The Dirtsheet: Gameweek 34

Posted: April 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Warning: Double gameweek imminent!

They are beginning to come thick and fast, these double gameweeks! This week, those located in the upper echelons of the Premier League see fit to double up on action from Sunderland, Manchester City, Everton and Crystal Palace. For FPL managers, it means we have the potential to bring in a number of players with very favourable fixtures.

Manchester City have announced that they have no injury concerns apart from Nastasic, which means that I actually select four City players for the Dirtsheet, covering all three crucial areas.


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Without further delay, here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 34!

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I have a little time free this morning and so I decided to share my thoughts with you on the news that Eden Hazard picked up an injury in Chelsea’s incredible comeback against Paris Saint German in the Champions League.

As someone who has found lady luck a tough mistress to deal with this year in FPL, I cannot help but think that she went a little overboard on me last night. I joked to my fiancée that Hazard would probably get injured just to rub some salt into the open wounds of my own personal season. As we arrived home after a 5-mile run, I turned on the TV at the exact moment Hazard showed he could not continue. The news this morning confirmed my fears…

“It is a calf problem, but I have no idea the dimension of his injury. Even when they are not serious, you cannot play for a couple of weeks.” – Jose Mourinho

So what does this means for the FPL community? Put simply, with just 5 weeks to go, managers now face a decision regarding Hazard. It does not appear to be a season-ending knock, leaving us in an apparent transfer limbo. Had he been ruled out for the rest of the season, there would be little need for an article. Selling Hazard now will mean losing close to a million pounds in value – an amount which may not be available in the final 2 weeks if we decide we want him back.

Mourinho, love him or hate him, is usually candid and honest with his injury news. Unlike other managers, “a lengthy layoff” does not mean a sudden and surprise return against bitter rivals. I tend to take the Chelsea boss at his word. This means that he will miss favourable ties against Sunderland and Swansea. Now, if he misses just a fortnight, he could potentially return to two favourable game against Norwich (H) and Cardiff City (A) in addition to a huge game against Liverpool.

So is it worth it to hold onto Hazard in the hopes he returns for those two games where double figure returns are likely?

The answer to that question, as far as I’m concerned, is a definite and resounding no.

Chelsea’s passage through to the semi finals means that Mourinho will almost certainly look to protect Hazard for the tournament that he feels he can win. By his own admittance, the dream of another Premier League title gracing the trophy cabinets at Stamford Bridge has now faded. He has publicly stated that it is up to other teams to lose the league, rather than his side to win it.

In addition, the emergence of Mohamed Salah will not have gone unnoticed. The Egyptian scored an incredible 14 points against Stoke and has shown more than enough talent to start games in Hazard’s absence. Priced at a mere £5.5, he is looking like an incredible bargain should he get a run in the side.

To me, this means that Hazard’s time in our FPL Teams has essentially come to an end. Looking outside of Hazard’s team mates for potential replacements, the arguments to sell Hazard only strengthens.

Manchester City players, for example, have seven games between now and the end of the season, thanks to a double gameweek in both GW34 and GW37. Compare that to Hazard’s maximum of three. In addition, they are focused only on the Premier League title which means that rotation will not be a factor until they have won the title.

While many FPL managers have either David Silva or Yaya Toure, there is now a huge opportunity to now own both talents. They City midfielders have 39 and 44 points, respectively, over their last 5 games and with a very favourable run-in, both are sure to return excellent attacking points. Having said that, it would also be unwise to overlook one Samir Nasri who has amassed 30 points over the same period, and with David Silva nursing an ongoing ankle niggle, I actually feel Nasri is more assured of overall minutes.

While not a midfield option himself, Sergio Aguero looks set to return against Liverpool in a match that could go a long way to deciding whether the Premier League trophy ends up in Liverpool or Manchester this season. By selling Hazard for a cheaper double gameweek option, such as Adam Johnson, it frees up a huge amount of money to upgrade a cheaper striker to one who could be a huge differential as we head towards the season’s end.

