Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lineup Lessons: Gameweek 17

Goalscorers are highlighted in bold, players with an assist are underlined

Aston Villa
Guzan, Lowton, Baker, Clark, Lichaj, Westwood, Herd, Holman, Bannan, Benteke, Weimann
Subs: Given, El Ahmadi, N'Zogbia, Albrighton, Delph, Bowery, Bennett

No real issues here. At times Villa seemed to play as a 5-3-2, with Lowton given the more advanced role and Herd playing very deep. Despite conceding a ton of chances this week, Villa's defense can be useful at home and Lowton is probably the best pickup there, with Clark also worth a look is cash is really tight. Going forward your options start and end with the excellent Benteke who remains a promising differential option and a sure fire price rise this week.

Everton
Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Naismith, Osman, Gibson, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic
Subs: Mucha, Heitinga, Oviedo, Hitzlsperger, Barkley, Vellios, Duffy

Everton have one of the most settled sides in the league and that continued this week. That's going to change with Fellaini facing a possible ban, which is going to give headaches to those managers sat on a large profit with Fellaini. Given that one can argue he is due for regression anyway, I'd suggest that a three game ban would mean Fellaini is very sellable, especially given that thousands of others will follow suit, thus decreasing the monetary impact of your moves.

Fulham
Schwarzer, Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Riise, Duff, Sidwell, Baird, Richardson, Berbatov, Rodallega
Subs: Etheridge, Kelly, Senderos, Petric, Karagounis, Dejagah, Kacaniklic

Not too much to note here either. Obviously it wasn't a good display from Fulham, and zero shots all day will add fuel to the fire that Berbatov is struggling without Ruiz. As previously noted, I'm not totally convinced by that causality, but however you slice it, such a poor display in a winnable game is not good news. If you have no other issues in your team at all, you might start to contemplate alternatives to the Bulgarian, though I'd suggest that such a move is far from pressing given the upcoming fixtures. After surrendering so many chances this week and with just one clean sheet in nine, I am concerned about this defense and they are well and truly relegated to spot start status until we see significant improvements.

Liverpool
Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Downing, Gerrard, Lucas, Allen, Shelvey, Suarez, Sterling
Subs: Jones, Cole, Henderson, Coates, Carragher, Fernandez Saez, Wisdom

The goods news is that this lineup has nicely solidified itself but the end results haven't changed a great deal. Liverpool continue to create a boat load of chances but convert them at a terrible rate, and while Suarez is always going to exaccerbate that kind of situation, the more worrying numbers are the seven shots (zero on target) from Glen Johnson and Joe Allen, a pair of players who have no real right to be racking up so many attempts. Until Liverpool change their style, it's going to be impossible to judge them on the same goals/shot scale as most other teams.

Man Utd
De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Young, Rooney, van Persie.
Subs: Lindegaard, Giggs, Hernandez, Vidic, Welbeck, Scholes, Fletcher.

Rafael got the day off here and Jones looked solid in his place. I have some concern that that move could become a regular occurence, which is a real blow now that this defense could regain some extra value with Vidic almost back to full fitness. If Ferguson commits to a Vidic/Ferdinand or even better a Vidic/Smalling central partnership, the cheaper partner might be a better play than Rafael for the coming weeks. I need to look at how Rooney plays with different teammates, but anecdotally, Cleverly was one of the players who I felt encroached on Rooney's territory too often, thus limiting his value. Well, not so this week as a glimpse at the average positions chart shows a near perfect 4-2-3-1, with Rooney nicely settled in the whole behind van Persie. His four shots, all in the area, underline this promising role.

Norwich
Bunn, Whittaker, Turner, Bassong, Garrido, Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Holt.
Subs: Rudd, Martin, Howson, Jackson, Morison, E Bennett, Barnett

Turner returned from injury and thus this back line is probably settled for the medium term. At 4.1m Turner is not without risk, but does represent a promising return given Norwich's useful defensive profile. The attacking options look entrenched here and an argument can be made for several of them (more on that in this week's fanning the flames).

QPR
Green, Traore, Hill, Nelsen, Onuoha, Faurlin, Mbia, Wright-Phillips, Taarabt, Cisse, Mackie
Subs: Julio Cesar, Diakite, Derry, Ferdinand, Granero, Da Silva, Hoilett

I'm not one to necessarily proclaim Redknapp as the saviour of the free world but this was one of QPR's better games this year in terms of total shot production and we're finally seeing players deployed in positions in which they can excel. QPR now have a full strength side (other than long term casualties in Zamora and Park) and thus we can draw fairly strong conclusions from Redknapp's team selections these past couple of weeks. Taarabt was locked into a very promising role just off Cisse, though if I was being critical I would want at least some of his efforts to come inside the box (he had seven outside) given that SoB are converted at just a 4% rate across the league.

