The Dirtsheet: Gameweek 23

Posted: January 28, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

After a longer than usual break from action due to the F.A. Cup fixtures, FPL is back to dish out delight and despair in equal measures!

I presume everyone is tired of the Juan Mata puns, and so I have decided to refrain from such behaviour. Instead I focus my efforts on picking a Dirtsheet that will help you select your optimal side for the weekend. Two players make their Dirtsheet debuts and a certain team hogs the midfield ahead of a favourable home tie.

A quick shout out to a new twitter account called @CalleditFPL – if you are looking for a differential for the week outside of the Dirtsheet’s Unusual Suspects, look no further. This guy’s record is phenomenal! Cazorla did the business last week – who has been selected this week? Be sure to find out!

Anyways, who will get my vote this week? There’s only Juan way to find out!

Here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 23!


The Eleven – (3-4-3)

Julian Speroni (CPL)
Opponent – Hull City (H)
A clean sheet last week against Stoke sees Speroni keep his place in the Dirtsheet for a second consecutive week. Hull have been mediocre on the road and another clean sheet could be on the cards as Jelavic and Long attempt to settle into Steve Bruce’s side.

Phil Bardsley (SUN)
Opponent – Stoke City (H)
The former Manchester United man reminded everyone of his goal-scoring prowess against his former club and a home tie against the travel-sick Stoke City is a great opportunity for another clean sheet for the Black Cats. It appears that Poyet has instilled some confidence in his players after a terrible start to the season under previous management, and I expect a win and clean sheet for the home side.

John Terry (CHE)
Opponent – West Ham United (H)
Having been rested in the F.A Cup, John Terry is called into action against a hapless West Ham United side with just 1 win in their last 6 away games. Terry has not scored or assisted in some time but I expect him to provide a significant aerial threat from deal ball situations.

Patrice Evra (MUN)
Opponent – Cardiff City (H)
There is an incredible buzz around Old Trafford ahead of the game against Cardiff tomorrow night as a new hero arrives in the shape of former Chelsea icon Juan Mata. In addition, David Moyes broke the news that Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Marouane Fellaini have all trained ahead of the game but none are expected to start just yet. I’m opting for Patrice Evra to cover the home fixture against Cardiff. Evra’s raids down the Cardiff wing will be important in stretching a normally compact Bluebirds side and the Frenchman could easily add to his season tally of 1 goal and 3 assists.

Oscar (CHE)
Opponent – West Ham United (H)
Oscar’s superbly taken free kick against Stoke was the perfect birthday present for Jose Mourinho – not only did it secure advancement in the F.A.Cup, it also vindicated his decision to sell Juan Mata to Manchester United. His overall performance showed why the number 11 is going to be the Chelsea number 10 for many years to come. While he is sometimes overshadow by Eden Hazard, there is a pomp to Oscar’s current game and look sets to take advantage of a West Ham side on a dreadful run of form. Look for Oscar to be hovering over direct free kicks too!

Eden Hazard (CHE)
Opponent – West Ham United (H)
Despite the praise already lavished upon Oscar, I’m also opting for Eden Hazard given his incredibly consistent form this year, especially at Stamford Bridge. He has already 9 goals and 8 assists to his name this season, and I cannot see how the Hammers are going to keep the Chelsea attack at bay.

Juan Mata (MUN)
Opponent – Cardiff City (H)
I think there is even more of a buzz surrounding the signing of Juan Mata than any other player in the last ten years at Manchester United – perhaps it’s a sign that a boost was badly needed after a mediocre first half of the season. Nonetheless, many reputable sources are predicting that Mata will start against Cardiff, and I do think that if he doesn’t, he’ll still make an impact. The Spaniard will have a point to prove to Jose Mourinho and will want a strong showing in front of a new set of adoring fans. He will probably take a lot of set pieces while he is on the field and I think could have a great game. If you feel that Mata will not start, I would opt for the mercurial talents of Adnan Januzaj instead who is expected to start in a favorable left wing position.

Adam Johnson (SUN)
Opponent – Stoke City (H)
With a staggering 35 points in his last 2 games and a favorable home fixture against Stoke City, Johnson is the first of two players to make a Dirtsheet debut this weekend. It seems that backing form is paying off handsomely this year and there are few players on a better run right now. Sunderland have looked a lot stronger since taking Everton’s scalp a number of weeks ago and I can see a home win for Poyet’s Black Cats. Are you Suarez in disguise?

Luis Suarez (LIV)
Opponent – Everton (H)
The Merseyside derby is rarely a boring affair, and is usually a game which sees multiple goals being shared between both sides. I’m opting for the incredible consistency offered by Luis Suarez against the Toffess. With lingering doubts surrounding 3 of the usual Everton back line (Distin, Jagielka and Coleman), it’s hard not to opt for a man who has 21 goals and 13 assists in 17 games this season. Although I expect Jagielka to recover in time, there are goals in this for Liverpool. Dare I say three?

Sergio Aguero (MCI)
Opponent – Tottenham Hotspurs (A)
A superb return to action saw Aguero score a goal and an assist in the 4-2 home victory over Cardiff City. With doubts over the fitness of both Negredo and Silva, it seems that City will need Aguero to continue this impressive run of form if they are to overturn a solid Spurs side. It certainly won’t be anywhere close to the 6-0 slaughter at the Etihad, but I can see Pellegrini’s men register a solid win in North London.

Wilfried Bony (SWA)
Opponent – Fulham (H)
Bony makes his Dirtsheet debut ahead of the home clash with a porous Fulham side guilty of conceding 22 goals in their last 7 games. Bony’s recent record is finally beginning to show why the Swans shelled out £12 million over the summer. Three goals in as many games is a good return for his current price of £7.3m and I can see nothing other than a home win in Wales.

The Captain – Luis Suarez (LIV)
It’s not a clear-cut decision as many polls have suggested this week. Strong fixtures for Chelsea and Swansea sees a number of nice differentials appear for those looking to claw back a lead. Hazard and Bony look to be very strong differentials given their form and favourable fixture. However, for those looking to maintain a lead, I have to recommend the Liverpool hitman.

The Clean Sheets
I’m looking to Chelsea, Manchester United, Swansea City, Aston Villa, Sunderland and Crystal Palace to return clean sheets.

The Unusual Suspects
Defender: Brad Guzan (AST)
Midfielder: Ben Davies (SWA)
Striker: Gary Hooper (NOR)
Captain: Eden Hazard (CHE)

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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