If it was not for the blank in GW34, Juan Mata would also be a superb replacement this week. However, the mercurial Spaniard does have a double in GW37 – if you are happy to wait a week, he is a superb option after scoring 31 points in his last 180 minutes. Evergreen Steven Gerrard is also another great replacement, especially considering the sheet number of penalties he is receiving and scoring! Liverpool will not give up until the bitte end, and Gerrard will do everything to win his first title.

Of course, we can only replace Hazard with one player, and having looked at many candidates, I cannot help but look towards a Manchester City player as Hazard’s replacement. They have the fixtures (both in quality AND quantity), the hunger and the focus to win the league, and it’s always smart to back the favourites.

Thanks for the memories Eden, you have been a truly fantastic FPL player for me this year, but it’s time to say goodbye.

I’m sure we will cross paths next year, but for now…

Au revoir…

The Dirtsheet: Gameweek 33

Posted: April 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

Good afternoon all. Last week, I wrote to you from the glitz and glamour of London. Now that I’m back home, things are beginning to get back to normal. It feels a little like gameweek 32…the first week back after a week of indulgence, craziness and fantastic times that the double gameweek 31 bestowed upon us all.

However, the double is now a distant memory – it’s back to basics. Regular gameweeks are the bread and butter of the game and we need to focus on them just as much as the upcoming doubles in gameweeks 34 and 37.

A couple of bluebirds make their way into the Dirtsheet today – hopefully we will all be tweeting and signing about a bumper score come Monday evening!

Here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 33!

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The Dirtsheet: Gameweek 32

Posted: March 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

I’m writing this issue of the Dirtsheet from many different spots across London while on a few days break – Buckingham Palace, Zara’s on Oxford Street, Next on Oxford Street, Pull and Bear on Oxford Street. Yes, it’s fair to say that Mrs. FPLStrategist is enjoying the shopping more the the scenery, and my chances of a sneaky tour of Stamford Bridge or the Emirates are evaporating as we trudge from store to store.

I wish my FPL points from last week could be converted to pounds Sterling – 164 was a great return, even if I failed up take my own Dirtsheet advice and buy Skrtel!

I’m off to the London Eye now followed by Captain America in the IMAX! But enough from me…

Here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 32!



THE DIRTSHEET: GAMEWEEK 32

The Eleven – (3-4-3)

Vito Mannone (SUN)
Opponent – West Ham United (H)
Good home fixture. Double Gameweek in gw34. A solid choice for this Gameweek – what’s not to like?

Leighton Baines (EVE)
Opponent Fulham (A)
With another double Gameweek coming up and a goal last week from the spot, Leighton Baines gets the nod ahead of a trip to Fulham. The Cottagers were well beaten by City last week and look like relegation fodder. Expect Everton to capitalise.

John Terry (CHE)
Opponent – Cardiff City (A)
City have been incredibly solid at the back this season and a number of managers have been doubling up on their defensive assets in recent weeks. For me, John Terry is still the best option if you can only select one player. He is a magnet for bonus points and his attacking threat is unquestionable. Palace should provide little in the way of attacking threat and Terry should pick up at least 6 points.

Jose Fonte (SOU)
Opponent – Newcastle United (H)
The Saints will hope to return to winning ways against Newcastle and I’m selecting Jose Fonte to cover a potential clean sheet. Like John Terry, his attacking threat could bolster his returns.

Steven Gerrard (LIV)
Opponent – Tottenham Hotspurs (H)
A super goal against Sunderland sees Gerrard keep his spot against Spurs. He is to consistent to overlook.

Eden Hazard (CHE)
Opponent – Crystal Palace (A)
Hazard was one of the few players I felt confident would match the output of some of his double Gameweek counterparts, and his goal in the 6-0 rout of Arsenal was completely merited. Up next is a resilient Palace side who have, at times, turned Selhurst Park into a fortress. However, Chelsea are justifiable favourites for the title and I think Mourinho’s men will come away with all 3 points.

Yaya Toure (MCI)
Opponent – Arsenal (A)
A total of 31 points in Gameweek 31 sums up the season that Yaya Toure is having this year. With Sergio Aguero ruled out of the trip to Arsenal, penalties will remain in Toure’s locker. Arsenal have capitulated numerous times against the top teams and if City get a couple of goals before half time, Toure will play in a more advanced position. Arsenal would do well to contain City without Koscielny in the defence, but I cannot see anything other than a convincing City win.

