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Football Tips Phillipe Coutinho - Liverpool

Published on August 7th, 2013 | by Sportingly Better Tipster

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Fantasy Football Tips 2013/2014 – Midfielders

Tottenham’s Gareth Bale established himself as one of the leading players in the Premier League last season, with the PFA Footballer of the Year topping the midfield charts with 249 fantasy football points.

Sportingly Better takes a look at the best value midfield options ahead of the new season, with Chelsea’s Eden Hazard an early favourite.

Budget Midfielders

Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin (£5.5m) could be the pick of the budget-priced midfielders, with the French midfielder set to heavily benefit from the new Bonus Points System.

Schneiderlin scored five goals and three assists in the Premier League last season and the midfielder’s creative play could be reinvigorated in the double pivot with the arrival of holding midfielder Victor Wanyama (£5.0m). Similarly Adam Lallana (£6.0m) and Gaston Ramirez (£6.0m) may also benefit from Wanyama’s arrival, with Southampton’s opening fixtures offering fantasy managers plenty of encouragement.

Icelandic midfielder Aron Gunnarsson (£5.0m) remains Cardiff’s most intriguing option in midfield, after producing eight goals and five assists in the Championship last season. Gunnarsson is struggling to be fit for the opening game of the season against West Ham, so South Korean Bo-Kyung Kim (£5.0m) could find favour after showing goalscoring form during pre-season.

Elsewhere, Ian Holloway’s admission that Jerome Thomas (£4.5m) may be given the freedom to attack during the forthcoming season, leaves the former West Brom midfielder as an interesting budget price selection.

Thomas rotates well with Hull City midfielders Robert Koren (£5.0m), Robbie Brady (£5.0m) and Ahmed Elmohamady (£5.0m), with the midfield trio having proved crucial for the Tigers last season.

Koren scored nine goals and made five assists during the last campaign and although the Slovenian footballer will command the majority of Hull’s set-pieces, it is wide-man Brady who could be the real threat after hitting four goals and 13 assists for the Tigers last season.

Norwich’s Nathan Redmond (£5.0m) has showed promise during the Canaries pre-season and the former Birmingham City player will once again find himself managed by Chris Hughton when the new season kicks off.

Anthony Pilkington (£5.5m) also offers managers some value in the Norwich City midfield. Pilkington managed five goals and three assists from 25 starts, but injury concerns could again hamper the attacking midfielder’s selection this time around.

In Wales, Wayne Routledge (£5.5m) and Nathan Dyer (£5.5m) both catch the eye in a Swansea side that is once again expected to impress. Both players scored in excess of 100 points last season and despite the prospect of Europa League football, the Swans wide men look likely to become centurions once again this season.

Mid-Price Midfielders

Norwich’s Robert Snodgrass (£6.5m) remains the pick of the mid-priced options after scoring six times and making nine assists in the Premier League last season. The Canaries have made some impressive additions to their line-up over the summer and the east Anglian side could get off to a quick start under Chris Hughton at Carrow Road.

West Ham’s superb opening six gameweeks leaves midfielder Kevin Nolan (£7.0m) firmly in the frame, after racking up 159 points for Sam Allardyce’s side last season. The likely absence of Andy Carroll in the opening few games may sway some managers away from Nolan, but the former Bolton and Newcastle midfielder’s strike rate in the Premier League remains significant.

Elsewhere Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere (£6.5m) will be hoping for an injury-free campaign ahead of the new season. Wilshere has struggled to maintain his place in the Gunners line-up over the last few years, but Wilshere could yet be afforded the position in the hole by Arsene Wenger. Wilshere’s verstility however, may see the England international feature more predominantly alongside Mikel Arteta (£7.0m) in the deep-lying double pivot, who himself is set to benefit from the new Bonus Points System.

Manchester United new boy Wilfried Zaha (£6.5m) continues to demand attention after impressing during Manchester United’s pre-season preparations. Nani, Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young all suffered relatively poor campaigns for the Premier League champions last term and early indications show that David Moyes may thrust Zaha into the line-up.

Everton’s Kevin Mirallas (£7.5m) is another Toffee who could benefit from Roberto Martinez’s switch to a 3-4-3 formation, with the Belgium international likely to be fielded on the right of the Everton front three. Mirallas scored six goals in just 23 starts last season and although Steven Pienaar (£7.0m) does come cheaper, Mirallas’ eye for goal and record at Olympiakos should swing managers looking to cash in on Everton’s new look side.

James Morrison‘s five goals and eight assists for West Brom last season may have largely gone unnoticed thanks to the exploits of on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku, but the price tag of (£6.0m) should appeal to managers shopping on a budget. Morrison looks again likely to play behind the striker with new signing Nicolas Anelka likely to lead the attack.

Confederations Cup winner Paulinho (£7.0m) is a player many will have their eye on this season after scoring two goals during Brazil’s international triumph over the summer. Paulinho may be fielded as the more advanced central midfielder in Andre Villas-Boas’ 4-2-3-1 formation this season with the former Corinthians midfielder finding plenty of suitors in the early fantasy football picks.

Further north and Yohann Cabaye (£6.5m) looks set to be Newcastle’s stand-out player after impressing in the centre of midfield last season. Cabaye, whp enjoys the lion’s share of set-pieces on Tyneside comes in at £0.5m cheaper than compatriot Hatem Ben Arfa (£7.0m) who continues to get caught up in injuries.

Sunderland’s summer signing  Emanuele Giaccherini (£7.0m) may catch some interest out wide on the flank, but Adam Johnson‘s (£7.0m) return of146 points last season demands some attention.

Premium Midfielders

Gareth Bale‘s price tag of £12.0m is unlikely to deter investment with the PFA Footballer of the Year primed for selection. Bale racked up 21 goals, nine assists and 50 bonus points for Spurs last season and although the midfielder is widely expected to join Real Madrid; fantasy managers will be unwilling to take the Tottenham player out of their team until the deal is done.

Arsenal duo Theo Walcott (£9.5m) and Santi Cazorla (£10.0m) remain difficult to separate with the Spanish Maestro narrowly outscoring the pacey forward by 206 points to 194 points last season. Walcott played over 1,000 minutes less than Cazorla and at £9.5m the England international remains the best bet in the Gunners forward line, espcially given the clubs early run of fixtures.

Over in West London and it’s Eden Hazard (£9.5m) and Juan Mata (£10.5m) who transpire to be Jose Mourinho’s main men at Stamford Bridge this season. Hazard has impressed during pre-season and the Belgium international will be looking to improve on his tally of 190 points this time around, with the Blues opening their campaign with a bonus fixture in Gameweek 1.

Elsewhere Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho (£9.0m) may find favour after scoring three goals and making five assists in just 12 appearances since his arrival from Inter Milan in January. Coutinho has been on the scoresheet several times for Liverpool during pre-season and the Brazil international has found favour early on, with the Reds enjoying a good set of early fixtures.

Steven Gerrard (£9.0m) enjoyed his best campaign for five years last season and the Liverpool skipper should also see his tally improve with the introduction of the new Premier League Bonus Points System.

News of Wayne Rooney’s departure from Old Trafford could lead to plenty of interest in Shinji Kagawa (£8.0m) and although the Japanese midfielder disappointed with a total of 89 points last season, David Moyes’ possible decision to field the former Borussia Dortmund player in the hole behind Robin Van Persie could see a dramatic improvement in form and return.

Manchester City’s Jesus Navas (£9.0m) will give the Citizens plenty of pace and purpose out wide on the right, but it is compatriot David Silva (£9.5m) who could be due for a renaissance under new manager Manuel Pellegrini. Silva appears to be the best suited to play behind the striker in Pellegrini’s favoured 4-2-2-2 formation, although forward Stevan Jovetic’s versatility may also come into play.

Michu‘s price rise to (£9.0m) may deter some early  investment, particularly in the wake of Wilfried Bony’s arrival to south Wales, but the ‘False 9’ remains key to Swansea’s hopes and aspirations this season under manager Michael Laudrup. Michu scored 18 goals in his debut season in the Premier League last campaign, but the Swans tricky run of opening games may deter initial selection of last year’s bargain of the season.

Reference
Fantasy Football Tips – Goalkeepers
Fantasy Football Tips – Defenders
Fantasy Football Tips – Midfielders
Fantasy Football Tips – Forwards

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Author Credit: Jonathan Day
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/people/91505937@N04

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