There were several Barclays Premier League sides in League Cup action on Tuesday and we examine the EPL fantasy impact of each fixture. Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Man City, Southampton, Sunderland, Swansea, West Ham and Wigan experienced different levels of success and fielded different portions of their BPL starting XI.
Manchester City 2-4 Aston Villa
Balotelli (27′), Barry (OG 59′), Kolarov (64′), (Agbonlahor (70′), N’Zogbia (96′), Agbonlahor 113′)
Manchester City sXI: Pantillimon; Lescott Nastasic Kolo Kolarov; Barry Milner Razak; Tevez Balotelli Suarez
Substitutes: Sinclair (Suarez 62′); Dzeko (Lescott 74′); Helan (Razak 106′)
Aston Villa sXI: Given; Bennett Vlaar Clark Lowton; El Ahmadi Delph N’Zogbia; Weimann Agbonlahor Benteke
Substitutes: Albrighton (Weimann 66′); Herd (El Ahmadi 72′); Lichaj (Bennett 86′)
It was a massive win for the Villans, not only because of the opposition but because they finally found a scoring touch that had eluded them over their opening five Barclays Premier League fixtures. With five goals in five games – the floodgates opened against a Citizens defense that has failed to keep a clean sheet in any competition this term. The game ran into overtime and many key fantasy premier league players added another 120′ to their early-season tally. In particular, Carlos Tevez, Ron Vlaar, Matt Lowton and Ciaran Clark.
The Manchester City forward was left on the bench to start the Arsenal match and his 120′ run in this one will likely see him on the bench to start gameweek 6. Despite his sublime skill and top EPL fantasy returns over the opening five gameweeks, we’re unable to deploy the Argentine striker this weekend. Tevez is one of the most well-rounded footballers plying his trade in the Premier League. He does, however, overlap with Sergio Aguero in terms of position and role and it appears that the younger Argentine has returned to the starting XI as he has passed fitness. City has a solid run of fixtures for a forward and owning Aguero is the smart play for this weekend (v Fulham at Craven Cottage) at the very least. Ctiy’s next four matches run Fulham (a), Sunderland (h), West Brom (a) and Swansea (h). Whichever of the forwards Mancini drafts into the starting XI will reap EPL fantasy rewards for those who’ve selected properly.
The Aston Villa defenders also put in a yeoman’s shift against the potent City attack and we expect this will leave them tired when they face West Brom this weekend. WBA is likely to start the pairing of Shane Long and Romelu Lukaku in that fixture and both players should be started with confidence following Villa’s 120′ endeavors in the League Cup. There is also bound to be an emotional let-down following the victory over City and we expect Steve Clarke’s men to capitalize when they visit Villa Park for gameweek 6.
Chelsea 6-0 Wolves
Cahill (4′), Bertrand (8′), Mata (17′), Romeu (53′), Torres (58′), Moses (71′)
Chelsea sXI: Turnbull; Terry Cahill Bertrand Azpilicueta; Ramires Moses Romeu; Mata Torres Piazon
Substitutes: Oscar (Ramires 59′); Marin (Mata 70′); Hazard (Torres 78′)
The Blues handled their Championship opponents without any questions as Roberto Di Matteo fielded a full-strength side to start and used Oscar, Eden Hazard and Marko Marin as late substitutes. If EPL fantasy managers want to make a point of Carlos Tevez starting and playing the full 90′ — and seeing it as a sign he is no longer first-choice for BPL matches — they should take note that Mata, Terry, Cahill, Ramires and Torres all started here.
There isn’t much of interest except for the disappointment of seeing so many Blues get their goals when they can not help our EPL fantasy sides. The good news is that there were no bookings and there has been no reported injury news coming out of this match. Chelsea are into the difficult stretch of their schedule as fixture congestion from the League Cup and Champions League are compounded by a run of fixtures against the top half of the BPL table starting with gameweek six trip to face Arsenal at The Emirates.
Leeds 2-1 Everton
Everton sXI: Mucha; Heitinga Distin Coleman Oviedo; Junior Fellaini; Gueye Mirallas Naismith; Anichebe
Substitutes: Neville (Junior 46′); Pienaar (Gueye 46′); Jelavic (Naismith 65′)
There is nothing to say about this match so we’ll allow these two images to speak the volumes we’re unable to articulate without devolving into cursing. The first is the lineup the finished the League Cup match vs. Leeds, as published by EvertonFC, which clearly shows that Maroune Fellaini is lined-up as a defensive/holding midfielder:
In contrast, this is the average position of each Toffee’s player in their BPL victory over Swansea City. In this screen-shot, Everton is attacking right to left. Note that Fellaini (#25) is the third most attacking player behind only Anichebe (#28) and Kevin Mirallas (#11):
Owning Fellaini (Fantasy Premier League£7.2m, 26.3% selected) is a solid decision in those matches where he is deployed as an attacking midfielder or second striker. However, in matches where he is relied upon in the defensive end he will provide attacking value only on limited set-piece opportunities. Fellaini rates 16th overall for creative players in BPL this term with 11 chances created. That is an impressive total but rates only third on his own team as Leighton Baines (24) leads the league and Steve Pienaar is second amongst Toffees with 12. We are still more comfortable owning Pienaar for week-in, week-out tactical certainty but Fellaini possesses greater single-match potential.
