Hello everyone! So after weeks and weeks of begging, those lovely people at Fantasy iTeam have finally weakened and let me loose on the Fit Blog again. I’ve dug out a few fantasy stats from the past 4 gameweeks, and added a bit of info that might help you make the most of the remaining 4 gameweeks of the season, I hope you enjoy the read.
Firstly, I’m bucking the trend on reviewing the previous gameweeks results, mainly because as I write this there’s still a few fixtures of it remaining, and I’m sure you’ll agree it’s more important to look at what’s likely to happen over the next 4 gameweeks, rather than what happened in GW34.
So let’s start with a few team and player stats from the last 4 gameweeks. (These stats do not include GW34’s midweek fixtures)
1. Liverpool 17 from 78 attempts, 21.8%
2. Man City 15 from 78 attempts, 19.2%
3. Everton 13 from 65 attempts, 20.0%
4. Spurs 11 from 79 attempts, 13.9%
5. Chelsea 10 from 86 attempts 11.6%
6. Man United 10 from 43 attempts 23.3%
Top 3 Defences
1. Chelsea 3 clean sheets from 4 fixtures, 1 goal conceded
2. Palace 3 clean sheets from 4 fixtures, 1 goal conceded
3. Everton 3 clean sheets from 5 fixtures, 3 goals conceded
Goals/Assists (Starts/Minutes played)
Suarez 4/2 (5/476)
Rooney 4/0 (3/246)
Lukaku 3/1 (5/462)
Dzeko 3/1 (4/297)
Lambert 2/2 (4/362)
Bony 2/1 (5/443)
Hernandez 2/1 (1/148)
Adebayor 2/0 (2/193)
Goals/Assists (Starts/Minutes played)
Y Toure 5/0 (5/378)
Eriksen 4/3 (4/382)
Gerrard 3/1 (5/452)
Mata 3/1 (4/361)
Mutch 3/1 (4/383)
Puncheon 3/0 (4/360)
Special mention to;
Matic 0/4 (4/375)
Mirallas 1/3 (2/215)
Goals/Assists (Starts/Minutes played)
Skrtel 3/1 (5/476)
Baines 1/1 (5/471)
Pieters 1/1 (4/362)
Rosenior 1/1 (3/321)
So, GW35, a bonus gameweek, and that extra transfer couldn’t of come at a better time, I’m guessing most of us will have teams stacked up with players from Everton and Man City after their double gameweek in GW34. Man City play last and Everton next to last in GW35, that reduces our transfer options massively. Now I’m not one for selling perfectly fit players before they’ve played, but with the way my teams are set up, and the order in which the fixtures are being played in GW35, there could well be a good case to do so this week to make the most of those transfers.
Spurs vs Fulham (12.45)
The bookies make Spurs the favourites for an home win here and I have to go along with them on that, Spurs have scored 11 goals in their last 4 fixtures and I expect them to add at least another couple to that tally here. Fulham have won their last 2 fixtures against Norwich and Villa and are battling hard to beat the drop, I think they can and will stay up, even without getting any points from this one. Eriksen and Adebayor should be on most peoples watch list this weekend, Spurs don’t have any real tough fixtures remaining this season and their players could be good value. For the managers on a tight budget, Holtby and Sidwell could chip in with a few points before the seasons over, even if they don’t reap any rewards in this one.
Prediction: 2-0 Key Player: Eriksen
Spurs: Stoke (a) West Ham (a) Aston Villa (h)
Fulham: Hull (h) Stoke (a) Palace (h)
Aston Villa vs Southampton (15.00)
Villa without Benteke is as appealing as chips without gravy, I can’t see anything other than a comfortable Southampton win here, just like last gameweek… Yeah, okay, I bet a lot of us got that one wrong, but I’ll be right this gameweek and I fully expect Lallana and Lambert to be back in the points!
Prediction: 0-2 Key Player: Lallana
Aston Villa: Swansea (a) Hull (h) Man City (a) Spurs (h)
Southampton: Everton (h) Swansea (a) Man United (h)
Cardiff vs Stoke (15.00)
Cardiff got the result they needed last gameweek but they’re still in the bottom 3 and will need another win here if they want to keep any hopes of premier league survival alive, there’s no doubt they’ll be going for it but I can’t see them getting the win they need, Stoke are playing well and I expect them to win this one.
Prediction: 1-2 Key Player: Arnautovic
Cardiff: Sunderland (a) Newcastle (a) Chelsea (h)
Stoke: Spurs (h) Fulham (h) West Brom (a)
Newcastle vs Swansea (15.00)
Newcastle have lost the last 4 and conceded 12 without reply, that’s not good, I hate backing anyone to win away at St James Park as Newcastle always seem to find some form when I do. Remy could be back in action this weekend, which would give Newcastle the boost they need, Swansea are a good defensively, but I’m backing Newcastle to score and win this one, with or without Remy.
Prediction: 2-1 Key Player: Cisse/Remy
Newcastle: Arsenal (a) Cardiff (h) Liverpool (a)
Swansea: Aston Villa (h) Southampton (h) Sunderland (a)
West Ham vs Crystal Palace (15.00)
Palace have won the last 3 without conceding (I’m writing this before their away game at City) I expect that record to have gone on Wednesday night but they have already done enough to pull themselves clear of the relegation battle. The bookies fancy this one for a home win, I fancy a draw, with Carroll and Puncheon the most likely to score fantasy points.
