Friday, September 30, 2011

Kick-Off: Gameweek 7 Fantasy Preview

"Tevez is finished at Manchester City," says Mancini.
A week of Champions League failure for Premier League clubs with Arsenal the only club to win among 4 English candidates. The bigger news however, if of course Tevez's dispute with the club which may see him being froze indefinitely. Shocking.

On the contrary to Champions League clubs from England, all 4 Europa League clubs from the same country won their Europa tie. Splendid as we saw the likes like Pavlyuchenko, Defoe, Crouch and Andy Johnson on the score sheet. Worth to take note.

7-Gameweek Fixture Analysis (Published Monthly)
In heaven run:

  1. Bolton (CHE, @WIG, SUN, @SWA, STO @WBA, EVE) - Pretty easy after the tough run, but might struggle for the next few gameweeks with suspension of key players.
  2. Stoke (@SWA, FUL, @ARS, NEW, @BOL, QPR, BLA) - Nothing too tough. Time to get Shawcross and Crouch in.
  3. Tottenham (ARS, @NEW, @BLA, QPR, @FUL, AST, @WBA) - Get Adebayor, get Van der Vaart, and get them fast.
  4. Wigan (@AST, BOL, @NEW, FUL, @WOL, BLA, @SUN) - With this kind of fixtures, it's either start performing or get relegated for them.
In hell run:
  1. Everton (LIV, @CHE, @FUL, MUN, @NEW, WOL, @BOL) - Crazy. You should dump their players, if you were not already.
  2. Liverpool (@EVE, MUN, NOR, @WBA, SWA, @CHE, MCI) - This is even crazier. Apart from Suarez, the others are not worth keeping in my opinion.

Game of the Week: TOTTENHAM v ARSENAL
Adebayor is on a hot streak.
It's always an exciting London derby with these two as they boast the finest offence of the Premier League.

Both has got games in midweek so no side will have stamina advantage. Unfortunately though, Arsenal are suffering large scale injury crisis - tough call for them. Andre Santos started against Olympiakos and scored - not much significance though as Arsenal is still one of the worst defence among Premier League teams. With so many glass legs shattered, it will be up to Van Persie and Arteta to propel the team forward.

On the other hand, Tottenham has been in magnificent form after two slumping defeat at the start of the season. Loaned striker Adebayor is on red hot form - expect strong presence of him against the team which made him famous. Van der Vaart will be a great pick too with his attacking talent.

Expect goals galore, and I think White Hart Lane is not a piece of land to fool around. Victory for Spurs in my opinion.

Prediction: TOT 4-2 ARS
Pick and Captain: Adebayor
Pick: VdV, RvP, Arteta
Avoid: TOT and ARS Defences

Fantasy Game of the Week: MANCHESTER UNITED v NORWICH
Can Welbeck bring United
out of slump?
Easy game for United after a frustrating Champions League tie against Basel which saw then getting only 2 points out of 6 possible.

Rooney is still not available, so expect a striking pair of Welbeck and Hernandez. Nani and Young should play the most important part in United's offence this time - supplying as well as taking chances themselves.

I don't see Norwich's ability to strike goals against United too, so a clean sheet is highly probable. Expect some demolition from the Red Devils.

Prediction: MUN 3-0 NOR
Pick and Captain: Young, Nani
Pick: Welbeck, Hernandez, MUN defence
Avoid: NOR defence

Pick and Avoid
Pick and Captain:
  1. Agbonlahor - Against Wigan it's mouth-watering.
  2. Aguero/Dzeko/Silva - The usual choice.
  1. Suarez - Should get even more powerful in such an intense derby.
  2. Drogba - Without Torres, he will get all the chance.
  3. Vorm - Stoke are usually weak at away.
  4. Bendtner - His height will do a lot of good to penetrate Hodgson's team.
  1. BLA defence - I don't see their ability to hold Man City.

Transfer Traffic
Green (buy):
  1. Adebayor/VdV - Great fixtures coming up.
  2. Drogba - Free from competition at the moment.
Yellow (watch):
  1. MUN players - Without Rooney, they're at a lower class.
  2. Rooney - Keep yourself updated.
Red (sell):
  1. Dzeko - Sell pressure is mounting high.
  2. Torres - Suspended.
  3. Bent - Doubtful and out of form.
  4. De Laet - Injured.
  5. Tevez - Dumped.

Gameweek 7 Dream Team
Brown -- Jones -- Riise
Nani -- VdV -- Silva -- Sinclair
Adebayor(VC) -- Aguero(C) -- Welbeck
Subs: Mignolet -- Larsson -- Warnock -- R Johnson

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Full-Time: Gameweek 6 Fantasy Preview

Demba Ba rocked St James' Park with his hat-trick.
Manchester City 2-0 Everton
MCI: Solid performance which saw them back on level terms with neighbour Manchester United. Both Dzeko and Aguero failed to score at this round though, with Balotelli and Milner the one who broke the deadlock. Silva continues to show his second to none fantasy consistency. Great buy.

EVE: Good job for holding City up for so long but City has just too much class at Etihad Stadium. Take note that Tim Cahill injured himself. Though it's a short one the upcoming tough fixtures suggest that you should drop him sooner rather than later.

