The (Quick) Week Ahead

No real time for a big rant this weekend. I know you're all disappointed to have 10 to 15 minutes of your Friday back but it can't be helped.  Between a lot going on at work and yesterday being one of the great days of the year in American sports (St. Patrick's Day/First Day of College Basketball Tournament/One of the first warm days of the year) there was no excuse but to be out enjoying it.  With that, I'll take you directly to what you need to know for the weekend ahead.

Real Value – those matches that should improve the demonstrated value of some of the players involved.
  • Spurs vs. West Ham – I’m a believer in the Hammers revival but I’m also a believer in the fact that there will be a lot of goals in this one.  Stay away from defenders on both sides but look to load up on the attackers.
  • Man United vs. Bolton – United have been incredibly strong at home this season and there’s no reason to expect that it won’t continue – especially if Vidic makes it back from his calf strain.
  • Arsenal @ WBA – This match-up didn’t work out so well for the Gunners last time around but WBA were playing much better than and Arsenal will be THRILLED to be facing an opponent that isn’t one of the most celebrated in the history of world football.

  • Suarez – I completely have a football and fantasy EPL crush on him – I see Robin van Persie but healthier.
  • Chicharito – Hard to deny the form he’s in.  The only concern is whether Berbs gets a start at his expense.  If you’re nervous about rotation then Rooney is the choice.
  • RvP – A huge surprise that he’s back but he’s been money when he’s played.
  • Ba – I’m on the bandwagon in a big way.
  • Defoe – He tends to be streaky and his two spectacular goals against Wolves in his last match seems likely to signal his return to the goals.

  • Hitzlsperger – A revelation since he returned to health and started playing for WHU.  Think Villa are bummed they gave up on him?  They could really use someone like him right now.
  • Meireles – He’s cooled down a bit but he’s easily been the most productive player in Liverpool’s midfield and the presence of Suarez and Carroll should provide more chances for the playmaker.
  • Valencia – He’s looked very good since returning to the line-up and he’s a much better bargain that the miraculously healed Nani.  If you have the money you should probably go with Nani though.
  • Adam – Rovers seem to be in the process of packing it in – I don’t necessarily believe that Blackpool will win but I like the chances of Adam doing well and likely getting at least a goal on a PK.
  • Wilshere – When I’m looking for a bargain I keep thinking this will be the week when he comes good from a fantasy standpoint. If you have the money, take Nasri here instead though.

  • Smalling – Assuming that Rio is still out and Vidic is back as expected then Smalling is exceptional value especially since he’s playing at home where ManYoo don't tend to lose.
  • Walker – I’ve been impressed by Wolves recent run but away to Villa seems like a strong bet for a home clean sheet and Walker also brings a reasonable chance of some attacking points.
  • Jiranek – He has the chance to be decent value for the money if, as I expect, Wigan/Birmingham is a tedious nil-nil draw. 
  • Gohouri – A Wigan defender? Definitely when you look at Birmingham’s scoring record on the road and the price of a reasonable chance at a clean sheet - just don't buy any Caldwells, that hasn't been anyone's path to success this season.
  • EvdS – I really hate the keeper options this week because the most likely bets for clean sheets come from really bad teams (see Wigan, Birmingham).  If you're going for a more established player, EvdS is likely the solid choice even behind a makeshift defense.  United just seem to be getting away with it.
  • Al-Habsi – I don’t love it but Birmingham have really been wretched scoring on the road (and in general really) which makes Al-Habsi at home in a game Wigan absolutely need a pretty reasonable gamble in an otherwise crappy week for keepers.
  • Foster – Wigan is only slightly better at scoring at home than Birmingham is at scoring on the road.  Can you say nil-nil draw?  Question is whether you can get over the stinker Foster put up in the first of his two matches last match week.
  • Reina - Because I feel like I need to give you a fourth option.  @SUN isn't a walk in the park but I'm really struggling for ideas at 'keeper at this point.


  1. Cole119:54 AM

    No love for Villa home to Wolves? Makes me want to include BFAY and maybe even Bent. Good idea or bad idea?

  2. urmomshouse10:02 AM


  3. Any opinion on either Nasri and Hitzlsperger, or Meireles and Osman?

  4. Anonymous10:31 AM

    @jimbo VDV and Hitzlsperger better ;)

  5. @Cole11 see Walker, Kyle.

    @urmomshouse for the money I think I'd rather go RVP or Nani, but can't argue with Bale.

    @Jimbo I'd go the former pairing.

  6. Last decision i have to make is VdV or Bale. will check the injury news tonight.

    Agree about Valencia, he looked really good against Marsellie, very sharp for someone who hasn't played for long. He's in my xi, reckon he'll play 60 mins most though.

  7. Anonymous12:45 AM

    Bent or Saurez for me, or Carroll. I have Meireles and Walker, so those teams are already covered plus Pepe. Hmm. I have Nasri and RVP too but sure could stand some Bale or VDV loving.