Teams worth backing this week: Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham
Andre Villas-Boas and Chelsea have suffered a fair bit of criticism lately: successive home defeats in the league at the hands of Arsenal and Liverpool (conceding seven goals in the process), while presiding over a less than convincing Champions League campaign. But sacking the manager is not always the correct response and after moving heaven and earth to bring AVB to the Bridge, they ought to give him a little time to make the side his own. There has to be a response on Saturday. Amid their struggles this season, Chelsea have still been scoring goals, particularly at home. It is conceding goals at home that has been the major problem for the Blues, but they face a Wolves side that has suffered four successive away defeats and only netted five times on the road this season. It will be difficult for Mick McCarthy’s men to contain Didier Drogba (£10.1m), who showed against Liverpool and Bayer Leverkusen that he is still a handful. Frank Lampard (£11.7m) is another player worth considering. Although he is expensive, he will be a consistent point-scorer for your team.
Arsenal have certainly bounced back after a nightmare start to the season and we seem to be backing them every week these days! Particularly with Robin Van Persie (£12.9m) scoring goals as often as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. We’ve been urging Fantasy Footy players to bring him in for weeks and if you’re foolish enough not to have done, he may prove too expensive by now. If that is the case, Gervinho (£8.9m) is looking dangerous and more than likely to come up with an assist or two for RVP. Meanwhile, it a case of rehashing the same recommendations from the midfield, with Mikel Arteta (£8.1m), Theo Walcott (£8.8m) and Aaron Ramsey (£6.7m) look most likely to score some points for the midfielders. Alex Song (£5.9m) may also be worth considering as a cheaper option as he has proved he has assists in him recently. From the defenders, it’d be nice to have Thomas Vermaelen (£6.7m) if you can afford him. Otherwise, something we thought would never happen, consider Laurent Koscielny (£5.7m). With Mertesacker and Vermaelen playing in the centre and Jenkinson and Sagna out injured, Koscielny has moved over to right back and looked a lot more accomplished over the past couple of games. Expect him to push forward for set pieces as well. There are several names we’ve recommended there, but Arsenal travel to Wigan next week.
We’re also backing Spurs this week. Again. It may not be an easy game for them at the Hawthorns this week, but you’d probably put them as favourites against Roy Hodgson’s West Brom, considering the run they’re on at the minute. You’d also back them for three points against Bolton at home next week. It seems you can’t go far wrong with any Tottenham player at the moment, although we’re not sure there will be any clean sheets in the next two Spurs games so you’d probably be better looking at the forward players. If you are looking at the defenders, full backs Kyle Walker (£5.6m) and Benoit Assou-Ekotto (£5.1m) are your best bets. It can’t be a bad thing having Rafael Van der Vaart (£10.4m) in your side and now everybody will rightly be on the Gareth Bale bandwagon once again. Both good choices but we reckon Aaron Lennon (£7.2m) is more of a bargain while up top, Emmanuel Adebayor(£8.6m) continues to offer fine value for money.
Others worth consideringManchester United won’t be expecting an easy game against Alan Pardew’s Newcastle this week, but at Old Trafford they will certainly be favourites. Sir Alex’s side has been pretty solid defensively lately and Phil Jones (£6.3m) is the man we’ve picked out once again. Going forward, Javier Hernandez (£10m) is in pretty sharp form and is the one we’d be looking to for goals.
QPR nothced up an impressive win at Stoke last week and Neil Warnock’s side will hoping to pick up where they left off at Carrow Road. Norwich are conceding as many as they’re scoring at home and with Heidar Helguson and Jay Bothroyd slight doubts for the clash, Jamie Mackie (£4.9m) could prove to be a bargain. He’s had plenty of minutes under his belt lately and looks ready to score goals.
Swansea v Aston Villa may not be a goal fest and there are some cheap defenders to be had. Take your pick from Angel Rangel (£4.6m), Ashley Williams (£4.6m), Neil Taylor (£4.2m) or the greatest keeper in the Premiership, Michel Vorm (£4.6m). It could also be worth considering the greedy Scott Sinclair (£6.2m), who is also the penalty taker.