More League Cup action kicked-off on Wednesday and more EPL fantasy news and notes came from each fixture. The biggest news of the day were the appearance of returning players and others breaking their duck.
Arsenal 6-1 Coventry
Giroud (39′), OX (57′), Arshavin (63′), Walcott (74′), Miquel (80′), Walcott (90′)
Arsenal sXI: Martinez; Djourou Miquel Santos Angha; Arshavic Coquelin Yennaris OX Walcott; Giroud
Substitutes: Frimpong (Coquelin 72′); Gnabry (OX 72′); Chamakh (Giroud 72′)
Theo Walcott bagged a brace. The England winger has not featured prominently for Arsene Wenger’s side side the arrival of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. Walcott was a 72′ substitute in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City and has played 131′ of 450′ available EPL fantasy minutes this season. Giroud scored his first for Arsenal, opening scoring on 39′. He also missed a penalty in this match and Theo Walcott is doing more to solidify his claims that he should be the starting striker for the current incarnation of the Gunners attack. Walcott certainly had a lethal touch in this one and has already opened his Premier League account with a 88′ strike against Southampton after being introduced as a 75′ substitute (Gervinh0).
Carlisle 0-3 Tottenham
Vertonghen (37′), Townsend (53′), Sigurdsson (89′)
Tottenham sXI: Cudicini; Dawson Smith Vertonghen Caulker; Falque Mason Townsend Huddlestone Sigurdsson; Dempsey
Substitutes: Walker (Vertonghen 65′); Carroll (Mason 70′); Obika (Dempsey 75′)
The third Spurs ‘keeper got a match in the League Cup as Brad Friedel and Hugo Lloris retained their roles as Premier League and Europa League starters, respectively. The start is nice for Cudicini, but must further the angst of the newly arrived French GK. Jan Vertonghen also got on the score sheet but would later admit it was not a pretty goal. We’re not counting on many from the big centre-back over the course of the campaign.
It was nice to Gylfi Sigurdsson score as well. He must be cursing his decision to select Spurs over Liverpool as he would certainly be first-choice at Anfield while instead languishing behind Dempsey, Bale and Lennon at White Hart Lane. Still can not pay a premium in EPL fantasy leagues, but should he become the starter he is instantly a Buy candidate as the attacker has bushels of talent.
Manchester United 2-1 Newcastle United
Anderson (44′), Cleverley (58′), Cisse (62′)
Manchester United sXI: De Gea; Keane Buttner Wootton Vermiji; Fletcher Anderson Cleverley; Rooney Hernandez Welbeck
Substitutes: Powell (Rooney 76′); Tunnicliffe (Vermiji 77′); Brady (Buttner 86′)
Newcastle United sXI: Elliot; Williamson Coloccini Perch Tavernier; Tiote Obertan Marveaux Gosling Vuckic; Ameobi
Substitutes: Cisse (Vuckic 61′); Ferguson (Coloccini 61′); Bigirimana (Tiote 71′)
The return of Wayny Rooney was marked by a Man Utd victory, but not by the England man getting on the score sheet. Rooney played 76′ before being replaced by Nick Powell. Sir Alex Ferguson elected to start in a 4-3-3 with Chicharito and Welbeck lining-up with Rooney in the forward line. However, it was the midfield trio of Anderson, Cleverley and Fletcher that provided the firepower. Alexander Buttner also got another start and may be able to break into the first-choice XI with injuries to Vidic, Jones and Smalling limiting SAF’s options at the back. We expect Rooney will feature this weekend (perhaps Fletcher as well), but do not anticipate seeing Buttner despite his early withdrawal.
Newcastle had their own returning player, captain Fabricio Coloccini. Colo got 61′ and looks set to return to Barclays Premier League action this weekend. Cheik Tiote played 71′ as well and we expect to see both players in Pardew’s starting XI when they kick-off against Reading September 29. We’ve briefly touched on this and believe that Hatem Ben Arfa could see a slight increase in value as two defensive players returning should lessen the winger’s defensive responsibilities.
Norwich City 1-0 Doncaster Rovers
Norwich City sXI: Bunn; Tierney Bennett Ward; Fox Tettey Bennett Butterfield; Holt Kane Martin
Substitutes: Jackson (Kane 50′); Hoolahan (Martin 71′)
We have so very little to say about this match. Elliot Bennett was cautioned, but the story was his return from a knee injury. He played the full 90′ and should be back in the starting lineup on Saturday. It was also nice to see Harry Kane get minutes but we’re not counting on that becoming a regular occurrence in the BPL as three-forward sets are never going to be the regular tactics for the Canaries.
QPR 2-3 Reading
Hoilett (14′), Gorkss (16′), Cisse (71′), Shorey (76′), Pogrebnyak (81′)
QPR sXI: Julio Cesar; Hill Onuoha Dyer Park; Etoundi Faurlin Granero; Mackie Hoilett Cisse
Substitutes: Nelsen (Dyer 65′); Zamora (Park 67′); Diatke (Faurlin 87′)
Reading sXI: McCarthy; Shorey Gorkss Mariappa Cummings; Tabb Kebe Robson-Kanu Karacan; Hunt Pogrebnyak
Substitutes: McCleary (Kebe 69′); Morrison (Mariappa 79′)
Faurlin left with an apparent injury:
Faurlin is hobbling off after coming off worse in a midfield challenge. Diakite is on for Hughes’ men #readingfc
— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) September 26, 2012
Faurlin had a difficult match last time out, but could well have been expected to feature this weekend. Djibril Cisse scored a goal but also picked-up another yellow card. He seems incapable of escaping censure in his matches after receiving two red cards last season. There are many better EPL fantasy options at striker and we’re avoiding the Rangers striker to invest elsewhere.
For the Royals it was a strike for Pog that keeps him in the forefront of third-strikers in all EPL fantasy formats. His low price, coupled with limited Reading options and his ability to score with limited opportunity make him an interesting play. We do not expect many more than 10, with a 2010-11 Peter Odemwingie season the ceiling of our expectations.
West Bromwich 1-2 Liverpool
Tamas (3′), Sahin (17′ 82′)
West Bromwich sXI: Foster; Ridgewell Jones Olsson Tamas; Dorrans Mulumbu Thorne; Rosenberg Fortune Lukaku
Substitutes: Dawson (Ridgewell 22′); Long (Lukaku 70′); El Ghanassy (Fortune 87′)
Liverpool sXI: Jones; Carragher Coates Wisdom Robinson; Downing Sahin Henderson; Pacheco Yesil Assaidi
Substitutes: Suso (Pacheco 81′); Sinclair (Yesil 81′)
Liam Ridgewell left the match with an injury. We’re not expecting him to feature this weekend. Lukaku did get the start over Long, and Long did not start, and he remains a solid play in Odemwinigie’s absence. It remains to be seen what, if any, rotation will be employed once the Nigerian’s suspension ends. EPL fantasy managers should enjoy the run for Lukaku while he is guaranteed minutes.
Sinclair became the youngest Liverpool player when he made his bow on 81′. The interesting bit here for EPL fantasy managers was the brace from Sahin as he has played just 66′ in the BPL following his arrival at Anfield. No idea if this will assist him in finding more minutes in the BPL, but it certainly can not hurt his case. Brendan Rodgers has a number of selection problems, chiefly that his side is young, inexperienced, lacks depth and is unable to finish. If Sahin can make an impact it seems possible that he, and not teen-aged Raheem Sterling, would see the most minutes in the midfield moving forward.
It’s a full week of footy and a full slate of EPL Fantasy analysis, as well. Please follow us @FantasyGaffer, email email@example.com and check back to the site for updates every weekday.