First off, congratulations to Harsimranjeet Singh, who leads the 101 Great Goals Fantasy League, with 211 points so far.
Singh’s team “Thunder”, are on the screenshot above.
Below are five observations on the Fantasy League 2013/2014 season so far.
1. Will defences continue to dominate the Premier League?
Up until Swansea’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool on Monday night, this had officially been the lowest scoring season in Premier League history. Jonjo Shelvey pretty much single handedly then pushed season 2013/14 (1.95 goals per game) above 1998/99 (1.94 goals per game), but the fact remains defences are on top.
In Fantasy terms, this means you should consider spending more money on your back line or even plumping for a defender captain in the coming weeks. But, will it last?
After managerial changes at Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea plus plenty of new players, we expect the goal average to push up as the winter nights set in. But, there has been a trend in recent seasons for the goal average to go down year on year so clean sheets should be easier to come by.
2. Giroud & Sturridge to battle it out for the Golden Boot?
This is only the second season in Premier League history when two players have begun the campaign notching in the opening four matches, with Darren Bent and Ruud van Nistelrooy achieving the feat in 2005/2006.
After bedding in periods last season, at their respective clubs, it certainly feels like Olivier Giroud and Daniel Sturridge are well placed to continue banging in the goals.
Giroud is probably the better option if you are forced to choose between the two. With Mesut Ozil now supporting from behind and with no obvious challenge from within the Gunners squad until Lukas Podolski returns from injury, the Frenchman looks like a banker for the next couple of months.
Sturridge will have to contend with the return of Luis Suarez, which could see him shunted out wide and he complained of niggling injuries after another man of the match performance against Swansea.
3. Players to bring in: Victor Moses, Romelu Lukaku & Hatem Ben Arfa.
The loan system has already come under scrutiny and in particular, Jose Mourinho could come in for some severe criticism if Victor Moses and Romelu Lukaku run amok on Merseyside.
Moses scored on his Liverpool debut and looks set to be a regular starter for Brendan Rodgers as he offers direct pace and power which isn’t really provided elsewhere in the Liverpool squad. At just four million, the Nigerian also looks great value.
Lukaku will almost certainly be the main man at Everton and will have plenty to prove after again being shunted out on loan by Chelsea. At 6.4 million the Belgian also looks a good bet.
Hatem Ben Arfa, like Moses, is also valued at 4.0 and appears to have hit a scoring run with two in two and you can see Newcastle’s main attacking threat running through the French playmaker from now on.
4. Players to get rid of: Philippe Coutinho, Jozy Altidore & Edin Dzeko.
Much trumpeted before the season starts, Philippe Coutinho has failed to bag many Fantasy points – averaging one a game. The Brazilian can be majestic on his day but doesn’t appear to be very productive this season and could well be set for a lay-off after picking up a shoulder injury at Swansea.
Jozy Altidore’s horrible record in English football continues. The American striker has all the attributes but it looks like he is still a few weeks away from adjusting to the Premier League. You suspect once he does get amongst the goals, he will go on a crazy run.
Manchester City are proving very hard to predict with a front pairing of Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic starting at Stoke on Saturday. Dzeko appeared to be in favour at the start of the season, now the Bosnia-Herzegovina striker looks to be fourth in the pecking order.
5. Samuel Eto’o, Christian Eriksen and Mesut Ozil will surely only go up in value.
Of course it would be easy to jump on the bandwagon of the new and exciting late summer transfer window signings but Eto’o, Eriksen and Ozil all look like dead certain starters.
Jose Mourinho has almost staked his reputation on Eto’o, with the Cameroon hitman starting at Everton and was unlucky not to score. You imagine he will be given every chance to succeed at Stamford Bridge with the much maligned Fernando Torres used in Europe and Demba Ba only a back up for emergencies.
Eriksen is pretty much the only player in the Tottenham squad that can play as a number 10. His swashbuckling debut against Norwich won’t always be the norm but he must have played himself into AVB’s first team for a good few weeks at least. Also looks good value at 4.4 million.
Finally, Mesut Ozil. Expensive for a midfielder at 5.5 but as an absolute assist machine is a guaranteed points scorer almost every week.