Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunday Quick Review

Dmitar Berbatov
"Why? Can't believe?"
Berbatov was once again on the score sheet this week as Tottenham and Manchester City made up the week with two shocking defeats. Luke Young saves my day with a goal!
  • Arsenal managed to win Blackburn but Van Persie was injured. Luckily you need not to send him out as he will have sufficient time to recover thanks to international breaks. Fabregas was not brilliant, but still decent.
  • Carroll scored again! Get in the bandwagon quick before he becomes expensive.
  • Zamora scored as well but you will not want to own him as he is injured.
  • Lampard missed a penalty and will undergo groin surgery. Still own him? Change him with Malouda or Fabregas.
  • Tottenham lost! What's wrong? Bale was a disappointing investment.
  • Scholes finally stopped producing but Rooney scored for the first time thanks to a penalty.
  • Birmingham led by two goals and one man but ended up with a draw. So frustrating.
  • Sunderland pawned Manchester City! Who will expect that when the latter had just overpowered Liverpool with three goals? David Silva is out of the first team again.
  • Liverpool won sloppily but Torres scored a beauty. Lucas was very bad.
  • Villa is still leading Everton up till now.
  • There will be an international break next week so wait before you change!

Raul Meireles And Konchesky: Two New Reds

Raul Meireles
A replacement for Mascherano?
Paul Konchesky
A reunion with his former manager.
Liverpool has been very active in the last week of the summer transfer market and had officially signed Raul Meireles from Porto and is near to pen Paul Konchesky from Fulham as well.

The two of them were found to sit together on the clash against West Brom just now, so both of them should be a part of the Reds by now.

Meireles is a Portuguese international and had been brilliant on the World Cup tournament. He is rumoured to fill in the place of Mascherano as the Argentine monster is expected to join Barcelona. Konchesky, on the other hand, wasn't a part of Capello's World Cup plan but nevertheless is a decent left-back.

It's also rumoured that Hodgson is going to get M Diarra from Real Madrid. What a big renovation for the club.

Hatem Ben Arfa Flies Like A Magpie

Hatem Ben Arfa
A new fantasy force alongside Carroll?
Great signing by Newcastle. The Tunisian-French is loaned by the Magpies from Marseille and should play his first Premier League match after the international break.

He's a winger and he's talented, but he's also hot-tempered. Can Chris Hughton tame him? Let's wait and see for his debut excitingly.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Gameweek 3 Fantasy Preview

Theo Walcott - 21 points
First twenty-pointer of the season. Surprised me actually.
Three six-nils. Two hat-trickers. City thrashed Liverpool. So unusual. That's gameweek two of EPL. Carroll was another sparkling star last gameweek with 17 points. Great bargain don't you think? And here's my score last gameweek. Improved, but not that good since I've used my wildcard.

Richard Dunne
Needs to fortify Villa's defence.
Aston Villa v Everton
An encounter at such pathetic time. The Toffees are yet to record their first single win but the Villans are worse. A 0-6 humiliation by Newcastle has completely erased their morale gained from the beautiful victory at their first game.

At Everton we got our mid-priced favourite Cahill who's as good as ever. In fact, they aren't playing that bad actually. They controlled the game against Wolves well but one mistake plus zero in luck equals to one point.

As for Villa, I seriously don't know what are they playing. It's unacceptable to lose 0-6 away, given that they have the best Premier League away record last season and are renowned for defence.

But this time, they will return to their home ground again, against their Europa spot rivals. Since there is no Martin O'Neill, I will reckon a draw.

Prediction: AST 1-1 EVE

The Rest
  • Blackburn v Arsenal (1-1) - The Gunners fear brutal plays. And Blackburn is. A good game to observe Fabregas anyway.
  • Blackpool v Fulham (1-3) - Fulham looking good, Zamora looking good. The more Blackpool attacks, the more they doom themselves.
  • Chelsea v Stoke City (3-0) - Three 6-0s in a row? I bet not. Still should be an easy win for the Blues.
  • Tottenham v Wigan (5-0) - Wigan doesn't own Hart. It's impossible for them to hold down Tottenham's attack. Captain Bale anyone?
  • Wolves v Newcastle (1-1) - Should be close and tight. I believe Carroll will score again though.
  • Man Utd v West Ham (3-0) - Avram Grant is struggling to manage his squad. Will Rooney find back his form?
  • Bolton v Birmingham (2-0) - Birmingham weak at away.
  • Liverpool v West Brom (2-1) - Time for Liverpool to claim their first victory. Will Torres shine?
  • Sunderland v Man City (0-3) - A lot of problems for Steve Bruce's squad. Time to check up who's the primary point scorer for City.

