Fantasy Football: Mata, Podolski & more – This week’s best picks
Fantasy Football: The Sport Review tips the best transfers to make ahead of the Premier League games this week
John Ruddy (£4.9m) It’s been a tough season for Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy. The Canaries have been on the wrong end of some lop-sided results, including heavy losses to Liverpool and Manchester City. However, Norwich have relatively kind back-to-back league fixtures against Newcastle and Cardiff. Ruddy kept his first clean sheet in seven outings as Norwich were 1-0 winners against Hull City and at £4.9m, the England international is a good option.
Jonny Evans (£5m) With Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic both struggling with injuries, Jonny Evans is set to continue his run in the Manchester United first-team. The Northern Irishman has racked up 37 points so far, but he should be able to build on that in the coming weeks, especially with games against Cardiff City, Stoke City, Norwich City and Fulham in their next four. The 26-year-old is an absolute bargain at £5m.
Martin Olsson (£4.2m) Much like Ruddy, Olsson should benefit from a decent run of fixtures over the next week. The Swedish full-back is one of Norwich’s top-performing defenders this season, racking up a total of 48 points. Furthermore, Olsson is naturally attacking-minded and provides a threat with his crossing ability. Worth a punt if you’re looking to watch the millions to fund big-name moves elsewhere in your side.
Juan Mata (£9m) The defending champions paid a club-record £37.1m to sign the Spaniard from Chelsea on Saturday night. However, the 25-year-old will cost Fantasy Football players a rather more affordable £9m. In fact, it’s a great price considering that Eden Hazard costs £10.2m, whilst Mesut Ozil commands a £10m price tag. As mentioned for Evans, Mata should enjoy a relatively straightforward United baptism, with appetising fixtures against Cardiff City, Stoke City, Norwich City and Fulham.
Raheem Sterling (£5.3m) Steven Gerrard is back from his recent hamstring injury but the Liverpool captain is a pricey option at £8.8m – especially considering his only real goal-scoring threat is from spot-kicks. So, Raheem Sterling is a much more affordable option. Brendan Rodgers has spoken about the winger in glowing terms in recent weeks after scoring three goals and making two assists in his last nine games.
Lukas Podolski (£7.8m) The Germany international has recently returned from injury and the Arsenal striker scored at West Ham United, before netting a brace in a 4-0 victory over Coventry City. With Olivier Giroud still struggling to find his prolific form from earlier in the season, Lukas Podolski could be the man to score some crucial goals for the Premier League leaders against Southampton and Crystal Palace.
Danny Welbeck(£7.3m) With Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie currently injured, Danny Welbeck has been upgraded to first-choice striker at United. The England striker has scored eight goals in 16 Premier League games, including three in his last seven outings. With Adnan Januzaj and Mata creating chances for the 23-year-old, he should have plenty of opportunities to fill his boots against Cardiff City, Stoke City, Norwich City and Fulham.
It would be foolish to rid Suarez of the captaincy if you are among the 53.2 per cent of Fantasy Football players with the Uruguayan in your side. If you can’t afford Suarez, than United’s club-record signing Mata is a good option too.