Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gameweek 2 Preview

Only 6 games for this midweek treat, with the deadline coming at 19:30 BST tonight. I will run through the games and team news now and will be tweeting any breaking injury news right up until the deadline.

Sunderland v Chelsea

Sunderland
Richardson (6m) and Malbranque (6m) are both a doubt for this one though the Telegraph suggest that Bruce will be able to name an unchanged side. The Guardian meanwhile suggest that Malbranque (ankle) is a bigger doubt with Richardson looking more likely to shake off his dead leg. So long as you have someone on your bench to bring in, I'd play these guys and allow auto sub to work its magic if they don't make it. Chelsea isn't an easy game but Hull showed they are not invincible and Sunderland could get a goal here.

One to watch: I am very excited by the prospects of Lorik Cana and will be interested to see how he competes against a world class midfield. I can't see loads of fantasy points for the Mackems but a good performance will let us know they are for real going forward.

Chelsea
Chelsea should be as you were though Zhirkov, Alex, Cole and Ferreira are all approaching full fitness which will finally allow us to see who the first choice left winger really is. After Mikel's struggles on the weekend, don't be surprised to see Essien in the holding role with Ballack taking his place on the right.

One to watch: Lampard isn't normally kept quiet for two games and I think he will get an assist or a goal in this one. Cana and Cattermole will be tested to the max with so much traffic being forced down the middle of the field.

Wigan v Wolves Wigan
The only real headache for Martinez is the status of Charles N'Zogbia who picked up a knock against Villa and will be a late fitness decision. As with the Sunderland boys above, play N'Zogbia if you have any bench players left as this looks like a real opportunity for Martinez's team to stamp their authority on the league and follow up Saturday's impressive win at Villa. Rodallega looks like a good play again, as does Koumas who looks like he will pulling the strings for the Latics.

One to watch: Jason Koumas is instrumental in most things Wigan do well and when fit he can be a great fantasy player. At 5.1m he could be one the best bargains around.

Wolves
Mick McCarthy has described his side's treatment room as 'emergency ward 10' and fresh injuries to Ebanks Blake and Foley will not help Wolves' cause. Ward, Halford and Jarvis should make kick off though, according to the Guardian. Without Ebanks Blake and Doyle, Wolves are going to struggle to score and the value of Milijas is therefore reduced. I would back off the Midlanders for a couple of weeks as Saturday's trip to Eastlands is unlikely to hold much reward either.

One to watch: Milijas looked useful in week 1, threatening the goal on three separate occasions. With a weakened strikeforce in front of him, he will struggle to find space but could still make an impact.

Birmingham v Portsmouth

Birmingham
No fresh doubts for McLeish, who saw his side battle well at Old Trafford but ultimately come home with nothing. They have a good chance to grab their first points of the season, as Portsmouth are a fairly week side and struggled on the road last year, scoring just 12 goals in 19 games. Piquionne looked okay on debut but you have to fancy a low scoring affair here and Birmingham defenders could be a nice addition for those whose squad is depleted by the bye weeks. At 4m Steve Carr looks to be particularly good value.

One to watch: Sebastien Larsson was fairly quiet last week but against a weaker side the former Arsenal man should have more time and space to make a difference.

Portsmouth
The Telegraph have an interesting take on the Portsmouth team, suggesting that they will only field 10 men! I think an unchanged side is more likely, with Sportbox reporting that Hreidersson and Finnan will not be ready for kick off. If for some reason you hold a Portsmouth defender its worth keeping them in, and Piquionne and Kranjcar are decent but not great options for this week.

One to watch: Piquionne looks like he could be a good capture for Portsmouth and it will be interesting to see how he fairs against easier opposition than Fulham.

Burnley v Man Utd

Burnley
Owen Coyle doesn't have any further injury worries, though Steve Caldwell is unlikely to be fit in time for kick off. With the champions coming to town though, no Burnley players are good plays this week and unless you are desperate I'd stay away. If you are desperate then Paterson at 5m might just be worth a shot against United's depleted defense.

Man Utd
Wes Brown (6m) returns for United, though Ferdinand and Evans are now out, and they join Vidic, Neville and Rafael on the sidelines. The back four should therefore be Evra, Brown, O'Shea and Fabio which means plenty of bargains can be found. At 5m, Fabio is tremendous value and will be great replacement for all the Fulham, Everton or Villa defenders you have in your side.
The Telegraph think that Scholes will start in place of Carrick, while Sporting Life suggest Carrick will make his first start of the season. I'd be fairly comfortable starting Carrick for this one and beyond. Rooney is a streaky striker and in all of last season he only scored one goal in a stand alone game, following up with at least one more in all other games. He is therefore a great bet for this week, and might be the best captain around for the week.

