Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Gameweek 34 Preview

It's starting to get serious now. With Chelsea's win at Old Trafford and Arsenal's last minute winner against Wolves, the title is race is fully on with all three teams have a legitimate chance to win it.

With the cancellation of the Stoke-Fulham game, gameweek 34 becomes a standard 10 game week, though with no top of the table clashes, there should be points on offer so long as we don't suffer any more big name casualties.

Clean Sheet Rankings
  1. Liverpool
  2. Wigan
  3. Stoke
  4. Wolves
  5. Chelsea
  6. Hull
  7. Aston Villa
  8. Man City
  9. Tottenham
  10. West Ham
  11. Man Utd
  12. Portsmouth
  13. Blackburn
  14. Everton
  15. Arsenal
  16. Sunderland
  17. Birmingham
  18. Fulham
  19. Burnley
  20. Bolton
The stats suggest that no less than 8 teams will concede - on average - less than a goal this week which makes for some potential gains from our defensive lines. Liverpool, Wigan and Stoke are a cut above the rest this week and it would be wise to try and get at least three of these in this week. Normally I would stay a million miles away from Hull but with a great fixture this week (Burnley at home which has 0-0 written all over it) and a double gameweek in gameweek 35, there might be some value there if you have someone like Myhill or McShane stashed on your bench.

If you're looking to buy someone for the rest of the season I like Liverpool, Chelsea then Villa for your premium options and Everton, Wolves and Hull for your rotation/sleeper pickups.

Captain Rankings
  1. Didier Drogba
  2. Frank Lampard
  3. Fernando Torres
  4. Emmanual Adebayor
  5. Carlos Tevez
  6. Darren Bent
  7. Ashley Young
  8. Hugo Rodallega
  9. James Milner
  10. Steven Gerrard
Good options this week with Chelsea, Liverpool, City and Villa all facing opponents who concede at least 1.5 GPG. Elsewhere, Wigan, West Ham and Hull have great fixtures but I can only throw support behind Rodallega, and possibly N'Zogbia, from those squads. Despite Lampard's excellent scoring form I have gone for Drogba who has scored 3 times against Bolton in the past two meetings (including one in this seasons 4-0 drubbing earlier in the year). He should be well rested and raring to go and I can see rewards for anyone who captains him this week.

Well, United have just crashed out leaving no EPL teams left in this season's Champions League. Has the EPL taken a step back - possibly - but I don't think this shows that much. Considering the English press' bias against Italy and Germany in the past though, perhaps they will write the league off in the papers tomorrow. Perhaps not.

As always please post your lineup/transfer questions below or @plfantasy.


Ryan said...

Chris - Rooney played for 55 minutes against Bayern, then got subbed out for O'Shea after Rafael was sent off. I'm guessing it was more of a tactical change, as SAF swears by 4 defenders. I guess the big question is, will Rooney be match-fit for this weekend and actually start?

Chris Glover said...

Ryan - I think we're all going to get déjà vu with all the will he-won't he Rooney stories this week. He didn't look fit to me against bayern and with the Manchester derby coming up my gut - which was wrong last week - says he rests. The decent fixture makes him playable so long as you accept the risk of leaving 12m on bench. With drogba, torres and adebayor all having good fixtures, it's tough to keep Rooney again this week.

Jared said...
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Jared said...

I'm not sure about the 0-0 prediction for Hull-Burnley. The former is in desperation mode to escape relegation (one point back of 17th) and the latter has completely fallen apart and concedes the most away goals in Premiership. I'm thinking of playing Jimmy Bullard, baby!

I'm guessing - just guessing - that Rooney will be on the bench in case they need a little magic late in the game

Ryan said...

Jared - Bullard is definitely worth a punt especially for home games against teams with weak away defences. Plus, his fixtures look great. Burnley at home is mouth-watering! However, beware the fact that he's highly injury-prone.

Chris & Jared - I think I agree that Rooney might be rested and then used as a supersub to poach a goal or two. SAF will definitely want him to fire all cylinders against Man City the following gameweek.

skipdeedy said...

Anyone have news on the Arteta and Milner's injuries? FPL has them down as doubtful, but surely there both good to go for this GW.

Here's hoping.


Jared said...

It sounds like Milner's ready to play, but there's the FA semi tomorrow to worry about before Villa plays Everton. I don't know if he'll play both, though both are important games.

Can't find any info on Arteta, but I'm guessing (hoping) he'll play.

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Chris Glover said...

skip - I'm in the exact same situation. I decided I can't afford to have both sit so I've brought in Malouda for Arteta. Milner's double next week make himtoo valuable to sell, while Arteta's fixtures are pretty tough from here on in.

If we can believe the press then Rooney is definately out this week. The natural replacements are Drogba and Torres or even Tevez, all who have good fixtures this week.

Ryan said...

Yep Roo's out. I'm thinking of getting Ashley Young for the double GW35. From the way things look, do you reckon he's a better buy than Milner? I'm all for points maximization.