Monday, December 10, 2012

Lineup Lesssons: Gameweek 16

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

Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Wilshere, Arteta, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho, Giroud
Subs: Martinez, Rosicky, Podolski, Ramsey, Squillaci, Coquelin, Jenkinson

Podoloski only managed a spot on the bench here but you have to think that's more of a fitness issue than anything, and so despite the win I'd expect him to replace Gervinho or Oxlade-Chamberlain next week. The back line is likely to be fairly settled now with Mertesacker remaining the best combination of upside/security (Gibbs might have marginal attacking value but I'd prefer Mertesacker's security for the same price).

Aston Villa
Guzan, Lowton, Baker, Clark, Lichaj, Herd, Holman, Westwood, Bannan, Benteke, Agbonlahor
Subs: Given, Ireland, El Ahmadi, Bent, Delph, Weimann, Williams

No changes here and this lineup now looks to be pretty settled with El Ahmadi now cast aside aster a promising start to the season. This defense is useful as a spot start play, especially now the starters look to be fairly set in stone. Despite their increased job security of late, it's still hard to see much potential in this midfield so we're really just limited to Benteke (and even his star has faded of late).

Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Ramires, Romeu, Mata, Moses, Hazard, Torres
Subs: Turnbull, Lampard, Oscar, Ferreira, Marin, Azpilicueta, Bertrand

After looking promising for a few weeks, Oscar seems to be have been somewhat sidelined and isn't an option at the moment. If I had to guess, I'd suggest this back four gets more minutes than any other until Terry returns with Azpilicueta taking a seat on the bench allowing Ivanovic to slide back to right back. Given their respective price tags though, I'd suggest that Cole is worth the small premium given his safety and small attacking upside.

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

Nothing really to add here as the only changes seem to be at right back with Coleman, Hibbert and Heitinga fighting for minutes. With Distin appearing to have won the second centre back spot, I'd be okay grabbing him for a 0.7m saving over Jagielka, though a lack of success would make me question whether this defense are even worth that kind of investment.

Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Allen, Lucas, Gerrard, Sterling, Shelvey, Downing
Subs: Jones, Cole, Henderson, Coates, Carragher, Fernandez Saez, Morgan

Scoring three without Suarez was obviously a massive plus for this side and with Lucas back in this side, you have to like the balance this side has in the middle of the park. Cole's scoring return could give him some minutes, though I'd imagine they will primarily come at the expense of Downing with Sterling still looking like a useful pickup. That said, he is just 19 and has never played a full season of senior football before, so his owners should at least be mindful of that before penciling him for the remainder of the year.

Man City
Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Silva, Toure, Barry, Nasri, Aguero, Balotelli
Subs: Pantilimon, Maicon, Lescott, Dzeko, Javi Garcia, Toure, Tevez

After another disappointing performance, awkward walk down the tunnel and then Tevez's impact off the bench, we might see a sharp decline in Balotelli's minutes and hopefully therefore some increased security for Tevez and Aguero. Dzeko of course is lurking too so this still won't be smooth sailing but a mark against the Italian's name would help clear things up somewhat. This defense has been easier to predict of late with Kolarov out, though if Kompany's absence is long term I'm not sure there's enough value here to justify anyone's price tag.

Man Utd
De Gea, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Young, Rooney, van Persie
Subs: Johnstone, Jones, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez, Welbeck, Scholes

With everyone who's currently fit, this is probably United's strongest side and one which Rooney owners should cherish as he seems to take on a more traditional forward role when accompanied by Valencia and Young (this is something I am going to look at this week though in more detail). I would imagine we'll see Hernandez, Welbeck et al over the busy Christmas break, but we'll just have to take those hits when they come, and I don't see any reason to be overly concerned about the main assets' playing time here. As with City, the stability we're seeing in the back line isn't overly helpful given the way their playing, and with Smalling and Jones now fit, Rafael owners should be considering if his price tag is too high and whether profit should be taken.

Bunn, Martin, Bassong, Whittaker, Garrido, Johnson, Snodgrass, Howson, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Holt
Subs: Rudd, Jackson, Fox, Morison, E Bennett, Barnett, Tierney

As speculated, Martin came back into the side here and the back line should now be fairly settled, at least until Turner returns, and possibly even beyond. The attacking options look fairly predictable too, though it's still somewhat hard to predict a clear target from the available options. I still like Snodgrass but I wouldn't necessarily assume he's the only option here without taking a deeper look into the stats.

Green, Bosingwa, Nelsen, Hill, Traore, Diakite, Derry, Mbia, Wright-Phillips, Mackie, Taarabt
Subs: Murphy, Ferdinand, Cisse, Granero, Da Silva, Hoilett, Faurlin

We're seeing some stability in this lineup under Redknapp, with Granero the only man to miss out this week. Unfortunately this situation leaves a number of potentially ownable assets on the outside looking in and I'm struggling to see sufficient upside outside of Taarabt to make it worth getting involved with this struggling side.

Federici, Cummings, Mariappa, Morrison, Shorey, Robson-Kanu, Leigertwood, Tabb, McAnuff, Roberts, Le Fondre
Subs: Taylor, Pearce, Hunt, McCleary, Guthrie, Harte, Samuel

Reading had shown some reasonable attacking flashes of late so the double gameweek featuring two defensively questionable teams looked like a good opportunity. Unfortunately they were really outplayed against Southampton and we'll have to hope for better results if any of the double gameweek picks are going to provide returns to their owners. The good news is that the team remains reasonably stable though Guthrie's return will once again cause some competition in the middle of the park.

