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By AVI CREDITOR
It's make or break time.
The Fantasy Premier League table will undoubtedly begin to take its final form after this week, one that has four teams play two matches apiece. The fourth-place round-robin that will take place at the Eastlands will draw most of the attention from fantasy owners and Premier League fans alike.
With so much on the line and so many stars involved, it's easy to see how the fantasy campaign can come down to this week's action, specifically the Manchester City-Aston Villa and Manchester City-Tottenham fixtures.
Here are this week's picks:
CAPTAIN OF THE WEEK
Carlos Tevez, Manchester City, £9.7
With City's quest for a Champions League spot likely to be determined this week, the team's Player of the Year candidate will need to prove his worth.
Considering the team's goalkeeper situation, the Citizens will likely need a bevy of goals to keep pace with Aston Villa and Spurs, and who better to deliver than Tevez? He's scored 22 goals in league play this season, which puts him behind just Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba and Darren Bent.
Owned by 38 percent of managers, Tevez is Manchester City's penalty taker as well, which boosts his value and his case for the armband.
Other candidates: Manchester City's Emmanuel Adebayor and Adam Johnson, Tottenham's Jermain Defoe, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Gareth Bale (vs. Bolton, at Manchester City); Stoke City's Matthew Etherington (vs. Everton, at Fulham); Chelsea's Frank Lampard and Drogba (at Liverpool).
BEST TRANSFER BUYS (owned by less than 10 percent of managers)
Mark Schwarzer, Fulham, £5.1 (9.0 percent owned)
Schwarzer is the only safe bet to play in both of Fulham's matches this week, and even that isn't a sure thing. Roy Hodgson has been mixing up his rotation to keep the stars fresh for the team's Europa League contests, and this week should be no different. With home matches against West Ham and Stoke, Schwarzer could conceivably net you two clean sheets.
Michael Dawson, Tottenham, £5.2 (5.0 percent owned)
Two matches, and one with definite clean-sheet potential. That's good enough for me.
Aaron Hughes, Fulham, £4.9 (8.6 percent owned)
Again, Hogdson's roster selection is anybody's guess at this point with Europa League still in play, but even if Hughes plays just one match, he can still net a clean sheet given the competition.
Roger Johnson, Birmingham, £4.9 (8.0 percent owned)
Birmingham's match against Burnley has all the makings of a shutout, and Johnson is the best of the bunch in front of keeper Joe Hart.
Liam Ridgewell, Birmingham, £4.2 (5.2 percent owned)
A more inexpensive version of Johnson, and not a whole lot of drop-off in terms of fantasy production. Johnson's edge comes in the bonus-point department.
Mikel Arteta, Everton, £8.4 (3.8 percent owned)
Arteta has been a source of fantasy gold for the few managers that have put their faith in him. His injury woes have undoubtedly scared off the masses, but when he plays, he's great. Arteta has earned bonus points in his last six appearances, including the maximum three on five of those occasions. His matchup at Stoke is great, making him a borderline captain candidate as well.
Tim Cahill, Everton, £8.3 (8.0 percent owned)
He's had either a goal or an assist in five of his last six games, and goes up against a Stoke side that Chelsea absolutely gored last week. Arteta's presence in the lineup makes attacking players like Cahill that much better, too.
Aaron Lennon, Tottenham, £7.9 (9.3 percent owned)
The World Cup probable returned from injury with a 25-minute stint against Manchester United last week, and he's no sure thing to play in both of Spurs' matches this week. His talent when he plays is undeniable, though, and if you're looking for a high-risk, high-reward player, Lennon's your man this week.
Clint Dempsey, Fulham, £6.6 (5.2 percent owned)
This selection comes with the caveat that he might not play in both of the Cottagers' matches, but Deuce has looked might comfortable in the striker role for Hodgson's squad, and even one out of two appearances should be enough to have it pay off to have him in your lineup.
Hugo Rodallega, Wigan Athletic, £6.3 (7.7 percent owned)
With a home fixture against a headed-down Hull City side, the Latics should be able to impose their will, and that means good things for their star Colombian striker, who has 10 goals this season.