Pick: Silva, MCI defence
Drop: Cahill

Arsenal 3-0 Bolton
ARS: The victory was expected but a clean sheet was indeed a big surprise. Van Persie was the key man as expected, contributing 2 important goals. Song's goal is impressive - it showed that he can be technical at times. Ramsey contributed 10 points too with 2 good assists.

Note to worth is Wilshere's expected absence for five months after completing an operation.

BOL: Two straight red cards in a row now as Bolton sat at the bottom of the table. Their hellish fixtures are going to end next week after the clash against Chelsea, and you should reevaluate them after that.

Pick: Van Persie
Watch: Ramsey
Drop: Weather

Chelsea 4-1 Swansea
CHE: Torres finally backed to his good old self, but he jinxed himself for yet another time after conducting a silly two-footed tackle. Before that he was almost perfect, with his opening goal indicating how good is his ball control and the incisive pass showing how important is his presence.

Ramires was the key man as well as he almost hat-tricked. If he can improve his finishing, I think he can become a very good second striker with his athleticism.

Defence wise the Blues are very shaky to set pieces. Beware.

Lampard was benched - not a part of AVB's integral plan anymore?

SWA: Not a day for Scott Sinclair as he was given no chance by his previous team.

Pick: Ramires
Drop: Lampard

Liverpool 2-1 Wolves
LIV: Suarez was influential once again but was quite frustrated by Dalglish's decision to sub him out early. His goal was simply a display of true class. Carroll played one of his better games at Liverpool with one shot on post. Bad luck.

The team still waste a lot of chances - something that need to be greatly improved to increase their competitiveness.

WOL: The form seems to dip already - a sign to sell?

Pick: Suarez
Watch: Carroll, Gerrard

Newcastle 3-1 Blackburn
NEW: Great performance by Ba. Unexpected hat-trick - cool. Best also provided something with his cross for Ba's opener. The striking department will start to show some uncertainties with such kind of competition, especially when Ben Arfa's return could influence Pardew to play 4-5-1 more often.

BLA: Junior Hoilett continues to show that he's the man capable of doing a lot of damage upfront for Blackburn.

Pick: Ba, Best
Watch: Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Hoilett
Drop: BLA defence

West Brom 0-0 Fulham
WBA: Good attacking display but perhaps lack of some luck to score. Mulumbu was surprisingly impressive at offence - maybe a good 5th midfielder for your team.

FUL: Many chances from many players but just didn't have the luck. You got to admire Schwarzer for his superiority.

Watch: Mulumbu, Schwarzer

Wigan 1-2 Tottenham
WIG: They failed to threaten Spurs too much. Diame's dribble and goal was fantastic though.

TOT: Adebayor didn't score in this game but created 1. Solid return, great prospect.

Both Van der Vaart and Bale scored suggesting that the duo are back in action. Bale clearly deserves your observation after having opening his account this season.

Pick: Adebayor, VdV
Watch: Bale, Diame
Drop: WIG defence

Stoke City 1-1 Man Utd
STO: Britannia once again has shown its supremacy after yet another extension of home unbeaten run by Stoke. Strong attacking display after trailing. Respect.

MUN: Luck for too against them as Chicharito was the latest to join red crescent army along side with Rooney. Nani's goal was yet another state of the art shot though.

Pick: Nani, Walters
Watch: Crouch, Welbeck

QPR 1-1 Aston Villa
QPR: Traore is rather silly to give a free penalty to Aston Villa. Quite good in build up play though, although they only draw the game through an own goal.

AST: Dunne broke the record of top own goal scorer in Premier League with 10 OGs. Agbonlahor continued his undivided influence, while Bannan surprisingly took the spot kick.

Pick: Barton, Agbonlahor
Drop: Traore

Norwich 2-1 Sunderland
NOR: Holt once again featured only from bench suggesting that he is a fantasy flop now. I would say avoid Norwich players for now as they don't seem to have any focal point to attack. Nonetheless, Morrison deserves some mention here as he recorded 14 points from the last 2 games.

SUN: Defence was awful as both goals are due to defensive errors.

Watch: Morrison
Drop: Holt

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kick-Off: Gameweek 6 Fantasy Preview

Stuart Holden back to Bolton's rescue.
There are plenty of actions in Carling Cup on the midweek as we saw fellow benchwarmers like Owen and Oxlade-Chamberlain shone. The more important news are of course the return of Stuart Holden (Bolton) and Hatem Ben-Arfa who both recovered from long-term injuries. Two fantasy players to watch.

Phil Jones is a versatile beast.
Strong and determined.
Pretty surprised to feature here? Too bad but this is the most anticipated one in my opinion as the sentinel of Britannia will try to hold the trident of Red Devils.

Stoke suffered a 0-4 defeat away to Sunderland last week, but at Britannia Stadium it's going to be a different story. The Potters are still yet to concede any goal at home in local fixtures including the Carling Cup tie against Tottenham where they won by penalties.

On the other hand, Man Utd continued their to record their best league opening for tens of years as they beat old-time rival Leeds 3-1 in the Carling Cup encounter. Michael Owen scored a brace but it will be too much for him to knock both Chicharito and Berbatov out to start with Rooney.

A classic sword and shield encounter. Tony Pulis' team might be able to shock us, but most probably it will be Sir Alex Ferguson's side to extend their record run of 6 straight league victories. United players will continue to shine.

