With eight goals and two clean sheets in their first couple of Gameweeks, Michael Laudrup’s side have been quick out the blocks. The Welsh outfit take their strong form into a run of fixtures that sees the Swans play four times (SUN, EVE, RDG, WIG) in the next Gameweeks at the Liberty – a scenario which will continue to earn their main assets plenty of Fantasy interest.
Michu continues to rise in price – the Spaniard’s goal in the 3-0 win over West Ham has boosted his cost. Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge offer cheaper routes into the Swansea midfield and both have produced attacking returns in each of the two Gameweeks so far. Danny Graham’s role as the lone striker doesn’t seem under threat unless Laudrup plans a last-minute spending spree; the former Watford man should pick up more suitors, despite playing a part in only one of his side’s eight goals to date. At the back, Michel Vorm has two clean sheets in the two fixtures so far, while Angel Rangel’s goal against West Ham has afforded the right-back a bandwagon of his own since the weekend.
Two wins from their opening couple of matches suggests Everton won’t be slow off the mark this time round. A home victory and clean sheet against United seems to have signalled the Toffees intent and, while David Moyes’ side have four of their next six away (wba, swa, wig, qpr) the ease with which they saw off Villa on the road suggests a side full of confidence right now. Factor in home clashes with Newcastle and Southampton and points look likely to be supplied on a regular basis from Everton’s big hitters.
Leighton Baines’ partnership with Steven Pienaar on the left flank has returned an assist and goal in the opening couple of Gameweeks, with Phil Jagielka offering an in-form, cheaper alternative to the left-back in defence. Marouane Fellaini has notched in both his side’s games and continues to climb in price, while Nikica Jelavic got off the mark at Villa and offers us a consistency that is rare amongst similarly priced Fantasy forwards.
The Hammers will be desperate to atone for their going over at the Liberty last weekend and are handed a strong run of fixtures over the next six Gameweeks to get some wins under their belt. Sam Allardyce’s side welcome (FUL, SUN, SOT) to Upton Park between now and Gameweek 8 – a trio of matches which could well offer Fantasy points at both ends of the pitch.
With visits to Norwich and QPR also amongst their upcoming schedule, the likes of Kevin Nolan will be earmarked for investment, with his threat from midfield already returning a goal for his Fantasy owners. Mark Noble’s set-piece and spot-kick duties make him a viable cut-price contender, while Carlton Cole may appeal to eternal optimists; the forward has started both his side’s games in a central striking role. At the back, George McCartney and James Collins are the club’s best scoring players, while Guy Demel offers a cheap alternative and seems nailed-on at right-back.
Yet to click under Andre Villas-Boas, Spurs have an enticing run of fixtures that could finally see them soar up the table after accruing a single point in their opening couple of matches. Between now and Gameweek 7, (NOR, QPR, AVL) all roll up to the Lane – the trio have been far from impressive and with a trip to Reading also on the agenda, there are plenty of options to consider should the London outfit get their act together.
Gareth Bale looks the most obvious midfield option, with Gylfi Sigurdsson and Rafael Van der Vaart seemingly vying for the role in “the hole”, while Aaron Lennon perhaps offers a less risky option with a cheaper price. Up front, Emmanuel Adebayor will be pushing for a start as he edges his way towards match fitness – Jermain Defoe’s role in the first XI will surely come under threat over the next game or two. At the back, Benoit Assou-Ekotto has come to the fore after his goal against West Brom, though Jan Vertonghen looks the most reliable long-term bet for goals from the back.
Newcastle – Alan Pardew’s side have three strong fixtures in the next four Gameweeks which all look prosperous. Home games with Villa and Norwich, allied with a trip to Reading, could see points accrued at both ends of the pitch. At the back, Tim Krul and Steven Taylor offers saves points and bonus potential respectively, while Hatem Ben Arfa, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse are all liable to grab a goal or two.