Captain Picks
  • Bale - Impressive volley last week. More than 50% of Tottenham's goals in official matches this season are related to him, and Tottenham had thrashed Wigan before.
  • Drogba - Didier all the way!
  • Carroll - England's new hope has both body and technique. Should give you a lot of points and an extra £1m of team value at the end of the season.
  • Richards - A cheap clean sheet collector with Joe Hart behind him. Expires in one month (when Jerome Boateng recovers) though.
Bad Bargains
  • Wigan players - It's almost impossible for them to survive Tottenham's attack.
  • Koscielny - Squillaci coming soon. Wait for Wenger's finalized best XI.
Squad of XV
GK: Gomes
DF: Dawson, Alex, Richards
MF: Bale(C), Malouda, Chung-Yong Lee, Scholes
F: Drogba, Berbatov, Zamora

Subs (in order): Jaaskelainen, Duff, Steinsson, Jones
Captain: Bale
Emergency Captain: Value
Starting XI Value: £78.7m
Total Team Value: £98.7m

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Squillaci to Lead Gunners' Defence?

Sebastien Squillaci
Last season's Champions League Fantasy favourite.
Yet another French to join Wenger's army. Yes, it's former Sevilla defender Sebastien Squillaci.

I personally thinks that this is a very good bargain as Squillaci got the experience which Arsenal heavily lacked  in defence. He's a leader type player and I expect him to become a good commander.

But it's still a doubt whether he can squeeze Koscielny out of starting XI. Too bad we'll have to wait until next week as he won't be on time to face Blackburn.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mark Hughes Frustrates Sir Alex Ferguson

Brede Hangeland
Flew from hell to heaven.
Fulham 2, Manchester United 2.

Not quite a score that Ferguson wanted as they are now two points and nine goal differences behind Chelsea. They don't deserve a win however, with those shaky defences and the pathetic decision of letting Nani to take the penalty. You have Scholes, you have Giggs, and you let Nani? What a joke.

Hangeland scored two but it was one for each side. Still, he should be happy as he scored for the opponent first. If it was the other way round, he will suffer.

Mark Hughes looked great in managing the team. Very fluent exchanges and no sole reliance on any of his players. He does look suitable to manage a middle table club rather than clubs made up by filthy money.

One more thing, it was Berbatov and Scholes again who took the team. You know who to buy from United, don't you?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

6-0 x3

Andrew Carroll
Makes the Magpies look as strong as Arsenal and Chelsea in terms of scoreline.
AMAZING! The third 6-0 was produced just now. Not the usual strong against weak occasion, but the north derby of Newcastle versus Aston Villa!

What's more? The expected newcastle star Andrew Carroll became the third hat-tricker this season! That really dropped my spectacles as I have never ever expect him to hat-trick against teams as decent - if not strong - as Aston Villa.

Was Villa's first game a mirage? Or this game was? Still, this season is ridiculously imbalance. It's not fun to watch lots of 6-0s every week.

No Wayne Rooney at Fulham?

Wayne Rooney
Needs more time to get up.
Our mega fantasy striker Wayne Rooney is high probable to miss the match against Fulham with a stomach bug. Not really an issue for me though as he is out of form with 13-match scoring drought. Still, bad luck for those who own him as £12m is wasted on bench.

So now it will be Javi+Berbatov upfront? Or 4-5-1? Whichever it is, Berbie should be the ultimate winner.

The bigger problem for United is when will Rooney get out of the dip since the World Cup tourney?

