangers have two losses and a draw, with just three goals scored in those matches, we’re expecting to see him in the starting XI.
Last week we weren’t sure on Akos Buzsaky, given his return from injury. He played the full 90′ and got an assist. We’re starting him here. BBC also notes that Diakite is back as well. We’re less enthusiastic about that:
QPR have Djibril Cisse and Samba Diakite available after suspension.
Full-backs Luke Young and Taye Taiwo could return to the starting line-up after injury, but Adel Taarabt is a doubt with a hamstring complaint.
Aston Villa (3-4-6 14:17) v Fulham (2-5-6 8:17)
The Villans are expected to start an unchanged side from their 1-1 draw with Blackburn. That is not good news as they host a Fulham side who’ve won three on the bounce, scoring 8 while allowing just 1. Both Clint Dempsey and new boy Pavel Pogrebnyak (£6.3m) are in top form and are locks to make any starting XI. The rest of the side can’t be trusted for top FPL returns but their play does allow their dynamic duo to bask in glory.
On the other side, the hosts will need something from Gabby Agbonlahor. Having started the season on fire, his injuries, and the injuries to those around him, have sapped the FPL returns and his ownership his rightly fallen each of the past five game weeks as he missed three matches and has returned just 3 fantasy premier league points in that time. He has not scored since Game Week 11.
Other news, from the Beeb:
Striker Darren Bent (ankle), defender Richard Dunne (collarbone) and midfielder Fabian Delph (ankle) are all long-term casualties.
Fulham will be without Stephen Kelly, Steve Sidwell and Zdenek Grygera due to injury, although Bryan Ruiz returns from a virus.
Chelsea (8-2-3 30:19) v Stoke (4-2-7 9:24)
With news that John Terry will be returning we can expect that Chelsea will be with him for the first time in 6 EPL fixtures. Terry’s only been part of six clean sheets this season but despite that he’s the leading FPL point earner for the Blues. He’s gotten the bulk of those points with 4 goals, 1 assist and 14 bonus points.
The loss of AVB may mean any number of things across the forward line, and in the midfield. We’re expecting that Lampard, Mata and Meireles are not going to see a reduction in time, but this may mean more minutes for Malouda and/or Torres. Stoke haven’t taken a point away from home since 14 January at Anfield, but they have scored in three on the bounce and with Chelsea’s poor defensive record we’re expecting a consolation goal at least. Jonathan Walters has made Cooper’s personal team and we like him here.
Sunderland (5-4-4 20:13) v Liverpool (6-1-6 15:15)
The first of two game week 28 matches for the Reds, with Kenny Dalglish acutely aware of the need to take 6 points here. Agger is out and Glen Johnson may miss a second in a row after sitting out the 1-2 loss to Arsenal. It seems unlikely that captain Gerrard will return for this one, needing to pass a fitness test before he sees the pitch. He will certainly not play both matches. This has led to our buying Jordan Henderson. Hendo had an assist last week and, with the two matches, is a solid play with at least 4-6 points certainly on the cards. A goal or assist for Henderson will make him an able replacement for Sessegnon in your lineup.
Of course, Sessegnon is suspended following his Red Card last time out. Kieran Richardson also looks set to miss out. Better news is that Bendtner got 70′ and a goal last weekend and LFC are allowing more than a goal a game away from home. At £6.1m he’s be a good buy with Blackburn and QPR in the next two. Of course, the loss of the most prolific attacking player may negatively impact the Black Cats attack enough to offset the weaker opposition.
Wolves (3-2-8 17:28) v Blackburn (1-6-6 18:33)
Rovers have the fewest away wins this season, just 1 fewer away win than their opponent Wolves. With 18 away goals they’ve been more prolific in the final third than Chelsea (17), Liverpool (15) or Fulham and Stoke combined (17, combined). Their last two away fixtures (Arsenal, Man City) have not been pretty affairs, resulting in 1-7 and 0-3 losses. We can’t honestly expect that you own many Blackburn players, but Yakubu would be worth a start here, and perhaps Pedersen.
The hosts aren’t playing much better. With just 1 win in their last 13 EPL fixtures, three points would do wonders for their hopes of survival. The dismissal of Mick doesn’t seem to have changed much. They’ve thrown away any of the good feeling engendered by the 2nd half fight back to earn a 2-2 draw against Newcastle as this side didn’t look capable of playing in the Premier League as they got beaten 5-0 at home by Fulham a week ago. We’ve thrown in the towel on Steven Fletcher, electing to pick up Craig Bellamy ahead of Liverpool double fixture gameweek