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Week 25: player picks with a cup in mind

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Manchester United home to Fulham, Chelsea home to Newcastle and Manchester City at Norwich. This weeks player picks are easy right?

"five times " said Tim Krul.  Nobody knew whether that was the amount of Chelsea goals or saves this week
"five times " said Tim Krul. Nobody knew whether that was the amount of Chelsea goals or saves this week
Ian MacNicol

Week 25 is blog cup week people, so for those of you still in, do you pick safely?  For those of you not, do you take an alternative pick or two to trying to take advantage?

So over to the picks.

In goal

David De Gea

Home to the worst team in the league with the worst goal difference and having lost 10 of their last 15.  Add to that it is Man Utd at home and we have what should be a home win banker.  The issue here is this Utd side is unsure of itself, with a manager unsure of his best 11.  That makes the clean sheet a little risky.

Cech

Newcastle travel to Chelsea without their best players and on the back of a 3 nil of defeat by their arch rivals.  Newcastle will try a Big Sam approach and park the bus.  In Krul they have the keeper to do it but Chelsea will be brimming with confidence after they out thought and outplayed Man City on Monday evening.  The issue for Cech is just how many saves may he be forced to make with no Remy or Cabaye.  To return his value you will need one or two.

Foster - ALTERNATIVE PICK

Away to a Palace team in form does not sound an ideal pick.  Palace though lack a cutting edge.   They are getting along by being extremely well organised and pinching the goals.  The new WBA manager will have had a week longer to have an impact.  This feels like a potential 20pts game to me.  Its a risk/reward pick.  Go with the 10/12 point DDG/Cech or gamble for the 5-20pt Foster game.

Guzan - ALTERNATIVE PICK

Playing a West Ham without Andy Carroll. Aston Villa are a poor home team but have a very real clean sheet chance and possible win with it if they can get to half time without giving up a goal.

At the back

Vidic/Smalling/Rafael/Evra

The Utd back four pick themselves this week.  Vidic is the cheap option, the fullbacks will play much of the game around the Fulham penalty area.  I see Vidic in many or most sides so dare you try one of the other three?

Ivanovic/John Terry

You will have wanted to pick these up on the barn door.  Both can add a goal to the expected clean sheet.

Bardsley

Home to a Hull side who don't score well away from home so a great pick.  If you have him under 2m as some have, it is a no brainer.

Betrand

You hold him at 1m right? of course we all do.  This is the week to pick him and add the 6pts for a clean sheet to his 5 phantom points.  Easy.  Now why do I feel slightly concerned?

Vertonghen - ALTERNATIVE PICK

Spurs just do not convince me under Tim Sherwood.  I doubt many will pick him as Everton are a handful and even without Lukaku are a dangerous team.  Vertonghen though will start and if this is a close tight game may be the man to break the deadlock as shock horror he has no league goal this season.

Middle for diddle

Lallana

In fantastic form and involved in plenty of Southamptons success.  Home to Stoke should provide 10+ points.  Be careful though from a fantasy view he has blown hot and cold points wise.

Adam Johnson

He has scored four weeks in a row.  This then is a trap game right? My problem is I have him at around 7m and the fixture and form is just too good.  Should you be considering buying him at market value I would avoid.  Or maybe he just can make it five in a row.

Silva

A player that does not match his real performance with fantasy production is due a turnaround in that view.  Norwich away has been kind in recent seasons but they have be tight defensively at home.  The Stall gut says he is due soon.

Lampard/Oscar

Didn't play at Man City on Monday and with midweek fixture to follow I'd guess they start in the easier home tie.  Lampard has pens while Oscar plays further forward.  Oscar looks a little dead in the legs at times to me so of the two I go Lampard.  Their starting status of course makes them risky.

Eriksen

Gone very quiet the last two weeks but had been a phantom king before then.  Everton may starve him of the ball which will affect his point output so be warned.

Downing - ALTERNATIVE pick

Very alternative this one.  West Ham are feeling better about themselves.  11pts and 9pts in his last two games with NO sot or assists we have a nice little pick here.  Oh and he is playing his old club so if he ever scores again this may as well be the game.

Up the top

Robin Van Persie/Wayne Rooney/Juan Mata

You must have one, you may want two of the Utd trio.  Want to bet you pick the wrong one?  RVP has two in two since his return and will be in most teams.  Rooney loves playing Fulham and Mata has to get that first goal of the season soon.  The head says RVP, the gut Mata so does that leave Rooney as the pick?

Hazard

Playing so very well in recent weeks but not finding the goals to come with the performances.  Home to Newcastle gives a further chance to change that issue.

Jayrod

Also bang in form and showing great mental strength after the poor England debut.   It takes something to be hit by disappointment and bounce back stronger.  Stokes slow defence will find him hard to handle.  If only Southampton would play him up top.

Dzeko/Negredo

Will they both start?  If not, which player does?  Dzeko has proven more reliable away from home but Norwich have been tight at home.

Benteke - ALTERNATIVE pick

West Ham have kept two clean sheets in a row so this is risky.  Big Ben has started to show the signs of a return to form and he is also on penalty duty.

Jovetic ALTERNATIVE pick

A bright cameo Monday night and in theory a better partner for Dzeko/Negredo than each other, this would seem the time to start Jovetic.  If he starts I think he is excellent value if you are looking for a gamble

My week 24 score of 76pts saw me fall just 3 places to 59th showing how many failed to score heavy in the round.  Hopefully I can break back onto the leader board this week.

Current side looks like this Hart, Bardsley, Ivanovic, Bertrand, Silva, Eriksen, Cazorla, AJ, Hazard RVP and Suarez.

Hart may go, as may Bertrand, Silva and Eriksen.  My gut says RVP is a trap and I'm not sure why.  Hazard may be better in real life than fantasy so may also find himself dropped for a true forward.

A reminder there are midweek games to follow this round.  The worry of rotation is something to consider.


Stall