Punt of the Week – Gameweek 26 - Stewart Downing

Once again with this punt I’ve stayed away from the obvious Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and even Daniel Sturridge to pick a player whose tally last season after a 20m transfer from Aston Villa was 0 goals and 0 assists. Stewart Downing is slowly showing signs of form and going some way to live up to that hefty price tag, and with 2 home games this coming gameweek could be a real headturner in the week ahead.

The Potential

At 5.7m at the time of writing, Downing offers great value in Liverpool’s attack. After starting every match since GW 16 and only once being subbed after 76 minutes, Downing’s game time is virtually assured. With the returning Jose Enrique to Liverpool’s ranks, Downing will be pushing for a start on the left of a front 3 attack alongside the deadly duo of Sturridge and Suarez, again comparing Downing’s 5.7m price tag to Sturridge’s 7.7m and Suarez’s 10.8m, the opportunity for value for money is definitely there.

West Brom and Swansea rocking up at Anfield this week will hold no fears for Brendan Rogers side. West Brom’s away form is patchy and with Swansea having a League Cup final the week after to play, rest and rotation could be the name of the game for Laudrup’s side. With the much more defensive Henderson at 5.3m, the extra 0.4m could really make the difference in this important gameweek.

The Risk

Without trying to harp on about last seasons mess, Downing has started the last 10 gameweeks and has only produced the goods on 3 occasions, a single 11 and two 6s. Coupled with that blank gameweek in gameweek 27, and the likes of Moussa Sissoko and Adel Taarabt looking in great form over recent weeks, hasn’t helped Downing’s case for managers looking for a longer term option. Ownership of a mere 1.0% shows managers have little faith in the winger and with only 48 points so far averages out at less than 2 points per gameweek for the season thus far.

The Verdict

Of course many of you wouldn’t touch Downing with a barge pole and you’d be forgiven for doing so. For those of you chasing a mini league or trying to win an all important cup match, someone with Downing’s ownership could be just the ticket in this all important gameweek, and with Liverpool’s decent run of fixtures could become a decent differential over the coming weeks!