The Dirtsheet – Gameweek 2

Posted: August 23, 2013 in The Dirtsheet
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Fantasy Premier League is back with a bang and already there are a number of taboo words beginning to appear. Bonus points. Rotation. Lukaku.

Fret not my dear reader, because the Dirtsheet tries to stay clear of the “ifs” and “buts” and instead attempts to focus on the players and teams that are most likely to bring home some great returns in the gameweek at hand. With the GW1 Dirtsheet team (the eleven) managing a respectable 91 points and four predicted clean sheets out of five, it’s time to reassess the fixtures for gameweek 2 and see whose making a play for your team this weekend.

Make sure you follow @PrideWatches to be in with a chance of winning a great Premier League watch each Sunday at 4pm. They will pick a random follower to receive this great prize, so even if you don’t have the best week in FPL, you could still bag a great prize!

Here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 2!

The Eleven – (3-4-3)

Asmir Begovic (STO)
Opponent – Crystal Palace (H)
You have to feel somewhat sorry for the Stoke stopper when he ended up on the losing side after accruing ten saves in a stunning performance at Anfield. Crystal Palace did not look out of place against Spurs in GW1, but I think that Stoke will be too good defensively for them at the Britannia. A clean sheet and perhaps a save point would be a solid return.

Luke Shaw (SOU)
Opponent – Sunderland (H)
Many shrewd FPL managers had omitted the young Englishman from their initial squads due to injury concerns, but it’s clear that Shaw is now a serious contender for a place in your squad for two good reasons. Aside from the fact that he overcame his injury, scored an assist and collected maximum bonus points in the West Brom game, he is part of a Southampton defence that looked very strong on the opening day of the season with a well deserved clean sheet. I stated over the summer that I felt that the Southampton defence had been slightly under-priced and I am sure there are bargains to be had. A home tie against Sunderland is a great opportunity to show FPL managers what he is capable of once again.

Pablo Zabaleta (MCI)
Opponent – Cardiff City (A)
Having signed a new 4-year contract recently, it seems that the Argentinian is revelling in a new partnership with Jesus Navas on the right wing of Pelligrini’s side. Cardiff looked quite weak in attack against West Ham in GW1, and I feel they may take some time to find their feet in the Premier League. I expect a comfortable City win in Wales, with Zabaleta looking a good bet for both attacking and defensive returns.

Seamus Coleman (EVE)
Opponent – West Bromich Albion (H)
I think it’s fair to say that the people behind the FPL game are quite good at choosing the initial prices of each player at the start of the new season, but I think that they must have pressed “5” instead of “6” when listing Coleman as a mere £5.0. After some tinkering my Martinez in preseason, it seems that Everton are using the Irishman as a conventional right-back but that does not seem to have had any effect on his raids into the opponents half. A stunning 13 point haul has probably propelled him into the limelight faster than his GW1 investors had hoped, but there is no doubting that he is a great pick for a home tie against a West Brom side left reeling by the news surrounding Anelka’s apparent retirement.

Theo Walcott (ARS)
Opponent – Fulham (A)
Pressure. It is a word that has appeared quite frequently in sentences containing the name Arsene Wenger, but it’s fair to say that the Frenchman’s job was under serious threat after a dreadful performance against Villa last week. However, an excellent Champions League victory over Fenerbahce has instilled some confidence in the side and Theo Walcott’s brace of assists shows me that he could do well against Fulham. A goal from the winger-cum-forward is not unlikely.

Kevin Mirallas (EVE)
Opponent – West Bromich Albion (H)
There is far more to Kevin Mirallas than his GW1 performance suggests, and I’m sticking with the midfielder for a home match against the Baggies. While I could be accused of wasting a slot by doubling up on Everton’s right hand side, we must consider that Liam Ridgewells best position is centreback (and not the left back position he finds himself right now), and I think he will have a very tough day against the combination of both Coleman and Mirallas. With all eyes on Coleman, Mirallas could be afforded space to punish Steve Clarke’s side.

David Silva (MCI)
Opponent – Cardiff City (A)
With a tough season behind him, David Silva looked to be involved heavily in the City attack so far this season. The 4-2-2-2 formation employed against Newcastle afforded him numerous chances to roam about behind Dzeko and Aguero, and his interplay with the Argentinian was impressive. I can see attacking returns once again for the Spaniard.

Phillipe Coutinho (LIV)
Opponent – Aston Villa (A)
Villa have shown that they are clearly not going to lie down and take a beating from anyone. Just ask Arsenal. They have a borderline-world class talent in Benteke but they are still quite porous in defense, which leads me to the inclusion of Coutinho. He possesses the intelligence to open up any defense in the league and I can see him revelling against that defense.

Roberto Soldado (TOT)
Opponent – Swansea (H)
An opening day penalty and maximum bonus points combined with a two-goal salvo in the Europa league sees Roberto Soldado earn a spot in the Eleven this week. Having scored 59 goals in 101 games for Valencia, it’s clear that consistency is not an issue for the Spanish striker. Although Spurs played in midweek, so too did Swansea and I think we might see a game with goals if either side scores early. I expect the Soldado to top the captaincy polls across the internet tonight, and for good reason.

Sergio Aguero (MCI)
Opponent – Cardiff City (A)
An absolutely superb finish against Newcastle and a good fixture against Cardiff City is enough for me to add Aguero into this weeks Eleven. I felt that City were relentless against Newcastle at the weekend, and Pelligrini is clearly happy to go for the jugular when winning a match instead of easing off the gas when they are up 2-0 (something that Chelsea were accused of in their game against Hull).

Robin Van Persie (MUN)
Opponent – Chelsea (H)
I debated adding the aforementioned Christian Benteke to the Eleven but I simply cannot look past Robin Van Persie against Chelsea this weekend. I expect a tight game that could be decided by a few moments of genius. Van Persie is on red-hot form, is at home and will relish getting in between Cahill and Terry. If Moyes is to get a one-up on Mourinho in Manchester on Monday night, Van Persie will be the main architect.

The Captain

Roberto Soldado (TOT) – Gameweek 2 hands us a number of potential captain choices, but I’m going to opt for Soldado against Swansea. He looked very sharp in the Europa League Qualifier in the 71 minutes afforded to him and Swansea have shown little of the defensive solidity that was abundant in preseason. I can see an open and high scoring game at the Lane, and I’m hoping Soldado will return handsomely.

The Clean Sheets

With Chelsea playing Manchester United on Monday night, we are berift of some of the better choices for clean sheets. I’m looking towards Stoke, Manchester City, Southampton and Everton. Spurs could also keep a clean sheet but I feel Swansea could easily score given their attacking options.

The Unusual Suspects

DF: Jan Vertonghen (TOT) MD: Hatem Ben Arfa (NEW) FW: Rickie Lambert (SOU) Differential 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 follow us on Twitter and share! Every follower counts!


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