Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jamie Carragher Sidelined for Three Months

Jamie Carragher
Now who will become the temporary captain for Reds?
Liverpool's spiritual leader, Jamie Carragher, has to go for a surgery after dislocated his shoulder on the game against Tottenham. It will take approximately three months for him to recover.

This means that the Merseysiders will play without both captain and vice captain up to one month.

Of course, Carra's injury doesn't cause much concern to fantasy managers, although he is owned by 6.3% of over two million managers. What I do concern more is the opportunity that his absence provides - Kyrgiakos to partner Skrtel over the next three months?

We all know how effective Kyrgiakos is in set pieces, and that is proven by numbers - 4.8 points per game is the highest for Liverpool players. Managers could get well rewarded for taking him in now over the next one to two months as the Reds' fixtures get easier.

On the other hand, Van der Vaart is set to absent until the next year, with Bale the obvious replacement.

The Crazy Premier League Weekend and El Clasico

Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid
Ronaldo will regret for what he said before the game.
Unbelievable. The strongest ever Real Madrid in history under the hands of Jose Mourinho still couldn't handle Barcelona. Goals from Xavi, Pedro, Villa (2) and Suarez ensured a perfect victory for the Catalans.

Meanwhile, the Premier League weekend is as entertaining as El Clasico with all 20 teams scored for the first time in the Premier League history. Here are the highlights:

  • Arshavin finally found some great form with a stunning display against Aston Villa. On the other side, Clarke almost made himself the man of the match as he led the Villans to reduce the three goal deficit into one.
  • Big disappointment towards Elmander and Davies as they failed to scored against Blackpool at Reebok Stadium. M. Davies should really pass all his fantasy points to K. Davies since there are only 0.1% of managers benefiting from his 10 points.
  • Everton gave us a big shock to lose 1-4 against West Brom at home. Disgrace. Tim Cahill however continued his consistency with his header goal.
  • Dempsey and Larsson scored one for each side as Fulham and Birmingham held draw at Craven Cottage.

Luis Nani and Dimitar Berbatov
The Bulgarian scored a whopping 25 fantasy points while the Portuguese contributed 12.

  • Who else can be the star of the week other than the five-goal-Berbatov? He became the fourth player and also the first foreign player to score five goals in one game. Fantastic display after a nine match goal drought. Anyway, Blackburn playing style has been awful this season against superior oppositions.
  • Congratulations to Manchester United as this win cemented them two points above Chelsea and also wrote off all the goal difference deficits against the defending champion.
  • Manchester City painfully lost two points after a last-gasp equaliser by Stoke City.
  • West Ham finally escaped from the curse of draws, beating Wigan 3-1. Piquionne, Parker and Obinna were the heroes, as usual.
  • I had correctly predicted one goal each for Bent and Welbeck but Sunderland lost 2-3 to Wolves.
  • Snow didn't manage to halt Chelsea's game against Newcastle but the Blue Lions' lost their lead after another disappointing offensive display by them. Drogba has now goalless for 10 hours and 36 minutes on the pitch - the second worst record of his career.
  • Liverpool got punished for their failure to capitalise golden chances before Lennon scored a stoppage time goal. Johnson did well to control Bale, but Konchesky is just no match for Lennon in terms of speed. Tottenham had once again recovered three points from losing position, accounting for a total of 16 this season.
  • Van der Vaart is injured once again. He will be sidelined for longer this time with his hamstring problem.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gameweek 15 Fantasy Preview

Wayne Rooney
Climbing up hard.
Yes, Wayne Rooney is back but how about his form? Certainly looking good in the Champions League game. Also, Van der Vaart's condition remains unknown so choose Bale if you haven't get both Bale and VdV and decide to get one of them.

Ashley Young
Marked as £80m by Gerard Houllier after being pursued by Man Utd and Liverpool.
Aston Villa v Arsenal
Another frenzy Saturday opener as Aston Villa face Arsenal at the unbeatable Villa Park.

