Saturday, December 29, 2012

Kick-Off: Gameweek 20 Fantasy Preview


Dimitar Berbatov with his showy self-explanatory tee.
Fast is the theme for this week as Premier League heads into its third gameweek in the same week. Let's begin!

GAMEWEEK 19 HIGHLIGHTS

GAMEWEEK 19 TOP SCORERS
  1. Gareth Bale (£9.8m, 21 pts): Fantasy managers will cheer for his swift return of form.
  2. Jonathan Walters (£6.5m, 15 pts): Considered one of the best mid-priced performers so you should consider getting him.
  3. Chris Brunt (£5.5m, 13 pts): Hopefully this is an indication of better things to come. He is still some distance from his best that we once recognized.
  4. Juan Mata (£9.7m, 11 pts): He is Chelsea's ace after all in Benitez's plans, so this is rather expected.
  5. Adam Johnson (£6.7m, 11 pts): The lad is getting more playing time, but with no premium players around him his upside potential is limited.
  6. Kenwyne Jones (£5.0m, 11 pts): The almost forgotten striker is getting regular playing time now. No harm to scout him.
  7. Carlos Cuellar (£4.6m, 11 pts): With Sunderland getting tighter at the back recently, you might want to get him.
  8. Kyle Naughton (£4.2m, 11 pts): If some long-term injury happens at Tottenham's best four he will get consistent playing minutes.

FEATURED: Everton v Chelsea @ Goodison Park
Both sides will have much to battle for as Chelsea visit to Goodison Park this Sunday.

The Blue Lions are now 4 points behind of second-placed Manchester City, with a game on hand. They will certainly need to get this game — not only to apply pressure to the Blue Moons, but also to avoid being chased up by the crowded pack behind, which include Everton.

Juan Mata will continue to be the focal point of Chelsea's attack if he is not rested like Eden Hazard (£9.6m, - pts) when playing against Norwich. The Belgian should really start and could be the main contributor again as usual. Fernando Torres (£9.8m, 2 pts) is the less attractive option compared to the former two but is also the most rotation prone one — he has started all Premier League games for Chelsea this season.

As for the Toffees, Marouane Fellaini (£7.4m, - pts) will serve the last of his three-game suspension so it will be up to the supporting cast such as Leon Osman (£6.3m, 10 pts) and Steven Pienaar (£6.8m, 2 pts) to craft the offence. Nikica Jelavic (£8.2m, 1 pts) had been silenced in the last three games, but Victor Anichebe (£4.3m, 5 pts) will be ready to help to provide the firepower if necessary.

I think Chelsea will continue to win, but not in an easy way.

Prediction: EVE 1-2 CHE

TEAM FOCUS: Manchester United
Manchester United will sit at Old Trafford again as they welcome the challenge of West Bromwich Albion.

Robin Van Persie (£13.9m, 9 pts) is fairly probable of being benched after two successive 90 minutes of action, though Wayne Rooney's (£11.9m, - pts) injury makes it hard for Sir Alex Ferguson to drop him. If you own him, you should continue to play him with confidence and pray for the best. Javier Hernandez (£6.9m, 10 pts) is on fire and should continue to earn SAF's trust — start him with confidence.

Unfortunately United's midfield provides little fantasy for your fantasy team with Shinji Kagawa (£7.9, - pts) just finished dating with the nurses and will only feature on the bench at best while the wingers are struggling to achieve compared to last season. Defensively their best four are quite pricey now, but Patrice Evra (£6.9m, 10 pts) has been very great offensively so far and might just earn your consideration despite his prohibitive price.

Old Trafford is always a hell for the visitors.

Prediction: MUN 2-0 WBA

PLAYER FOCUS: Suarez
The lad is having a slight injury but is expected to be fit for the match. You never know when Luis Suarez (£10.2m, 4 pts) is going to burst again and blast in some goals, but against QPR the chances are higher isn't it?

