Fantasy Football Scout: Gameweek 33

Laurence Griffiths

After yet another disappointing result in an important game, Sunderland once again play on Monday night - this time against stuttering Spurs...

Ki Sung-Yueng was the Sunderland player I picked as one to watch last week, and although the Korean had a decent game against West Ham, he failed to get himself a goal or an assist and so returned just the two points. Adam Lallana turned out to be a better selection, with the England midfielder scoring and assisting to bag himself a very handsome twelve points.

Those I advised avoiding last week were Jozy Altidore and Olivier Giroud. Even as Sunderland desperately searched for an equalising goal the American failed to get off the bench, with Nacho Scocco preferred as a sub. Nul points and a worrying sign for the big man's future on Wearside. Likewise Olivier Giroud failed to get himself any points on the board as Arsenal came back for a battling draw against Manchester City, winning just two points.

This weekend title chasers Manchester City welcome one of league's form sides in Southampton to the Etihad, their fellow challengers Chelsea are at home to Stoke City whilst league leaders Liverpool to the East End to face West Ham. Our game is a potentially profitable, yet tricky, tie to sort-of-crisis club Spurs.

Sunderland Player To Watch: Adam Johnson

The decision to leave the winger on the bench against West Ham has been widely criticised, and it would be very hard to see how Poyet could not pick him against Spurs. Considering the London side's shakiness in defence, and especially at full back, it wouldn't be surprising to see Adam Johnson have a profitable evening on Monday. Certainly we're going to need our top scorer to be on song if we're to have any hope of coming back north with some points.

General Player To Watch: Juan Mata

Manchester United's season has been dreadful. However they fought their way to a very creditable draw with Bayern Munich midweek, and managed to beat Aston Villa at home last weekend. Is this their season turning a corner? Probably not, but they have traveled very well this season and next up they face a trip to an already snoring and fast lobsterising on the beach Newcastle. Following on from his first goal for the Reds, Mata could take apart the flimsy Mag defence.

Sunderland Player To Avoid: Connor Wickham

The youngster hasn't been woeful since coming back from loan on Leeds, and he has so far only played two games, but with matches fast running out we don't have time to blood him slowly back in. With his inclusion so far precluding the involvement of top-scorer and chief creator Adam Johnson, the former Ipswich man should find himself dropped down to the bench on Monday night to allow Johnson, Ki and Fabio Borini to all play together.

General Player To Avoid: Ben Foster

Norwich, despite being generally a pretty dreadful side, are better at home - as we unfortunately discovered. West Brom meanwhile really are awful, and managed to throw away a potentially crucial away win against Cardiff by losing their heads late on. It would be just like Hughton's Norwich side to follow up an abysmal away loss to Swansea with a snorefest of a home win against the Baggies.

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