With all the excitement of last nights Champions League football fantasy premier league managers could have been forgiven for not noticing the Samir Nasri limped off with a suspected hamstring injury which will rule him out of this weekends clash with his former employers at the Eithad.This of course got us thinking about midfielders for the coming week and with quite of few of the usual suspects failing to perform in week 4 the task of selecting some midfielders for week 5 has become considerably more difficult.
But as always our coaches have crunched the numbers and looked at the stats and come up with some early options for your fantasy midfield.
Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur) £5.4 million. Fixture: QPR (Home)
It only took Gareth Bale four weeks to register a meaningful points return. Those mangers who stuck by the Welshman will be grinning at his 11 point return last time out. Bale also scored for Wales, a couple of days previous to Spurs’ first league win. Now that the winger is up and running, there is no telling what kind of points return he is in for this season. Tottenham face QPR this weekend at White Hart Lane when they will be fully confident of building on last week’s impressive performance. After his disappointing first three weeks, Bale’s perceived value to fantasy managers has decreased but at £5.4 million he is very reasonably priced and if last weekends performance is a sign of things to come then we may be about to see the Gareth Bale we knew and loved last season.
Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) £3.9 million. Fixture: Man United (Home)
The 17 year old has made impressive inroads in his three Premiership appearances for Liverpool. Sterling has already been called into the English squad for their recent World Cup qualifier against Ukraine. He is still very much in the ‘raw potential’ category but has looked very lively playing out wide and also when drifting inside to support Suarez. He has been the one shining light in Liverpool’s stuttering start to the campaign. This weekend Liverpool welcome old rivals Man United to Anfield where Sterling is sure to be given a baptism of fire. Whether he is up against Rafael, Evra or Buttner, the Liverpool youngster has more than enough quality to cause the United full backs problems this Sunday. He seems to be forming a decent understanding with Suarez which coincided with Sterling assisting his equalizer last time out. At just £3.9 million, Sterling’s ownership rate is sure to increase over the next few weeks. He is definitely a dark horse for this weekend and should be considered, even if just for differential purposes alone.
Frank Lampard (Chelsea) £5.9 million. Fixture: Stoke City (Home)
The Chelsea veteran has proved many doubters wrong at the beginning of the new season. He has already scored two goals both of which were admittedly penalties, but at the end of the day, managers are only concerned with the points return of their players. With a current haul of 16, Lampard is well up the list on the points scoring midfielders. He is clearly a favorite of Roberto Di Matteo as he offers the ideal balance to Chelsea’s midfield flair players. Lampard is still more than capable to those trademark late runs into the box and will be written off at Fantasy Football managers’ peril! Chelsea face a Stoke side who have a miserable record at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea will be keen to get back to winning ways after last weeks goalless draw with QPR and this weekend provides them with the ideal chance to do so. Lampard has averaged over 188 points for the last six seasons. There is plenty of signs that he is again in for a 100+ points haul this campaign with Saturday’s game against Stoke providing a decent opportunity of yet another healthy points return for managers.
Wayne Routledge (Swansea City) £3.8 million. Fixture: Everton (Home)
Routledge is one who I’m sure has been on many mangers ‘watch lists’ these past few weeks. Okay, he had a poor last week but so did the whole Swansea team. I fully expect them to bounce back this weekend with a home fixture to Everton. And plus, there’s no way they can perform as bad as last weeks showing with Aston Villa. Routledge only managed to score one goal last season but did get 7 assists. He has already gotten off the mark this season with a goal and 3 assists in just 4 league games. He looks a dead cert to improve on last season’s tally and at £3.8 million, now is a good time to get him into your team especially with a decent run of upcoming games. Swansea are looking even more dynamic than last season and Routledge has been a major part of this. With less than half the percentage of managers opting for Routledge rather than his team mate Dyer fantasy managers will do well in remembering that he is something of a differential. And as further evidence of his value, he is already the joint forth highest points scoring midfielder. The Swans will want to show that last week’s result was just a blip and in front of a packed Liberty Stadium will be quietly confident of doing so.
So there you have some early midfield options for you to consider as we weigh up your options ahead of fixture week 5 of The Irish Times Fantasy Premier League.
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