Prediction: STO 0-1 MUN
Pick: Rooney, A Young, Jones
Drop: STO defence except Begovic

Fantasy Game of the Week: CHELSEA v SWANSEA
Hopefully not another
miss of the century.
Manchester City are facing tricky Everton, while both Arsenal and Liverpool are not in their very best form despite racing rather easy oppositions. So let's stick with Chelsea - the team who host themselves at Old Trafford even though they lost it.

Scott Sinclair will face his old club but it will be too much for him to lead Swansea sinking Stamford Bridge. Maybe a surprise goal, but certainly not a victory.

Another sign for Torres resurrection - he's spectacular last week despite the miss of the millennium. I believe this time it's not false positive though compared to the first gameweek - as long as it's the pack of fast players like Ramires, Mata and Meireles who will be pairing up with him.

Shouldn't be too hard for Chelsea, so start your Torres, Mata, Meireles, Ramires and Bosingwa if you own them.

Prediction: CHE 3-0 SWA
Pick and Captain: Torres
Pick: Mata, Meireles, Ramires, Bosingwa
Drop: SWA defence except Vorm

Pick and Drop
Pick and Captain:
  1. Suarez - Liverpool are more consistent at Anfield. Perhaps the last chance for Suarez to prove himself.
  2. Van Persie - The Gunners will learn from their mistake and improve on.
  3. Adebayor - On fire and cannot be stopped.
  4. Best - A differential captain pick if you're willing to risk.
  1. Man City players - Not an easy game against Everton, but home advantage should bring them through.
  2. Wright-Phillips, Barton - Should be able to get something at home.
  3. Gervinho - Should get a lot of chances.
  4. Van der Vaart - Returns to take set pieces.
  1. WIG defence - I can't see a clean sheet against Adebayor and Van der Vaart.

Transfer Traffic
Green light (buy):
  1. Adebayor - Expect huge bandwagon soon.
  2. SWP, Barton - Two productive players from QPR.
  3. Aguero, Agbonlahor, Best - Productive players at different tiers.
  4. Jones - Can play everywhere in defence and hence less rotation fears.
Yellow light (watch):
  1. Torres - Looks like he has discovered his form...
  2. Ben Arfa - Returned and should be under your radar.
  3. Holden - Will provide good supplies for Bolton in the center of midfield.
  4. Enrique - Short of clean sheets and you should be prepared for a contingency plan to sell him.
  5. Gerrard - Might bring direct impact to Liverpool's play.
Red light (sell):
  1. ARS defence - Too mistake prone.
  2. EVE players - Tough series of fixtures.
  3. Klasnic - 3 match ban.
  4. Moses - Not performing.

Gameweek 6 Dream Team
Bosingwa -- Kompany -- Enrique
Arteta -- SWP -- VDV -- Mata
Suarez -- Adebayor(C) -- RVP(VC)
Subs: Kenny -- Cabaye -- R Taylor -- Jones

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Full-Time: Gameweek 5 Fantasy Review

Like brothers?
38 goals from 10 games this week. Great feast for Premier League fans especially the Man Utd-Chelsea encounter. Dramas here and there!

Man Utd 3-1 Chelsea
Extremely entertaining game with lots of goals, lots of dramas and most importantly, lots of MISSES! What are the odds of Rooney missed a penalty and Torres missed an open goal attempt after that? Unbelievable.

MUN: Not the most convincing victory at Old Trafford, but 3 points are 3 points and no complaints about that. Smalling's goal was offside, but he won't get that chance if he was not courageous enough to run and bang the ball with his head; Nani's goal was offside when he received the ball, but to be left so open by Chelsea's defender to score such a magnificent shot - you can only blame Terry and co for that. Phil Jones was very determined to get the ball - which he indirectly helped Rooney to get the third goal for United. Applause.

In overall the team looked very confident and determined despite the fact that it was Chelsea who were actually having the edge in the game. Clear title favourites. The central midfield is still weak, but the strength of the flanks will overcome it easily.

What interests me is when will United lose their first game, and how will the young players react with it. Big confidence hit, and the title race may be wide open; otherwise expect the young blood of Red Devils to march their way to 20th.

Pick: Nani, Rooney, Young
Watch: Smalling, Jones

CHE: Torres resurrected? Quite close. The pack of faster players really had positive impact on him. Much better runs, better courage, better skills. Too bad the miss did flaw his performance by a lot.

Ramires was good for some of the passes, but for beautiful pass by Torres - should he let it go and allow Sturridge to shoot instead of attempting a forceful shot, well much to improve on offence despite having numerous beautiful runs.

One thing to note though, Torres and Lampard are mutually exclusive players - they simply can't and won't link well. Torres needs players to play around him and Lampard's speed prohibits that.

In short, great job by AVB to dominate the play at Old Trafford - 22 shots, and I can see things to improve sooner rather than later for Chelsea to close down the leading duo.

Watch: Torres, Mata, Ramires
Drop: Lampard

Tottenham 4-0 Liverpool
Not the kind of result that fans expect, but no surprise as Liverpool played terribly bad. With or without the red cards I would still believe Tottenham will win.

