For just a £2 stake you can win a share of £10,000 in Mondogoal’s ‘standout’ English Premier League opener so this Hotcard feature takes a detailed look at the team selection process itself as well as assessingthe claims of Scott Sinclair and whether his inclusion can be justified. When Paul Lambert handed Sinclair the coveted ‘Number 9’ shirt it probably didn’t do him any favours and certainly raised a few eyebrows. However, to be fair to him he wasn’t exactly given a chance to shine at Manchester City and a hat-trick in last week’s friendly suggests that there is still time for him to resurrect his career even though he is predominantly a winger.
With such a big field expected for this prestigious prize the key to success may lie in taking a chance on one or two under-valued, unexposed types and Sinclair would seem to fit the bill. He certainly gets in under the radar having made just 6 starts last season from which he averaged 7.11 points. If you have digested our case study onMondogoal midfieldersthen you will know that our projections would indicate that a player capable of averaging that many points would be ‘priced’ closer to the £9m mark. Opting for Sinclair at £6.6m certainly frees up more of your budget to use elsewhere and there’s also a good possibility that he will take penalties as well which would be a bonus although new signing Jordan Veretout may have something to say about that.
Villa were the worst performing away side last season in terms of goals scored but things certainly changed once Sherwood replaced Lambert and the bookies have their goal expectancy higher here as indicated in the table below. By comparison they only managed to muster a meagre 0.68 goals per game away from home last season.
As pointed out in a piece we did recently entitledPillars of Successwe like to focus primarily on players from teams that have favourable fixtures and this applies from both an offensive and defensive perspective. Arsenal, Everton, Leicester and Newcastle are the 4 Premier League home teams that are expected to concede ‘less’ goals than their average concession rates last season based on bookmakers odds for the opening round of games while Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea look capable of scoring more goals than their average home output. For this type of contest it makes sense to focus on a core group of players who produce week-in week-out and then to gamble on a couple of players who will typically have a high standard deviation meaning they are inconsistent types but capable of a big points haul from time to time. These are tournament tactics that will help you to stand out from the crowd and give you a much better chance of a podium finish.
Petr Cech missed out on ourgoalkeeper‘saves ranking’ table due to a lack of appearances and has every chance of a clean sheet here while the ratings indicate that Kasper Schmeichel might be the one to go for but we’re going to take a chance on Tim Krul to really leave us with some spending power that can be utilised elsewhere. Southampton are a dangerous side so he might be in for a busy afternoon but the arrival of a new manager and extra competition for that ‘Number 1’ jersey have to be seen as positives.
Per Mertesacker, Sylvain Distin and Joel Ward all rank highly fordefensiveconsistency and will form our 3-man defence. Distin brings a wealth of experience to the Cherries backline and could be one of the buys of the season.
By economising with our expenditure on these backline options we are now able to pick 3 of last season’s top 5midfieldersranked by consistency in our engine room. That means Eden Hazard, Mesut Özil and Cesc Fàbregas are all included and all 3 play in fixtures where goals promise to be in abundance. It’s a big season for Ross Barkley but we’re confident that he’ll improve on last season’s efforts and this opener against Watford presents him with the perfect opportunity to shine early on. Scott Sinclair will complete our 5-man midfield.
If Wenger is serious about a title challenge then it is clear that he must prefer Olivier Giroud to Theo Walcott up front. The Frenchman ranked highly for points earned from goals scored in last season’s forwardstable and with West Ham providing a physical threat should get the nod to start this week. Leonarda Ulloa who just missed out on a place in the top 20 forwards list is a consistent type and completes the line-up.
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