On Saturday, Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres produce a goal and assist apiece as Chelsea maintain their winning start to the season. Michu and the Swansea wingmen are amongst the Fantasy points once again, Robin Van Persie takes 10 minutes to open his United account, while Marouane Fellaini notches in back-to-back matches as Everton grab the points at Villa.
On Sunday, Carlos Tevez produces a goal and assist as City grab a 2-2 draw at Anfield. Yaya Toure finds the net again, Luis Suarez opens his account for the campaign with a sublime free-kick, while Arsenal play out a goalless draw for the second time in the opening two Gameweeks.
A goal and assist against Newcastle continued the former Lille man’s sublime start to the season. Hazard’s potential is also boosted by the fact he seems to be on spot-kicks when Frank Lampard is absent, he has now played a part in seven of Chelsea’s eight goals and is clearly set to be a huge Fantasy favourite for the campaign ahead.
Equalling Hazard’s goal and assist contribution after executing a superbly-taken finish from outside the box, confidence returned, he is clearly flourishing following the influx of new recruits. Factor in his goal against City in the Community Shield and the much-maligned Blues forward has now scored three and provided an assist in four matches – hardly a man out of form. With Hazard and Mata weaving their magic behind him, Torres looks set to continue in the same vein.
The Swansea Defence
While the attackers rip apart opposition defences, Michael Laudrup’s backline has been equally impressive. We had our doubts as to whether a more offensive style of play would dent Swansea’s defensive potential after last term’s 14 cleans sheets but so far, it’s been two clean sheets from their first couple of Gameweeks. With Angel Rangel also chipping in with a goal and the maximum bonus points, Swansea defenders are currently looking decent value for money. While the centre-backs will be a threat from set-plays, on yesterday’s showing, Rangel is enjoying his football under Laudrup and could well enjoy improved attacking returns as a result of the Swan’s new cutting edge.
Robin Van Persie
Handed the starting role as Wayne Rooney dropped to the bench, the Dutchman needed just 10 minutes to announce himself to the home fans on his Old Trafford debut. With Rooney now likely to be sidelined for around four weeks according to his manager, Van Persie looks nailed on for a starting role for the trip to Southampton and home clash with Wigan in the next couple of Gameweeks at least. Goals looks likely to follow and if he can replicate his Arsenal form from last season, he looks a strong armband candidate, having picked up the maximum bonus for his display in the 3-2 win.
The United Midfield
At the moment, only Shinji Kagawa looks the likeliest to maintain a regular role of United’s attacking midfielders – a real source of frustration for Fantasy managers. In a clear reaction to the defeat at Everton, Sir Alex Ferguson dropped Nani to the bench, moving Antonio Valencia onto the right wing, while Danny Welbeck made way for Ashley Young on the opposite flank – although Valencia has also started both the opening matches, his right-back role at Goodison is something of a worry for his owner. Rafael returned to defence and grabbed a goal but his defensive frailties on the road, allied with Phil Jones’ current absence, means Valencia could yet return to right-back on occasion.
Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar
It’s two goals in two games for the big Belgian as Everton saw off Villa in a 3-1 away win. Fellaini continued in his support striker role, thrust up with Nikaca Jelevic with Steven Naismith drafted in to tuck in from the right side of midfield. With a strong run of fixtures to follow, Fellaini’s points return is surely set to rise. The same applies to Pienaar – the South African also found the net and his suitability to the EA SPORTS PPI scoring system continued with the maximum bonus points at Villa Park.
Two clean sheets from their first couple of Gameweeks suggests an upturn in resilience at the back for Arsenal right now. Arsene Wenger’s decision to install Steve Bould as the club’s new defensive coach seems to have paid off – Arsenal looked far more organised at the back and easily dealt with Stoke’s aerial bombardment, overcoming a tactic that has caused them untold damage in previous visits. Carl Jenkinson continues to look strong cut-price value across the Fantasy games, though with Bacary Sagna nearing a comeback, snapping up the former could be a little risky. While Thomas Vermaelen has yet to find the net, his Fantasy owner can’t complain with his returns so far – with goals surely set to come, the Belgian could be set up for a strong season if his side continue their form at the back.
Arsenal’s new playmaker drew another blank, despite another impressive showing on Saturday afternoon. Cazorla has been handed corners since the departure of Robin Van Persie and also has a fair share of direct free-kicks; his scheming in “the hole” is sure to come to fruition sooner rather than later, judging by his two displays thus far. Post-match, Wenger admitted his new recruits have yet to gel up top but bearing in mind yesterday was the first time Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud have started together, it’s clear we need to have a little patience with the Gunners’ attacking assets right now.
There’s no denying both his goal and assist was somewhat fortuitous but the City man delighted his Fantasy manager with another points haul at Anfield. Mario Balotelli and sub replacement Edin Dzeko both looked out-of-sorts, suggesting Tevez will be an armband favourite for Gameweek 3.
The Ivorian notched to follow his assist in the 3-2 win over Southampton and is currently looking like the only City midfielder guaranteed game time right now. With doubts over his form and fitness, David Silva dropped to the bench after an ineffectual display at the Etihad in Gameweek 1 and, while Samir Nasri was handed a role in “the hole”, the Frenchman was hauled off for Jack Rodwell on the hour mark as City chased the game. The move immediately paid dividend – Rodwell’s introduction allowed Toure to move into the role vacated by Nasri and the Ivorian netted the equaliser within two minutes of the switch. Mancini may well move back to a 4-4-2 at the Etihad next weekend, though, but Toure looks a sure starter regardless of formation – something that perhaps can’t be said for his fellow City midfielders at present.
A superbly executed free-kick saw the Uruguayan open his account in his first home game of the season. Suarez had hinted at a points return last week – he had eight shots in the 3-0 defeat at West Brom but with a share of set-pieces now adding to his points potential, there’s a hint that he could produce the goods this time round.
Five goals conceded in two games suggests Liverpool may need some time to adjust to Brendan Rodgers’ tactics at the back. In a similar situation to last week at West Brom, the Reds inability to clear their lines proved costly, with individual errors from Martin Kelly and Martin Skrtel allowing Toure and Tevez the chance to net. Skrtel still managed a nine point FPL return with a goal but the upcoming schedule suggests he may well need to maintain his offensive returns if he is to prosper in the short-term.
Handed a start on the Liverpool left with Fabio Borini shifted to the opposite flank, the youngster is clearly one to keep an eye on. Sterling impressed without quite producing yesterday but his price of £3.6m certainly elevates his appeal. Much depends on the next few days, though; with the transfer window set to close on Friday, it could well be Rodgers finally seals that mooted move for Clint Dempsey and resultantly curbs our enthusiasm over the teenager’s Fantasy prospects.