The Return of Aaron Ramsey

Scott Heavey

Aaron Ramsey has returned just in the nick of time to help Arsenal secure Champions League qualification.

Arsenal have missed Aaron Ramsey's presence in the midfield as they tried to fill the hole he left by playing others out of position. Now that he has returned from injury, Arsenal look like a more complete side and are dispatching their opponents with ease. Since his return, Arsenal have won 3-0 and 3-1. He officially returned to action during Arsenal's 3-0 loss to Everton but only played 25 minutes in that match and by the time he entered the fray the damage had already been done.

In his last two matches, Ramsey has combined for 20 fantasy points. He played just 19 minutes in Arsenal's 3-1 win over West Ham but provided the assist for the third goal that sealed the victory. Last week, in his first full 90 minute match since December 23rd, Ramsey showed why he was one of the top midfielders in not just fantasy but also real life. Ramsey was dangerous all game and linked up beautifully with his teammates. Arsenal easily defeated Hull 3-0 and Ramsey played a part in each and every goal. He opened up the scoring in the 31st minute - his first goal since the brace he bagged against Cardiff all the way back in November. The young Welshman set up Podolski just before halftime to give Arsenal a 2-0 lead. Podolski bagged his second and Arsenal's third just nine minutes into the second half to put the match to bed and once again it was Aaron Ramsey who created the chance. Ramsey picked up 16 fantasy points last week and has a very favorable schedule ahead of him to close out the season.

Arsenal have three games left in their season and they get to face Newcastle this week who have been struggling mightily to score goals and struggling even more to keep the ball out of their own net. In their last five games, Newcastle have conceded 14 goals, that's an average of 2.8 goals per game. Arsenal have scored three goals in their last two games. The odds are looking in their favor to make it three games in a row with at least three goals and Aaron Ramsey will play a big part in those goals.

Next up is West Bromwich Albion who are fighting to stay alive in the Premier League and also have been conceding goals at an alarming rate. They have conceded six goals in their last two games alone and 11 in their last five. During the five games, West Brom have two 3-3 draws and last week lost to Manchester City 3-1. This one should be another match that will see quite a few goals giving Aaron Ramsey an ideal opportunity to rack up the points.

Arsenal will close out the season at Norwich to face the relegation-threatened Canaries. Norwich have conceded eight goals in their last four games but tend to give the bigger clubs a run for their money. Just last week, they gave Liverpool everything they had and nearly escaped with a point but could not finish their chances and lost in dramatic fashion 3-2. Depending on how results from previous weeks shape out, this match could be a judgement day sort of match for Norwich. Their Premier League hopes could hinge on getting a result against Arsenal and at the same time, Arsenal's hopes of a fourth place finish could depend on a result at Carrow Road. Either way, this could be a crucial match for both teams and Aaron Ramsey will relish the opportunity to shine.

It's a credit to just how well Aaron Ramsey started the season that he remained in the top 10 of midfielders in fantasy and after his stellar return, he is currently 7th amongst all midfielders in fantasy points. He surpassed Oscar, Samir Nasri, Jason Puncheon, Kevin Nolan, Christian Eriksen, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Steve Sidwell, Adam Johnson, Jordan Mutch, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla after putting up 20 points in the last two weeks. Now that he is back in full force, with three games to go, he will likely surpass David Silva and Kevin Mirallas as well, both of whom are out injured and will more than likely finish the season in the top 5 amongst midfielders.

A few notes on other impressive players

I just want to briefly touch on a couple of players that I believe deserve recognition for their outstanding play. Not only have these players been extremely vital to their teams success but they are also very valuable to fantasy teams as their price tag does not do their performances justice.

Christian Eriksen

I've been touting the young Dane all season and he has easily been the best purchase the Spurs have made out of the flurry of new signings that came in the aftermath of the Gareth Bale sale. In week 34, I urged you to add Eriksen to your team if you already didn't as he was on absolute fire and he has not slowed down yet. Since week 34, Eriksen has put up 20 fantasy points, he had 9 against West Brom and 11 last week against Fulham. In the last five weeks, Eriksen has amassed 55 fantasy points! He only has 124 points on the season, so over 44% of his points have come in the last five weeks. That's just insane. Eriksen has four goals and five assists in that span. On the season, he has seven goals and nine assists. I'm just waiting to see what he does next.

Jason Puncheon

Puncheon has been immense this season and Crystal Palace would be struggling without him. Puncheon has four goals in his last four games during which he has totaled 42 fantasy points. The most impressive part about Puncheon's production is his price tag. He is only £5.5 and before he went on this four game tear he was just £5.0. Puncheon is currently outperforming players that are worth well over £8-£9 for almost half the price!

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