Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Week 14 - Player Picks

You only need to look at the Premier League table to see what a crazy season we have on our hands. The leaders Chelsea have lost almost a quarter of their matches, 3 in 13, Arsenal have also lost 3, yet they're ahead of an undefeated Man Utd side & Mancini is under pressure despite City finding themselves in the top 4.

After 13 games just 9 points separate the 15 teams between the Champions League places & the relegation zone. At the same stage last season the gap was 14 and nine teams had passed the 20 point mark already. The times they are a'changin...it seems everyone is beating everyone else at the moment,  the so-called "smaller" teams appear less scared of losing this season and it's producing more upsets.

The congestion this is causing means two wins and you're chasing Europe, two defeats and you're in a relegation fight...it's exciting, unpredictable & I'm loving it!

My only problems with it are
1. The football media are pissing me off (even more than usual) with their ultra-reactionary reporting. Two weeks ago Chelsea were running away with it, now they're in complete crisis. Next weekend it'll be someone else.
2. Spurs keep losing games they should win.
3. My accumulator bets keep losing me money.

It also makes Fantasy Football slightly more difficult to predict, but as usual I'll start my look at the week with analysis of the the upcoming fixtures in the hope of providing some useful guidance on the teams to focus on.

Stand-Outs
MANCHESTER UNITED v Wigan
LIVERPOOL v West Ham


Manchester United aren't playing that well but surely they'll have too much for Wigan at Old Trafford, and despite the fact Liverpool are actually a pretty awful side this season, they are certainly better than rock bottom West Ham, so I can see nothing but an Anfield win to cheer up the Scousers.

Should Win
CHELSEA @ Birmingham
ARSENAL v Spurs
MANCHESTER CITY @ Fuham
BOLTON v Newcastle
WEST BROM v Stoke
BLACKPOOL v Wolves


As I mentioned, the reaction to a couple of Chelsea defeats has been ridiculous - they are still strong, they are still top and they will still win the league in my opinion. Birmingham don't lose many at home but I expect Chelsea to cope far better with the loss of both Terry & Alex than they did vs Sunderland & they'll have enough in attack to win the match, although I don't expect it to be a walkover.

Arsenal always beat Spurs at Highbury/The Emirates, I reckon Man City will bounce back at Fulham  and in-form Bolton should beat Newcastle at home. West Brom have had a few defeats of late but are a different team in front of their own fans (plus Stoke don't travel well) and Blackpool face a struggling Wolves side in the midst of a defensive injury crisis, so for me it's another home win.

Draws
Sunderland v Everton
Blackburn v Aston Villa


Sunderland Everton should be a good close game & I'm expecting a high scoring draw while Blackburn are tough to break down & Villa are missing a lot of players, can see a 0-0 or 1-1 draw.

With that in mind, we move on to the players...

KEEPERS
Reina
Carson
Jaaskalainen

Kingston (Gilks is still out)
Fabianski
Given (could replace Hart due to injury)

DEFENDERS
Bale
(only at big discount)
Kolarov (should continue after impressing last weekend)
Boateng
Bosingwa (pretty much guarenteed a start with Alex & Terry out)
Zhirkov (Essien still suspended, Lampard still injured)
Squillaci
Koscielny (back from suspension)
M.Kelly (could replace Skrtel due to injury)
Konchesky
Coleman
Onuoha
Steinsson (back from suspension)
P.Jones
Ibanez/Jara (Jara's return from suspension could affect Ibanez)
O'Shea/Brown/Rafael (depends on starting news for right-back spot)

MIDFIELDERS
Nani
Fabregas (getting back to his best in time for Spurs, typical)
Gerrard (subbed for England with hamstring injury, could be doubtful)
Brunt
Holden

Adam (picked up injury for Scotland, one to watch)
Van Der Vaart
Malouda
Nasri
Silva

Milijas (won't stop shooting)
Kuyt (hunch he could do well)
Henderson
Guthrie (on set pieces in Barton's absence)
Park (watch for team news, could be a bench risk)
Meireles
Hoilett (playing on the wing for Blackburn, very cheap)
Scholes (back from suspension)

STRIKERS
Gyan (on-fire, although not literally)
Torres (news suggests he'll recover from his ankle injury)
Odemwingie
Elmander
Berbatov (should continue despite disappointing at Villa)
Chamakh 
Tevez (if he's not dead-to-you after last week!)
Drogba (losing patience...)
Hernandez/Macheda (Macheda could be given a chance)
K.Davies
Carroll (keep an eye on injury news)
Varney
Van Persie (Would Wenger risk unleashing him in the derby?)