The Villans are yet to lose at their home ground, with a proud record of holding Chelsea and drawing Man Utd after a two goal lead. Things may go pretty tough for them though, with the absence of several key players including captain Stiliyan Petrov (long term knee injury) and Marc Albrighton (appendicitis). However, the arrival of ex-Gunners Robert Pires certainly helps them, both experience and tactics to play against the Frenchman's former employer.

On the other hand, Arsenal continues to miss Thomas Vermaelen and captain Cesc Fabregas for their title conquest. Koscielny is still very unreliable and this big hole may be greatly exploited by Gabriel Agbonlahor. Arsenal will have to rely on Fabianski and Nasri's marvel in both ends to get something from Villa.

I think Villa should be able to at least continue their unbeaten record at Villa Park.

Prediction: AST 1-0 ARS

Gareth Bale
Needs to keep his mind cool after missing a penalty in the Champions League clash against Bremen.
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool
Well rested Liverpool is set to snatch something from White Hart Lane as the home side celebrates for their Champions League progress.

Van der Vaart remains a doubt for Tottenham but I don't think that would matter much as they now have a fit Defoe to lead the line. The latter will definitely reduce the number of chances wasted by the team with his clinical strikes.

On the other side, the skipper Steven Gerrard remains injured, but Lucas will be released from suspension to lock Modric's passes. However, it remains a concern whether Carragher and Skrtel/Kyrgiakos can guard Defoe and Crouch/Pavlyuchenko well and whether Glen Johnson can keep up with Gareth Bale's speed.

Liverpool's away form is too pathetic to win this, but I think there's a high chance of drawing. Expect goals from both sides.

Prediction: TOT 1-1 LIV

The Rest
  • Bolton v Blackpool (3-1) - Captain K. Davies or Elmander again everyone?
  • Everton v West Brom (3-0) - Captain Tim Cahill. Quite a big shock if he fails to give us something.
  • Fulham v Birmingham (1-0) - Fulham needs to collect points against weak-at-away Birmingham.
  • Man Utd v Blackburn (2-0) - Those with United's defender should prosper.
  • Stoke City v Man City (0-1) - Tough match-up for City but they shouldn't slip.
  • West Ham v Wigan (2-1) - May be the last game for Avram Grant so he should make it a happy ending.
  • Wolves v Sunderland (0-2) - One goal each for Welbeck and Bent?
  • Newcastle v Chelsea (0-2) - A great opportunity for Drogba and co to signal their return. UPDATE: Heavy snow at Tyneside so expect the game to be postponed.

Tim Cahill
I strongly believe that he will do this in the match against WBA.
Captain Picks

  • Tim Cahill - WBA is totally out of form.
  • Elmander/K. Davies - It's so hard to believe Blackpool defence can hold them up at Reebok Stadium.
  • Nani - Despite Rooney's return, he will still play the most important role at United until the former reaches his prime.
  • Drogba/Malouda - Newcastle's defence is too fragile for them.
  • Elmander/K. Davies/Lee - They lead Bolton's in-form attack.
  • Rafael - Cementing a strong starting position at Man Utd.
  • Rooney - If you believe that he will find his form fast.
  • Fabregas - Injured.
  • Gyan - Doubtful and lost his position to Welbeck.
  • Elmohamady - Lost his starting position surprisingly.
Squad of XV
GK: Van der Sar
DF: Vidic, Baines, Ivanovic
MF: Cahill(C), Nani, Dempsey, Lee
F: Elmander, Davies K., Drogba

Subs (in order): Green, Hughes, N'Zogbia, Coleman
Captain: Cahill
Emergency Captain: Value
Starting XI Value: £84.1m
Total Team Value: £104.4m

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fabregas OUT

Cesc Fabregas
Arsenal's captain will join Gerrard on the sidelines.
Arsenal failed to secure an early progress in the Champions League group stage after a 0-2 defeat to Braga. What's worse? Their emperor on the pitch, Fabregas, was injured.

Fabby will be out for two to three weeks and may miss the important clash against Manchester United. Bad news for his owners.