Prediction: 1-1 Key Player: Carroll
West Ham: West Brom (a) Spurs (h) Man City (a)
Palace: Man City (h) Liverpool (h) Fulham (a)
Chelsea vs Sunderland (17.30)
Yeah, home win and another clean sheet for Chelsea, I’m confident on that. Chelsea have created more chances than any other team, it’s putting the ball in the net that’s the issue for them, Hazard is still a doubt and then there’s the potential rotation of players in preparation for the Champions league semi final in midweek, it’s definitely a case of waiting for those starting line ups before signing Chelsea players right now.
Prediction: 3-0 Key Player: Eto’o
Chelsea: Liverpool (a) Norwich (h) Cardiff (a)
Sunderland: Cardiff (h) Man United (a) West Brom (h) Swansea (h)
Norwich vs Liverpool (Sun 12.00)
This is the away banker of the weekend for me, and that’s no disrespect to Norwich, it’s just hard to see anyone beating Liverpool right now, Liverpool could be without Daniel Sturridge who’s got an hamstring injury, and they will be without Jordan Henderson for the next 3 fixtures after his sending off against Man City in GW34, even so, it’s hard to see anything other than a convincing away win. Norwich’s well documented tough run of fixtures starts here, unless your desperate, I’d avoid their players.
Prediction: 0-3 Key Player: Suarez
Norwich: Man United (a) Chelsea (a) Arsenal (h)
Liverpool: Chelsea (h) Palace (a) Newcastle (h)
Hull vs Arsenal (14.05)
Anything other than an Arsenal win here could put a dent in their Champions league hopes for next season. I can see them getting the win they need, Arsenal have some very winnable fixtures remaining and their players could be good transfer targets this GW and going forward for the remainder of the season. Hull do have a game in hand but 3 of their 4 are away from home, unless you’re considering an attack on May’s Manager of the Month competition I’d stick to Arsenal players on this one.
Prediction: 1-2 Key Player: Giroud
Hull: Fulham (a) Aston Villa (a) Man United (a) Everton (h)
Arsenal: Newcastle (h) West Brom (h) Norwich (a)
Everton vs Man United (16.10)
This is a tough one to call, the odds and stats suggest this is an home win, but I’m going for the draw. The chances are our teams are full of Everton players, but it really is worth considering a few transfers based around Man United if you can, they have 3 favourable home fixtures after this game. There is a rumour that Rooney could be out for the rest of the season with that toe injury so Mata and Welbeck/Hernandez should be on everyone’s transfer radar now.
Prediction: 1-1 Key Player: Mata
Everton: Southampton (a) Man City (h) Hull (a)
Man United: Norwich (h) Sunderland (h) Hull (h) Southampton (a)
Man City vs West Brom (Mon 20.00)
I can’t see anything other than a home win here, and whoever starts up front for Man City could be a good captains selection this gameweek. Man City still have the extra game to play in GW37, as do West Brom, but I can see more chance of good points from the Man City players between now and the end of the season.
Prediction: 4-0 Key Player: Aguero
Man City: Palace (a) Everton (a) Aston Villa (h) Hull (h)
West Brom: West Ham (h)Arsenal (a) Sunderland (a) Stoke (h)
Well that’s it from me for this season, but before I sign off I’d like to thank all the UK mini league regulars for making the mini league an enjoyable place to spend the season again, and give a special to Mouldy for his contributions with the weekly competitions and all those who chip in with their predictions, thanks a lot!
Best of luck to you all in GW35
(except James obviously, I hope you have a stinker pal!)
Chelsea, Liverpool or Man City?
Arsenal or Everton?
Sunderland, Cardiff, Fulham, Norwich or West Brom?
Things are really hotting up, in what looks to be one of the most exciting finishes to a Premier League season for years.
A few stats from the last six Gameweeks:
Gerrard - 6
Suarez - 6
Rooney - 5
Y Touré - 5
Rodriguez - 5
Dzeko - 4
Lukaku - 4
Lambert - 3
Mirallas - 3
Matic - 3
Eriksen - 3
Crouch - 2
Baines - 2
Torres - 2
Most Shots on Target:
Suárez - 15
Cissé - 12
Lukaku - 12
Bony - 10
Rooney - 9
Rodriguez - 9
Puncheon - 8
Most Chances Created:
Eriksen - 19
Hazard - 17
Lallana - 15
Lambert - 14
Rosicky - 13
Cazorla - 13
A Johnson - 13
Most Touches - Opponents Half:
Cazorla - 367
Suárez - 353
Rosicky - 334
Hazard - 318
Carroll - 309
Henderson - 303
Silva - 298
Most Successful Crosses:
Huddlestone - 19
Downing - 16
Elmohamady - 12
Albrighton - 11
Eriksen - 11
Baines - 9
Snodgrass - 9
City’s main men in the points against the Saints:
Saturday’s early kick off saw Man City ease to a 4-1 victory against Southampton. Yaya Toure grabbed the opening goal courtesy of a penalty, to make it 18 goals so far this season. Another penalty at the other end saw Rickie Lambert take his tally to 11 for the season. Then two goals in quick succession just before half time gave Manchester City some breathing space. Edin Dzeko scored the first from a superb Aleksandar Kolarov cross, to continue his recent impressive form. And Sami Nasri rounded of a great passing move to make it 3-1. Then later on in the match, Stevan Jovetic scored a tap-in to seal all three points for City.
Baggies bag crucial victory over the Canaries:
Morgan Amalfitano scored for the second consecutive Gameweek since returning from injury, as West Brom secured a vital away win at Norwich. The victory moved West Brom five points clear of the drop zone, and lifted them up to 16th place. However, things don’t look too good for Norwich, who are in 17th place, with games against Liverpool, Man United, Chelsea and Arsenal in the next five.
