Last weekend was a potentially watershed weekend for the Premier League title race and if you had any Manchester City players in your team, you were no doubt exhilarated. Any United players and the mood pervading would have been one of despair. However, like after any defeat, you must move on quickly. So, onto the tenth match day of the season and this week our recommendations have a distinct Dutch flavour.
The Captaincy Debate:
Let’s start with a player who’s been in the headlines this week for contractual reasons. Robin van Persie is yet to extend his deal at the Emirates past July 2013. He goes to Stamford Bridge on Saturday lunchtime to face a Chelsea side who haven’t kept a clean sheet in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge since last April against West Ham. The Dutch forward must be confident of extending his recent goal scoring record with this in mind.
One of van Persie’s fellow countrymen, Rafael van der Vaart is another player who is in fine form with five goals in his last four games. QPR visit White Hart Lane on Sunday and although they grabbed a terrific result against Chelsea last weekend, the way Spurs and van der Vaart are performing will make them very difficult to stop.
Somebody else who is worth keeping in mind is Norwich’s Anthony Pilkington. Although Paul Lambert has chopped and changed with his selection at the start of the season, the former Huddersfield midfielder has hit a good run of form of late with three goals and an assist in his last five games. Facing a faltering Blackburn at Carrow Road this weekend, Pilkington will be one to watch.
This next player can be named with a simple bit of word association – Fireworks. Yes, it’s “Super” Mario Balotelli, the cult hero of many a Manchester City fan after his recent performances and antics. In all seriousness the Italian forward has five goals and two assists in his last four games. Facing up to a Wolves side without a win since August and a leaky defence, there is no way the confident Balotelli won’t fancy his chances this weekend.
The Captain: Rafael van der Vaart is red hot at the moment and it’s hard not to see him continuing his form against the Hoops.
The Vice Captain: With Wolves the visitors to the City of Manchester stadium, the perennial entertainer on and off the pitch Mario Balotelli looks likely to be making the back page headlines on Sunday morning.
Long Term Look
This week, it’s time to look at your defensive options with Swansea ‘keeper Michel Vorm. Here’s some statistics to illustrate why he’s worth choosing. Vorm has kept a clean sheet in every home game so far this season, meaning four consecutive clean sheets for the Premier League’s first side from Wales.
This doesn’t mean the Dutch stopper hasn’t been occupied with opposition attacks. He’s been the fourth busiest goalkeeper in the division making 37 saves in nine games which is an average of four saves per game. In comparison to other keepers, he is one of the cheapest around which further emphasises why Vorm could be a good selection as either your first or second choice player between the sticks.
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