Nik Argiropoulos

Weekly Picks

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AM's Week 13 Player Picks

Thursday, November 28, 2013


 

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KEEPERS
Costel Pantilimon - His rival for the Manchester City number 1 jersey, Joe Hart, started in the Champions League in midweek but Pantilimon will be back for the league game against Swansea. He appears to have secured the number one jersey for Manchester City, at least until he makes a mistake (and there's no sign of that happening at the moment) so given City's home form he's my keeper pick of the week.
Simon Mignolet - Conceded three goals against Everton but pulled off some tremendous saves and still returned double digits, Mignolet should have an easier time of it at Hull and has a good chance of a clean sheet.
Tim Howard - The Everton stopper is well priced given his points returns this season and has a winnable home games against Stoke.
Brad Guzan - If you don't fancy either of the options above or want to save a bit of cash then Villa keeper Guzan is probably your best option at cost of £6million, playing very well and at home to Sunderland. West Ham's Jussi Jääskeläinen is another option at home to Fulham, although his form in the past two games has been slightly worrying.

 

DEFENDERS
Glen Johnson - Expensive, no doubt, but Johnson is averaging twelve points per match since returning from injury and will get plenty of opportunities to overlap down the right flank against Hull. If you're spending big then he's my pick of the premium defenders.
John Terry - The Chelsea captain is outscoring our usual fantasy favourite Branislav Ivanovic, picking up solid defensive points and offering a greater goal-threat, so he remains a good pick despite a tough fixture.
Martin Demichelis - Reports suggest Vincent Kompany is back in training but one would imagine Manuel Pellegrini has learnt his lesson about rushing the captain back too quickly. I'd expect Demichelis to continue at the heart of the defence against Swansea and he remains the cheapest way to cover the potential City clean sheet.
Mathieu Debuchy - Back from suspension, the full-back's price had dipped back below £10million and given his Yahoo points average he represents terrific value for a home game against West Brom.
Jon Flanagan - Brendan Rogers has been singing the praises of young Flanagan, who looks to be set for an extended run in the team now Jose Enrique has been side-lined with a knee injury for a couple of months. He's well priced with a winnable game at Hull, so if you fancy a strong performance from Liverpool then he's good value.
Bryan Oviedo - Is this his moment? Oviedo has been waiting in the wings patiently for his chance and with Baines out for up to six weeks he should get that opportunity. He costs less than £4million and will be in my team if we get confirmation that he'll start against Stoke. Watch Roberto Martinez ruin it by sticking Gareth Barry at left-back, as was the case in the second half against Liverpool.
Joel Ward - Remains in the Top 10 of point scoring defenders despite the fact he's played two games less than many other players, and this is down to his remarkable 'pass interception' and 'tackles won' record. Palace are on a high after their terrific win at Hull, they have a new manager and Norwich will present them with another clean sheet chance. so Ward should be in your thoughts.
James Collins - The defensive curveball pick. Collins faces Fulham, at home, so there's a clean sheet chance and a chance of a goal from a set piece for the giant centre-half.

 

