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Week 34 Pre Deadline Chat: Double Trouble

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Doubles galore, options galore but who should you choose. Hopefully the pre deadline chat will answer your questions.

A double week must have?
A double week must have?
Clive Rose/Getty Images

As always you should be looking to select as many double game players as possible.  We have already covered the player picks so let's have a look at some final thoughts on the double week.

Just a point with the Togga point scoring system.  We saw Jason Puncheon go points crazy midweek hitting over 50 points with no goal and no assist.  Whilst this is not only a unique system to work with it also means a single game player has a greater chance of outscoring a double game player in Togga.  As Togga is new to us we are not yet sure of this possibility with a lack of data to work from but I thought I should mention it.  You may not wish to completely discount Harry Kane this week for example.

We have already given you the player pick for the week ahead so let's take a look at the fixtures from a point of view of the teams.

Firstly we often hear from ex professionals and current players that every game matters.   They say their commitment is as strong when there is nothing but pride on the line.  I do believe this is true to some players but human nature suggests for the majority this is not the case.  Teams with nothing to play for but pride and league position should be picked with caution.  Take a look at the Watford results and performances since building towards a Wembley semifinal as a small example.

Next consider we have two international summer tournaments head, Euro 2016 and the Copa America.  Players who seem likely to play in these events may hold back in games.  It seems true that this in itself results in the likelihood of injury actually being more likely but nevertheless we are back to human nature once more.

It also could be a motivator for some players.  Take Theo Walcott and Daniel Sturridge.  Neither as as certain to board the plane to France as they were 12 months ago.  Both need to finish the season strong.

So what we want to do is to identify those players who have either something to play for.  This could be club or individual success, they may be fighting for a spot in their countries summer squad or simply they may be playing to attack a summer transfer (the old Emmanuel Adebayor influence).

The following teams play twice in the FPL/Togga format

Newcastle

Manchester City

West Ham

Watford

Liverpool

Everton

Manchester United

Crystal Palace

Arsenal

West Bromwich Albion

Newcastle

The Magpies have everything to play for.  The club sit deep in relegation trouble, 6 points of safety but with a game in hand.  They will need to overtake two sides above them in Norwich and Sunderland who actually play each other in the period.  Newcastle play back to back home games against Swansea City and Manchester City.  The opening fixture is a plumb game at least on paper.  Swansea are safe and they have no recent ill feeling with Newcastle.  The only concern with this one is the nerves and hesitation the Newcastle players can show in front of their crowd when things are not going to plan.  I suspect the fans and players will see this as must win and that will add a huge amount of pressure the side.  A fully positive, loud and patient home crowd will be needed, an early goal even better.

The second game looks to be something of a free role.  Nobody will really expect a point or better against the mighty City.  The players therefore could play will more freedom and Newcastle fans are at their best when in the role of underdog.  Should Newcastle beat Swansea expect a side that challenge City as long as they are in the game.  If they don't beat Swansea expect a Newcastle side that may be feeling sorry for themselves.

As for players we can make it simple.  Newcastle must win one of these games at least.  Therefore they must attack, making Alexander Mitorvic and Andros Townsend attractive.


Manchester City

A side feeling very good about themselves right now.  With a nice 4 point cushion for Champions League qualification over Manchester United and West Ham going in the double week.  Their CL semi isn't until after the Stoke game allowing them to field a strong side in the two games.  They may need to as well as both games are away from home, facing Chelsea and Newcastle.   Both sides defending this season has left a lot to be desired and two wins for city would put them almost there for a top 4 spot, allowing resting to take place in the Stoke game prior to the CL semifinal first leg.

Rotation at the back will happen.  With David Silva and Yaya Toure carrying injuries Kun/KDB are the obvious picks but super expensive in FPL .

West Ham

Top 4 is possible but the FA Cup home loss to Man Utd may have taken a little something out of them.  The fixtures are away to Leicester City and home to Watford.   We saw Manchester Utd exposed the current West Ham system allowing both full backs to press forward at the same time in the cup.  They are suckers for the counter attack and the Foxes may be the best counter attack side in the league.  As the Hammers have to win you have to assume they are attack minded meaning a continuation of this plan.  Game two seems perfect for them Watford really are completely focused on the FA Cup semi and a home win looks likely

Dimitri Payet, Lavenzi are the attacking options to pick.  I'd also add Aaron Cresswell who offers points at both ends of the pitch.

Watford

I think Watford may have a problem in the cup semi.  They have allowed themselves to be distracted and the league form has collapsed since.  They really could do with settling the ship with a 4 point haul over their two games.  Problem is both are away at WBA then West Ham.  The WBA match sees two team with nothing to play for in the league.

I would avoid all their players

Liverpool

On an emotional high after one of the great comebacks the squad are likely to be carefully handled.  The midweek Merseyside derby may get priority but the away game at Bournemouth looks tempting.

You must have coverage and Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi all look options in attack.  Whilst leaky in defence I would also cover a possible clean sheet with one of Sahko and Lovern.

Everton

Like Palace and Watford it's just the FA cup on their minds.  They also have the growing unrest from their own fans with the team's performance and the manager's tactics.  What they do have is just the fixture to wake them up, the Merseyside derby after hosting Southampton.  I actually think Jurgen Klopp's team will beat them and beat them well piling the pressure on Roberto Martinez but that's just my opinion.   The Toffees need a win and they need an early goal in the Saints game before the fans unrest unsettles the team more.

Romelu Lukaku continues to divide opinion but he has been a little more consistent this season.  Ross Barkley hasn't been consistent at all but is a real talent and overdue a goal or more.


Manchester United

LVG's side seem at their best just when the manager faces must win games.  The wins over Arsenal, City and West Ham in the cup were all when they were expected to lose.  Top 4 looks too far off to me in reality despite the math.  What they do have is perfect fixtures facing Aston Villa and Palace back to back to back at Old Trafford.

DDG is the best keeper pick of the double week.  Only Chris Smalling is certain to start both games if fit.  Anthony Martial seems likely to be the only forward to play 180mins but Marcus Rashford is in such form you could gamble with him.

Crystal Palace

Now Safe they also have the cup semi to think about.  Trips to Arsenal and Man Utd make them the least appealing side to pick from.

Nobody interests me from their side.

Arsenal

The Gunner's have once again disappointed in the Premier League this season.  My tip to be top challengers and a real chance of the title have the slimmest of title chances now.  Many of their squad will have the international summer to consider but even though I say that I like them to win both their matches, home to Palace and WBA.

Alexis Sanchez is one of those players who want's to play every game, even when carrying a knock.  He has expressed concern that he has already held back in games worried about an injury reoccurrence.  That should set out alarm bells but his form is so strong.

Alex Iwobi/Danny Welbeck/Aaron Ramsey/Olivier Giroud all seem likely to face rotation.  Monreal and Mesut Ozil look your best bet if Sanchez comments do concern you.

WBA

Home game with Watford followed by a Thursday night trip to Arsenal.

No player interest me hugely but I suspect there is a Togga gem in the defence somewhere.  A great clean sheet shot in game one and BS shots galore in game two.

Lots of options for those of you still working out the double options.

Lets chat

Stall