GAMEWEEK 20 DREAM TEAM
De Gea
Vidic — Huth — Zabaleta
 Michu — Cazorla — Mata  — Bale
Suarez (VC) — Van Persie (C) — Torres
Subs: Begovic — Walters   Collins  Naughton

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Kick-Off: Gameweek 19 Fantasy Preview

Six Chelsea players on last gameweek's dream team. How many do you own?

A not less than impressive gameweek 18 action featuring Chelsea's 8-goal demolition over Aston Villa, which Juan Mata (£9.5m, 6 pts) and Fernando Torres (£9.6m, 6 pts) both failed to register double digit scores. Weird, just weird.

GAMEWEEK 18 HIGHLIGHTS

GAMEWEEK 18 TOP SCORERS
  1. Steven Gerrard (£9.3m, 17 pts): His killer pass simply owns.
  2. Ramires (£6.2m, 14 pts): Featured as a supersub and did not disappoint with his locomotive-style run. Two goals in 30 minutes, that is simply incredible.
  3. Martin Skrtel (£5.9m, 13 pts): One thing unique about Liverpool defenders is that their best back four are all good at going forward. He just showed that again.
  4. Eden Hazard (£9.5m, 13 pts): Recorded his first double digit gameweek after his price returned to his season starting value. Perhaps it's time to get him in again.
  5. Steven Pienaar (£6.6m, 13 pts): He's in one hell kind of form with 28 points in last 3 gameweeks. Can he continue to take charge of Everton's offence in the absence of suspended Marouane Fellaini (£7.5m, - pts)?

FEATURED: Manchester United v Newcastle @ Old Trafford
The Magpies will certainly have a tough Boxing Day as they visit to Old Trafford tomorrow.

Newcastle are historically Manchester United's bully suspects, and have never won at Old Trafford since 1972 — that's an incredible 40 years.

Robin Van Persie is the favourite to lead the line again, though one might wonder the possibility of resting him, and/or possibly Wayne Rooney (£12.0m, 1 pt) by Sir Alex Ferguson and deploy Javier Hernandez (£6.9m, 1 pt) and/or Danny Welbeck (£7.8m, - pts) instead.

On the back Nemanja Vidic (£6.6m, 2 pts) is fully fit once again and played until the whistle was blown against Swansea last Sunday and should therefore lead the line again this time.

Newcastle has lost all of their last 3 Premier League away tie and I expect that to continue. Demba Ba (£8.3m, 2 pts) might of course blast one or two goals behind the line, but I don't think that's going to stop the Red Devils from reaping points from their favourite prey in the Premier League.

Prediction: MUN 3-1 NEW

TEAM FOCUS: Tottenham
It's unlucky that Aston Villa will face Tottenham after a calamitous defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Gareth Bale (£9.5m, 3 pts) is fit to war again so expect the floodgate to reopen at Villa Park. Jermaine Defoe (£8.4m, 2 pts) is more than happy to see him return as he had scored no goals in his absence.

I think Christian Benteke (£6.7m, 2 pts) surely has something up his sleeves so let's focus on Tottenham's offensive players instead of their defence.

Prediction: AST 1-3 TOT

PLAYER FOCUS: Pienaar
Steven Pienaar is in wonderful form in the absence of Fellaini, so expect him to get up and running again against Wigan at Goodison Park.

GAMEWEEK 19 DREAM TEAM
Hart
Vidic — Ivanovic — Baines
 Michu — Pienaar — Mata  — Bale (VC)
Defoe — Van Persie (C) — Suarez
Subs: Begovic — Gaston Ramirez   Nelsen  Fonte

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Kick-Off: Gameweek 18 Fantasy Preview


Total ownage: Chelsea progressed to the semi-finals of League Cup after giving Leeds a five-goal-demolition.
It's certainly a roller-coaster month for Chelsea as they finished off Leeds United in style after a shock Club World Cup defeat to Corinthians. Can they kick-start a good league run with such form?