MIDFIELDERS
Jesus Navas - Points chasing? Perhaps, but with David Silva out injured, Navas has found a regular place in the City starting line-up and he had a fantastic game against Tottenham from the right wing, producing wonderful inter-play with Aguero and Negredo. Samir Nasri is also worth considering, but Navas is my personal hunch this week and is in my team at the moment.
Philippe Coutinho - Looking really sharp after his injury and playing in an advanced midfield position. I made the mistake of dropping Coutinho last week and he made me pay with a goal and fourteen points in the Merseyside derby, but he's back in my team for Liverpool's trip to Hull.
Yohan Cabaye - Another assist and solid returns for Cabaye last week, and he has another home games in Week 13. It's worth noting he's been picking up decent defensive points, which is a real bonus seeing as you can always expect a smattering of attacking points from Newcastle's set piece taker.
Steven Gerrard - The Anfield captain may play a deep-lying role nowadays, but this hasn't stopped him creeping up to 2nd position in the overall midfield points scorers for the Yahoo game. This has been thanks to his two goals (both from the penalty spot) and five assists, as well as his corner taking which, more often than not, results in a successful cross given his excellent delivery. He's a really decent option at Hull.
Frank Lampard - After an eleven-game goal drought, Lampard was back with a penalty and a typical edge-of-the-box finish at West Ham and I wouldn't be surprised if this was the trigger for the veteran midfielder to go on a bit of a run. He'll set you back a fair wedge (just South of £20million) but he's on penalties and is one of the few midfielders capable of a 30 point week.
Aaron Ramsey - Just the one double figure score in his last four matches, but he was extremely unlucky not to grab a goal against Southampton with an audacious flick that hit the post, Ramsey is still getting in to those advanced positions and remains the pick of the Arsenal midfielders for their game at Cardiff.
Ross Barkley - Back in the Everton team after a few games on the bench, Barkley will scheme in between the Stoke midfield and defence, loves to shoot from distance and his price is still very low, at a shade over £4million. If you're not convinced about putting him in your first XI then he's a good option for the first spot on your subs bench.
Nathan Redman - The young midfielder has been in and out of the Norwich team in recent weeks, but has generally done a good job when he has been given a chance this season. Robert Snodgrass and Anthony Pilkington are both out injured so Redman should get a start against Crystal Palace and will take his fair share of set pieces.
Ravel Morrison - If you fancy West Ham to beat Fulham then the only attacking player I can recommend is Morrison, who is the Hammers' top scorer with three goals, and is looking to make a late push for England's World Cup squad.
Leandro Bacuna - Technically he breaks our rules, as we would never usually advocate picking a player who plays further back than his defined Yahoo position (Bacuna is listed as a midfielder, but is taking up the Aston Villa right-back spot). However, he'is taking free-kicks, the occasional corner and has a nice home games against the league's bottom team.

 

STRIKERS
Sergio Aguero - The Premier League's top scorer, at home to Swansea. Aguero and City's home form is phenomenal right now, he got a 45 minute rest in the Champions League, he's on penalties and looks like he'll score every time he gets the ball. I don't need to go in to any more detail than that, he should be in your team.
Luis Suarez - Like Aguero, there's not a lot to say. Nine goals in seven league games, playing Hull, if you don't have Suarez in your team then you'll find yourself falling behind the rest very quickly. I reckon I'll be switching the captains armband between Suarez and Aguero (depending on fixture) for the rest of the season.
Romelu Lukaku - The powerful forward was having a poor November before he came to life in the Merseyside derby, grabbing two goals and generally making life very difficult for Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger. I'm thinking this will give him the shot in the arm he needs to get back his consistency, so Lukaku is currently the third striker in my Week 13 team.
Alvaro Negredo - There is an argument to include both Manchester City strikers at the moment, with a stunning partnership developing at the Etihad. Negredo was a sub in the Champions League but came off the bench to score again. He and Aguero have scored twenty seven goals between them already.
Daniel Sturridge - The England forward was struggling for fitness last week but was still sharp enough to flick in the late equaliser and will be ready to start at Hull. If you missed the Suarez-waggon and now can't afford the close-to-£30million price then you would be well off slotting Sturridge in to your front-line instead.
Loic Remy - He grabbed a goal against Norwich but didn't do a lot else, much to the frustration of those who captained him. Still, Remy is obviously in excellent touch in front of goal and remains a viable option against West Brom.
Olivier Giroud - After a few quiet matches Giroud grabbed a vital brace against Southampton and that should do his confidence the world of good. Cardiff will be tough but the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla will provide the Frenchman opportunities to add to his ten goals for the season.
Christian Benteke - He hasn't scored for over seven hours (440 minutes), a run that has to end soon surely (shirley)? I'm backing Benteke to break his drought at home to Sunderland.
Wayne Rooney - The only Manchester United player in the picks this week, Rooney should really be suspended after his behaviour in the Cardiff game, but he's not and he loves scoring against Spurs.

 

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So those are the players I'm considering for my Week 13 Yahoo team. For now I have the following saved on my own team page:



Starting XI: Pantilimon, Oviedo, Flanagan, Demichelis, Ozil, Navas, Cabaye, Coutinho, Lukaku, Suarez (C), Aguero
Subs: Barkley, Bardsley, Spence, Harper



It's shaping up ok, but I need to monitor the starting status of Oviedo and Flanagan. The strikers are likely to stay as they are but I'm considering bringing Lampard in for Cabaye and haven't discounted going with Gerrard over Coutinho if I can find the funds.



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 is likely to be a fair amount of information to process after a week of Champions League and Europa League action.



How's your Week 13 team looking? Who's your captain choice? Oh ... and Happy Thanksgiving!



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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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