clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

AM's Week 4 Yahoo Player Picks

New, comments
Cazorla must be in your team for Week 4
Cazorla must be in your team for Week 4

I have a confession to make - I have watched almost no football for the past couple of weeks. Perhaps it's the fact my life is incredibly busy, but I also think Tottenham's woeful start under Andre Villas-Boas has had a fair part to play. When Spurs are playing badly I usually skip Match Of The Day and don't buy a Sunday paper as it's likely to make me feel even more depressed. I missed England's 5-0 win in Moldova as I was at Bestival on the Isle of Wight and only caught the last 20 minutes of the draw with Ukraine last night.

I therefore made it my mission this morning to study everything that's been going on in the world of football for the past 14 days, reading injury news, opinion blogs, watching Footytube to catch up on highlights and I now feel in a position to comment on who you should and should not be selection for the upcoming fantasy week.

Let's get straight in to Week 4 by looking at the fixtures:

Manchester United (v Wigan Athletic)
Arsenal (v Southampton)
Chelsea (@ Queens Park Rangers)
Manchester City (@ Stoke City)
Swansea City (@ Aston Villa)

Absolutely no surprises here - the 4 teams likely to finish in the top 4 at the end of the season have the pick of the match-ups, with Manchester United just edging it as the stand-out fixture at home to poor travellers Wigan. I'm confident Arsenal will pick up the 3 points at home to a Southampton side who look good at times but have zero points after 3 games while in-form Chelsea will surely have too much for QPR and their scattergun squad. I don't think it will be as easy for Manchester City at Stoke but I'd still expect an away win for the current Champions and early high flyers Swansea will fancy their chances at Villa Park.

The remaining 5 fixtures are difficult to call either way (I have no confidence of a Spurs win at Reading) so I feel it's better to focus on the 5 teams above with a great chance of victory and therefore a greater chance of defensive and attacking fantasy points.

Cech - As mentioned above, away at a struggling QPR side and with Chelsea in good form, Petr Cech is a sensible bet if you have the cash with a clean sheet a possibility.
Mannone - Arsenal haven't conceded a goal and look defensively solid, home to a Southampton side conceding plenty. Vito Mannone is likely to keep his spot in net (although we'll double check the team news on Friday) and at a cost of 8.80 he looks great value. If not, Wojciech Szczesny is the same price more-or-less.
Jaaskelainen - A bit of a risk but Jussi Jaaskelainen he's cheap, Norwich don't score many and Jussi does tend to make a lot of saves. When going cheap on a keeper you must accept anything > 0 as success and I'm predicting a 1-1 draw with positive points for the big man.


Baines - Too expensive? Well, I'm not sure about you but I have a lot of spare cash lying about thanks to the bargains (Cazorla, Michu, Kagawa, Hazard) picked up early and Leighton Baines has been in fantastic form for Everton. He's on set pieces and penalties and could be worth a punt vs Newcastle.
Ivanovic - Branislav Ivanovic is always a danger and is currently in sensational goalscoring form - throw in the clean sheet chance and he's worth considering, even at full price.
Vidic - He's had a poor start to his season but class is permanent and Nemanja Vidić be a steal at his current price once he hits form.
Jenkinson - Continues to deputise well for Sagna so Carl Jenkinson is the value pick of the Arsenal defenders.
Tate - Alan Tate should cover for the suspended Chico for Swansea's trip to Villa and is dirty cheap at 3.11.
Fabio - Purely a filler but guarenteed to play for QPR.

Cazorla - Massively impressive so far, Santi Cazorla must be in your team for Week 4. He'll be in everyone elses.
Kagawa - If Shinji Kagawa had recovered from his international injury then you have to consider sticking with him for the Wigan game.
Michu - Scoring goals for fun so there's no reason to drop him for a trip to Villa.
Valencia - If Kagawa is out then Antonio Valencia is worth squeezing out the extra funds to get a United representative in your midfield.
Dyer - I'm not a fan of having two midfielders from one team but you may not agree. If you don't agree then Nathan Dyer is in great form but I wouldn't choose him over Michu.
Dembele - The one bright spot from Tottenham's draw with Norwich, it appears Moussa Dembele will fill the Luka Modric role and he'll get space to perform at Reading.
Stirling - Bargain alert; seems to have secured a starting wing-berth and at 17 Raheem Sterling is already so much more exciting than Stewart Downing.

van Persie - Will he recover? If there's even the slightest bit of doubt then you should not be taking the risk at 26+ but if he's confirmed fit, Robin van Persie will be in my teamn.
Hazard - There's only room for one Chelsea forward in this list and Eden Hazard pips Juan Mata and Fernando Torres because he's just so damn good.
Tevez - What a turnaround it's been for Carlos Tevez at Manchester City. He's been sparking so far with a goal in every game and I'd expect another at Stoke.
Podolski - Starting to settle and facing a brittle Southampton backline, Lukas Podolski tempting me but I'm struggling to find a space for the German.
Welbeck - If van Persie doesn't make it then Danny Welbeck is the only real forward option with Wayne Rooney sidelined and Javier Hernandez out of favour.
Giroud - Slightly less good than Podolski but also slightly cheaper and Olivier Giroud is bound to get chances to break his duck this weekend.

I'm going to have to leave it there for now but please check back here on Friday for all the team and injury news.

My own team is all up in the air until we get the lowdown on van Persie, but this is currently saved:

Jaaskalainen, Fabio, Vidic, Ivanovic, Dembele, Cazorla, Michu, Kagawa, Hazard, Tevez, van Persie

If I'm forced to downgrade RvP I'll probably bring Podolski or Welbeck in and upgrade one of my defenders to Baines, but there's plenty of time before those decision need to be made

How's your team shaping up?