With a number of the big midfield names failing to bring home the points in round 13 many fantasy managers will be pleased to see the return of Maroune Fellaini to the ranks after he served his one match ban for picking up his fifth yellow card of the season. All was not lost however last week as a new midfield star was born, Jordi Gomez netted a hat-trick for the Latics that will surely see many fantasy managers wonder about his potential going forward. As far as injury news goes, we finally found out what happened to Antonio Valencia this weekend after he was left out of the squad completely, it seems that he had been suffering with a hip injury for the last few weeks and that if finally got the better of him on Saturday hence he was no where in sight, much to the disappointment of many and it look as if he is likely to miss the next two games with the injury so fantasy managers be advised provisions will have to be made.
So if you are looking for a Valencia replacement or perhaps you just want to freshen up your midfield, here are our midfielder tips for round 14.
Juan Mata (Chelsea) £5.3 million Fixture: Fulham (Home)
The Spanish international like so many big names failed to deliver the goods in round 13 as Chelsea started their new regin under Rafa Benitez and I am sure it will not only be the former Liverpool boss who hopes Mata can rectify this come the weekend as the Pensioners face fellow Londoners Fulham at the Bridge. Mata is the 7th highest scoring player in the Irish Times Fantasy Premier League with 57 points which see’s him only three points of the top midfielder spot with Michu and Fellaini on 60 points. Mata has delivered attacking points in all but one of his last five home games and with the Cottagers having conceded 16 goals on their travels this season which incidentally is the second worst record in the league there is a good chance we may see more from the little Spaniard this Wednesday.
Stephane Sessegnon (Sunderland) £4.2 million Fixture: QPR (Home)
The Black Cat’s are seemingly on the up after a poor start to the season that prior to round 12 saw them only manage 6 draws and no wins but after picking up two wins on the trot Sunderland seem to be turning it around. Sessegnon is another who seems to be finding form after netted last time out to make it tow from two and as we saw last season when he gets going he certainly is capable of returning the points. Sunderland welcome QPR to the Stadium of Light who will be under the stewardship of Harry Redknapp for the first time and although we expect Harry to have a positive effect on the R’s it is likely that three days training will not be long enough even for Harry to work his magic. There are of course still some question marks over the long term viability of the Sunderland midfield but with Sessegnon ending his 24 game goal drought now could very well be the time to invest.
Michu (Swansea) £3.9 million Fixture: West Brom (Home)
The former Real Oviedo and Rayo Vallecano midfielder had seemingly dropped of the radar over recent weeks as Swansea deployed him as a striker, but it seemed that the move somewhat backfired with the Spaniard failing to score in three consecutive games. Faith it seems has a large part to play in life and only through injury was Michael Laudrup forced to move Michu back into “the hole” and instantly got results as he netted for the Swans to help them beat Newcastle 2-1. Swansea welcome high flying West Brom to the Liberty Stadium in round 14 and despite the Baggies recent good run of form they have yet to manage a clean sheet on the road this season. So with the Swans looking to build on their scoreless draw with Liverpool last time out Michu could be the man to get them going again.
Gaston Ramirez (Southampton) £4.0 million Fixture: Norwich (Home)
The Uruguayan midfielder has struggled with injury since his move from Bologna for a club record £12 million but it would seem now that he is almost up to match fit and we are beginning to see why the Saints were willing to pay such big money for the talented midfielder. Ramirez was undoubtedly the star of the show as Southampton beat Newcastle 2-0 on Sunday as he notched up a goal and an assist to make it 2 goals and 2 assists he had already this season. Norwich are another side who seem to be putting a run together with the Canaries unbeaten in their last 6, but they do however like to concede goals on their travels and have shipped 13 in 7 away games this season, so despite their unbeaten run they are still venerable on the road and there is no better man than Gaston to exploite that for the Saints.