Striking Headaches

With some big names out this coming Gameweek and possibly the foreseeable future (Diego Costa, Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge just to name a few); who should you be bringing into your team this week?

Sergio Agüero

Top of my shopping list, top of the goal scoring table and most transferred in player for Gameweek 9. No coincidences there. He has been in scintillating form this season, scoring 4 goals vs Tottenham last weekend (and missed a penalty too) and continued his goal scoring form midweek, scoring in Manchester City’s 2-2 draw at CSKA Moscow. He is currently scoring a goal every 58 minutes (9 in 528mins) in the league. That’s top for goals per minute in England and 3rd in Europe’s top 5 leagues, only bettered by Ronaldo and Neymar from Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

He is unfortunately the most expensive player in the game and unless you’re trading out Robin Van Persie to bring Agüero in, you’re likely going to need to find several million £’s to make it happen. If you still have your wildcard, then this is an easy thing to do. Owned currently by 20.5% of teams, Agüero still has good potential to be somewhat of a differential given his high price compared to the whopping 60% that still own Diego Costa.

If you don’t have your wildcard left like myself, then taking a 4pts hit is probably a reality for you. Question is: who to trade out. I’m working on the assumption that you have a few popular players in your team, but don’t want to sacrifice stars for cheapies or lose team coverage so here are a couple of suggestions:

Option 1:

Out: Hazard or Fabregas

In: Oscar

He’s in good form and only played 73 minutes midweek compared to 90 for Hazard and 60 for Fabregas. Costing £8.3m and owned by only 3%, could prove a nice differential in midfield while allowing the upgrade from Costa to Agüero.

Option 2:

Out: Sanchez

In: Ramsey

Trading out Sanchez for Ramsey will net you £1.5m and Costa (£11m) for Agüero (£12.5m) is a great trade if you have the £0.2m or so extra needed depending on when you had Costa from. You’re not sacrificing coverage and bringing in one of the best goal scoring midfielders in the league. Ramsey played 90 minutes midweek vs Anderlecht in the Champion’s League and his recovery is progressing well. With the injuries to Özil and Walcott, expect Ramsey to be in the starting line up this weekend vs Sunderland.

Graziano Pellè

Southamption’s main man and currently the 3rd highest scorer in the Premier League, coming in at a reasonably priced £8.2m and is owned by 23% of managers. Since January 1st in 2012, Pellè has scored a remarkable 60 goals in his last 71 appearances for Sampdoria, Feyenoord and Southampton respectively. That’s 0.85 goals per game! Bringing him in for Costa will see you net around £2.5m, allowing you to upgrade your 4th and 5th midfielders or 3rd forward. Southampton have a great run of fixtures (Stoke (H), Hull (A), Leicester (H), Villa (A)) until Gameweek 13 when they start a death run where they face Man City, Arsenal, Man United and Everton in 4 of their next 5 matches, before playing reverse fixtures against Chelsea, Arsenal and Man United over Boxing Day/New Years with Burnley and Palace sprinkled inbetween gameweeks 13 and 22. If you’re going to get on him, do it now or it’s almost too late given their horrid upcoming fixtures.

Romelu Lukaku

Priced at £9m but only owned by 9.8% of teams, he could be a great differential. After finally seeming to overcome a persistent toe injury that hampered him at the start of the season, Lukaku has scored 3 goals in his last 5 games and has very favorable fixtures coming up against Burnley, Swansea, Sunderland and West Ham. Add to this that Romelu and the now fit Ross Barkley have some sort of sixth sense footballing connection, that can only spell goals and more fantasy points for Lukaku! He only played 25 minutes against Lille in the Europa League on Thursday so should be fresh to start on Sunday against Burnley. Perhaps a different alternative to the aforementioned strikers, definitely consider him if you need a reliable striker who is starting to find form again.

Didier Drogba

The man and legend himself plays for Chelsea again. He scored midweek in the Champions League after replacing the injured Loic Remy. At a cheap £6.2m and owned by a mere 0.9% of managers, he presents huge differential potential. Given Costa and Remy are both rated 50% chances of playing this weekend, Drogba could be worth a punt. And against Man United? Surely the fairytale stage is set for him to score the winner. However you never know with Jose Mourinho and his mind games about players being unfit or fit and then starting or not even being in the squad so it’s definitely a risky move but if it comes off, you can bet nobody else in your leagues will have him. Except that one diehard Chelsea fan who put Drogba on the bench in GW1 and hasn’t updated his team since.

I’d just like to thank @FPL_Updates for offering me the chance to write an article for a great FPL site. Hope you guys enjoyed the article and found it helpful for deciding on whom to bring in for Diego Costa. If you liked it, feel free to follow me on Twitter @Spors_Fan_Dave and check out @UnambitiousUs where a few mates and I write FPL/Sport related articles.


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