Stoke
Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Cameron, Walters, Whelan, Nzonzi, Etherington, Adam, Jones
Subs: Sorensen, Palacios, Whitehead, Upson, Kightly, Crouch, Jerome

Wilkinson returned this week and should therefore regain his role as the cheapest way to access this useful defense. With Crouch relegated to the bench once more and Walters pushed out wide, there's really not much to like in this entire from six.

Sunderland
Mignolet, Cuellar, Colback, O'Shea, Bramble, Larsson, Gardner, Johnson, McClean, Sessegnon, Fletcher
Subs: Westwood, Campbell, Wickham, McFadden, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Saha

No changes of note here and after a miserable start to the game Sunderland did well to hold United to three. Saying that though, this is still an uninspiring team who have a nightmare run of fixtures on the horizon and so shifting the likes of Cuellar and Mignolet from your team should probably be a priority. The attacking trio of Johnson, Sessegnon and Fletcher aren't without attraction but, again, the fixtures don't make it easy to get behind them.

Swansea
Tremmel, Tiendalli, Chico, Williams, Davies, Britton, Ki, Dyer, de Guzman, Routledge, Michu
Subs: Cornell, Graham, Monk, Shechter, Moore, Agustien, Richards

Rangel was absent here though you wouldn't imagine that will be a long term trend. The rest of the team appears predictable though too many more performances like this (three shots, two SiB) will render them all unattractive in a hurry.

Tottenham
Lloris, Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Naughton, Lennon, Sandro, Dembele, Dempsey, Adebayor, Defoe
Subs: Friedel, Huddlestone, Parker, Sigurdsson, Livermore, Townsend, Caulker

There was talk of Dawson being fit for this game and while that didn't come through, there's still some question over who will start at centre back long term. A settled role for either Naughton or Dawson would be a boost, giving us a cheap way to access this useful unit, though with Assou Ekotto on the mend too, there's no guarantee of that playing out. I had suggested some interest in Dempsey here but a move to the 4-4-2 and Lennon's advanced positioning (along with Bale soon to return) pushes him a bit deeper and it's going to be tough for him to (a) earn a guaranteed spot and (b) produce fantasy returns when he does play.

West Brom
Myhill, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Popov, Brunt, Morrison, Mulumbu, Gera, Odemwingie, Long
Subs: Daniels, Rosenberg, Dorrans, Lukaku, Dawson, Tamas, Fortune

Foster was said to be close this week and we can probably expect him back next week barring any further setbacks. That would be a boost to this defensive unit, though in fairness Myhill has been okay in his absence. There's talent here and we have seen a return to a more predictable lineup of late, though it's still hard to really single anyone out among that front six.

West Ham
Jaaskelainen, Demel, Reid, Collins, O'Brien, Noble, O'Neil, Jarvis, Nolan, Taylor, Cole
Subs: Spiegel, Tomkins, Maiga, Spence, Moncur, Lletget

West Ham's squad is stretched thin so we're going to see a settled lineup here through lack of alternatives if nothing else. The defense remain very ownable with Demel currently the cheapest play, though McCartney's imminent return makes that position somewhat questionable. The current front six again has some talent but outside of Nolan there's not much to get overly excited about. At 4.9m Cole deserves some mention as an ultra-budget play and with several of the mid range forwards starting to disappoint, going cheap up front might not be the worst idea in the world if you're budget looks stretched.

Wigan
Al Habsi, Boyce, Lopez, Figueroa, Stam, McArthur, McCarthy, Beausejour, Kone, Gomez, Boselli
Subs: Pollitt, Jones, Di Santo, Maloney, McManaman, Fyvie, Golobart

I am contnually surprised by the lack of minutes for Di Santo and Maloney, particularly when those minutes are going to the likes of Boselli, who isn't without skill, but who struggled to get involved in the game and appears to be shoe horned into an ill-fitting role. With that duo's absence and some injuries at the back, the options here may well start and end with Kone (though Maloney will surely have a chance to start again after his goal here).

1 comment:

David Huang said...

You seem to be missing two teams barring CHE, SOU, ARS and WBA. What happened to MCI?