On the good side, this means Nasri will once again take the central role in Arsenal and bang in lots of points. Time to jump into the bandwagon.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Morten Gamst Pedersen

Morten Gamst Pedersen
He is more than his handsome look.
The middle-low price fantasy players steal all the limelight at the middle part of the season. The latest one? Morten Gamst Pedersen, who just scored two against Aston Villa.

MGP was one of the fantasy hotcakes during 06/07 season, ending up with 155 points. He takes brilliant free kicks with Beckham-esque curve. He even scored directly through corners during his younger life before playing at the premier league. His form, however, dipped for the next three years, and also the first ten gameweeks of the season.

His last four games? 10-10-2-16, averaging a handsome 9.5 points per game.

Looks like we finally have somebody reliable in Blackburn's offence. Morten Gamst Pedersen.

Things That You Can Do By Selling Drogba

Didier Drogba
"What's wrong? Why are we keep losing?"
Drogba has been the most terrible investments over the past two months - costing £13m but hardly contributed any. His has been goalless over the past six premier league games he was playing, with fantasy returns of 2-6-1-2-2-2, barely passing two points per game on average. What's worse? Awaiting Chelsea are seven tough games, which in order are:

  • Newcastle
  • Everton
  • Tottenham
  • Man Utd
  • Arsenal
  • Bolton
  • Aston Villa
The Ivorian will still have a fair chance to score in the first three coming fixtures, but I'm not so positive that he will score more than one each. With the aforementioned factors, I think it's time to end the misery of owning Drogba and change him to someone else.

With £13m you can continue to hold an out of form Drogba or:
  • Own the best striker partnership in the Premier League currently - K Davies and Elmander. And you can still have a small change for that.
  • Change Drogba for the in form luxurious striker Fernando Torres, and spend the additional £1.1m on other areas.
  • Change him for one middle price striker (Gyan, K Davies, Elmander, Carroll etc.) and upgrade one £4m defender into a £7m one. Or even two.
  • Change him for one middle price striker as above and make one of your midfielder to become Fabregas.
  • Buy two luxurious goalkeeper (Hart, Cech, Van der Sar, Reina).
There's so much you can do by selling Drogba. So what's your choice?

Saturday Stage

Kevin Davies (13 pts) and Elmander (13 pts)
United they FLY.
A big feast for fantasy managers as most of the fantasy key men have a point burst this weekend. Here are the highlights:
  • Chelsea stumbled again. Birmingham got it right with only one shot and that made it very difficult for the away side. Don't tell me I didn't tip you about this as I even listed Foster as the first choice keeper. Well rewarded with eight points. Surprisingly, Alex started the game.
  • Bolton overpowered Newcastle with both Davies and Elmander scoring two goals and one assist. The duo have been spectacular under Owen Coyle this season. With easy fixtures ahead, grabbing both of them is not a stupid choice.
  • Jonathan Walters came from the bench and returned home with two goals. He may secure a starting spot in the next two to three games so continue to monitor him.
  • Nani didn't reward his fantasy managers despite a 2-0 victory for Manchester United. Rooney was back for the game but didn't make enough impact for the Red Devils.
  • The injury news look like a cheat as Charlie Adam played as for Blackpool as well. Varney again recorded his name on the score sheet.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Arsenal: Not There Yet

Younes Kaboul
The hero of Tottenham of the day.
Arsenal once again failed to climb to the summit as they slipped all three points to Tottenham, losing 2-3.

This was a disastrous result for the Gunners, especially after having a 2-0 lead at the end of first half.

Nevertheless, it is a happy day for fantasy managers as all the fantasy favourites like VdV, Bale, Nasri, Fabregas and Chamakh were performing.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gameweek 14 Fantasy Preview

Charlie Adam
Our fantasy favourite is set to miss this week's game.
As usual, the international fixtures "killed' some of our fantasy hot picks. Fortunate enough for Torres and Kuyt's owners though as they are both declared fit to face West Ham this weekend. Speaking of last gameweek, it was very disastrous for me as I barely reached 30 when the average score was hitting 50. My latest ranking is double of mine a gameweek before.

