Now that gameweek 15 is complete in Fantasy Premier League, it isn’t that much time until gameweek 18 kicks off where you’ll be going head-to-head with other players in the Fantasy Premier League. It’s time to make those transfers and to stabilize your squad, so you’re ready to rock and roll in a few weeks.
Here are this week’s tips and observations:
Amigos no more: What better way to end Chelsea’s reputation as boring, emotionless bullies than to introduce a cohort of attacking midfielders who are neither boring nor emotionless? At the beginning of the season, teams didn’t know what to make of Roberto Di Matteo’s Drogba-less forward line; it’s only now that they’re starting to catch on. Chelsea’s twinkle-toed attacking football has compromised its defensive solidity, and that tradeoff may already have cost Roman Abramovich his European crown. Rafa Benitez knows that. He’ll sort Chelsea out eventually, but the days of the “Three Amigos” – Juan Mata (9.5), Eden Hazard (9.8), and Oscar (7.8) – are well and truly over.
WBA is done: West Brom’s surge up the table always felt a little, you know, bizarre, so the Baggies’ recent losing streak has actually felt comforting. Shane Long (6.4) is just an average forward with below average teeth. Steve Clarke is still an assistant manager at heart. West Brom isn’t that good. All’s right with the world.
Is Rooney back?: The answer, I’m afraid, is a resounding no. Wayne Rooney (11.7) is not back and, on the evidence of Saturday’s performance, he won’t be any time soon. Sure, he scored two goals, but against defenders who make Southampton’s error-prone Gus Hooiveld (4.1) look like Franz Beckenbauer circa 1974. (Yeah, I just went there.) Rooney is still about five pounds overweight, and he’s not nearly as dangerous as Robin van Persie (13.7).
Jermain Defoe: Defoe (8.2) has registered nine league goals this campaign, which is quite an achievement: at the start of the season, everyone expected Emmanuel Adebayor (9.0) – part Premier League center forward, part Togolese rebel, part freelance rapper – to play as AVB’s lone striker. (Adebayor and Defoe started alongside each other against Arsenal in the North London derby – which, you may remember, didn’t end particularly well.)
Manchester City doesn’t score goals: Last year, City won the league on goal difference courtesy of a stoppage-time goal scored by one of the league’s top-scoring strikers. Mancini’s team beat Tottenham 5-1 and Manchester United 6-1. David Silva (9.4) recorded assists approximately every ten minutes. Carlos Tevez (9.4) went into exile, came back, and scored a hat trick against Norwich. The final score of that game? 6-1. This season, however, is a totally different story. United – with the help of its own former Arsenal player – leads the league in goals, despite Rooney’s poor form. City’s rotation policy pretty much ensures that Dzeko (7.4), Balotelli (8.6), Tevez and Aguero (11.0) won’t compete in the golden-boot race, which is why Dzeko, Balotelli, Tevez and Aguero are now dead to me, and why they should be dead to you, too.