THE DIRTSHEET: GAMEWEEK 9 (Formation: 4-3-3)
Hugo Lloris (TOT)
Opponent – Newcastle United (H)
A home clean sheet and perhaps a save point would be a great return for the Frenchman – I cannot see Harry Kane returning between the posts after his Europa League cameo :D
Leighton Baines (EVE)
Opponent – Burnley (A)
A superb 15-point return last week was not unexpected, and I fancy Baines to continue his rich vein of form as Everton visit a Burnley side who has scored just 4 goals all season in the league. Baines will get forward at every opportunity against the Clarets. With 4 great fixtures ahead, buying Baines is a smart investment for the savvy FPL manager.
Nathaniel Clyne (SOU)
Opponent – Stoke City (H)
Southampton defenders are providing to be real value for money so far this season, especially Clyne and Bertrand. Along with 4 clean sheets in 8, Clyne and Bertrand have a goal and an assist apiece. I think you need to have at least one Saints defender and I really don’t think there is much difference between them.
Andre Wisdon (WBA)
Opponent– Crystal Palace (H)
An assist against Manchester United showed that the Liverpool loanee has attacking points to fall back on if WBA concede. Having said that, the Baggies have three clean sheets to their name already and I expect a fourth against Crystal Palace. More importantly, last week was the first time that Wisdom and Gamboa were both available and it was Wisdom who started – perhaps he is going to be the first choice
Raheem Sterling (LIV)
Opponent – Hull (H)
Last Sunday, Liverpool snatched an unlikely three points, jumped into the team bus and drove away from Loftus Road as quickly as possible – it was the type of smash and grab result we hadn’t seen from Liverpool for some time. The events of the last week seem to show that the mood could be changing for the better at Anfield as it looks likely that Balotelli will finally be dropped, allowing for Rickie Lambert get a shot at a starting role. What this means is that they will have an experienced target man to draw out defenders which could provide plenty of room for Sterling. Two assists in his last 3 games is a decent return but there are goals in the young Englishman, and I think the porous Hull defence could prove highly accommodating this weekend…
Gylfi Sigurdsson (SWA)
Opponent – Leicester City (H)
A goal and six assists suggests that Sigurdsson is more of a creator of goals rather than a scorer. Don’t let that fool you – on his day, he can bag a brace and Leicester provides him with an opportunity to do so right before Swansea begin a tough run of fixtures. I’m pretty confident we will see a big performance from the Icelandic midfielder.
Eden Hazard (CHE)
Opponent – Manchester United (A)
Simply put, there is no way Manchester United are keeping a clean sheet against Chelsea, regardless of whether Costa plays or not. Mourinho’s side have too much power and pace for the Old Trafford outfit to contend with, regardless of who lines up in their team on Sunday afternoon. Hazard is finally showing his attacking threat after some pretty unspectacular displays, and scored a brace in the Champions League during the week. Even if United somehow stall Chelsea, I’m backing Hazard to break their resilience.
Alexis Sanchez (ARS)
Opponent – Sunderland (A)
A goal and an assist last week means that Alexis Sanchez retains his Dirtsheet place as Arsenal visit a Sunderland side who simply crumbled against Southampton. While we won’t see a similar result, Sanchez gave everyone a reminder as to why the Gunners shelled out £40m for him. I can see two or three Arsenal goals at the Stadium of Light – attacking returns for the Chilean look likely.
Sergio Aguero (MCI)
Opponent – West Ham United (A)
Four goals. Four. Did I expect that return? Not in a million years – then again, I didn’t expect him to get three penalties either. Next up on the Aguero slaughterfest tour 2014 is West Ham United. Now don’t get me wrong, I think the Hammers are good value for their fourth place right now (and have one of the top defensive records so far), but I think Aguero is back to his very best and there isn’t a team in the league that can stop him on this form.
Graziano Pelle (SOU)
Opponent – Sunderland (H)
Pelle was perhaps overshadowed by the performance of Dusan Tadic, but I still think the Italian forward is the better choice if you had to choose just one Southampton attacker. His brace against Sunderland brought him to six for the season and he must surely be relishing the idea of facing a Stoke side with just two clean sheet so far this season. A home win to nil is a likely outcome.
Saido Berahino (WBA)
Opponent – Crystal Palace (H)
Jose Mourinho is back at the mind games after announcing that Costa has a little chance. Regardless, most of you already have him and so I am going to freshen things up by selecting Berhahino as the Baggies welcome Crystal Palace to the Hawthorns. I will be stunned if he doesn’t start next season at a top Premier league club after starting the season with six goals in eight games. Palace have yet to record an away clean sheet.
The Captain – Sergio Aguero (MCI)
The Clean Sheets
I’m looking to Southampton, Everton, Spurs, West Brom and Swansea to return clean sheets.
The Unusual Suspects
Defender: Neil Taylor (SWA)
Midfielder: Christian Eriksen (TOT)
Striker: Wilfried Bony (SWA)
Captain: Diego Costa (CHE)
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