Gareth Bale
"Run Forrest run!"
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal will be looking forward to capitalise Chelsea's injury crisis ahead of this weekend's match-opener against their derby rival Tottenham Hotspur.

The best left-wing of the era - Gareth Bale - finally found some form in the Premier League after a 4-2 demolition of Blackburn. Bacary Sagna will struggle to defend him - so don't expect him to get forward often and get rewarded with a goal/assist.

The recent head-to-head match-up shows that the Gunners do have some advantage at home, but you can expect lots of goals shared in between for such intense derby between two attacking sides. Do start all Arsenal and Tottenham's attacking players, if you have them.

Prediction: Arsenal 4-2 Tottenham

The Rest
  • Birmingham v Chelsea (0-0) - It looks like Ancelotti's players will continue to lose themselves without their commanders - Terry and Essien - in defence and midfield.
  • Blackpool v Wolves (0-1) - Blackpool is better at away and Adam will be out for this game.
  • Bolton v Newcastle (2-1) - Can Elmander score his first home goal as Bolton try to improve their home record?
  • Man Utd v Wigan (3-1) - I don't think N'Zogbia can fool around at Old Trafford. Should be three easy points for United.
  • West Brom v Stoke City (1-1) - West Brom to continue their poor form as Stoke finally have some fire power upfront.
  • Liverpool v West Ham (2-1) - It's unpredictable how much damage will Gerrard's absence do but Torres should be able to score one in this game.
  • Blackburn v Aston Villa (0-1) - Looks like the Villans will get their first away win this season as the midfield trio - Young, Downing and Albrigton - are all in form.
  • Fulham v Man City (2-1) - Can Mark Hughes capitalise City's internal problems and take a revenge against them? I say yes.
  • Sunderland v Everton (2-2) - Ecstatic Sunderland will give the Toffees a hard time at the Stadium of Light. Anyway, do you know that Sunderland had only lost once this season?

Luis Nani
Ruined Ronaldo's goal during the international clash against Spain.
Captain Picks
  • Nani - United is a big bully of Wigan.
  • Torres - Almost sure to be the scorer if Liverpool scores.
  • Gerrard - Injured.
  • Chelsea players - Lost their composure due to the absence of key players. They have a crazy set of fixtures ahead.
Squad of XV
GK: Foster
DF: Bosingwa, Vidic, Kyrgiakos
MF: Fabregas, Van der Vaart, Nani(C), Cahill
F: Torres, Elmander, Gyan

Subs (in order): Robinson, Albrigton, Luke Young, Huth
Captain: Nani
Emergency Captain: Value
Starting XI Value: £86.5m
Total Team Value: £105.8m

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Steven Gerrard Injured

Steven Gerrard
He can only sit beside the field for the next three to four weeks.
Liverpool was the latest victim of international schedules as their skipper Steven Gerrard sustained an injury in the 1-2 defeat to France.

This will further deplete Liverpool's recovery from slump. I wonder who will be able to provide those quality passes that Gerrard can do. Shelvey?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chelsea on Danger?

John Terry
Injury could sideline him for months.
Chelsea could be now in a deep, deep trouble with the injuries sustained by its two main centre back - Terry and Alex. The former is out for an unknown period - maybe weeks or months - while the latter has confirmed to out for six to eight weeks.

This means that Chelsea can only continue their games with one natural centre back - Ivanovic. I highly doubt Ferreira's ability to cover up that position.

A very good chance for Arsenal and Man Utd to steal the title away.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Onuoha Scored A Messi Style Goal

Nedum Onuoha
How the hell did he do that?
Splendid. Onuoha dribbled past several players before shooting comfortably past Cech. A very classic Messi like attempt.

