Round 11 of the Irish Times Fantasy Premier League was not all smooth sailing for fantasy managers with quite a number of the usual suspects failing to perform as expected over the weekend with a number of surprise performances thrown in to boot. At the back it was Norwich, Stoke, Reading and West Ham who impressed with all four sides keeping clean sheets. Most surprisingly of all West Ham kept their second clean sheet on the bounce as they kept the Magpie’s quite at St. James Park which is no mean feat given that the only other side to manage it were Manchester United back in round 7. The scarcity of clean sheets of late I’m sure has been a grave concern for fantasy managers as they struggle to fing a reliable keeper week in week out and with some intriguing fixtures coming up in round 12 it doesn’t look to be getting any easier.
Having said that our coaches here in the managers room have once again gone back to the drawing board and come up with two keepers who show good promise ahead of round 12 of the Irish Times Fantasy Premier League.
David de Gea (Man United) £4.5 Million Fixture: Norwich (Away)
United head into this weekend’s clash with Norwich at Carrow Road having only kept 2 clean sheets so far this season a stat I’m sure they will be looking to improve upon. After the early season rotation between de Gea and Lindegaard Sir Alex looks to has made his choice and adopted the young Spaniard as his number one. The return of Chris Smalling will has also come as a boost to the United back line in the absence of Vidic, Evans and Jones and the aforementioned will do de Gea’s chances of a clean sheet no harm. Norwich on the other hand aren’t exactly flush with goals at the moment after failing to score at Reading in gameweek 11 and are currently the unenviable joint holders of the fewest goals scored award with only 8 goals in the league so far this season. De Gea finished last season with the best saves to shots ratio in the Premier League 77.9% and this season he has stopped 25 shots on target. That’s pretty good going considering he has played less games than some of the other top shot stoppers. With the fixtures in his favour for the next 4 weeks who would back against de Gea adding to his clean sheet total and bagging you the points that go with it.
Jussi Jaaskelainen (West Ham) £3.1 million Fixture: Stoke (Home)
The Hammers it seems have gone into lock down in recent weeks as they claimed back to back clean sheets against against Manchester City and Newcastle, as a result of these latest clean sheets West Ham and Jaaskelainen have five to their name which is level par with their opponents Stoke, incidentally no other side in the league has kept more. These recent clean sheets are no flukes as I’m sure many of you will agree, the former Bolton keeper has been on top of his game and has made an impressive 18 saves in the last three games and 48 for the season as a whole this of course in conjunction with the methodical planning of Hammers boss Sam Allardyce the Hammers back line has stood resolute. Stoke who are as we stated are also mean at the back but in contrast are also struggling up top and are the other team currently who have only managed 8 goals so far this season. Peter Crouch is the Potters main threat in front of goal with four so far this season and if Collins and Co at the back can keep him quiet then Jaaskelainen in turn could be in for a quiet afternoon at Upton Park.
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