One to watch: Rooney is a great bet to score and he is a bonus magnet meaning he could net you another 8 points or so.

Hull v Tottenham

Hull
The Tigers should be unchanged as it seems that Altidore will not have his work permit sorted in time for the game. They played fairly well against Chelsea and should be able to give Spurs some problems. None of their team look like great fantasy producers though Stephen Hunt could be a decent bet to build on his good debut last week.

One to watch: Stephen Hunt scored on his debut and looked lively until being substituted. He will look to build on that performance and could be worth a look for 5m.

Tottenham
Ledley King will miss out here as he can't play more than once a week with his dodgy knee. The Telegraph suggest that Corluka will be the man to replace him, with Hutton sliding in at right back. The defense is probably good value, with goalscoring pair Bassong and Assou Ekotto likely to be widely picked up. Of the pair, Assou Ekotto will probably have more time in the opposition half and therefore provide more offensive points.
Crouch might start this one but I would stay away from him and Keane until Redknapp shows his hand on who he likes best. Defoe looks to be good value and with all the byes, is one of the best strike options available. In midfield Modric and Lennon both looked good at the weekend, with Modric certainly given the keys to this team.

One to watch: Jermaine Defoe normally does well against the weaker sides and I can see a goal or two tomorrow night for the pacey Englishman.

Liverpool v Stoke

Liverpool
Benitez's side have to bounce back in this one so look for a captain's performance from Gerrard to lift his team at home. Skrtel is out with a cracked jaw, so Agger should step in at the back. The rest of the team looks to be unchanged though Riera could replace Babel who was ineffective against Spurs. Torres looks like a great play this week, as does the aforementioned Gerrard. Insua is great value one again, while Kuyt may be the man to bring in for those wishing to move Young, Arshavin or Cesc for the week.

One to watch: Fernando Torres could very easily open his account tomorrow night

Stoke
Stoke are a good side now but struggled on the road last year, conceding the most goals of any side not relegated (40). They should field an unchanged side, though it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see Pulis throw in an extra midfielder to try and restrict Gerrard's influence. A trip to Anfield is not good news for fantasy players and recommend any of them for the week. Delap's long throws can cause any defense chaos and so he might be the pick to get a sneaky assist.

One to watch: Rory Delap is back again with his long bombs and should test the Liverpool defense which will be made up of three men largely untested at Anfield (Agger, Insua and Johnson).

Stay tuned to Twitter for the latest injury news which I will update right until deadline time.

7 comments:

Bojan said...

GK: Hart
DF: Terry,A. Cole,Evra,Carr
MF: Milijas,Gerrard,Hunt
FW: Jerome,Drogba,Torres
So Torres or Drogba captain for 2 week?
i'm more for Drogba?

Chris Glover said...

Thats a strong team Bojan. I have captained Torres this week so we'll see what tomorrow brings. I think Milijas got you an assist.

Bojan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bojan said...

i made drogba captain, next week it wiil be gerard or torres...milijas is a great player, he came from crvena zvezda(red star belgrade),
i am big fan of this club and milijas, he must play good football!
i'm going to replace a.cole or terry, they are to expensive, any suggestions?

NotoriousDre said...

Chris,

im with you on Ekotto. Saw the game and he looks like the time that can be a fantasy sleeper.

Chris Glover said...

Bojan, I'm worried about Ashley Cole too though he picked up 2 bonus points last night to rescue another 2 point game. Luckily, we have plenty of replacement options:
Arsenal: from week 6 onwards they face no red light games until week 14. Vermaelen and Gallas have both shown that they have scoring ability and Clichy and Sagna are possibly the most attacking pair of full backs in the league.

Man Utd: The schedule isnt great but as the Champs get their players back the defense should be formidable and the likes of Evra (6.5) or whoever secures the right back spot will be a good swap for Cole. Ferdinand, whose price has fallen, might be a sneaky pick up for Terry to save some cash.

Spurs: Looked solid against Liverpool despite conceding and their excellent home record makes 5m look like a good price for them. Weeks 4 - 10 include home games against Birmingham, Stoke and Burnley and trips to Bolton and Pompey. As Dre mentions below, I like Assou Ekotto as the best attcking option in the bunch.

Bojan said...

tnx i'm gonig for Assou Ekotto for A.Cole and for Terry it will be Vermalen or Gallas