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Kellz (Week 14) Player Picks: Fixture Clog-up Edition

Hello gals and gents! We are only half way through Week 13 in the Barclay's Premier League but the Week 14 deadline is fast approaching. Due to the fixture pile-up we now have a game week squeezed into Tuesday and Wednesday so getting an idea of who should be playing and who might be rested is paramount. Let's take a look at the likely candidates to grce your midweek team for Week 14!

Wait? He has a book out??
Wait? He has a book out??
Jan Kruger

As most of you know we will not be having a double week even with a set of fixtures on the horizon (a big cheers!). So this means we will only have a short window to set our Week 14 squads. The biggest threat of midweek games is rotation, that is why I am advising that the bench be mostly utilized this week. Even if you have to slightly sacrifice in a particular area, it is advisable that you have at least 2 playing substitutes - 1 midfielder and 1 defender - in the event one of your probible starters gets the bench. We have seen it time and time again, as sure starters get the chop during these matches, this could just be the week Yahoo wins me over with the increased budget for bench players. That is of course if we use our benches to the maximum potential. Onward then!

Let's take a quick look at the upcoming Tuesday/Wednesday fixtures:

Crystal Palave v West Ham

Swansea City v Newcastle United

Sunderland v Chelsea

Stoke City v Cardiff City

Arsenal v Hull city

Southampton v Aston Villa

Manchester United v Everton

Liverpool v Norwich City

West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City

Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur

I have listed the favorable matchups in bold, but as you can see I have not highlighted Manchester City away to West Brom. This is simply due to the fact City have bee dire on the road so far this season, it's not that they can't win, it just feels a bit like a trap game to me. I am not advising you to sell off your discounted City players, but just be aware and probably don't look to put all the eggs in one Sky Blue basket. Otherwise I'd be focusing on Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Southampton, and high flying Newcastle all with decent matchups for Week 14. I'd be wary over United v Everton and if Spurs can show something better than what they gave City, then investment would look a bit prettier. My basic strategy on these weeks is to generally hold onto important discounts and try to pick players most likely not to be rotated, but easier said than done right? Onto the picks!


Simon Mignolet - The Liverpool shot stopper has to be included in the picks for a second week running. Norwich, despite their slight upturn in performances, are still not out of the woods and Liverpool should prove too much at Anfield. I am not convinced by their recent 1-0 victories they will be capable of breaching Liverpool's defense, you just worry about a well taken set piece. At any rate, Mignolet certainly offers a solid match up at a slightly high price, 13mil, but he is most likely worth it in the end.

W. Szczesny - Has to be considered the premium goalie pick of the week. His price is high after shutting out Cardiff in their own stadium, but Szczesny is proving to be a quality fantasy purchase. His price is now pretty high at 16mil, but at home against a Hull City side not likely to put up too much fuss, will be a major keepr pick this week. I only kick myself for not getting in at his Barn Door price, an obvious hold for those that did!

A. Boruc - The Southampton #1 has been a sensation for most of the year, duly rewarding those managers who stuck with him. A home game against low scoring Aston Villa beckons fantasy returns. If Benteke had scored this game week, I would have been a little nervous about Boruc as a pick. But as it stands, Benteke still hasn't found his form and Southamptons defense has been very solid. Given Lovren should be back in the starting 11, Boruc's chances of keeping the CS are all the more better.

Hugo Lloris - Coming into this game week off the back of a shelling curtisy of Manchester City, Lloris looks a bargain buy at only 7mil. Fulham are well and truly in the mire and Martin Jol's sacking is not far away. This could be the perfect time for Spurs to capitolize, get their season and strong defense back on track. Certainly one to watch as Spurs still have to play United today, but a decent pick for the price none the less.

Pantilimon/Hart - I can only imagine that City's rough road form will have a turn around at some point. But who will get the nod between the sticks I haven't the floggiest clue. This screams trap to me, so those of you with Pantilimon at discount might want to consider casting him to the bench. West Brom have been decent this season and could certainly nick a goal off City.



Glen Johnson/Flanagan - Atleast one should be represented on your team for Week 14 as Liverpool face Norwich at Anfield. Which is up to your remaining budget and of course how the young lad Flanagan comes off against Hull City later today. Both play on the flank and thus offer defensive and potential attacking returns. Glen Johnson will set you back a cool 15mil, but those with Flanagan will feel content shelling out 5mil at his Barn Door price. Either way, Flanagan could be a real solid bench rotation player if you fancy Glen Johnson as well.

Kierran Gibbs - The likliest to play with a threat of Arsne Wenger rotating his squad come mid week. His maurading attacks down the flank ensure attacking returns for those who buy in. Playing at home to goal shy Hull City and you have the strong potential of another clean sheet. He's 13mil but worth it for me this week.

Debuchy - Returned to the ranks of the Newcastle defense against West Brom and didn't disappoint. Pick up where he left off, Debuchy amassed 10 phantom points with out the clean sheet. If you have him at discount, awesome, but even retail at 11mil he is still worth it.

Lovren - Returning to the defense against Chelsea later today, the Saints hard man is ready to be selected once again. Southampton have had a very capable and solid dfense for most fo the season, but missed Lovren dearly in their recent matches. With Aston Villa stuttering for goals with a misfiring Benteke at the helm, solid returns look promising. Throw in the fact Lovren is always dangerous on the set piece, attacking phantoms are usually on the cards.

Demichelis - I am not out right reccommending the Argentine, but more of a thought for those who have him at steep discount, like myself. If you have him at 6mil then I think Demichelis represents a solid bench starter this week. We know he will play, his price is low enough that it doesn't sacrifice from our starting 11, and we can't really trust City's defense on the road just yet. In the event one of your other defenders doesn't start, you have a solid point producing defender waiting to come in.

