EPL Fantasy Football Picks: GW 8

We tip one goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and striker each from the Barclay’s Premier League to help you boost your Fantasy Premier League points.

As we head into the 8th week of Barclay’s Premier League action, expectations regarding which of the twenty clubs will do well seem to have somewhat settled, translating into solid points gains for this season’s Fantasy Premier League competition.

Love it or hate it, “7 played, 19 points” currently looms over the heads of England’s top flight in massive, Chelsea blue lettering. Under his predator-ship Diego Costa, Mourinho’s men have smashed their way to remain unbeaten thus far, with only three clubs trailing the blues to any real reasonable degree of significance. At the bottom end of the table meanwhile, Harry Redknapp’s QPR sit rock bottom after being dominated by a bullish West Ham United side two weeks ago, equal on points with apparent imminent sacking Alan Pardew’s Newcastle United and new boys Burnley.

A whole lot of course has happened and will continue to between these sides, but let’s cut to the chase and give you our selections considering the upcoming fixtures.

Goalkeeper: David De Gea (Manchester United), plays West Bromwich Albion away

The problem with United’s number one has always been consistency. Leaking nine collective goals against MK Dons and Leicester City aren’t exactly the brightest of figures, and such performances have kept opinions surrounding the young Spaniard largely polarised.

Yet it was De Gea’s 4 saves and one penalty prevention of a response (which yielded a dream team 8 points last game week) to the spluttering first six weeks he had endured between the posts that really turned heads two weeks ago. I remember watching the game and thinking how the flickering in the limelight above De Gea’s head from the criticism rained onto him no longer seemed to annoy him, but instead drive him to work increasingly harder.

The task ahead may be arduous – against a West Brom side spearheaded by the on form Saido Berahino – but it is this kind of chance De Gea seems to relish to show what he is capable of. After all, his top returns in points thus far have been against opposition closest to United on the table, and it is his saving that has yielded the highest percentage of his total points hauls thus far.

Defender: Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea), plays Crystal Palace away

At £7.3m Ivanovic may now cost more than Leighton Baines to acquire, but it is his assured performances that make him a must have for any fantasy premier league manager.

Chelsea’s win against Arsenal in the North London derby two weeks ago was orchestrated in part by Ivanovic who kept a player as quick maneuvering as Alexis Sanchez in check. Within the past quick seven weeks we have also seen him feature down the flank running into spaces for chance creation, and the shots he does have at goal have been on target more than 84% of the time – some of which have even gone in.

Given Mourinho’s habit of never under-estimating and always bringing solid defensive tactics to his opponents away from home, the game against Crystal Palace could be one in which Ivanovic excels yet again. The concussion to keeper Thibaut Courtois gives even more incentive for the defensive line to remain tightly knitted.

Midfielder: Juan Mata (Manchester United), plays West Bromwich Albion away

Wayne Rooney’s lash out and subsequent red card gave Juan Mata the chance to start for the first time in what feels like a while in the last game week, a game in which he assisted new boy Di Maria for a solid win, racking up a respectable 5 points.

The man, whose record of scoring in almost every game he has started for United this year speaks for itself, will travel with the squad next to start against West Brom, in a game that could be perceived as the second of three trials he has to impress new manager Louis Van Gaal – something that in all likelihood is spurning the player on to capitalise on the chance he’s been given.

The fact that he will once again play in the hole behind two big names in Radamel Falcao and Robin Van Persie means more attacking returns are likely, as the man from Spain will look to exhibit more of the creativity and passing accuracy that earned him the PFA player of the year award not too long ago. It seems likely that the player will play the full 90 minutes, as he did not have such an extensive role in Spain’s international match against Luxembourg this past week.

Striker: Graziano Pellè (Southampton), plays Sunderland at home

Pellè stunning volley against QPR two weeks ago has already been touted as a contender for goal of the season. His formidable presence in the box both offensively and defensively as well as his eye for goal earned the Italian a call up to the Azzurri this past week, where he impressed by scoring a couple of goals as if he were still playing for Ronald Koeman.

With 3 goals and an assist to his name, as well as the scorer of the most bonus points for any striker other than Diego Costa at 7, Pellè will undoubtedly look to continue his fine run of form against Sunderland this weekend at the Stadium of Light, a place that in recent times due to the restructuring of the club has grown both in hearty passion and in voice.

At just £7.9, in the Italian you have an affordable striking option who relishes the spearhead role, playing for a resolute side at home, and one that is coming off strong international form: all components of a potentially deadly point haul this coming weekend.


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