The Scout previews Gameweek 10
Four of the top six in the Barclays Premier League are on their travels this weekend as The Scout takes a look at the upcoming schedule.
Arsenal make their way to Old Trafford in the most intriguing encounter of Gameweek 10, with Robin Van Persie set to face his former side for the first time since his summer move to Manchester United.
League leaders Chelsea travel to Swansea City, with Roberto Di Matteo’s side looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season at the hands of the Red Devils last weekend, West Ham United entertain defending champions Manchester City, while Everton’s six-match unbeaten run could be put to the test at Fulham on Saturday afternoon.
Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur host Wigan Athletic as Andre Villas-Boas’ side go in search of their sixth win in the last seven Gameweeks, Liverpool and Newcastle United square up at Anfield on Sunday afternoon and West Bromwich Albion hope to rack up their fifth home win of the campaign as out-of-sorts Southampton make their way to the Hawthorns in the final match of the Gameweek.
With a strong run of fixtures on the horizon, many Fantasy managers have earmarked investment in Newcastle’s assets as a potentially potent source of points over the next few Gameweeks. Alan Pardew’s recent selection policy has thrown a curveball our way, though; both Steven Taylor and Papiss Cisse were considered mainstays of the Magpies’ first XI but the duo have fallen out of favour of late. Despite recovering from a calf complaint, Taylor is being kept out of the back-four by Mike Williamson, while Cisse’s lack of form has seen Shola Ameobi preferred as Demba Ba’s strike partner. With doubts over Ba’s availability for this Sunday’s trip to Liverpool, though, Cisse could be set to return to the first-team as he looks to add to his late winner against West Brom last weekend.
Aleksandar Kolarov’s Fantasy owners were afforded cause for optimism last weekend with Roberto Mancini deciding to utilise the 5.8 priced defender on the left of Manchester City’s attacking midfield three. The Serbian was sacrificed in a half-time reshuffle as the champions attempted to break down a stubborn Swansea rearguard but, with the injuries in midfield yet to clear for the champions, Kolarov could well be pushed further forward once again at West Ham this weekend, with Mancini clearly far from convinced by the displays of summer signing Scott Sinclair.
Michel Vorm’s Fantasy owners were dealt a bitter blow this week after the Dutchman was ruled out for six to eight weeks with a groin injury. The Swansea stopper is the second most popular goalkeeper in the game at present, with an ownership of 15.3%, but has already been sold by over 48,000 Fantasy managers after sustaining the injury while attempting to save Carlos Tevez’s winner at the Etihad Stadium last weekend. This does, however, afford Gerhard Tremmel an opportunity to impress for Michael Laudrup’s side over the next couple of months. Priced at 4.0, in comparison to Vorm’s 5.4, his acquisition could help free up budget for those looking for a cut-price goalkeeper with starts guaranteed right now.
Arsenal’s dramatic 7-5 Capital One Cup victory at Reading saw Theo Walcott come to the fore. Having been reduced to a cameo role at the Emirates Stadium so far this season, Walcott excelled on Tuesday evening , providing 3 goals and 3 assists for the visitors, and with Gervinho now sidelined for three weeks courtesy of an ankle injury, Walcott’s potential to earn a start in Arsene Wenger’s line-up at Old Trafford on Saturday will have surely improved further. At 8.7, Walcott could yet present an alternative to Santi Cazorla as a Fantasy midfield option should the current contract wrangles be put to one side and allow the former Southampton man to regain a regular starting role.
By the numbers
As the season moves into November, The Scout casts an eye over the top Fantasy performers over the month gone by. Listed in order of form, we analyse the main protagonists across the previous trio of fixtures, from Gameweek 7-9, that comprised October.
|Juan Mata (CHE)||11.7||9.4||35||15.9%||126|
|Robin Van Persie (MUN)||9.0||13.4||27||31.7%||101|
|Wayne Rooney (MUN)||8.7||11.8||26||7.7%||109|
|Eden Hazard (CHE)||7.7||10.3||23||41.4%||75|
|Chris Baird (FUL)||7.7||4.5||23||2.9%||56|
|Aleksandar Kolarov (MCY)||7.3||5.8||22||4.1%||41|
|Carlos Tevez (MCY)||7.0||9.5||21||41.5%||69|
|Jose Fonte (SOU)||6.3||4.1||19||3.3%||73|
|Clint Dempsey (TOT)||5.7||9.2||17||2.0%||44|
|Wayne Routledge (SWA)||5.7||5.3||17||13.5%||55|
|Aaron Lennon (TOT)||5.7||7.1||17||5.3%||61|
|James Morrison (WBA)||5.7||6.2||17||5.3%||33|
|Steven Caulker (TOT)||5.7||4.7||17||1.9%||59|
There’s no denying the fact that Juan Mata has been head and shoulders above all others in recent matches. The Chelsea midfielder has produced 3 goals, 3 assists and 5 bonus points (BP) over the last three Gameweeks, accruing 35 points; with such strong form, it’s little wonder Fantasy managers have scrambled to get aboard the bandwagon, with Mata’s price rising from 8.9 to 9.4 since the start of Gameweek 7.