Cottagers grab vital away win at Villa:
Lewis Holtby and Ashkan Dejagah continued their recent run of form as Fulham came out on top at Villa Park. Kieran Richardson and Hugo Rodallega grabbed the goals in the 2-1 victory, whilst Holtby and Dejagah both supplied an assist apiece. Lewis Holtby has now scored and assisted twice in his last five games, whilst Dejagah has now delivered three goals and an assist in six appearances. Considering Fulham have three home games against Norwich, Hull, and Crystal Palace coming up in the final five fixtures, Holtby and Dejagah, who are both priced at below £4.0m, could be budget friendly differentials for the run-in.
Mata shows his class as Man United run riot at Newcastle:
After scoring his first goal for United last weekend, the former Chelsea man delivered again in the 4-0 thrashing at Newcastle. With Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie injured, Mata was fielded in ‘the hole’ just behind Javier Hernandez, and grabbed two goals and an assist in the victory at James’ Park. Although United don’t have a fixture in Gameweek 34, Mata may well be worth considering over the final few matches, with United playing Norwich, Hull and Sunderland at Old Trafford.
Palace triumph in Cardiff to dent the Bluebirds hopes of survival:
If you were asked half way through the season who you thought would be relegated, I am sure Crystal Palace would have been top of that list. However, Tony Pulis has done a great job at Palace and the 3-0 victory over Cardiff means Tony Pulis’ side have taken a major step towards safety. Jason Puncheon played a vital role in the 3-0 victory, grabbing two of the Eagles’ goals to take his tally to 5 for the season. Joe Ledley was again fielded in ‘the hole’ and grabbed a goal and assist, whilst at the back, Pulis’ side have now registered three clean sheets in their last four, highlighting their defensive resilience.
Chelsea cruise to 3-0 victory against the Potters:
With Chelsea facing PSG in midweek, Jose Mourinho benched Eden Hazard and Oscar for last night’s home clash against Stoke. Hazard was given just a 32-minute run-out and with Frank Lampard on the field the Belgian could only watch on as Lampard netted on the rebound after his initial penalty attempt was saved by Begovic. Mohamed Salah and Willian also played their part in the 3-0 triumph by grabbing a goal apiece.
Liverpool return to the summit:
Once again, Steven Gerrard kept his cool from the spot two times to fire his side back to the top of the Premier League. This was Gerrard’s 13th goal of the season and the Liverpool captain also managed to escape a yellow card which means he will be available for the crucial showdown with Man City this weekend. Luis Suarez put in yet another brilliant performance, hitting the bar twice but he was unlucky to only come away from the game with a single assist. However, Daniel Sturridge blanked for the second game in a row which now means he has scored just twice in the last six games.
Everton triumph against out of form Arsenal:
A 3-0 defeat at Everton saw Arsenal lose yet another three points to their rivals in the race for fourth, meaning next season’s Champions League place is now looking at serious risk. The Gunners are in a shocking patch of form at the moment and have won just two of their last nine games. However, the upcoming fixtures for Arsene Wenger’s team are against West Ham, Hull, Newcastle, West Brom and Norwich and with Aaron Ramsey now back from his recovery, he could be worth considering for the run-in. Romelu Lukaku put in another impressive performance which included a goal and an assist. This takes his tally to four goals and two assists in his last six games since recovering from an ankle injury and means he is well worth considering for the double gameweek captaincy.
Saturday 12th April:
15:07 - Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa
Crystal Palace will be on a high after two consecutive wins against Chelsea and Cardiff. Villa won’t be on a high however after their shocking defeat at home to Fulham. Villa are also without Benteke for the visit to Palace which will make it even harder for them to break down the Eagles back line. I can only see a home win here.
One to watch - Jason Puncheon
15:07 - Fulham vs Norwich
A crucial game for both clubs. A draw is not good enough for either club so they will both need to come out and attack this one. Norwich are dreadful away from home, and have youth team coach Neil Adams in charge for the first time. Fulham have been playing a bit better recently, so I can see them just scraping through with the victory.
One to watch - Lewis Holtby
15:07 - Southampton vs Cardiff City
Southampton don’t have much to play for, but will want to finish the season on a high. They have lost just one of their last six at home, and Cardiff are dreadful away from home and can’t stop conceding so I can see this being a comfortable victory for the Saints.
One to watch - Adam Lallana
15:07 - Stoke City vs Newcastle
Newcastle have really struggled after the loss of Yohan Cabaye, and with other key players missing, I don’t see them getting anything out of this one, especially considering Stoke are in a good patch of form at the moment, with four wins in six.
One to watch - Peter Odemwingie
15:07 - Sunderland vs Everton
Everton are flying at the moment, with 6 wins in a row. Sunderland however, are desperate for points and are in a shocking patch of form, with 4 defeats in as many matches. I can see this one being a comfortable victory for the Toffees.
One to watch - Romelu Lukaku
15:07 - West Brom vs Tottenham
West Brom have drawn 5 out of the last six at home and just can’t seem to find the all-important winning goal. They will be on a high after their crucial away win at Norwich, but so will Tottenham after their 5-1 demolition of Sunderland. I expect this game to be a close one with Tottenham just edging it.
One to watch - Emmanuel Adebayor
Sunday 13th April:
13:37 - Liverpool vs Man City
What a game this is going to be! I think whoever wins this game will more than likely go on to win the title as I can’t see Chelsea winning the league after their damaging defeats against Villa and Palace. Liverpool are the form team at the moment with 9 consecutive wins, but Man City are in form as well and will be boosted by the return of Sergio Aguero. This will be an extremely close game with lots of goals, but I can see Liverpool just edging it.
