With Manchester United registering eight wins during their last 10 Premier League games, it would seem a wise decision to go with the form team. The only problem is, United’s next to fixtures are against Chelsea and Liverpool, who have shown in the past they can hurt Sir Alex at crucial times. This week, we feel safer backing QPR, Newcastle and Everton.
Newcastle’s success should no longer be raising eyebrows and they have shown they were able to cope without the services of their top scorer. But Alan Pardew will be delighted to have Demba Ba (£7.3m) available again and has also brought in Papiss Cisse (£7m) to bolster his attacking options. It’s worth keeping your eye on the Senegalese pair during the next few gameweeks. While Demba Ba can be as prolific as he likes in front of goal, it’s no good him scoring a hat-trick every game if his defence goes on to concede four. The Newcastle rear guard has been excellent this season, with Tim Krul (£5m) and Ryan Taylor (£5.4m) two of the outstanding performers. When you consider how much fantasy football players are being forced to part with in order to bring in players similar to Taylor, like Patrice Evra, Ashley Cole or Leighton Baines, you realise what a bargain the Newcastle left back is. Krul meanwhile deserves recognition for keeping nine clean sheets in the league this season.
We’re also backing Everton this week for their trip to the DW. With just one win in 10, Roberto Martinez will be desperate to avoid slumping to a fifth successive league defeat. But Everton, buzzing from their home win against league leaders Manchester City, are unlikely to do Wigan any favours. The Toffees have few players in dazzling form, so it’s probably worth taking a gamble on their January signings. At £5.3m, Darron Gibson could prove to be a bargain, while David Moyes also sealed a deadline day deal to bring in prolific Rangers front man Nikica Jelavic (£6.5m). It’s also worth keeping an eye on Steven Pienaar (£7m) who was brought back to the club on loan from Spurs, while Tim Cahill (£8.5m) has shown signs of returning to form in recent matches.
Mark Hughes was certainly busy during the January window and may have done some business that can offer fantasy football players a few bargains. Taye Taiwo (£4.5m) has been recruited from AC Milan and is likely to be QPR’s first choice left back. While Hughes likes his teams to be tight at the back, Taiwo also has ability going forward and can whip in dangerous crosses from set plays. Djibril Cisse (£6.5m) showed just what he can offer with another debut goal in midweek, while Bobby Zamora (£6.7m) has come in from Fulham in pretty sharp form. Looking to the midfield, the man most likely to do the opposition any damage at the minute is Shaun Wright-Phillips (£5.9m).
Others worth considering
They drew a blank at the Reebok, but it’s very difficult to see Arsenal failing to score at home to Blackburn this weekend. Theo Walcott (£8.8m), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£5.7m) and Robin Van Persie (£13.2m) are bound to be in vicinity when a goal is scored at the Emirates. We’re also backing Manchester City to bounce back from their midweek defeat when they face Fulham at home. David Silva (£10.5m) remains their best hope of creating goals, while Sergio Aguero (£11.2m), who hasn’t netted in three league games, should be given one more chance. He’s due a goal after all. Another team which deserves a mention at this time is Sunderland. We’ve been backing them for a while now and the likes of Stephane Sessegnon (£7m) and James McClean (£4.6m) have repaid that faith. Fraizer Campbell (£5.9m) has also announced his return to action in a big way.
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