Swansea – qpr, WHM, SUN, avl, STO, eve, RDG (HOME matches in UPPER CASE, away matches in lower case)
Swansea had an incredible debut season, finishing 11th overall, whilst playing some excellent passing football. Unfortunately, Rodgers found Liverpool’s offer in the summer too good to turn down but Swansea moved quickly to replace him with Danish legend, Michael Laudrup. Swansea fans fearing a change in style should not be worried as Laudrup has already stated that the philosophy will remain the same with possession football the key. However, Laudrup is already planning ahead in preparation of teams figuring out how to stem the flow; he has mentioned how Swansea will need a plan b and a plan c to keep the surprise factor.
This season will be different with some of Swansea’s stars having moved on; after impressing on loan, Caulker has returned to Spurs to fight for a first team spot, where he will be joined by Sigurdsson, who had an incredible impact following his January transfer last season. Whilst, Joe Allen continues to be linked with a reunion with Rodgers at Liverpool.
Defence – Chico and Rangel
However, Laudrup has wasted no time in the transfer market and has drawn on his wealth of experience to attract some unlikely names to the Welsh city. To replace Caulker, he has called upon the services of the Spanish centre-back, Chico (Jose Manuel Flores), who has entered the fantasy premier league game at 5.0m. With Chico being the same price as the other Swansea defenders, there’s no monetary value in choosing one or the other, so it’s a straight choice in who you think will get the more points.
Chico has already notched a goal in pre-season but it remains to be seen how much attacking threat he may bring. A more enticing option is that of Rangel who provided an excellent attacking threat in the Championship, which failed to materialise last season. However, under his hero Laudrup, he will have a second chance to push on down the wings and collect some tasty attacking fantasy points.
With Vorm valued at 5.5m, it is currently cheaper and of better value to invest in a Swansea defender, unless you feel that Vorm will accrue a considerable amount of save points in comparison to attacking points from a defender. Vorm is clearly an outstanding keeper and this adds to the attraction of Swansea defenders during this favourable start to the season.
Midfield – Michu and Sinclair
Swansea fans will have been disappointed to have seen Sigurdsson reject a return to the Liberty stadium in favour of a move to Spurs but this disappointment may be shortlived if Laudrup’s estimation of Michu turns out to be precise. Michu was the highest scoring midfielder in La Liga last season notching an impressive 15 goals to ensure the survival of Rayo Vallecano and attracted many admirers including that of United manager Ferguson. However, Laudrup managed to steal a march to secure Michu’s signature and he will definitely be a player to consider for our squads at the reasonable price of 6.5m.
The other option worthy of consideration is Scott Sinclair, who had a very productive fantasy season, picking up a whopping 151 points! With Team GB failing to beat South Korea, Sinclair should be back in pre-season training soon, but there is talk of City planning a shock swoop for his services. A close eye should be kept on this transfer talk as a move to City would definitely shorten his game time and potential for fantasy points. Last season’s point score can be attributed to Sinclair’s impressive statistics of 8 goals, 5 assists, 13 clean sheets and 13 bonus points. If Sinclair can replicate this sort of overall performance, he will prove to be a bargain at the current price of 7.0m.
Strikers – Graham and ?
Currently up front there is only one real option for us fantasy football managers and that is Danny Graham. None of Swansea’s other striking options are guaranteed a start and Graham is by far the safest bet, after a great first season in the Premier League. Currently priced at 6.0m, Graham is a bargain considering he scored 12 goals, created a further 3 and picked up 16 bonus points to create a grand total of 138 points last season. This is a decent haul and Graham could be a cheap option for one of your striking positions. However, this situation could change with there being talk of Laudrup looking to bring in two more attacking players with one suggested to be a striker and one a winger. If Laudrup does bring in a striker, Graham’s game time could be threatened and we will have to consider the merits of this unknown striker, if he signs. Either way, with Swansea’s fixtures, it would be worth our while to consider their focal point up front.
Swansea definitely have a great start to the season and depending how you feel they may perform, you may choose to have 1, 2 or 3 to help supplement your squad. At their current prices, they can really help to free up some much needed money for the big guns. One of the important points of being a fantasy premier league manager is to keep a keen eye out for value and in Swansea’s side, there are some bargains to be had.
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Image Credit:Flickr – Ronnie Macdonald