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Fantasyland: The more things change, the more they stay the same

There is an increasing sense of familiarity about both the league table and Fantasy Football’s highest performers.

Van Persie has been in excellent form since signing for Man United.
Van Persie has been in excellent form since signing for Man United.

DESPITE THE ODD unpredictable result this season, the league table is now beginning to have a rather familiar look about it.

Chelsea, Man United and Man City currently hold the top three spots, though perhaps it is surprising that the London club lead the way, given their abysmal league form last year.

More surprising though is the position of Everton in fourth, though whether David Moyes’ side have the talent and strength in depth to stay there all season remains to be seen.

Similarly with Fantasy Football, there are few major surprises in terms of the top performers largely comprising those who play for the most expensively assembled and therefore, best teams.

Two players to pick this week

Jonathan Walters: Both this season and last, the Stoke player has represented a solid pick in midfield for fantasy football aficionados. The Ireland international is relatively cheap at 6.4m, and tends to play in an advanced role for his club, meaning he scores more goals than the average midfielder. And you can expect Walters to thrive as Stoke host a Sunderland side that currently look short of confidence.

Robin Van Persie: United face a daunting trip to Chelsea this week, but you would back Van Persie to score against anyone right now, given the form he’s in. And while his side have looked decidedly suspect at the back of late, they have experienced no such problems in attack. They looked like scoring every time they went forward in their most recent Premier League encounter with Stoke, and expect them to appear adventurous too against a Chelsea side that have been similarly cavalier this season.

Two players to avoid this week

Per Mertesacker: The German international started the season well, but has had an unsatisfactory past few weeks. He was part of the German side that conceded four against Sweden, while he experienced no relief from his troubles for his club, with Arsenal losing their past two consecutive matches, somewhat alleviating the positivity generated by their occasionally highly impressive displays this season.

David de Gea: The United goalkeeper has had a less-than-assured start to the season, and was at fault for the first goal against Stoke last week, sticking to his line when he should have come out to deal with a dangerous cross. And it’s not likely to get any easier for the Spaniard, as United take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

Predictions

Aston Villa 1-1 Norwich

Arsenal 3-1 QPR

Reading 2-2 Fulham

Stoke City 2-1 Sunderland

Wigan 2-2 West Ham

Man City 3-1 Swansea

Everton 1-1 Liverpool

Newcastle 2-1 West Brom

Southampton 1-2 Tottenham

Chelsea 2-2 Man United

How my team got on last weekend

Having Hazard as captain helped considerably in enabling my side to secure a slightly above average score of 48.

Who’s leading TheScore.ie Primera Division?

Stephen Ruth’s Man Red have retained their lead, as they’re winning by a healthy margin of 31 points, ahead of Gavin Gingles’ Meath Lovers Pizza.

*Entries for TheScore.ie’s fantasy league are now closed.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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