AFTER WHAT PROVED to be an fairly uninspiring international break (from an Irish fan’s point of view at least), the Premier League is back this weekend with all but one game scheduled for Saturday.
Before you even contemplate making changes to your Fantasy team based on form, it is inevitable that a couple of players will have returned to their clubs with knocks after representing their respective countries.
Reports this week suggested Manchester United would be stripped of two influential players in Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa, but Alex Ferguson has confirmed at his press conference this afternoon that both recent signings will in fact be available for the visit of Wigan.
Arsene Wenger waits on the fitness of Abou Diaby after the French midfielder picked up a hip injury during France’s win over Finland and then there are the likes of Andy Carroll, Swansea full-back Neil Taylor and Bryan Ruiz, who are all ruled out of Gameweek 4.
Two players to pick this week:
Steven Fletcher: The Scottish striker, who was given a rest last week due to his ongoing spat with Craig Levein, got his Sunderland career off to the perfect start last time out with two goals against Swansea on his Mackems debut. Fletcher is reasonably priced at £7 million and will be the home side’s main goalscoring threat when they host Liverpool at the Stadium of Light tomorrow evening.
Nathan Dyer: The Swans have been superb so far this season and although new arrival Michu is the player everyone’s been talking about, Nathan Dyer deserves just as much praise. The tricky winger sits third in the FF table of midfielders (behind Michu and Eden Hazard) thanks to two goals and two assists. Last time he played at Villa Park he ran rings around Stephen Warnock. Expect something similar tomorrow.
Two players to avoid:
Fabio Da Silva: The Brazilian full-back, on loan with the Rs from Manchester United, says he is relishing the London derby with Chelsea, but you would have to fear for the 22-year-old. The Pensioners have recorded three wins from three and possess an embarrassing amount of attacking options in Torres, Hazard, Mata, Oscar and Lampard. It is likely to be a heated affair after last season’s incident between Anton Ferdinand and John Terry and we can only see one winner.
Shay Given: After a Euro 2012 which he will be keen to forget, Ireland’s record caps holder Shay Given has continued his poor form in the opening weeks of the Premier League campaign. The Lifford stopper should have kept out a couple of Everton’s goals in their 3-1 over Villa and Paul Lambert dropped the No1 for Brad Guzan in the 1-1 draw with Newcastle. Whether he will bring Given back in for tomorrow’s game is uncertain but, either way, it’s probably best to steer clear right now.
Norwich 0 – 1 West Ham
Arsenal 2 – 1 Southampton
Aston Villa 0 – 2 Swansea
Fulham 2 – 2 West Brom
Man United 2 – 0 Wigan
QPR 0 – 3 Chelsea
Stoke 0 – 2 Man City
Sunderland 1 – 1 Liverpool
Reading 1 – 2 Tottenham
How my team got on this week
The international week means we had the week off from FF. It’s about time I rung in the changes, though. First move – get Jose Enrique as far away from my squad as possible.
Who is leading TheScore.ie Primera Division?
Currently out in front is Richard Snowden whose side Release The Krakens lead with a total of 282. Next in the title race are Hanngover 96 and Meath Lovers Pizza.