The Dirtsheet: Gameweek 16

Posted: December 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

After a number of gameweeks that presented us with pretty clear choices in terms of captaincy selection and transfer choices, gameweek 16 presents much more of a mental challenge for even the best FPL managers.

A number of captaincy candidates vie for our attention without making a definitive case for any of them. In addition, squad rotation begins to dig it’s claws into the sides of many FPL managers – it gets tough to know who is safe and who is not.

I’m opting for a 5-2-3 formation this week. I think many managers are seriously looking at cheaper defensive options this week and I think there are some good candidates for defensive returns, not only for this gameweek, but also for the next number of matches. Truth be told, given the fixtures this week, few midfield options stick out for me anyways.

Here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 16.

THE DIRTSHEET: GAMEWEEK 16

The Eleven – (5-2-3)

Allan McGregor (HUL)
Opponent – Stoke City (H)
A home tie against Stoke is a decent opportunity to get back to earning clean sheets, especially after a tough run of fixtures. McGregor has been solid and he should get a chance for a clean sheet and a few save points.

Seamus Coleman (EVE)
Opponent – Fulham (H)
Coleman has been a superb servant for FPL managers this year and I back him to continue against Fulham at Goodison Park. He has amassed a significant number of attacking points, and he could easily destroy Fulham’s left hand side.

Mathieu Debuchy (NEW)
Opponent – Southampton (H)
I was mulling over choosing Mike Williamson for the visit of Southampton, but just in case Southampton score, I want to cover attacking returns by selecting Debuchy instead. While his attacking returns have not set the FPL alight, I think he could register more in the next few weeks.

Phil Jagielka (EVE)
Opponent – Fulham (H)
Truth be told, I have actually transferred in Jagielka ahead of Coleman in my own team. I think Everton will keep a number of clean sheets over the next 5 gameweeks and Jagielka is head and shoulders above his defensive counterparts when it comes to bonus points when clean sheets are gained. Even though he has only 1 assist to his name – Jagielka’s 18 points is more than Coleman (9) and Distin (6) combined!

Steven Caulker (CAR)
Opponent – West Bromich Albion (H)
A home tie with West Brom sees the attacking threat of Caulker earn a place in the dirtsheet. Although he is more expensive than the rest of his defensive teammates, his attacking threat is more than enough to make up for it – he has already 2 goals this season. I have a feeling that Cardiff’s deadball skill will trouble WBA’s backline and Caulker has the aerial threat to punish them. Ben Davies is your more budget-friendly option.

Martin Ollson (NOR)
Opponent – Swansea City (H)
With Michael Turner hovering close to a suspension on 4 yellow cards, I turn to Ollson to cover the Norwich back line ahead of the Swansea Game. Thursday night football doesn’t seem to suit the Swans as it’s tough to get back to the mindset required for the Premier League.

Eden Hazard (CHE)
Opponent – Crystal Palace (H)
The question circulating today is can Jose Mourinho afford to rest Eden Hazard? It seems that Stoke’s victory at the Britannia might be a huge factor in Chelsea’s team selection come the weekend. Personally, I think Hazard has to start. Mata is not fully trusted by the Special One, Lampard played on Wednesday night and Oscar is only coming back from a niggling injury. It’s a risk, but if he starts, Hazard could score double figures for the fourth time in six weeks.

Leroy Fer (NOR)
Opponent – Swansea (H)
Fer has been on my radar for a number of weeks now as his stats in recent months have shown signs of a player ready to explode onto the FPL scene. I’m backing him for a good return against Swansea who are missing Chico and Vorm.

Romelu Lukaku (EVE)
Opponent – Fulham (H)
At the time of writing, Approximately 100,000 managers have transferred the Belgian into their ranks in time for a favourable home tie vs Fulham. 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 4 games is great consistency and Everton are beginning to find great form ahead of a superb run of fictures. A strong captains candidate for a relatively small price is exactly the type of transfer that the shrewd FPL manager will make all day long.

Luis Suarez (LIV)
Opponent – Tottenham Hotspurs (A)
Another gameweek, another Dirtsheet spot for Luis Suarez. I’m strongly contemplating officially retiring his spot given his unnatural consistency since he returned from his ban. Liverpool have scored 3 or more goals 6 times in the last 7, and although Suarez in-play scoring will be affected by Gerrard’s absence, it will be boosted by the fact that he will take all direct free kicks and, most likely, penalties too. A trip to White Hart Line will prove a tougher test, but Spurs have lacked defensive stability in recent weeks. I predict a goal from Suarez, and possibly more.

Sergio Aguero (MCI)
Opponent – Arsenal (H)
If City are going to get back into the title race, they will need to beat Arsenal. If City are going to score, I can’t think of anyone on th City side more capable of willing a big match than Aguero. I do think City will be buoyed by that magnificent comeback against European Champions Bayern Munich, and I’m going for the home side to win 2-1.

The Captain – Romelu Lukaku (EVE) – I had to pick someone out of Suarez, Aguero and Lukaku, and to be honest, it has been very tricky. In the end, I have decided to back Lukaku just ahead of Aguero. It’s one of those weeks that, if you have already made up your mind about the captaincy, do not change it because I have a different opinion. Either of those 3 players could have a good or a bad week. For me, Lukaku just edges it. A better fixture, a home tie and Everton are beginning to find that killer touch.

The Clean Sheets
I’m looking to Cardiff, Chelsea, Newcastle, Norwich, Everton and Hull City to return clean sheets.

The Unusual Suspects
Defender: Patrice Evra (MUN)
Midfielder: Stephen Ireland (STO)
Striker: Gerard Deulofeu (EVE)
Captain: Yohan Gouffran (NEW)

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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