Robert Lewandowski rested, David Abraham sent off and Kyriakos Papadopoulos substituted after half an hour – Matchday 21 was one to forget for me and my Official Fantasy Bundesliga team.
Yes, Lewandowski may have scored Bayern Munich’s last-gasp equaliser at Hertha Berlin on Saturday, but with my strikers struggling for form in recent weeks it might be time to shuffle my attack. Four of my five recommendations this week are forwards, but which should I sign? Choices, choices…
VEDAD IBISEVIC (12.3M, VS. FRANKFURT)
Ibisevic was seconds away from being Hertha Berlin’s match-winner against Bayern at the weekend. After scoring the Old Lady’s opener in the 21st minute, Ibisevic had another first-half goal ruled out for offside before going within a post’s width of doubling his and Hertha’s tally after the interval. Moreover, only Genki Haraguchi and Thiago Alcantara won more challenges than the 32-year-old, who has scored six times in twelve appearances against Frankfurt. Chicharito’s a no-brainer, but Ibisevic is well worth a punt too.
JAVIER ‘CHICHARITO’ HERNANDEZ (15.8M, VS. MAINZ)
The Bundesliga’s top scorer in 2017, Chicharito has rediscovered his shooting boots in recent weeks with five goals in his last three appearances. The Mexican’s record against Mainz is identical – five goals in three games – including a hat-trick in Bayer Leverkusen’s 3-2 victory at the Opel Arena earlier this season. I regretted not bringing the former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker into my team after his brace against Augsburg on Friday, but better late than never as they say.
— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) February 23, 2017
SEAD KOLASINAC (11.15M, VS. HOFFENHEIM)
Ibisevic’s compatriot Kolasinac has made four appearances against former club Hoffenheim, and won each time. Julian Nagelsmann’s side are playing well but Schalke are on a high after winning four of their last five matches in all competitions, and will fancy their chances of picking up all three points on home soil. One of my favourite Fantasy Bundesliga players, Kolasinac is as effective going forward as he is in defence. Having taken him out of my team at the start of the Hinrunde, perhaps he’s due a recall.
MARIO GOMEZ (12.6M, VS. WERDER BREMEN)
He last featured in my fantasy column back on Matchday 13, and given his goalscoring record against Werder it’s difficult to leave him out of this one: Gomez has nine goals in 18 league appearances against the Green-Whites – more than against any other Bundesliga club apart from Frankfurt. The former Stuttgart and Bayern star has gone three games without a goal after scoring in each of his three appearances before that. The Wolfsburg man is therefore guaranteed to find the net again on Matchday 22. Go on, do the math.
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) February 18, 2017
TIMO WERNER (12.25M, VS. COLOGNE)
Werner has fond memories of playing against the Billy Goats. The 20-year-old was man of the match in Stuttgart’s 3-1 victory at the RheinEnergieSTADION in January last season, scoring one and setting up another in his only Bundesliga start against Peter Stöger’s side to date. Werner netted his first goal in three appearances for Leipzig in their victory at Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday, and I’m backing him to pick up where he left off this weekend.
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