GAMEWEEK 17 HIGHLIGHTS

GAMEWEEK 17 TOP SCORERS
  1. Santi Cazorla (£9.7m, 23 pts): A hat-trick is always wonderful. Class.
  2. Christian Benteke (£6.6m, 15 pts): Killed Liverpool with 2 goals as the striker continues to cement his starting position for Villa.
  3. Jan Vertonghen (£6.3m, 15 pts): Scored his second goal of the season as the shows some very good offensive potential.
  4. Adel Taarabt (£5.6m, 14 pts): Should play an important role for QPR's defiance against relegation.
  5. Lukas Podolski (£8.2m, 14 pts): Played the supportive role in Cazorla's heroic show. Decent.

FEATURED: Swansea v Manchester United @ Liberty
League leaders Manchester United will travel to Swansea in their attempt to at least retain their lead against second-placed City by six points.

Michu (£8.0m, 2 pts) is the man on form now for the home side as he scored 5 goals in the last 4 league games. A big man to mark for Nemanja Vidic (£6.6m, 1 pt), who has just recovered from a long-term injury, and co.

Nonetheless, the Swans have not been doing well defensively so it presents a fair opportunity for Robin Van Persie to take the lead against Michu in the Golden Boot race. Expect the star striker to induce some fear into the home side's defence with Wayne Rooney (£12.0m, 7 pts) pulling the strings from behind.

Should be a quite challenging match, but I think the Red Devils should go through.

Prediction: SWA 0-2 MUN

TEAM FOCUS: Manchester City
City certainly don't want to see their derby rivals Manchester United to extend the lead against them, and should really seize Reading totally.

Yaya Toure (£8.0m, 10 pts), the African player of the year for two successive year, is the hot man this gameweek with more than 130,000 gameweek transfers in currently, and should play a major role in tearing the Royals' defence, while David Silva (£9.4m, 6 pts) will play the supportive role as usual.

Up front it should be Carlos Tevez (£9.5m, 2 pts) partnering Sergio Aguero (£11.0m, 5 pts) once again and you can expect them to tap in some goals.

Prediction: MCI 3-0 RDG

PLAYER FOCUS: Mata
Juan Mata (£9.5m, - pts) has been very integral in Benitez's offensive tactics, so expect him to deliver some magic against Aston Villa this Sunday.

GAMEWEEK 18 DREAM TEAM
Reina
Zabaleta — Ivanovic — Walker
 Snodgrass — Taarabt — Mata (C) — Yaya Toure
Van Persie — Tevez — Suarez (VC)
Subs: Jaaskelainen — Sterling   Demel  Fonte

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Announcement: No Gameweek 17 Preview

Dear readers,

Sorry for this but I have to skip my routine gameweek previews due to hectic schedules.
Wishing you to have a great gameweek ahead.

From Peacemaker-J.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Kick-Off: Gameweek 16 Fantasy Preview

The Blues' three musketeers failed to bring their team to the round of 16 despite a emphatic victory.
Chelsea won 6-1 in their last Champions League fixture of the season, sitting only third in group standings as Manchester City couldn't even qualify for Europa League after yet another loss, ending only with 3 points without a victory. Is English influence on Europe football diminishing?

GAMEWEEK 15 HIGHLIGHTS

GAMEWEEK 15 TOP SCORERS
  1. Michu (£7.8m, 16 pts): After some period of silence, the Spaniard rediscovers his goalscoring form with 4 goals in 4 games. Expect the buy bandwagon to return.
  2. Wayne Rooney (£11.8m, 16 pts): Unfortunately to Robin Van Persie's (£13.8m, 6 pts) owners, Rooney is still the primary penalty taker of the team. Certainly needs drag the battle to determine who's the boss at Old Trafford.
  3. Daniel Agger (£6.4m, 15 pts): 31 points in his last 4 FPL games, which include 6 bonus points. The Dane is certainly showing some fine form here and the upcoming fixtures look pretty fantasy friendly too.
  4. Jermaine Defoe (£8.3m, 13 pts): Don't look like he will lose his position as Spurs' first choice forward as least for this season. Solid pick.
  5. Demba Ba (£8.2m, 13 pts): Scored an important brace to end Newcastle's poor run of 4 consecutive defeats. Looks awesomely consistent as his maximum goal drought is only 2 league matches so far.

