Gameweek 5 Premier Fantasy Preview Part 1

Posted by John Culea

This will be the first week of Premier League matches impacted by midweek Champions League play this season. Fantasy managers holding players from Chelsea, Man U, Man City and Arsenal saw mixed results from fantasy regulars and a spectacular performance by a Chelsea rookie. We shall see how that impacts domestic league play on Saturday and Sunday. The week also involved Europa games for Liverpool, Tottenham and Newcastle.

There are two monster fixtures in Gameweek 5 and both are on Sunday, which will be covered tomorrow in Part 2 of my preview. First, the Saturday matches with fantasy implications:

Saturday
Swansea City-Everton

The fifth place Swans were humbled in their last match and the fantasy point sensation of the season, Michu did not have mucho. Nonetheless, Swansea City is 5th and has scored ten goals while surrendering four.

This will be the early match of the day with Everton coming off a tough game against Newcastle, a game that with goal line technology the Blues would have won. As it is, they shared a point with the Magpies and lost forward Jelavic to a knee injury. However, good fantasy points came from Ameobi and Anichebe along with outstanding work from Baines and Pienaar.

This match looks like a free-scoring affair even with two strong GK's in Howard and Vorm.

Chelsea-Stoke
Top-of-the-table Chelsea had a midweek match against Juventus and saw Brazilian Oscar stun the faithful at Stamford Bridge with a brace. Oscar played in place of Mata whose place in future starting XI's looked shaky until Oscar limped off with an ankle injury in the 74th minute. Most likely Oscar will be rested Saturday.

In four Premier matches Chelsea is 3-1-0 and has scored eight goals while giving up just two. At two positions they are a fantasy manager's dream with 118 points from defenders, 33 more than Arsenal. Ivanovic leads all defenders in points and Hazard is ranked second for midfielders.

Chelsea, however, is deficient at forward for fantasy points with Torres and Sturridge not giving much. Even so, Chelsea is the top fantasy point-producing team in the Premier League.

Their problem will be scoring against dull, duller and dullest Stoke City. The 12th place Potters have played four matches and have four draws while scoring four goals and giving up four. Defensively Stoke is difficult to penetrate with Huth and Shawcross stalwarts on the back line.

Most likely Tony Pulis will bring his Potters to Stamford Bridge and have the team do an impersonation of a turtle hiding in its shell.

Southampton-Aston Villa
The Saints are the Premier League's “Aint's”. Buried in the cellar, Southampton has scored just five goals and let 14 balls whistle by their GK. On the other hand, Aston Villa rest 13th and in four matches have scored only four goals while being stingy in a draw-mentality that carried over from last season. AV's home result against Swansea gave some indication of a pulse for Martin O'Neil's team as newcomers Lowton and Benteke scored.

WBA-Reading
The Baggies will be playing a team whose supporters may soon be wearing bags to conceal their identity. Reading looked as bad as a team can be in handing AVB his first result as Spurs' manager. In three matches, Reading has scored four goals and seems to have reserved a spot in the relegation zone.

West Brom is impressively in 8th position and fantasy managers holding Baggie players are likely to add to their point total on Saturday.

West Ham-Sunderland
Big Sam has got his newly promoted side in 8th place, even though they are only averaging a goal a game. Dunderland is 15th and the Black Cats are impotent on offense (3 goals in three matches) and sterile on defense (3 goals in three matches). That fits with their three draws.

Wigan-Fulham
The Latics were no match for Man U last week and are home to high-scoring Fulham. Wigan is 14th in the table while Mark Hughes' Cottagers are 9th at 2-0-2. Fulham is the Jekyl and Hyde team so far this season; capable of multi goals on one day and being short-sheeted on another.

Tomorrow, Part 2 with a preview of four matches including Liverpool-Man U and Man City and Arsenal.

Until then I remain,
Yours faithfully,
Sir John

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