Putting to one side the blindingly obvious players whom I backed last weekend (The Roon, David Silva, Sergio Aguero), a few of my other tips weren’t too bad (Adebayor, Agbonlahor, Arteta) so let’s have another go…
Teams with very winable upcoming fixtures: Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool
Arsenal are at home to Bolton this week so you’d have to go for a home win. Robin Van Persie (£11.9m) has been a bit of let down so far, considering his price but I’m willing to give him one more chance, since it’s a fairly winable home game. Most people will be rightly steering well clear of Arsenal defenders this season but from the midfield, Mikel Arteta is reasonably priced at £8.2m and should be guaranteed a start.
Last week, I recommended Michel Vorm and he racked up the points with a fine clean sheet. But with Swansea travelling to Stamford Bridge this weekend, he might be best on the bench. So with Chelsea hoping to give the Swans a tonking, step forward (I can believe I’m going to say it) Fernando Torres (£10.5m). While I’ve been giving him a lot of stick and his miserable form has been a source of enjoyment for all, I truly felt sorry for him after that miss. He’ll want to make up for that and let’s not forget he did score a fine goal against United, beautifully chipping David de Gea. He has played well in his last two games and will relish a game against a team that plays as openly as Swansea. At £10.5m, he seems reasonably priced and Chelsea travel to the Reebok (where they always win) after hosting Swansea. It could also be worth bearing Nicolas Anelka (£8.5m) in mind. He’ll get fewer minutes than Torres in all likelihood but is the cheaper option. Chelsea’s midfield doesn’t appear to be loaded with potential points although their defenders are usually decent bets. Jose Bosingwa (£6m) is the bargain of the Blues defence and more likely to get assist/goal points than Ashley Cole or John Terry.
This season, you want three Manchester City players in your team more often than not. Anyone who continues to overlook David Silva (£9.9m) or Sergio Aguero (£11.2m) needs to have a word with themselves. So far, they do not appear to have suffered as a result of Roberto Mancini’s rotation policy and have been linking up telepathically to rack up the points. City defenders are usually a good bet as well, although this weekend’s visitors Everton, always seem to score against Mancini’s men. With a trip to Blackburn next for City, bring in the offensive players.
Liverpool host Wolves this week and I fancy the Reds to be very difficult to beat at Anfield this season. Not only that, but there should be goals there too. Charlie Adam (£9m) is a proven point scorer and is also responsible for a lot of set pieces. Selecting Luis Suarez (£9.5m) should also prove a fairly safe bet. Another Liverpool player worth considering is one of their midweek Carling Cup goalscorers Craig Bellamy (£7.5m). While picking the Welshman would represent a gamble, in that he hasn’t clocked up many Premier League minutes this season, he is far cheaper than Suarez and Andy Carroll and in far better form than the latter. Of the Liverpool defence, Jose Enrique (£5.1m) is the only player that looks like offering value for money.
Others to consider
Aston Villa and Sunderland are two sides which will fancy a few points from their next two fixtures. Both away this week (QPR v Villa and Norwich v Sunderland) before Villa host Wigan and Sunderland entertain West Brom. Shay Given (£5m) is the best goalkeeping option in his price range and I am going to recommend Gabriel Agbonlahor (£6.7m) once again. He’s had a great start to the season and with Darren Bent and Emile Heskey both out injured, he is Villa’s attacking threat. As far as Sunderland are concerned, they proved that there are goals in their team with last week’s 4-0 demolition of Stoke City and Steve Bruce will be keen to build on the Mackems’ first win of the season. Sebastian Larsson (£6.4m) has caught the eye and is the Black Cat’s leading point scorer so far. Nicklas Bendtner (£6.4m) also impressed against Stoke and he could show his class down at Carrow Road this weekend.
As hard as I’ve tried, I can no longer ignore Newcastle’s good start to the season and this week they’ve got Blackburn Rovers at home. Their players are cheap and this is the only reason most people select them. While we’ve been expecting the Newcastle bubble to burst, we’ve all been missing out on points, with Krul, Simposon, Best etc. wasted on our benches. Unbelievably, the Magpies are among the teams leading the clean sheets table this season so take your pick from their under £5m range: Tim Krul (£4.6m), Danny Simpson (£4.1m), Ryan Taylor (£4.5m) or Steven Taylor (£4.7m). All well worth considering. I’d be leaning towards Ryan Taylor because of the threat he poses from free kicks. Yohan Cabaye has made a good start to his St James Park career and is another player whose set pieces can be very dangerous. If you’re strapped for cash for the front men, you could do worse than Leon Best (£5.1), even if you do just bench him again!
Finally, as it’s been said before, if you’ve not got Wayne Rooney, you’re doing it wrong. As for the other United players, Phil Jones must be considered. He’s shown he loves getting forward and with Nemanja Vidic still injured and Rio Ferdinand a doubt, the former Blackburn man is a bargain at £5.7m. Those of you who have Ashley Young (£10.3m) could save a few quid by swapping him for the spectacularly in-form Luis Nani (£9.9m). Meanwhile, Tottenham play Wigan at the DW this week and it has to be said that Emmanuel Adebayor (£8.2m) and Jermain Defoe (£8.4m) have plenty of goals between them.