DOUBLE GAMEWEEK: Sunderland and Reading
This double gameweek has little meaning actually, as both teams do not have any big scorers. Still, start their players if you happen to own them anyway as 180 minutes of action will give you 4 points even if they don't contribute any goals, assists or clean sheets.

FEATURED: Manchester City v Manchester United @ Etihad
The battle for top comes in a pretty critical moment as City host United at home.

The gap between the Manchesters is now 3 points wide, and a win is much needed for City to ensure that this is still at least a two-horse race. The battle for the forward spots is pretty intense now, though I am pretty sure that Sergio Aguero (£11.0, 1 pt) will pin down one of the places to play against the Red Devils. David Silva (£9.4m, 2 pts) is a much more rotation-proof figure in City's offence, but he may not be fit enough to play following a hamstring injury.

For the away side, injury is plaguing the midfielders so expect Wayne Rooney to play in the hole supporting Robin Van Persie and Javier Hernandez (£7.5m, - pts) or Danny Welbeck (£7.8, 1 pt) upfront.

I am not too convince about City winning at home with such mediocre form recently, so I guess I will vote for a draw.

Prediction: MCI 1-1 MUN

TEAM FOCUS: Chelsea
Martin O'Neill's team is struggling recently and it presents a great chance for Rafa Benitez to grab his first Premier League win as Chelsea's manager.

The Blues thrashed Nordsjaelland 6-1 in the Champions League, with Fernando Torres (£9.4m, 5 pts) rediscovering his form by scoring 2 goals. That could serve as a great momentum for him to get back on the scoring track.

Juan Mata (£9.5m, 7 pts) also scored a goal against Nordsjaelland and will be hopeful to replicate his scoring form too.

Benitez should really start winning to avoid premature axing by Roman Abramovich...

Prediction: SUN 0-2 CHE

PLAYER FOCUS: Michu
Michu has been very streaky so far this season, so he may go with full ammunition this weekend and bag one goal or two again against Norwich.

GAMEWEEK 16 DREAM TEAM
Cesar
Sean Morrison — Mertesacker — Cuellar
 Gardner — McAnuff— Michu (C) — Mata
Le Fondre — Berbatov — Torres (VC)
Subs: Gazzaniga — Lallana   Rangel  Nelsen 

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kick-Off: Gameweek 15 Fantasy Preview

Harry Redknapp got his first point as a QPR manager on his first game in charge.
No time for break as gameweek 15 will begin shortly! Let's start!

GAMEWEEK 14 HIGHLIGHTS

GAMEWEEK 14 TOP SCORERS
  1. Wayne Routledge (£5.4m, 15 pts): Certainly a very volatile players, with 6 three-points-or-less gameweeks sandwiched in between 2 double digit gameweeks. Proceed with caution is my advice.
  2. Cameron Jerome (£5.0m, 11 pts): A surprising performance from the sub. Doesn't look ownable yet with such limited playing time.
  3. Gareth Bale (£9.7m, 10 pts): One of the most in form midfielder at the moment, though notably more expensive than the highest scoring fantasy midfielder at the moment...
  4. Marouane Fellaini (£7.6m, 10 pts): ... and you know who he is. His fifth double digit gameweek already. What a fantastic season for him.
  5. Gareth Barry (£5.3m, 10 pts): Contributed both assists in City's win over Wigan. His gameweek history doesn't look like he will produce a lot more though.
  6. Robert Snodgrass (£5.8m, 10 pts): Don't look worthy with his high price tag among the players from mid-bottom-table clubs.

