Fantasy Premier League tips abound. Last Minute Tinkers is here to address all of your needs and provide tips and analysis for each Barclays Premier League fixture. Back to two posts today as we look to focus ahead of the international break. We’ve written at length about the Champions League here and here and provided some helpful news about the site and an explanation of the new logo’s you’re seeing at the top of every post. Plenty of fantasy premier league tips to get to – so no further effort wasted. Part 1/2 posted earlier later today.
Southampton v Fulham
Key Injuries: Fox, Schneiderlin; Diarra, Petric, Berbatov
Fulham have allowed seven goals in their three away PL fixtures this term, including three to West Ham. Rickie Lambert sits level-ninth in the Premier League with 14 chances created, the same number as Vaz Te and one fewer than Aaron Lennon. This is another match where the stars align in such as a way that handing the armband to Lambert is simply not as foolhearty as it may sound. Lambert has scored four times this season, including three at St. Mary’s, and added an assist. When he scores, he has not always been a lock for Bonus Points, securing only three this season. If this were any other forward with four goals, facing this opposition and at home, we would not hesitate but the lack of creative and attacking depth could see Martin Jol’s side key their defensive tactics on stopping Rickie this weekend.
Interestingly, if Dimitar Berbatov was guaranteed to start this match, our conversation would be about handing the former Tottenham and Man Utd man the armband. Berba has been taking oxygen treatments in an attempt to speed his recovery but it would take a massive act of faith for a fantasy premier league manager to captain the Bulgarian this weekend. The same could be said of Mladen Petric, however a slight knock may again see him consigned to less than a full 90′ and he has not shown enough brilliance to be trusted over less than a full match.
If you own Cottagers defenders you can use them here but without expectation of a cleansheet. Southampton have been held without a goal only once this season, by Wigan at St. Mary’s in GW2. Gameweek 8/9 against Aston Villa and Reading are better match-ups for Hangeland, Hughes and the rest.
Liverpool v Stoke City
Key Injuries: Lucas, Shelvey
Liverpool won their first Premier League match under Brendan Rodgers in style, building on a Luis Suarez hat-trick to put five past the Canaries in a 2-5 victory at Carrow Road. There were also a goal and two assists for Nuri Sahin in this game and the on-loan midfielder is available for £6.7m with 1.4% selection in FPL. We questioned Steven Gerrard over the summer, point out his lack of playing time due to injuries and relative loss of form. Captain Fantastic has responded in style, with goals in each of his past two BPL fixtures to which he has added two assists this term. We’re still not investing for the £9.4m price, but his skill and presence aid the fantasy value of Suarez and Raheem Sterling. The youngster, £4.7m, pocketed his second assist in his last three BPL fixtures. For the price, he simply must be owned. Rodgers does not have enough options at his disposal to severely limit the teen-agers first-team options and he is worth a start in matches like this one.
It bears writing here so we never have to tweet it again: YES, WE WOULD BUY LUIS SUAREZ. The man is an attacking machine. Granted, the finish-touch appeared to be mis-calibrated before the Norwich match, but the technicians appear to have that well in hand. He is sixth in the Premier League with 16 chances created, the most of any striker and only two fewer than teammate Steven Gerrard. His five goals are level-second in the League with Fletcher and RVP; his 30 shots lead the league by a wide margin (Jermain Defoe second with 22); he has seen six clear-cut chances with only Peter Crouch (8) seeing more this term. He should, by all rights, be the second most expensive player in the game. Since he is not, he can be bought and started until he proves otherwise. Expect that this post is frequently linked in replies on Twitter #WinkingEmoticon #FerFeckSake.
For the Potters it was an outing that matched our pre-game expectations with Peter Crouch finding the goal. We did not expect the brace, of course, but the assist from Jonathan Walters was also predicted. The duo are the key men to own in Tony Pulis‘ side, though this is the sort of match we expect very little. Liverpool posses the size and ability to mark Crouch out of the game and the tactics employed by Rodgers will leave Stoke’s midfield chasing the game for most of the 90′.
No key injuries for Stoke, but Andy Wilkinson continues to miss out through suspension. Stoke have allowed at least one goal in each of their three away matches this term and we expect that to continue Sunday.
