GW2 Lineup Lessons (Part One)

Our weekly regular looks through all the starting XIs, formations and substitutions to give you the low-down on likely line-ups and formations for teams in the coming weeks

Aston Villa (0-0 vs Newcastle)

4-3-3: Guzan, Cissokho (82’ Baker), Vlaar, Senderos, Hutton, Delph, Westwood, Richardson (76’ Bent), Weiman, N’Zogbia (62’ Sanchez ), Agbonlahor

Subs not used: Grealish Cole, Bacuna, Given

Villa unchanged for their second successive clean sheet to the start of the season. Richardson and N’Zogbia continue in the attacking midfield roles but goals look hard to come by for the midlands side.  Alan Hutton’s price has risen to £4.1m and Vlaar’s to £4.6m showing the early optimism in these bargain defenders.  A home game with Hull is next before much sterner clashes with Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea.

Newcastle (0-0 vs Aston Villa)

4-2-3-1: Krul, Dummett, Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Colback, Anita (70’ De Jong), Cabella, Sissoko, Gouffran, Riviere (77’ Perez [90’ Taylor])

Subs not used: Obertan, Haidara, Abeid, Elliot

Mike Williamson’s sending off (2 yellows) should open the door temporarily for Steven Taylor at £4m in GW3. David Santon is expected back after the international break and will replace Dummet (£4m) at left-back. Janmaat and Coloccini are both secure options at £4.5m who could take advantage of home games against Crystal Palace and Hull in the next 4.  Highly rated Siem De Jong £7M will be expected to make his full debut against Palace in GW3 in support of Riviere up front, ousting Gouffran from the starting XI.

Chelsea (2-0 vs Leicester)

4-2-3-1: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic, Fabregas, Matic, Hazard, Oscar (70’ Willian), Schurrle (64’ Ramires), Costa (80’ Drogba)

Subs not used: Luis, Mikel, Zouma, Cech

No change for Mourinho’s side. It’s unlikely Courtois or the back 4 will see much change for the foreseeable. Only Schurrle’s place looks seriously under threat as Willian builds up his fitness. Indeed, the German is now flagged with a leg injury (75% chance of playing on FPL) and Willian looked impressive when he came on.

Fabregas again played much deeper than the other midfielders and would rarely bust a gut to get into the box. On the occasion he did though he looked very dangerous and it was only a fine saves from Schmeical that prevented the Spaniard from getting on the score sheet. Ivanovic is looking very much part of the attacking play down the right also, allowing Schurrle/Willian whoever to come inside, whilst Hazard gives provides the width on the left.

Leicester (0-2 vs Chelsea)

4-4-2: Schmeical, Laet, Morgan, Moore, Konchesky, Mahrez (68’ Albrighton), King, Hammond (73’ Taylor-Fletcher), Schlupp, Nugent, Ulloa (84’ Wood)

Subs not used: Knockaert, Hamer, Wasilewski, Hopper

Schlupp was chose over Knockaert here, perhaps to give the Foxes more pace on the counter; a tactic they almost exploited if not for fine save from Courtois on Nugent. Daniel Drinkwater’s Hamstring injury is expected to keep him out for another week or two. £4M Moore looks locked in and could be a useful standby player once Leicester’s fixture list brightens.  £4.5M midfielder Albrighton returned from injury and looks likely to start ahead of Mahrez next week.

Southampton (0-0 vs West Brom)

4-2-3-1: Forster, Bertrand, Yoshida, Fonte, Clyne, Wanyama, Scheiderlin, Tadic, Ward-Prowse (78’ Cork), Davis (45’ Long), Pelle

Subs not used: Gardos, Hooiveld, Davis, Isgrove, Taider

No change for the Saints for Koeman’s home bow at St.Mary’s. Steve Davis’ half time withdrawal looks to be tactical, no injury ha been reported;  Shane Long coming on to add a more direct threat in attack. James Ward-Prowse again played a key role as the right prong of the attack and was involved in the majority of set pieces. New signing Florin Gardos (£5m) was on the bench and is expected to replace £4.5m Yoshida at centre-back within a week or two.

