Fantasy football: why you should sign Mannone and Rodriguez

Last week's Dream Team, can you do better this weekend?

Liverpool host Arsenal, the South Wales derby is back with different managers from its first instalment and will United manage to get one over Fulham, as Rene Meulensteen returns to Old Trafford?

Our picks last week kept a clean sheet – Adrian – put on a man of the match performance and scored – Adam Johnson – so we thought well of continuing our successful streak with another four players that you should include in your fantasy team this weekend.

1) Vito Mannone

Sunderland’s mini-revival under Gus Poyet has taken them to Wembley and, at least for the time being, away from the bottom of the table where they’d been rooted to since August.

After his Old Trafford heroics – even though we probably would have stopped United penalty-takers too, given how awful they were – Mannone has kept two consecutive clean sheets and with Sunderland hosting Hull on Saturday, the Italian could notch up another unbeaten game, given Hull have the league’s second-worst offensive record away from home.

At £4.5m Mannone’s a bargain, even as a stop-gap for the weekend.

2) Branislav Ivanovic

Yes, yes, we know that this selection looks very much a case of jumping on the bandwagon after the Serbian’s goal against City on Monday.

There’s more, however, to Ivanovic that his ability to stop City from winning their 1546478th consecutive game at home, for the Chelsea right-back has kept two clean sheets in the last two and, crucially for a defender, has only been booked twice in 13 games.

At £6.0m he’s £0.5m cheaper than he was at the start of the season and with Loic Remy still unavailable for Newcastle, Chelsea’s back four could have a relatively easy afternoon.

3) Wilfried Zaha

Having introduced himself to his new fans with an assist last week, Wilfried Zaha could do worse things than repeating the feat in Saturday’s South Wales derby, and the former Palace man is definitely capable to do so.

Zaha’s numbers this season are meaningless, given the treatment he was given by David Moyes in the first six months of the season, but the youngster could turn his season around at Cardiff.

And at £5.6m he could also turn around your fantasy team’s fortunes this weekend.

4) Jay Rodriguez

“Jay Rodriguez, he’s going to Brazil” chanted the away end as Southampton demolished Fulham at Craven Cottage last weekend and they might well be right, given Rodriguez’s fantastic form.

In a league crowded with talented and extremely expensive strikers, the Southampton man is available for a bargain £6.6m and has already notched 107 points, with two goals and one assist in the last two, making him the best value-for-money striker in the league.

Southampton host Stoke and with Charlie Adam having used his goal allowance against United last week, don’t expect the team with the league’s worst record away from home to pose much of a threat for the Saints.

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