One to watch - Luis Suarez
16:07 - Swansea vs Chelsea
Chelsea need to win to keep their title hopes alive. They have lost their last two away games against teams in the bottom half of the table so Swansea will fancy their chances, but I think Chelsea will be too strong for the Swans.
One to watch - Andre Schürrle
Tuesday 15th April:
19:45 - Arsenal vs West Ham
A must win game for Arsenal to keep their hopes of champions league football next season alive. West Ham are pretty much safe now and aren’t desperate for points so I think Arsenal will bounce back from their defeat at Goodison last weekend and take all three points.
One to watch - Aaron Ramsey
Wednesday 16th April:
19:45 - Everton vs Crystal Palace
Everton are in brilliant form at the moment with 6 consecutive victories. Crystal Palace will make it hard for Everton to break them down but I think Everton will pull through with a narrow victory.
One to watch - Romelu Lukaku
19:45 - Man City vs Sunderland
Sunderland need a ‘miracle’ to stay up as stated by Gus Poyet in his post-match news conference after the 5-1 thrashing at White Hart Lane and that ‘miracle’ isn’t going to happen at the Etihad. Man City are excellent at home and this could be embarrassing for Sunderland.
One to watch - Sergio Aguero
Thank You for taking the time to read, and best of luck for the rest if the season.
A double gameweek always meant there would be goals but to expect this many was beyond anyone’s prediction!
Chelsea Vs Arsenal;- 6-0
The gameweek started off with Arsene Wenger celebrating his 1000th game in charge of the gunners, but the special one had plans to make this day not so great for Wenger.
After their easy victory against the Turkish side Galatasary, Chelsea were still on a high and going 2 nil up inside just 10 minutes at Stamford Bridge things couldn’t have got any better.. surely? It wouldn’t be a Chelsea Vs Arsenal game without some sort of controversy and one of the most talked about mistakes of the season by referee Andre Marriner (Sending off the wrong player!) meant this game was going to be talked about for days!
It was positives all around the park for Chelsea, Oscar scoring twice, his first goals in 8 appearances, Eto’o scoring again for the third game in a row, and the young Salah coming off the bench to score.
As for Arsenal, they bounced back from a big loss to Manchester City earlier in the season and so fans can be hopeful of a repeat when the Swans visit mid-week.
After that massive score line in the early kick off no-one could of expected what was to happen for the rest of Saturdays games.
Cardiff Vs Liverpool;- 3-6
Relegation battlers Vs the high scoring title contenders, now first we had the SAS, now we have the SASAS! Martin Skrtel, bagging himself 2 goals and an assist! Just a reminder for anyone who’s rubbing their eyes, yes he’s the centre back! Luis Suarez.. This man does not even need anything said about him, another hat trick for the Uruguayan forward, another 3 points in the bag for Liverpool and as much as Brendon Rodgers plays it down, The title must be their aim for this season!
Meanwhile Cardiff who are 2nd bottom showed that they aren’t going to sit down and accept defeat! Twice they took the lead against Liverpool and looked worthy of their lead, It’s no doubt Cardiff have goal scorers in their team, Jordan Mutch bagging himself another 2 and Fraizer Campbell also getting on the score sheet, they both claimed assists for each other’s goals.
With West Brom & Crystal Palace also struggling at the bottom end of the stadium their next two games against them will be vital games for the Bluebirds as they look to climb out of the relegation spots.
Everton Vs Swansea;- 3-2
European football chasers Vs The team who was in Europe this season!
How times have changed for last year’s F.A Cup winners Swansea, gone from a European place team to a team who are very much in the thick of the relegation battle, traveling to the toffees and their former manager Roberto Martinez.
Both teams previous games were decided by late goals, Swansea losing to late goal from Youssuf Mulumbu whilst the fortunes where in favor of Everton with the ever attacking full back Seamus Coleman scoring in the 90th minute.
This time out it wasn’t decided on late goals but that didn’t stop Swansea scoring late on to have the toffee fans biting their nails. Baines scored a penalty in the first half before Wilfred Bony equalized just 13 minutes later, Mirallas & Barkley score a quick 5 minute double before Ashley Williams scored a late consolation goal for the Swans.
The swans had the returning Michu come off the bench and have a few chances in the second half but showed some lack of match practice not converting the chances.
Hull City Vs West Brom;- 2-0
These teams went into the game separated by just 2 points, Hull were of the back of a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City whilst West Brom scored a late goal down at the Liberty Stadium to snatch 3 vital points.
The fixture saw Shane Long returning to face his old club and he proved to be a right handful for the West Brom defense, Long was brought down with half an hour gone inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Jelavic who has found his goal scoring form after his move to the KC stepped up only to have his penalty saved by England world cup contender Ben Foster but Hulls Liam Rosenior scored the resulting rebound.
Shane long didn’t take much longer to cause even more trouble for West Brom scoring just 6 minutes later. Hull are now 8 points ahead of 3rd bottom and have their sights set on a top 10 finish. Meanwhile West Brom sit 16th just 3 points of the relegation and with Cardiff & Norwich in their next 2 games they just like the teams in and around them must be targeting them games as 6 pointers!
