Well with the weekends action done and dusted we take a look at all the major happenings from around the grounds as we look to make sense of what we witnessed during round two of the Irish Times Fantasy Premier League. Of course one of the biggest stories coming out of this weekends action was that bizarre injury to Wayne Rooney who now looks set to be out for up to two months, meanwhile Robin van Persie opened his account at Old Trafford. Liverpool gifted Man City two goals and a valuable points at Anfield and Arsenal once again failed to find the net in the post van Persie era.
But before we get to all that lets take a look at what has been happening at The Bridge this weekend.
After his impressive start to the season many fantasy managers wondered if he could continue in his current vein of form and well, a goal and an assist against Newcastle seems to affirmed our thoughts that yes he can.It was also notable that in the absence of Frank Lampard the former Lille man will be taking the penalty’s which can only help fantasy managers yield more points. It is looking more and more likely that Eden Hazard will be a must have from week four on.
Prior to the season opener much was made about the fantasy potential of one Fernando Torres and many wondered if El Nino could fill the large boots left by Dider Drogbe and well after Saturday’s performance which saw him grab a goal and an assist it would seem that his confidence has returned and so has his eye for a pass and the net. Of course with Hazard pulling the strings in behind it would seem that the supply line is set to continue for the Spanish international.
Of course it is worth noting that Chelsea do not have a game in week 3 and fantasy managers will have to make contingency as they name a side void of any Chelsea options for the coming weekend.
After an impressive victory in the opening weekend Swansea continued where they left off as they ran out 3-0 winners against new boys West Ham at the Liberty Stadium. Michu continued to show why he is a must have at this early part of the season with another goal at the weekend, Routledge and Dyer also continued to impress as they each had a hand a goal for the Swans earning them valuable assist points.
At the back Swansea showed that their defensive record from last season was no fluke as they kept a clean sheet for the second successive game rewarding fantasy managers for their faith in Laudrup’s new charges. The highlight at the back for the Swans so far has been Angel Rangel who showed his is not afraid to get forward and can certainly convert the chances that come his way as he grabbed his first goal of the season and at £3.4 million he is certainly one for consideration when the right fixtures come around.
Everton Break the Curse
The Toffee’s have been notoriously bad starters to the season over recent years but with to convincing performances and victory’s in the opening two weeks fantasy football managers have been forced to sit up and take notice. Marouane Fellaini was once again at the forefront of everything good about Everton’s play as his slotted in just behind Jelavic in a more advanced role meanwhile Everton new boy Stephen Naismith was drafted into the right hand side of midfield to offer support to Jelavic and Fellaini and he didn’t disappoint as he set up Pienaar who drilled home a fantastic shot from 18 yards out. The fantasy prospects are bright at Goodison with the aforementioned players all showing signs of form and once again at the back Leighton Baines showed why he has been linked with a move to dare I say it “a bigger club”, with an impressive performance from left back which saw him pick up points for an assist and that elusive clean sheet.
It would seem that the question fantasy managers face is not whether or not Everton offer value,it is infact which two Toffee’s should I bring in and that is a tough call to make, but for the moment it would seem that no matter where you look there is value to be had across the board.
Robin van Persie didn’t take long on Saturday to announce himself to the Old Trafford faithful as he found the net inside 10 minutes on his home debut. The former Arsenal man converted a near impossible chance as Patrice Evra flashed a ball across the box. With Rooney now likely to be sidelined for around four weeks according to his manager, Van Persie looks nailed on for a starting role for the trip to Southampton and home clash with Wigan in the next couple of Gameweeks at least. Goals looks likely to follow and if he can replicate his Arsenal form from last season, he looks a strong armband candidate for many despite his hefty price tag.
Kagawa Nailed On?
Sir Alex showed his teeth on Saturday as he dropped Nani to bench in what must be some sort of back lash from United’s opening day defeat to Everton. Antonio Valencia resumed in a much more familiar role in the right side of midfield with Danny Welbeck slotting in on the left. Kagawa remained in the United midfield and once again looked impressive with the Japanese international showing his industrial side as he chased and harried Fulham at every opportunity. Rafael made a return at right back and even managed to grab a rare goal, however with Sir Alex opting to start Valencia at right back against Everton, fantasy manager would be advise not to rush out and bring in the young Brazilian as he could be rotated over the coming weeks.
Arsenal Fail To Fire
For the second game running Arsenal have failed to find the net as the Emirates crowds get restless and wonder whether this is what life without RVP is going be like. One of the only bright sparks from a fantasy perspective up top for the Gunners was the performance of Santi Carzorla. The former Malaga man showed signs that when to Arsenal front men do click he will likely be the architect as he continued to show in devour going forward and although he didn’t bring home the points, he is certainly one to keep a close eye on.
There was however a glimmer of fantasy hope for managers to cling to as far as Arsene Wenger’s men are concerned and that was a second successive clean sheet for the London outfit, it would seem that former Highbury legend Steve Bold has whipped them into shape as he takes up the role vacated by Pat Rice at the end of last season. So all may not be lost it would seem when fantasy managers come to assessing the potential in the Arsenal ranks.
City Get Gifted A Point
Roberto Mancini’s men will be relieved to come away from Anfield with a point after two defensive mistakes gifted them both goals in Sunday’s main event. Liverpool look like a completely different side to the one that went down 3-0 last week and showed signs that fantasy manager may have some contenders for team places on Merseyside. Joe Allen made his home debut and was extremely impressive as he posted a pass completion rate of over 93%, with stats like that he could well sneak into a few fantasy teams over the coming weeks. Luis Suarez opened his account for the season with a great free kick that left Joe Hart over stretched on his left hand post and many will now wonder is Suarez a viable option for Liverpool coverage.
Meanwhile Skertel started the day in great form as he headed home Gerrard’s corner to give Brendan Rogers his first reason to celebrate this season, however he was hero turned to villain as his sloppy back pass was intercepted by Carlos Tevez who made no mistake and secured a point for the Champions. With Sergio Aguero set to be sidelined for a number of week Tevez has thrown himself in the lime light with 3 goals in 3 games (including the Community Shield) and as such really is the one to have for fantasy managers.
City however are not exactly firing on all cylinders at the moment and one major cause for concern for fantasy football managers will be the poor display’s by fantasy favourite David Silva, many predicted that Mancini would rest the Spaniard after his efforts this summer in the Euro’s and the Olympics however that hasn’t happened, but it would seem increasingly more likely now over the coming weeks with news that Swansea’s Scott Sinclair is on his way to Manchester.
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