That's it for another week of player picks. There are a number of things to be clarified by team/injury news (plus any fall-out from tonight's international matches) before the Week 14 deadline so I'll be back with a full update post on Friday.

Please vote in the Poll: http://www.misterpoll.com/polls/508809

My current team: Carson, Coleman, Kolarov, Bale, Adam, Brunt, Van Der Vaart, Nani, Gerrard, Gyan, Van Persie

This will not be the finished product...RvP is very unlikely to stay unless I get confirmation he'll start, but I've accepted I need at least one Arsenal player in there somewhere (YUK!). Drogba, Elmander, Odemwingie, Torres, Holden, Kuyt, Malouda, Fabregas, Zhirkov, Kelly, Squillaci & Reina are all still in my thoughts and I'll be making plenty of changes before the deadline.

I'll leave it there! Please let me know how your team is shaping up...any hunches this week? Who do you think will flop? Any players you'd add to the lists above?

Cheers,
AM

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice one and thanks Nik..

MPFC/KPM said...

The bad thing about the constant points updates during the week is that the player prices also change, so if you have barndoored and haven't saved, you are in trouble (unless you have enough $$ to cover the new prices).

Anonymous said...

Joe Cole is due back this weekend!!!

madness said...

Kuyt pulled out of Holland squad so another one to watch...

Anonymous said...

how about B. Foster??????????
risky?????????

Anonymous said...

SHOULD I CHANGE GERRARD TO FBRGAS OR BALE?

Anonymous said...

Will Mignolet be back in goal for Sunderland? Gordon has been great.

DB

Anonymous said...

hart is 'doing a giggs'. I would bet my house on him starting for Citeh this weekend

*i'm posting this anonymously so nobody holds me to that bet, just in case!

Anonymous said...

Forget Mignolet

Anonymous said...

My current team:

Fabianski(@6.08)/Cech/Jussi
Zhirkov(@4.22)~ Kolarov(@4.44)~ Onuaha(@6.85)/PJones/Steinsson/Coleman/Vidic
Nani((@14.7)~ VDV(@6.14)~ Brunt(@8.94)~ Holden(@6.79)~ Albrighton(@9.00)/Fabregas
Chamakh(@6.96)~ Gyan(@6.07)

I have nuff nuff cash (approx 19mil) to spend. Should i add Fabregas, Vidic and Cech?

-Afrikan

Kellz said...

Current Team:

Fabianski,
Bale, Zhirkov, Kolarov,
Nani, VDV, Silva, Brunt,
Torres, Gyan, Elmander

Quite happy with it, but still have Holden on discount unsaved with 2.35mil left if I stick with him.

Anonymous said...

Will Drogba and Tevez play this weekend considering they both missed the international friendlies on account of injury?

Anonymous said...

I'm actually refusing to pick an Arsenal player this weekend, as they tend to perform when I don't pick anyone of them and I really want them to win this derby :)

My team right now:

Carson
Coleman Zhirkov Kolarov
VDV Nani Brunt Albrighton Gerrard
Odemwingie Elmander

The strikers are really underperforming this season, so after picking Tevez and Torres last weekend and getting an amazing total of -3.5 from both, I've decided to leave out any premium striker as they're all either injured, an injury risk or having a tough away match. Odemwingie and Elmander, who are pretty good and playing for relatively good teams at home against relatively bad teams, are good enough for me.
From the other 9 I'm expecting to keep Coleman, Zhirkov, Kolarov, VDV, Nani, Brunt and Gerrard. I'm tending towards droping Carson and Albrighton as they're not very stable. I want to get Jussi at goalkeeper, and then I'm left with almost 8mil to spend on a midfielder.
Maybe Henderson, or even Vaughan from Blackpool? I'll have to think about it.

