With Spurs enjoying such a fine run of form, it’d be a risk to bet against them doing the business against Bolton at home this weekend. Similarly, Arsenal face a Wigan side at the DW whose style of play is likely to offer the Gunners plenty of chances. I’m also looking to Liverpool and Everton players to rack up some points over the next couple of gameweeks. Liverpool travel to Fulham, before taking on QPR at Anfield, while Everton host Stoke at Goodison on Sunday. Liverpool have won most of their away fixtures this season, while Fulham have notched up just one home success. Stoke made it through last 32 of the Europa League this week, but have always struggled in the Premier League after playing European football. With just one away win and a -12 away goal difference for Tony Pulis’s side, you’d have to fancy Everton in this one.
Emmanuel Adebayor did the business once again for Tottenham last weekend, notching a pair against West Brom. Good for those of us who brought him in early, but with his value shooting up to £8.9m, it might prove tricky signing him up now. If this is the case, don’t write off Jermain Defoe (£8.2m). With Rafael Van der Vaart remaining a doubt for this weekend, Defoe may well be given another chance. Even coming off the bench, he is a real threat, determined to prove he is still a goal scorer. I’m also looking to Aaron Lennon (£7.2m) to score some points this week. Cheaper than Gareth Bale (£8.6m), but on his day, just as effective. The Spurs rear guard is also looking impressive at home. Apart from Manchester City smashing five goals past Harry’s side, only Arsenal and QPR have managed to score at White Hart Lane since. I’d favour Benoit Assou-Ekotto (£5.1m) over Kyle Walker (£5.7m). He’s the cheaper option and will bomb forward to help Gareth Bale on the left flank. Brad Friedel is also a tempting option at £5.5m.
With Arsenal, it’s pretty simple: Robin Van Persie is your man. But then, this is what I’ve been saying for weeks, so let’s consider some of the other options, especially as RVP’s value has shot up to £13.1m. Fulham earned surprise 1-1 draw at the Emirates last weekend, and were on course to win the game before Thomas Vermaelen levelled things late on. The man who changed the game for the Gunners was Gervinho (£8.9m). He is probably more likely to start games than Andrey Arshavin these days and has shown that even coming on as a substitute, he is dangerous. From the midfield, it’s difficult to recommend anyone but Walcott, Ramsey or Arteta at the moment – all of them have the ability to open Wigan up. Selecting Arsenal defenders is not often a wise decision and there don’t look to be too many bargains there. Probably the only one I’d be looking to is Laurent Koscielny (£5.7m). He looks solid as a right back and also poses a threat from set pieces.
With Liverpool, the likes of Dirk Kuyt, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll are so overpriced that you might have to gamble a little. Two players I like the look of for the Reds’ trip to Craven Cottage are Craig Bellamy (£7.4m) and Maxi Rodriguez (£7m). The risk is, they have not been enjoying regular first team football this season. But both have shown they will score points at will when given the opportunity and with Leiva Lucas out for the season, things are likely to be reshuffled. From the defenders, a lot of players will have Jose Enrique. At £5.7m, he can’t be a bad choice, although I’d be looking to Glen Johnson. While he is £6.8m, he is more of a goal threat than Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll and his value should only go up from this point.
Over to the Blue half of Merseyside and Everton. Louis Saha is obviously first choice striker and at £6.9m he may not be a bad choice. For those looking for more of a bargain, consider Apostolos Vellios (£4.4m). The game against Stoke doesn’t promise many goals however, so it might be worth looking at the defensive options. Phil Jagielka (£5.3m) and Tim Howard (£5.4m) look like the best value for money here. Leighton Baines is a tempting option, given his danger from set pieces and habit of storming forward from left back, but I’m not sure 47 points is an acceptable return from £7.8m.
Others to consider
Manchester City play Norwich City at the Etihad this weekend and you’d back them to make it seven home wins out of seven against Paul Lambert’s team. Sergio Aguero (£11.3m) is probably first choice ahead of Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli and he could well give the Norwich defenders a lot to think about. And an obvious one: expect David Silva (£10.5m) to shine once again.
The other games all look difficult ones to call. I’d be considering in-form midfielders and strikers rather than defenders as it’s been difficult to call too many clean sheets this season. I like the look of Juan Mata (£9.6m), Jamie O’Hara (£5.7m), Javier Hernandez (£10.1m), Heidar Helguson (£5.2m) and Ayegbeni Yakubu (£5.5m) who could all make the difference in their respective games.