Nik Argiropoulos

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AM's Week 7 Player Picks

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Week 6 was a much better one for AM FC in terms of selections and this led to a decent 136 points, thanks to 6 goals, 3 assists and a clean sheet from my keeper. However, predictably I got my captain selection completely wrong again, with Leighton Baines scoring just 3 points (the lowest scorer on my entire team) which prevented a good week becoming an excellent week.


Is the captain choice adding an element of luck that swings the game too much? Or am I just moaning because I'm rubbish at it? Answers on a postcard (or in the comments section below this article).


Despite my moaning I'm not too disheartened as I'm now up into the top 2800 overall and moving in the right direction, so let's look ahead ...


Week 7 Fixtures
Cardiff City v Newcastle
Fulham v Stoke
Hull City v Aston Villa
Liverpool v Crystal Palace
Man City v Everton
Norwich v Chelsea
Southampton v Swansea
Sunderland v Man Utd
Tottenham v West Ham
West Brom v Arsenal

So who do we like? Well for starters, I'm going to be loading up on Liverpool players for their home match against Crystal Palace and I suggest you do the same. The fixture has all the ingredients for a 4 or 5 nil Anfield hammering and I'll put on record that Luis Suarez is nailed down as my captain choice. What can go wrong?


Away from the stand-out fixture you have to fancy 3rd place Tottenham at home to goal-shy West Ham. The Hammers are badly missing Andy Carroll and have been on the end of some rough refereeing decisions this season, but just don't look that threatening at the moment, so a Spurs win to nil wouldn't surprise me. Norwich grabbed a vital win at Stoke in Week 6, but Chelsea visit Carrow Road this weekend and if Jose Mourinho's men perform as they did against Spurs in the second half last Saturday lunchtime then they will win comfortably.


David Moyes and Manchester United are having a rotten time at the moment but they'll surely bounce back at rock-bottom and winless Sunderland, with Robin van Persie fit to start alongside the in-form Wayne Rooney (who should recover from the knock that kept him out against Shakhtar last night). United's tormentors in Week 6, West Brom, will be on cloud nine after victory at Old Trafford but Arsenal are the form team in the Premier League right now and I expect them to win a club record 9th straight away match to remain top of the pile.


I like Cardiff's chances at home to Newcastle and there could be goals in Southampton v Swansea, but I'll probably avoid Fulham v Stoke and Hull v Aston Villa (now that Robbie Brady is confirmed out for four weeks due to surgery).


For me, the most intriguing match of the weekend is Manchester City v Everton. City are terrific at home (when not playing Bayern Munich) but Everton are the only unbeaten team in the league and both sides are scoring goals. 3-3 draw anyone? It is also is the 12:45 BST kick off on Saturday so we will have access to line-ups on Twitter before the Yahoo deadline.


Follow the RotoWorld_PL team on Twitter: Galin | Jeremy | Neal | Nik Steve

Based on my predictions on the Week 7 match-ups, here are my player recommendations:


Simon Mignolet - The Liverpool keeper is in terrific form, is the 2nd highest scorer in the entire Yahoo game and has the best fixture of the weekend at home to Crystal Palace. Mignolet is expensive, but he's in my team nonetheless
Hugo Lloris - If you don't want to spend almost £15million on a keeper then Lloris is also playing very well so is the next best bet at home to struggling West Ham, and a shade below £11million.


Jose Enrique - Brendon Rodgers is sticking with his new 3-5-2 formation and Jose Enrique is reaping the rewards as the left-wing back. Another pricey Liverpool player, but he's worth it in my opinion given the opponent.
Branislav Ivanovic - The Serbian defender hasn't scored since his winner against Aston Villa in Week 2 which remarkably is a bit of a drought by his standards. I expect Chelsea to dominate possession at Norwich which should lead to plenty of corners and free kicks, so expect Ivanovic to be a threat. He's in my thoughts for Week 7 if I can find the cash.
Aleksandar Kolarov - Rejuvenated under Manuel Pellegrini, the left-back is finally showing us why Manchester City spent £19million on him two years ago and his form has been good enough to keep Gael Clichy out of the side. As well as defensive points, Kolarov is a terrific crosser of the ball and will get his fair share of free kicks (if he can get the ball off Yaya Toure) so he remains a fine option despite the fact City are unlikely to keep a clean sheet.
Per Mertesacker - The giant German is reaping the rewards now that Arsenal have someone in Mesut Ozil who can deliver a quality set piece. His height is causing opposition defenders all sorts of problems and in truth he should have scored more than just the one league goal. Expect him to add to his 3 shots on target against West Brom.
Kolo Toure - If you want to cover the extremely likely Liverpool clean sheet against Crystal Palace but can't afford Enrique then Toure is a good alternative. He's surprising everyone with his form since his free-transfer in the summer and is an important part of the club's new defensive unit.
Michael Dawson - Initially listed purely because I had a dream he scores against West Ham, but on closer inspection the Tottenham captain is actually very good value at £8million given his fixture.
Ben Turner - He's been an unsung hero for Cardiff, is an attacking threat at 6ft 4inches and remains well priced for their home game against Newcastle.


