Wojciech Szczesny (£5.4m): Granted, the Pole is an eccentric fella between the sticks at the best of times. True, he’s playing behind a back four which, due to Arsenal’s ever-worsening (and entirely predictable) injury crisis, will probably be down within the fortnight to Per Mertesacker, Arsène Wenger’s puffa jacket, a 15-year-old from Gabon and some chap Arsène bumped into in the pub last night called Bernard, but surely Arsenal aren’t going to concede much against Hull, or Sunderland, or Burnley, are they? Are they? Ok, it’s Arsenal. They might.
Gary Cahill (£6.4m): All is right with the world, Chelsea like defending again. Gone are the rollicking days of 6-3 at Goodison. Get thee behind me, 4-2 against Swansea! Come back, consecutive clean sheets against Aston Villa and Arsenal, we missed your warm, familiar embrace. Ever-present Gary Cahill tends to find a goal or two every season, but has nothing to show in either column so far this time out. That will change. Maybe away to Crystal Palace?
Seamus Coleman (£6.9m): This could go one of two ways. Everton could genuinely have spent the summer’s training working exclusively on gung-ho for glory, entertainment for the masses, goals galore and to hell with the defensive line; or this could be one of those statistical anomaly thingies. They are, after all, getting better – three goals conceded to Liverpool and Manchester United is a lot more pleasing than three in one game against Palace – and Seamus Coleman should be back this weekend. All aboard the Goodison bandwagon! But if it all goes spectacularly badly wrong, you didn’t hear that from us.
Jordan Henderson (£6.0m): Liverpool midfield scourers, you can keep your Raheem Sterlings, your Steven Gerrards, your fancy dan Adam Lallanas with their funky hairstyles. We’ll have Jordan Henderson, thank you very much. For £6m – yes, that’s less than Peter Odemwingie– we’ll have our uninterrupted presence in midfield, our three assists, our goal and our upcoming fixture against resident cannon fodder QPR. Job’s a good ‘un.
Nathan Dyer (£5.8m): Let’s face it, everyone’s got Gylfi Sigurdsson in their team these days. And who wants to follow the pack, eh? Tell them you’ve got three-goal-scoring, 35-point-garnering, £1m-cheaper-than-Gylfi, hasn’t-actually-done-much-since-August-but-that-only-makes-him-cooler Nathan Dyer in your line-up. That’ll show them.
Mario Balotelli (£9.8m): Not that this column likes to pick on QPR. Ok, maybe a little tiny bit. But let’s be honest, we knew that Mario Balotelli didn’t put a shift in every game. We knew he could be a bit hot and cold, and a moody chuffer at the best of times. But he’s cheaper than he was when he moved to Anfield, and he will score against QPR. Kolo Touré will score against QPR. Rob Jones could score against QPR.
Papiss Cissé (£5.9m): Call it something in our waters. Newcastle, this season, have been a bit rubbish. Leicester, this season, have been a bit good. But through the mists of the mystical future-sight that goes into this weekly column, we see a right royal Geordie thumping this weekend and topless gentlemen – probably of the larger variety – congaing down the steps of St James’ Park. And if newly-reinvigorated Cissé isn’t a central part of said thumping (perhaps not the congaing), then you have our permission to throw pointy rocks column-wards.
Papiss Cissé. Sometimes, it just feels right.
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