FEATURED: Manchester City v Everton @ Etihad
Fierce battle continues for Everton as they travel to Manchester in an attempt to stop the duopoly of the Manchesters.

Fellaini continues to be the man in form for the Toffees after scoring his seventh goal of the season against Arsenal yesterday. The Belgian is expected to play pivotal part again in the game at Etihad.

Carlos Tevez (£9.5m, - pts) was given a driving ban by Lancaster magistrates but that shouldn't stop him from travelling to City's home stadium and play for the team. He should really start after featuring only 22 minutes in the past 2 gameweeks.

An intense battle is anticipated, but City are in a very good form to lose now.

Prediction: MCI 2-0 EVE

TEAM FOCUS: Manchester United
The Red Devils are struggling to win comfortably recently, but against Reading it should be easier.

Robin Van Persie (£13.7m, 9 pts) continues to be the man to trust as he scored the only goal against West Ham to help United to stay at the summit. But let's not underestimate the impact Wayne Rooney (£11.7m, 2 pts) and Javier Hernandez (£7.6m, 2 pts) can bring too.

Should be a comfortable win.

Prediction: RDG 1-3 MUN

PLAYER FOCUS: Suarez
Southampton have only kept one clean sheet this season, so it is really one of the best opportunity for Luis Suarez (£10.4m, 2 pts) to score a couple of goals and extend his advantage in the pursuit of Golden Boot.

GAMEWEEK 15 DREAM TEAM
Cesar
Enrique — Ivanovic — Rafael — Garrido
 Silva — Walcott — Bale
Suarez (C) — Van Persie (VC) — Ba
Subs: Gazzaniga — Pablo Hernandez   Jordi Gomez  Nelsen 

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kick-Off: Gameweek 14 Fantasy Preview


"I rule!"

It'll be a short one, as I'm short of time in weekdays. So let's begin!

GAMEWEEK 13 HIGHLIGHTS
  • West Brom went third in the league standings after a 4-2 away win against Sunderland. Not showy, but definitely effective in delivering results.
  • The Manchesters swapped places again as City failed to win at Stamford Bridge.
  • After a strong start, Everton now only got 1 victory in their last 5 league games after being frustrated at home by Norwich.
  • 8 teams on clean sheet this gameweek, possibly hinting the beginning of the "winter effect" in the Premier League. You may want to shift some budget to defence to capitalise on the usually weaker offence during the next one to two months.

GAMEWEEK 13 TOP SCORERS
  1. Jordi Gomez (£5.2m, 20 pts): Unbelievable hat-trick. Only scored 6 fantasy points prior to this, and thus doesn't seem to be a good choice.
  2. Stephane Sessegnon (£7.3m, 13 pts): He now scored 20 points in his last 2 games. He has shown us what he is capable last season, and this might just be the indicator of better things to come.
  3. Jermaine Defoe (£7.8m, 12 pts): As good as usual this season, which will continue to frustrate Emmanuel Adebayor's (£9.0m, - pts) chances at this team.
  4. Gaston Ramirez (£6.0m, 12 pts): It might took too long for the most expensive signing of Southampton of all time to deliver his value, but to be late it's better than to not come at all.
  5. Adam Lallana (£6.1m, 11 pts): Have been pretty consistent and is considered one of the best mid-budget midfielder around.
  6. Jonny Evans (£5.8m, 11 pts): Exposed to a lot of bench time and so does not seem to be a good pick yet.

FEATURED: Everton v Arsenal @ Goodison Park
Everton will like to escape their point dropping frustration as Arsenal pay a visit to Goodison Park in a head-to-head battle for fifth.

Marouane Fellaini (£7.6m, - pts) will return from suspension and provide the much needed strength to dominate the Gunners. