Fantasy Football Gameweek 34 Review: Defenders rule the roost as Cala top-scores

The Cardiff City man delivered a vital three points for his side against Southampton, while Erik Pieters took home 11 for Stoke City and Liverpool had several success stories

In a seemingly crucial weekend of Premier League action, the most decisive individual performance in fantasy football terms was at St Mary's Stadium, where Juan Cala (4) scored against the run of play to give Cardiff City a huge win against Southampton. The defender, a January signing, tripled his personal tally with a goal and a clean sheet, taking home 12 as he gave the Bluebirds a fighting chance against relegation.

Just behind him was another goalscoring defender, though Erik Pieters's (4.5) effort was less significant in the relegation dogfight as it drew Stoke City closer to overtaking Newcastle in mid-table. The Dutchman got on the scoresheet for the first time in six years, fluke though it may have been, and only a booking blotted his copybook in an 11-point Saturday.

A little further forward, Jason Puncheon (5) was the decisive figure as Crystal Palace saw off Aston Villa at Selhurst Park. The former Saints winger is approaching 100 points for the season, boosted by a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory for Tony Pulis's men.

The biggest match of Gameweek 34, of course, was at Anfield on Sunday and, while there were no huge standouts on the fantasy front, plenty of players distinguished themselves.

There were goals for Liverpool midfielders Raheem Sterling (5) and Philippe Coutinho (8), as well as centre-back Martin Skrtel (5), though two goals conceded counted against all three as each took home seven points. On the other side, Manchester City's best performer was David Silva (9), who bagged the first goal of their eventually thwarted comeback from two down.



Tottenham may have come back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with West Brom but things might have got calmer, quicker, had Emmanuel Adebayor (7) not missed a first-half penalty at 2-0. The Spurs striker has been a success under Tim Sherwood but returned a flat zero points for his efforts at the Hawthorns, while many would have hoped for a better return that one for goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (5.5).

On the other side, it was an ultimately frustrating afternoon for the likes of Liam Ridgewell (4.5). Among a Baggies back line who let the lead slip, and booked on the way, he delivered a similar tally.

At Anfield, Pablo Zabaleta (6) was the least successful of several tested defenders as his yellow card, coupled with letting in three goals, saw him reduced to zero for the gameweek. For the 26.82 per cent of fantasy bosses who have trusted in his 103 points so far, it certainly came as a blow.

One of the best bargain buys of recent months has been Jon Flanagan (4), whose maturing form for Liverpool has prompted calls for an outside England place, but there was only one point for the youngster in his side's sensational win.

In midfield, Adam Johnson (6.5) has been Sunderland's most reliable points-scorer this season, with 106 to his name, but only one of those was added in a 1-0 defeat to Everton that may have put the writing on the wall for Gus Poyet's men.


There were two dismissals this week that could have serious consequences. Chico Flores (4.5) was the worst sufferer as he was sent off in the first half of Swansea City's 1-0 defeat to Chelsea and may prove a big miss as the Swans look to shore up their shaky position above the drop-zone, losing two points in the process.

Jordan Henderson (5.5) was the other man to see the red card and is set to be absent for most of Liverpool's final push towards the title. Having played most of the game, however, his score only took a single-point hit.

Sunday also saw two fresh injury doubts for some of the fantasy game's highest scorers. Yaya Toure (9) was withdrawn due to a groin problem midway through the first period, with rumours circulating that he could miss the rest of the season.

Daniel Sturridge (8.5), meanwhile, is set to be assessed this week after limping out late in the Reds' triumph with a hamstring complaint.

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