Prior to the start of gameweek 24, talk revolved around the possibility of high ownership players missing out due to injury. Alexis Sanchez was definitely confirmed out, but in the Chelsea press conference, Mourinho implied Fabregas would be fit. He lied. When combined with some of the other big names already missing due to suspension (Costa and Sigurdsson) this was probably a week where a strong bench would be needed. As the weekend progressed, this was even more essential as first Baines missed out with an unreported injury, and then Wisdom was left on the bench by new Baggies boss, Tony Pulis.
But who did actually play? And far more importantly, who made the team of the week. Let’s take a look.
With only Crystal Palace, Southampton, Everton and Liverpool keeping clean sheets this week, it was Palace keeper Julian Speroni who took top spot due to his 2 bonus points and 1 save point increasing his total to 9 points. The 1-0 away win at Leicester cost Foxes manager Nigel Pearson his job. Well, his bizarre touch line antics may have also contributed to his sacking, who knows? Palace are shaping up well under new man Pardew, who seems to fit them like a glove.
It stands to reason the back three this week were probably drawn from the clubs who managed to keep a clean sheet, and that proved to be the case. First up we have Toffee’s centre-half Phil Jagielka. A 0-0 draw in the Merseyside derby is not going to go down as an all-time classic, but it was handy for Jagielka owners. His 3 bonus points meant he finished the gameweek with a creditable 9 points.
Exactly the same way of obtaining 9 points was achieved by his opposite number in the Liverpool team, Alberto Moreno. With 27 points in 4 games, he is well worth a look for a tad over £5m. Liverpool have now kept clean sheets in their last 4 games, whereas in the previous 20 gameweeks they had only kept 5 in total.
Completing the defensive trio is Saints man Maya Yoshida. With 12 points courtesy of his assist for Sadio Mane’s winner, he also picked up all 3 bonus points. Two home games up next with first West Ham, and then Liverpool, visiting the South Coast high-flyers.
Away at Manchester City is not a bad place to open your goal scoring account for the season, and that is exactly what Hull City’s David Meyler did. It looked like it would prove to be the winner as well for Steve Bruce’s relegation threatened side. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as James Milner rescued a point for struggling City. Meyler picked up 10 points after being awarded maximum bonus points for his contribution.
In his first game back after Asian Cup duty, Swansea midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung earned his side a draw after latching onto Kyle Naughton’s pass. 10 points gathered for Ki once his 3 bonus points were added to his total. A trip to West Brom up next for the Swans in the midweek fixture forgameweek 25.
Making another appearance in the weekly dreamteam following his two assists last time out, is Manchester United’s Daley Blind. This week his contribution was a late, late equalising goal in injury time down at West Ham. Priced at £5.1m he may be worth a look now, but his role in the team suggests he isn’t going to keep popping up in this advanced positions too often. Another double figure return though – 10 points gathered up and deposited into the overall total for the 1.1% of managers who have him in their team.
Palace man Joe Ledley scored his second of the season, and the only goal of the game, in the win up at Leicester. He latched onto a ball from Brede Hangeland to deliver 3 points for his team, and 11 for fantasy owners. Two home games next for Palace, Newcastle and Arsenal. Any takers? Pardew will want to make a statement against his old employers surely!
Finally, making up the midfield quintet is West Brom’s Chris Brunt. He also gets crowned as “Player of the Week” with 13 points. A goal, an assist andmaximum bonus points generated this total. With Albion two goals down up at Burnley, it was Brunt’s goal just before half-time that gave the Baggies hope. He laid on the equalising goal for sub Ideye in the second half. Tony Pulis – master tactician or lucky bugger?
Burnley’s main man Danny Ings continued his fine run with his 4th goal in the last 5 games in the draw with WBA. He also provided the assist for everyone’s favourite first sub, George Boyd. 2 bonus points meant he served up an 11 point total. Be careful about Burnley transfers though, their fixtures are truly horrific from now on in.
This years Suarez comes in the unlikely form of Tottenham man, Harry Kane. Considering he wasn’t even in the squad for the North London derby earlier on this season, his rise has been rapid. After featuring in the dream team last week, he joins Daley Blind in keeping his spot this week. His second consecutive brace made it 12 league goals for the season and has helped move Spurs ahead of Arsenal by a solitary point. 12 points for Kane, and 115 for the season, for the games highest owned player. 42.1% of managers are currently on the Kane Train, with this figure set to rise and rise.
There we have it then. An insight into those potential differentials who are in good form and could find a way into your squad as you try to get ahead in your mini leagues, or climb the overall rankings.
Remember, there’s no time to pause as gameweek 25 gets underway on Tuesday evening…