EPL Fantasy News & Notes are once again focused on injuries and omissions from the weekend. With one match still to play, gamweek six was a flurry of scoring and a number of players bagged braces or better – we’ve covered some of the highlights of the weekend below as well.
For Alan Pardew, a Demba Ba handball spared the Magpie’s blushes against a Reading side that had taken one point from their opening four Barclays Premier League fixtures. While Ba was captained in a number of EPL fantasy sides this weekend, his club captain missed the match with a set-back in his return from injury:
Magpies captain Coloccini has made just three appearances this season and returned from a hamstring injury picked up on Argentina duty in last week’s Capital One Cup defeat by the Red Devils. He subsequently sat out Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Reading, while fellow centre-half Taylor suffered a hamstring injury early in the second half at the Madejski Stadium. Both players are expected to miss the Europa League tie against Bordeaux on Thursday and Pardew hopes the defenders will recover in time to face Sir Alex Ferguson’s United.
Bad news for Newcastle as their defense has been poor, posting one cleansheet in six tries. The continued absence of Coloccini would provide a buying opportunity for a number of discount defensive options — chiefly £3.9m-rated James Tavernier — but the next BPL fixture v Manchester United is highly unlikely to yield a cleansheet bonus.
In the loan match on Sunday, Steve Clarke elected to start a 4-4-1-1 with Shane Long playing the loan striker role. Long
did reward his gaffer with a goal, but the impact of 72′ substitute Romelu Lukaku should not go unnoticed or unrewarded. We’ve touted Lukaku over the past two weeks and he we close to a second consecutive match with a goal despite limited time in this fixture. Long was not first choice last weekend and Peter Odemwingie is set to return from suspension next weekend following a three-match ban for a GW4 red card. There are too many other options with guaranteed playing time (Rickie Lambert, Pavel Pogrebnyak, Peter Crouch, Arouna Kone) for us to continue with Lukaku until Clarke comes public with his support for the on-loan attacker.
Sunday’s match featured only two goals while Saturday featured no fewer than four braces or better. Luis Suarez (three goals, one assist) paced all players in EPL fantasy this weekend while Crouch, Jelavic and Ba each netted a brace. There were pairs of assists for Liverpool’s Nuri Sahin, Spur’s Gareth Bale and the Royal’s Jobi McAnuff. We make our share of poor decision when dispensing EPL fantasy tips, however we’ve pleaded with fantasy premier league managers to show patience with Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez with both coming good this weekend. The two players are the creative leaders of their respective sides and are well worth the price. We did also tout Demba Ba as our captain in Last Minute Tinkers, prior to gameweek six kicking-off and, while we sold on Tevez, our comment regarding the forward was spot on and remains valid in such situations moving forward:
At this point we still do not think Tevez can possibly play the full 90′ and we’re comfortable selling him for a better option. If you have Tevez and Berbatov, replacing the later should get precedent as he is 100% ruled out.
Tevez was on the short end of -64457 net transfers for gameweek six but was still also the most Vice-captained player in Fantasy Premier League. If you’ve held him, no reason to sell at this point and if you’ve sold we hope you bought one of Crouch, Ba or Suarez – regrettably we noted that Jelavic (two goals, one assist) was fourth choice for us among Toffee’s.
Roberto Di Matteo’s side saw a goal and assist apiece for Nando Torres and Juan Mata — the Spanish forward scoring his third in six BPL fixtures while the midfielder (playing in the middle “3″ of RDM’s 4-3-3) had new life. Sky Sports has the man himself attributing it to his break earlier in the month:
Spain schemer Mata followed up an impressive debut season for Chelsea by representing his country at both the European Championship and the Olympic Games in the summer. He was given a fortnight off earlier this month and has been in fine form since returning to the Chelsea team, including being involved in both goals in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Arsenal.
The news late Friday that Dimitar Berbatov was out for at least one week left several fantasy premier league managers scrambling and Berba ended the gameweek with 29,126 transfers out for -20483 net transfers. His price has fluctuated a good deal since his transfer to Fulham and EPL fantasy managers who’ve sold him this week should be able to afford him once he again passes fit. No word yet on if that will be gameweek 7 at Southampton or GW8 home to Aston Villa. The Cottagers hardly missed a step without him as Mladen Petric returned from his own knock to net the Cottagers loan goal from the penalty spot following a dubious decision to award a penalty for a Pablo Zabaleta ‘foul‘ on JA Riise. Petric is an excellent addition for the coming three gameweeks as Martin Jol’s side face a number of sub-standard defensive units between now and the end of October.