The Dirtsheet: Gameweek 30

Posted: March 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

Nine gameweeks to go. For many managers, the upcoming schedule is perhaps the most crucial phase of the 2013/2014 season. We are closing in on the final gameweek before a season defining double gameweek 31. For the shrewd manager, transfers this week will focus on players who have a double gameweek in addition to solid fixtures in GW30 and GW32.

The picks this week are less reliant on some of the big names, and for a good reason. Manchester United welcome arch-rivals Liverpool to Old Trafford while Arsenal square up to Spurs in the North London derby – standout performances from these games may be tough to select but a few usual names endure.

Here’s the Dirtsheet for Gameweek 30!



THE DIRTSHEET: GAMEWEEK 30

The Eleven – (3-4-3)

Artur Boruc (SOU)
Opponent – Norwich City (H)
The Polish shotstopper is my choice between the posts as Southampton welcome a travel-sick Norwich to St. Mary’s. The Canaries have lost their last 4 on the trot and a home clean sheet is likely.

Leighton Baines (EVE)
Opponent Cardiff City (H)
Since his return from injury, Baines has outscored Coleman both in terms of attacking points and bonus returns. Martinez and his men must be confident of keeping a clean sheet against a poor Cardiff side who have yet to settle under new management. With free kicks and penalties in his arsenal, I feel that Baines is worth the extra 0.8m over the Irishman.

Phil Bardsley (SUN)
Opponent – Crystal Palace (H)
A home tie against Palace is as good a time as any to select Phil Bardsley for the Dirtsheet. He is by far the most attacking option in the Sunderland defense and Palace have only scored once in their last 4 away fixtures. A clean sheet and some attacking returns would not be a surprise.

John Terry (CHE)
Opponent – Aston Villa (A)
Another Dirtsheet, another selection for John Terry. Even in a 4-0 win last week, Terry still managed to score a bonus point. Those looking for a cheaper option can turn to Gary Cahill or even Cesar Azpilicueta who has recently been lauded by Jose Mourinho. Villa will pose little threat to a Chelsea rearguard looking for yet another clean sheet.

Eden Hazard (CHE)
Opponent – Aston Villa (A)
An away trip to Villa Park will hold no fear for Chelsea and the mercurial Belgian. With 4 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 games, he has completely eclipsed the rest of his Chelsea team mates in terms of FPL output. Villa have won just 1 in their last 6 games and will need to be on their best form if they are to get a result from the title favourites.

Adam Johnson (SUN)
Opponent – Crystal Palace (H)
The Sunderland midfielder is my choice of a cheeky punt for the double gameweek but a favorable home tie is reason enough to get him in a week early. An impressive 6 goals and 2 assists in 6 games shows his form, and despite being taken off at half time vs Arsenal, he is in prime position for attacking returns.

Yaya Toure (MCI)
Opponent – Hull City (A)
Aguero out? Then Yaya is in the Dirtsheet! With free kicks and penalties in his locker, he looks to be a must have for a game against Hull City who will play the type of compact game that will allow Toure to get further up the field. The fact that Fernandinho is now back in the City midfield will further boost City’s overall attacking potential. If Hull concede early, there could be a massacre at the KC stadium.

Adam Lallana (SOU)
Opponent – Norwich City (H)
Despite a disappointing FPL performance last gameweek, I have to back the Englishman against a Norwich side that completely capitulated against Aston Villa a couple of weeks ago. His home attacking statistics are very impressive and his owners will be looking for a solid points returns before the double game week.

Daniel Sturridge (LIV)
Opponent – Manchester United (A)
Astonishingly, Daniel Sturridge’s blank last week was his first since returning from injury in mid-January. I feel that this was due to a change in formation against Southampton wheere Raheem Sterling was sacrificed in favour of Joe Allen. However, I can see Liverpool revert to 4-3-3 against United which will give Sturridge the role as lone striker. To be honest, it’s tough to choose between the two but I have to go with my gut for the Old Trafford encounter.

Wayne Rooney(MUN)
Opponent – Liverpool (H)
Despite some poor returns in recent weeks, the Englishman burst back into life with a goal and an assist in the comprehensive win over West Bromich Albion. It seems that his overall work rate means he can play a slightly more withdrawn role yet arrive into dangerous areas when needed. Rooney lives for games like this. The quintessential big-game player, he is bound to be involved in the goals if United are to overturn their greatest rivals.

Romelu Lukaku (EVE)
Opponent – Cardiff City (H)
It could be argued that Lukaku’s recent injury came at a favourable time – he was misfiring terribly and only the most bull-headed managers stuck with him. With 2 goals in as many games since his return, it seems that there is a spark back in his game, and with doubts surrounding the fitness of Sergio Aguero, Lukaku seems to be a strong choice for the next 4 games.

The Captain – Eden Hazard (CHE) It’s a straight choice between Hazard and Lukaku this week for me. If you are maintaining a lead, then Hazard seems the safer bet. However, Lukaku has an explosive quality about him and could put Cardiff to the sword singlehandedly at Goodison.

The Clean Sheets
I’m looking to Sunderland, Chelsea, Swansea, Southampton, StokeEverton to return clean sheets.

The Unusual Suspects
Defender: Jose Fonte (SOU)
Midfielder: Stephen Ireland(STO)
Striker: Wilfried Bony (SWA)
Captain: Romelu Lukaku (EVE)

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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