Wednesday, 13 February 2013

GW26 Match Centre


A much needed win for Aston Villa although overall they performed below average for a home 
team up against a travelling West Ham, Villa's red arrows indicating below average totals in 
all shot categories.  Their limited attack is all through Benteke though, which makes him 
always in with a chance of a goal.  The Nolan-Carroll partnership combined well again 
producing plenty of chances in the box but none of real gilt-edge quality.


Torres had a rare performance here where he is the Chelsea player with the most shots on 
target, usually he's second behind one of the midfielders.  There were a lot of efforts to 
share out here though, and with many at range from Lampard and Luiz.  Both players can hit 'em  though.  Hazard's goal and assist flatter his underlying numbers.



A rather muted, some might say controlled, performance from United against Everton.  
Ferguson did not need to take any risks with this game, especially after City's loss, and 
this kind of performance was always on the cards.  United's attack, and Van Persie in 
particular, are just so clinical this season they continue to score goals from 
limited chances.  Evans, when he gets a start, probably warrants his new found goal scoring tag this season.  Rooney's lack of threat up-front will have those managers who signed him up recently reverting back to worries of a few months back, will he play too deep too often?  Everton were well contained here.  The talismanic Fellaini was marked out of the game by Jones and Anichebe was no match for Vidic, leaving the best chances falling for Osman from midfield.


 If any game was going to be 0-0 this week it was this one.  Fulham have just lost it whilst 
Norwich have learnt how to defend.  New signing Becchio looked to be a useful focus for 
Norwich's attack with Snodgrass maintaining his position as my favourite fantasy option in the 
Canary’s attack.  I'll try not to mention Berbatov anymore than is necessary. 

The report's after this game centred on City's shocker but I'd like to draw some attention to 
Southampton's performances of late since their Argentine coach came on board.  This was not a  result in which they earnt a plucky result against defending champions.  They dominated 
City at both ends of the pitch, deserving of a dominant victory.  Puncheon continues to present an excellent cut-priced option.  As for City.., who can tell?  Aguero and Silva are not paying 
back their price tags yet and rotation risk continues to hang over Dzeko, although he's 
maybe worth that kind of risk with his career goal scoring record.


Stoke managed a lofty number of shots here, hauling themselves all the way up to an average level performance against Reading, thanks in part to Walters bluster up behind Crouch and plenty of set pieces.  There was no miracle comeback for Reading this time but Stoke really should've kept a clean sheet.



This was a game with a lot more chances than the score line suggests.  Despite Giroud being  restored to the central strikers berth it's young Theo once again who posed the most threat in 
Sunderland's penalty box, followed by Cazorla who looks to be finding his spark again.  For 
Sunderland, Fletcher will feel unfortunate not to have been on the score sheet. 

 This was another terrific display from Swansea, led up front again by their main man in Michu.   The Spaniard’s brace and assist will have overshadowed team-mate Hernandez who was rewarded here after some great performances recently.  QPR look doomed already but if they do get anything it's usually from a Taarabt pass.
 
What can I say about Gareth Bale that you don't already know?  With Defoe out and Adebayor 
rested after his duties with Togo there's was  plenty of room up front for Bale to exploit, although it was Dempsey who started up front.  Holtby's performance will have caught the eye too, with 4 shots, all in the  box, showing a potential knack for getting into scoring positions.  Gouffran's was looking good  for the visitors until his injury and that's blow for Newcastle.  Sissoko's lack of shots here is a downer on his virtuoso display last week but an away game at White Harte Lane should not dampen expectations too much, unlike Cisse though who has failed to step it up since Ba's Chelsea exit.


West Brom's gameplan worked a treat here. They had to ride their luck at times with Foster in fine form, especially saving Gerrard's penalty.  But with 70 minutes of pressure successfully soaked, Clarke threw on Lukaku and his enviable strength and pace was enough to hit Liverpool with the sucker-punch..  With Sturridge out injured Suarez was up front but his shooting was off today, failing to hit the target with any of his 7 shots. Gerrard continued to put in the kind of shift that has seen him amass so many FPL points recently.  If he had scored his penalty, which was won by Suarez, this gameweek would have told a whole different story, and it still may with the final fixture, LIV vs SWA, to come this Saturday.

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