Well it has been some weekend of fantasy premier league action and with one game down for decision tonight as Reading take on Arsenal at the Madejski Stadium it is certainly not over and there are undoubtedly going to be more fantasy points on offer for those managers with a vested interest. As far as this weekend goes there were a number of main talking points for fantasy managers to be aware of and as usual on a Monday our coaches have sifted through all the results, stats and news to bring you the most important pieces of information.
Fellaini Blows The Head
Marouane Fellaini stole the headlines at the Britannia on Saturday and unfortunately it was for all the wrong reason’s, the game it’s self finished in a rather forgettable 1-1 draw, but the game will however be remembered for an act of lunacy by Fellaini. The big Belgian couldn’t control his temper and lashed out with his head as he sent Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross to the floor. The incident took place in the lead up to an Everton corner and Fellaini can be clearly seen to head butt the Stoke defender. No action was taken at the time as it seemed to go unnoticed by the match officials but given the severity of the incident, Fellaini can surely now expect to be hit with a violent conduct charge, with a minimum of a three-match ban coming his way over christmas. In the aftermath of the incident Fellaini was quick to issue an apology via the clubs website:
“I apologise completely to Ryan Shawcross, my team mates and to our fans at the game. There was a lot of pushing and pulling going on inside the Stoke penalty area and I didn’t feel I was getting any protection from the officials. Nevertheless I know I shouldn’t have done what I did. I have also apologised to the manager and the staff. I have no excuses, I was disappointed with the way I was being treated and I lost my temper, which was unprofessional of me.”
Fantasy managers will now have a dilemma on their hands as they weigh up their options, but one thing we do know is that we are unlikely to see the famous afro line out for the Toffee’s for the rest of the year.
Villa Turn The Tide
After an impressive win in midweek in the Capital One Cup Aston Villa went into the game at Anfield with not very many pundits giving them the slightest hope of overturning Liverpool on Saturday, but that is exactly what they did. Christian Benteke was once again the architect of Villa’s success as he notched up a brace and an assist as he continues to shine in a somewhat dishevelled Villa side. The Belgian international has been a revelation at Villa Park since his arrival during the summer and he continues to show his importance to Paul Lambert’s attack with an extremely impressive display on Merseyside on Saturday. Benteke has now played a hand in 8 of Villa’s 13 goals this season and with stats like that he is sure to grasp the attention of fantasy managers looking for a differential. Villa face a stern test against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next time out but with three out of the next four coming at Villa Park that may just be the time for fantasy managers to get on board.
Harry’s Up & Running
QPR finally got their first win of the season on Saturday as they beat Fulham 2-1 at Loftus Road. With a mere two miles separating the two London clubs the R’s were keen to give their fans something to shout about and they did just that. Adel Taarabt was the star of the show as he finally got the points his performances have merited this season. The Moroccan was outstanding of Harry’s new charges as he knocked in two goals of quite some skill and with that came the three points the R’s were so desperate for. Taarabt’s prospect for the coming weeks look good with three home games in the next five he will surely offer chance of further points. The key to Taarabt’s returns may well have been a change in position, with Harry Redknapp shifting the playmaker behind lone striker Djibril Cisse and deploying Jamie Mackie wide on the right flank and if he continues in this role he will certain be courted by many more fantasy managers.
United’s Hit-men Hit Form
Once again, both Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney were amongst the points as United ran out 3-1 winners against Sunderland . With the fixtures so favourable, many had one, or both, of Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney ahead of yesterday’s game, with most opting for Van Persie’ when it came to awarding the captain’s armband. The flying Dutchman didn’t disappoint and duly delivered with a goal and assist. Rooney’s goal also highlighted his consistency since returning from a thigh injury in Gameweek 6 – he has now scored or assisted in eight of his last 11 matches. As United prepare for a four enticing festive fixtures against Swansea, Newcastle, West Brom and Wigan fantasy managers would be well advised to invest in one if not both of the United duo over the coming weeks.
Suarez Sinks In Standings
After his much publicised return to form over the last number of weeks it would seem that all is not what it seems for Luis Suarez. After serving his one match ban many fantasy managers flocked to the returning Suarez to provide the points as he lined out against what was supposed to be a struggling Villa side, but it was unfortunately a false hope as the Uruguayan produced another blank meaning that he has not produced the goods since fixture week 12. This slump in form is sure to have an impact on his fantasy selection but with rather favourable fixtures coming his way there could yet be value to be had from the Liverpool striker and given that this time of year is largely about faith, faith is what may be needed by fantasy managers of they are to see a return to form.
West Brom once again failed to find the back of the nest meaning that they have failed to score in their last three but there was some good news as the point they picked up in the 0-0 draw with West Ham means they have stopped the rot and ended a run of three successive defeats. It wasn’t all bad news for fantasy managers as predicted the Baggies kept their fifth clean sheet of the season and it must be siad that the highly fancied James Morrison was rather unlucky to to score as he was twice denied by the woodwork. Morrison posed Albion’s most creative threat despite operating in a deeper role in the absence of the injured Claudio Yacob, but the Hammers showed plenty of resilience at the back with a rock solid performance. West Brom now head into a mixed bag of fixtures over christmas and fantasy managers are advised to watch for the return of Yacob, his return will see Morrison returned to his normal role and with that hopefully normal fantasy service will resume.
Spurs Struggle Through
Was the clash of the passing sides at White Hart Lane on Sunday and despite all their huffing and puffing up front is was defender Jan Vertonghen who netted the all important goal which saw Tottenham secure the vital three points. It was not what was on the pitch that will concern fantasy managers rather than what was not, the continued absence of Gareth Bale is severely hampering the attacking stability of Spurs despite valent efforts from Dempsey and Sigurdsson. Tottenham created a number of chances from range but just seemed to lack that killer final ball that Bale is so renowned for. With Bale likely to be out for at least another two weeks concerns grow over the viability of the Tottenham attack as a fantasy force and most worryingly for fantasy with an interest in Jermain Defoe he managed to pick up his forth yellow card of the season which means he is now only one away from a ban, this coupled with some tricky games over the coming weeks mean a fall off in interest could be imminent.
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