Saturday Quick Review

Theo Walcott
Hat-tricked in style to make sure Capello remembers him.
Gameweek 2 of EPL continues the goal rampage with 23 goals coming out from 7 games, with Arsenal's cannon wrecking the Seasiders' ship into dusts. I am quite satisfied with my score now after using my wildcard.
  • Theo Walcott has made it his day as he hat-tricked against Blackpool. He should be this week's top gun with 18 points before any bonus addition. Amazing!
  • Gareth Bale punished those who didn't own him by a brace of goals. He might not be the ultimate value buy any more due to his reassigned position in FPL, but still, he's a great investment.
  • Swedish striker Elmander seems to having a great time in Bolton currently. Might be a great stud as Bolton does have a great combination of attackers.
  • Everton seems to have an early season struggle again, getting only one point in two games.
  • Chelsea is a RAPIST. 12 goals in 2 games! Can you believe it? Drogba provided three assists today despite no goals. Great for managers who captained him.
  • I am starting to worry about the competitiveness of Barclays Premier League as the margin between the title chasers and the survival battlers seems to be widened again this season.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Gameweek 2 Fantasy Preview

Didier Drogba - 17 points
A perfect start for another golden boot pursuit.
Yes, I would start every piece of previews with a snapshot of last gameweek top fantasy footballer. And here he is. Close on behind is £4.5m Marlon Harewood and Drogba's team mate Malouda. And here is the link to view my points last gameweek. Very embarrassing I shall say.

Not really playing well yet.
Manchester City v Liverpool
A pretty unfortunate start for Liverpool as they have to play against two title contenders in a row. An unexpected own goal by Pepe Reina has stolen two points from the Reds, but they do show a pretty positive sign under Roy Hodgson and have given a new shine of hope to their fans. Although Joe Cole who bleeds "Reds" will not show up in this match, there should be no lack of creativity in the middle with Alberto Aquilani available to take up his spot.

Meanwhile, Manchester City is still suffering from cohesion problems and with Balotelli and Milner added in, the condition is expected to worsen. The billion spending club certainly needs some time to form a strong bond between the players. Fortunately there is Joe Hart to protect their rectangle.

In terms of fantasy perspective, David N'gog is looking sharp, scoring four goals in three competitive matches. His goal against Arsenal was a perfect display of his great shooting instinct. However, with Torres coming back, he is expected to feature as a substitute again, and I can hardly recommend you guys to get him. Should the latter plays, he can be highly decisive on this game's outcome. As for City, it's still too early to get their players as we still don't have a definite answer for its starting XI and team tactics. Joe Hart (£6.1m) is an exception though.

With Roy Hodgson implementing a good defence, I think it'll be either a narrow win or a draw for the Reds, unless luck fools them again.

Prediction: MANC 0-1 LIV

The Rest
Arsenal v Blackpool (4-0)
Can Blackpool outplay their opponent again? I don't think so. Fabregas should be a great captain selection this week.

Birmingham v Blackburn (1-0)
Birmingham is a very solid club at home. Pick up one of their defenders and make him your season long player. Take note that Blackburn's ace, Dunn is doubtful.

Everton v Wolves (2-0)
Everton should not lose this if they want to achieve a good season. They should have no problem to win, although it might be tough.

Stoke City v Tottenham (0-2)
Thankfully Sorensen is as invincible as Hart. Defoe is doubtful, so you might want to put your chips on £5.5m Robbie Keane.

West Brom v Sunderland (2-2)
Should be an exciting game. Dorrans and Bent are clear options from each side.

West Ham v Bolton (1-2)
Avram Grant's squad still haven't got the form yet, so I chose to support Bolton for a win. Observe former fantasy value buy Martin Petrov's performance.

Wigan v Chelsea (0-3)
Wigan always faces heavy defeat against Chelsea, so it should be happening again. Another massive score for Drogba?

Newcaste v Aston Villa (1-2)
Villa is looking sharp. With Ireland joining, their attack it expected to be of greater threat.

Fulham v Manchester United (0-2)
If it was Hodgson, I would like to bet for a draw. But it's not, so there you go. Berbatov is looking great.

Captain Picks
He does have a high possibility to provide us a big bang of points against Blackpool. Not sure whether he will start, however.
Because it's Wigan.

Unbelievably cheap for a performing right winger.
In great form and is expected to pick up Rooney's burden until the latter finds back himself.