Adam Lallana (SOU)
Opponent – Newcastle United
A number of FPL managers, including myself, either benched or even sold Adam Lallana for the double gameweek. The Englishman punished that decision with a well-taken goal against Spurs. Southampton will hope to bounce back against Newcastle who are without Tom Krul for a number of weeks. Lallana usually shines in home matches against solid opposition.

Luis Suarez (LIV)
Opponent – Tottenham Hotspurs (H)
A fantastic total of 25 points over the double gameweek shows that Suarez is back to scoring consistently. Liverpool are finding the net for fun and although Spurs will provide a sterner test than most teams, I still see Liverpool scoring 2-3 goals.

Wayne Rooney (MUN)
Opponent – Aston Villa (H)
Two goals against West Ham showed the threat that Rooney possesses when been handed the main strikers role, and although United face Bayern during the week, I expect Rooney to start against Villa. United clearly do not have the team to beat the very top sides this year, but I can see a solid win for United in Saturday. Rooney is also on penalties and has his fair share of set pieces so should be involved in United’s goals.

Romelu Lukaku (EVE)
Opponent – Fulham (A)
To be honest, I had a hard time choosing between Lukaku and Bony, but I’m opting for the Belgian for the trip to Fulham. Two goals and an assist over the double gameweek was an excellent return, but it’s his consistency since his return from injury that has been most impressive. In addition, It’s important to remember that Lukaku has a double Gameweek in 2 more weeks, so he represents a shrewd investment in the medium term.

The Captain – Luis Suarez (LIV)
Simply too much form going into this particular fixture for me to choose anyone else as captain. Wayne Rooney is also a good option but there is a very small chance that he will get a rest towards he end of the game if United are 2-0 up after 70 minutes.

The Clean Sheets
I’m looking to Swansea, Manchester United, West Brom, Newcastle, Chelsea, Stoke, Sunderland and Southampton to return clean sheets. I have a feeling it will be a good week for defensive returns.

The Unusual Suspects
Defender: Ben Davies (SWA)
Midfielder: Miguel Michu (SWA)
Striker: Wilfried Bony (SWA)
Captain: Wayne Rooney (MUN)

And that’s a wrap! It’s quick, it’s informative and it’s helpful. It’s the Dirtsheet, and it’s here every Friday! Please share this on Twitter and Facebook! Every follower counts!

The Dirtsheet: Gameweek 31

Posted: March 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

This is it! The big one! The gameweek that has been in the minds of most FPL managers for the last fortnight. It’s the gameweek that has the potential to make or break the seasons of most FPL team.

This week, the Dirtsheet attempts to pinpoint who I feel are the best options for the Double – a tough task considering the sheer amount of potential picks. Although there are a few players with just the one game who could do very well (I’m looking at you Mr. Hazard), I’m picking eleven players with a double fixture.

I have also mentioned a couple of cheaper alternatives in each position for those of you looking to maximize your returns on a budget.

Here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 31!



THE DIRTSHEET: GAMEWEEK 31

The Eleven – (3-4-3)

Tim Krul (NEW)
Opponent – Crystal Palace (H)/Everton (H)
I’m not sure that any goalkeeper will keep two clean sheets over the double gameweek, so I am selecting Tim Krul as he has perhaps the best chance of doing so given the fact he has two home gameweeks against teams who tend to struggle for goals at times. Vito Mannone is also a good choice and he does have 2 further double gameweeks before the end of the season.

Seamus Coleman (EVE)
Opponent Swansea City (H)/Newcastle United (A)
Coleman’s attacking returns seem to arrive in spurts so I am backing him to return poinst at both ends of the fields. There is strong spculation that Manchester United will move for the Irishman who has been an absolute revelation this year – 6 goals is an incredible return for any defender. Newcastle will find it especially difficult to keep out Coleman so the aforementioned Tim Krul will need to be on high alert for the Irishman’s raids down their left wing. If you have Leighton Baines, you should also be very happy going into this week – his penalty and free kick-taking skills could also bear fruit. Sylvain Distin is a cheaper option – he may not have the same attacking potential, but his clean sheet potential is the same for over a million less.

