With Goalkeepers and Defenders out of the way, it’s on to the Midfield Maestros and with 5 spots up for grabs, there’s plenty of decision-making to do before the season kicks off on Saturday! Many teams have been adding to their midfield ranks and none moreso than Chelsea who have a shocking 14 midfielders registered on the FPL game. With this in mind, picking players that are more likely to start is key and rotation this season will be a bigger factor than ever before. So without further ado, let’s have a look at our options for 2012/13…
Top Level (8.5m+)
- Silva is priced as the most expensive option at 10m and although he is sure to have another sparkling season, he may see limited game time at the start of the season as he missed most of City’s pre-season. Also, with Tevez back in the fold, the Argentinian can drop deep when necessary to get the attacks going.
- Top scoring midfielder, Dempsey, has been linked with a move all summer but as the season approaches, he remains at Craven Cottage. At 9.5m, he doesn’t come cheap but as he showed last season, Dempsey can find the back of the net with his eyes closed.
- Bale (9.5m) is clearly the most promising Spurs midfielder and although being 0.5m more expensive than both VDV and Sigurdsson, we think it is a half mil well invested. For more details, check out our Spurs Spotlight article.
- United’s midfield had an excellent season in 2011-12, with Valencia (9.0m), Nani (9.0m) and Young (8.5m) all delivering high returns whenever they were given game time. As such it’s not surprising that they have been given more expensive pricetags this time round. To accommodate all three, Valencia has been filling out in the right back position in pre-season but this is unlikely to continue into the season, with Fergie possibly using it on the odd occasion. This means that once again these three will be fighting it out for positions on the wing. A slightly safer option is Kagawa (8.5m), who has been praised by various names in the lead up to the season and is one that Fantasy Football Addict believes is in for a strong season sitting in the hole, dictating play. For more details on the Japanese star, check out our Kagawa article.
- Picking players from Chelsea’s midfield is arguably the most difficult task for any fantasy football manager. If the Community Shield is to be a sign of things to come, we can expect Hazard (9.5m), Mata (9.5m) and Ramires (7.0m) to be behind the striker, with Lampard (9.0m), Meireles (6.5m) and Mikel (4.5m) sitting deeper and more centrally. However, with players like Oscar, Marin and Essien waiting on the sidelines, rotation is definitely a serious risk. Therefore, we feel the safest option at the moment would be Mata, who had a cracking debut season and will want to kick on after a summer of disappointment where he barely featured at the Euros and fell at the first hurdle in the Olympics.
Mid-Range (6.5m – 8.0m)
- Yaya Toure (8.0m) had a decent season racking up 139 points but for the majority of this campaign we can expect Yaya to be occupying a deeper midfield role, venturing forward only on the odd occasion. Before investing in the big Ivorian, we should see how much freedom Mancini affords him to better judge his potential for attacking returns.
- Lennon (7.0m) is considerably cheaper than his fellow Spurs midfielders and this must be due to his proneness to injury in recent seasons. However, if Lennon manages to stay fit, he is practically a guaranteed starter and would be a fantasy premier league bargain, as he still has explosive pace and will no doubt cause problems for any opposition.
- Pienaar (6.5m) made his return to Everton over the summer after a disappointing spell at Spurs. A loan move back to Merseyside last season made him see the error of his ways and he once again found form in front of the Everton faithful. At 6.5m, he is well priced and is set to provide the creative spark for Everton who now have a striker with the finishing touch in the form of Jelavic.
- Michu (6.5m) is seen as Sigurdsson’s replacement and is expected to be sitting in the hole behind Graham this season. Michu was the highest scoring midfielder in La Liga last season notching an impressive 15 goals to ensure the survival of Rayo Vallecano, and Laudrup will be hoping that he can find the goalscoring touch in the Premier League.
Budget (6.0m and under)
- Taarabt (6.0m) had a pretty understated season after many had high hopes following his Championship success, however, he has started pre-season well and may be given the role just behind the striker. QPR have invested heavily over the summer and are expected to have a much better campaign. Taarabt has already stated how much he enjoys playing Swansea and is clearly looking to hit the ground running from the off. Other players to look out for from QPR include Hoilett (6.5m) and Wright-Phillips (5.5m).
- Ireland (5.5m) has been talked up by Lambert going into the new fantasy football season and in a more attacking lineup, he is expected to pull the strings. At 5.5m, he is definitely a budget midfielder and if he can find some decent form, he will be a bargain. N’Zogbia has also been praised by Lambert during pre-season but comes at the higher price of 6.5m.
- For those looking for even cheaper midfielders; Maloney (5.0m) provides a decent option, as he is expected to have his fair share of set pieces. Wigan have also bulked up the attack with the signing of Ivorian striker, Arouna Kone. Noble (5.0m) is another budget option, who should also be in control of many of West Ham’s set pieces including penalties.
There is definitely a lot of choice when it comes to the midfield and how you seek to address this area will depend on how much of your budget you are willing to spend. A significant part should be set aside for the midfield as there will be some high scorers amongst this selection. However, with some decent mid-range and budget midfielders, there is scope to save some money for other areas of your squad. Who you pick will also depend on who you have up front, as in most cases you will not want to double up from a particular side, unless they happen to be on a hot streak. With this in mind, our next article which will be released tomorrow, will focus on the STRIKERS! So come back soon or like our Facebook page to avoid missing out.
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Image Credit: Flickr – Ronnie Macdonald