Key Performers
To score against Joe Hart is difficult, but still it's possible for a great lad like him.
Jones (Blackburn)
Needs a great display again if they are to bring any points away from St. Andrews.

Bad Picks
He wants to get out from Wigan.
Joe Cole
Nasri, Collins, Cuellar
All sidelined.

Squad of XV
GK: Foster
DF: Dann, Dawson, Alex
MF: Fabregas, Malouda, Dorrans, Albrighton
F: Drogba(C), Bent, Berbatov

Subs (in order): Robinson, Ferguson, Phil Jones, Knight
Captain: Drogba
Emergency Captain: Value
Starting XI Value:£81.3m
Total Team Value: £99.3m

Milner The New Citizen

The new number 7.

James Milner had finally completed his move to Manchester City with a fee of £26m.

He will reunite with his former team mate Gareth Barry and has set his sight to fight for the league title. As a part of the deal, Stephen Ireland was let go to the opposite direction.

However, will he still be a hot fantasy prospect? Ibracadabra doubts that. He also pointed out that Stephen Ireland will be the hot boy and become the new attacking force of Aston Villa.

So what do you think?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saturday Quick Review

Marc Albrighton - a hyper-value bargain.

The first day of Premier League turned out to be a big nightmare for me as I only score 18 points up until now! But let's forget about that and see what we've got from the first match day of EPL:

  • While Joe Hart is the hero of Manchester City, we shouldn't forget one player who is as solid as him in Tottenham - Benoit Assou-Ekotto. The left flank is so secured with him and Bale!
  • Blackpool climbed to the top of the table for about two hours thanks to ex-Hammer Marlon Harewood. They should have no more regrets now.
  • Wigan, on the other hand, confuses me with N'Zogbia not playing! Their awful form is a clear indicator to captain Didier Drogba next week.
  • Apparently Aston Villa's temporary manager Kevin MacDonald has made Villans playing attractive football. Marc Albrighton became the new fantasy favourite costing only £4.5m! Have a look at Luke Young as well as he is now back into Villa's starting XI.
  • Forget about the awful pre-seasons. Just one game and Chelsea has already shown that they are still as strong as last season. Drogba 3, Malouda 2, and Lampard 1.
  • The doubtful news is totally rubbish. Drogba played and scored 17, Lampard played and scored 8 and even Bent played and scored 5! Such a big crusher for those who didn't buy them (including me). And I will not be surprised if all Van Persie, Fabregas and Torres plays.
  • Thanks to the above fact, I'll have to use my first wildcard now.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Two Pretenders?

Congratulations for Tottenham and Manchester City who spared one point apiece and got the first points of EPL 10/11 season. However, their performance is really disappointing.

Let's have a look at Tottenham. Brilliant exchanges, numerous chances, POOR FINISHING. POOR. Added with the wonderful performance from Joe Hart, their 21 total shots and 13 shots on target became nothing.

Now turn the camera to Manchester City. Awful formation (why the hell is Yaya Toure on the right?), added with bad understanding between the players had made them played like a bunch of school kids at first. The situation did improve after the break but sadly, not threatening enough.

While Tottenham still have a fair chance of playing for another Champions League season, I don't think that Manchester City is close to that currently. Their teamwork needs to be heavily bucked up before they talk about finishing with a good rank, let alone the title.

The biggest winner of this game is surely Joe Hart. NINE fantasy points before bonus valuation! Great job from Tottenham attackers.

Oh Mr Hart, please get back to Birmingham......

Money Speaks Again

We all like Mario Series... Maybe not this.

Manchester City has once again splashed a huge amount of money in order to recruit Inter's promising youth Mario Balotelli.

The player who is a month older than me has great pace and techniques and thus was bought for €30mil. Peacemaker-J, on the other hand, will never have the chance to play for City unless he bought the chance for €300mil.

With Milner also close to complete his move to City, I wonder how will the extra players be disposed.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lampard On Doubt!

Gonna be a babysitter this weekend?

Unfortunately, our fantasy giant Lampard is on doubt for season opener following an ankle injury during England's game against Hungary. Lampard holders will surely need to account for this and make a big change with £13m available for use. Such a headache don't you think?

