Fantasy Football: Lamela, Kane and more – This weekend’s best picks
Fantasy Football: The Sport Review tips the best transfers to make ahead of this weekend's Premier League games
Brad Guzan (£4.6m): Things have taken a bit of a turn recently for Aston Villa. And not the good type of a turn, either. The 11 goals conceded without reply type of a turn. Maybe Roy Keane’s mind has been elsewhere. But with the terrifying Irishman’s book now safely published and a run of games featuring Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton behind them, it must be time for a bit of an upturn. A turn for the better, perhaps. A corner turned? What’s that? Stop saying ‘turn’? Right you are.
Ryan Shawcross (£5.7m): This column feels another sneaking suspicion coming on. Granted, the record of this column’s sneaking suspicions is patchy at best, but hey, we’ve given you Wilfried Bony, Ángel di María and most of the Southampton back line at one point or other, and we kind of called Newcastle beating Leicester. This week’s wild stab in the dark, though, takes us to the Britannia Stadium, where it all comes crashing down for the Saints and Ryan Shawcross bestrides the rubble like a craggy colossus before clomping away, goal and clean sheet points safely tucked in his rabbit-skin pouch.
Antolin Alcaraz (£4.3m): Everton are definitely getting better in defence. It may have taken a couple of shoeings, predictably from Chelsea and rather more unexpectedly from Crystal Palace to do it, but we’re pretty sure they’re getting there. And with John Stones’s injury, there is a back-line spot up for grabs. Antolin Alcaraz claimed it last week against Aston Villa, and if he can cling on for the time being, there might be some cheap and cheeky points coming your way over the next few weeks.
Graham Dorrans (£5.0m): This probably won’t last long. Graham Dorrans has no goals or assists from games against Sunderland, Southampton, Swansea, Everton, Tottenham, Liverpool or Manchester United this season. Against Burnley, though? One goal, two assists, 16 points. West Brom, on an upturn in fortunes to the extent that you can describe any team with nine points from eight games as being on an upturn in fortunes, face Crystal Palace and Newcastle in their next three games. Put Dorrans on the flat track and watch that bully go!
Erik Lamela (£7.8m): Let’s be honest. Football isn’t really about winning. Nor, for that matter, is it about taking part. It’s about rabonas.
Harry Kane (£4.8m): It can’t be often that, for less than £5m, you can pick up someone who not only scored a hat-trick for their club in midweek but somehow ended the game both wearing the captain’s armband and in goal. Emmanuel Adebayor? Seven starts, one goal. Roberto Soldado? A promising performance against Manchester City, but lacking in the old net-bulging. Kane? Six goals in Europe, one in the League Cup, and more for England U-21s. Pop him in your team. That goes for you too, Mauricio.
Steven Naismith (£5.2m): This is a man who has scored goals this season against Arsenal, against Chelsea, against Manchester United – and even against Leicester. Granted, in doing so, he has put himself a mere one strike short of his most productive ever season in English football (last year, he scored five), and reputed statistical repository whoscored.com lists only two playing strengths, one of which is ‘defensive contribution’, but this column does not look gift horses in the mouth.
This week’s column has sought out the rough diamonds rather than polished jewels; and who rougher a diamond than Shawcross?