Aaron Ramsey - In the form of his life, I'd stayed off the Ramsey bandwagon assuming it would end as soon as I picked him, but he can no longer be ignored by this column. It's not just his amazing run of goals and assists, but his all round game - he has made the most tackles in the entire Premier League - and is thriving playing alongside Mesut Ozil. West Brom beware.
Steven Gerrard - The captain is having a quiet season so far playing a more withdrawn role, but that probably won't be required against Palace so expect Gerrard to get in and around the box and hit a couple of long shots. Plus, of course, he's also on corners and penalty duty.
Mesut Ozil - He was quiet last weekend but Ozil grabbed his first Arsenal goal against Napoli, and as stated in the column last week; barring injury he must be in your team every week.
Gylfi Sigurdsson - Finally being given a run in the team and is rewarding Andre Villas-Boas by showing the goalscoring form he was renowned for at Swansea. The left wing slot is currently Sigurdsson's to lose and he seems to have built up a particularly good understanding with Christian Eriksen and Roberto Soldado. I expect another strong showing against West Ham.
Yaya Toure - The midfielder is City's top scorer with six goals and would've added a seventh last night had he not been cynically chopped down by Jerome Boateng. The freedom afforded to him by Fernandinho's arrival means he's constantly able to get forward, so who'd bet against him grabbing another goal against Everton?
Christian Eriksen - Excellent in the early stages against Chelsea, Eriksen found himself isolated in the second half (and was also booked) which meant a poor fantasy showing. It's good news for us ahead of Week 7 because his price has dropped back below £7million so he's in my thoughts for the home game against the Hammers.
Ramires - Pundits have been singing the praises of Juan Mata for the turnaround at White Hart Lane last weekend, but watching the game I felt it was Ramires being shifted in to the middle and taking control of midfield which changed the game. He followed up that fine display with two goals in the Champions League and should be considered for Chelsea's trip to Norwich.
Ross Barkley - The Everton midfielder's emergence as the brightest prospect in English football is astonishing and Barkley's performance linking up with Romelu Lukaku against Newcastle was his most impressive so far. Man City away is a tough match, but his current price means very little risk.
Peter Whittingham - A goal, two assists, three shots on target and eight successful crosses already for Cardiff this season, Whittingham has a winnable home game against Newcastle so he's my pick for fantasy managers looking to something a little different this weekend.


Luis Suarez - The Uruguayan maestro was predictably superb in his league return with two goals at Sunderland - just imagine what Suarez could do to Palace in his first game back in front of the Anfield faithful this weekend? He owes them, and I've already decided he'll be my Week 7 captain.
Daniel Sturridge - Equally awesome against Sunderland, Sturridge is maturing game by game and has become much more of a team player since joining the Merseyside club last year. His partnership with Suarez has the potential to be devastating and I can't argue with Rodger's assessment that he currently has the best pair of strikers in the league. I'll be fielding them both in my fantasy team this weekend.
Wayne Rooney - While Manchester United continue to struggle under David Moyes, Rooney is showing his very best form and grabbed another goal against West Brom - his 5th of the season. It's possible that his fantasy output will be detrimentally impacted by the returning Robin van Persie this weekend, but I'm keeping him in my team for the Sunderland game provided team news confirms he's fit.
Romelu Lukaku - "The powerful Belgium forward should enjoy his home match against Newcastle ... and is a genuine contender for the Week 6 armband". Who said that? I did, in my Week 6 Player Picks. I selected Lukaku but chose to play it safe with Leighton Baines as captain. It proved a costly (and in retrospect, quite stupid) decision. I expect him to do well against Man City and I wouldn't blame anyone for sticking with him, but I prefer the three options above.
Olivier Giroud - Another goal in midweek for Giroud followed an excellent assist for Ramsey's goal against Swansea last weekend, the Frenchman is a vital cog in this powerful Arsenal machine and I expect another solid performance against West Brom.
Samuel Eto'o - We saw some signs of the old Eto'o in the Champions League this week and with Fernando Torres spended and Demba Ba out-of-favour, he's almost certain to start at Norwich.
Robin van Persie - He would've been top of the list in August but RvP is not showing his finest form at the moment. Still, you can't completely ignore him for a trip to the bottom side.
Alvaro Negredo - Grabbed yet another good goal from the bench against Bayern Munich after replacing the ineffective Edin Dzeko, so Negredo should be given a start against Everton.


Follow the RotoWorld_PL team on Twitter: Galin | Jeremy | Neal | Nik Steve

So those are the players I'm considering for my Week 7 Yahoo team. For now I have the following saved on my own team page:


Starting XI: Mignolet, Debuchy, Kolarov, Enrique, Barkley, Yaya, Gerrard, Ozil, Rooney, Sturridge, Suarez (C)
Subs: Elliot, Spence, Luna, Livermore


Is it a bit Liverpool heavy? Perhaps, so I may change Gerrard to Ramsey which would free up the funds to bring Eriksen in for Barkley, but the rest could stay as it is barring injury.

Check back here on Rotoworld on Friday for all the team and injury news coming out of the manager's press conferences to assist you with your final decisions. There's likely to be a fair amount of information to process as we had a full fixture list for the Champions League and Europa League this week, including some long journeys to Russia and the like.

How's your Week 7 team looking? Who's your captain choice?

Nik Argiropoulos is a London-based soccer writer for Rotoworld and co-founder of Never Manage Alone. You can find him on Twitter @nikarg.
Email :Nik Argiropoulos

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