EPL Fantasy Digest: Gameweek 6
Photo Courtesy of lisaloulaa (flickr)
In maybe the most thrilling EPL Gameweek so far this season, 29 goals scored were across 10 games and 6 teams won away from home. Many of the road wins, most notably Hull's, were completely unpredicted, and several players such as Theo Walcott and Robin Van Persie unexpectedly missed out, leaving many Fantasy managers short-handed. There were several bright spots in the Gameweek, however, and those who acted on last week's article focused on Mesut Ozil and the Manchester Derby found goals within their squads. This Gameweek will be tough to call as there are a number of big clubs on the road, but there are several options emerging across the league that warrant investment.
Finding the Groove
There are loads of new faces across the league this season and that means many teams have had to focus on developing chemistry and team balance more than anything so far. Some of these squads are finally starting to click, which should spell goals, so let's take a deeper look into which new-look teams have promising fantasy potential going forward.
After selling star academy products Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale in 2006 and then Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in 2011, many followers of English football grew to see Southampton as a feeder team to bigger clubs. After successfully earning promotion in 2012 however, they began pumping cash into the squad and turned that reputation on its head. Now the Saints boast a squad with the likes of Gaston Ramirez, Pablo Osvaldo, Victor Wanayama, and Dejan Lovren, in addition to old fan favorites Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert. They have taken a while to gel so far this season, but after a convincing and well-deserved road win against Liverpool last weekend, the Guru feels they will continue to look better every week.
Pablo Osvaldo, in particular, has struggled to get off the ground so far in his Southampton career. The Argentine-born Italian is a proven goal-scorer, having notched 27 goals in 51 games for Roma, but also has a history of locker-room bust ups and general attitude problems. Osvaldo has not yet opened his account in England, but now that the Saints have confidence and look fluid in their attack he should have plenty of opportunities to put the ball away. If he can re-find the good form he showed during much of his time at Roma and keep a cool head, at £7.8 in the Fantasy Premier League, Pablo Osvaldo represents a potential bargain. This weekend the Saints host Crystal Palace, and the Guru feels Southampton players definitely warrant investment. Look for Rickie Lambert, Pablo Osvaldo, and Gaston Ramirez all to get in on the action.
It is starting to look like David Moyes' move to Manchester was actually a very positive one for Everton, as Roberto Martinez has the Toffees playing attractive, attacking football, and is also earning results. Moyes' typically defensive and cautious approach helped Everton finish mid-table almost every year he was in charge, but fans are undoubtedly excited by their new-look team this season. Moyes was over-reliant on draws during his spell as Everton manager and tended to play boring football in the name of earning a point. Martinez is quite the opposite, gunning for wins and constantly pressuring the opposition's goal. The Guru feels Roberto Martinez will seize his first genuine opportunity at managing a team loaded with quality and will help Everton improve each and every week.
Everton's main man Leighton Baines seems to be enjoying himself under Roberto Martinez so far. The Englishman is extremely prolific for a left-back and showed his quality with 2 superbly taken free-kick goals on the road against West Ham last weekend. At home to his former club Newcastle this time around, there should be no doubting him to get on the score sheet. Add in his assist potential with the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley finding form, and Baines represents a possible captain choice this weekend. It is definitely risky to put the armband on a defender, but on Baines' and Everton's current form, you wouldn't bet against them taking 3 points at Goodison Park.
Goalkeepers: Arthur Boruc, Joe Hart
Defense: Leighton Baines, Branislav Ivanovic, Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw, Nemanja Vidic
Midfield: Mesut Ozil, Gaston Ramirez, Ross Barkley, Yaya Toure, Leon Osman, Michu
Goalkeepers: Petr Cech, David De Gea
Defense: Laurent Koscielny, Ryan Shawcross, Robert Huth, Brede Hangeland
Midfield: Steven Gerrard, Aaron Ramsey, Robbie Brady, Kevin Nolan
Strikers: Steven Fletcher, Samuel Eto'o, Darren Bent, Rickie Lambert, Luis Suarez