Premier League – Fantasy: Choose ’em or lose ’em

Fantasy Football is here again and this week it’s time to choose your colour – red or blue?


Choose ’em: Blackburn have conceded in only two of their seven games since Sam Allardyce took over, and are yet to be breached away from home in that time, so Paul Robinson (2.75) looks like value.

Ousting Boaz Myhill (2.37) from the Hull team is no mean feat, but that’s exactly what Matt Duke (8.92) has done. Despite conceding two against West Ham, his eye-catching display notched up 16 points, thanks in part to a penalty save.

Lose ’em:Shay Given (4.22) didn’t train with Newcastle on Friday after handing in a transfer request for his proposed move to Manchester City, but it looks as though a deal won’t be done until after City’s match at Stoke.

Steve Harper (5.64), Given’s successor at Newcastle, inherits the number one jersey of a team in free-fall with an injury list an arm long, so is best avoided in a derby game against an improving Sunderland.


Choose ’em: Arsenal‘s Kolo Toure (7.79) is due a return to the side, and will score big points if he and William Gallas (7.97) can keep West Ham at bay at the Emirates.

Fulham are unbeaten at Craven Cottage since September, so the likes of John Paintsil (8.28) should be a good match for struggling Portsmouth.

West Brom’s Gianni Zuiverloon (6.63) likes to get forward, and he’ll be facing a Hull side on a truly disastrous run of results.

Lose ’em: Tottenham haven’t kept a clean sheet in any match since Boxing Day, so think very carefully about the tempting price of Jonathan Woodgate (5.14).

Sol Campbell (9.41) will face his late fitness test before Portsmouth’s game at Fulham, steer clear of the comedy stylings of Younes Kaboul (8.18).

Portsmouth’s Nadir Belhadj (7.03) and Manchester City’s Richard Dunne (4.90) are both suspended.


Choose ’em: Chelsea’s Frank Lampard (22.19) is on an exceptional run of form at the moment, and is currently a better pick as a marquee signing than Cristiano Ronaldo (25.28) or Steven Gerrard (18.48).

Tottenham’s Luka Modric (7.64) has been identified by Harry Redknapp as a key man in his side, and the Croatian’s influence grows with each game. Spurs debutant Wilson Palacios (6.63) picks up more than his fair share of points for a defensive midfielder, but also plenty of fouls, having just completed a suspension for his 10th booking of the season.

Lose ’em: Everton have one of the worst records at Old Trafford since the birth of football (ie since the Premier League began), so the likes of Mikel Arteta (15.31) and the injury doubt Tim Cahill (12.84) should be given a miss.

Middlesbrough pair Didier Digard (4.70) and Gary O’Neil (7.70) are suspended, as are Villa duo Stilian Petrov (6.93) and fantasy gold mine Ashley Young (16.22) and Tottenham’s David Bentley (13.61).


Choose ’em: Liverpool’s Fernando Torres (11.97) is a man for the big occasion – the story of his first goal at Anfield this season proving to be the winner in a typically drab encounter with Chelsea writes itself.

If you believe that Manchester City’s win in midweek was due to more than Newcastle making them look good, then one of Craig Bellamy (13.49) and Robinho (13.97) should deliver the goods at Stoke in one form or another.

Newcastle’s shambolic defence is just the sort to be turned inside out by the pace of Djibril Cisse (10.89), while his former team-mate El-Hadji Diouf (6.28) will be looking to continue the recent trend of debut goals following his reunion with Sam Allardyce at Blackburn.

Lose ’em: Thanks to the injury plague that is sweeping Newcastle, Andy Carroll (7.89) will be counted on to add to his two goals in four games against Sunderland. Don’t bet on it.

Portsmouth’s Peter Crouch (9.98) is coming up against the one defender who rivals him for height – Fulham’s Brede Hangeland (10.41) – and will struggle at Craven Cottage.