Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gameweek 8 Preview

Boy those international weeks drag. It seems like months ago that Alex wrapped up the week with that goal but fear not as we return with some tasty fixtures for both fantasy and real reasons. The Merseyside derby looks even more interesting than usual thanks to the takeover drama at Anfield while home games against West Brom and Birmingham for United and Arsenal suggest goals a plenty for the big boys this week. You never can be sure though so hopefully the below stats and rankings can at least give us some clues who to back this week.

Defensive Rankings
(Based on current and prior year stats. Current year only rank in parenthesis)
  1. Man Utd (4)
  2. Blackburn (6)
  3. Newcastle (5)
  4. Bolton (11)
  5. Arsenal (15)
  6. Wolves (2)
  7. Everton (10)
  8. Fulham (6)
  9. Chelsea (9)
  10. West Ham (18)
  11. Aston Villa (6)
  12. Man City (3)
  13. Stoke (15)
  14. Tottenham (12)
  15. Liverpool (17)
  16. Blackpool (13)
  17. Sunderland (14)
  18. Wigan (1)
  19. Birmingham (20)
  20. West Brom (19)
With Chelsea facing a tough trip (on paper) to Villa Park you have to love United players this week as the best bet for a clean sheet by some distance. The ranking of Wigan as 1st based on current year data is why I am still using the hybrid current/prior rankings and need to wait a few weeks before this year's data is reliable. For the record the reason for this anomaly is because they have played just two road games this year and haven't conceded in either.

Long term defensive rankings (SoS6)
If you are thinking of bringing in a new defender this week you might want to check out the below rankings for who has the fewest predicted goals conceded over the coming 6 weeks. The number of games with less than a goal predicted is in brackets:
  1. Chelsea (5)
  2. Man Utd (4)
  3. Liverpool (2)
  4. Arsenal (4)
  5. Man City (2)
  6. Aston Villa (3)
  7. Everton (3)
  8. Newcastle (4)
  9. Tottenham (3)
  10. Stoke (2)
  11. Bolton (1)
  12. Fulham (3)
  13. Birmingham (3)
  14. West Ham (0)
  15. Blackburn (2)
  16. Blackpool (0)
  17. Wigan (1)
  18. West Brom (1)
  19. Wolves (2)
  20. Sunderland (2)
Captain Rankings: Team goals
I'm changing this section up a bit this week to show the team predicted goals upon which I base my captain picks. My captain picks are generally not as good as the clean sheet rankings as I am still using some judgment rather than pure facts to make my predictions. I try and incorporate form and prior success against teams into the picks but in the end it is still just my opinion. I am therefore giving you the scoring stats so you make up your own mind too:
  1. Man Utd (4.22)
  2. Arsenal (3.60)
  3. Newcastle (3.18)
  4. Blackburn (1.86)
  5. Man City (1.70)
  6. Everton (1.48)
  7. Fulham (1.45)
  8. Bolton (1.40)
  9. Blackpool (1.13)
  10. Chelsea (1.09)
  11. Wolves (1.09)
  12. Aston Villa (0.99)
  13. Tottenham (0.79)
  14. Liverpool (0.76)
  15. West Ham (0.68)
  16. Birmingham (0.67)
  17. Stoke (0.67)
  18. Wigan (0.62)
  19. Sunderland (0.58)
  20. West Brom (0.46)
Captain Rankings: Individuals
  1. Cesc Fabregas: I know it's hasty to throw him straight in at number one but would you bet against the maestro to mark his return with a bang in a favourable fixture against Birmingham at the Emirates?
  2. Dimitar Berbatov: Gets the nod ahead of Nani based on the fact that West Brom have already conceded 6 goals to forward this year (only Wigan and Liverpool are worse)
  3. Nani: Great option against West Brom in what could be a statement game for United.
  4. Didier Drogba: Despite the tough fixture it's hard to even rank him this low never mind any lower. For the conservative players out there I would not blame you for captaining him as usual this week.
  5. Nemanja Vidic: As close to a certain clean sheet as it gets. I've also been impressed with Vidic's opportunities from set pieces this year which is why he gets the nod here.
  6. Carlos Tevez: I'd be terrified if I was a City fan after continuing talk of retirement but that won't happen before a trip to Bloomfield Road who will see probably the best player to grace the pitch since Sir Stanley hung up the boots (apologies to Pure Juice alum Chaz Adam but you're not quite there yet!)
  7. Wayne Rooney: I've probably been as critical as anyone of Rooney and he hasn't appeared in these rankings for a while but a game at home to West Brom is a great opportunity for him to start to rebuild his shattered season. Penalty duties always help the English hitman and he claims to be fully fit.
  8. Mikel Arteta: I think Arteta is ready to explode after an unspectacular start to the season. A game against a Liverpool side in crisis might be just the ticket.
  9. Florent Malouda: As with Drogba it's tough to rank him this low after his dynamite form but the fixture is tough and Malouda has laid two eggs (GW4 and GW6) on the road this year already. He did however destroy Wigan in GW2 so it's somewhat risky to drop him this low.
  10. Marouane Chamakh: Chamakh has delivered decent returns this year and makes a good fixture play this week at home to Birmingham.
I hope you're as excited as I am to get back to Premier League action this week, especially as for me it's the first uninterrupted Saturday in weeks so I can go with wall-to-wall soccer. Bliss.