Man City Vs Fulham;- 5-0
The second highest league scorers Vs the highest goals conceded team, Coming to the Etihad Fulham must have been expecting the worse but up till half time Fulham had a fair few chances themselves and actually kept the ferocious Man City side at bay, Fulham’s one mistake was Amorebieta bundling over Alvaro Negredo inside the box which Yaya Toure stood up and put the ball firmly into the back of the net on 26 minutes. (HT 1-0)
The second half saw Fulham give away another penalty, it was that man again; Amorebieta on David Silva this time and which saw him receive a red card, Fulham down to 10 and Yaya Toure picked up the ball and placed his penalty into the same corner.
Down to 10 against Manchester City is just recipe to goals and Toure scored his hat trick with a third goal on 65 minutes, set up by Samir Nasri. Then late on Milner set up Fernandinho to score on the 84th minute and to add insult to injury for Fulham, the premier league’s best defender Martin Demichelis bagged his first premier league goal and made it 5. Not many positives to be taken from this game for Fulham but going away to Manchester City was never going to be an easy task. Next up for these clubs, Man City face their neighbors Manchester United & Fulham look to bounce back against Hull.
Newcastle Vs Crystal Palace;- 1-0
The Toon(Le Toon) Vs The Eagles,
Both teams failed to score in their previous fixtures, Newcastle losing 1-0 & Palace having a score draw 0-0, Newcastle seem to struggle to score without the fire power of Loic Remy and this fixture was no different, Cisse, Gouffran & new signing De Jong all started but goals where hard to come by again for both teams as they went in half time 0-0.
Palace have gone 2 games without a goal but had only conceded just the 1 in those games too, this game was dominated by Newcastle having over 70% position and have 16 shots (8 on target) to Palaces 6 shots (1 on target). This game had all the ingredients of a 0-0 until very late on into the game with first Check Tiote rocking the crossbar and then Papiss Cisse scoring just his 2nd goal of the season from a ball into the box from Hatem Ben Arfa.
It was a bit of hard one to swallow for Crystal Palace as they worked hard in this game despite the stats but the Senegalese striker struck leaving those staying in the hotel complaining of the celebrations coming from Alan Pardew’s room!
Norwich Vs Sunderland;- 2-0
The Canaries Vs The Black Cats, Norwich go into this game without a win in 3 games, but after staging a late comeback at St Mary’s last week Norwich were looking to bag themselves 3 points against a Sunderland side who also have had a great run of form and having the heart break of the cup final against Man City. Norwich’s Robert Snodgrass who was a real maestro for the whole of the 90 minutes causing trouble for Marcos Alonso and with just 20 minutes gone he put the Canaries 1 up firing past Mannone after Elmander done well to hold up the ball after a bad clearance from Wes Brown.
12 minutes later Alexander Tettey hit a ball on the volley from a good 25+ yards out and it flew into the back of the net, now the commentator stated you won’t see a better goal this weekend but i think we all know what you’re about to read so i won’t shadow his comments, but for the record it was an absolute wonder strike from Tettey well worth a watch or two!
Sunderland saw Marcos Alonso sent off deep into stoppage time for a second yellow card, nothing went the way of the black cats and they need to brush themselves down and prepare for Wednesday when they travel to Anfield and try to gain some points with their game in hand!
West Ham Vs Manchester United;- 0-2
Hammers Vs United Or Beckham Vs Rooney?
Only one place to start really.. What a fantastic strike, the awareness of the keepers position, the technique, the power.. it was one marvelous strike from Manchester United’s number 10, After RVP taking all the headlines in the champions league victory and now Rooney’s wonder strike, Moyes can finally relax a little.. a day or so, the noisy neighbors the visitors midweek.
West ham are one of the strongest teams defensively and don’t concede bags full of goals and it was going to take something special/comical to beat the West Ham keeper and that was the case.. Wayne Rooney’s half way line striker left Adrian scrambling into the wrong side of the net as the ball nestles in the goal to put Manchester United 1 up with just 7 minutes gone. With 33 minutes gone Ashley Young’s cross/shot was cleared by a West Ham defender which just hit Rooney and he managed to direct it into the net to make it 2-0.
Michael Carrick played in center back alongside Phil Jones and managed to deal with Andy Carroll who was constantly the target of punts up field. West Ham only managed 1 shot on target in the whole of the 90 minutes but had a huge 12 corners but failed to test David De Gea. West Ham will look to bounce back against Hull who visit Wednesday, While Manchester have to deal with their noisy neighbors.
The goals carries on flying in both of the Sunday games, 10 goals in just the two games!
Tottenham Vs Southampton; 3-2
Champions League Chasers Vs Europe League Chasers:
With England manager Roy Hodgson sitting high in the stands overlooking the English players on the pitch it didn’t take long for an English player to get on the score sheet, a long ball up field by the saints keeper Artur Boruc out bounced Tottenham’s Kyle Naughton and left Jay Rodriquez one on one with Hugo Lloris and under the watchful eyes of the England manager he calmly slotted the ball into the corner making it 1-0.
9 minutes later the English players were at it again, this time Rickie Lambert with some clever foot work and then passing the ball into the ongoing Adam Lallana who also calmly slotted the ball pass the Tottenham keeper making it 2-0 to the southern side.
Just 4 minutes after the saints scored their second, Kyle Naughton who could be put down to blame for the first goal crossed the ball into the danger area of the Tottenham box which managed to fall the feet of the Danish attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen who squeezed the ball underneath Artur Boruc to make the score 2-1.
The second half started off with a bang, Robert Soldado shrugged off Southampton’s Dejan Lovren to pick out Christian Eriksen at the back post who made it 2-2 with just 47 minutes on the clock.
