Are you all set with your Fantasy Premier League side for the weekend? Any last minute concerns? Here are a few things you might not have considered…
Is your fantasy team all set for this weekend’s games? You may have chosen your captain, made your transfers, and re-arranged your substitutes, but there might be something you’ve overlooked. Fantasy Football Pundits runs through five tactical considerations for those of you who might be looking for a little last minute input. After all, we’ve all seen matches totally turn on their head when the manager throws on a new substitute or re-shuffles his pack and snatches all the points in the final moments. This could be you.
The Clean-Sheet Guy
West Ham have kept an impressive four back-to-back clean-sheets in their recent games, so let’s jinx it by suggesting a Hammers defender – Guy Demel. His place in the West Ham back four looks pretty assured, plus he’s played in all of the recent clean-sheet games, suggesting he’s integral to their defensive strengths. Not only is he affordable at £4.5m, he’s an almost guaranteed starter for a team without any gameweek blanks on the horizon.
Bottom of the Table Bargain – Kieran Richardson
Bottom of the table teams at this point in the season need points, and they need them urgently. Fulham are in this position right now, and despite winning only four points in their last seven games they do look like they are getting harder to beat – with a draw against United and a narrow defeat against Liverpool in their last two games. Their in-form player at the moment seems to be Kieran Richardson – with two assists and a goal in his last two games. The Cottagers face fellow strugglers West Brom this weekend, where the points will become all-the-more valuable if they can close the gap on those above them. Like Demel, Richardson doesn’t face any imminent gameweek blanks either.
If you’re looking for affordable Spurs coverage in your team, Nabil Bentaleb might be worth some consideration, not least for those all-important differential points. He’s a fixture of Tottenham’s midfield set-up, and last gameweek he cashed-in on Spurs’ demolition of Newcastle, grabbing two assists, and two bonus points. While Eriksen and Paulinho have got far higher ownership percentages, they are also both at least £2m higher in price. I suspect plenty of managers will be playing a brain-frying game of musical chairs this week and next when it comes to transfers to account for all the missing fixtures on the horizon, which is going to need cash, and at only £4.5m, Bentaleb is nicely affordable.
Vic For Victory?
Affordable and in-form strikers are hard to come by in fantasy football, and once they start bringing in the points everyone jumps on them. So maybe now’s the time to select Victor Anichebe for West Brom. Despite playing mostly as a substitute in his last five games, Anichebe has scored two goals and an assist in his last three games, the two goals coming against Liverpool and Chelsea. West Brom face struggling Fulham at home this weekend, so there could be opportunities for more points. Bear in mind that The Baggies don’t have a fixture in gameweek 28, so factor that into any transfer decisions regarding Anichebe.
Crystal Pal-Ince (second time lucky)
I’m recycling this pick from gameweek 26’s Last Minute Scramble article seeing as the Everton – Crystal Palace game was postponed, and I think it’s still relevant.
With the January transfer window now firmly shut, the new boys are starting to make their mark. Crystal Palace acquired five new players, and it was midfielder Thomas Ince who stood out in their 3-1 win over West Brom in gameweek 25, scoring and getting an assist, winning himself three bonus points in the process. It’s a fairly safe bet that a performance like that will have secured him a place for Palace’s game against Manchester United. In previous seasons you might have thought a game against United would be a tall order to excel in, but given the Manchester side’s stop-start performances so far, this could be a great opportunity for Ince, and all for the princely sum of £5.5m.
The clock is ticking on your team selections, so those last minute throws of the dice could make all the difference.
Written by Tom Sharp