K Davis, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Puncheon, Cork, Schneiderlin, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert
Subs: Boruc, Hooiveld, S Davis, Ramirez, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Mayuka

Rodriguez continues to cause some trouble here and I wouldn't be surprised to see Puncheon get a game off over Christmas like Ramirez this week, though I wouldn't suggest that this makes him any less ownable. That rotation risk would be diminished if Lallana's absence is long term, though we certainly won't hope for that given how effective he's been this year (and because, well, we're not jerks). This defense have now gone six games without conceding more than once, racking up two clean sheets in the process. Fonte and Clyne therefore represent interesting fifth defender types given their budget price tags. Remember, of course, that the Saints don't have a game next week so any Punch-love you may have should be deferred for another week.

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

They might not be exciting but Stoke are about as reliable as they come and the lineup comes with very few question marks. Crouch starting on the bench was more attributable to his dental issues rather than any long term concerns, and so avoiding any further complications I'd imagine he'll be back next week. I'd hoped Wilkinson might return here in place of Shotton, giving us another budget option at the back but until that happens we're left with Cameron and, to a degree, Begovic.

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

Fletcher's absence was a blow to those who targetted him for the double gameweek, though on the bright side, Adam Johnson was among the points again and may be emerging as another ownable option in this slowly improving Sunderland side. The defense is nicely settled and remains just about ownable, though only really as spot starters against  the weakest of opponents, of which there are few on the immediate horizon.

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

With Britton and Hernandez injured this midfield picked itself, though we're still not really any closer to identifying anyone else for ownership other than the incredible Michu (and I use that word as both a positive and to illustrate genuine surprise that his production hasn't yet regressed). Graham came in for Shechter and I don't think either can be owned until we get a clear picture how that battle will shake out.

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

No Bale again this week and it really showed in Tottenham's play who were rather fortunate to go ahead on Dempsey's deflected strike, though were equally a touch unlucky to ultimately lose the game. They desperately struggled for width with Dembele and Vertonghen down the left, while Coleman and Mirallas did an excellent job at pushing Walker and Lennon back on the right. Defoe is still ownable in Bale's absence but I'm hesitant to get behind Dempsey who has looked promising of late as I fear Spurs will simply not create enough chances without Bale for him to really shine and justify that price tag.

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

Ridgewell was back in for Popov but left early with injury, which could open up an opportunity if it was long term given Popov's price tag (4.5m). After last week's changes, Clarke restored most of the established players to the first team here, though neither Brunt nor Morrison have really done enough to warrant ownership over the past few weeks.

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

Diame picked up a knock here which would be a blow for Sam Allardyce's side, though probably not enough to overly jeopardise Nolan's value. Defensively, Demel was hauled off at half time for McCartney and thus remains a risk to play in this side. If neither of those players can lock down a starting berth, Joey O'Brien might be worth a look as West Ham have sufficiently good home games coming up to make them spot startable.

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

Maloney appears to have fallen out of favour, which isn't too surprising given Gomez's goals, though still disappointing given the way he's played so far this year. Ramis is set to return this week which could threaten Stam's minutes again, though there's little reason to get involved with this defense anyway.


Gummi said...

What´s your thoughts on Stoke for the upcoming festive season.

Is this a defensive bandwagon we should be jumping on?

Is Begovic enough coverage or should we looking to double up?

Hall Oates said...

I think you need to give Villa's defense more credit - for next to nothing players like Guzan and Lowton have returned 3 clean sheets in 4, and there's plenty of value there beyond spot starting.

Chris Glover said...

Gummi - I like STK but the model really doesn't like the next six games and I'd tend to agree. They do get four home games but EVE and LIV have been excellent in shot production away from home while CHE and SOU have been average but are capable of scoring. Given the fact you'll want to bench them at City and at Spurs, doubling down might put a lot of pressure on your bench for only medium-level returns.

Hall - I'm not sure. I suggest they're spot startable and with clean sheets against STK (H), RDG (H), SUN (A) and ARS (H) I'm not sure that comment in off the mark. Obviously ARS are a good team but the other three have performed 22%, 7% and 33% below league average to date in terms of shot production. Hence, I like Villa against weak sides but I wouldn't suggest they come close to every week starter status.

stooshermadness said...

Chris - I'd love to get your thoughts on bringing in Rooney along with van Persie. Right now, with 3.0 in the bank, my front 3 is RvP/Tevez/Berbatov, with a midfield of - Cazorla/Michu/Fellaini/Ramirez/Taarabt - I am rotating Ramirez/Taarabt H/A. My thought is to either move (1) Rooney for Tevez for the holiday period OR, (2)drop out Ramirez (blank) for Bradley Johnson(WIG)in GW17 and do Mata/Hazard for Taarabt in GW18. Option 1 is obviously top heavy on MUN while Option 2 diversifies my attack by adding another top mid, giving me some Chelsea exposure. The rationale on option 1 is that MUN will rest RvP/Rooney over the holiday glut but probably not both in the same game; and MUN have great fixtures over the next 5 GWs. The rationale behind option 2 is to get some Chelsea exposure, and while I like my Ramirez/Taarabt H/A rotation, Taarabt's good underlying numbers are not turning into FF results. B.Johnson looks good value as a 5th midfielder.
Chris or anyone else ?

Chris Glover said...

Hall - Just noticed that AVL conceded just two shots to STK this week, which is very impressive. Perhaps I do need to look closer at Villa's propsects.

lendry lee said...

Considering Between Nastasic and Shawx to replace ridgewell

Team looks like this now: Enrique mertsaker ridgewell Clyne Nelsen ... Bale Felaini michu mata silva ... Rooney Suarez le fondre

Also thinking abt mata to puncheon and Lefondre to Torres
What's your advice Chris?