I will make corresponding amendments to my preview. Remember to check it out.

I Know The Score

Dear fantasy players,

I have created a league for I Know The Score. Simply copy the below code into IKTS site and join the fun!


Some basic rules:
  1. Predict all the games every gameweek.
  2. Scoring - Perfect score: 30; correct draw: 20; correct goal difference: 15; correct outcome: 10; incorrect outcome: -10.
  3. Banker chip can be used once each gameweek to double/treble the score. It doubles/trebles negative score as well, so use with caution.
  4. Insurance chip also can be used once each gameweek to protect one particular match from getting negative score.
  5. Placing banker chip on game with correct outcome will grant you banker bonus. You will get bonuses up to 20 points each gameweek for successive correct placements of banker chips.
More can be read here. Good luck!

Gameweek 1 Fantasy Preview

Another year of fun has begun!
The short football holiday for this year is over as Barclays Premier League will start this Saturday! And this time we'll have two great blockbuster games!

In this part I will post up my match previews and I Know The Score (IKTS) predictions. I think it's always good to play IKTS alongside with FPL as your prediction in IKTS will help you in selecting players correctly for your FPL squad.

Tottenham v Manchester City

The brothers are united.

This match will be full of flare. After all, Manchester City lost its Champions League spot over Tottenham last season. But Mancini is now back with vast additions to his squad - David Silva, Yaya Toure, Jerome Boateng and Aleksandar Kolarov. City certainly has enough player quality to at least challenge for Champions League position.

Redknapp, on the other hand, has yet to make any major signings in the summer transfer market. I don't think this is a good sign. They certainly have enough of squad depth however they seriously need to improve on their starters' quality, especially when they are fighting for Champions League as well this season.

Although Tottenham plays at home, I think City can at least fight for a draw. The squad quality is too much for Tottenham regardless of whether City have enough teamwork or not.

Prediction: TOT 0-1 MANC

Liverpool v Arsenal

Plays for Standard and with standard.

This is obviously the biggest game of the gameweek. It might be crucial for title charge for both teams, although it's just the first game of the season.

Liverpool, after such a miserable season, is now back on right track with Roy Hodgson. He signed Jovanovic and Joe Cole for free and more importantly, kept Gerrard and Torres on the squad. Added with Kuyt, their offensive quality is certainly incredible.

However, Arsenal is as strong as Liverpool, if not stronger. The arrival of Chamakh has ensured that there will be someone decent enough to cover Van Persie if the latter is injured. Fabregas' commitment for another season and Jack Wilshere's emergence further enhanced the squad depth. Also in the squad is Koscielny who is expected to partner the most offensive centre back last season, Thomas Vermaelen.

Personally I think that Joe Cole has effectively activated the offence of Liverpool and the Reds will have enough quality to pierce the Gunners defence at home. I will favour a narrow win for Liverpool or a draw.

Precition: LIV 2-1 ARS

The Rest
Aston Villa v West Ham (2-1)
Although Martin O'Neill is no longer in charge, but still with Villans at home against lower-mid clubs they should have no problem.

Blackburn v Everton (1-1)
Not much of changes for both sides, and I think Big Sam's side is tough enough to earn a point. Looking forward to seeing two Dioufs combining and giant killer Beckford's performance anyway.

Bolton v Fulham (1-0)
Mark Hughes would need some time in my opinion and Owen Coyle has made Bolton a solid club.

Sunderland v Birmingham (0-0)
With Bent injured and Jones raided, I think Birmingham can aim for a goalless draw.

Wigan v Blackpool (3-0)
I think N'Zogbia and Rodallega is too much for the Seasiders' defence.

Wolves v Stoke City (1-1)
A tough one, but I think Kenwyne Jones will make a good debut for his new employer.

Chelsea v West Brom (2-0)
The Blues' form is a little bit shaky, but the Baggies' leaky defence should not be a problem to them.

Man Utd v Newcastle (3-1)
The Magpies is a natural prey of the Red Devils. But Rooney's form is a little bit worrying.

In this part I will assist you in picking your squads. First and foremost, remember to check pundit weekly as it provides some useful suggestions.

