Star Player and Punt - Gameweek 2 - Aaron v Sleno

Gameweek 1 saw the launch of our new Star Player and Punt competition, pitting two FPL Dugout Contributors against each other, with each picking a Star player (free choice) and Punt (under 4% ownership) for the right to return against the next Contributor in a “winner stays on” format.

The first battle was a drab affair between Aaron and Marco, with Aaron prevailing 10-9 after Hazard’s assist last night. Next up for Aaron, then, is Sleno, with the winner facing Shiva in Gameweek 3.

(Sleno was due to play Aaron in Gameweek 1, but the sudden arrival of his first child pushed him back a week! Sleno’s picks were Ivanovic and Aspas so maybe he should have written his piece from the hospital after all.)

Aaron’s Star Player – Sergio Aguero

Manuel Pellegrini’s decision to start Aguero against Newcastle came as a major surprise. With no pre-season action under his belt, the Argentine was expected to be eased in from the bench, but Aguero wasted little time in rewarding his manager’s faith, scoring, assisting and taking the maximum bonus points in a 12-point return, before being replaced by Nasri on 62 minutes.

At 11.0 in Fantasy Premier League (FPL), Aguero is the most expensive of Man City’s forwards, but arguably the most explosive. A player with a low centre of gravity, a turn of pace and a deadly eye for goal, Aguero can devastate the opposition in the blink of an eye.

With 62 minutes game time under his belt, Aguero looks primed for another start against Cardiff this weekend, and that looks a glorious prospect for those Fantasy managers who’ve taken the early gamble.

With penalties also in his locker and a Gameweek 3 clash against Hull at the Etihad, it’s no surprise that over 43,000 Fantasy managers have already snapped him up this week, with Aguero set to put Cardiff to the sword and become a ready-made armband option next Gameweek.

While the threat of rotation is always a lingering concern, Aguero’s versatility can see him drop in behind or move out wide, giving him an advantage over Dzeko and Negredo, who are more one-dimensional front men.

Sleno’s Star Player – Roberto Soldado

There is only so far you can flog a donkey – Emile Heskey would be point and case. However when you have a Stallion in your stable then flog away I say!

Now if you missed it, I have already recommended Roberto Soldado as my season pick. If you listened to my advice the first time round, you already have 9 points in the bank from the away game at Palace. If you didn’t then now is the time to act before you lose out once again!

Starting the week with over 20% ownership, Lukaku and Anelka have let down many a manager, and many a manager will be looking for an exit route. Look no further than Soldado.

His game against Palace wasn’t spectacular by any means, but his class was there for all to see. He held up the ball well, played in his team-mates, and had 4 shots, 2 of which were on target, and wasn’t one to misplace a pass.

After his first competitive goal from the penalty spot, he was soon to add 2 more in the Europa League, where he was given a 71-minute run out which is sure to help his match-sharpness.

With a home game against Swansea, who were taken apart by Man United at the weekend and who also face a tricky Europa League match late on Thursday night, there is much optimism for those who own Soldado.

With Arsenal, Norwich and Cardiff due up after Swansea, there is not much to fear. So if he doesn’t yet occupy a spot in your front-line, I suggest he should.

Aaron’s Punt – Nacer Chadli

I’ll be honest: I hadn’t heard of Nacer Chadli when he signed for Tottenham earlier this summer (and 0.7% ownership in FPL suggests I wasn’t the only one). After a little research, though, it became clear that the 24-year-old Belgian has the credentials to rack up some points this season.

Cutting in on his favoured right foot from the left of the front three, Chadli’s pace and trickery brought him 12 goals and 5 assists last season for FC Twente, and plying his trade in a similar role for Spurs, Chadli showed glimpses of his attacking intent in last week’s opener at Crystal Palace.

Handed just 30 minutes in Tottenham’s 5-0 Europa League thumping of Dinamo Tbilisi this evening, Chadli laid on two assists within just six minutes of coming on, with Rose and Soldado the beneficiaries.

A return to the starting line-up against Swansea at the Lane on Sunday looks highly likely, then, and it would be no surprise to see him register his first FPL returns of the season. With a nice set of fixtures to come, including Norwich at the Lane in Gameweek 4, Chadli could well stayed nestled in your team for a while, too.

At 7.5 in FPL, there are cheaper punts around than Chadli, but that’s a reasonable price for a Spurs attacking midfielder, particularly with Paulinho (7.0) sitting deeper and Lennon (7.5) lacking Chadli’s goal threat.

Sleno’s Punt – Moussa Sissoko

It was “Wham Bam” when he arrived! He seemed a must; you just couldn’t do without Moussa Sissoko!

Where did it all go wrong you ask? Well Newcastle as a team were stuttering, and Sissoko continued to work hard, but without the rewards he saw in his first few games.

A new season and a new price tag of 6.0, it shocked me to see Sissoko with just 1.6% ownership. Still being granted a place in the “hole” and with Cabaye seemingly on his way out, Sissoko is the safest way into the Newcastle midfield with Ben Arfa always a risk with his injury history.

Now you may ask why you want a Newcastle midfielder. Well the truth is you most likely have a Chelsea midfielder you need to dump. And the other truth is you are eyeing up either Soldado or RVP and need to raise some cash.

There will no doubt be a midfielder that’ll rise up early like Fellaini or Michu did last year, but while that happens you need to have someone you can play week in, week out. With the next four of West Ham (H), Fulham (H), Villa (A) and Hull (H), you can be safe in the knowledge that you can leave Sissoko alone for the next few weeks.

Early bandwagons have begun, but Barkley isn’t guaranteed game-time, nor is Joe Cole. The trick early on in the season is to keep with the pace, and not lose ground. So my advice is stick with Sissoko, who loves to stride forward, and I expect him to net 20 points over the 4 weeks. So free up some money and bag a few points at the same time! With Sissoko you can’t go wrong!

Punters Record

Aaron 1-0
Marco 0-1