So far we have taken a look at goalkeepers, defenders and midfielders, now it’s time for us to take a look at the boys who grab all the glory, the forwards. Last season the 3 top scoring players in the FPL were forwards so it’s understandable that picking 3 of them is not the easiest job in the world. When you consider how expensive many of the top forwards are, it just highlights that getting them right is extremely important as you don’t want to have a lot of money tied up in duds! So with all of these issues to hand we have pulled together a few player ideas that we feel could really deliver over the coming weeks.
Aguero & Tevez
Ok, so let’s start with everyone’s favourite Argentines, Manchester City’s Kun Aguero and Carlos Tevez. When Aguero arrived in Manchester at the beginning of last season many wondered how successful he would be, but he didn’t take long answering any critics he may have had. Within 9 minutes of coming off the bench to make his debut he’d found the back of the net, and before the end of the match he’d scored another and picked up an assist. Aguero finished the season with 23 goals & 9 assists and amassed a total of 211 points making him the 3rd highest scorer in last season’s FPL. Will any of us ever forget the 23rd league goal he scored on the final day of last season? Probably not, and that one goal has sealed his place in City folklore for years to come.
Carlos Tevez on the other hand was at one stage despised by the vast majority of City supporters for refusing to come off the bench, and then subsequently taking an extended break in Argentina where he worked on improving his golf swing! However with the title seemingly destined for Old Trafford Tevez and Mancini patched up their differences and Tevez returned to action, coming off the bench against Chelsea to set up City’s equaliser. Tevez went on to score 4 goals in the run in and many might argue that it was the return of Tevez that acted as the catalyst for City’s upturn in fortunes.
Many expected Tevez to be sold this summer but clearly this has not been the case. In fact Tevez would appear to have lost all the excess weight he was carrying last season and has become a key player for both City and fantasy managers. So, who to pick, Aguero or Tevez? At £9.0m Tevez is £2.5m cheaper than his compatriot and who couldn’t use an extra £2.5m. With Mancini’s new tactics seemingly paving the way for 2 up top and Mancini describing Tevez as being ‘a very important player’ for City, many fantasy managers are opting for Tevez. However, while Tevez would appear to be nailed on to start in City’s opening games, what will happen when Balotelli returns? Logic would dictate that Aguero will be the most regular of the 3 with Tevez and Balotelli being interchangeable. It should also be remembered that Aguero is likely to be City’s penalty taker when Balotelli is not playing. So who do you pick? We rate both of them, but ultimately we’ll let you decide which one you go for!
Rooney & Van Persie
It’s not only the blue half of Manchester that is causing fantasy managers headaches, following the acquisition of Robin Van Persie United are now giving us similar headaches i.e. Rooney or Van Persie? Last season saw Rooney hit the back of the net on 27 occasions as well picking up 8 assists. This superb form saw him amass a total of 230 points, his highest FPL total to date, making him the 2nd highest scoring player in last season’s FPL. The only player to better Rooney’s total was his new partner in crime Van Persie. The Dutchman had what can only be described as an incredible season, a season that witnessed him scoring 30 goals and assisting 13 others, meaning he ended the season with 269 points.
Up until Wednesday night when it was confirmed that Van Persie was moving to United, every fantasy manager and his dog was seemingly planning to bring in Rooney in GW2 or GW3. However, the acquisition of RVP has left us all with a bit of a dilemma, Rooney or Van Persie? It’s unlikely that the two of them will play up top together, what would seem more plausible is that Van Persie will play up top and that Rooney will play in the hole behind him. This would appear to make Van Persie the obvious choice, but for now we’re tipping Rooney. There’s no questioning Van Persie’s quality, but no matter how good a player is, it can take them time to settle down (Chelsea fans will understand what we’re talking about!). It’s also safe to assume that Rooney is also likely to remain on set-pieces. So for now we’re going with Rooney but only just and don’t be surprised that come the ‘tips’ article in GW3 if we’re tipping the two of them!
As the old saying goes, form is temporary class is permanent, however Fernando Torres is doing his upmost to prove that saying wrong! When Torres left Liverpool for Chelsea in January 2011 everyone assumed he’d score for fun, unfortunately for Chelsea and Torres it didn’t work out like that! The Spaniard scored 65 league goals in 102 games for Liverpool, however for Chelsea he’s only scored 7 in 46 games. By now you’re probably wondering what he’s doing in this article? It must be remembered that Chelsea have sold both Drogba and Anelka so that leaves Torres as the only centre forward at Chelsea. In the likes of Hazard, Mata and Lampard, Chelsea have players that are more than capable of putting the chances on a plate for Torres. His 4 goals in the Euro’s coupled with his goal in the community shield should ensure that he is high on confidence!! With a Double Gameweek coming up in gameweek 1, against Wigan and Reading, it would seem Torres has a great opportunity to get off to a flying start this season.
The Cheap Options
So far we’ve concentrated on the big hitters but we realise that many of you will be looking for a cheapish 3rd striker and we’ve picked out two for you. First up is Fulham new boy Mladen Petric who Martin Jol has signed from Hamburg in the close season. The Croatian international has spent the last five seasons in Germany playing for both Dortmund & Hamburg, scoring 51 goals in 127 games. Petric has been in the thick of the action in pre-season friendlies and has found himself on the score sheet 5 times. Obviously pre-season form against what can only be described as inferior opposition does not automatically translate into premier league goals, however it proves that the Croat has settled into life at Craven Cottage. As a result of this pre-season form coupled with a relatively easy start for Fulham we are tipping Petric to shine for Fulham this season.
As we have mentioned in our previous articles, Swansea were a huge success story last season and in Danny Graham they have a striker who is capable of leading the line on his own, while linking up with the wide men. Last season saw Graham hit the back of the net on 12 occasions as well as picking up 3 assists, meaning he finished on 138 points which saw him finish in the top 10 scoring forwards in the FPL. If pre-season is anything to go by, Graham has picked up where he left off as he’s scored 6 goals in 5 games. New Swans coach Michael Laudrup has high hopes for Graham and has said that the connection between Michu and Graham is developing every day. Laudrup went on to say that he sees no reason for Graham not to score between 15-20 goals if he stays fit.
The Best of the Rest…
A few other strikers that are worth keeping a close eye on over the first few weeks of the season are Papiss Cisse, Nikica Jelavic, Darren Bent and Lukas Podolski. Both Cisse and Jelavic took the league by storm after Christmas last season with Cisse scoring 13 goals in 14 appearances while Jelavic netted 9 times in 13 appearances. Bent on the other hand struggled with injury last season and only played 22 games, scoring 9 times. It is assumed that under Paul Lambert Villa will play a more attacking brand of football and we feel that if Bent remains injury free he is capable of 20 goals this season. Arsene Wenger had initially suggested that he would ease Podolski into the premier league, although with the loss of Van Persie he may be forced to throw him in at the deep end. However it’s not like Podolski is an 18 year old kid, rather he is a German international with 101 caps and has featured in 244 Bundesliga games scoring 94 times. Podolski is certainly one to keep an eye on especially if he links up well with Cazorla.
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This article was written by Kop Warrior