The FA Cup was back with a bang over the weekend so we take a closer look at the big performers who could influence your fantasy line-ups in the coming weeks.
Sweet and Sour for the Blues
You never thought it would happen. Frank Lampard may have left Chelsea, but was he ever really a true Blue? Not like John Terry. The would-be one club man, their captain fantastic was THE mainstay of the most successful era in the club’s history. All things must pass however and on Sunday, the 35 year old announced his impending departure from the club this summer, citing the managerial uncertainty as the primary reason.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Chelsea fans however, the Premier League holders romped to a 5-1 demolition of MK Dons and looked to be playing with a swagger for the first time in months. Eden Hazard broke a duck that had lasted over 30 games – albeit a penalty – but the star of the show was Oscar. The Brazilian showed his full range of abilities – often blunted under Mourinho by cautious tactics – with a hat-trick here and showed glimpses of the creative and technical prowess that made him so sought after when Chelsea first snapped him up. Perhaps this will give Hiddink – who has already outlined Oscar as the team’s designated penalty taker – food for thought in the coming weeks, the Blues could do worse than reinstating him as the creative number ten in a side that’s now growing in confidence. Chelsea are on the up and could prove useful fantasy staff over the coming weeks – don’t rule out a late charge on the top four.
They may have been playing Championship outfit Burnley this weekend, but many fantasy managers will be buoyed by what they witnessed at the Emirates on Saturday. If this performance is anything to go by, Alexis Sanchez has worked his way back to the optimum level he’s so renowned for.
The Chilean looked incredibly sharp as he played the integral role in the Gunners victory over a stern and hardworking Burnley side. His goal showed that the reactions were back in working order and his clever play in the build-up to Calum Chambers’ goal displayed the return of those crackling brainwaves. After a ten game absence, the time is now to bring him back in to your fantasy line-ups – a perfect cure to Arsenal’s post-Chelsea defeat hangover.
Martial Remains the Shining Light
Derby are no slouches but there was a gulf in class on display on Friday night as Manchester United cruised to a 3-1 victory. Rooney took many of the plaudits as he slowly begins to turn around a forgettable start to the season but the key and relatively unsung contributor of the season, Anthony Martial was the most influential player on the park. The young Frenchman laid on two assists and was a persistent threat on the left flank, always available to take the ball and willing to work it around.
If United’s season peters out the way it looks like it’s increasingly likely to do, at least the acquisition of Martial has been a a ray of hope.