Captain Picks
Antonio Valencia
Since Rooney is still finding back his form, I think Valencia has a high possibility to rule the game.

Hugo Rodallega/Charles N'Zogbia
If you love to gamble, they are the men with Blackpool paying a visit.

Key Performers
Steven Gerrard
He will dictate the game if he can bring the form from his national team.

Javi Hernandez
Five goals in five games and I expect that to continue if he plays.

Ashley Young
More hopes on him as Milner will most probably depart.

Bad Picks
Torres/Van Persie/Drogba/Bent/Lampard
All are injured.

James Milner
Still trying to make his future clear and is doubtful to play.

West Brom and Newcastle players
You won't like them this week. Trust me.

Squad of XV
This is by no means my actual squad. I will post my actual squad after the gameweek commences though.

GK: Foster
DF: Evra, Figueroa, Carr
MF: Gerrard, Valencia(C), Chung-Yong Lee, N'Zogbia
F: Javi Hernandez, Anelka, Rodallega

Subs (in order): Jaaskelainen, Givet, Ferguson, Shawcross
Captain: Valencia
Emergency Captain: Value
Starting XI Value: £75.5m
Total Team Value: £94.0m

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

News Updates: Martin O'Neill RESIGNED while Darren Bent INJURED

What is he thinking?
What a shocking day at Aston Villa as Martin O'Neill resigned without any hint for that.

It might be caused of the war of James Milner between MON and the board. Milner is said to be very close to the deal with Manchester City with a fee of £18m plus Stephen Ireland. Pretty tempting don't you think?

The only riddle now is where will he go. Scottish League again?

To be replaced by a balloon.
Meanwhile, our fellow fantasy favourite Darren Bent was injured during his training his England international squad.

This news pains my ass pretty much as I will have to make a big change to my fantasy squad in order to account for this loss. Take note that Darren Bent is a super value striker at a price of £8.5m. He can easily score at least 15 goals a season at Sunderland.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pre-Season Tutorials 4: Set Piece Takers

For Pre-Season Tutorials 1: Creating Your Squad, click HERE.
For Pre-Season Tutorials 2: Picking Your Players, Captain and Substitution Order, click HERE.
For Pre-Season Tutorials 3: The Art of Transfer, click HERE.

I've to add another piece of tutorials here as I missed out one important section about set piece takers. Anyhow, you won't hate for additional information will you?

Set piece takers can potentially deliver you more points as it is easier to score goals from free kicks and penalties and deliver assists from both free kicks and corner kicks. No matter how bad a player's form is, a set piece taker will at least still remember how to shoot and pass when there is no interruption.

Therefore, when comparing two players of similar performance, it is important to take into account whether or not they are set piece takers. Set piece takers are often more consistent due to their higher chance to record goals and assists through set pieces.

Major Set Piece Takers of Every EPL Club
Arsenal: Fabregas, Van Persie
Aston Villa: Milner*, A. Young
Birmingham: Larsson, McFadden
Blackburn: Dunn, Gamst Pederson
Blackpool: Adam, Ormerod
Bolton: K. Davies, Lee, Taylor
Chelsea: Drogba, Lampard, Malouda
Everton: Arteta, Baines
Fulham: Dempsey, Murphy
Liverpool: Gerrard, Jovanovic
Man City: Barry, Tevez
Man Utd: Rooney, Giggs
Newcastle: Nolan, Barton
Stoke City: Etherington, Lawrence
Sunderland: Reid, Bent, Richardson
Tottenham: Bale, Modric
West Brom: Brunt, Dorrans
West Ham: Cole, Diamanti, Noble
Wigan: McCarthy, N'Zogbia, Rodallega
Wolves: Jones, Kightly, Milijas

*James Milner may not be playing for Aston Villa this season.
**The bold ones are some very productive set piece takers.
***The information might be outdated or inaccurate. It's always better to check yourself time after time as the season progresses.

Devil Has Returned!

There you have it. Manchester United had just embarrassed Chelsea with three goals to one!

This Community Shield is quite entertaining I suppose, with both sides had several clear cut chances. However, United seemed to be more prepared than the Blues who recorded an awful pre-season warm-ups.