TOT: Modric screamer is clearly on the list for goal of the season. Harry Redknapp will be glad that he actually kept him during the summer transfer window. Adebayor was wreaking havoc throughout the game and at £8.1m, he's a mega steal. I can see the Togolese's price to hike up to £9.0m or even £9.5m at the end of the season.

Surprisingly it seems that Adebayor's presence has powered up Defoe too, with the English scoring 19 points over the past two gameweeks when Adebayor played both games. Both are good, although I will definitely pick Adebayor on any day.

With Van der Vaart returned too, the tri-core (VdV, Modric, Parker) midfield line-up will definitely supply the front duo lots of ammunition for goals. Having at least one Tottenham attackers is simply a must for this moment.

Pick: Adebayor, Defoe
Watch: Van der Vaart, Parker, Modric

LIV: Pathetically weak throughout the game. Defence was nonsense, especially at the right flank where Skrtel was dominated totally by Gareth Bale. The red card was really, really expected with his frequent mistakes and terrible judgments. Charlie Adam way too reckless and impatient when defending - he needs to keep his cool. Lucas was helpless as Tottenham's attack was too quick - he had no backup.

Carroll still didn't find his way into the team - he acted more like a statue rather than a player. Suarez, once again, was helpless upfront. Dalglish and Comolli really shouldn't let both Meireles and Aquilani - the rare creative directors in midfield - to go.

Fans will be eager for the return of Steven Gerrard, and hopefully he will cure the current mediocre Liverpool at least by a bit.

Watch: Suarez
Drop: Adam, Skrtel, Carroll

Blackburn 4-3 Arsenal
Weird game? Arsenal led twice only to be let down by the worst defence of the league - they leaked 14 goals already.

BLA: It was Yakubu's day, really. The Everton outcast was influential he scored 2 important goals (the other 2 were own goals though). Solid striker which will also be the pivot of the Rovers' survival. He is a must if Rovers' can pick up their form and bang in some goals.

N'Zonzi had a good run which caused Koscielny's own goal, but he isn't historically productive so don't be hasty to make decisions about him.

Pick: Yakubu
Watch: N'Zonzi

ARS: Defence was once again a let down. I thought Mertesacker will turn the situation around but seriously, Koscielny is too big a tumour to be removed. He was at fault for at least 2 of the goals. Before Vermaelen's return or Wenger's decision to kick Koscielny into the reserves, avoid Arsenal defenders.

There's also problems offensively. While Arteta and Gervinho both got their first goal for their new club, Gervinho's selfishness is questionable. In fact he was scolded by captain Robin van Persie for his selfish attempt instead of feeding the ball to the Dutchman who was clearly unmarked. The ending would be much different if Arsenal led by 3-1 instead of 2-1 by half-time.

Pick: Van Persie, Gervinho, Arteta
Drop: Koscielny, ARS defence

Aston Villa 1-1 Newcastle
AST: Satisfactory performance. Given was influential again as he saved some of the tricky shots especially the long-distance cannon from Cabaye. Offensively it's yet again Agbonlahor who scored - he feet are on fire.

Pick: Agbonlahor
Watch: Given

NEW: St. James' Park has their new Carroll - Leon Best. In fact I'm torn between choosing Agbonlahor and him: Gabby is more clinical, but Leo is cheaper. Both are great third forward.

Cabaye was unlucky - he could have scored double digits on any other game with that kind of performance. Instead, it was Tiote who scored 7 points - I seriously cannot see that to repeat frequently.

Pick: Best, Cabaye

Bolton 1-2 Norwich
BOL: Klasnic got a red - that butt-hurted a lot of managers. N'gog grabbed the chance and earned the team a penalty. Unfortunately Bolton's next two games are tricky - Arsenal and Chelsea - won't bring too much good to the young French.

Martin Petrov scored through the spot, and is surely claiming the #1 fantasy spot at Bolton.

Pick: Petrov
Watch: N'gog
Drop: Klasnic

NOR: Holt started from bench - the captain is becoming less and less influential as the team won without him for majority of the playing time.

It's only the Canaries' first win, and is far too soon to deduce anything about any of their players yet.

Watch: Pilkington, Morison
Drop: Holt

Everton 3-1 Wigan
EVE: Slight disappointment from Tim Cahill as he only assisted one - not so solid captain choice. Vellios is receiving good reviews from football pundits - a superb steal if he starts.

Watch: Vellios

WIG: It's Di Santo who's the ace of the team instead of Moses who remained rather silent over these weeks.

Pick: Di Santo

Swansea 3-0 West Brom
SWA: Finally a victory. Luck was on their side this time as Sinclair fired 12 fantasy points. Those who remain loyal with him are well rewarded.

Also on the score sheet are Nathan Dyer and Leroy Lita - two cheap fantasy players. Not sure about their consistency though.

And Michel Vorm is as solid as ever. A season long hold.

Pick: Sinclair, Vorm
Watch: Dyer, Lita

WBA: Not their day. Long wasn't clinical enough to take the chances. Surprised to see both Dorrans and Brunt started on bench.

Wolves 0-3 QPR
WOL: Overwhelmed by QPR throughout the game. Form is starting to loosen out.

QPR: Faurlin's 10 points and 3 bonus points were both unexpected. As for the expected ones, Wright-Phillips (6 points) was once again influential in the win as well as Joey Barton (13 points). Both are superstuds from QPR.