This game looked like it would end with the scores 2-2 but Tottenham substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson smashed the ball deep and low into the back out the net from just outside the penalty area making the scores 3-2 in added on time!
Aston Villa Vs Stoke City; 1-4
The Local Derby;
Aston Villa of the back of their massive win against top of the league Chelsea looked to beat their local rivals and continue with their good form of late, meanwhile Stoke who are unbeaten in their last 3 Premier league games looked to make it 4 in a row.
The game started well for the home side, Christian Benteke blasting home his strike from inside the box after some good work from Fabien Delph.
Things turned after a 4 minute double from Stoke seeing Peter Crouch & Peter Odemwingie teaming up to make it 1-1 before the Erik Pieters’ cut back found Peter Crouch who made it 1-2. Game turned on its head from some great work from the Stoke team.
3 minutes before the interval the tricky Marko Arnautovic worked his way through players before passing across the penalty box to find Steven Nzonzi who struck the ball sweetly lashing it into the bottom left hand corner, the ball did ricochet of an Aston Villa player before reaching Nzonzi. 1-3 at half time,
Paul Lambert had his work cut out at half time after losing two key players to injuries midway through the first half.
Second half saw Stoke control the game at their pace making things very hard for Aston Villa, Christian Benteke was shown a yellow card for his actions after not receiving a penalty when he felt he was fouled.
Marko Arnautovic was a real handful today and he carried on his energetic pace into the late stages showing some tidy footwork and skill to pass defenders before cutting back for full back Geoff Cameron to make it 1-4 to Stoke.
The Mid-Week Games:
Manchester United vs Manchester City; 0-3
The Manchester Derby;
With Manchester United finally finding some form after some inspirational performances from Wayne Rooney things where starting to look a bit brighter for David Moyes, but the noisy neighbors where in town and they have their sights set on the premier league title.
It didn’t take long for the game to come to life, 42 seconds, Nasri’s shot hitting the post and falling to the feet of Edin Dzeko who slotted home with ease. The first 20 minutes of the game was all Manchester City and it seemed like it would be a long night for United with David Silva pulling the strings in the centre. Despite the inclusion of the very favored Thomas Cleverly Manchester United was beginning to get back into the game. The inform Wayne Rooney had a chance to pull one back for United but he could only manage an air shot and Juan Mata who has found it hard to find his form at United couldn’t keep his shot down as he fired way over the bar with half ending 0-1 to City.
Kagawa came on for Cleverly at half time which meant a reshuffle in the Manchester United line up, unfortunately for the red side of Manchester the change didn’t have to much affect as Dzeko fired home from Nasri’s corner making 0-2 with 56 minutes on the clock. Javi Garcia came on for City replacing the energetic Jesus Navas which gave Yaya Toure the leeway to push further up the field and in the 90th minute he fired home after James Milner’s pass deflected off a United defender into his path. 0-3 the final score.
Arsenal Vs Swansea; 2-2
The Gunners Vs The Swans;
Swansea had the returning Michu in the starting lineup tonight who in this fixture last season scored in a 2-0 win for Swansea.
Arsenal of the back of the demolishment of Chelsea at the weekend have Gibbs & Oxlade both available after the red card was rescinded.
Both teams play attractive football and both teams play with a big strong striker and it was the Cote Di Ivorian striker for Swansea who made the first big impact on the game heading home from Neil Taylors cross, Arsenal had been dominating the game up until this moment.
That was Bony’s 10th goal in his last 16 starts for Swansea! Santi Cazorla had a chance late on in the first half but failed to make the scores level. 0-1 HT.
Lukas Podolski who hadn’t scored for the gunners in the premier league since boxing day came on after 57 minutes replacing Gibbs, No Oxlade-Chamberlain sorry.. My mistake. 16 minutes later Kieran Gibbs or was it… No course it wasn’t Walcott, run down the left hand side before putting into the middle for Lukas Podolski to fire home! 66 Seconds later, Arsenal went 2-1 ahead, Podolski turning provider for Olivier Giroud who found the net from six yards out. Minutes later Kim Kallstrom came on for Thomas Rosicky for his Arsenal Debut.
90th minute saw Leon Britton’s strike hit Per Mertasaker and then Wojciech Szczesny before then bouncing off Mattieu Flamini for the ball to nestle into the back of the net making 2-2!, and that’s how the game ended.
Newcastle Vs Everton; 0-3
Europe League Chasers Vs Champions League Chasers;
Alan Pardew served his last Stadium ban in this game and wouldn’t of been too pleased as to what happened at St James Park. Everton who have been in great form this season went into the game 2 points behind 5 place Tottenham, England world cup hopeful Ross Barkley showed just how good he is on 22 minutes as he broke from inside his own half, took the ball into the Newcastle box powered past a host of defenders before firing beyond the Newcastle keeper. A moment of real class from the youngster. 0-1 HT.
Another Everton youngster John Stones received 10 stitches in his head after clashing with Luuk De Jong. Barcelona loanee Gerrard Deulofeu who got the assist for the Barkley goal was back on the act this time getting his cross spot on picking out the big Belgium Lukaku who forced the ball into the top of the net from 3 yards out.
Newcastle pressed trying to get a goal back and make it a close ending but failed to make that breakthrough, late on in the game Substitute Steven Naismith along with Lukaku & Deulofeu broke away and Leon Osman arrived late into the Newcastle box before rocketing his shot past Tim Krul to make it 0-3 to Everton and that’s how it ended at St James Park.