Martin Skrtel (LIV)
Opponent – Cardiff City (A)/ Sunderland (H)
With 2 goals, 2 clean sheets and 5 bonus points in his last 5 games, Martin Skrtel is in prime position to plunder FPL returns as he faces up to two teams not reknowned for scoring many goals. Cardiff will look to defend first and foremost and I cannot see them troubling the Liverpool backline. Sunderland at home has less potential for a clean sheet but is still a solid bet. A 15+ point score from the Slovak would not surprise me in the slightest. For those of you on a budget, consider Jon Flanagan for a mere 4.3 million.

Pablo Zabaleta (MCI)
Opponent – Fulham City (H)/Manchester United (A)
I would love to give Kolarov a place in the Dirtsheet this week, but I need to pick players who I am confident will get two full games and therefore I am opting for Pablo Zabaleta for the double gameweek. He has started every league game in 2014, and with just the Premier League to focus on now, I think the Brazilian is the best choice out of all City defenders.

Steven Gerrard (LIV)
Opponent – Cardiff City (A)/ Sunderland (H)
It’s not often that a player gets the opportunity to score a hattrick of penalties, and only for the intervention of Manchester United’s left-hand post, the Liverpool captain would have achieved that incredible feat. Gerrard has once again shown his incredible consistency – that’s 10 goals and 10 assists so far this season and I am strongly backing him for attacking returns over the double gameweek. Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson are your budget options to consider.

Kevin Nolan (WHU)
Opponent – Manchester United (H)/Hull City (H)
Kevin Nolan has shown explosive form at home in recent weeks – he has 2 double-figure scores in his last 3 home games to go with his 16-point haul at Villa Park in gameweek 25. While he rarely finishes games these days, his link up play with Andy Carroll will be tough to defend against and he has the potential to score in both games. Manchester United, in particular, could find it difficult to deal with Carroll’s presence and Nolan will be on hand to profit from any defensive errors. If you don’t fancy West Ham to score and need an even cheaper option, why not consider Hull’s Jake Livermore?

Yaya Toure (MCI)
Opponent – Fulham City (H)/Manchester United (A)
With news trickling through that Sergio Aguero may miss the double gameweek entirely, I’m backing Toure to return over the double gameweek. City will look to get back to scoring ways against a Fulham team that could easily concede a bucketload of goals at the Etihad. The return of Fernandinho and the absence of Aguero means that City will look to Toure for more attacking treat, and he will be on penalties. A trip to Old Trafford is a tougher task, but Toure has the ability to win a crucial game all by himself. Given the fact that United condeded three penalties in their last league game, Toure could easily have an average game but still walk away with double-figure returns. Samir Nasri is a cheaper option and should start both games.

David Silva (MCI)
Opponent – Fulham City (H)/Manchester United (A)
A goal and an assist in the win over Hull City brings Silva back into consideration against Fulham and United. Like Toure, his attacking instincts will be required to compensate for the loss of Sergio Aguero. I’m not expecting huge returns but he should be heavily involved in City’s goals over the next 180 minutes. Keep in mind that he will also have 2 more double gameweeks to come.

Luis Suarez (LIV)
Opponent – Cardiff City (A)/ Sunderland (H)
It would take a very brave man to enter the double gameweek without the talismatic Uruguayan. Simply put, he is essential for this week and is almost certainly the most logical choice of captain. Two double figures returns in the last 2 gameweeks shows that his termporary drop in FPL returns are now a distant memory.

Wayne Rooney (MUN)
Opponent – West Ham United (A)/Manchester City (H)
With doubts surrounding the fitness of Robin Van Persie, I have to opt for Wayne Rooney who will probably play as the main striker in the Dutchman’s absense. While his double fixtures are not the greatest and City will provide a stern test, I do think Rooney will relish the chance to be the most atacking United player, especially against their Manchester rivals. If you are unsure that Rooney will run riot, then look to Daniel Sturridge. I have already selected 3 Liverpool players but Sturridge could be as productive than Rooney over the next 2 games. Your cheaper options for the gameweek are Nikita Jelavic, Edin Dzeko, Danny Welbeck and Andy Carroll.