Meanwhile, Mr Fantastico "Chicharito" has added another goal to continue his United goal streak! All these signs are such a good one for the Red Devils attempt to return to the throne.

Young and handsome and most importantly, SUPERB.
So will you risk for cheap and fantastic Javi Hernandez in your fantasy team?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pre-Season Tutorials 3: The Art of Transfer

For Pre-Season Tutorials 1: Creating Your Squad, click HERE.
For Pre-Season Tutorials 2: Picking Your Players, Captain and Substitution Order, click HERE.

And now I will present to you the last part of my pre-season tutorials which teaches you how and why should you make transfers. In fact, your efficiency in transfer is the key that differentiates you from the best to the best in the best! There are only two reasons to transfer which end up with one ultimate reason: to get more points, and; to increase your bank value so that you can get players who can score more points!

So, when should you make a transfer?

  1. Your player is injured/suspended;
  2. your player is performing badly recently;
  3. the upcoming fixtures make it almost impossible for your player to perform;
  4. there is another player who can gain a lot of scores and value in forthcoming gameweeks; or
  5. there is another player who score much better and is in the similar price range,
provided that that player is your regular starter. For those 4 pounders who sit on your bench for more than 80% of the season, you shouldn't bother them at all unless you are using your wildcard.

Also bear in mind that starting from the second transfer of the gameweek, there will be a four points deduction for every transfer you made. So, buy and sell wisely.

Accumulated Free Transfers
You may sometimes want to exchange two £8m players for one of £10m and another of £6m but change your mind because of four points deduction. But thanks to free transfer accumulation, you can now do it without points reduction. Simply make no transfers in one gameweek and you can make two for free next gameweek!

The great thing about this season is that the accumulated free transfers can now be taken forward infinitely - you can now save your unused free transfers and used it at any week you want! 

Still, the free transfers cap is only two, so never hope to save a several gameweeks of free transfers for the sake of making one mini wildcard.

What is a wildcard? The concept is the same like the one in Uno card game, but this one is even better - you can make infinite number of transfers in the gameweek that you use it! A good timing of wildcard can make a big tidal change, bringing you to a better ranking and also boosting your team value!

There is only one wildcard per season in the past, but now there is an additional one! This extra wildcard can only be used on winter transfer period (Gw 23-27) though. Still, it makes the game much more exciting don't you think?

So, when should we use the wildcard? You should used it when you whole team is performing badly, or you can use it in as early as Gw 2/3. Simply changed out your whole team to those who are in-form and your team value can easily boost for about £1m! This will definitely provide a strong foundation for your future team build. Furthermore, you will still have another winter wildcard to make things right should they go wrong.

General Tactics
Since budget does determine success or failure, you should give more focus on team value for the beginning of the season with minimal sacrifices on points. Once your budget reaches a preferable value, you can then give full sprint on points scoring.

Price Changes
I have talked much about raising your team value, but how should we determine will the player's price rise or fall? Well, there are two indicators: performance of last gameweek and net transfers of current gameweek. Players who get a nice score on last gameweek and a massive net transfers on this gameweek will have a rise on value and vice versa. However, the FPL admin will give price freeze for certain players, so it is not definite for price increase/decrease.

Money Team
This is a special play of FPL - playing for pure motive of increasing team value. There is a table for highest team value, so if you think that it is worth playing in this direction for fame, then go for it.

Stay Alert
Last but not least, always check for fixtures, player forms and injuries/suspensions when making your transfers. Stay sharp and have fun!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ramires: The Missing Link?

Ramires Santos do Nascimento
He came for real. Chelsea had paid £18m for this 23-year-old midfielder. He is expected to be the man to fix the imperfection of Carlo's starting XI. He is predicted to play at the right hand side of the diamond midfield that won champions.

We don't know how much impact he can bring, and we might even don't know who he are. But anyone who managed to break into Brazil's World Cup squad must be good, don't you think.

As for now, let's enjoy his video compilation before he plays for real. In EPL.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pre-Season Tutorials 2: Picking Your Players, Captain and Substitution Order

For Pre-Season Tutorials 1: Creating Your Squad, click HERE.

