A tricky looking gameweek, with four of the top five meeting on Super Sunday. Spurs travelling to Manchester City and Arsenal entertaining United at the Emirates this weekend should give Liverpool and Chelsea a fine opportunity to make up some ground at the top end of the Premier League. If you’re struggling to pick a winner from the big Sunday clashes, back Liverpool and Chelsea.
Kenny Dalglish will be disappointed not to have picked up a few more wins at home this season, with five of the Reds’ nine victories coming away from Anfield. They travel to the Reebok on Saturday tea time to face a Bolton side which has shipped no fewer than 24 goals in 10 home fixtures this season. It’s a good job Gary Cahill has forked off to Chelsea! You wouldn’t bet against a shut out for the Reds, so Martin Skrtel (£6.2m) and Jose Enrique are tempting options. It’s a shame no one at Liverpool is in anything approximating form ahead of their next two fixtures, so we’d just back the only two players they have capable of making the difference. Craig Bellamy (£7.5m) and Steven Gerrard (£10.6m).
Chelsea also have a great opportunity to make up some ground on the top three during their next two fixtures at Carrow Road and the Liberty, before they meet Manchester United in Gameweek 24. It’s upsetting to even consider it, but Fernando Torres (£10m) has looked semi-interested and a little sharper in recent performances for the Blues. With Didier Drogba away on international duty, this is Torres’ chance. Surely he has to score sooner or later, doesn’t he? Meanwhile, new signing Gary Cahill (£5.2m) might offer fantasy players the opportunity to bring in a top four defender at a far lower price than if he’d been at Stamford Bridge since the beginning of the season. It’s also worth keeping an eye on Michael Essien (£6.9m), who returned from injury last week and has been a real miss for AVB’s side this season.
We’re also backing Sunderland for the next three of four gameweeks, with the Mackems enjoying an impressive run of form since Martin O’Neill took over from Steve Bruce. The Black Cats should have come away from Stamford Bridge last week with something so expect them to find their shooting boots for Swansea’s visit to the Stadium of Light. Brendan Rogers’ side are enjoying life in 10th place, thanks to a great record at the Liberty, but their away record is pretty rotten. With just one win on the road this season, you’d make Martin O’Neill’s side favourites for this one. Stephane Sessegnon (£6.6m) is looking like Sunderland’s best player at the minute, and while he’s listed as a midfielder, he’s likely to drift further forward, a la Rafael Van der Vaart. Nicklas Bendtner (£6.2m) can hardly be described as a prolific goalscorer, but the Arsenal loanee is a real handful and should cause the Swansea defenders a few problems this weekend. If you’re looking at the defensive side of things, Simon Mignolet (£4.3m) isn’t a bad selection, with Sunderland conceding just six goals in their last seven games.
Others worth considering
As Stoke fans sing, they always beat West Brom. Bring in Jon Walters (£6.7m). His team-mate Thomas Sorensen (£4.4m) is also a decent choice for your keeper this week. In the game between Arsenal and Manchester United, there could be value in backing the old boys. Paul Scholes (£5.5m) and Thierry Henry (£7.5m) have done plenty of damage down the years to their respective Sunday opponents. As for City vs Spurs, we’re going for a home win. It’s unlikely to be another 5-1 drubbing for Harry’s boys, so look to the match winners for this one. If you’ve got the money, a transfer in for David Silva (£10.3m), Sergio Aguero (£11.1m) or Edin Dzeko (£8m) could prove lucrative.