Cast your minds back with me to the start of the season. The fresh hope that comes with every new season for me was stronger than ever before. I was coming off the back of a cracking season and I was going to use Chelsea’s Double Gameweek to kick off my season.
Ivanovic scored 24 points and Hazard scored 21. I’m sure if you owned one or both you will look back at that week with a smile. I owned them both, and I owned them right up until the day of the deadline. That’s right, I played it safe and chose Cole (10 points) and Mata (5 points) and my season has been a total disappointment ever since.
Now with 15 Gameweeks down it’s not time to panic, but it is time for many of us to kick on. And we have upon us the second Double Gameweek of the season and I think this could well be the chance some of us have been waiting for…
While managers all around you climb on the bandwagon of Fletcher, Sessegnon, Shorey or Le Fondre, I would ask you to think twice.
Let’s look at both of the sides.
Before scoring 3 against Manchester United, their players were flying under most of our radars. But now we feel suddenly we must have a host of Reading players for the double.
But with two away games alarm bells should be ringing. In the case of their defenders they are yet to keep a clean sheet away from home, and have just the one at home (0-0 draw with Norwich).
It doesn’t get much better for the attackers either. They have failed to score in 3 of their away games so far this season only managing to score against Chelsea (lost 4-2), Swansea (2-2), QPR (1-1), and Wigan (lost 3-2), picking up just 2 points along the way. If the table was just ranked on away games then Reading would be 19th.
The problem is they have no one guy who scores a lot of goals. Pogrebnyak starting the season at 5.0 was meant to be the bargain of the year, but he is now 4.4 and that should tell its own story. Le Fondre has 4 goals, but 2 of those have been penalties. Robson-Kanu is next with 3 and 2 of those were late in games and he is nowhere near nailed on.
You have to also factor in their fixtures post Double Gameweek (in order): Arsenal, Man City, Swansea, West Ham, Spurs, West Brom, Newcastle and Chelsea. Ouch.
I think I could easily sum this up with this one quote: “They have not beaten 11 men since March”
But I’m sure you want to know just a little more. Now they do have two home games, which you might think would be good. But alas, if the table was just on home games, Sunderland would stand all alone in 19th place, having scored just FIVE goals at home all season!
They have kept two clean sheets at home! Good news … kind of. One was against Wigan, who were on top until they had a man sent off! The other was against … erm QPR, you know … the team that … are well … awful.
Now if Fletcher hadn’t gone and got himself injured I would have said he was an option after his 6 goals this year. I guess he is a wait and see case, but the risk of him being declared fit just playing another 45 mins before being hauled off is too strong for me.
Others have shown flashes of past form, but they have been flashes at best.
If you liked Reading’s post Double Gameweek fixtures then you’re going to love Sunderland’s! In order: Man Utd, Southampton, Man City, Spurs, Liverpool and West Ham! Double ouch.
So if you want my advice, stay away from the double trouble. 1 or 2 yes, ok I can accept that. But for me, any more than that is a real risk and it might come back to bite you harder than you would like!
If you want one last thing to sway you, let me remind you that Gameweek 17 is a blank for Chelsea and Southampton players, so you will have to either hide or sell those players. If you choose to hide then you are going to have to play those Reading and Sunderland players you just bought. And as a little reminder, that is Manchester United’s and Arsenal’s opponents in Gameweek 17!
Happy Double Gameweek everyone!