Romelu Lukaku (EVE)
Opponent – Swansea City (H)/Newcastle United (A)
Even as I am typing this, I am unsure that Lukaku has the potential to return the sort of points you would expect from a double gameweek striker with such fanourable fixtures. On paper, there is at least two goals on the cards for the on-loan Chelsea man. However, his real life form is patchy – this could translate to a miserable double-blank or it could mean goals and assists galore. For now, I am content to have him for around 8 million but he will not be taking the armband. That honor have been given to a familiar face…

The Captain – Luis Suarez (LIV)
Over two games, I cannot think of anyone that has the potential to score as highly as the Liverpool man apart from his teammate Daniel Sturridge. Liverpool are strongly challenging for their first ever Premier League title and there is no chance that the Uruguayan will be rested. Liverpool are scoring for fun and they have perhaps the strongest fixtures in the double gameweek.

The Clean Sheets
I’m looking to Everton, Liverpool, Norwich, Newcastle, Manchester City and Aston Villa to return clean sheets.

The Unusual Suspects
Defender: Guy Demel (WHU)
Midfielder: Tom Huddlestone (HUL)
Striker: Andy Carroll (WHU)
Captain: Daniel Sturridge (LIV)

And that’s a wrap! It’s quick, it’s informative and it’s helpful. It’s the Dirtsheet, and it’s here every Friday! Please share this on Twitter and Facebook! Every follower counts!

The Dirtsheet: Gameweek 30

Posted: March 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

Nine gameweeks to go. For many managers, the upcoming schedule is perhaps the most crucial phase of the 2013/2014 season. We are closing in on the final gameweek before a season defining double gameweek 31. For the shrewd manager, transfers this week will focus on players who have a double gameweek in addition to solid fixtures in GW30 and GW32.

The picks this week are less reliant on some of the big names, and for a good reason. Manchester United welcome arch-rivals Liverpool to Old Trafford while Arsenal square up to Spurs in the North London derby – standout performances from these games may be tough to select but a few usual names endure.

Here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 30!



THE DIRTSHEET: GAMEWEEK 30

The Eleven – (3-4-3)

Artur Boruc (SOU)
Opponent – Norwich City (H)
The Polish shotstopper is my choice between the posts as Southampton welcome a travel-sick Norwich to St. Mary’s. The Canaries have lost their last 4 on the trot and a home clean sheet is likely.

Leighton Baines (EVE)
Opponent Cardiff City (H)
Since his return from injury, Baines has outscored Coleman both in terms of attacking points and bonus returns. Martinez and his men must be confident of keeping a clean sheet against a poor Cardiff side who have yet to settle under new management. With free kicks and penalties in his arsenal, I feel that Baines is worth the extra 0.8m over the Irishman.

Phil Bardsley (SUN)
Opponent – Crystal Palace (H)
A home tie against Palace is as good a time as any to select Phil Bardsley for the Dirtsheet. He is by far the most attacking option in the Sunderland defense and Palace have only scored once in their last 4 away fixtures. A clean sheet and some attacking returns would not be a surprise.

John Terry (CHE)
Opponent – Aston Villa (A)
Another Dirtsheet, another selection for John Terry. Even in a 4-0 win last week, Terry still managed to score a bonus point. Those looking for a cheaper option can turn to Gary Cahill or even Cesar Azpilicueta who has recently been lauded by Jose Mourinho. Villa will pose little threat to a Chelsea rearguard looking for yet another clean sheet.

Eden Hazard (CHE)
Opponent – Aston Villa (A)
An away trip to Villa Park will hold no fear for Chelsea and the mercurial Belgian. With 4 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 games, he has completely eclipsed the rest of his Chelsea team mates in terms of FPL output. Villa have won just 1 in their last 6 games and will need to be on their best form if they are to get a result from the title favourites.

Adam Johnson (SUN)
Opponent – Crystal Palace (H)
The Sunderland midfielder is my choice of a cheeky punt for the double gameweek but a favorable home tie is reason enough to get him in a week early. An impressive 6 goals and 2 assists in 6 games shows his form, and despite being taken off at half time vs Arsenal, he is in prime position for attacking returns.

