A lot can happen in the space of 2 weeks and a lot of domestic action. The cups have laid claim to two of the highest owned FPL players in Siggy and Costa, leaving many a manager with changes that need to be made.
Both have picked up hefty bans and won’t be seen in league action for a while so it’s time to say goodbye and move onto pastures new. With the League cup semi final legs also taking place, we now know that both Spurs and Chelsea will be missing Gameweek 27 for the final.
With Spurs and QPR out of the FA Cup, their fixture has been rearranged, giving both a double in Gameweek 28. However, we’ll have to wait to see where Chelsea’s match against Leicester will reappear.
Anyway, let’s get back to this weekend, so without further ado, here is our selection for the 23rd gameweek of the season:
- Thibaut COURTOIS [MCI(H), 5.9m] – With both Costa and Fabregas set to miss the City game, it will be tougher for Chelsea to dominate this match. So it won’t be at all surprising if Mourinho sets Chelsea up to be hard to break down and Courtois could be set for defensive points if they can keep City at bay.
- Laurent KOSCIELNY [AVL(H), 5.9m] – Arsenal are close to full strength and will still be flying high following their win away at City. Villa may have broken their scoring duck against Bournemouth but facing Arsenal at the Emirates is a different proposition. Koscielny will be expected to control the backline and may have the odd shot at goal too.
- Ryan BERTRAND [SWA(H), 5.8m] – Without their two most influential players so far this season, Swansea will struggle at St Mary’s. Southampton have been one of the most impressive defensive sides in the league and another clean sheet looks likely this weekend.
- Alberto MORENO [WHM(H), 5.1m] – Liverpool are slowly gathering pace with Coutinho and Sterling shining in attack. Moreno has provided plenty of attacking support too down the left wing, having 5 shots at goal and creating 6 chances in the last 4 gameweeks. Against West Ham, a win looks the most likely result for Liverpool to bounce back from their disappointment of failing to make the League cup final.
- Eden HAZARD [MCI(H), 10.7m] – With Costa out of the picture, Mourinho will be looking to Hazard to provide the spark and clinical play to secure a result against their title rivals. It will be a tight game where a moment of magic from someone like Hazard could make the difference.
- Santi CAZORLA (C) [AVL(H), 8.3m] – Sanchez is a slight doubt with a hamstring injury, so we turn to his fellow midfield maestro Cazorla who has been in spectacular form. With penalty duties up his sleeve, Arsenal’s strong run of fixtures and a pricetag of 8.3m, he’s a great option as long as he can fight off the threat of rotation.
- Angel DI MARIA [LEI(H), 9.5m] – United are still struggling to click under Van Gaal and it’s surprising that more pressure isn’t on the Dutch manager. In Di Maria, he has a player with the ability to turn a game on its head and if he can get the best out of the Argentinian, the season won’t be a failure. A commanding victory against Leicester is vital to set the tone for a strong run of fixtures.
- Raheem STERLING [WHM(H), 8.4m] – Sterling recently received some high praise from Henry and is certainly refreshed from his little break in Jamaica, grabbing a goal against Chelsea last week. Rodgers will look to his young star to salvage Liverpool’s season and stage a bid for a Champions League spot. It’s not out of the question but home fixtures against teams like West Ham have to be wins.
- Dwight GAYLE [EVE(H), 5.0m] – Since Pardew’s appointment, he’s put his faith in Gayle who has kept up his end of the bargain in return. In the last 2 games where he has started, Gayle has scored 3 times and created another. Palace will go on the attack once more against the porous defence of Everton and goals look on the cards.
- Olivier GIROUD [AVL(H), 8.2m] – Giroud may have missed a couple of games over the Christmas period but in his last 5 games he has scored 4 times. The Frenchman has missed a good chunk of the season so far and should be ready to fight until the end with the league’s best midfield sitting behind him.
- Sergio AGUERO [CHE(A), 12.5m] – Aguero is slowly getting fitter and his match sharpness is improving but it’ll be truly tested in the crunch match against Chelsea. As we mentioned earlier, a moment of class and clinical play could prove the difference and Aguero is just the player to pounce on any mistakes to punish the Chelsea backline.
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Author Credit: Richard Lam
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/calciostreaming/