Advices? Thoughts about Vaughan and Henderson?

SF

LC said...

@ SF

Vaughan has been doing well when Adam hasnt been scoring highly.
I dont really know very much about Henderson though other than he is in the England Squad.

LC

Mike said...

Coleman or Bosingwa?

Ian Sanderson said...

Rooney could be starting.

peter said...

Does anyone have any idea what's going on with Walcott? Fit but sitting on the bench. What's up?

Bojan said...

just a few(thousand, added) words about chelsea:

game against sunderland showed that chelsea dont have real backup in central defence, for Essien and if Drogba isn't playing 100% malouda and anelka are pretty useless...
look at this team:
cech - only place w/o problem in chelsea
bosingwa - 3rd game after 12 month sidelined
a cole - played injured
ferreira - under 10 games in this calendar year playing as central defender... i think that anelka,drogba and mikel would play much better game there
ivanovic - good defender, but should got RC(imagine that problem for Carlo)
mikel - not so good, but at least 1st choice player
zhirkov - i like it
ramires - i dont like it
malouda - subbed at 57th minute, i dont know why
anelka - good as central stiker but on wing he is playing awful, just awful...
drog - he is trying but malaria has taken at least 20% of his strength and that is handicap if you have to do things all alone

i see Carlo is doing same mistake with drog like SAF did with Rooney... Carlo can play Anelka(who was league top goalscorer 2 seasons ago in season when drog played just 15 games) with malouda and Kalou on flanks... or if drog is really fit(but he returned from Ivory Coast camp today as not fit to London) he had to play Malouda in Essien place and Kalou on left wing...

chelsea are by far best team in EPL (Arsenal are more talented but they always miss something to be really great), but i think it is crunch point of the season and i am really afraid for Chelsea... I see Drogba and Batistuta instantly cross my mind... He was a God, but when he got 32 years old he lost it... You cam be keeper with 40, defender with 38 and midfilder with 35 but there are just few fantastic forwards over 30... Henry,Ĺ uker,Weah,Raul,Sheva and tons of others prove that one season you are scoring 50 goals and other season you can get a goal... Drogba is one of my favorite players in they world(he is dominant like Shaq was 7-8 years ago) but i think he will lost some of strength that almost make him look superhuman and that this is the end of big Chelsea...

Chelsea have alex(2 months),terry(not sure),essien(2 games),lampard(2 more weeks, and he will play after 5 months out),benayoun(6 months) all out and chelsea won just 2 hard games this season(arsenal and blackburn)... other hard games they lost(City and Pool), draw(villa, lucky not to lost it) and get ashamed by Sunderland at home... and they have really bad games coming starting from this week...

i really dont see chelsea win @ St.Andrews...

this i my longest post ever and i will understand if you dont read it... it is really boring but i didnt want to delete it in the end...

cheers

Anonymous said...

Cheers Bojan, nothing do you.

Anonymous said...

Cheers Bojan, nothing do you.

Assistant Manager said...

Gerrard subbed for England with hamstring injury, could be doubtful for the weekend.

greginho said...

i had a virus this weekend on my computer and it reappeared sunday night. so i have not had any real idea what is going on. i am at a computer cafe right. i am trying to get a friend to fix our computer. so this is everyone´s chance to pass me up. i picked nani, because i know what his home form is compared to away. i had dropped onuoha and baines for bosingwa and boateng. that was a nightmare feeling. u had 91.5 points and moved up to 388th. so my team is
ben foster
zirkov/ jones/ boateng
cesc/ van der vaart/ adam/ nani/ milijas
gyan/ chamkah
i think chamakh has a really good chance because tottenham´s susceptible to aerial threats.

billthegrunt said...

I've been crunching some numbers this week and came up with a decent side with 4.41 left over. Let's face it, I can't do any worse than I've done the last month and a half:

Carson
Skrtel / Steinsson / Coleman
Adam / Nani / Brunt / Kuyt
Berbatov / Odemwingie / K. Davies

There isn't a better time to drop Gareth Bale, coming off a huge game and facing Arsenal at the Emirates. That leaves Charlie Adam as my last regular from Week One. And he's picked up a few knocks so he might be gone too.