West Brom (0-0 vs Southampon)

4-4-1-1: Foster, Wisdom, Dawson, Olsson, Pocognoli (60’ Davidson), Brunt, Mulumbu, Gardner, Berahino (89’ Sessegnon), Dorrans, Anichebe (52’ Ideye)

Subs not used: Myhill, Baird, Yacob, McAuley

Still no sign of Gamboa to put pressure on popular £4M cheapie Andre Wisdom (8 points on lots of people’s bench this weekend!). McAuley returns to the match day squad after injury and may displace Dawson at centre back after another week or so of training. Jolen Lescott remains sidelined though with no return date. GW1’s 2-goal starlet Berahino was fielded out on the right flank for this game with £5M Dorrans in behind Anichebe.  This is likely to be Berahino's role for the early season which dampens early optimism he may figure centrally behind the striker. New signing Georgios Samaras (£6M) is  expected to partner Ideye as the Baggie’s front two once both are up to full fitness.

Crystal Palace (1-3 West Ham)

4-4-1-1: Speroni, Ward, Delaney, Hangeland, Kelly, Bolasie, O’Keefe (83’ Murray), Jedinak, Bannan (71’ Williams), Chamakh, Campbell (70’ Gayle)

Subs not used: Guédioura, Mariappa, McCarthy, Hennessey

One change for Palace as Barry Bannan came in for the suspended Puncheon. Expect the latter back for the Eagles’s game away at Newcastle next week. Martin Kelly remains the cut-price option at £4.5M in this defence although after this performance you’ll be forgiven for passing up on this opportunity, but let’s not forget though they looked pretty solid against Arsenal last week.  Mariappa (also £4.5M) however casts a shadow on Kelly having returned to full training for a place on the bench after a late pre-season injury.

West Ham (3-1 West Ham)

4-2-3-1: Adrian, O’Brien, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell, Kouyate, Noble, Downing (90’ Diame), Zarate (83’ Poyet), Vaz Te, Cole (68’ Sakho)

Subs not used: Valencia, Demel, Jaaskelainen, Morrison

Several of the Hammer’s new signings gelled in this superior performance at Selhurst Park. Fantasy mangers would do well to keep an eye on their progress against Hull and Southampton in their next two games.  Tomkins, recovered from an injury, came in as a straight swap for the suspended Collins and should hold down his place. The other change from the defeat to Spurs was Zarate, in due to a late injury to Kevin Nolan. With Kouyate and Noble in the double pivot, Zarate was given plenty of freedom to get forward and was impressive. He could be just the type of player Allardyce is looking for to pep up his attack. It’s a shame Zarate is listed as a forward in FPL (£6m). 

Swansea (1-0 vs Burnley) 

4-2-3-1: Faianski, Taylor, Williams, Amat, Rangel, Ki, Shelvey, Routledge (90’ Tiendalli), Sigurdsson, Dyer (68’ Montero), Bony (64’ Gomis)

Subs not used: Richards, Tremmel, Sheehan, Bartley

Swansea were unchanged from their GW1 victory over Manchester United with Sigurdsson again lining up behind the striker and seeing action in the penalty box. Neil Tayor looks a great £4.5m option in this defence with Amat’s place now under threat from new signing Argentina centre-back Federico Fernandez (£5m in FPL) 

Another new recruit, Jefferson Montero, continues to steal gametime from Nathan Dyer, again replacing the Englishman with 20 minutes or so to go. Dyer , along with Wayne Routledge £5.5M, was often rotated last season under Laudrup. This season the latter is looking the more likely to hold down a long term place in the side. 

Burnely (0-1 vs Swansea)

4-4-1-1: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Arfield, Marney, Jones (90’ Sordell), Taylor (72’ Wallace), Ings, Jutkiewicz (82’ Barnes)

Subs not used: Gilks, Kightly, Ward, Reid

As expected from Dyche’s team selections in the Championship last season, Burnley were unchanged. Matty Taylor looks to have won the pre-season battle with Kightly. Burnley have been handed a demanding start to life in the Premier League but have shown so far that they’re not to be anybody’s pushovers.

Lineup Lesson's Part Two will come after City vs. Liverpool on Monday night. Big Teams, Yay!

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