HELLO, I’M BACK again after last week’s temporary absence.
And despite my imploring Niall Kelly not to recommend Ivan Klasnic and Laurent ‘I’m an Arsenal defender so I must be dodgy’ Koscielny as ‘two players to pick this week’, he stubbornly went ahead and did it anyway.
In contrast to last week, in which many of the big sides met, this week’s fixtures seemingly have a number of games where the outcome seems practically pre-determined.
In other words, the type of gameweek where you can rack up the points provided you pick the right players…
Two players to pick this week
Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham): Tottenham looked a much-improved outfit against Liverpool last week, and it was partially thanks to the presence of Adebayor. The ex-Togo international, like Peter Crouch before him, serves as Tottenham’s target man. However, unlike Crouch, he also has the ability to be the 20-goal-a-season man that Spurs so desperately lacked last year. It would be no surprise if he adds to the three goals he has scored since joining Tottenham this weekend, as they take on a Wigan team who looked weak so far.
Leon Best (Newcastle): Given that they have lost players of the calibre of Andy Carroll and Joey Barton in recent months, it is a huge surprise to see Newcastle currently sitting in fourth place in the table. And their great start is partly thanks to the goalscoring exploits of Best, who has registered nine goals in his last 15 appearances (take note: Giovanni Trapattoni). In addition, he has also scored seven more league goals in 2011 than the much-heralded Andy Carroll. Does that make him worth £35million then?
Two players to avoid this week
Per Mertesacker (Arsenal): Anyone who thought Mertesacker was the answer to Arsenal’s defensive problems will have been made to think again after his performance against Blackburn last week. The German’s frailties were exposed, as things went from bad to worse for an Arsenal side who seem bereft of confidence at the moment. They host Bolton this weekend in a game you’d normally expect them to win, but these days, nothing’s guaranteed for Wenger’s side, who played with a level of naivety at the best of times this season.
Craig Bellamy (Liverpool): Including Bellamy may be tempting for some, given how impressive he looked in midweek, in addition to the fact that Liverpool have a home game against Wolves that they’d be expected to win. However, picking the striker represents a significant gamble, given his history with injury problems. Moreover, a Liverpool victory is far from certain. They looked extremely poor against Spurs last Sunday and lost in the equivalent fixture last season.
Predictions for the weekArsenal 2-2 Bolton
Chelsea 4-0 Swansea
Liverpool 2-1 Wolves
Man City 3-1 Everton
Newcastle 2-1 Blackburn
Norwich 1-1 Sunderland
QPR 1-1 Aston Villa
Stoke 1-3 Man United
West Brom 1-1 Fulham
Wigan 0-2 Tottenham
How my team got on last gameweek: Pretty poorly. The team registered 36 points – 4 below the average and way off the top score of 106 points. If only Rooney had scored that penalty…
Who’s leading TheScore.ie’s league: Mark Kilgallon’s ‘Maximum 20 character’ are leading the way. Mark scored a solid 68 points, which was enough for him to replace Paddy McKenna’s ‘Ride Me Sideways’ at the top of the leaderboard.