Southampton 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday
Rodriguez (30′, 78′ PEN)
Southampton sXI: Gazzaniga; Richardson Hooiveld Seaborne Yoshida; Do Prado Cork De Ridder Ward-Prowse Chaplow; Rodriguez
Substitutes: Reeves (Do Prado 71′); Robinson (Cork 81′); Hoskins (Rodriguez 85′)
No cautions for the Saints in this one. A relatively straight-forward win in which Rickie Lambert was rested. Rodriguez has played only 156′ in the Premier League this season, this was a good match for him and a reminder that the Saints have a second striker to use with Lambert should they so desire. Scoring goals has obviously not been their weakness this term and a clean sheet here is a positive sign but not one on which to hang much hope. Southampon get Everton, Fulham and West Ham in the next three gameweeks.
MK Dons 0-2 Sunderland
Gardner (54′), McClean (82′)
Sunderland sXI: Westwood; Kilgallon Cattermole Gardner Rose; Meyler McClean Colback Vaughan; Sessegnon; Saha
Substitutes: Johnson (Sessegnon 85′)
Big news was all covered by SAFC themselves:
The Black Cats boss was delighted with how his side pulled together to get the win following Lee Cattermole’s red card and was thrilled to see both Craig Gardner and James McClean on the score sheet. Another plus point for O’Neill was seeing summer signing Adam Johnson return to action after a spell on the sidelines due to injury.
Adam Johnson is priced £7.0m in Fantasy Premier League where he enjoys 1.9% selection. Lee Cattermole will be out for three matches — suspension for red card received 32′ in this match — and the Black Cats will continue to be without Cuellar, Bardsley and Brown so expect to see more linesup like the Tuesday League Cup starting XI where no fewer than eight midfielders were arranged across the field. It’s Wigan, Man City and Newcastle next for Sunderland as they try and get everyone fit.
Crawley Town 2-3 Swansea City
Michu (27′), Graham (74′), Monk (90+2′)
Swansea sXI: Tremmel; Davies Monk Tiendalli; Britton Gower Ki Michu Richards; Moore
Substitutes: Donnelly (Michu 58′); Graham (Richards 67′)
Swansea City’s Nathan Dyer fulfilled his one match suspension for the red card received — two yellow’s in the 12′ he was on the pitch following appearance as substitute — and will be able to face Stoke City. Chico also finished his suspension and Michael Laudrup may well choose to start both players in an effort to control the midfield and solidify the defensive end of the pitch. It is not good that Crawley Town were able to bag a brace. EPL fantasy managers should trust the Swansea defenders over the next three (Stoke City, Reading, Wigan) but once that stretch ends it will be time to sell and move on.
The Swans goals were scored by first-choice players and Laudrup was likely thinking ahead when he withdrew Michu after 58′. We are still selling Michu and Graham for better options elsewhere, but Wayne Routledge remains a discount 4th/5th midfield option in EPL fantasy leagues.
West Ham 1-4 Wigan
Maiga (7′), Boselli (14′), Ramis (38′), Bosell (41′), Gomez (84′ PEN)
West Ham sXI: Henderson; McCartney Potts Tompkins Spence; O’Neil Jarvis Noble Vaz Te; Hall Maiga
Substitutes: Fanimo (Vaz Te 62′); Taylor (Noble 72′); Tombides (O’Neill 84′)
Wigan sXI: Al Habsi; Caldwell Stam Ramis Figueroa Rodqigues; Jones McArthur Miyaichi; McManaman Boselli
Substitutes: Gomez (McManaman 74′); Fyvie (McArthur 85′); Orsula (Boselli 90′)
Massive result for the Latics as two reserve sides took the pitch at Upton Park. The Latics decision to use their regular
back-line paid divedends and they secured their passage to the next round with three first-half strikes that cancelled Maiga’s 7′ opener and handed Roberto Martinez a 1-3 halftime lead. Gary Caldwell received a caution but it was only his second of the season and the defender remains eligible for gameweek six. A number of the substitutions looked to have been made with the upcoming Premier League fixtures in mind.
Mauro Boselli bagged a brace in this one but we doubt that moves him ahead of either Arouna Kone or Franco Di Santo in the pecking order. It may have earned him a few minutes this weekend, however, as Di Santo continues to struggle with a calf injury. He was not listed in the Tuesday squad and could miss Wigan’s trip to the Stadium of Light. There are far too many other striker options available to worry about him at this stage of the EPL fantasy season.
It’s a full week of footy and a full slate of EPL Fantasy analysis, as well. Please follow us @FantasyGaffer, email firstname.lastname@example.org and check back to the site for updates every weekday.