Thursday, March 1, 2012

Doubling Down

As I'm sure everyone is aware, we have a couple of double gameweeks on the horizon, along with some gameweeks in which teams currently have no fixture. The affected teams are:

Arsenal - No game in GW29
Everton - DGW28 (Tot, @Liv), No game in GW29
Liverpool - DGW28 (@Sun, Eve)
Stoke - No game in GW29
Tottenham - No game in GW29


Double Gameweeks
Starting with the double gameweeks, the message is one of restraint. Both Merseyside clubs have a tough fixture list in GW28 while Everton's situation is further complicated by their lack of fixture in GW29. Everton have been in decent form of late, particularly at the back making Distin and possibly Hibbert interesting plays, though I'd suggest you'd want to be picking them up with a freebie rather than paying for them as neither fixture looks particularly attractive. That said, the fixtures after the off week in GW29 look good and they will of course get another DGW in the future to make up for that week off. If Hibbert gets back into the side he looks great value while Distin or Heitinga should present decent value if you are looking for a change at the back.

Many will be tempted to jump on Baines but unless you have cash literally lying around, it's really hard to recommend him, no what his ceiling in a given week. Playing the odds you'd still prefer Jose Enrique for the medium term, though I see the logic in rolling the dice with Baines (6%) if you are desperate to make up some ground as his upside is still probably higher than all other defenders.

Liverpool's defensive fixtures are pretty favourable thus making the aforementioned Jose Enrique a very promising addition. Six clean sheets over the last 11 games highlight a good defensive strengthening so far in the second half and with Johnson back and Agger on the mend, they should be full strength soon and look well placed to capitalize on the fixtures coming there way. 

The attacking options on Merseyside are really limited, and they might start and end with Luis Suarez. In truth you are still really paying for his name and his obvious potential, though his underlying shot data remains strong so he still clearly has the skill and opportunity to be useful contributor. He's not exactly a differentiator (17%) though given his suspension, it's likely that the majority of those owners are the ones not paying attention so he probably would gain you some ground over your competitors if you were to grab him over an Aguero or Rooney. Would you take Suarez in two tough games over Rooney in one against West Brom? Probably, but it's pretty close. Aguero and Adebayor however face tricky trips to Everton and Swansea so there is some merit to making a move there. I wouldn't personally move Aguero for a one game gain, but with Adebayor set to miss out on a fixture in GW29 that move makes a lot of sense.


No Games
The approach for your Arsenal players is really pretty simple. Keep Van Persie and ditch everyone else. I understand the appeal of the Ox and I've been behind picking up Walcott in the past couple of weeks but too many other good options exist in their price bracket to have them sit in GW29. If your squad is particularly deep I suppose you could hold Ox or Ramsey based on the fact a DGW is coming on the horizon but Walcott is just too pricey to have him sit when you have plenty of time to make a move.

If you hold Van Persie with minimal profit then it makes some sense to move him as 2 freebies is still probably worth it to maximize 13m of cash. That said, no one has a stand out fixture in GW29 so it isn't clear who you'd bring in for him. Ba will likely be the captain pick for the week but there's a pretty good chance you own him as well as Van Persie and he isn't a like-for-like replacement. It'll be tough but as of now, my approach would be to hold tight for Van Persie and dream of the upcoming unscheduled DGW.

With Man Utd on the slate this week and a tough trip to Everton lined up for GW28, it makes sense to ditch your Spurs players, providing you aren't sat on a huge profit and would want to buy them back immediately. The run in after GW31 looks extremely promising though so if your team needs a huge makeoever, you will want to consider whether you can simply wait on your Spurs players until the fixtures clear up.

Walters has been a sell candidate for as long as I remember, so needless to say he shouldn't be held through Stoke's off week. The same goes for the rest of this dubious crew given Stoke's fixture either side of the off week (@Che and MnC) so the best play seems to be to hold Shawcross and co for this week against Norwich and then move on for the foreseeable future.

I'd say you can't hold more than one 9m+ player through more than the odd week of poor or zero returns so for me that means you need to focus on moving your Spurs players out with immediate effect (unless your profit is just too big to lose). Given the fixture this week (Bol), Silva is the obvious candidate to replace Bale but assuming you already own him, I would look to Mata, Dempsey and to a lesser extent Nani (you don't love the fixture this week against Spurs for either side). Adebayor can be replaced by one of the star forwards or if money is an issue Dzeko, Ba, Sturridge are all in play. Ba is obviously the safest pick but Sturridge intrigues me given the fixtures and is worth a look given his much lower ownership (10%).

I hope the worst of my other commitments are behind me now so full service should be returned to the blog from now until the end of the year. Thanks for sticking around!

4 comments:

chemikills said...

I'm afraid your mistaken Chris
http://www.evertonfc.com/news/archive/2012/02/29/new-arsenal-date-announced
http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/spurs/News/new-date-for-stoke-at-whl-290212.page?

Both fixtures have been rescheduled within GW28

Yitzie said...

Thanks Chris, I've really been missing your posts of late.. It's just such a shame that this article has almost dated within a day! With the fixtures confirmed I'm most concerned by Bale's injury (Studge has swollen toe as well)
The analysis was really useful though and you've been a great help.

I'm WILDCARDING tonight in the end and would be great if you could check my team.
Hart, Ruddy
Lescott, Ash Cole, Enrique, Heitinga, Shawcross
Silva, Valencia, Morrison, Sessegnon, Giggs
Rooney, Ba, Pogrebnyak
£0 in the bank
Your time is very much appreciated and hope everything is well

Chris Glover said...

Thanks Chemikilis, the official site must have been slow to update those games. Oh well, nothing to see here then.

chemikills said...

Yes there is Chris, there's still the DGW :)