Last week we gave West Brom a brief mention and now could be the time to back the Baggies. It’s also very difficult to look too far beyond Manchester United at the moment, who returned to the top of the Premier League last weekend, following Manchester City’s slip up at the Liberty. Three other sides playing away this gameweek, Liverpool, Arsenal and Sunderland also have players worth using.
West Brom were in great form before they travelled to Old Trafford last week to face a team in even better form than themselves. Roy Hodgson’s side had won three games on the bounce before Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester United and we like the look of them for the next couple of gameweeks. The Baggies’ away record makes better reading than their home record this season and tomorrow they travel to the DW to face bottom of the table Wigan. They then entertain a slightly stuttering Newcastle side at the Hawthorns that is without a win in four. Clean sheets against Chelsea and Sunderland make Ben Foster (£4.8m), Gareth McAuley (£4.2m) and Liam Ridgewell (£4.5m) tempting options. With Peter Odemwingie a doubt for the trip to Wigan, Marc-Antoine Fortune (£5.2m) could prove a decent bet. James Morrison has racked up the most points from the Baggies midfield this season and at just £5.4m is another player worth considering.
Manchester United were simply outclassed in both legs against Athletic Club but nobody looks like stopping them at the moment in the Premier League, particularly with Wayne Rooney (£12.5m) scoring for fun. It would be no great surprise if Sir Alex Ferguson’s side took maximum points from their seven games and Wolves look like the last team capable of ending United’s winning streak. The Red Devils defend well (ignoring the European games once again) and in recent games David de Gea (£6.2m) has shown just why so much money was invested in him. With United’s other senior keepers out injured, de Gea is looking a better option that Joe Hart at the moment. Jonny Evans (£4.8m) has been a fairly consistent presence in the United back four this season and his value has not yet risen to £5m – an absolute bargain for a defender at a top four club. For the midfield options, we’ll be echoing last week’s tips in Ashley Young (£9.8m) and Paul Scholes (£5.3m).
Others worth considering
Fulham can’t seem to score away from home but they certainly make up for their lack of goals on the road when they’re playing at the Cottage. Pavel Pogrebnyak (£6.4m) represents their most potent goal threat, although Andy Johnson (£4.7m) could also be a decent option if money is particularly tight. If Fulham do struggle to find the back of the net against Swansea, one of the reasons will be Steven Caulker (£4m).
Having seen both Manchester City and Spurs go down at Goodison recently, Arsenal will know that they’re in for a tough game on Wednesday against Everton. But let’s face it, if anyone’s going to get a goal, it’s Robin Van Persie (£13.4m). After all, he scores when he wants. Arsenal will also be well rested, while Everton have an FA Cup tie at the weekend, so if you’re looking to fill your fantasy team with Gunners, Bacary Sagna (£6.1m) and Theo Walcott (£8.9m) have impressed lately.
Two big hitters who have shown recently what their respective teams have been missing all season are Didier Drogba (£10.1m) and last week’s recommendation Steven Gerrard (£9.8m). Money spent on these guys is looking like a pretty safe bet right now. But if you do like a gamble, back Manchester City to get back on track against Chelsea. Roberto Mancini’s 100 per cent Premier League home record is on the line and a man that could make the difference (in a positive or negative manner!) is the unpredictable Super Mario Balotelli (£8.1m).
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