|Theo Walcott claimed the match ball after such a heroic hat-trick against Newcastle.|
GAMEWEEK 20 HIGHLIGHTS
- Theo Walcott (£8.7m, 26 pts) made his intention to play as centre forward clear after such a sublime hat-trick against Newcastle. His third goal was particularly exquisite, as he dribbled past several defenders and woke up despite being knocked down before tricking the keeper to the other way as he chipped the ball into the back of the net.
- Carrow Road was as happening as Emirates as Manchester City battled out a close game with Norwich before winning them 4-3. Edin Dzeko (£7.3m, 16 pts) almost got a hat-trick but the third goal turned out to be deflected by Mark Bunn (£4.1m, -1 pt) and was counted as an own goal instead.
- Meanwhile, it was pretty flat at Old Trafford as Manchester United maintained their lead by 7 points with a 2-0 victory over West Brom. Robin Van Persie (£14.0m, 6 pts) continued to fire despite only 26 minutes of action coming on from bench.
- Luis Suarez (£10.2m, 13 pts) fired twice as Queens Park Rangers ended 2012 deep down on the table with a comprehensive 0-3 defeat.
- It's now 0-15 for Aston Villa in the last 3 games as Paul Lambert draws himself nearer to job termination.
GAMEWEEK 20 TOP SCORERS
- Theo Walcott (£8.7m, 26 pts): Incredible form. Hopefully he can repeat such feat again against Southampton.
- Edin Dzeko (£7.3m, 16 pts): Superbly effective as always but always has such limited playing time.
- Frank Lampard (£8.4m, 15 pts): It's sickening to know that Roman Abramovich doesn't plan to allow him to retire at Stamford Bridge after such a great performance by the lad.
- Rickie Lambert (£6.1m, 15 pts): Did all he can up front despite failing to win it for Southampton. Looking good.
- Ivan Ramis (£4.4m, 15 pts): The traditional goal plus clean sheet game for a defender. Great return from the injury.
Frustrated Magpies will want to end their unlucky defeat streak as they await the challenge of Everton at home.
Newcastle have undergone a terrible week, having squandered a three-time lead to lose against Manchester United before seeing their three-time comeback a wasted effort, conceding 7 goals from Arsenal.
I don't know whether Demba Ba (£8.3m, 10 pts) is too tired to go on after playing 3 games in 8 days or is he busy on a negotiation with Chelsea, but if he does start again he should be the primary threat in offence as usual. Sylvain Marveaux (£4.2m, 11 pts) is doing his supportive role very well, and could earn a start again if he does not suffer from stamina issue.
As for the Toffees, Marouane Fellaini (£7.4m, - pts) has finally ended his suspension and will be full of energy to crush Newcastle's defence. A big, big threat for the Magpies along with Steven Pienaar (£6.8m, 7 pts), who has now delivered 37 points in the last 5 games.
A close one, but I think Newcastle will start 2013 in frustration just like how they ended 2012.
Prediction: NEW 2-2 EVE
TEAM FOCUS: Chelsea
The Blues are on fire, and against Queens Park Rangers, it's a no-brainer.
The Rangers now sat rock bottom of the table with only 10 points so far, and would have no chance of survival at all by any logic if it is not a manager of the calibre of Harry Redknapp who is on the seat currently.
But with 3 consecutive defeats it's hard to not go for Chelsea who have already won each and every of their last 4 Premier League games. Juan Mata (£9.8m, 7 pts) could be rested but nevertheless those who own him should play him with confidence — he had scored 39 points in his last 5 games. Eden Hazard (£9.5m, 2 pts) was quiet in the last game but should at least do some damage to the fragile defence of QPR this time along with the erratic Fernando Torres (£9.8m, 2 pts) who struggles to find some degree of consistency.
The defence could be able to keep it tight as well so you should consider to go for their defenders with Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.6m, 2 pts) a mouth-watering acquisition due to his low price.
Prediction: CHE 4-0 QPR
PLAYER FOCUS: Walcott
Theo Walcott has been performing exceptionally well in the role of striker, so one would expect him to continue to fire in front of fragile Southampton's defence.
GAMEWEEK 21 DREAM TEAM
Vidic — Zabaleta — Azpilicueta
Gerrard — Walcott (C) — Mata — Lennon
Suarez (VC) — Van Persie — Torres
Subs: Foster — Dyer — Naughton — Monk