Anonymous said...

@ Billthegrunt Skrtel is possibly injured, I'd swap for Zhirkov or O'Shea.

billthegrunt said...

@ Anonymous 12:50 AM

Thanks, and it turns out that Kuyt is a doubt too. Then would probably go for Dempsey and either Zhirkov or Tamas/Ibanez.

Anonymous said...

why is carvalho still on chealsea's list of defenders in this game lol.

Anonymous said...

My team right now:

Carson
Coleman Zhirkov Kolarov
VDV Nani Brunt Albrighton Holden
Odemwingie Gyan

Anonymous said...

Holden's scored well last 2 wks, is he still a bargain at full price?

Anonymous said...

Holden's scored well last 2 wks, is he still a bargain at full price?

AFM said...

should i change nani/fabregas for malouda...losing faith on him

Anonymous said...

Hold on to Malouda, i'm trying to get him in but i'm quite content with my midfield

Ali said...

what about albrighton?
He was awesome last week? Did you deliberately leave him out AM?
Cheers
Ali

Anonymous said...

what do ya think about Defoe???

Assistant Manager said...

Hi Ali - I think Blackburn away is tough and there are lots of good midfielders with easier away games, so Albrighton he did not make the list this week. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Guys, pls help,

Kirkland
Bale-Coleman-Kolarov
VanderVaart-Adam-Nani-Nasri-Malouda
Gyan-Elmander

OR

Kirkland
Bale-Coleman-Kolarov-Zhirkov
VanderVaart-Adam-Nani-Fabregas
Gyan-Elmander

Which one? 1st answer will be my final. ;)

Anonymous said...

A

Anonymous said...

1st team all the way!

Anonymous said...

.....and I fancy Tim Sherwood

Anonymous said...

that's nice.

berbatov or nasri guys?

think both could have good weeks...

Partly Sunny said...

AM do you think Rooney could get straight to starting XI against Wigan? Is SAF to be believed that a week in USA has somehow transformed him (or at least his recent form)? Or did "I'm to old to be retired" finally lost the plot?

Anonymous said...

Steve G out for 4 weeks. I read the news on Eurosport.

J0J0

Assistant Manager said...

Yep Gerrard out for 3-4 weeks & now Chris Brunt is doubtful with a groin injury

http://www.wba.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~2224320,00.html

Anonymous said...

is carroll injured???
n wat about downing?? pick him??

_ACAB_

Anonymous said...

who's on set pieces for liverpool w/ gerrard out?

kwyjibo said...

I have so many doubts for this week, mainly because of having the wind knocked out of me over the past week. Three games in one week, and I dropped from 313 overall to 1126. It's making me doubt everything.

Here's my team currently:

Jussi
Boateng-Zhirkov-Kolarov
Adam-VdV-Nani-Milijas
Odemwingie-Gyan-Torres

Not sure about a lot of players, especially with still 6.28m to spend.

Odemwingie or Elmander?
Will Torres wake up against West Ham?
Milijas / Fabs / Malouda?
Zhirkov / Bosingwa?

Not sure about having 2 city defenders, but have them cheap (@4.35, @4.43).

The only thing that went right last week was staying in the Blog Cup.

Running out of time...have to think of something.

Anonymous said...

@kwyjibo if Gerrard is out, with Lucas already out, i wont be so keen on Torres but others might step up and deliver, though i'm leaning towards avoiding Liverpool players only one i may consider is Ngog for his price.

Anonymous said...

brunt is doubtful too

Anonymous said...

Rooney anyone ?

Anonymous said...

Carson
Zhirkov Kolorov Kompany
Nani Fabs Holden Albrighton VDV
Gyan Elmander

My main question is on Macheda - AM is only one who referenced him. I got him on the BD and if Rooney doesn't start why wouldn't SAF give the kid a go? Berbs has sucked and Hernadez has gone off the boil.

BCB

Anonymous said...

robert pires anyone.lol

Juelz said...

