Nik Argiropoulos

Weekly Picks

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AM's Week 31 Player Picks

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Firstly, a reminder that Week 31 is Round 4 of the 2014 Rotoworld PL Cup, where we'll reduce the remaining 351 teams down to 200 ahead of the semi-final in Week 34. Good luck to all remaining fantasy managers.


Check out Steve's Free Kick | Jeremy's First XI


Week 30 was a better one for AM FC, with 106 points pushing me back in to the top 1000 overall. Luis Suarez as captain was the saviour as usual, but there were decent contributions from Ricky Lambert and others to provide an above average score.


Now as you all know, Week 31 is the double we've been waiting for, as 10 teams play twice: Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Everton, Swansea, Newcastle, Hull, West Ham and Sunderland. The full fixture list is below:


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Week 31 Fixtures
Aston Villa v Stoke
Cardiff City v Liverpool
Chelsea v Arsenal
Everton v Swansea
Hull City v West Brom
Man City v Fulham
Newcastle v Crystal Palace
Norwich v Sunderland
Tottenham v Southampton
West Ham v Man Utd

Arsenal v Swansea
Liverpool v Sunderland
Man Utd v Man City
Newcastle v Everton
West Ham v Hull City


Just to break is down for the double-gamers ...


Liverpool - @Cardiff, Sunderland
Man City - Fulham, @Man Utd
Everton - Swansea, @Newcastle
Arsenal - @Chelsea, Swansea,
Man United - @West Ham, Man City
Newcastle - Palace, Everton
Hull City - West Brom, @West Ham
West Ham - Man Utd, Hull
Sunderland - @Norwich, @Liverpool
Swansea - @Everton, @Arsenal


I'm sure you'll agree it's a strong selection of teams playing twice, so we should be doing everything we can to ensure we have 11 "double-gamers" in our Yahoo starting XI. For that reason, this week's column is going to completely ignore teams and players with one game.


It doesn't take a genius to deduce that you should be Liverpool focused this week. Not only are they playing the best attacking football in the league, they also have the pick of double-game fixtures, facing two relegation strugglers in Cardiff and Sunderland. Manchester City also have two very winnable games, at home to Fulham and away at rocking Manchester United, while Everton will fancy their chances of at least four points across their two games, at home Swansea and then away at Newcastle.

Arsenal start off with a very difficult test at rivals Chelsea before a far easier match at home against Swansea, while Newcastle have two home games and can beat Crystal Palace before Everton come to town. Manchester United have a tough away trip to West Ham and then play at home against Manchester City, and given the state of their defence I can't recommend many of their players - they could easily draw or even lose at Upton Park and I don't give them much hope in the Manchester derby. They may have beaten Olympiakos, but if ever a 3-0 win was unconvincing, this was it, as the Greek side squandered numerous chances. 

Hull are another side with a chance of four points, with West Brom at home followed by West Ham away, so their players are worth considering. The Hammers themselves will fancy their chances of causing an upset against Manchester United before Hull's visit, so again a few players may be of interest.

Sunderland could get something at Norwich but will surely to lose heavily to Liverpool, while Swansea players should be avoided altogether as they face two horrible away games at Goodison and the Emirates.


So in conclusion, you want to be focusing on Liverpool, Manchester City and Everton, with a smattering of Arsenal, and perhaps a representatives from Newcastle, Hull and West Ham. Sunderland and Swansea have drawn the short straw so their players are best avoided, and be wary of Manchester United. The key is to pick players who you know are going to play twice barring injury or suspension. For example - picking Aleksandar Kolarov is too risky because he shares starts with Gael Clichy. On the other hand, you know Pablo Zabaleta will play both.


With that in mind, click over to the next page to view the Week 31 player recommendations.

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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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