Fantasy Football Scout: Gameweek 13

Michael Regan

After Kevin Foe wrecked the game against Stoke, hopefully this weekend will be more focused on footballers than referees...

Last week I tipped Emmanuele Giaccherini to start impressing again for Sunderland with a goal against Stoke. Unfortunately this proved not to be the case as the Italian had to come off early owing to Wes Brown's ridiculous red card in the first half, meaning the Italian only picked up 1 point. Meanwhile Wilfried Bony at least played the full 90 mins against Fulham in their 2-1 away win, but failed to pick up anything other than the standard 2 points.

I also advised avoiding Craig Gardner for Sunderland, who did indeed fail to even get on the pitch against Stoke, and Martin Demichelis who did rather better in picking up 6 points with his clean sheet during Manchester City's dominant 6-0 win over Spurs. So all in all, a fairly rubbish week for anyone who chose to follow my suggestions last week. Sorry about that...

This week Sunderland go away for another winnable away fixture at Aston Villa, whilst Andre Villas-Boas attempts to halt Spurs' alarming slide as Manchester United come to town in the weekend's showpiece fixture.

Sunderland Player To Watch: Steven Fletcher

The Scotsman didn't have his best performance in red and white last week, even owing to the difficult circumstances. Usually the Scottish Jesus puts away any chances given to him, but he managed to fluff his lines when presented with a clear chance early on in the game on Saturday. Shane Long enjoyed an extremely productive first half on Monday Night Football against Aston Villa's ever vulnerable defence, scoring two fantastic goals, and a finisher of Steven Fletcher's calibre should be able to exploit Villa's weakness at the back. Especially as the Birmingham side are in the midst of a fairly rocky run of home form.

General Player To Watch: Sergio Aguero

It almost feels lazy to point this out still but the Argentine is in sensational form so far this season, picking up 15 points during the destruction of Spurs on Sunday, and City are scoring at a fantastic rate so far this season in their home fixtures. Swansea, meanwhile, have been fairly indifferent so far this season. With Aguero's partnership with summer signing Alvaro Negredo proving to probably be the strongest strike partnership in the Premier League, if not Europe, so far this season it's a fair bet that the pair could continue their devastating run against the Welsh side this gameweek.

Sunderland Player To Avoid: Andrea Dossena

The Italian left-back is available again for Sunderland this weekend following his sending off for a horror-tackle against former Black Cat David Meyler at Hull. However, in his absence Phil Bardsley has arguably nailed down the left-back slot years after we thought we'd finally progressed from having that particular square peg in our perennial round hole. As much as the Mancunian Scot is still far from favour of the month on Wearside, or indeed on this site, he has seemingly impressed Gus Poyet and it would be odd for him to be dropped for Dossena.

General Player To Avoid: Andros Townsend

The England winger was dropped for Spurs' game against Manchester City last weekend, but that was far from the cause of the rout. Although Aaron Lennon and Erik Lamela, the two wingers who did play, hardly impressed, a return for Townsend is not likely to be the boost that Villas-Boas' side need. He may have been important for England during their two crunch qualifying fixtures not long ago, but for his club side he's been disappointing; returning no assists, and just one goal that was in reality a cross that was fortunate to drift into the back of the net.

The Roker Report League

Our league this week sees Rosli Mohamed in first on 747 points, Ian Randle a little behind on 738 and Naz Yie in third also on 738. Ian's had a few different team-names this season, and his current one continues the strong punning form with Michu in De Gea Bar (though Diaby Does Gallas is still even better).

Amongst our writers the usual suspects make up the top three; with myself in 49th, Luke in 61st and Craig in 121st. Dave's in 271st, whilst Simon had a storming week scoring 77 points to bring him up to 296th. Then Goldy trails in last in 331st; I'd feel worse for constantly pointing this out if I thought it'd actually bother him in the slightest!

That's your lot for this week, hopefully the lads will manage to actually put in a performance unhampered by the man in black's interference!

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