Friday, April 29, 2011

Gameweek 35 Preview

I always start getting a bit nostalgic around this time of the year as reality sets in that the season is almost over and we have the long summer ahead. There are still a few weeks left though and this is an important week to negotiate with a large portion of fantasy studs involved in games against each other. The two big clashes makes for excellent TV viewing but they make fantasy lineups harder to set as players rarely have big games in the top of the table clashes.

It is of course key to also remember that Spurs face the double gameweek in GW36 so be careful before you sell these assets this week due to their tough fixture. City are the other team with the double next week and given their good looking fixture this week (West Ham H) they look like solid investments right now.

Clean Sheet Rankings
(clean sheets kept at home or away / opponents failed to score at home or away in parenthesis)
  1. Liverpool (9 - 6)
  2. Man City (10 - 9)
  3. Blackburn (6 - 6)
  4. Birmingham (6 - 7)
  5. Chelsea (11 - 3)
  6. Sunderland (7 - 6)
  7. Arsenal (8 - 4)
  8. Everton (3 - 5)
  9. Fulham (3 - 3)
  10. Blackpool (0 - 8)
  11. Bolton (0 - 5)
  12. West Brom (1 - 5)
  13. Wigan (3 - 5)
  14. Wolves (2 - 5)
  15. Man Utd (5 - 4)
  16. Stoke (2 - 0)
  17. Newcastle (5 - 1)
  18. Tottenham (2 - 2)
  19. Aston Villa (0 - 2)
  20. West Ham (1 - 5)
Attacking rankings
(expected goals in parenthesis)
  1. West Brom (2.28)
  2. Arsenal (2.18)
  3. Chelsea (2.08)
  4. Man City (2.02)
  5. Everton (1.77)
  6. Liverpool (1.64)
  7. Stoke (1.61)
  8. Blackpool (1.52)
  9. Aston Villa (1.50)
  10. Birmingham (1.48)
  11. Blackburn (1.28)
  12. Man Utd (1.20)
  13. Wigan (1.10)
  14. Sunderland (0.99)
  15. Tottenham (0.99)
  16. Fulham (0.98)
  17. Bolton (0.78)
  18. Newcastle (0.64)
  19. Wolves (0.62)
  20. West Ham (0.57)
Captain Stats
It's incredible to lead off with him but no one is in better form than Odenwingie and with the great fixture this week, the West Brom forward is a genuine captain option this week. His last five games go 8-10-15-6-7 making him the overall leader in points and the only player with 5 quality games in the last 5 GWs. His ownership is still just 13% and with so many of the big names playing each other, he presents a high risk-high reward opportunity to differentiate your team a bit.

Another player in red hot form is Florent Malouda who has suddenly found another burst of energy. He is a notoriously streaky player so it's a legitimate strategy to try and ride the hot streak, though you would of course like an easier fixture. That said, Spurs really aren't that great away from home (1.5 GPG conceded) while Malouda has crushed opponents for 8.2 PPG at the Bridge. He's just as likely to give you a 2 pointer but no one has a higher ceiling right now.

Robin van Persie's tremendous form continues and he now has 8.6 PPG over the past 5 GWs. My concern with him is that his double digit games have come against West Ham, Wigan, Newcastle, Wolves and Blackpool - all of whom clearly lack the pedigree of Man Utd. Still worth a look but there are better options this week.

Like their teammate Malouda, Drogba and Lampard are intriguing picks again this week with both having enjoyed a big couple of weeks. Drogba has the higher upside and a goal against Spurs this year but Lampard's set pieces always give him a chance to contribute and he probably brings more consistency.

Without Carlos Tevez it's hard to recommend any City players as captain picks but David Silva had a very good game against West Ham the first time round (also earning 8 fantasy points along the way) and a couple of goals and 8 bonus points over the last five weeks he comes into the week in decent form. City need to keep winning to qualify for the Champions League and Silva is a really nice option to bring in ahead of next week's double, even if you don't captain him.

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