West Ham Vs Hull City; 2-1
Both teams come into this game with their sights set on the 38 point mark,
Hull who won their last game against relegation strugglers West Brom travelled to Upton Park looking to win again, meanwhile West Ham who lost to Manchester United and Wayne Rooney’s wonder goal where looking to bounce back and overtake their opponents in the league with a victory.
The first half was dictated by more referee blunders as both the referee and linesman failed to notice that West Ham’s Mohamed Diame handled the ball before being taken down by the Hull keeper which resulted in a red card and the referee pointing to the spot. Steve Bruce had to sacrifice his son in order to bring on replacement goalkeeper Steve Harper. Never the less Mark Noble’s penalty was coolly taken as he made it 1-0 to the home side.
Soon after the kick off for the second half Tom Huddlestone’s shot which was drilled towards goal took a huge deflection of Hull’s Nikica Jelavic and flew into the back of the net to make the scores 1-1. Hull’s luck seemed to be back on their side after that massive deflection but with 54 minutes on the clock Guy Demel’s low cross which looked to be going wide was turned into his own net by James Chester as it hit is left leg and looped past Steve Harper into the Hull net. The ended this way and this meant West Ham moved ahead of Hull onto 34 points while Hull stay on 33.
Liverpool Vs Sunderland; 2-1
Title Contenders Vs Relagation Battlers;
After their 6-3 win over Cardiff at the weekend, 3 points from this game would put Liverpool just 1 point behind league leaders Chelsea, Meanwhile 3 points for Sunderland would boost their hopes of survival.
After Liverpool scoring 6 away at the weekend spectators would have been expecting a quick start from Liverpool but it wasn’t to be as it took over 40 minutes before a goal went in, Luis Suarez who had been causing Santiago Vergini trouble all game brung the Uruguayan down on the edge of the box and seemed to be lucky not to receive a red. Steven Gerrard stepped up and curled the ball into the top corner to make it 1-0 to Liverpool.
Seconds before the first half ended Suarez once again caused problems for Vergini who once again took down the Uruguayan just seconds after being booked and once again was lucky not too of received a second caution which would of seen him sent off. To be fair the referee Kevin Friend there was a lot of tackles that some refs would blow up for and some inside the box which had minimum contact but he kept the game flowing not stopping it for silly little tackles.
Just like the West Ham Vs Hull game it didn’t take long for there to be more action as Daniel Sturridge fired home after Jordan Henderson passed him the ball, it took a slight deflection of a Sunderland defender but looked to be heading in anyway. Liverpool were looking to up the pace now and Coutiniho who had been pulling the strings all game had some nice passes with Suarez before being placed in the path of Daniel Sturridge in front of goal but this time it was his strike partner Luis Suarez who was in the way and Suarez couldn’t find the net with his back heel.
Sunderland’s Adam Johnson & Ki Sung Yeung came on soon after the second goal and Sunderland were beginning to threaten the Liverpool defense, Lee Cattermole crashed his shot from outside the box against the bar, a Sunderland corner undid the Liverpool defense as Ki managed to peel away from his marker Jon Flanagen before heading home from a few yards out. 2-1 and Sunderland could smell blood, pushing Liverpool further back by the minute and this shook Liverpool but they managed to hold on to their lead and bag themselves another 3 points. This meant they are 2nd in the league just 1 point behind Chelsea.
Gameweek 31, quite possibly the most exciting and potentially frustrating GW this season. Now unfortunately I can’t give you a huge list of players to bring in, because if you have not started preparing by now, your Gameweek 31 could be a poor one!
All is not lost however! Unlike some double game weeks there is still chance to buy ‘DGW’ (double gameweek) players during the actual game week. We can either sell Chelsea players for: Liverpool, Everton, Swansea, Hull, Man City, Newcastle, Sunderland. In addition, we can also sell players from the 3 o’clock game to buy Man United or West Ham players, who both play twice also. It’s also worth noting that Man Utd also play first in Gameweek 32. In fact by this stage Arsenal are the only team that are no longer accessible.
So with that in mind I have decided I would compile the best 11 I can come up with for just 75 million, as this may also be useful for those of you planning to make new teams.
McGregor - not been in the best form but is very cheap and has good fixtures in the DGW and beyond.
Davies - I’ve gone with another Hull defender to free up funds for the anticipated striker dilemma later and as with McGregor, he has good fixtures.
Demichelis - Okay, so I know your laughing at me at this point and I can’t blame you, but with Kompany suspended this guy will play, and bad or not it’s the clean sheets that count for FiT points!
Coleman - Scores, assists and has good fixtures, simple as that.
Clichy/Kolarov - Could be risking it here as they could be rotated. But they are both quite cheap for a top team and both get forward a lot.
Sissoko - This guy is certainly getting forward more and more now and has a fantastic price tag.
Januzaj - Scores some good FiT points and with RvP back, may get more assists. He also plays 1st in Gameweek 32.
Sterling - This guy has scored an average of 6 FiT points over his last 5 games, which is quite tidy indeed. Liverpool seem to be scoring more and more every game, so this guy should get a few points over his two games.
Mirallas - Ok so this perhaps is a bit risky with him not starting every game, so he could be subject to rotation. But after a quiet period lately and Lukaku back I expect Everton’s goal tally to climb.
SAS - These rather cheap players have also allowed me to go for these two. Don’t think I really need to justify this one..
And all that for just - 74.4m
Attacking dilemma - So for those who don’t see it as clear cut as SaS, I have made a clear cut list that quite simply goes by name - goals, assists, total.
Hopefully this should help when deciding who you want to put your hopes in for this important GW. But don’t forget some may be injured or not have a DGW, but whether that counts for anything you decide.
