Midfielders to watch in Fantasy Premier League 2011/12
It’s time for the second part of our three part series looking ahead to the players who could be in for a big fantasy season.
David Silva – Man City
Perhaps not a surprise but Silva could be a fantasy beast next season if he produces his form from the second half of last season.
Silva received 12 bonus points in the last 10 gameweeks. That’s 4 more than he’d received in the first 28 gameweeks!
He became a crucial part of Man City’s front line as Silva dictated the majority of their attacks with relentless and incisive passing opening up opposition defences for the likes of Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez.
The Spaniard only scored 4 goals, so needs to improve on that, but he’ll surely be one of the most sort after midfielders this season.
The one thing that could stop Silva from becoming a true fantasy heavyweight is rest and rotation – especially now Man City are in the Champions League.
It’s hard to see Silva playing week in, week out, once the Champions League intensifies. But we’ll see.
Predicted price: £10m
Marc Albrighton – Aston Villa
Albrighton started last season first choice on the right wing for Villa and became an early season bargain with his impressive performances.
But Albrighton eventually lost his place in mid-October and only made fleeting appearances during the rest of the season as the likes of Ashley Young and Stuart Downing took centre stage.
Albrighton still managed 5 goals and 7 assists and I’m tipping him to play a bigger role for Villa this season.
He should get opportunity to impress with Young’s departure to Man United and Downing thought to want to move on.
We don’t know if McLeish will sign replacements – or if he rates Albrighton – but I’d say the England Under 21s winger is one to watch in pre-season.
Villa’s 1982 European Cup-winning captain, Dennis Mortimer, certainly agrees, backing Albrighton to fill Young’s shoes. Mortimer said:
“I like Marc Albrighton and he is an exciting talent, although he can still improve aspects of his game and needs someone from the coaching staff to work with him on certain things. If Villa do that he can fill Ashley Young’s shoes.”
McLeish said just last week that he wanted to give Villa’s promising youngsters a chance. The new Villa manager said:
“We definitely have players coming through. Marc Albrighton is the one who made the big breakthrough last season… It would be great to have a great mix of youth and experience going forward next season. You never know.”
So Albrighton could be another early season bargain and may turn into something more than that this time.
Predicted price: £5.5m
Steven Hunt – Wolves
The all-action Wolves winger spent huge parts of last season sidelined by injury but usually delivers good fantasy points when he’s fit and firing.
Hunt finished the season with 3 consecutive 90 minutes, his first set of 90 minutes since mid-January.
He grabbed 2 assists during these games and scored a wonderful curling effort on the final day to keep Wolves up by the skin of their teeth.
The Irish winger was a consistent fantasy performer during his time at Reading and Hunt is always good for a total of over 100 points. He’s also a free kick and corner taker.
Hunt will look to hit the ground running this season and could be a worthwhile choice for your midfield to free up cash.
Predicted price: £5.5m
Steven Gerrard – Liverpool
The Liverpool captain failed to live up to his hefty price tag last season as Liverpool stuttered their way through games under Roy Hodgson. Gerrard’s season was then ended in March by a groin injury.
Endless toiling from season after season of carrying Liverpool had clearly taken it’s toil on the Liverpool skipper.
Gerrard has since had an operation on his troublesome groin and is raring to go this season after a much deserved rest. Gerrard said:
“I want to come back with a bang, I want to have a big season… I’ve had a rest mentally, my injury’s coming on well and I can’t wait for the season to start.”
Liverpool are on the up under Kenny Dalglish and we could well see a fully fit Gerrard return to prolific form of previous seasons.
Anything near his best total score of 216 points (including 16 goals and 10 assists) from the 2008/09 season would delight fantasy managers.
We need to see where Gerrard is going to play in the new Liverpool set up, but we already know he’ll be on penalties, free kicks and corners, so we need to consider him for that alone.
Predicted price: £10.5m