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Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Week 28 is a double week for one team. Manchester United play twice: @Wigan, @Chelsea.

It's a pain when this happens, but you have to look at things logically. Wigan should be a simple win with plenty of good points for United players, so anything picked up at Chelsea is then a bonus. As we've seen with double weeks recently, this bonus can be very rewarding indeed, so it's definitely worth sticking a few two-game players in.

But who plays? Well, I'm predicting the following starting line-ups for United, although these are purely based on my own thought process. As you may have noticed, I'm not Sir Alex Ferguson, so don't take them as gospel...

@Wigan: (4-4-2) Van Der Sar, Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Carrick/Scholes, Fletcher, Giggs, Nani, Berbatov, Rooney

Pretty standard stuff at Wigan. Fergie has said Rio will be back for Chelsea, so Smalling gets the start here. I'm assuming it'll be Fletcher & Carrick or Scholes with Anderson & Park injured and I'm not sure he'll trust Gibson after some shocking performances (e.g. Blackpool away). Nani & Giggs out-wide (the only alternative being Oberton - unlikely), the usual two up top.

@Chelsea: (4-5-1/4-3-3) Van Der Sar, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Fletcher, Scholes, Giggs, Nani, Rooney

O'Shea may replace Rafael at right-back to help combat Chelsea's height (Luiz, Terry, Ivanovic, Drogba, Torres) & Rio should be back. I think it'll be 5 in midfield / 1 upfront (Nani & Giggs supporting Rooney from the wings), which means Berbatov would be benched. I could be wrong, but Fergie always seems to play this formation in the biggest games (Man City, Arsenal & Chelsea this season & last season). United don't NEED to win this - they just mustn't lose - so it seems a reasonable assumption they stick with a formation that has worked well in the past.

Therefore, I'm thinking the only players almost certain to start both (excluding injuries/suspensions) are Van Der Sar, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Giggs, Nani & Rooney.

Again this is purely my opinion, Berbatov could play both games, but I'm going with history.

Now for the other fixtures...

Single Games Worth Looking At
MAN CITY v Fulham
ASTON VILLA v Blackburn
STOKE v West Brom

Everton v Sunderland
Newcastle v Bolton
Wolves v Blackpool

Remember Arsenal, Tottenham & Birmingham DO NOT PLAY  in Week 28.

With all this in mind here are the players, with a good mix of DGers and SGers...

Van Der Sar



Berbatov (if you think I'm wrong/think he'll score big @Wigan!)

That's it for players; quite a small list this week!

Now a big change of direction. If you're a member of the Facebook then you may have seen a conversation on there regarding Van Persie, namely that I'm considering selling him @13.xx for Arsenal's blank week. If I had him @9 I would be keeping him, but I don't. The general consensus is that I'd be making an error selling at 13 - and given his current form I totally see that point - but just FYI here's my thinking.

His hamstring injury has me worried. He's missing Stoke tonight, he'll play in the Cup final on Sunday, but then he could easily be rested or subbed early vs Sunderland in Week 29 ahead of the crunch Barcelona tie. That week will be a double for Everton & Birmingham, so another zero could be costly.

In addition, my recent tactic of dropping discounts has been working really well as I'm now 70th overall, just 20 points off the Top 50. I know I'm in good company because in Week 27 a massive 19 teams from the overall Top 20 dropped Nani. Ok, Nani hit 20 points, but this won't always happen, and the fact the most successful teams drop discounts seems to suggest it's the right way to go.

I want to finish in the Top 50, and taking zeros probably won't get me there. I can buy him back at £20m when I need to in future, but is that going to damage the rest of my team too much? I've not totally decided what way to go, but this is what I have (unsaved) on my my team page at the moment.

Van Der Sar, Kolarov, Smalling, Evra, Hitzlsperger, Silva, Giggs, Nani, Carew, Suarez, Rooney

I love it. Here's with RvP...

Friedel, Kolarov, Smalling, Evra, Hitzlsperger, Silva, Pennant, Nani, Carew, RvP, Rooney

Note, I could go Friedel to Howard, Pennant to Giggs. That would mean the only differences were Howard/RvP vs Van Der Sar/Suarez.

Maybe it's a crazy idea to lose an £8m discount, maybe I should just stick with the him for the zero.

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