Selecting strikers that can bring home the bacon every week can be a tricky business for fantasy managers, with so many options and schools of thought on the subject, it can sometimes lead to information overload which can cause managers all sorts of headaches. Round 23 of the Irish Times Fantasy Premier League is no different with the exception of a double fixture week for both Southampton and Chelsea.
But as always our coaches are hot on the heels of goals this weekend and done their homework so you don’t have to and they have come up with some very viable options for you to consider when it comes to strengthening you forward line ahead of this weekend’s action.
Fernando Torres (Chelsea) £7.2 million Fixtures: Southampton (Home), Arsenal (Home)
Much of the debate around Stamford Bridge this week has been whether or not intrim Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez will opt to start both Torres and Ba up front together, which of course would be ideal for fantasy managers given that it would take the guess work out trying to second guess the gaffers starting line up, but the harsh reality is the fact that Rafa loves rotation and it is highly unlikely that we will see the pair start together in either game this week. With Demba Ba starting against Stoke last time out all evidence goes to support the theory that Torres will now get the nod against Southampton, which is good news for fantasy managers.
Torres has mustered up 7 goals and 5 assist so far this season and despite the fact that he hasn’t scored in his last three starts the first game of the week against Southampton could be exactly what the doctor ordered for “El Nino”. As we stated in our midfielders tips the Saints are leaking goals away from home at a rate of nots and with the Chelsea midfield in such good form it could be open season for Torres if he can get the service. The second game of the week is a far trickier situation to call and there is of course a risk that Torres may not start the game, but if he can secure the points in the first game anything earned against the Gunners will be a bonus.
Luis Suarez (Liverpool) £7.1 million Fixture: Norwich (Home)
With five goals and two assists in his last five games the Liverpool striker’s blank last time out at Old Trafford will have done little to dampen his appeal to fantasy managers as we head into round 23. The Uruguayan striker is one of the most selected players in the game and with 15 goals and 110 points beside his name this season it is easy to see why so many out their trust in the controversial front man. The is is off course the worry that Daniel Sturridge’s arrival at Anfield could hinder Suarez’s potential to get goals but it seems highly unlikely that Brendan Rogers will drop his top scorer in favour of the new boy.
Norwich make the trip to Merseyside in a game that see’s the Canaries as serious underdogs given Liverpool’s recent home form. Norwich on the other hand have not been so hot away from home this season and as we said while analysing Steven Gerrard’s potential Norwich’s away form at the back has been poor with Chris Hughton’s side only managing one clean sheet on the road this season not to mention the fact that they have only won one of their last six games. Norwich will be hopeful they can trouble Liverpool as they welcome Grant Holt back from injury but it seems unlikely that they will be able to stop the most inform striker in the league on his own patch.
Edin Dzeko (Man City) £7.0 million Fixture: Fulham (Home)
There is no doubting that the big Bosnian international has done very well in the absence of Sergio Aguero over the last couple of weeks and despite missing a penalty last time out he still managed to pick himself up, dust himself down and grab a goal as City beat Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates last weekend. Dzeko has now scored in all three of his last games and even pitched in with an assist to boot. With news that Sergio Aguero is still weeks away from a return the former Wolfsburg man looks good value to keep his place and continue his scoring run this weekend.
The say it never rains but it pours and I’m sure that is exactly what Martin Jol and Fulham are thinking as they head into this weekend’s fixture at the Eithad. The Cottagers have only won one of their last six and have conceded 11 goals in the process which won’t make for good reading heading to the home of the champions. Fulham’s notorious away form seems to follow them season on season and this year is not different with Jol’s side registering two wins away from the cottage all season. With City currently sitting seven points off the top of the league they will be conscious not to fall any further behind with United not playing until Sunday and given Dzeko’s recent goal scoring form he looks certain to grab another goal in this one.
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