The Dirtsheet: Gameweek 21

Posted: January 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

A later than usual Dirtsheet this week as we come to terms with the immense injury list affecting us all right now. With club physiotherapists working their magic sponges around the clock to turn doubtful players into starting players, the news coming from clubs this morning was not as good nor as concrete as many FPL managers were hoping. At 2pm, David Moyes broke the news that Wayne Rooney would miss the crucial visit of Swansea with an ongoing groin problem. This was the last straw for a number of managers who immediately cashed in their January wildcard. With knocks and late fitness tests affecting so many FPL stalwarts, it really is a tough time for managers regardless of their position.

The Dirtsheet needs to focus on those players who should start in GW21. For those on a wildcard, please remember that the players listed here are short-term picks for this week only. It’s a tough ask, but I’ll do my best to guide you all in the right direction.

Here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 21!

THE DIRTSHEET: GAMEWEEK 21

The Eleven – (3-4-3)

David Marshall (CAR)
Opponent – West Ham United (H)
Put quite simply, West Ham United have been atrocious as of late, and so I’m opting for Cardiff to keep a clean sheet in this one. Marshall will look to keep out a Hammers side who could welcome back Andy Carroll from a lengthy absence. A clean sheet and a save point is not out of the question.

Per Mertesacker (ARS)
Opponent – Aston Villa (A)
Aston Villa have only scored 3 goals in their last 6 games, and with Arsenal looking very solid at the back as of late, it’s easy to choose Per Mertesacker. I feel he will be a huge threat to the Villa back line at set pieces and he could add some attacking returns to a potential clean sheet.

Seamus Coleman (EVE)
Opponent – Norwich (H)
Owners of Distin, Jagielka and Baines (those of you looking for a nice differential to a certain Irishman) – look away now. All three are doubts for the plum tie against Norwich. While it appears that Baines will be fine to start, it still does not cover the fact that Everton look set to be without both first-choice center backs. Coleman’s attacking ability should help to cover the risk of Everton conceding.

Kyle Walker (TOT)
Opponent – Crystal Palace (H)
Aside from Chamakh, you simply cannot see how Palace are going to score from week-to-week – a perfect opportunity to add the attacking threat of Kyle Walker to the Dirtsheet. I can see Walker and Lennon proving to be too much for Parr and Bolaise on the wing, and given the rocket that Walker scored against Manchester United recently, I can see him taking his fair share of direct free kicks. My gut tells be it could be a big week for the Englishman.

Adnan Januzaj (MUN)
Opponent – Swansea (H)
To say that United need to beat Swansea tomorrow afternoon would be a huge understatement. However, without the services of both Robin Van Persie AND Wayne Rooney, someone will need to step up to the plate if David Moyes is to avoid a calamitous fourth defeat in 4 games. I’ve decided to go with Adnan Januzaj for this one – the young starlet has a goal and two assists in his last 5 games and is growing in confidence every week. United desperately need a hero right now…

Eden Hazard (CHE)
Opponent – Hull City (A)
When faced with a difficult fixture, it seems that Hazard is the man who comes to the rescue time and time again for Jose Mourinho’s side. Hull at home are a defensively capable side but I think the Belgian has enough guile and agility to rack up some attacking points at the KC Stadium. Although 2 goals, an assist and 5 bonus in his last three games is a solid return, Hazard owners will be looking for more against the Tigers…

Yaya Toure (MCI)
Opponent – Newcastle (A)
Every week, Silva and Toure vie for my attention for a Dirtsheet slot, but until Aguero comes back, I have to back Toure who has penalties and direct free kicks in the bag. Although he picked up a knock in the Carling Cup semi-final, Toure has been passed fit and looks to trouble a Newcastle defense missing stalwarts Coloccini and Debuchy.

Mesut Ozil (ARS)
Opponent – Aston Villa (A)
With the untimely injury to Theo Walcott, I’m backing Ozil to cover the Arsenal attack. Although he is back up to £10.0m, he is still perhaps the safest option in the Arsenal midfield, given the fact that there is uncertainty regarding which two of Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski will start against Villa. His set piece delivery should prove troublesome for the home side.

Luis Suarez (ARS)
Opponent – Stoke City (A)
In a gameweek filled with uncertainly, there is a lot of comfort to be taken from the consistency of Suarez ahead of the trip to Stoke City. Although he has scored “just” a goal and an assist in his last three, Stoke could be without Robert Huth who will be a huge loss to the Potters. Suarez is the safe option for the armband this week, although I think he might struggle slightly to hit double-figures.

Emmanuel Adebayor (TOT)
Opponent – Crystal Palace (H)
With 3 goals, 2 assists and 5 bonus in his last 4 games, it’s an easy decision to opt for the Togolese striker ahead of a home tie against Palace. The general consensus is that Tim Sherwood sees him as his number 1 striker, and it seems to have lit a fire within Adebayor. He is getting involved in all aspects of the Spurs attacking play, and has taken his chances very well. Although he is a little hot and cold in terms of his form, he could prove to be the match winner.

Jay Rodriguez (SOU)
Opponent – West Bromich Albion (H)
In the last few weeks, a large percentage of FPL managers have identified Rodriguez as the type of player worthy of a clever gamble. At just £6.2. the Englishman has a strong run of fixtures starting with a home tie against The Baggies. Since cementing his place in the Saint’s side in November, he has scored 7 goals – a solid return given Southampton’s average form during that period. I’m backing Rodriguez to get a goal at least.

The Captain – Luis Suarez (LIV)

The Clean Sheets
I’m looking to Liverpool, Southampton, Everton, Cardiff, Arsenal and Spurs to return clean sheets.

The Unusual Suspects
Defender: Nathaniel Clyne (SOU)
Midfielder: Adam Lallana (SOU)
Striker: Dimitar Berbatov (FUL)
Captain: Emmanuel Adebayor (ARS)

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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