I know he is expensive but Vidic is definitely making my squad seeing there next couple games.
I am also surprised AM you didnt mention VDS I know he is kind of pricey but I see him Making some positive moves these next couple weeks.

My question for you is Rio or Smalling??? Rio had a tweak yesterday and has played the last 3 for united than England yesterday. Smalling would be a steal.

Anonymous said...

VDV or Nani?

Anonymous said...

Given/kolarov/Odemwingie or hart/squilaci/k. Davies ?

Anonymous said...

Sorry - meant K. Doyle

Anonymous said...

nani all the way~

Ken said...

Hart is out I believe....

Anonymous said...

still no one jumping on the slarsson bandwagon. check out the solid points. anyone thinking the same?

FLScott said...

NOPE - Chelsea's gonna demolish Birm,.. you can quote me on that one.

Anonymous said...

My team :

Carson
Zhirkov Bale Kolarov
VDV Nani Milijas Hoilett
Gyan Elmander Chamakh

So far, injury - risk free team I hope..

Bradley said...

Have I mentioned recently that I loathe international friendlies? All they seem to be good for is picking up unnecessary injuries. Heck, Rooney still hasn't recovered his form since getting injured vs. Egypt in March (clearly Capello didn't take seriously my threat to walk across the Atlantic and punch him if Rooney started -- then again, I didn't follow through, did I?).

Anonymous said...

AM, what`s your best replacement for midfield now that Gerrard / Brunt / Adam are risky or out ? Thanks for your advice !

No Name Fc said...

What do you think the inclusion of Pires in Villa squad? He was my season keeper when he played for Arsenal last time.

billthegrunt said...

Kuyt, Skrtel, Adam and now Brunt -- friendlies are killing my side. Is D. Fletcher still able to walk?

Boomgaarde said...

@ anon at 03.29am

How about this for a team of players still registered on yahoo but no longer in the prem

Fulop

Insua Carvalho Yobo Aurelio

Reid Deco Aqualani Maschereno

Bellamy Robinho

Not a bad little team. Think i'll save it up for a special occasion though.

Gavin said...

@Billy - Adam is definitely out, but Brunt is questionable and Kuyt and Skrtel have been confirmed fit.

I'm stuck deciding what to do about Brunt. I have him on a small discount and would hate to drop him only to have him play this weekend. Adam is definitely going, though. Good luck!

Saul said...

@Gavin - Where did you read that Adam is definitely out? I haven't read anything anywhere.

FLScott said...

@Saul - on Adam

http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11728_6514298,00.html

Seems on point.

billthegrunt said...

Adam's been walking wounded for weeks now. I think I saw him talking corners with his wrong foot due to a bad ankle.

kwyjibo said...

Yes, it looks like Adam is a major doubt, but the Sky Sports article doesn't say he is FOR SURE out. They said they are waiting for Saturday to make the decision. But, it really does seem that he won't play.

Still, they said it's not as serious as they first thought, so he may not be gone for more than 1 game. I really don't want to lose the major discount, so I'll keep him for now.

Anonymous said...

i want to pick up pires but his name not in the list yet..

speed addict said...

dear AM..

what your thought about fuck ji-sung? should i hold him @price of 6.40?

thank AM

Damn You Barton! Damn You Adam! said...

hmmm... I've got Adam and Barton at deep discount. Shall i front a 9 person team?

Anonymous said...

Price is no problem--jussi or S. carson?

Anonymous said...

Forget Pires until you actually see him playing, had some good games last season fantasy wise for Villareal but they were few.

Anonymous said...

Who are going take free-kick if Gerrard is absent for the game?

Emperor said...

drogba/ malouda/ welbeck/ p.ferreira

or

torres/ nani/ kevin davies/ konchesky ?

Anonymous said...

holden or elmander?

Mike said...

Kirkland
Bosingwa Kolarov Coleman

Nani Nasri Cahill Holden Nolan

Kalou Gyan

Any comments or suggestions would be great!

Anonymous said...

i have a question about evatt(blackpool).did he assisted the first goal?? in fantasy dont include the points.at least they have to include the point of succesfull cross.anybody who can answer???

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