As we nervously wait to see if our fantasy charges come through the midweek european clashed unscathed thoughts are now turning to some midfield issues that face many fantasy premier league managers. Most notably Gareth Bale is set to miss out this weekend’s fixture with a hamstring injury and with 31.4% of Irish Times fantasy premier league managers having the Welsh winger in their squad there is little doubt that a suitable replacement will be high up on the list of priorities and with Silva, Walcott and Routledge also currently on the treatment table there are plenty of tough decisions to be made ahead of this weekend’s action.
So with many managers looking for at least one replacement ahead of round 16 of the Irish Times Fantasy Premier League here are our midfielder tips for the coming weekend.
Michu (Swansea City) £3.9 million. Fixture: Norwich City (Home)
With a excellent result at the Emirates last weekend Michu was the star of the show with two goals late on to seal the victory for the Swans. Michu is now joint top scorer in the league with 10 goals and is quickly becoming a must have fantasy premier league player. It is also worth noting that the Spaniard seems to be indiscriminate when it comes to scoring at the Liberty or on the road with he goals evenly split 50/50, Norwich themselves are enjoying a decent run of form but in coming up against an in form Michu, may have their work cut out to keep the Spaniard at bay. If Swansea continue to play as they have done for the past few weeks, they should see off Norwich with Michu once again the star of the show.
Marouane Fellaini (Everton) £4.0 million Fixture: Tottenham (Home)
The Evertonian with the larger than life hair is surely one that every fantasy premier league manager will have to consider for their team, his recent run of 5 goals and 2 assists in 6 games makes him another must have fantasy “must have”. This game finished 1-0 to the Toffee’s last time the sides met at Goodison and realistically should that result materialize this weekend it will be in keeping with Everton’s recent run of results as they come off three 1-1 draws in a row, so I suppose the expectation is for a tight game with not too many goals but if the Toffee’s are to get any kind of a result you can be sure that Fellaini will have a hand in it. Tottenham on the other hand have only managed one clean sheet on their travels so it would seem that Fellaini and co will get chances against AVB’s side.
Rayheem Sterling (Liverpool) £3.9 million Fixture: West Ham (Away)
The young England international has been the surprise package of the season so far and has started every game bar one so far this season under Brendan Rogers and he has repaid the managers confidence with one goal and four assists to date. Liverpool travel to Upton Park without the services of Luis Suarez who is currently banned after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season last weekend which means that Liverpool are technically without a recognised striker this weekend. This inconvenience could well mean that we will see Sterling deployed in a more advanced role up top in Suarez’s absence which of course means that the potential for an attacking return is greatly increased. West Ham are of course no slouches as we saw last weekend when they came from behind to beat Chelsea, but the truth of the matter is that they could have easily been 2 or 3 down at half time had Chelsea not wasted their chances, so they are venerable at the back and Liverpool and Sterling will surely get chances.
Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading) £3.6 million. Fixtures: Southampton (Away)
Robson-Kanu gets the nod in this weeks tips and at £3.6 million he is one of the cheapest players in the game and when you consider that he has already scored 3 goals and chipped in with an assist, he is decent enough value. His third league goal of the season came last weekend when Reading were unlucky not to get something from their home game with Man United. Reading will be looking at their game in round 16 and will fancy their chances against fellow strugglers Southampton in a game that some are already calling a relegation 6 pointer. Both clubs fought tooth and nail for the Championship last season with the Royals eventually coming out on top as Champions. Having been in and out of the side at the beginning of the season, Robson-Kanu looks to have sealed his place in the starting XI, having started the last 4 games. Southampton’s defence has been poor all season and Reading will fancy their chances of scoring with Robson-Kanu their main threat from midfield.
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