Tuesday, 26 February 2013

GW27 Match Centre

 What a performance by Gareth Bale in a very buoyant encounter at Upton Park. There's not more much to say about Bale so I'll move right on and mention Andy Carroll and Joe Cole.  Nolan's injury could prove a blow for the Hammers if it's serious but this may afford Cole a more prominent role.   He's not £0.0m by the way, he's £5.6m. 


These two teams have both been great sources of fantasy players this season, and should continue to be so.  With Ba gone, Sissoko and Cisse are providing the goals and Gouffran is one to watch too.  Cabaye, on pens and free-kicks, will pick up points although Sissoko's (rapidly rising) price tag and advanced role behind the striker make him this team's highlight.  In a FPL season dominated by midfielders Ritchie Lambert is this season's third highest scoring forward, behind only RVP and Suarez.  Not bad.  Puncheon's 2nd benching in the last 4 games throws a spanner in the works for a fair few managers; both were away games though so perhaps a tactical move and ,if so, maybe not too worrying ahead of 4 home games in the next 6 for.  Maybe.




Berbatov was a dim glimmer of light in this match, Fulham unable to really threaten much against a Stoke side willing to let them try. Riise and Riether took advantage of the space to push up down the flanks and get involved in the attack, the latter getting the assist.  Let's move on.

 

A tight game without any real top draw attacking play to shout about - perhaps the highlight was Moyes' fury at the final whistle. Norwich have been a legitimate threat from set-pieces all season which makes Snodgrass a very sound option for your FPL team, with Bassong and Holt the two players who tend to get on the end of things. Everton really didn't get much going, too often failing to find players in the box.   They need a good win against Oldham in the Cup and then Reading to keep up momentum into the run-in.


 

Top notch performance from Wigan, excelling not only in attack but defensively too, with the return of Boyce from injury and late introduction of season-long absentee Alcarez.  Kone scored his 8th goal of the season in which he has missed about a fifth of.  I would not be surprised to see him score another 5 or 6 before the end of the season with some nice fixtures over the horizon.

 

The early withdrawal of Van Persie will be a keen talking point for fantasy managers through this week ahead of a plum home game against Norwich which comes a few days before the Real Madrid game.  In RVP's absence it could well be Nani who fills the gap.  Recently urged in the press by Sir Alex to show consistency this might be just the type of "media-message" Nani needs to prove his worth at a top club.  QPR hardly troubled United at all but they will be pleased to get Remy back in action.

 

All hail Lukaku, right? Although Sunderland have earnt a tag as a defensive team over the last few seasons they don't travel well at all so it's no surprise that West Brom created plenty of chances, and even less of a surprise that these chances mostly fell and were put away by Lukaku, who just seems to be getting better through the season.  Sessegnon had one of his best games yet this campaign and Sunderland's attacking form has been gradually improving.  

 


If United weren't so far ahead in the league this dominannt performance could have been regarded as City reaffirming their title challange.  Mancini has had a strange strategy this season of starting matches with a block of 5 in a deep midfield line, with the 2 fullbacks lining up with 3 centre mids, this week in Milner, Rodwell and Garcia.  Only when Tevez emerged did City have enough creative force to break Chelsea down, Silva and Toure showing their class.  Check out Talk of the Crowd's awesome tactical analysis of how the introduction of Tevez changed the game.

 

 A lot was expected of Arsenal ahead of this one after their now almost customary March cup exits. Though they got the win and had a host of chances they left it late.  Santi Cazorla has gone slightly under the radar but has now scored 11 goals this season, the same as Walcott although in significantly more minutes.  Walcott and Giroud had their fair share of chances too. Villa, unsurprisingly, did not create much although N'Zogbia is ever so slightly plinking on the fantasy radar.


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