The Dirtsheet: Gameweek 28

Posted: February 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

Who was the second man on the Moon? Don’t know the answer?

Then think of how poor gameweek 28 feels! No one cares about him! Everyone seems to be infatuated by gameweeks 29 and 31, leaving poor 28 to think what’s so wrong with him. The answer is…not much really! Apart from the Manchester-sized hole in the gameweek, there is still great potential for some solid returns for the FPL manager looking to start their gameweek 29/31 planning right away.

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Here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 28!



THE DIRTSHEET: GAMEWEEK 28

The Eleven – (3-4-3)

Brad Guzan (AST)
Opponent – Norwich City (H)
Having been cruelly denied a clean sheet against Newcastle (yes, I am aware that I just missed the opportunity to get a Tim Krul-related pun in there), I’m placing my faith in the American shotstopper against Norwich City. I can see a nervy match where both teams will look to their defenses to get a point. A 0-0 would not surprise me but I feel Guzan may be the main Brad-winner this week (pun, see, I do have incredible comedic skills).

Leighton Baines (EVE)
Opponent – West Ham United (H)
A well-taken penalty in the FA cup recently was a bitter pill to swallow for Baines owners – many have been waiting for a similar occurence in a Premier League game for some time now. Having said that, his attacking threat combined with good odds for a clean sheet makes the Englishman an easy choice for the Dirtsheet. West Ham have been solid at the back recently and I feel they will play for a draw. This may allow the Everton full backs to spend more time in the Hammers half, and with the imminent return of Romelu Lukaku from injury, a solid home win could be on the cards.

Jan Vertonghen (TOT)
Opponent – Cardiff City (H)
Having survived an apparent headbutt from Roman Zozulya on Thursday evening, I expect Jan Vertonghen to line up against Cardiff City at the weekend. While the other central defensive place seems to be up for grabs, Vertonghen seems to be the best option in the Spurs back-line. While he may not possess as much attacking threat at centre back as he does when he plays at left back, he will still be involved with direct free kicks against a Cardiff side that could easily capitulate at the Lane.

John Terry (CHE)
Opponent – Fulham (A)
It’s fair to say that John Terry received an early Christmas present when the FPL and OPTA decided that it was he who scored the last-gasp winning goal against Everton last week. It was pretty clear that it was a Howard OG, and the dubious goals committee agreed just a few days later, much to the annoyance of the FPL community. Having said all that, there is no denying the threat that Terry poses from set plays. Before last weekend’s debacle, he had already notched 2 goals and an assist, and therefore I am selecting him for the trip to Fulham. Chelsea’s solid defence has made up for less-than-stellar displays in the attacking third, and another clean sheet is likely. The Cottagers will still be learning the demands of new manager Felix Magath, and a Chelsea defender scoring unmarked from a set piece is a decent shout. Viva John Terry?

Eden Hazard (CHE)
Opponent – Fulham (A)
Having been somewhat of a consistent scorer this season, the fortunes of Eden Hazard have been very mixed as of late. Apart from a deluge of points in the 3-0 defeat of Newcastle, he has not scored in the last 7 games. A worrying stat as people look to maximize their returns in GW31. However, a trip to one of the worst defenses in the league this week cannot be ignored. Fulham have a single clean sheet since early October 2013, and while I cannot see more than 2-3 Chelsea goals, I do see this as the perfect game for Hazard to return to scoring ways. If he fails to register attacking points, the form and consistency of Steven Gerrard could tempt a number of managers to say farewell to the Belgian.

Adam Lallana (SOU)
Opponent – Liverpool (H)
With a games both this week and (crucially) next week, I’m drafting Adam Lallana into the Dirtsheet against a Liverpool side who look very suspect at the back. Liverpool have conceded at least 2 goals in 4 of the last 7 matches and Lallana seems to really up his game against the top teams. There could be goals in what should be an entertaining game and I fancy the Englishman to be involved in any Southampton goals. With 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 games, he looks to be a great replacement for those looking to remove a City midfielder ahead of their double blank.

Paulinho (TOT)
Opponent – Cardiff City (H)
All things being equal, I would have Christian Eriksen here, but there are some doubts as to whether he will start regularly, and so I must look elsewhere for my second Spurs pick this week. Having been rested in the incredible Europa League comeback against FC Dnipro, Paulinho makes his Dirtsheet debut against a Cardiff City side that looks completely lost at the moment. The Brazilian seems to have been allowed to play a more attacking role since Nabil Bentaleb was drafted into the side, and he has scored 2 goals in 4 weeks. He is rested, his opponents are poor at the back and he has a game in GW29. Whether you choose Paulinho or take a little risk with Eriksen, it is clear that a Spurs midfielder is a superb option for the coming weeks.

Tom Ince (CPL)
Opponent – Swansea (A)
Having highlighted Tom Ince as a potential bargain ahead of his home debut against West Brom, even I was amazed by how quickly he hit the ground running as he scored 13 points. Up next are a Swansea side who seemed quite fragile against Liverpool last week. Ince has a favourable game this week and next week, and can also look forward to a double gameweek in future.

Emmanuel Adebayor (TOT)
Opponent – Cardiff City (H)
Most Adebayor owners were hoping that the Togolese striker would be wrapped up in cotton wool in the Europa League but Tim Sherwood decided to play Adebayor and Soldado in tandem. However, two fantastically taken goals by Adebayor and Spurs were booking their place in the next round. Even though some are saying that he will be rested against Cardiff, I cannot see Tim Sherwood taking a chance on the misfiring Soldado. You just know that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would love to take a major scalp and a team tired from recent European escapades is the perfect opportunity.

Luis Suarez (LIV)
Opponent – Southampton (A)
The burning question that many FPL managers have asked in recent weeks, including myself, is whether it is now time to sell Luiz Suarez. His form, while still strong, is not what is expected from a top-end striker. He seems to have transformed from goal-scorer to goal-maker, and his 5 assists in his last 6 games completely overshadow his solitary goal in the same period. However, there could be goals at St. Mary’s. If you have Suarez, and I am sure you do, I would keep him for now. If you are still looking for Liverpool cover, then there is better options available right now…

Daniel Sturridge (LIV)
Opponent – Southampton (A)
Another stunning display against Swansea means that Daniel Sturridge has now scored 9 and assisted 3 in his last 7 games and is now just as much of a lock in the Dirtsheet as his Uruguayan counter part was up until a few weeks ago. My gut feeling says there could be goals galore at St. Marys as both teams struggle to understand the concept of keeping clean sheets.

The Captain – Emmanuel Adebayor (TOT) – I have flicked between Adebayor and Sturridge many times in the last few days, but I think Adebayor edges it slightly. His two goals on Thursday night, when Spurs badly needed someone to step up to the plate, is indicative of a player on an incredible run of form and confidence. We have to applaud the man management of Tim Sherwood who has clearly placed a great deal of faith in a player that was certain to leave the club a few months ago. I would be very happy to captain either player this week, so choose the one that best suits your strategy.

The Clean Sheets
I’m looking to Tottenham, Everton, Aston Villa, Norwich and Chelsea to return clean sheets.

The Unusual Suspects
Defender: Chico Flores (SWA)
Midfielder: Nathan Dyer (SWA)
Striker: Nikita Jelavic (HUL)
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 share this on Twitter and Facebook! Every follower counts!

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