The midweek feast of fantasy action was certainly not as exciting as many fantasy managers would have hoped for especially with some surprise results on the cards. As for Tuesday night’s fantasy action is was a case of very few goals with fantasy managers left clinging to the consolation of a clean sheet or two to make them feel better. The lack of goals aside there were still some interesting lessons to be learnt for the four games and as usual our coaches have compiled their managers notes to share with you all in a bid to ensure you don’t miss a trick.
The French Connection
The much highlighted trasfer policy of Alan Pardew and Newcastle of recruiting new players from France was on show last night as the Magpie’s gave debuts to a number of their new signings and it would seem that the injection of new life has served the “Toon Army” well. With Newcastle having taken just one solitary point from their previous six away fixtures and failing to find a win on their travels this season to say the expectations of many were very low going into last nights game at Villa Park is somewhat of an understatement, but it would seem that the new clutch of acquisitions have given the Toon hope with new signing Moussa Sissoko laying on the assist for Pappis Cisse’s opener. The star of the show was in no doubt by the end of the game however with Yohan Cabaye firing home the Magpie’s second with an exquisite finish after the ball fell to him about 2o yards out.
Pappis Cisse’s goal however has served to highlight his potential post Ba and with the big centre forward now netting three goals in his last six games his fantasy potential may be on the rise with Pardew opting to deploy the Senegalese striker at the head of a 4-2-3-1 with Moussa Sissoko in “the hole” behind him. It may be too soon to tell whether the “French Connection” can help Newcastle make the scramble to safety but with Cisse and Sissoko clicking so early they will certainly be ones for fantasy managers to keep a close eye on over the coming weeks.
Benteke bags another
Despite Aston Villa’s poor form this season Christian Benteke is continuing to impress and make a case for inclusion in plenty of fantasy sides regardless of his side’s fixtures. Benteke was on the mark once again last night as he netted from the spot as Villa went down 2-1 to Newcastle, the Belgian international has now scored or assisted eight of Villa’s 10 goals since fixture week 12 , with eight goals and four assists to his credit since he made his debut back in September Benteke continues to offer superb value for a cheap price.Last night’s defeat saw the Villains slip into the bottom three and with games against Everton, Arsenal and City in the next four, Lambert and Villa look like they have a mountain to climb if they are to escape the drop.
Rock Solid R’s
Who would have thought that QPR would have managed to keep the champions quiet on Tuesday night but they did just that as they gained another valuable point. The R’s have now kept three clean sheets in the last four and extended their unbeaten run to six games in the league. What is even more impressive about the R’s recent clean sheets is the fact that they have come against sides in the top four. Julio Cesar has come to the fore over recent weeks and their is no doubt that these clean sheets are hugely down to his heroics between the sticks. With news that Christopher Samba has completed his medical at Loftus Road and looks set to make a return to the premier league this could further strengthen the prospects of the QPR rear guard.
City frustrate in front of goal
Once again Manchester City have frustrated fantasy managers as they drew another blank on Tuesday night, with news Mario Balotelli has left the club City will be reliant on Aguero, Tevez and Dzeko heading into the final third of the season, but with the Aguero/Tevez partnership seemingly out of sync at the moment fantasy managers could be tempted to look elsewhere for fire power. Tevez has failed to score in his last six starts and has been replaced in each of these games and Mancini must now surely consider reinstating Dzeko for the visit of Liverpool at the weekend. But with Silva starting to show signs of form, he may be the best investment on the attacking front for fantasy managers looking for City coverage.
Michu’s Goal Drought
Moved back to his favoured role in “the hole” as Itay Shechter led the line, the Spaniard failed to score for the fifth game running as Swansea grabbed a point at the Stadium of Light. Michael Laudrup’s tactics on the road, in particular, don’t seem to be helping Michu’s cause – while the Swans have now registered four clean sheets in their last six away matches, they have scored in just one of their last five fixtures outside of the Liberty. Michu has now found the net in only two of his last 10 away games, though his lack of form is unlikely to see any transfers out, given the potentially imminent double fixture week for Laudrup’s side.
Potters drive us potty
After being the defensive rock that many fantasy premier league managers build the foundations of their fantasy side on in the early part of the season it looks like subsidence has set in and it is all falling to pieces at the back for Stoke. Last night’s game against Wigan was one that many, including ourselves thought could see the Potters return their first clean sheet since round 18 but after taking a 2-0 lead against the Latic’s it all fell apart as Wigan came back to claim a point at the Britannia. Frustration with Stoke’s seemingly meteoric fall from grace is growing among fantasy managers with a vested interest and with the Gunners next up for Tony Pulis’s side it may be time to cut your ties and ship out your Stoke defenders or goalkeeper for that matter.
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