Bothroyd once again failed to impress; instead it was DJ Campbell who scored for the strikers.

Pick: Barton, SWP
Watch: Faurlin, DJ Campbell
Drop: Bothroyd

Fulham 2-2 Man City
FUL: Good comeback. Good role played by Zamora. Still the ace of the team whenever he's fit.

Pick: Zamora

MCI: Overly defensive after the 2-0 lead. Silva, Dzeko, Aguero and Nasri are still the usual producers from the team.

Pick: Aguero, Silva

Sunderland 4-0 Stoke
SUN: Larsson scored 2 and created 1 as I suffered for selling him out of my team. He got only 1 bonus point though for such good stats. Instead it was Craig Gardner who got 3. The one that is more well-worthed to invest for long-term is surely Bendtner (5 points).

Pick: Bendtner, Larsson, Brown
Watch: Gardner

STO: Nothing much to say here as the team lost completely.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Miss of the Century by Fernando Torres

I think... even my grandma won't miss that.
Chelsea controlled the game, created numerous chances, and lost 3-1. Torres did made his name though, by scoring the only goal for the Blues and then squandered the best chance of the game. Dramatic game indeed.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Kick-Off: Gameweek 5 Fantasy Preview

Fernando Torres assisted twice in the Champions League.
The Champions League started its new season as we saw Chelsea being the only English club who stroke 3 points in the first game of the group stage. Fernando Torres obviously was the spotlight after completing 2 assists in the 2-0 win over Bayern Leverkusen. Hope it's not another false positive by him.

Meanwhile, Van Persie continued his away dominance after striking yet another away goal against another German club Borussia Dortmund. Might be a good hint to get him as the Gunners are playing away to Blackburn this weekend.

Juan Mata will be looking forward
to sink Old Trafford.
The true test for the defending champion begins as Manchester United will play Chelsea at their own fortress Old Trafford.

The Red Devils were surprisingly drawn by Benfica despite playing a more experienced side whom Ferguson believed "experience will be important in such games". There were lack of command in midfield suggesting that they're starting to miss Cleverley already. 4-5-1 formation looked bad for Rooney as he lacked of support, but at Old Trafford it should be reverted back to 4-4-2 despite such strong oppositions.

But the midfield will still be the worrying department without Cleverley. Carrick was never "world class" enough to control the central midfield, while Fletcher might still need a game or two to recover his match fitness. Can a weakened United midfield hold off Chelsea's solid midfielders such as Lampard, Meireles and steam engine Ramires? Phil Jones might be deployed there so increase the strength.

Meanwhile, Torres' revival in linking with teammates give a caution sign to United - he has now what he called "faster" midfielders to cooperate with. Expect Mata-Torres-Meireles combo to give a lot of troubles with some great 1-2 passes.

Expect tough competition throughout the game. Play your Rooney, A Young, Nani, Meireles and Mata, and pray that they perform in this hardly predictable game.

Prediction: MUN 2-1 CHE
Pick: Rooney

Fantasy Game of the Week: FULHAM v MANCHESTER CITY
Can Silva repeat his
magnificent performance?
Frustrated City will divert all their focus to the Premier League and aim for three points in response to the unexpected draw against Napoli in the Champions League.

Mancini was clueless in his attempt to break the Italian club's defence, and it's a good idea for Martin Jol to replicate the same strategy to hold off against City's ruthless attack. The experience of Grygera might be useful here, so don't be surprised if he starts this match.

But I believe Mancini won't allow his mistake to repeat again, so expect players such as Silva, Nasri, Dzeko, Aguero and/or Tevez to open a big wound in Fulham's defence. City has simply too much class to lose.

Prediction: FUL 1-3 MCI
Pick and captain: Silva, Aguero
Pick: Dzeko, Nasri
Drop: FUL defence, Ruiz

Pick and Drop
Pick and captain:
  1. Van Persie - Has a good away scoring record so why not against Blackburn?
  2. Tim Cahill/ Baines - With no obviously one-sided games this week, the Everton duo represents good captain choices this week.
  3. Klasnic - Norwich is a good chance for him to cement an ace position at Reebok Stadium.
  1. Martin Petrov - Influential in Bolton's attack.
  2. BOL defence - Norwich aren't too much a threat in attack.
  3. STO defence - Sunderland has trouble finding goals.
  4. Adebayor - He can take advantage of Liverpool's shaky defence.
  5. Shaun Wright-Phillips - Looks great last game and can replicate the same thing but added with goals/assists.
  6. Walcott/ Gervinho - Salgado's weakness is for them to exploit.
  1. BLA defence - Seemingly impossible to keep a clean sheet against Arsenal.
  2. Bent - Hardly on form with Newcastle a tough defence to beat.

Transfer Traffic
Green light (buy):
  1. SWP - Easily the best player of QPR.
  2. Adebayor - Will be the most important goal source of Tottenham.
  3. Van Persie - Players like Gervinho and Song are freed from suspensions now.
  4. Shawcross - Stoke's captain is at his best form now.
  5. Hernandez - Superbly clinical.
Yellow light (watch):
  1. Tim Cahill - Look if Everton discover their form.
  2. Arteta - Still looking anonymous.
  3. Kranjcar - His place is not well cemented.
Red light (sell):
  1. Cleverley - Injured.
  2. Suarez - Not really the super fantasy ace currently.