Ivanovic/Terry - Both producing fantasy points at a consistent level given their respective positons. Similarily priced at 12.5mil, either one represents decent value for the trip to Sunderland. After seeing their tepid display in front of goal against Villa, I feel the Chelsea CS is all the more possible.



Lallana - The young Saints captain has come up with some big games already this season. Taking most free kicks and generally pulling the strings of the attack, Lallana is a solid buy this week. At 15mil, you might have to switch some funds around, but if anyone is going to unlock a not so tricky Villa defense, it will be him. Certainly on my radar for Week 14.

Theo Walcott - Slowly being reintrograted into the starting 11 by Arsne Wenger. However given  the matches are in quick succession, Walcott surely starts either midweek or at the weekend. At a newly low price of 13mil, Walcott is the perfect buy for those who may have missed out on Ramsey and want to put in some Arsenal fire power for the visit of Hull City. He is certainly one to watch, and given Arsenal's form, might be included in a terror trio of Ozil and Ramsey on my team. Too much probably but hey that's the fun of it!

Oscar/Mata - With the rotation of mid week games looming, and the unholy Jose Mourinho at the helm, expect at least some frustration while choosing Chelsea's players. Juan Mata must start at least one of these quick 3 matches, and it may be oscar, who has played most of the minutes this season, will be rested. As we know from last season, Mata's prefered positon is tucked under the main striker, thus it makes sense to rotate for the sake of tired legs. I can't really believe I am even making this statement because Juan Mata is good enough to walk onto about most teams. It will be better to see who starts tonight and judge our next move off of that.

Coutinho - Regardless of today's match against Hull City, Coutinho should be in your team for Week 14. At home facing a midfield hardly qualified to stop his jinxy runs, Coutinho should have a field day. At 13mil he is getting more expensive but certainly woth it for this week. If he can carry a solid performance out of the Hull City match then all the better!

Yohan Cabaye - Nudging his price up just a tad after a decent haul against West Brom, Cabaye has been crutial to Newcastle's current unbeaten streak that has led them to 5th spot in the league. Although if you have him at discount, it probably ins't a time to drop him as his production has been pretty consistent.

Holtby/Lamela - He's been getting more game time as of late and at 4mil offers solid value as a bench rotation player. Even if he doesn't start, he will most likely make a cameo. I'd use the line up AVB uses against Manchester United today as an idicator of who will start midweek against Fulham. Another alternative is the slightly more expensive Lamela at 6mil that could well be another solid bench rotation player in this unpredictable week.

Fellaini - I am just going to throw this one out there, but we all know the form Fellaini left Everton with and we know that players usually tend to score against their former sides, just might make him the Dark Horse pick of the week. I am not saying he'll be in my team, but the thought did cross my mind! At 12mil you could always select Fellaini and impress that girl in your private league who is currently kicking your butt!

Ravel Morrison - Came off the bench to provide a vital assist to cushion the lead for West Ham, Morrison should start one of the next 2 matches. At only 7mil, he could also be another bench purchase. If West ham have found any attacking mojo, away to Crystal Palace seems less of a risk the more I consider it.



Olivier Giroud - Drew a blank against Cardiff City as the "Welsh Wizard"took all the plaudits with a well struck brace, but Giroud will be leading the line against Hull City midweek. You can't really see Bentdner coming in can you? Regardless, Giroud should have every opportunity to score against Hull City at the Emirates. He is fast becoming part of a nearly all Arsenal team for me, time to reshuffle!?

Loic Remy - Not on the scoresheet this game week, but still looked a threat and seems to be getting more involved. Not the greatest pick up this week given the other home match options and price, but those with discount should probably be okay to ride out his sensational form.

Suarez - He loves scoring against Norwich, he's at home and in the form of his life - nuff said. He will be my captain pick most definitely.

Torres/Ba - One will start, but which one is debateable. Torres looks primed to start against Southampton and could help us make a desicon based on his performance. Arriving at just 8mil, Torres would be a relative steal facing one of the worst defenses so far this season. However, if he looks to aggrivated his injury or has a poor match, we could well see the more expensive Demba ba come into play. I would lvoe a Chelsea striker this week, so pay attention to the Southampton match.

Aguero - What to do with Aguero? He seems undroppable with his current form, scoring on a whim. At some point Manchester City's toils on the road will come t an end, you just can't predict when that will happen. But if anyone is going to unlock West Brom, it will be Aguero.

Wayne Rooney - Another player going against his former side and in a rich vain of form so far this season. There are still doubts about RvP's toe issue and Rooney has proven to be capable of leding the line in the Dutchman's absence. He seems too crucial for Moyes to rotate during this hectic stretch. If you have a discount then certainly keep, but at retail I'd only advise if you have a strong hunch.

My current team for Week 13 is on 72pts with Suarez (capt), Aguero, Yaya, Coutinho, and Demichelis to go valuting me to 212th overall on 1545pts. As for my Barn Door team for Week 14: Lloris, Flanagan, Gibbs, Debuchy, Lallana, Ozil, Ramsey, Coutinho, Aguero, Giroud, Suarez (capt) w/ Demichelis, Albrighton + Fillers on the bench, Not exactly a finished product, I have to think hard about Arsenal's chances to overrun Hull City before I invest too much. But Walcott is still very much in the picture. My defense is probably about where I want it, good value for the risk in my opinion but things will certainyl change,

How have you done so far for Week 13? Who have you brought in and who are you watching for tonight?