Published on April 4th, 2012 | by Sportingly Better Tipster3
Guest Post: April’s Last Chance Saloon
This month could make or break your fantasy premier league season, with teams missing fixtures in Gameweek 34 and doubles appearing in Gameweeks 35 and 36. This fixture lineup provides one last twist in the story of the season, offering opportunities for fantasy managers to catch up or extend their leads. Analysis of these fixtures is crucial to avoid a disappointing fantasy month in April’s last chance saloon.
Gameweeks 32 and 33
Before we reach Gameweek 34, attention must be paid to the quickfire fantasy premier league double of Gameweeks 32 and 33. With Gameweek 33 appearing in the middle of next week, we must be wary of rotation, especially with some teams playing on Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday. Harry Redknapp has already stated that Lennon will only be playing one of their next two matches, with the FA Cup semi-final clearly playing a part in his thinking. With this in mind, it is important that you have players who are less likely to be rotated and a strong bench of backup players in the event that one of your starting eleven is rested.
With the FA Cup semi-finals taking place during Gameweek 34, several teams miss out. These include Chelsea, Liverpool, Newcastle, Tottenham, Everton, Fulham, Bolton and Stoke. If you have the transfers available, it would be wise to start minimising the amount of players you have from these teams. However, drastic action is not needed as all of these teams have a double in Gameweek 36 to compensate. The downside is that other managers will also look to take advantage of Gameweek 36 with transfers in minimising the advantage you hold, which is why it is important to still put out as many players in Gameweek 34. Strong teams that are unaffected by the blanks include Arsenal, Man United, Man City and Swansea.
Due to Fabrice Muamba’s sudden collapse, Bolton’s match with Aston Villa was rearranged for Gameweek 35, providing a double for both of these teams. Aston Villa are currently struggling with injuries and have found themselves being dragged into the relegation battle. With only 4 points separating them from the bottom 5 teams, they will be keen to get at least one win out of their home double against Sunderland and Bolton. However, with two away trips at Anfield and Old Trafford, fantasy premier league managers should be wary of investing in the Villans. Bolton on the other hand are in far more encouraging form. Since Muamba’s unfortunate collapse in the FA cup quarter final, the team have united in support for their fellow teammate and this has provided the impetus to beat fellow strugglers Blackburn and Wolves. A home match against Swansea and a trip to Villa Park won’t be the easiest double but Bolton will be keen to secure their Premier League status. With another double gameweek in 36 where they face Sunderland and Tottenham, it is fair to assume that if Owen Coyle can rotate his players he will. Four matches in a fortnight is no easy task, especially coming at the business end of the season. Despite this risk, it’s fair to say that there will be considerable investment in Bolton players over the coming weeks and players to look out for include Petrov who has registered a goal and assist in his last two matches, and Bogdan who has been in strong form and is likely to pick up points for saves if not for clean sheets. Miyaichi is another budget option having made a strong impression since joining Bolton on loan with 2 assists in his last 3 games.
This gameweek is set to be one of the busiest of the season with 8 teams playing two matches. Your captain choice could prove crucial in this gameweek as it provides the ideal opportunity to choose someone who your rivals may not have.
* Chelsea have a strong home double against QPR and Newcastle but premier league fantasy managers should be wary with Di Matteo showing that he is not afraid to rotate his squad when necessary. Therefore Cech seems the safest option along with other defensive options.
* Stoke are another team that have a home double although it comes against two strong sides in the form of Arsenal and Everton. Therefore investment in Stoke players will be limited.
* Everton face Fulham at home before travelling to Stoke and players who could score heavily include Baines who adds attacking potential alongside Everton’s defensive solidity and Jelavic who is adapting well to the Premier League as the focal point for Everton’s attacks.
* Fulham face two tricky trips to Merseyside facing both Everton and Liverpool. This will be by no means an easy gameweek but Dempsey has shown in the past that he can perform against any team and will be the most likely to gather valuable points for you from the Fulham squad.
* Liverpool face Norwich away before taking on Fulham at Anfield. With them currently struggling for form, attention should be paid to the coming weeks to decide whether investment will be worthwhile. Players to keep an eye on include Skrtel, Gerrard and Suarez, who all have the talent to perform and score highly.
* Newcastle are another side to have an away double in Gameweek 36, travelling to Wigan before going south to visit Chelsea. This will be tricky with Wigan fighting for survival and Chelsea challenging for a Champions League spot but with the form they are in Newcastle will be in confident mood. Players to consider investing in include Krul (who is proving to be one of the best keepers this season), Ben Arfa (a bargain midfield option who is improving every game) and Cisse (who simple can not stop scoring at the moment).
* Tottenham are the last team to consider for Gameweek 36, where they face Blackburn at home before travelling to Bolton. Taking on two teams fighting for survival will not be easy and it will be expected that both teams will play with full of heart. However, Tottenham are a side that possesses excellent players that can cause heartache for many a side including Walker, Assou Ekotto, Bale, Van der Vaart and Adebayor. It is fair to assume that all of these players will stimulate fantasy investment leading up to this double gameweek.
This month will surely provide some final twists and turns before summer arrives with these very interesting gameweeks. How you approach them will determine your season but it is important to have as many players as possible for Gameweek 34 whilst having some that take advantage of the doubles in Gameweeks 35 and 36, where your captain choice will be of the utmost importance. Follow players who are in form and beware of rotation, fingers crossed and good luck everybody!
This is a featured guest post written by Richard Lam of Fantasy Football Addict, which provides advice and analysis of a range of Premier League fantasy football topics.