Tottenham v Aston Villa
Key Injuries: Naughton, Assou-Ekotto, Adebayor; Ireland
Andre Villas-Boas started a remarkably first-choice side in the Thursday fixture against Panathinaikos. Spurs drew 1-1 and there will be some concern among fantasy premier league managers about fatigue. Spurs starting XI: Lloris; Caulker Dawson Verognhen Walker; Huddlestone Dembélé; Dempsey Bale Lennon; Defoe. There is news that Emmanuel Adebayor may be fit for Sunday’s kick-off, though it is difficult to see Villas-Boas inserting him straightaway, particularly with the international break looming. The Irish Examiner has him fully fit:
Striker Emmanuel Adebayor is fit for Tottenham’s Premier League game against Aston Villa on Sunday after recovering from a hamstring injury. Andre Villas-Boas is expected to recall Brad Friedel in goal despite a solid performance from his understudy Hugo Lloris in yesterday’s Europa League draw against Panathinaikos.
The publication also makes quick work of the injury situation at White Hart:
Kyle Naughton (foot), Scott Parker (Achilles), Jake Livermore (groin), Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Younes Kaboul (both knee) are out.
For more on the state of Spurs defense, read Cooper’s post at EPL Index which includes a section on Kyle Walker and his ability to attack while playing above-average defensive football.
For Aston Villa there is little news on the injury front but a bit of noise surrounding Darren Bent and his omission from the starting XI last weekend. The England man was not happy with the way the situation was handled and there is some thought he may not be selected because he is not good enough, not because gaffer Paul Lambert holds a grudge:
Lambert must decide whether Darren Bent’s highly-motivated, goalscoring cameo that salvaged a point against Albion was enough to earn him a start at former club Tottenham. Bent’s emotional outburst to the press won’t have helped the record signing, but Lambert is proving himself as a boss keen to do what is best for the team rather than letting personality issues influence his thinking.
This is detrimental for fantasy EPL as Christian Benteke being handed the reigns would provide managers with another solid option at £6.5m. The forward is selected in 0.1% of Fantasy Premier League sides.
Newcastle v Manchester United
Key Injuries: Krul, Taylor, Coloccini; Vidic, Valencia, Young
For fucks sake, Newcastle can not BUY a healthy defender. Alan Pardew looks to continue without captain Fabricio Coloccini. It’s been confirmed they will both miss out elsewhere, but Newcastle’s own site are still insisting that Colo and Taylor are only ‘doubts’:
Goalkeepers Rob Elliot (groin) is sidelined having picked up a knock in United’s Europa League win over Bordeaux on Thursday. He joins fellow stopper Tim Krul (elbow) and defender Ryan Taylor (knee) on the sidelines. The Magpies have are doubts over centre-backs Fabricio Coloccini(hamstring) and Steven Taylor (calf).
Although we will agree with this assessment of the match from Alan Pardew, via ESPN:
“You can tell with Papiss [Cisse] that he is sound now and his confidence is fine,” Pardew said. “He scored a fantastic goal, turning and swivelling and that will do him some good. Confidence is so important for a striker and I have no concerns that Papiss will score plenty of goals for us. He is a great player and like all great players, you need to stand by them when things are not going perfectly.”
Cisse is an important player and there should be goals to go around — or at least between Cisse, Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa — once the forwards recreate their excellent partnership from the spring of 2012. For us, the price difference means that Ba can be owned and started every weekend while Cisse does not justify a spot in our squad.
Manchester United are without many defenders and midfielders tho do have a full compliment of forwards with Sir Alex electing to start three in the Champions League midweek
“Smalling has started training on the football side – that helps us, as we have a problem at centre-back,” said United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Fellow centre-backs Nemanja Vidic and Phil Jones are also out injured. Meanwhile, winger Ashley Young could return to the side to face Stoke on 20 October. The 27-year-old England international has been sidelined since August with bruised cartilage on his knee. “Ashley [Young] will start training while the internationals are on, particularly during the second week,” said Ferguson. ”He could, at a stretch, be back for the Stoke game.”
Robin van Persie is very expensive. He may be the best player in the Premier League, is almost certainly the most valuable, in terms of points created, in fantasy premier league and justifies his cost. However, he also prevents your squad sheet from including two or three other big names who, collectively, can out-perform the Dutch talisman. If you are deciding between Wayne Rooney and RVP, the less expensive England man will provide far more flexibility to re-invest in your midfield/second-striker.
Antonio Valencia has played the full 90′ in one of United’s last three BPL fixtures and not featured in the other two. We expect he misses here with the international break providing time to heal. We still like Nani, though SAF’s use of the 4-3-3 in the Champions League is giving us pause over investing at this stage.
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