Eden Hazard has still offered a viable alternative to Mata in the Blues midfield. The summer signing from Lille has returned a goal, 3 assists and 3 BP for his 41% Fantasy owners and with 23 points produced over the past three fixtures taking his overall tally to 65 points, the 10.3 priced midfielder is still the top scoring player in the game.
Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie produced virtually identical points hauls over October. While both returned a total of 2 goals and 3 assists, the Dutchman proved the more consistent of the pair, with attacking returns in all of his appearances; Rooney dropped deeper against Chelsea last weekend and produced just a single point for his 7.7% owners.
Chris Baird has excelled as an out of position prospect in recent matches. The 4.5 priced Fulham defender has featured in central midfield and scored in each of his last two outings; as a result, he picked up 23 points in the previous month, though his 2.9% owners will hope that the knock that forced him off at Reading won’t make him a doubt for the visit of Everton.
Carlos Tevez has proven to be Manchester City’s most consistent attacker of late. The 9.5 priced Argentine provided a goal or assist in all three of his October appearances and with 5 BP also accrued, he picked up 21 points last month,; he is the most popular player in the game, with 41.5% ownership.
Aaron Lennon, James Morrison and Wayne Routledge all offered strong returns as mid-price midfield options. All three provided a goal, assist and 17 points for their Fantasy owners across October but Lennon was the most consistent; his returns were spread across a couple of appearances, while Morrison and Routledge managed one double figure points haul and a couple of blanks.
Ones to watch
Adel Taarabt – after falling out of favour in the first few Gameweeks, the Moroccan has returned to the first-team fold at Queens Park Rangers over the last few matches. Taarabt has notched twice in his last four appearances and Reading’s visit to Loftus Road looks set to afford Mark Hughes’ side the perfect opportunity to register their first win of the season. Without a clean sheet thus far, the Royals will still be licking their wounds after Tuesday night’s sensational 7-5 home defeat by Arsenal in the Capital One Cup, and The Scout reckons the Moroccan will be key to the hosts chances of the three points.
Wes Hoolahan – similar to Taarabt, the Canaries playmaker has established himself as a first-team regular in recent weeks after a frustrating opening period. Handed a role in “the hole” behind Grant Holt, Hoolahan produced an assist and a couple of bonus points in Norwich’s draw at Aston Villa last weekend. The 5.5 priced midfielder looks in strong form ahead of the visit of a Stoke City side with just one clean sheet in their opening five away fixtures so far.
Antonio Valencia – having shrugged off a recent ankle injury, the Ecuadorian has impressed The Scout with a run of consistent displays for Manchester United. Valencia – who has dropped from 9.0 to 8.6 since the start of the season – has produced an assist in each of his last four starts for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side and his trickery on the right flank could prove a crucial factor as Arsenal roll up to Old Trafford this weekend.
Clint Dempsey – while Gareth Bale garners most of the Fantasy attention, last season’s top scoring Fantasy midfielder has somewhat slipped under the radar. The 2% owned Dempsey has produced attacking returns in three of the last four Gameweeks and has averaged 6 points per game over that quartet of fixtures. With visitors Wigan managing a single clean sheet all season, the US international could well be set to flourish once again in his support role behind Jermain Defoe.
Romelu Lukaku – our final selection is perhaps a punt but could well be worth the risk this Gameweek. West Brom prepare to welcome Southampton on Monday evening and with the visitors conceding 16 goals in their four road trips so far, a win for Steve Clarke’s side is widely anticipated. Lukaku was handed a start at Newcastle last weekend and grabbed the Baggies consolation in the 2-1 defeat; he has now scored in both his first XI appearances this term and, if he gets the nod ahead of Shane Long as the lone forward, is likely to terrorise the Saints porous back-four from start to finish. Long is currently a doubt for Monday night, with hamstring and knee complaints.
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