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Week 24 Preview: 5 Questions

This week we have a couple of cracking derby games, a real banana skin for the Red Devils and a potential massacre at the City of Manchester stadium.

Poor Steve didn't need a trip to City next
Poor Steve didn't need a trip to City next
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

The two sides in the title race played out a bore draw (matter of opinion I know). Of the Champions League chasers everybody won bar Southampton. Finally in the relegation dogfight it was a fantastic weekend for Sunderland.

Looking ahead to week 24 and we have 5 questions for you.

Question 1: Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla. Who sits on the bench this weekend?

When the news broke late last week that Sanchez had the dreaded hamstring strain, all gunners fans wondered. One 5-0 destruction of Villa later and only the fantasy fans are left worried. When fully fit Arsenal have the firepower to challenge for any trophy and beat any side. Finally they are a Danny Welbeck away from having the luxury of picking whom they please from the attacking members of their squad.

Against Villa Walcott scored, Cazorla assisted two and scored one while Ozil scored and assisted. Under normal circumstances these players would hold their starting status without question. However, week 24 is one of the biggest fixtures of the season for a gunner fans and a Champions league qualification showdown to go with that. If Sanchez is fit he will play meaning one of the stars of Sunday will miss out.

Post-match Theo did an interview in which he remarked that coming back from injury often takes time. But he then referred to Man of the match Ozil saying that he has come back as without this issue. I took it that even Theo himself felt Ozil was ahead of him in fitness/sharpness. Assuming it is these two battling it out, could Theo have guided us to who will get the 20-25 minute sub appearance this week?

If I am right don't sale Theo, he would host Leicester in the midweek game.

Question 2: is this the week to go all in on one team?

While Manchester City have gone four games without a win, I think we would all agree this week's home tie with Hull City is banker material. With a tough cold midweek trip to stoke to follow on the Wednesday evening I assume the starting 11 against Hull is something like as follows

Joe Hart

Alexander Kolarov

Vincent Kompany

Martin Demichelis

Paulo Zabaleta

David Silva

Jesus Navas

Frank Lampard


Edin Dzeko

Kun Arguero

They combine to cost you 96.12m. Could you go all City? Even if not, swap your Cesc Fabregas for Fernando and Sanchez for the risk Zabaleta is kept back for Stoke and you must fancy your chances of going 100pt+ this week.

Question 3: Will Remy or Drogba lead the line at Villa Park?

Chelsea rarely go back to back games without a win and trip to Villa who haven't scored in 6 league games offers a perfect way to get back on track. With Diego Costa serving game two of his ban either Loic Remy or Didier Drogba will take the plumb forward role. Looking further ahead Chelsea host Everton midweek which on paper may be considered the tougher game. Add to that the older legs of Drogba is Remy the answer to the question? Are either a suitable pick up in week 24?

Question 4: Are you eyeing any Manchester United or Liverpool players this week facing tough away days?

Liverpool beat West Ham 2-0 at the weekend and when you take that on the back of the impressive cup performances against Chelsea, they may fancy themselves at Everton. They have 3 league clean sheets in a row and with the goal scoring return of Daniel Sturridge are possibly as confident as they have been all season.

The same cannot be said for Everton who haven't won at home since 15 December at that was against QPR which almost doesn't count. Three home draws against Man City, West Ham, WBA and a defeat by Stoke City is a run that suggests Liverpools players are value this weekend. There is always the thought the Everton will raise their game as they did v City bur pool have the momentum. Do you fancy Raheem Sterling, Sturridge and co this weekend?

As for Utd, they face a fixture that gives them trouble at the best of times. Utd have looked particularly toothless in away games, creating very few chances in the games played. Even in the cup ties at Cambridge and Yeovil they have looked low on confidence, pace and ideas. This may well be one more of those game where the red devils have to dig a result out, typical of their season.

On the blog on Saturday there was talk of dropping Angel Di Maria for this one. The one bright attacking spark has mirrored the side in recent week as his manager has moved him to various positions. Up front one minute, point of the diamond at Cambridge before moving to the left hand side of the diamond against Leicester. Lets face it if he cant score good fantasy points home to Leicester he really shouldn't away to the Hammers. Yet I'm finding it hard to drop him.

What about the strike trio of RVP, Wayne Rooney and Falcao? On paper they should scare the living daylights out of any defence. RVP and Falcao have looked past their best, albeit Falcao has started to look a little better. Meanwhile Rooney as captain has put the team first, playing a withdrawn role which has now changed to the point of the diamond. Too often the breakaways have seen Rooney too far behind play and he doesn't seem to provide those late runs into the box as Frank Lampard, Aaron Ramsey and never replaced Paul Scholes would.

Utd are the live super Sunday game in the UK, will you brave any of LVG's men this weekend?

Question 5: With City's players, Sanchez and Cesc the obvious picks who is your gut pick this week?

The Southampton players playing in and behind Graziano Pella have gone off the boil just a little. Failing to break down a Swansea side lacking confidence surprised me. Due to this my pick Sadio Mane is surely a certain starter from now on, offering pace and drive to support and feed off the target man.

Still priced in the affordable range, he travels to a QPR side starting to struggle a little with their home performances. With QPR having to win the home games they likely will push up against a Saints side designed to pick teams off on the counter (see away at Old Trafford). If this happens Mane could get in time and time again. Tempted?