Jeremy Spitzberg

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First XI: Early Week 37 Picks

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


The penultimate week of the Premier League season with the title race, the relegation dogfight, and European places are all still in the balance. And on top of that football sundae, we have the cherry that is a double-game week! So with all the pomp and intrigue across the entire league, we're going to be narrowly focused for fantasy purposes. The double-gamers and their match-ups are:

Manchester United (Sunderland, Hull City)
Manchester City (@Everton, Aston Villa)
Sunderland (@Manchester United, West Brom)
Aston Villa (Hull City, @Manchester City)
Hull City (@Aston Villa, @Manchester United)
West Brom (@Arsenal, @Sunderland)

Out of that group, who makes my First XI squad?

1. Juan Mata (MAN) - £18.11M
2. Wayne Rooney (MAN) - £22.35M
3. Shinji Kagawa (MAN) - £8.39M
4. Nemanja Vidic (MAN) - £5.52M
5. David de Gea (MAN) - £8.34M

I just can't ignore United's two home games. Rooney is a must-have with set-piece and penalty kick duties, and he will again be my captain. Juan Mata didn't start against Norwich, but his two second-half goals should see him back in Ryan Gigg's first XI. I will consider Edin Dzeko in this spot too, as the week goes on. Kagawa has been effective, if not spectacular, but he - like Vidic - are great enablers at these prices. Finally, David De Gea will be aiming for, and has a decent chance of two clean sheets.

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6. Sergio Aguero (MAC) - £17.95M
7. Yaya Toure (MAC) - £15.94M
8. Samir Nasri (MAC) - £14.89M
9. Vincent Kompany (MAC) - £12.13M

Across Manchester, City have a tougher week then their red rivals, starting with a trip to Everton. I know that with Everton all but out of the Champions League places, their fans might not want to see them beat City and thus hand the title to Liverpool - their red rivals. It's hard to know how something like that plays in to a team's thinking, but City are the team with motivation in this match. Aguero still isn't playing a full match, as he returns from injury, but he's playing better and better, and will likely play as long as needed this weekend. Yaya Toure is just a force of nature and seemingly can score at will. Samir Nasri is my choice over David Silva. Silva is the more spectacular option, but nursing an ankle injury (or two) I don't think he plays significant enough minutes to warrant inclusion. Kompany, like the rest of the City defence, can be spectacular or stuttering on their day, but he's priced well and I would expect that in at least one of these matches we will see Kompany in "beast mode" - winning challenges all over the pitch, and challenging for a goal on set-pieces.

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10. Morgan Amalfitano (WBA) - £11.06M

Outside of those two clubs, I'm looking for Amalfitano to continue his good form for West Brom. Two goals and an assist in his last five matches, Amalfitano is showing the kind of form that we've seen in flashes from him this season. I don't love the matchups, but West Brom still need points to stay clear of relegation trouble and I'm betting on the Frenchman to deliver.

11. Marcos Alonso (SUN) - £10.81M

I've been on Alonso for about a month now, and I've yet to be disappointed. This second batch of double game weeks is why I bought him in the first place, so I'm hopeful that he remains value for money.

Finally, just to note that even my bench players are two-gamers (where possible)!

Ryan Bertrand DEF £1.00M
Jack Rodwell MID £1.00M
Andy Wilkinson DEF £1.00M
Steven Harper G £1.00M



Jeremy Spitzberg writes about fantasy soccer (football) and is a Rotoworld contributor. You can find him on Twitter @JSpitzberg.
Email :Jeremy Spitzberg



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