Chelsea are now trailing in the end of first half, conceding for the first time in Stamford Bridge this season. Take note that if Cech wasn't the man protecting the square, the Blues would have trailed by more than one goal.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Glen Johnson Took A Revenge Against Silly Roy

Glen Johnson
"God damn you Uncle Roy! I'm good at going forward, not parking the bus behind!"
Following Roy Hodgson's public criticise against the English right-back, Glen Johnson returned a favour to him by complaining his boring tactics to the press.

I feel him. He is an offensive style defender and Hodgson's foolish middle-club tactics certainly doesn't suite him and Liverpool at all.

Roy Hodgson, unarguably, is the worst top-club manager I have ever seen since the Premier League era, both on and off the pitch. Pathetic.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ian Holloway Getting Mad

Ian Holloway exploded in front of media after being questioned about the possibility of being fined for making 10 changes in the game against Aston Villa.

I am in full support of him. As a manager, you make the right strategy to get maximum points, and he was only doing that. After all, the likes like Marlon Harewood matches the standard of Blackpool's starting XI.

Salute the legend.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Gameweek 13 Fantasy Preview

Joey Barton
Punched Pedersen in his last game and banned for three games.
The Premier League will back on action again this weekend with fatigue a major concern for fantasy managers. Be prepared for some unexpected drop-offs and a big number of clean sheets.

Robin Van Persie
Deserves a close monitor by fantasy managers.
Everton v Arsenal
The Gunners will face a tough challenge this week facing the Toffees who is undefeated for seven games.

It's pretty interesting to see how Liverpool and Everton managed to fall into the relegation zone together and then bounce back in style but Everton has been solid recently. Tim Cahill, as always, will be the main threat for Arsenal's defence with his ultimate headers.

As for Arsenal, Fabregas will continue to lead the attack and may as well find himself some goals and assists. Arsenal's second ace, Van Persie is now fit but it's still unknown that whether he will start with or without Chamakh or won't start at all.

I think Tim Cahill will score another header but it will be the Gunners who smile when the match ends.

Prediction: EVE 1-2 ARS

Patrice Evra
Has the possibility to join C-Ron at Real if the Glazers refuse to make sound investments on the squad.
Aston Villa v Manchester United
The Red Devils will have to travel to Villa Park without a big number of injured players.

Evra (ankle) and Rafael (dead leg) are the latest to join Manchester United's red cross army which already contains Rooney, Owen, Hargreaves, Valencia and Giggs. This certainly gives a lot of reasons for the Villans to fight for point(s) against United.

Villa, on the other hand, have Agbonlahor recovered from injury as the home side finally have a fit senior striker available. He may as well lead the line with Young and Downing to breakdown the away side's defence.

With Berbatov losing his form and Nani having just recovered from an injury, I think United will drop more points away. After all, they have only won once on the road this season.

Prediction: AST 0-0 MANU

The Rest

  • Man City v Birmingham (2-0) - Tevez to lead the line and crush the Brums.
  • Newcastle v Fulham (2-0) - Barton will miss the game but Nolan and Carroll will provide the Magpies the edge.
  • Tottenham v Blackburn (2-0) - Van der Vaart scored in every league game played in White Hart Lane and I expect that to continue.
  • West Ham v Blackpool (2-2) - Avram Grant has a lot to think about his side's defence.
  • Wigan v West Brom (1-2) - Odemwingie is back and he should make a difference.
  • Wolves v Bolton (1-2) - I will stick with Bolton, Davies and Elmander who are more consistent.
  • Stoke City v Liverpool (1-2) - It will be disastrous for the Reds to waste their victory against Chelsea.
  • Chelsea v Sunderland (2-0) - Chelsea is still unbeatable at home.