Cameron Jerome, Birmingham, £4.7 (7.0 percent owned)
The Blues' striker will get a chance to add to his 10-goal tally to close out the season, at home against defenseless Burnley this week and at Bolton next week. He makes for a cost-effective addition if you're looking to add more expensive talent elsewhere.
SLEEPERS (owned by less than 5 percent of managers)
Marcus Hahnemann, Wolves, £4.0 (3.8 percent owned)
The American keeper has a chance to finish out the season in fine fashion, with a road contest at Championship-bound Portsmouth this week, and a home date with Sunderland next week. If he doesn't get you the clean sheet, he'll likely earn some save points – he's made seven or more saves in five of his last eight matches.
Alex Song, Arsenal, £5.3 (2.5 percent owned)
Many have jumped off the Song bandwagon, but there's reason to return. The Gunners' back line matches up well with Blackburn's attack, and Song has recorded bonus points in his last four appearances.
Sol Campbell, Arsenal, £4.8 (1.0 percent owned)
The old-timer still has something left in the tank, and another start in the back could net him six more fantasy points this week given Arsenal's matchup.
Sylvain Distin, Everton, £4.8 (4.2 percent owned)
Despite being on the road, the Toffees have an excellent shot at a clean sheet, given how flat Stoke's attack has been of late.
Chris Baird, Fulham, £4.4 (1.4 percent owned)
Fulham's rotation is very much TBD, but it's fair to assume Baird will see the pitch for at least one of the Cottagers' two winable home matches this week.
Luka Modric, Tottenham, £7.2 (4.8 percent owned)
The double matchweek means 180 minutes for Modric to get involved in Spurs' attack. He hasn't been the most offensive-minded of midfielders recently, but his matchups, especially the one with Bolton, present a nice opportunity.
Paul Scholes, Manchester United, £5.9 (1.2 percent owned)
The title chasers head to the Stadium of Light in need of big performances from their veteran players, and Scholes has certainly fit that description with his recent play.
Sebastian Larsson, Birmingham, £4.9 (2.8 percent owned)
He lit up Burnley for one of his four goals earlier this season, and should get some chances to strike again with his home fixture against the Championship-bound Clarets.
James McCarthy, Wigan Athletic, £4.2 (1.3 percent owned)
He's got a favorable home matchup against Hull. If you're dedicating your cash elsewhere, then McCarthy makes for a cheap, yet useful, addition to fill out your squad.
Craig Bellamy, Manchester City, £7.7 (3.9 percent owned)
Bellamy has turned in a nice campaign, with nine goals and 10 assists on the season thus far. He's proven to be dynamic either instead of or playing with Tevez and Adebayor, and I wouldn't expect that to change in this most crucial week for the Citizens.
Kevin Doyle, Wolves, £5.4 (2.5 percent owned)
With a matchup against Portsmouth's shoddy defense, which has yielded multiple goals in seven of its last nine games, it wouldn't surprise to see Doyle re-open his scoring account.
LAST WEEK'S PICKS
Frank Lampard (18X2=36 points)
–G. Johnson(6)–A. Cole(6)—G. Cahill(1)–Upson(1)–
–T. Cahill(5)—–M. Taylor(2)—–Lee(1)—–Kuyt(1)–
KEEP IN MIND: The final week of the season usually holds more uncertainty than others, but with the relegation race 99.9 percent settled, feel free to pick on any and all bottom feeders who have nothing left to play for come Matchweek 38.
Soccer By Ives standings (Top 10)
1. The Blues……………………….2238 points
2. Preening Narcissists……..2221
3. AC Vols…………………………..2207
4. the unholy passion…………2206
5. Tick Tick Boom!………………2193
6. The Jackson 4………………..2193
7. aston villains…………………..2190
8. Big Apple FC…………………..2177
9. Hub Tiger fc…………………….2166
10. Maple XI………………………..2162
How many players with a double matchweek do you have in your lineup? Who's your captain this week? What's your team looking like?
Share your thoughts and questions below.