I am sorry for procrastinating the post of part two of this tutorial as I was quite tired rushing for my university assignments. However, I couldn't procrastinate much more as EPL is going to start in 11 days!

In this part I am going to provide you guys some guides on how to pick your players, captain and substitutes for each and every gameweek. But first things first, make sure you have your squad ready!

Absolute Starters
If you don't have any, you are in trouble. Yes, absolute starters are those who should be deployed week in week out unless he's injured/suspended. They are consistent and never choose opponents to perform.

Who are them? Well, they are those who have more than 40% chance to gain goal/assist points for every goal score by the team. For instance, Lampard, Rooney, Bale, Torres etc.. In short, they are usually the major firepower of the team and are expensive. The reason why you should start them is that they are more likely to score than not, even against tough oppositions. To know who they are, check the fantasy stats page and look for total score, points per game, goals, assists and bonus.

Regular bonus collectors also fit in the category of absolute starters as they will still have chance for bonus points even if their team loses/draws.

This is important. A careful and throughout study on fixtures is the key to success in Fantasy Premier League as fixtures often determine players' performance on that gameweek.

First and foremost, give absolute priorities for players who play much weaker opponents. For example, if Manchester United is going to play against Blackpool, you should definitely start all your available Red Devils and captain Rooney (if you have him). There is a high possibility that Man Utd will win in great margin adn Rooney will score a lot against Blackpool (just an example, no offence for Blackpool fans).

Next, avoid those who play against the big clubs which are Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. Most probably your players who play against them will get only points for playing time. The defenders will even lose out some points due to goals conceded.

If your players are playing against teams of same level, then form and home/away status is an important indicator for deciding whether or not to start them. For example, if Everton is playing against Aston Villa at home and it is on a winning streak while AV has not recorded a single win over the past five games, then you should avoid starting Aston Villa players.

Match history is a good reference as well. For example, let's say Fulham had won every single game against West Ham over the last three seasons. If Fulham is to play West Ham this gameweek, you should definitely start your Fulham players.

Gameweek Double
Sometimes a team will play twice in one single gameweek due to special fixtures arrangements. If your player plays twice, you should definitely put them on no matter who they face. At very least, they will give twice the points for playing time.

A good captain crosses out a thousands of mistakes in picking your squad. Therefore, it is very important for not picking a wrong captain.

The captain materials are usually the aces in their respective team:
  • Arsenal - Fabregas, Van Persie
  • Aston Villa - Milner
  • Birmingham - Jerome
  • Blackpool - Adam
  • Chelsea - Drogba, Lampard
  • Everton - Cahill, Arteta
  • Fulham - Dempsey
  • Liverpool - Joe Cole, Gerrard, Torres
  • Man City - Tevez
  • Man Utd - Rooney
  • Newcastle - Carroll, Nolan
  • Stoke - Sorensen, Shawcross, Etherington
  • Sunderland - Bent
  • Tottenham - Defoe, Bale
  • West Brom - Brunt
  • West Ham - Carlton Cole
  • Wigan - N'Zogbia
  • Wolves - Craddock
Where the bold ones are great captains.

Emergency Captain
Your selected captain might be injured or simply does not play in last minute. How? Luckily with the emergency captain rule, you won't waste your captain armband. The player with the highest form or price (depending on what you chose) will step up and be the captain for that gameweek. Therefore it is important to make your second captain the most expensive or the most in-form player other than your captain in order to maximize your score.

Sometimes your most preferred captain might be doubtful for his game. If your second choice for captain is with highest form/price, then you might want to utilize the emergency captain strategy. Switch the strategy to highest form or highest price accordingly and you will have the chance to push for higher points with your preferred captain with minimum risk.

The bad thing about this is that your first choice captain might come out as substitute or play awfully due to the lack of form.

They are at the bench, but that doesn't mean that they are useless. Fantasy Premier League comes with the element of uncertainty and thus it is possible that your substitutes surprise you!

Therefore, you should always arrange your substitution order according to your subs' chances to get high points. Substitutes can be a good insurance policy, if you know how to manage them.

Stay Alert
Again, stay alert for the latest injury news and make changes accordingly. Hope you get something here and follow the upcoming tutorials as well!