Didier Drogba
"@*#$ you, malaria!"
Captain Picks
  • Drogba - "Malaria will not stop him," claimed Kalou.
  • Tevez - Two-third of City's league goals are either scored or made up by him.
  • Van der Vaart - Still leads the line before Defoe recovers.
  • Gyan - Bent will still out and Steve Bruce may be convinced to play 4-4-2 when he recovers.
  • Tevez - On a very strong position for Golden Boot.
  • Barton - Suspended for three games.
Squad of XV
GK: Hart
DF: Hutton, Bosingwa, O'Shea
MF: Van der Vaart, Nolan, Adam, Fabregas
F: Drogba, Tevez(C), Piquionne

Subs (in order): Krul, N'Zogbia, Konchesky, Luke Young
Captain: Tevez
Emergency Captain: Value
Starting XI Value: £83.4m
Total Team Value: £103.2m

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday Tale

Morten Gamst Pedersen
Scores 20 fantasy points in two games.
Here's some updates on the midweek fixtures which ended just now:

  • Aston Villa finally found their gunpowder after scoring only once in their last four games. Downing and Young were the main casts yesterday, scoring 23 fantasy points together.
  • Essien copied Balotelli's showdown by scoring the decisive goal for Chelsea and then got sent off. Fantasy managers who had just bought him will be pretty frustrated.
  • Barton and Carroll combined again to provide a goal for Newcastle, but another brilliant game by Pedersen ensure a victory for the away side. Do monitor Pedersen as he starts to show the form he once possessed in 06/07 season.
  • West Ham were denied a win once again as they held draw by West Brom. Odemwingie is back and converted a penalty for the Baggies.
  • Torres scored again but Wigan only allowed Liverpool to carry one point away. Roy Hodgson once again commented like a middle-low club's manager. Courageously idiot.
  • Chamakh scored Arsenal's fastest premier league goal as Arsenal won 2-0. Will that secure his starting spot?
  • Beckford scored his first premier league goal, finally.
  • The Manchester derby was rather disappointing with no goals to share.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Did Van der Vaart Kicked Your Ass?

Rafael Van der Vaart
"Didn't start me? Well done!"
Tottenham's ace, Rafael Van der Vaart, who was doubtful for yesterday's match, played a full game and scored a goal!

That's such a pain for those who benched him, including me.

On the other hand, Stoke v Birmingham, which I predicted to be a boring game, turned out to be very exciting. Huth who's listed on my Squad of XV, scored!

There will be eight games today, good luck.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gameweek 12 Fantasy Preview

The team to watch over these few weeks.
It's good to see Liverpool back on the right track after a sensational win against defending champion Chelsea. Last gameweek was a good one for despite despite scoring only 45 points - as the majority scored much lower with an average of 35.

But now, let's proceed to gameweek 12 which will commence shortly...

Mario Balotelli
In with two goals, out with a red.
Manchester City v Manchester United
The Manchester derby will not be the same with Nani's and Balotelli's absence.

Both sides got themselves a crucial win last weekend as Chelsea slipped three points. However, the Red Devils were considered quite lucky to win as the team play was awful with Nani and Berbatov's absence. The latter should be able to start ahead of this derby but how fit is he?

With the above factor, I think City should be able to defend their fortress and make United slip this week. Tevez is just so hard to handle, especially for Manchester United.

Prediction: MANC 2-1 MANU

The Rest

  • Stoke v Birmingham (0-0) - I can imagine two containing side playing a boring game.
  • Tottenham v Sunderland (1-0) - I reckon Spurs to take advantage of home and bounce back.
  • Aston Villa v Blackpool (0-0) - Blackpool goalless away record: Arsenal, Chelsea and Birmingham - all with great defence.
  • Chelsea v Fulham (2-0) - The Blues will want to unleash all their frustration towards the cottagers but they will have to undergo fitness problem first.
  • Newcastle v Blackburn (2-0) - No reason why the Magpies can't fly at St James.
  • West Ham v West Brom (2-1) - I reckon that the Hammers will get their second league victory here and cushion their way away from relegation.
  • Wigan v Liverpool (1-3) - Too bad for the Latics to face Torres and co at such time.
  • Everton v Bolton (2-1) - Both teams are on good form and it will be narrow.
  • Wolves v Arsenal (1-2) - I just hope that the Gunners won't disappoint us fantasy wise again.