West Brom – three home fixtures in the next five Gameweeks offer Steve Clarke’s side a chance to maintain their decent start to the new campaign. The Baggies welcome (EVE, RDG, QPR) to the Hawthorns, with Liam Ridgewell the most likely defender to offer points at both ends of the pitch. James Morrison served a reminder of his budget potential from midfield by grabbing the equaliser at Spurs to add to his assist in the opener against Liverpool, while Peter Odemwingie’s owners will be hoping the Nigerian retains spot-kick duties after Shane Long’s miss against the Merseysiders.
Fulham – the Cottagers have three away fixtures in the next six which look prosperous. Martin Jol will take positives from the narrow loss at Old Trafford ahead of (whm, wig, sot) and with home clashes against West Brom and Villa also just around the corner, there are reasons to be optimistic. John Arne Riise offers the greatest attacking potential from the back, while Damien Duff has crept under the radar, despite notching in both his side’s games so far. Alex Kacaniklic is a budget alternative to the Irishman in midfield, while Mladen Petric looks strong value ahead of those upcoming fixtures.
Aston Villa – Paul Lambert’s side will be licking their wounds after a comprehensive home defeat by Everton and this weekend they could find points hard to come by, with a trip to Newcastle up next. After that game, though, Villa are afforded three fixtures (SWA, sot, WBA) that look essential to their prospects – Darren Bent will be earmarked by many, while Charles N’Zogbia’s midfield contribution will be crucial to the midlanders’ cause.
Tony Pulis’ side have registered a draw in each of their two games but the Potters’ schedule suggests wins could be a rarity over the next few matches. Stoke face City, Chelsea, Liverpool and United in the next six Gameweeks and with a trip to Wigan and home clash against in-form Swansea also imminent, they could well struggle to produce the Fantasy points. Michael Kightly’s strong start may grind to a halt, while Ryan Shawcross’ owners may well find clean sheets hard to come by.
A single point and one goal from their first couple of fixtures doesn’t bode well for the Canaries ahead of a cruel run of matches. Chris Hughton’s side travel to (tot, new, che) in the next six Gameweeks in addition to entertaining Liverpool and Arsenal – only a home clash with West Ham offers a chink of light in an unrelenting schedule. John Ruddy’s owners will be reliant on plenty more save points to justify his inclusion, while Grant Holt could continue to struggle up front as Hughton looks for a more defensive approach than predecessor Paul Lambert.
Having steadied the ship with a point at Carrow Road, Mark Hughes will be bracing himself ahead of QPR’s next trio of fixtures. The Loftus Road outfit square up to City, Chelsea and Spurs in the next three Gameweeks before their schedule begins to take a turn for the better. Short-term, though, Fantasy returns look minimal, going on current form –the likes of Adel Taarabt and Djibril Cisse could struggle for attacking returns, while Rob Green and the defence looks set for further disappointment at the back.
Robin has gone and the new boys have yet to gel. While the Gunners have recorded back-to-back clean sheets, they have yet to register a single goal since Van Persie’s departure. The next four Gameweeks sees Arsene Wenger’s side travel to Liverpool and City and play host to Chelsea – while a home clash with Southampton offers the likes of Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski a chance to finally shine, confidence in Arsenal’s attacking assets has dimmed temporarily.
Also be wary of…
Reading – Brian McDermott’s men face a blank Gameweek this time round before a run of fixtures that sees them take to the road in three of their next five. Trips to (wba, swa, liv) look far from straightforward for Pavel Pogrebnyak and co and with home games against Spurs and Newcastle, Adam Federici will be relying on plenty of saves points to boost his potential over the next few fixtures.
Southampton – their return to the Premier League has resulted in back-to-back defeats in the opening two Gameweeks for the Saints and the schedule suggests they may have to wait a little longer to chalk up a victory. Nigel Adkins’ side welcome United to St Mary’s this weekend and also travel to Everton and Arsenal in the next four Gameweeks before the fixture schedule begins to offer them a little respite. (Source: http://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk)
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