auburn.tigers2011 said...

So can Konchesky and the Liverpool defense be trusted yet? Not sure Im sold on it...

David said...

Congrats, Chris on Kevin Davies' England debut. I thought of you straight away when I heard he'd been called up. That aside, I'm in the market for a Bol midfielder this week, I like the consistency of their fixtures over the next few. Who would you say is the better bet? Chung-yong or Petrov? I'm leaning towards Petrov personally.

auburn.tigers2011 said...

After much deliberation, here is my final WC team

Foster Krul
Coleman Salcido OShea Alex Foley
Fabregas Arteta Barton Nani VdV
Drogba Carroll Berbatov

Steven said...

Fabs out, ty Wenger, you SOB.

auburn.tigers2011 said...

Yea I just saw that. Now I have to change my team again, great.

Chris Glover said...

Ive been toying with keeping him but given the fixtures and the fact I have Alex injured I am going to move him. Liverpool face 4 road games and Chelsea at home in the next 6 games and on current year rankings they project as the 16th best defensive team. He is good value in that he costs 1m less than his teammates and Liverpool will improve at some point but I am not willing to hold him while I wait. I will move him out now and consider bringing him back if, and when, Liverpool show good back-to-back performances.

David - I was delighted for big Kev. I know he isnt a world class player but I really believe he offers as much or more than Crouch and is certainly better than Heskey. If I had to take four strikers I would have Rooney, Bent, Davies and probably Defoe. Zamora is probably on a par with Davies too. As for the Bolton question, I rate Lee very highly (Ive held him all year) but he has yet to deliver. Petrov has played well but also just had the one big game against United. Im not sure why the points arent coming but its only the forwards scoring right now.

Auburn - Looking good. I like Arteta alot and I want him in but Im not sure how to afford him. Good balance of def/mid/fwd.

Steven - I very nearly pulled the trigger on a 4 pointer this week to get Fab. Glad I held off now.

Mmmarek83 said...

I'm thinking to replace Ireland with Etherington. Or what are Your opinions?


Steven said...

Drogba out now too, this just keeps getting better.

Steven said...

So I took a 4 point hit way too early to add Arteta and Fabs for Malouda and Bale. Trying to get ahead of the curb and I put myself solidly behind it! Debating another hit to try and get someone else in there with the .9 I have fishing around in the bank. I really don't want to transfer out Odemwingie though.. way too much value for the price.

Jask Foster
O'Shea Toure Alex Williamson Hughes
Fabregas Nani Arteta Barton Albrighton
Berbatov Drogba Odemwingie

What to do.. what to do.. even if Odemwingie plays and somehow scores, he'd eat 4 points from O'Shea .. ahh!