Didier Drogba
"Never write me off.:"
Captain Picks

  • Drogba - He will find the way for Chelsea.
  • Torres - He is happy, he is sharp, he is confident.
  • Nolan - He has a very good scoring record at home.
  • Torres - El Nino is back.
  • Tevez - Back with superb performance.
  • Chamakh - Wenger obviously still regards Van Persie as his #1 forward.
Squad of XV
GK: Krul
DF: Luke Young, Bosingwa, Huth, Hutton
MF: Nolan(C), Gerrard, Cahill
F: Torres, Drogba, Piquionne

Subs (in order): Foster, Barton, Ferguson, Coleman
Emergency Captain: Value
Starting XI Value: £80.2m
Total Team Value: £98.8m

Monday, November 8, 2010

Can Liverpool Now March All The Way Back Into The Champions League?

Torres 2-0 Chelsea
El Nino fired twice to take the Reds all the way to the top half of the league table.
A marvellous day for Liverpool as they took down the league leader Chelsea at Anfield.

Roy Hodgson finally compromised and gave up his "marksmanless-marksman" (a.k.a. Zamoraless-Zamora) tactics and stick to his predecessor's pressing style and the result is obviously positive throughout the game.

Torres's brace has given fantasy managers a fresh breath of air after the drop of form of fantasy favourites such as Drogba, Malouda, Berbatov, Chamakh etc.. The Spaniard will obviously get better after finding back his predatory touch.

A big credit for Lucas for his intense work rate which gave him three bonus points. Ancelotti should be regretting now for his underestimation to rest Drogba.

My featured blog title image should be able to stay longer now.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Sparks

Asamoah Gyan
The hero for Sunderland after Darren Bent's absence.
Here's some of my views on premier league games that have finished this week up until now:

  • Kevin Davies led Bolton to victory with his 16-pointer. Tottenham just aren't strong enough to play two games a week without Van der Vaart.
  • Birmingham survived with a point after trailing two goals behind West Ham. Zigic, the tallest player in EPL, is looking more and more influential in offence.
  • Morten Gamst Pedersen, once known as the Norway's Beckham, scored his first goal of the season to help Blackburn to get their third league victory of the season.
  • Seamus Coleman, the best fantasy defender under £5m category in my opinion, snatched a handful of eight points with his goal and bonus points. His Tim-mate Tim Cahill is also on the radar with nine points.
  • A last minute goal by Hangeland has earned his manager 11 points. On the other side of the pitch Albrighton, whom I had just transferred out this week, scored 9 points.
Ji-Sung Park
"No Nani? Then let me be!"
  • Superb Park played one of the best games in his life to prevent United from a draw with a brace of goals, one of which came in the final minutes.
  • Asamoah Gyan scored twice to preserve an embarrassing record for Sunderland - none other than Bent and him has scored this season.
  • A single goal by Andy Carroll has pulled Arsenal three points behind in the title race. I was watching the game and got impressed how "Arsenalised" Newcastle style of play is.
  • Balotelli has already scored a double against West Ham, with Tevez playing.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gameweek 11 Fantasy Preview

Gerrard 3-1 Napoli
The real soul of the team is looking sharp ahead of Chelsea's match-up.
The European action has been impressive this week for English clubs with Bale again single-handedly finished Inter Milan and Gerrard completed a hat-trick against Napoli from the bench. United on the other hand killed off Bursaspor with goals from youth players - Bebe and Obertan. The only loser this week is Manchester City.

Of course, what's more important this weekend is that majority of the star performers are in doubtful/injury position. Headachessss.

Who is the better 8?
Liverpool v Chelsea
First and foremost, let's see the updated injury statuses of Chelsea players:
  • Lampard - 50-50
  • Essien - Expected to start
  • Malouda - Expected to miss
I think Essien's recovery will be crucial for the midfield battle between the two teams. I predict that there will be strong possession domination by the Blues should the Ghanaian plays.

However, I think Liverpool's formation will pretty much determine the outcome of the game. 4-5-1 with Torres alone - the Reds will most probably lose. 4-4-2 with N'gog taking Hodgson's favourite target man (Zamora) role - there's a fair chance for the home side so snatch point(s).

