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EPL Week 5: Goalkeepers and Defenders

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Taking a look at the goalkeepers and defenders to play or bench in Week 5.

Shaun Botterill

As you have noticed by now, a Stultz Guarantee is as trustworthy as buying a "bed bug-free mattress" on Craigslist.  Will that stop me from giving them?  Of course not.  I put myself out on a plank many times and, for the most part, I end up drowning.

With a few surprises this week in Champions League play (what was that Chelsea?) and a couple of derby matches, highlighted by Manchester City hosting Manchester United, on this week's schedule, let's take a look at some players for the week.


  • Petr Cech (Chelsea) - John Olerud of the EPL has only given up 2 goals so far in 4 Premier League matches this season. Look for that form to continue against Fulham. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • Joe Hart (Manchester City) and David De Gea (Manchester United) - Starting either of these guys would be taking a major chance. If history holds serve, this will be a goal-filled game. Look for a 2-2 or 3-2 score line. (VERDICT: BENCH)
  • Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) - A quick tangent: the best team name in one of my leagues this year is Slumdog Mignolet. Sure, that movie is dated now but that is a great name. Anyway, Southampton has no punch to their offense right now and Mignolet is playing quite well. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • Michael Vorm (Swansea) - Until he learns that he is supposed to keep the ball from going INTO the net, I would stay away from him. (VERDICT: BENCH)


  • Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United) - It amazes me that Rio is still playing at this high of level at his age. He also keeps me entertained by talking trash to Piers Morgan on Twitter. I expect him to have a busy day this week against the forwards of Man City. (VERDICT: BENCH)
  • Winston Reid (West Ham United) - The Kiwi has quietly been a solid defender for the Hammers so far this campaign. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle) - Debuchy has been defending well but not exactly getting involved on the offensive side of the field. (VERDICT: BENCH)
  • Any Chelsea Defender - They are at home playing Fulham. Fulham does not score on the road. (EVEN when the stadium is 1 kilometer away!!!) Do the math. Take your pick of their defenders although, if you pick John Terry, I might never talk to you again. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • Robert Huth (Stoke City) - Will Stoke stand tall like they did last week against Manchester City or will Arsenal expose them? I am guessing the latter. Arsenal is on a roll. (VERDICT: BENCH)
  • Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa) - Someone will have to step up for the Villains as news came out that Jores Okore is out for the season. Look for Vlaar to start stepping up his game. (VERDICT: PLAY)