EPL Week 23 Fantasy Preview

Jan Kruger

A preview of the weekday EPL matches and who to bench, who to play and who to avoid like the plague.

Hey, have you had enough coverage of first baseman yet?  Well, I promise NONE in this column!

After a weekend full of FA Cup action, the Premier League returns on Tuesday with six matches followed by four matches on Wednesday.  Arsenal, thanks to their 2-0 win against Fulham, still sit on top of the league with Manchester City and Chelsea right on their trail.  Now, let's see who to sit and who to start for the weekday games:

Goalkeepers

  • Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur) - Already hinting at an exit from Spurs at the end of the season, Lloris has a tough challenge against 2nd place Manchester City. If Spurs are serious about a Champions League spot, they need this one. (VERDICT: BENCH)
  • Michel Vorm (Swansea City) - In poor form at the moment, Swansea gets a break by getting a pretty punch-less Fulham side that is coming off a match on Sunday in the FA Cup. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • Tim Krul (Newcastle United) - A man on a lot of teams' radars (AC Milan among them), Krul has been solid for the Magpies. (VERDICT: PLAY)

Defenders

  • Ben Turner (Cardiff City) - Poor guy has been getting some grief for his play lately. There's a good reason why. (VERDICT: BENCH)
  • Jonny Evans (Manchester United) - Evans came out and said that United need to more patient when playing at Old Trafford. Let's see if he can back up his talking. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) - The Serbian has returned earlier than thought from injury and will have to be a key cog if Chelsea want to finish top of the league. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • Martin Kelly (Liverpool) - Most likely filling the position left by an injured Glen Johnson, Kelly is keen on proving he belongs with the first team. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal) - Arsenal uber-fan Joe Swart texted me on Sunday night stating "I am watching the Grammys because I have been married 10 years." Okay then. Vermaelen is about to get a new contract with the Gunners. (VERDICT: PLAY)

Midfielders

  • Steve Sidwell (Fulham) - Sidwell leads Fulham in goals scored. That sentence alone explains why they are in a relegation battle. Of course, he is playing quite well. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • Glenn Whelan (Stoke City) - Will he be sent off to Norwich? Let's see how he comes off an injury. (VERDICT: BENCH)
  • Kevin Mirallas (Everton) - Mirallas wants that Champions League spot. He also wants to win the Merseyside Derby (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) - Delph is not only playing for the Villains but also for a possible spot on England's World Cup team. Look for his best effort. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • David Meyler (Hull City) - Have I told you how tacky I find Hull City's logo? If not, I find it hideous. It looks like the logo of a CFL team. (VERDICT: BENCH)

Forwards

  • Javier Hernandez (Manchester United) - For United to even have a shot at a Champions League spot, Chicharito better start stepping up his game. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • Samuel Eto'o (Chelsea) - Don't be fooled by his outbreak against United. (VERDICT: BENCH)
  • Markus Rosenberg (West Bromwich Albion) - A transfer target that will not be at the Hawthorns much longer. (VERDICT: PLAY)

As for the rest of the forwards/strikers, you know who is hot and who isn't.  Feel free to tweet me (@brianjstultz) or email me (brianjstultz@gmail.com) with any questions or comments.

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