Round 9 of the Irish Times Fantasy Premier League see’s a number of very tasty games down for decision and in turns makes those all important selections all that more difficult.The Coaches here in the managers office have been scouting the fixtures and the form as they disseminate the information and try to find those little nuggets of information that can make all the difference when it comes to a successful fantasy points week. In round 8 we saw Wayne Rooney get his goalscoring campaign off the mark with a brace against Stoke, Edin Dzeko come off the bench to rescue City and Arsenal’s front line draw a blank against the Canaries. Round 9 see’s the ever inthralling Merseyside Derby and the clash of the titans as Chelsea take on Manchester United, both of wich should throw up so great talking points and hopefully some good fantasy points.
Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) £6.4 million Fixture: Southampton (Away)
The Tottenham striker has been somewhat of a surprise package so far this season for Spurs and for fantasy managers, the England international has done very well in the absence of Emmanuel Adebayor notching up 5 goals and 2 assists under new Spurs boss AVB. Tottenham go into this weekends encounter at St. Mary’s on the back of a 4-2 defeat to Chelsea but will be quietly confident of getting back to winning ways against the newly promoted side who have conceded more goals than any other side in premier league history at this point in the season. Paul Lamberts side will have a lot to contend with as Spurs continue to show good form and play so great attacking football that will only be enhanced by the return of Gareth Bale to the starting line up after he missed last weekends game to be at the birth of his first child. Defoe is certainly one to consider and is also somewhat of a differential for fantasy managers who are looking to make up those league places as we near the busy christmas period.
Robin Van Persie (Man United) £8.5 million Fixture: Chelsea (Away)
There is no doubting that this weekends game will be a tough one for Van Persie and United and I dare say the result could have wider reaching implications that a mere three points. Chelsea at present lie four points clear of United at the top of the table and another defeat for Sir Alex’s men will see them seven points off the pace at this early stage, but if anyone is capable of producing the goods in a big game it is the Dutch master himself. RVP has quickly endeared himself to the Stretford end faithful with 6 goals and 3 assists in his last 7 games which is a fantastic return in anyones money. Chelsea of course will be no pushovers at home but they have however been conceding rather easily over recent weeks and with the absence of John Terry due to suspension Van Persie will be looking to exploit any weaknesses shown by the Pensioners come Sunday.
Peter Crouch (Stoke) £6.1 million Fixture: Sunderland (Home)
Crouch signed for Stoke on August deadline day 2011 and returned 10 goals in his debut season and after a good start to the season looks on the way to smashing that total with 32 points and 4 goals in 8 games. As far as consistency goes the big man’s stats are highly impressive with 13 shots on target accruing the four goals. A great run of fixtures from now until mid December it could be a perfect time to bring him on board for your cheap striker spot. The Potters are yet to really kick on this season having only won 1 and 5 drawn from the first 8 games but with the upcoming matches I can see plenty of goals coming from the big striker. This week they play Sunderland at home who has very similar stats having won 1 and drawn 5 from their first 7 played; away from home though they have only scored 3. But that’s not to say they don’t have goal scoring options; they did the double over Stoke last season with 5 goals scored and none conceded. With a midfield containing Walters, Kightly, Whelan and Adam it’s no coincidence he is having a renaissance in front of goal this current campaign. Barring any injury/suspension he could a player you should not have to swap for the next 8 weeks; add to that his cheap price you would be mad not to at least keep him in mind over the coming weeks.
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