Yaya Toure (MCI)
Opponent – Hull City (A)
Aguero out? Then Yaya is in the Dirtsheet! With free kicks and penalties in his locker, he looks to be a must have for a game against Hull City who will play the type of compact game that will allow Toure to get further up the field. The fact that Fernandinho is now back in the City midfield will further boost City’s overall attacking potential. If Hull concede early, there could be a massacre at the KC stadium.

Adam Lallana (SOU)
Opponent – Norwich City (H)
Despite a disappointing FPL performance last gameweek, I have to back the Englishman against a Norwich side that completely capitulated against Aston Villa a couple of weeks ago. His home attacking statistics are very impressive and his owners will be looking for a solid points returns before the double game week.

Daniel Sturridge (LIV)
Opponent – Manchester United (A)
Astonishingly, Daniel Sturridge’s blank last week was his first since returning from injury in mid-January. I feel that this was due to a change in formation against Southampton wheere Raheem Sterling was sacrificed in favour of Joe Allen. However, I can see Liverpool revert to 4-3-3 against United which will give Sturridge the role as lone striker. To be honest, it’s tough to choose between the two but I have to go with my gut for the Old Trafford encounter.

Wayne Rooney(MUN)
Opponent – Liverpool (H)
Despite some poor returns in recent weeks, the Englishman burst back into life with a goal and an assist in the comprehensive win over West Bromich Albion. It seems that his overall work rate means he can play a slightly more withdrawn role yet arrive into dangerous areas when needed. Rooney lives for games like this. The quintessential big-game player, he is bound to be involved in the goals if United are to overturn their greatest rivals.

Romelu Lukaku (EVE)
Opponent – Cardiff City (H)
It could be argued that Lukaku’s recent injury came at a favourable time – he was misfiring terribly and only the most bull-headed managers stuck with him. With 2 goals in as many games since his return, it seems that there is a spark back in his game, and with doubts surrounding the fitness of Sergio Aguero, Lukaku seems to be a strong choice for the next 4 games.

The Captain – Eden Hazard (CHE) It’s a straight choice between Hazard and Lukaku this week for me. If you are maintaining a lead, then Hazard seems the safer bet. However, Lukaku has an explosive quality about him and could put Cardiff to the sword singlehandedly at Goodison.

The Clean Sheets
I’m looking to Sunderland, Chelsea, Swansea, Southampton, StokeEverton to return clean sheets.

The Unusual Suspects
Defender: Jose Fonte (SOU)
Midfielder: Stephen Ireland(STO)
Striker: Wilfried Bony (SWA)
Captain: Romelu Lukaku (EVE)

And that’s a wrap! It’s quick, it’s informative and it’s helpful. It’s the Dirtsheet, and it’s here every Friday! Please share this on Twitter and Facebook! Every follower counts!

The Dirtsheet: Gameweek 29

Posted: March 7, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Hello all and welcome to the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 29. I’m writing to you as I begin to succumb to a flu that has laid waste to my fiancée and many of our social group. I feel like half the man I was a few days ago. Therefore, it’s fitting that I only have half the normal amount of games to worry about in FPL this gameweek.

With so many people focused on the potential bounty of points that may await us all in Gameweek 31, we must remember that this week is almost as important. I have seen many FPL managers refuse to make a transfer this week even though they only have 4-5 players playing!

To each their own I guess – the Dirtsheet this week looks to select players who have a game this week but who also offer some long-term security.

Heres the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 29.



THE DIRTSHEET: GAMEWEEK 29

The Eleven – (3-5-2)

David Marshall (CAR)
Opponent – Fulham (H)
It’s a tough call to choose 4 defensive players this week, but I’ve opted for David Marshall despite Cardiff’s recent defensive woes. I do believe that new manager Solsjkaer is settling on his starting team and that can only help the stability of the club. If Cardiff do keep a clean sheet, they will need a big performance from the goalkeeper which will, in turn, attract potential bonus points.

Patrice Evra (MUN)
Opponent West Bromich Albion (A)
After, quite literally, getting kicked in the eye while on international duty, it seems that Evra is fit to face WBA in the early Saturday match. The phrase “must-win game for United” is becoming a cliché but I do think United will have enough to beat a WBA who have not won in their previous 6 games. Evra’s attacking threat will be needed if United keep things narrow and deploy a 4-2-3-1 with Fellaini and Carrick siting in front of the defense.