Luis Suarez Liverpool - 24 12 36
Daniel Sturridge Liverpool - 18 5 23
Wayne Rooney Man U - 11 10 21
Sergio Aguero Man C - 15 5 20
Olivier Giroud Arsenal - 12 7 19
Eden Hazard Chelsea - 13 5 18
Yaya Toure Man C - 13 4 17
Steven Gerrard Liverpool - 8 9 17
Loic Remy Newcastle - 13 2 15
Romelu Lukaku Everton - 10 5 15
Now if you are still reading by this point well done; have a pat on the back.
You may be wondering when I am going to mention captains, and as appealing as it was to put it in I’m not, it would take a braver person than me to call it this week, so I’m leaving myself well and truly out of this one. But all I will say is it is probably wise to go for DGW players such as S or S, Lukaku or even Dzeko? Instead to end with I will leave you with a few useful stats that might help your decisions this week end.
Current Win Sequence 5 games: Liverpool
Current Unbeaten Sequence 10 games: Liverpool
Current Winless Sequence 4 games: Swansea City, Crystal Palace
Most Goals Scored - 76 Liverpool
Highest Goals Scored Average - 2.63 Manchester City
Fewest Goals Conceded - 23 Chelsea
Fewest Goals Conceded Average - 0.77 Chelsea
Highest Goal Difference - 44 Manchester City
Fewest Goals Scored -19 Crystal Palace
Most Goals Conceded -65 Fulham
Most Clean Sheets -13 Arsenal, Chelsea, West Ham United
Fewest Games Failed to Score -2 Liverpool
Fewest Clean Sheets -4 Fulham
Most Games Failed to Score -16 Cardiff City
Oh and don’t forget the latest key injuries-
Lovren - doubt
Remy - 5th April
Aguero - 29th march
Dawson - 30th match
Shelvey/dyer and Barry - back this Gameweek
Good luck this GW!
Yours FiTfully BH
With the biggest gameweek ever right around the corner, I thought it was time to look at some of the less obvious picks. If you’re sitting at the top of a mini league then you will probably be happy sticking with the tried and tested players, but if you’re chasing it’s the perfect time to take a risk or 2… remember, it’s also Bonus Transfer week, so make full use of them.
Adrian - 3.3m
He took over from Jussi at Christmas and since then he’s firmly established himself as number 1… keeping 5 clean sheets in his last 10 games. In GW30 West Ham travel to a Stoke side that have averaged just a goal a game this season and in GW31 they have 2 home games - Man Utd and Hull City. I’m confident he can keep 2 clean sheets during this time and then there’s his price tag, so if you need to free up funds or you’re creating a new team especially for the week, you can’t go wrong.
Mignolet - 7.6m
A bit of a disappointment for me this season, he’s currently the games 2nd most expensive keeper but only the 7th highest points scorer. Currently, the most popular keeper is Wojciech Szczesny but if you look at Arsenal’s next 5 fixtures, you might want to make a change. Liverpool have a tough away game against Man Utd this weekend but after that the DGW sees them play Cardiff and Sunderland. If you have no Liverpool defenders then he’s definitely worth consideration.
Davies - 4.0m
What a season he’s having, surely an England call up isn’t far away? Apart from a few indifferent performances, Hull have been solid this season and Curtis also likes to get forward - scoring 4 goals in all competitions. A home game vs Man City would usually scare me to death but with Aguero looking like a major doubt and City struggling for goals, they might be able to keep them out. Hull’s DGW fixtures are against West Brom and West Ham - points galore!
Kompany - 7.7m
He might seem like an obvious choice but currently he isn’t owned by many of us. Now that City have crashed out of Europe and the FA Cup, the league is their only priority and I can’t see Kompany being rested going forward. The fact that City have 2 more DGW’s to be arranged means he’s a no brainer in my eyes. You could go with Zabeleta but Kompany is more of a goal threat, less likely to be rested and he costs less.
Henderson - 5.5m
Most people will be deciding between Gerrard, Coutinho and Sterling… screw that, go with Hendo! 6 assists, 3 goals and he hasn’t missed an EPL game this season. He might not be consistent with his attacking returns but against the likes of Cardiff and Sunderland, I foresee another double point performance.
Sissoko - 4.6m
Ben Arfa has been one of the biggest disappointments this season and Cabaye’s departure left us with no viable Newcastle midfielders, or did it? Like Hendo, Sissoko has been ever present this season and in the last few games, Anita and Tiote have allowed him the freedom to get forward a lot more. A trip to Fulham and a pair of DGW home fixtures against Crystal Palace and Everton = very tempting!
Lukaku - 10.3m
After a few weeks out due to injury, he’s back! Everton really missed him, blanking in 2 out of the 3 games and he had to climb off the bench to save the day against West Ham. Everton’s next 3 look really tasty, home to Cardiff and then DGW fixtures vs Swansea and Newcastle. He’s very much a viable alternative if you’re not going with the SaS + Rooney or RvP combo.
Giroud - 11.4m
I was going to go with Remy but slight doubts over his fitness see me leaning towards Giroud. He’s not that bad is he? 26 starts, 12 goals and 7 assists in the EPL this season, not too shabby at all. With Ozil and Walcott out and Ramsey struggling for fitness, Arsenal need him firing. The only worry for me is the fixtures - Tottenham away, then a DGW that sees them play Chelsea and Swansea, he’s a risk but at this stage of the season you may need to take some…
That’s it from me, there’s plenty of other hidden gems out there though, so do a little research and best of luck over the next few gameweeks.