With Chelsea performing so well, it can be hard to choose between all their world class players, especially in attack. So within the Chelsea attacking options, who are the essentials?
For me, it’s clear that there is only one real option here. Diego Costa is clearly Chelsea’s only real first choice striker and only if he goes on a massive drought will he be replaced by either Loic Remy or Didier Drogba.
Is Costa essential though? I wouldn’t say so, not by a long way. He rarely plays 90 minutes unless Chelsea are behind (we can disregard the last two fixtures as that was a tactic by Jose to get his fitness up to speed), and with only 1 goal in his last three starts he isn’t exactly ‘on-form’.
Despite this mini-dip in form that Diego has had, he still has 12 league goals in 13 starts which is a phenomenal record, but it’s worth pointing out that 7 out these 12 goals came in the first 4 games of the season. Since then he has scored 5 in 9 games which isn’t as impressive.
Meanwhile, one in-form option we can have instead of him is Robin van Persie (whilst Sergio Aguero is out injured). With 3 goals and 1 assist in his last three games he is certainly the ‘in-form’ pick out of the 2 so if you have neither, I’d advise picking him but as mentioned with Sergio Aguero out of the City line-up, Costa will become more popular as he offers consistent Fantasy Football points and starts.
Before anyone takes my advice on splashing out the cash for van Persie, bear in mind that despite his recent form, Di Maria and Falcao are returning to full fitness, meaning 2 players may have to drop out of the team to accommodate these players. Therefore his minutes may become a little limited in the near future.
EDEN HAZARD & CESC FABREGAS
When looking at the top scoring midfielders in Fantasy Football, Eden Hazard is number 2, whilst Cesc Fabregas is number 3. One Chelsea midfielder is essential in my opinion. Each clearly has different advantages and drawbacks as they are completely different players.
For me, Eden Hazard is the safer pick and more of a differential compared to Cesc. Eden is picked by 12% less of the Fantasy Premier League mangers and I’ll try and explain why I think this is. Hazard is quite streaky and unpredictable with his returns, for example, from gameweek 3 – gameweek 6 he didn’t contribute any attacking points.
Cesc on the other hand has contributed 1 goal and 11 assists in the 15 games he has featured in demonstrating that he almost does something every game. However, like his fellow Spaniard Costa, the majority of his attacking returns came in the first few games. This is one of the main reasons I prefer Hazard. He is an out-and-out attacker. He isn’t relied upon to track back, whereas Cesc playing defensive midfielder alongside Matic is asked to do so. Fabregas even came out himself and stated that there would be points in the season where he doesn’t contribute for 5-6 games as that isn’t the first job in the position he is playing.
Where minutes are concerned for both players, there are no issues. Both Fabregas and Hazard are clear first team players and regularly play 90 minutes, with Willian or Oscar normally being replaced later on in the game rather than Hazard or Fabregas. Both players seem to receive their required rests by Mourinho in the cup games.
Another factor that should be considered is the likelihood of players losing points through bookings etc. Hazard has only been booked once this season, so no issues there, but Cesc missed the game versus Hull in gameweek 16 due to suspension having already received 5 yellow cards (something that will naturally keep coming while he is playing a more defensive role).
Penalties is another factor to consider as well. Eden Hazard is clearly Chelsea’s first choice penalty taker, even with the likes of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas are on the pitch. It’s also worth noting that all of Eden’s attacking returns, bar 2 assists, have come at home this season. He doesn’t travel well, but he loves the bridge.
• Have Diego Costa in your team until Aguero comes back from injury and returns to form.
• Have Eden Hazard OR Fabregas, whichever your preference for the remainder of the season unless injuries are a concern.
What would I do with my own team:?
• Have Diego Costa in my team.
• Have Hazard in my team alongside David Silva being my Fabregas-type player in my starting 11 as I believe he will contribute more with Aguero, Jovetic and Dzeko out for a few weeks.