Of course, Kyrgiakos definitely must start to guard off Ivanovic, while Carragher and Skrtel must get rid of those unnecessary fouls inside the box.

Prediction: Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea

The Rest
  • Bolton v Tottenham (2-2) - Bolton aerial offence should save them from a defeat.
  • Birmingham v West Ham (2-0) - Birmingham is obviously the better team at home.
  • Blackburn v Wigan (2-1) - A very close one, but I think the on-form Benjani should be able to help the Rovers to win.
  • Blackpool v Everton (1-2) - Blackpool has a poor home record.
  • Fulham v Aston Villa (0-1) - Dempsey has been outstanding, but Aston Villa is not Wigan.
  • Man Utd v Wolves (2-0) - This should be a captain fight between Berbatov and Chicharito.
  • Sunderland v Stoke City (1-0) - The Black Cats should be able to bounce from that humiliating defeat with the support of home fans.
  • Arsenal v Newcastle (3-1) - Captain Chamakh or Fabregas (if he's fit). The rest of Arsenal's promising midfielders are all susceptible to rotations with so many talents like Nasri, Walcott, Arshavin, Song etc.
  • West Brom v Man City (2-1) - City seems to be a different team without Tevez.

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez
Is he the right man?
Captain Picks

  • Fabregas/Chamakh - Arsenal is more than happy to face offensive-oriented Newcastle.
  • Berbatov/Javier Hernandez - With Nani out, United's attack will focus on them.
  • Javier Hernandez - He has at least another month of safe starting position.
Squad of XV
GK: Foster
DF: Dann, Elmohamady, Vidic
MF: Fabregas, Arteta, Obertan, Kalou
F: Chamakh(C), Chicharito, Bent

Subs (in order): Robinson, Luke Young, Ferguson, Coleman
Captain: Chamakh
Emergency Captain: Value
Starting XI Value: £78.1m
Total Team Value: £96.9m

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Long List of Casualties Over The Week

Luis Nani
The popular fantasy captain candidate of the week will only feature on his seat.
This must be the injury week of Premier League as numerous big names suffered different degrees of body damages:

Something relieving though, all of them should only out for at most two to three weeks.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sunday Sparks

Maximiliano Rodriguez
Says welcome to fans who thank him for the decisive goal.
Here's some brief words about what happened in the past 30 hours in English top-flight football:

  • Arsenal only managed to score in final minutes for a win. Quite a sad case for me as I was captaining Chamakh. Song scored in three consecutive games. Looking good.
  • Chelsea wasn't much better than their London counterpart, won by the same margin. Both Malouda and Drogba are much less striking as compared to them in the first five games. Bosingwa didn't play at all, which was another sad case for me.
  • Everton won Yakubu's once-in-a-blue-moon goal. Arteta and Cahill once again gained their owners six points each.
  • Dempsey fired two to become Saturday's top pointer, sitting on top of fluke-goal scorer Nani.
  • Wolves shocked us with a comeback victory. Adebayor goaled through a penalty anyway.
  • Nani made one and fired one to give three points to Manchester United. A quite exciting match-up with Park and Van der Vaart making on-post attempts. VdV might be out for a week or two with his in-game injury. On a side note, Berbatov also lost his sparks like Malouda and Drogba.
  • Aston Villa and Birmingham played a goalless draw. Awesome for Foster-and-co owners.
Kevin Nolan
Meet the king of St James.
  • Newcastle thrashed Sunderland. Amazing. Nolan wore the hat but take a look at Ameobi. Two goals and two assists. Looked much better than the consolation man (he always made an assist for me when I needed it the most) two years before. However, he will need more playing time before you can consider him.
  • Liverpool won a 50-50 game. Torres was lost until the moment when N'gog was brought on. The trident of the former two and Maxi was great and it was no coincidence that the latter scored. Great job by Maxi and as usual, Kyrgiakos the tower of set pieces.