Fantasy EPL news coming after the first of four Champions League fixtures this week for Barclays Premier League sides. Javier Hernandez netted a brace to spare Manchester United their blushes and secure all three points while two midfielders departed with injuries.
Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 Chelsea
Chelsea sXI: Cech; Ivanovic Cole Luiz Terry; Ramirez Lampard (Hazard 18′) Mata Mikel; Torres (Sturridge 70′) Oscar
Oscar netted the only goal for Roberto Di Matteo’s side. The late effort continued to build Oscar’s case for a continued run in the first team. With Frank Lampard departing early with a re-aggravation of his calf injury there is a strong case to be made that Ramires/Mikel/Mata will make-up the middle “3″ with Hazard and Oscar pairing Torres at the front.
Chelsea will be without John Terry again in gameweek nine as he continues to serve a domestic suspension. Gary Cahill was on the bench for the Champions League encounter but should return for the League fixture. The defender scored a screamer in his last start and remains one of the few defenders who will consistently attempt shots from long range. Chelsea’s schedule does not inspire much confidence in their ability to keep clean sheets and Manchester United certainly can score against anyone.
Manchester United 3-2 Braga
Hernandez 25′ 75′ Evans 62′
Manchester United sXI: de Gea; Rafael Evans Carrick Buttner; Rooney Cleverley Kagawa (Nani 45′) Fletcher; Hernandez (Giggs 80′) van Persie
Key news from ManUtd.com following their victory included two absences from issue:
“Shinji twisted his knee,” revealed the boss. “We had to take him off. He struggled on for 20 minutes after he got the injury. We’ll assess it in the morning as it’s too early to say what the damage is.”
Kagawa is undergoing tests to determine the extent of the injury. His knock comes as Ashley Young has returned to fitness. Young was an unused substitute in this one. A bit of good news has the goalkeeper rotation at Old Trafford minimized for one gameweek, at least:
Anders Lindegaard will definitely miss Sunday’s Barclays Premier League trip to Chelsea to face Roberto Di Matteo’s table-topping team. ”Anders hurt his thumb on Sunday morning in training,” admitted Sir Alex. “He should be okay in a week’s time but he won’t be available for the weekend.”
De Gea has started four BPL fixtures as has Lindegaard. Fantasy EPL managers have chosen de Gea by a factor of ten over the other with 8% of fantasy EPL managers selecting the Spanish international while only 0.8% have selected Anders. They each have only one League clean sheet. With the net two fixtures Chelsea and Arsenal, we’re not excited to start either despite the clarification on role for the forthcoming week.
The other notes from this match are the goalscorers. With Jonny Evans finding another goal, he now has two in his last three fixtures. The defender was the subject of a note on ManUtd.com:
Evans, who is in outstanding form, bulleted home a header at Newcastle, was only denied by Asmir Begovic’s save from point-blank range last weekend and netted his first-ever senior Old Trafford goal on Tuesday night. As his opening Champions League strike was only his third for the club in 134 games, it’s fair to say he’s adding another string to his bow.
As we noted above, we do not trust a cleansheet in the coming weeks but Evans relative inexpensive price (£5.8m) makes him an interesting option. We are owning one of Rafael or Evans, though still giving the edge to the Brazilian.
Finally, a brace from Mexico international Hernandez has Sir Alex Ferguson discussing the option of starting Chicharito this weekend:
“Chicharito has given me a good problem,” said Sir Alex. “He’s got me thinking, I must say that. He and van Persie and Rooney and Welbeck… I don’t know what to do with them to be honest with you. The boy is improving all the time. He has a great enthusiasm for the game, he trains magnificently, he practices all the time and his goal ratio is fantastic. It was a great ball from Tom Cleverley for the second goal but Chicharito’s movement in behind the defender for the second goal was terrific.”
With Michael Carrick starting in defense and Wayne Rooney lining up in midfield, SAF is certainly juggling his personnel to find a healthy XI that can still return the full three points. Hernandez is priced £7.5m and selected in 0.8% of fantasy EPL sides. A run in the first team would make him an instant buy candidate as the youngster has proven his ability to score even in limited time. He has 10 goals in 1477′ last season and 13 in 1491′. He has just one goal but has received on 134′ of Barclays Premier League time. We expect he can score a goal every 100′ going forward this year, but we’re unable to predict when those minutes might come.
Elsewhere, Liverpool Echo is reporting that Jose Enrique is ready to fight for his place:
The Spanish full-back, who was sidelined for a month with a knee problem, returned to action as a second-half substitute in last Saturday’s 1-0 win over Reading. It’s been a frustrating campaign so far for Enrique who has slipped down the pecking order since Brendan Rodgers took over. However, he is in contention to start tomorrow night’s Europa League home clash with Anzhi Makhachkala and is out to prove that his strengths are ideally suited to the style the manager has brought to Anfield.
Liverpool have two defenders owned in more than 2.5% of sides and, remarkably, Enrique is still one of them at 3.3%. The £5.7-rated defender is owned in greater numbers than £4.5m-rated Andre Wisdom who has two clean sheets in his three outings. LFC face Everton, Newcastle, Chelsea, Wigan and Swansea in the next five and if Wisdom retains his place following Enrique’s return to fitness, we’re investing in the less expensive Reds defender over his more popular teammate.
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