Clint Dempsey ended the 2011/2012 season with more points than any other midfielder in the Premier League and along with Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, illustrated the value in mid-priced midfield picks last term. Sportingly Better analyses the selections in midfield and highlights the players you should consider drafting in.
Gareth Bale (£9.5m)
Tottenham’s Welsh midfielder is priced at £9.5m after last season’s colossal total of 195 points, which included 10 goals, 14 assists and 21 bonus points. Gareth Bale controversially withdrew himself from the Olympics squad citing injury and although this was disappointing news for Team GB, having a full pre-season under his belt can only be a good thing for fantasy managers.
Spurs have favourable opening fixtures in the Premier League and Bale; who recently committed himself to Tottenham by signing a new contract, should enjoy his season under the stewardship of attack-minded coach Andre Villas-Boas.
Mark Noble (£5.0m)
Noble excelled in the Championship last season, scoring 10 goals as the midfielder played a part in 18 goals; contributing a further eight assists for West Ham.
The English midfielder is largely responsible for the Hammer’s set-pieces, including spot-kicks and started every game in the Championship under Sam Allardyce last season. Like Gareth Bale, Mark Noble similarly enjoys favourable fixtures early on and at £5.0m is a full £1.0m cheaper than Kevin Nolan.
James McClean (£6.5m)
Introduced by Martin O’Neill last season, Northern Ireland midfielder James McClean picked up 101 points in just 23 appearances. The left-sided player should again feature heavily for Sunderland, with plenty of game time expected.
McClean scored five goals, picked up three assists and claimed 18 bonus points in just 1845 minutes of football and comes in at £6.5m; the same price as team-mate Sebastian Larsson. McClean’s direct play however, carries a far more of a goal threat than the Swede, whilst the Northern Ireland international also comes in £1.5m cheaper than Stephane Sessagnon.
Yaya Toure (£8.0m)
Manchester City’s box-to-box midfielder has been a consistent scorer in the Premier League scoring six goals in each of the last two seasons. Nine assists and 15 bonus points in 2011/2012 highlights the all-round game of the Ivorian midfielder.
Toure has been rejuvenated in a more attacking role under Roberto Mancini and looks set to again feature heavily for the Premier League champions. The Africa Cup of Nations will again be a concern in 2013, with organisers attempting to switch the tournament to be hosted in odd years, but Toure will be confident in driving Manchester City on until then, in a largely unchanged set-up at the Etihad Stadium.
Adel Taarabt (£6.0m)
The Moroccan international was disappointing for QPR last season accumulating just 86 points. Taarabt’s form towards the end of the season was crucial for Mark Hughes’ side and Taarabt picked up a respectable 14 bonus points to help ensure survival for QPR.
Stats of two goals and four assists should be improved on this time round with the former Tottenham player impressing in pre-season. QPR’s midfield looks packed with energy with Park and Hoilett two of the new arrivals in midfield and Taarabt should benefit from the off-the-ball movement of the summer signings.
Just like the goalkeeper and defence the midfield and attack should generally be considered as a pairing, with players in both positions enjoying complimentary fixtures.
The likes of Manchester City and Manchester United along with Andre Villas-Boas’ attack minded Tottenham and London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea should all be covered as these top sides are a likely source of goals all season.
Set-pieces also come into the equation and you can view our guide on set-piece takers for further analysis.
- Don’t Forget! You can join our fantasy league and win prizes every Gameweek!
- Code to join this league: 73999-147016
- Click here for more information and be in with a chance of winning!
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jansolo09/