After a long international break, we return to the game we love so much, looking for those points that make you feel warm inside and punch the air with your fist!
There has been lots of talk of double gameweeks as both Villa and QPR play twice this round. Not exactly the sides you look for when selecting your squad and it comes as no surprise that we’ve only picked one in our Select XI from these two relegation-threatened teams.
Villa have the unenviable task of taking on United, who are finally playing some impressive football and giving their fans something to cheer about. Following this, they have the crunch match against QPR, where defeat is not an option in the battle for survival.
Anyway, with so much football to look forward to let’s crack on, here is our selection for the 31st gameweek of the season:
- Lukasz FABIANSKI [HUL(H), 5.3m] – Fabianski’s picked up 11 clean sheets this season and is enjoying being a regular between the sticks for Swansea. He faces Hull next who will find it difficult taking on a decent Swansea side more than capable of controlling the game and grinding out a victory.
- Phil JONES [AVL(H), 5.1m] – United are playing their best football of the season following Van Gaal’s switch to Rooney leading the line with Fellaini and Mata in support. Carrick also deserves a mention for the calmness and efficiency he brings to United’s midfield. If United pick up from where they left off before the break, Villa don’t stand much chance of breaching their backline.
- Branislav IVANOVIC [STO(H), 7.5m] – Mourinho will be keen to avoid any further complacency after Chelsea scraped past Hull for a vital victory. Another win needs to be secured against Stoke and Ivanovic is a defender who could deliver at both ends of the field in any given gameweek.
- Gareth MCAULEY [QPR(H), 4.8m] – With the case of mistaken identity corrected, McAuley is now free to play against QPR. As always, West Brom will look to be strong at the back and if they can limit Austin’s chances in front of goal, they could build on their amazing form of 4 clean sheets in their last 6 games.
- David SILVA [CPL(A), 9.9m] – If City are to keep the heat on Chelsea, they’ll need Silva to continue the form that has seen him score 5 times in the last 8 games. Palace may decide to go on the offensive, which will lead to an open game full of chances for Silva and Aguero to show their strengths.
- Eden HAZARD [STO(H), 11.1m] – Hazard is a bonus points magnet, having picked up an additional 14 points in his last 7 games. He is vital to Chelsea remaining at the top of the table and is sure to be a danger to Stoke’s backline when they rock up to Stamford Bridge looking to cause an upset.
- Gylfi SIGURDSSON [HUL(H), 6.5m] – Swansea have a relatively decent run of fixtures coming up and if Siggy can rediscover the form from earlier in the season, he could still have a say in your fantasy side. He’s had 6 shots in the last 2 gameweeks and will also be a threat from set pieces against Hull.
- Juan MATA (C) [AVL(H), 8.3m] – It was tricky choosing between Mata, Fellaini (who had a great goalscoring international break) and Rooney (who has had the best stats recently). But Mata has had 2 weeks to train and prepare, and will be itching to get back on the field after his wonderful double against Liverpool. It’s a bit of a gamble giving him the armband but at this stage of the season, if you want to climb some rankings, you have to take a few risks.
- Saido BERAHINO [QPR(H), 5.6m] – West Brom embark on a run of fixtures that sees them take on QPR and Leicester at home before travelling to Selhurst Park to face Palace. Unfortunately, the only standout option is Berahino who could be a worthwhile differential for the bravest of fantasy managers. With an ownership of 11%, he’s scored 3 in his last 6 games and notched 6 shots in his last 2 gameweeks.
- Olivier GIROUD [LIV(H), 8.5m] – Giroud is on fire at the moment, scoring 6 in his last 5 games. He is full of confidence and could easily add to his tally against Liverpool with a wealth of talented, in-form midfielders behind him pulling the strings.
- Charlie AUSTIN [WBA(A), AVL(A), 6.4m] – Austin may face a couple of tricky away matches but if there’s one double gameweek player who will come good, it’s likely to be him. He’s created a goal and scored twice in his last 5 games, whilst having the strong underlying stats of 21 shots in his last 4 gameweeks, to show that he’s not shy of going for goal.
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Author Credit: Richard Lam
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/67482226@N02/