Gameweek 4 Dream Team
Baines -- G Cahill -- Warnock
SWP -- T Cahill  -- Silva(VC) -- Walcott
RVP(C) -- Rooney -- Klasnic
Subs: Begovic -- M Petrov -- Brown -- Olsson

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Full-Time: Gameweek 4 Fantasy Review

It's Wazza Roo's era!
The league looks increasingly likely to be a two-horse race for now with yet another dominant display by the Manchester duo. Manchester Premier League?

Bolton 0-5 Manchester United
BOL: Man-marking was non-existent throughout the game with at least three of the goals being scored with the player being "marked". Played overly defensive at their homeground.

Despite that, Martin Petrov looked lively throughout the game and is a good bargain midfielder that is capable of delivering something around 8-10 assists over the course of the season. His value should be rising soon, if you want him get him fast.

Pick: Petrov
Drop: BOL defence

MUN: Back-to-back hat-tricks by Wayne Rooney shows the importance of having at least one premium-priced forward. Superb goals, especially the third curling one which left Jaaskelainen helpless. Chicharito should also got his hat-trick if not for one offside goal and another narrow miss. Both are superb choices upfront, so pick Hernandez if you can't afford to own Rooney.

Nani finally outscored A. Young for the first time this season, but I will still say A. Young should deliver more than the Portuguese this season due to his role as second set-piece taker behind Rooney. Even a lay-off for Rooney's free-kick goal gets 3 solid assist points, and Young is going to benefit from that.

Defensively it's a surprise to see them held yet another clean sheet, with Phil Jones looked to be United's next utility man at the back after John O'Shea.

Pick: Rooney, Hernandez
Watch: Nani, MUN defence (watch out for their forthcoming opponents)

Manchester City 3-0 Wigan
MCI: Just when people started to bring in Dzeko, Mancini surprisingly benched him and partner Aguero with Tevez instead. Three cool finish by Aguero. He simply doesn't waste chances. Tevez didn't look to sharp as he shot an awful penalty which saved rather comfortably by Al-Habsi.

At the moment Silva and Nasri are rather even, but after a praise by Mancini, I believe Silva's starting spot is more secured than the French.

Kompany got 2 bonus points - the best City defender to own alongside with Richards who has good offensive capabilities.

Pick: Aguero, Silva, Kompany, Richards

WIG: Nothing much to reveal here as City boasts the best defence. Perhaps Al-Habsi's penalty save will tell you that Wigan still have the poker chips to stay in the Premier League.

Watch: Al-Habsi

Arsenal 1-0 Swansea
ARS: A strange lucky goal by Arshavin to seal off 3 points. Not too bad for a game, with Walcott having a couple of chances. Arteta's debut was just okay, though I expect it to improve. Defence was much solid than before although Koscielny remains a liability back there.

Watch: Walcott, Arteta, Mertesacker

SWA: Bad mistake by Vorm as Swansea looked determined to leave Emirates Stadium with a point before that. Offence still look dismal.

Everton 2-2 Aston Villa
EVE: The consequences of the departure of Arteta was fully reflected on Baines' fantasy points - he took the penalty and went away with 8 points. Obviously the best investment you can get from Goodison park.

Cahill performed finally as well with an assist - Everton's result will depend pretty much on Baines and him.

Pick: Baines
Watch: Cahill

AST: It's Agbonlahor again. Consistent. Phenomenal goal by Stiliyan Petrov, but you don't expect that to repeat frequently from a defensive midfielder.

Pick: Agbonlahor

Stoke 1-0 Liverpool
STO: Britannia is still one of the toughest fortress to break in English football. Brave defensive display (especially for Begovic's quadruple save!) despite being owned throughout the game. Walters was the penalty taker - he represents good value with his ability to play as second striker.

Pick: Shawcross, Walters

LIV: Finishing remains an issue although defeat was partly due to bad refereeing. Not getting a goal from 20+ shots was a shame. Carragher was the culprit again for leaking yet another goal after last game. They should not have much problem to reach top four though as long as they play like that every week.

Drop: Carragher

Sunderland 1-2 Chelsea
SUN: Overwhelmed throughout the game with nothing much to tell. Gyan left for UAE - Bendtner becomes a good pick.

Watch: Bendtner

CHE: Looks like AVB is going for the success formula of Mourinho - one goal victory margin. Torres was benched unsurprisingly as Sturridge fully capitalise the chance by scoring one stylish goal - calm, superbly accurate and impressive. Hopefully he will grab a permanent starting spot sooner or later - he will be a must-own by then.

Watch: Sturridge

Wolves 0-2 Tottenham
WOL: Not really good upfront - might be due to lack of supplies from Jarvis who only played as substitutes.

TOT: Two debutants gave immediate impact - Adebayor and Parker. I believe Adebayor will be a must-own very soon given Tottenham's offensive approach and the lack of consistent forwards at White Hart Lane. Bale still looked ordinary - don't switch him in before he explodes.

Pick: Adebayor
Watch: Parker

Norwich 0-1 West Brom
NOR: Disappointment to Grant Holt yet again. His shooting rate is similar to his midfield teammates. Bad sign. Needs to get the supplies to perform.

Drop: Holt

WBA: Odemwingie - the return of the king. Missed one penalty, but scored the decisive goal earlier. Still the goal factor of Hodgson's team.

