The PlayON Pundit picks his fantasy football line up for the coming Gameweek. How many of his picks feature in your line up?
Adrian (West Ham)
The ex-Betis boy counted among the top ranked keepers in the league in terms of saves made (130) last season and began this campaign with an excellent clean sheet away to Arsenal, foiling Giroud, Sanchez et al on six occasions.
West Ham definitely look an organised unit under Slaven Bilic and Adrian plays the pivotal role in that. Leicester without doubt look dangerous on the attack, but in PlayON terms that’s not an awful thing – if Adrian is kept busy, he’s likely to rack up points for those efforts he saves. It’s a tricky balance but very beneficial if it strikes right.
Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Toby Alderweireld (Spurs), Winston Reid (West Ham), Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland)
Darmian was one of United’s standout defenders in their opening game and settled into the ebb and flow of Premier League football without so much a shrug. The Italian is at the higher price-range for full-backs at £7.5m but will undoubtedly benefit from Van Gaal’s demand for attacking full-backs, while racking up points with his own considerable defensive nous.
A solid performer last season, Winston Reid appears to have carried that form over into this one. In fact, the Danish international made very valuable 284 clearances last season – among the top brass for defenders. As previously mentioned, West Ham look a tighter prospect in 15/16, with Reid pairing up with Ogbonna at the heart of the defence. He’s likely to be kept busy by a swashbuckling Leicester, but you’d still have to fancy this West Ham team at home.
Toby Alderweireld was very effective against Manchester United, helping to marshal Rooney and co. to a mere 12 touches in the box – a Gameweek low among Premier League sides. Claiming a very decent 1,325 PlayON points, despite featuring for the losing side, the Belgian rounded off this impressive display with six interceptions.
Sunderland did not convince at the back in Gameweek 1, but Dick Advocaat is unlikely to allow lightning to strike this time around as Norwich roll into town. Patrick van Aanholt showed glimpses of the exciting and solid full-back he can be, and counted a very reasonable 67 interceptions altogether last season. Given Norwich are finding their feet again at this level, he could be individual to capitalise.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Andre Ayew (Swansea)
Sanchez’ attacking instincts were far from dulled in Gameweek 1. Despite a lack of goals or assists to show for it, the Chilean claimed 11 touches in the box – more than any other midfielder – and four attempts on target. Arsenal need a big showing away to Palace this weekend and Sanchez is the most likely individual to make or create the breakthrough.
Southampton’s Tadic has begun this season much like he started his last – superbly. The Serb laid on six goalscoring chances against Newcastle and nabbed an assist for his efforts. Everton won’t be a easy tie but the Toffees looked far from defensively sound in their fortunate 2-2 draw with Watford.
Although still finding his way at at a new club, Schneiderlin’s value as one of the eminent defensive midfielders in league means that he’s as sure fire 1,000 PlayON points as your likely to find.
Ghanaian star, Andre Ayew, was imperious against Chelsea, proving himself to be a constant source of creativity and attacking intent. Swansea clocked the most shots on target last weekend (10) and it was in large part down to Ayew who provided three himself – with one hitting the back of the net. At £8.8m he represents a very viable and potent midfield option.
Christian Benteke (Liverpool), Bafetimbi Gomis (Swansea)
While not incredibly convincing at Stoke, you’d imagine a home debut against Premier League newbies could pose itself as the opportune moment for the Belgian to open his account.
Gomis’ link up play with Montero and specifically fellow francophone Andre Ayew looked to be the foundations of an effective triumvirate at Stamford Bridge. With Newcastle’s defence looking very suspect at present, there’s every chance the striker will get among the goals in Gameweek 2.