FiT Bargain Hunter By Tom Kurvits

December 12, 2013 11:01 am

After some interesting results in GameWeek 15, I thought I’d take a look at some potential bargains for you to make up your FiT 11 with. A lot of us are struggling for funds after bringing in the big guns.

Everton

I think everyone is slightly surprised at how well Everton are doing at the moment. I expected Arsenal to beat them on Sunday afternoon, but the toffees seem to look a better proposition every week. It’s an obvious one here but Ross Barkley is pretty good, eh? Roberto Martinez is promising to give him more games too, so I can only see him getting better and ultimately score more points. Let’s not forget the rest of the Toffee’s team, they’ve only lost one game this season, leaving Martinez’s looking like a great replacement for Moyes. This is the next level that Everton fans wanted. My only concern here is the influence of loan players on this initial success, the likes of Deulofeu (5.7m) and Lukaku (9.6m) will be returning to their parent clubs come the end of the season, and without finishing in a Champions League spot, securing equivalent replacements will not be easy or cheap. Martinez promised the chairman and fans Champions League football, and the form they’re in now I wouldn’t bet against it. Game Week 16 looks like a home banker against Fulham at 3pm Saturday. The aforementioned players would all be good choices if you can work any of them in, although Lukaku can’t be classed as a bargain, more a sure thing.

Newcastle

Top of the form table with 15 points from their last 6 games are Newcastle, who have snuck under the radar into 7th place, beating Spurs, Chelsea and now Man United on their ascent. The whole team is pretty much a bargain but there are some smarter picks. They’re not rock solid defensively although they seem to be better drilled against bigger opposition, their adventurous full backs Debuchy (5m) and Santon (4.7m) both offer good value. Offensively there are some smart buys, such as Remy (11th top point scorer so far this season) in at 8.6m. Cabaye is also good value at 6.6m but he will be suspended for Game Week 16. In their next three games I’d expect them to take at least 6 points, Southampton at home, Crystal Palace away and Stoke at home.

Stoke City

Stoke City beat Chelsea this weekend and although many Stoke fans may be pleased by the result. the nature of the victory smacks of classic Mark Hughes management. QPR and Fulham fans will testify to lifted performances (presumably through enhanced preparation from the manager) against the bigger teams but poor performances against teams around them. This doesn’t mean there aren’t some well priced players amongst the ranks however. Begovic is their joint highest points scorer, which tells you everything you need to know. As the bigger fixtures arrive over the festive period you may be worrying about that usually secure clean sheet bonus. Begovic (5.3m) in as your keeper makes sense as it frees up funds, and he’s a safe bet. Use the extra funds to get some of the luxury players.

Fulham

Fulham put an abrupt end to their abysmal form by beating Aston Villa by two goals to nil. The most interesting point from this win is the ‘Berb’. I wouldn’t say he was electric but he was certainly more interested than he has been. They face Everton next so I wouldn’t advise packing your team with Fulham defenders, but with the January transfer window looming large, Berbatov’s performances will certainly be better as he puts himself in the shop window. He does represent decent value at 8m but he certainly is a risk, as for the rest of the team, look elsewhere.

Southampton

Southampton continued their great run with a draw at home to Man City. Although City’s awful away formed will have certainly contributed, there’s no denying that Saints’ mid table position is testament to Pochettino’s management and eye for talent, particularly the youth which is scattered throughout the team. They’ve got quite an injury list at the moment but when fully fit the squad is littered with gems to pick up points with minimal outlay. The obvious picks are Lallana (5.9m), Rodriguez (6.4m) and as of last weekend Pablo Osvaldo (7.0m). My personal choice for when your short of funds trying to complete your midfield after purchasing an Ozil or Hazard is Ward-Prowse (3.8m). So far his contribution hasn’t been rewarded, but if you keep putting the ball in the box like he does, eventually the strikers will start converting. One to keep an eye on for the rest of the season.

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have now won two on the bounce after appointing the baseball capped Tony Pulis. There’s also one man who’s been instrumental in both of those victories, showing lethal form to score twice. Chamakh a snip at 6.0m, the guys got more points than Chelsea forwards Ba, Torres or Eto’o. A little bit of analysis and it’s not hard to see why and why he’s gonna continue scoring. Written underneath the peak of Pulis’s baseball cap are two words; LONG BALL, just so he doesn’t forget. Now back in the day when Chamakh was scoring for fun in the Champions League, the vast majority of his goals came from headers, see where I’m going with this?

Norwich

My final shock result of the week was Norwich beating West Brom, and I don’t think many saw this one coming. The defeat actually leaves the Baggies two points outside the relegation zone, and really struggling after the loss of Lukaku. I’ve got to be honest here, Norwich have a really un-inspirational team, van Wolfswinkel has scored once since his heralded arrival from wherever he came from, and the defense is super leaky. For me the only bargain here is ex-Leeds man Jonny Howson at 4.4m, usually the set piece taker and not scared to have a go from pretty much anywhere on the pitch.

This post was written by FiT Admin

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