Pick: Odemwingie

Fulham 1-1 Blackburn
FUL: Aaron Hughes was injured - remember to check on his updates. Ruiz failed to adjust to English tempo in his first game as he was subbed out during half-time. Zamora scored a cool equaliser similar to Rochina's attempt which reflected-in through the woodwork. He was also fouled in the penalty box once despite not being correctly addressed as a foul - great potential for fantasy points.

Pick: Zamora
Watch: Hughes

BLA: Great impact by Rochina but I don't see him scoring over 100 fantasy points in such a limited team especially when he's not even a sure-starter. Defence was awful as always, with Salgado really a big liability. He simply don't deserve to start with his frequent mistakes.

Drop: Salgado

QPR 0-0 Newcastle
QPR: Looked likely offensively throughout the game with Shaun Wright-Phillips showing strong immediate impact - should be bursting soon. Central pair Taarabt and Barton took away with 3 and 2 bonus points respectively, with the former looking much better as he participated more in offence.

Bothroyd looked like he will always be late to convert supplies into goals - terrible goal-poaching skills as a Premier League forward.

Pick: Wright-Phillips
Watch: Taarabt, Barton
Drop: Bothroyd

NEW: Constantly being bombarded with few chances to strike back. Simpson scored 2 bonus points apart from his clean sheet. Obertan also got 2. Three players with 2 bonus points on the same game!

Watch: Simpson, Obertan

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cristiano Ronaldo - Tested to the Limit

A great documentary on La Liga's top scorer last season C Ronaldo. Consists of four parts:





Truly spectacular piece of research. Hope they'll do one on Messi as well soon.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Kick-Off: Gameweek 4 Fantasy Preview

Robin van Persie scored 4 in Holland's 11-0 domination over San Marino.
Good sign to take him in?
The transfer market is closed and the international breaks are over as Premier League will be back into real business. Be sure to monitor your players' injury status and make appropriate adjustments to that.

7-Gameweek Fixture Analysis (Published Monthly)
In heaven run
  1. Newcastle (@QPR, @AST, BLA, @WOL, TOT, WIG, @STO) - Some moderately tough opponents but shouldn't pose much problems for them to collect some reasonable amount of fantasy points in both offensive and defensive departments.
  2. Tottenham (@WOL, LIV, @WIG, ARS, @NEW, @BLA, QPR) - Considerably easy and all game looks winnable except for the one against Liverpool (I'd say 50-50).
  3. West Brom (@NOR, @SWA, FUL, @SUN, WOL, @AST, LIV) - If they can build a good momentum in September with relatively easier opponents they might as well achieve good result in October.
In hell run:
  1. Blackburn (@FUL, ARS, @NEW, MCI, @QPR, TOT, @NOR) - Still very tough upcoming fixtures, but the Rovers' games will get easier at the end of October.
  2. Everton (AST, WIG, @MCI, LIV, @CHE, @FUL, MUN) - Fixtures get very tricky after the game against Wigan. You should start to dump Toffees' players unless you believe they will get good results in the next two months.
  3. Manchester United (@BOL, CHE, @STO, NOR, @LIV, MCI, @EVE) - Offense is not an issue, but be cautious when picking United defenders with such tricky fixtures.

On Wildcard, Again
If you have the patience, I would suggest wait for another 2-3 gameweeks and see which latest signings settle well in their new team before using your wildcard. Of course, don't hesitate to use it if your team has too many junk players currently.

Game of the Week: EVERTON v ASTON VILLA
Can Tim Cahill break his duck?
Financially difficult Everton will search for their first home win of the season against in-form Aston Villa.

The home side has just sold Mikel Arteta to Arsenal, directly benefiting Leighton Baines' owners as the left-back will take almost all of Everton's set piece duties now. Unfortunately though, Baines has hamstring problems and is a doubt this weekend.

Villa is in good form and will strive to snatch an away win with their strikers, particularly Agbonlahor, looking sharp. Jermaine Jenas will make the midfield line more composed should he starts.

It will be close, with Tim Cahill taking all the offensive burden on his shoulders at Goodison Park.

Prediction: EVE 2-1 AST
Pick: Tim Cahill, Agbonlahor

Fantasy Game of the Week: MAN CITY v WIGAN
Nasri broke his finger and
is doubtful for this match.
Arsenal game against Swansea looks equally promising, but let's stick with the team with the best form at the moment.

Dzeko blasted 4 goals against Tottenham in the last gameweek, and is looking more and more likely to lock his starting position as centre forward. Certainly a great choice as captain for this week.

Nasri, who scored 13 fantasy points last week, injured his finger and is a major doubt for this weekend. Bad news for the French owners and good news for Silva's. Expect the Spaniard to supply plenty of chances to Dzeko and Aguero (or Tevez?).

Wigan will be hoping for Di Santo to perform the magic again, but I am more inclined for a clean sheet to the home side. Do take note that Kolo Toure is finally free from suspension, and will compete with Lescott for a starting place.

