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EPL Fantasy Guru - Gameweek 17: The Digest

December 19, 2013


Photo Courtesy of steve260589(flickr)


Hindsight is always 20/20, right? Come Sunday, it seems everyone was bemoaning the fact that they had not captained Luis Suarez, but the fact is, no one saw it coming. In a week where captaining Suarez would have brought home 44 points, the world average was a mere 55. The top player in the world didn't captain Suarez, he captained Lukaku. At least we didn't all lose ground to the leader, right? There's some silver lining. This week, it seems almost foolish not to captain the Uruguayan, especially given his recent performance at home- Suarez has banked a ridiculous 55 points in Liverpool's last 3 games at Anfield. So...captain debate aside, there are some interesting fixtures on offer in Gameweek 17. Let's take a look at where you can either make up ground on rivals or extend your league lead.


An Interesting Winter


It happens every year and stings just the same. The winter always throws up different scenarios fantasy managers have not planned for and difficult decisions must be made across fantasy squads. Recent injuries to Sergio Aguero and Robin Van Persie caught the attention of many, with Wayne Roone being brought in as a replacement for either player. It now seems Rooney is an injury concern ahead of the Gameweek, which begs the question, should he stay or should he go? The Guru advises holding tight until more news emerges regarding the Englishman's injury, as it may be minor. If you have been patient enough to save your transfer to the end of the week (it's hard, I know...), you should look to a few other options that seem assured.



On-Loan Lukaku


It's kind of funny, but Chelsea's on-loan striker has more goals than his parent club's entire strikeforce of Torres, Eto'o, and Ba. Combined. While many have criticised Mourinho for letting him go out on loan, the Guru thinks the Portugese manager is actually using him as a "secret spy" if you will, stealing points off of Chelsea's rivals while Mourinho attempts to piece together old and new parts into a winning machine. Everton's under-cover brother (that's not racist, is it?) has played a part in taking 2 points off of Liverpool, Tottenham, and Arsenal, and 3 points off of Manchester United. Not bad. This weekend he heads to Wales to take on Swansea, where he should be confident in front of goal.


Lukaku is a towering striker, a quick and constant threat to defenders, a goal-scoring machine when he's in the mood. He's still extremely young, only 20 years old, and he has already come a long way in his Premier League career. His finishing has developed this season and he has figured out how to use his strength to his advantage, which will be a problem for the inexperienced Dwight Tiendalli and center backs Ashley Williams and Chico Flores. Swansea have only managed 1 clean sheet in their last 7 league outings, and that is against teams without someone like Romelu Lukaku. The big Belgian will be a nightmare for Swansea's defense if Everton can get a foothold in the game, so fantasy investment is certainly not a bad idea.



Backing Dzeko


Of the loftier picks the Guru has ever produced, this is up there. I know, I know, Alvaro Negredo is probably going to start alone up top for Man City against Fulham. But what if he doesn't? What if Dzeko does? OR, what if they're paired together? Crazy, right? In any case, Dzeko has proven in the past that he is capable of producing points from the bench, and could well feature as City's lone striker in several games throughout the busy holiday period. Negredo can't possibly start every game up top, and comparing their prices, it is obvious Dzeko has the edge at an incredibly low £6.7.


Amongst the new signings and the big names the arrive every summer, it seems to be forgotten, but a few years ago Edin Dzeko was hot property in Europe. Teams like Bayern Munich and Real Madrid considered making a move for the Bosnian in 2011, but he instead decided to join City for £27 million, which is more than the £23 million Liverpool paid Ajax for Luis Suarez. In Aguero's absence it will be up to Dzeko and Negredo to score for Manchester City, and against teams like Fulham, Crystal Palace, and Swansea, they should be able to put in a few.



-MM @EPLFantasyGuru

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