The Dirtsheet: Gameweek 22

Posted: January 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

It’s fitting that, on the week that the Academy Awards nomination list is announced, this weeks Dirtsheet reads like an all-star team for the season so far. Gameweek 22 is one of those weeks when many of the top teams have the chance to record a handsome home win against a much weaker side. In the category of “Outstanding Captain Choice in an Upcoming Game”, we have a number of excellent nominations including the return of an old favourite who has a chance of sneaking home with the top prize. In the “Best Supporting Player” category, there are a number of options to consider from teams in the top six, including a second player who returns to our screens after a lenghty hiatus!

With so many people waiting for the perfect opportunity to use their January wildcard, could that opportunity be staring them right in the face?

Lights, camera, action!

Here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 22!


The Eleven – (3-4-3)

Julian Speroni (CPL)
Opponent – Stoke City (H)
Palace’s home form has been solid so far this season and I’m opting for Speroni to cover the chance of a home clean sheet. Stoke have gained just a single point from their last 4 games and look a little out of sort ahead of the trip to Selhurst Park.

Per Mertesacker (ARS)
Opponent – Fulham (H)
A home tie against a struggling Fulham side looks like yet another clean sheet for a Gunners side who have impressed defensively this season. The German will provide a threat from set pieces, and with 2 goals and an assist so far this season, I wouldn’t rule out a performances that could net 9+ points.

Leighton Baines (EVE)
Opponent – West Bromich Albion (A)
I’m opting for the attacking threat posed by Leighton Baines ahead of the trip to the Hawthorns. He returned 12 points last week including a well-deserved maximum bonus points. He will be on penalties and direct free kicks which pushes him ahead of Coleman in my estimation.

Pablo Zabaleta (MCI)
Opponent – Cardiff City (H)
The first of two City players this week, Zabaleta could find a lot of space to attack Cardiff and link with the City forward line. Priced at a very reasonable £6.0m, he is cheaper than club captain Vincent Kompany. There is a plenty of talk surrounding Kolarov in recent weeks, and for good reason, but the Serbian faces weekly competition from Gael Clichy. I’d rather a more expensive, but safer option, in my team and Zabaleta fits the bill.

Eden Hazard (CHE)
Opponent – Manchester United (H)
At the moment, Hazard IS Chelsea. He is their main attacker and their talisman. It could be one of those days that Manchester United fans rue the day that the Belgian chose blue over red. I expect a tight game with Chelsea coming out on top (i’ll make a guess at 2-0) and Hazard to be involved in any Chelsea goals.

Christian Eriksen (TOT)
Opponent – Swansea (A)
The Dane has now scored 3 goals and an assist in his last 4 games and has become a superb option for anyone looking for a mid-priced midfielder. He is one of a number of players who have really flourished under Tim Sherwood, and a trip to Swansea is not a daunting task as it was last year. Attacking points seem likely again.

Jack Wilshire (ARS)
Opponent – Fulham (H)
With a goal and 2 assists from his last 2 games, I’m opting for the young Englishman against Fulham. Mesut Ozil has looked quite tired in recent games, whereas Wilshire has shown a lot of energy. Fulham have been truly terrible in recent weeks and have conceded a shocking 20 goals in their last 6 games. There could be a mauling at the Emirates!

David Silva (MCI)
Opponent – Cardiff City (H)
With Aguero expect to play at least some part in tomorrows game, I’m opting for David Silva (just) ahead of Yaya Toure. The fact that the Spaniard scored a bonus point last week despite failing to register attacking points in the 2-0 win at Newcastle shows just what an impact he is having on Pellegrini’s side. With Aguero back in contention, Toure will now be relieved of penalty duties, and although he still has a share of direct set pieces in his locker, I think Silva just edges it.

Luis Suarez (LIV)
Opponent – Aston Villa (H)
Suarez has scored 13 in his last 10 games. Villa have conceded 13 in their last 10 games. An interesting statistic. Does it make any sense? Of course it doesn’t, but neither does not having Suarez in your team. If you like winning, you need to have Suarez. Got it? Good. Moving on…

Daniel Sturridge (LIV)
Opponent – Aston Villa (H)
With uncertainty surrounding whether or not Sergio Aguero is to start at the weekend, I’m doubling up on Liverpool attacking threat by choosing Daniel Sturridge. He made an immediate impact from the bench last week against Stoke (1 goal, 1 assist and 1 bonus in 25 minutes) and with Liverpool scoring so freely all season, there could be a glut of goals once again at Anfield. If you feel that Aguero will start, then opt for him instead.

Olivier Giroud (ARS)
Opponent – Fulham (H)
As with Wilshire, the much maligned Giroud is a tempting proposition ahead of a potential mauling of Fulham. His form has not been spectacular in recent months, but 2 goals in as many games has people taking a second look at the Frenchman. His upcoming fixtures look enticing and could be a nice differential to those loading up on City and Liverpool attacking assets.

The Captain – Luis Suarez (LIV)

The Clean Sheets
I’m looking to Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, and Everton to return clean sheets.

The Unusual Suspects
Defender: Joel Ward (CPL)
Midfielder: Serge Gnarby (ARS)
Striker: Andy Carroll (WHU)
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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