Prediction: MCI 3-0 WIG
Pick and captain: Dzeko, Silva
Pick: MCI defenders
Drop: WIG players

Pick and Drop
VdV is out for 6 weeks.
Pick and Captain:

  1. Van Persie - A no brainer against newboys Swansea.
  2. Rooney - His form is blasting, both in Manchester United and England.
  1. Arteta, Walcott - Expect these guys to rip off Swansea's defence.
  2. Suarez - His tricky runs will be crucial to break Stoke's defence.
  3. Holt - Should finally find some form after scoring against Chelsea. West Brom won't be too tough for him.
  4. Mata - Expect him to disrupt Sunderland's defence.
  5. Mertesacker - His towering presence will give security to the Gunners' defence.
  1. SWA defence - Van Persie is too hot to handle.
  2. Van der Vaart, Vermaelen, Drogba - Injured.

Transfer Traffic
For evaluation on deadline day newcomers click here.

Green light (buy):
  1. Dzeko, Rooney, A Young - Each scored over 20 points last gameweek. You should've benefited from price rise if you got them earlier.
  2. Bosingwa - Increasing likely to steal RB position for the whole season.
  3. Suarez - His is the super ace of Liverpool.
  4. Mata - Adds an important dimension to Chelsea's attack.
  5. Arteta - The new heart of Arsenal's midfield.
  6. Best - With Ba struggling to settle, he should become the finisher of Newcastle.
  7. Agbonlahor - Best Villa player at the moment.
  8. Van Persie - His supplies are back.
Yellow light (watch/hold):
  1. Simpson/R Taylor - Wait to see who's going to be benched with Santon's arrival.
Red light (sell):
  1. Van der Vaart, Vermaelen, Drogba - Injured.
  2. Torres, Carroll - Failed to impress.
  3. Kalou - His position at Chelsea is downgraded as full-time benchwarmer.

Gameweek 4 Dream Team
Kompany -- De Laet -- Hughes
Silva -- Walcott -- Tim Cahill -- A Young
Dzeko (VC) -- Van Persie (C) -- Holt
Subs: Begovic -- Hoolahan -- Jose Enrique -- A Ferdinand

Reviews on Deadline Day Deals

Per Mertesacker is the best deadline day deal in my opinion.

Some reviews on notable deadline day transfers:
  1. Arteta (£8.1m) - He actually took a pay cut to join Arsenal. Is expected to become the new playmaker of the team and steal some set piece duties of Van Persie. Pick.
  2. Mertesacker (£6.0m) - A very solid buy by Arsenal. Should take defence to another level but is rather expensive. Watch.
  3. Santos (£6.5m) - Too expensive for an Premier League unproven defender with a rather leaky side. Avoid until he shown great offensive capabilities. Avoid.
  4. Benayoun (£6.9m) - Not too sure about his position as a starter or a benchwarmer. If it's the former, he will resemble a great fantasy bargain with his creativity. Watch.
  5. Hutton (£5.0m) - Should become first choice RB of Villa, but with no discount compared to Stephen Warnock. Pick.
  6. Jenas (£5.5m) - Pretty cheap for a midfielder who is capable of breaking 100-point ceiling. Watch.
  7. Dann (£5.0m) - The former Birmingham defender joins Blackburn to bolster their defence, but it remains to be seen how is it going to be improved. Watch.
  8. Yakubu (£5.5m) - He's getting older, but with limited options upfront at Blackburn, he can be a steal if he somehow finds his form. Watch.
  9. N'gog (£5.4m) - Don't know how it he going to get his place with K Davies and in-form Klasnic upfront. Needs to wait for his chance. Avoid.
  10. Meireles (£7.4m) - A surprise move. 50-50 on him whether to replace in-form Ramires or Mikel for a starting spot. Watch.
  11. Drenthe (£6.0m) - Former Real Madrid left-back is expected to take a spot in midfield, but I don't see how is he going to contribute much in offence. Avoid.
  12. Grygera (£5.0m) - An experienced defender who can play in both CB and RB. Pretty hard to predict where he stands in Fulham's defence. Watch.
  13. Ruiz (£7.0m) - The new Fulham striker has some decent scoring record and is expected to share goal burden with Zamora and A Johnson. Watch.
  14. Coates (£5.5m) - A big threat for Carragher's CB spot. Should replace him sooner or later. Watch.
  15. Bellamy (£7.5m) - Expect a supersub role for him. Apparently overpriced. Avoid.
  16. Hargreaves (£5.0m) - One of the worst deals in my opinion. Avoid.
  17. Santon (£4.5m) - Surprisingly cheap for a former Inter defender. Expected to be a direct replacement for Jose Enrique. Pick.
  18. Wright-Phillips (£6.4m) - May give immediate impact to QPR's attack. Pick.
  19. Puncheon (-) - Great talent that should perform well alongside Barton, Taarabt and Wright-Phillips. Fantasy impact remains a question. Watch.
  20. Crouch (£6.9m) - Fits nicely into Stoke's system but will not be too productive in my opinion. Watch.
  21. Palacios (£4.9m) - Historically a good defensive midfielder but not a good fantasy midfielder. Avoid.
  22. Bendtner (£6.4m) - Should be pairing up with Gyan to provide greater dimension to Sunderland's offence. Watch.
  23. Parker (£6.5m) - Good time to arrive as Van der Vaart will out for some months. Pick.
  24. Adebayor (£8.0m) - Has good scoring record and should shine with offensive-minded Tottenham. Pick.
Missing some? Kindly inform me. Thank you.