Martin Olsson (NOR)
Opponent – Stoke City (H)
Olsson is almost certain to recover from injury and I think he is the best choice to cover the Norwich defense over the next few weeks. Stoke are the visitors to Carrow Road and will hope to turn around their dismal away record – 1 point from a possible 18 is simply not good enough from a side that were able to beat Arsenal at home last week. If you feel Olsson might miss this week, then look to Sebastian Bassong.

John Terry (CHE)
Opponent – Tottenham Hotspurs (H)
When Chelsea are up against a top side and I am looking for someone to cover a possible clean sheet, I turn to John Terry. With 6 clean sheets in their last 9, there is no doubting Chelsea’s ability at the back. I foresee a tight game at the Bridge, and Terry could return a clean sheet and bonus.

Eden Hazard (CHE)
Opponent – Tottenham Hotspurs (H)
Two assists in the 3-1 win over Fulham makes Hazard an easy pick for this gameweek, despite the tough fixture against Spurs. He picked up a swollen ankle while on international duty with Belgium but is expected to be fit for a crucial game against Spurs.

Adam Lallana (SOU)
Opponent – Crystal Palace (A)
Lallana put in a very impressive display for England in their narrow win over Denmark, and will hope to bring that momentum into a game against a solid Crystal Palace side. While 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 8 isn’t exactly explosive, it does show that he is regularly in the mix for attacking points. I expect a strong performance from the Saints after being overwhelmed by Liverpool last gameweek.

Juan Mata (MUN)
Opponent – West Bromich Albion (A)
The second of three United players for this gameweek, Juan Mata has 3 assists in his last 5 games and is getting in the right positions to grab his first goal as a red. I’m hoping that Moyes has the courage to play 4-2-3-1 and really attack WBA from kick-off because Mata will thrive in that position where has more licence to float inside.

Tom Ince (CPL)
Opponent – Southampton (H)
Having been sacrified at half-time last week, I can see Ince return to the starting line up for the home clash with Southampton. Although he will probably be deployed on the wing, he certainly has the pace and guile to trouble the Saints should Luke Shaw get caught out of position while he himself attempts to target a lack of cover of Joel Ward. I’m hoping Ince comes out on top, and with some set pieces in his locker, he should return attacking points if Palace win.

Robert Snodgrass (NOR)
Opponent – Stoke City (H)
Having given his new owners a massive scare last gameweek, it looks like Snodgrass is fit enough to start the crucial game against Stoke City. As stated earlier, Stoke’s away form has been abysmal, and will need to expertly deal with the corners and free kicks from Snodgrass if they are to get anything from the game.

Robin Van Persie (MUN)
Opponent – West Bromich Albion (A)
Having seen his season marred by injury, Van Persie is now showing signs that he is not entirely happy with life at Old Trafford. However, he will be raring to continue his personal scoring form that has seen him notch 3 in his last 4 games. Mata, Rooney and possibly Januzaj will provide the ammunition for the Dutchman, and with penalties in his locker, he is a strong choice for captain this week.

Rickie Lambert (SOU)
Opponent – Crystal Palace (A)
It was a toss-up between Adebayor and Lambert for the final striker spot, but I am opting for Lambert who has the stronger fixture. Although he has drawn three successive blanks, he had scored 2 goals and 2 assists the two games before that. I’m hoping for a return to scoring ways for a player looking to shine in World Cup year.

The Captain – Eden Hazard (CHE) – A tough call but I’m going for Eden Hazard over Robin Van Persie.

The Clean Sheets
I’m looking to Norwich City, Chelsea and Manchester United to return clean sheets.

The Unusual Suspects
Defender: Steven Caulker (SWA)
Midfielder: Wilfried Zaha (CAR)
Striker: Gary Hooper (NOR)
Captain: Adam Lallana (SOU)

And that’s a wrap! It’s quick, it’s informative and it’s helpful. It’s the Dirtsheet, and it’s here every Friday! Please share this on Twitter and Facebook! Every follower counts!