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Dublin: 22 °C Thursday 24 July, 2014

Fantasyland: What to do without Gareth Bale

It’s not just Villas-Boas who has to worry about these things.

Spurs' Gareth Bale is likely to miss the next few weeks through injury.
Spurs' Gareth Bale is likely to miss the next few weeks through injury.
Image: John Walton/PA Wire/Press Association Images

IT WASN’T JUST Spurs fans who groaned with frustration when they saw Gareth Bale do this to his ankle on Thursday evening.

The fact he has been dropped by 35% of teams this week tells you everything you need to know.

Game week 32 is about trying to find a replacement for the Tottenham midfielder.

Two players to pick this week

Santi Cazorla (Arsenal): Arsenal have a double game week next week, Cazorla is the only Gunners’ midfielder to play every league game. His value is likely to go up next week so why not pick him up today before all your mates jump on bandwagon next week?

Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham): The only downside to picking the Bulgarian is that his price has increased from £6.8m to £7.2 over the last few weeks. However, he has scored five in four games and picked up 11 bonus points. If you needed any more convincing, the former Manchester United striker has Newcastle and Villa, who have conceded nearly 30 goals in their last eight games, in his next two fixtures.

Two players to avoid this week

Gareth Bale (Spurs): The latest news is that the Welsh winger may not be back until game week 34. Don’t drop him from your squad but, for heaven’s sake, remember to take him out of your starting XI.

Any Manchester United forward: Van Persie’s gone stone cold, Rooney is out of favour and Welbeck is, well, Welbeck. They might be running away with the Premier League but there is no reason to start any Manchester United striker this week.

Predictions:

Reading 2-3 Southampton
Norwich 1-1 Swansea
Stoke 0-0 Aston Villa
West Brom 1-3 Arsenal
Liverpool 3-0 West Ham
Spurs 0-2 Everton
Chelsea 4-0 Sunderland
Newcastle 1-3 Fulham
QPR 2-2 Wigan
Man Utd 0-2 Man City

How my team got on last week

I’m just glad I jumped on the Cazorla bandwagon last week.

Who’s leading TheScore.ie Primera Division?

Pamela Black’s Balgree Rovers have seen their lead cut to eight points by Aidan Kelliher’s HoopDeDoo with Mark Dinan’s 83 point haul moving him into third place, just nine points off the pace.

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