The Dirtsheet – Gameweek 27

Posted: February 22, 2013 in The Dirtsheet

With Liverpool and Swansea occupied at Wembley, the Dirtsheet looks to the other 18 teams for any little advantage over our rivals. Here’s The Dirtsheet for Gameweek 27.


The Eleven – (3-4-3)

Mark Schwarzer (FUL) – Stoke have been dire in front of goal away from home this year (2 goals in their last 6 away matches), and Fulham will look to their keeper to keep Crouch and crew at bay.

Ian Harte (RDG) – Ian Harte was the star of today’s “Burning the Blueprint” article for a number of reasons, but he has a good opportunity to score points at both end of the field at home to Wigan. Reading need to win games like this if they want to stay in the Premier League.

Patrice Evra (MUN) – I cannot see QPR to take much interest in scoring, and will try to keep things tight at the back. This will invite United’s full backs onto them, and Evra has shown incredible form in front of goal this season whether he is crossing from the left or attacking a set piece.

Leighton Baines (EVE) – Norwich are a decent side at home, and with doubts surrounding Anichebe, they may need Baines to provide them with a bit of magic to get a valuable win.

Gareth Bale (TOT) – Is there anyone in world football that is as hot as Bale right now? A short trip across London and the TV cameras to spur him on, he could turn the game week on its head late Monday night. “Spur” pun not intended.

Moussa Sissoko (NEW) – One of the first names on the Dirtsheet this week. Incredible start to life at Newcastle with 25 points in his first 3 games. He is a midfielder playing right behind Cisse in the Newcastle attacking line.

Juan Mata (CHE) – Chelsea are only 4 points behind City and I think Benitez knows that City are there for the taking. I expect Chelsea to get a point with a little luck.

Theo Walcott (ARS) – Despite not playing as striker all of the time, he has still scored 39 points in his last 5, including 7 vs Chelsea and 8 vs Liverpool. I have said it before that Arsenal are putting teams to the sword in situations when other teams have been content with 2-0. West Ham, Newcastle, Reading and Spurs are well aware of this fact. After getting well beaten by Bayern Munich midweek, they will be out to punish a porous Villa side.

Lucas Podolski (ARS) – Having been rested a few times recently, he will look to show Wenger why such decisions are folly. When Arsenal win big, he is usually heavily involved.

Robin Van Persie (MUN) – Almost a constant in the Dirtsheet, Van Persie travels to Loftus Road on Saturday looking to put one hand on his first Premier League medal. I expect a one-sided affair with QPR putting up a resilient display. There could be a penalty here given the speed at which United attack.

Sergio Aguero (MCY) – With their title slipping away by the week, City MUST beat Chelsea on Sunday. Aguero will lead the line and if City are to win, Aguero will need to produce.

The Captain

Theo Walcott (ARS) – It’s hard to decide between Walcott, Van Persie and Bale this week. As I said to a twitter follower, if you have to choose which of these three to captain this week, you are in good stead! I think if any of Arsenal, Spurs or United are going to put up a big score, it’s the Gunners. Walcott has form and a very poor Villa defense to look forward to at the weekend. I still think Van Persie and Bale are great choices, but for me, Walcott has more of a chance to get a score worthy of a captain.

The Clean Sheets

It is very hard to choose clean sheets given the fixtures this week, and the attacking nature of the defenders in The Eleven reflects this fact. I think Manchester United, Reading, Fulham and WBA are decent shouts. Newcastle are sweating on the fitness of Tim Krul, but if he is passed fit, then they also are contenders for a clean sheet.

The UNusual Suspects

DF: Gareth McCauley (WBA) – Sunderland are very hit and miss recently. McCauley will be buoyed by his recent goal and will look to add to his tally this week.
MD: Santi Cazorla (ARS) – With so many people swapped the Spaniard for Walcott, those of you who have neither and need a differential could do worse than look at Cazorla.
FW: Pavel Pogrebnyak (RDG) – At home to Wigan, “the Pog” will be confident of registering his sixth goal of the season vs Wigan. He is getting the starts which will give him confidence.
Differential Captain: Gareth Bale (TOT) – Many managers are deciding between Walcott and Van Persie this week, and are criminally neglecting the Welshman.

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 follow us on Twitter and share! Every follower counts!


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