EPL WEEK 30 RECAP
We’re back with another EPL Fantasy recap, looking at the going’s on in game week 30. This is not just another round up of the results and implications of the 10 games that went on this past weekend, instead we look at the players who are giving you good Fantasy value now and who might do in the coming weeks and also the players that might be on the way out of your line ups. We start with Sundays game at Old Trafford….
Manchester United 0-3 Liverpool
A shocker of a result for United fans, as they saw their team put in a gutless and inept display against the team they love to hate. Liverpool seemed to be in another gear to their rivals and the result was never in doubt from the opening kick off. The Red Devils were a Fantasy let down, with Nemanja Vidic hurting his managers with minus points. There were a number of players tied for best performers on only 2 points, and at this moment in time it would probably be prudent to get Robin Van Persie and Juan Mata out of your line up. Van Persie is misfiring and massively expensive and I firmly believe manager David Moyes does not know how to use Mata properly. Playing in a rigid midfield 4 is not his game and never will be. As for Liverpool, the story remains the same, Luis Suarez was again dominant adding another goal (24 in 25 starts) and an assist, completing 90 minutes and making the team of the week for a cool 11 points. Steven Gerrard was imperious, scoring 2 penalties and racking up 13 points despite missing a third spot kick. The back 4 and keeper all had 5 points or more in a very comfortable day. The one sour note for managers is the apparent use of Coutinho and Sterling as 1 player, until 1 grabs the regular start or both play together, get them out of your line ups.
Major take away. Liverpool are a fantasy gold mine, pounce on Man United’s ailing stars when the price drops, until then, you can’t trust any of them.
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Tottenham 0-1 Arsenal
Game 2 of Sundays star studded double bill, and in truth Arsenal were fortunate to come away with 3 points. Tottenham put a shift in for beleaguered boss Tim Sherwood and pushed their North London rivals all the way. The nip and tuck nature of the game meant there was not a huge amount of Fantasy goodness to go around for the attacking players in this game. Arsenal’s centre backs, Mertesaker and Koscielny both had 8 point days and both played extremely well, continue to roll with them, they have been consistent all season. Goal scorer Rosicky is looking a bargain at 5.5M, as Mesut Özil will miss a month with a hamstring injury. Lukas Podolski also returned to the starting line up and played very well, but he is expensive at 7.7M, he isn’t prolific and barely finishes 90 minutes so don’t be tempted just yet. Spurs had no Fantasy stand outs, their highest scorer being only 2 Fantasy points, in truth it was one of those days, missed opportunity and lack of a cutting edge prevented any of their players putting points on the board, they’ll be looking to end their goal drought at home to Saints in week 31.
Major Take Away- Opportunity is there for someone to fill Özil’s shoes, can you get them early for the right price?
Hull 0-2 Manchester City
City continued there title charge with a solid 2-0 win at the KC stadium. David Silva exploded for 14 points in what was his best display of the season, he may be rounding into form, but is still more expensive than his production warrants. That being said he is key to what City do and they need to get him involved to have any chance of winning this title, if you have been loyal to him this season, then continue to be. Edin Dzeko grabbed a goal and is a very able deputy for Sergio Aguero. He has value for now, but keep your eye on City’s line ups as he is an expensive luxury when not starting games. As I said though, a steal at the current price of 6.6M when in the line up. Yaya Toure is an automatic start, a quiet game here still yielded 6 points, a weekly captaincy candidate. Vincent Kompany owners have to be disappointed with a straight red card and a 3 match ban, with some big games coming up it’s a blow for City and his Fantasy managers. Hull did little in this game but I still feel there is some nice Fantasy value to be had from them. Long, Jelavic, Davies and Huddelstone chief among them.
Major take away- Look through City with a fine tooth comb when setting your line up, there is value but their line ups are a revolving door.
Everton 2-1 Cardiff
The Toffees continued their fine season with a late, late win over relegation threatened Cardiff. Seamus Coleman grabbed the winner and continued a fine Fantasy season, his attacking prowess along with his 6.6M price tag make him a line up shoe in every week. He regularly plays 90 minutes and regularly scores in double digits, could be the best value player in Fantasy. Gerard Delofeu got on the score sheet, and as i’ve said in recent weeks, keep tabs on him for now, he only played 61 minutes and is not yet fully healthy. Romelu Lukaku was quiet, but I stand by my call that he will be an asset to close out the season.
Major take away- Everton have some nice value players if you take the plunge.
Aston Villa 1-0 Chelsea
An explosive game at Villa Park where Chelsea lost vital ground in the title race. Traditionally a tricky place to go for Mourinho, I don’t think anyone expected the blues to falter this close to the finish line. A disappointing day for all your Chelsea players, especially Ramires who was dismissed for a crude two footed challenge, to put the cap on a poor day. Fabian Delph scored a sublime winner for Villa and was rewarded with 11 points. Going forward I wouldn’t recommend Delph for your line up, tempting as he is at 4.3M, he gets a lot of bookings and that was only his second double digit score of the season. Christian Benteke’s good form had a slight dip with a 1 point outing and at the back, Ron Vlaar continues to be a steady option with a nice 7 points.
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Major Take Away- Don’t panic. Chelsea will be back.
BEST OF THE REST
Stoke beat West Ham 3-1, with a first EPL goal from Marko Arnautovic, he’s a player I like, but have been hesitant to tout in my columns because it’s his first EPL season. Peter Odemwingie hit a brace and is nice value at his current price of 5.4M, he’s been known to get hot. Andy Carroll was back among the goals for West Ham and if he’s fully healthy he will continue to be.
Fulham nicked a vital 1-0 win against Newcastle with another goal from Ashkan Dejagah. He seems to have given the cottagers a spark, but he’s coming off the bench and carrying a knock, nothing to see here just yet.
Southampton and Norwich played out a 4-2 goal feast with the Saints winning it. Jay Rodriguez just keeps scoring, he’s a safe play for a mid tier striker. I’ve made no secret of my love for Robert Snodgrass, goals and assists for a very low price, you can live with the inconsistency. One to note is Johan Elmander getting a goal for Norwich, he’s been a solid EPL contributor in the past and his strike partners are mis firing as of late so he could be in line for more playing time.
Sunderland and Palace played out a 0-0 draw. Clean sheets all around, I’m still high on Thomas Ince though.
Swansea were beaten 2-1 on their own patch by struggling West Brom. A goal for Stephen Sessegnonn on his return to the line up was nice. Another solid Fantasy performer in the past, he could get hot down the stretch.
WRITTEN AND COMPOSED BY NEIL DONOHOE FOR THE FAKE EPL. FOLLOW ON TWITTER @NEILDONOHOE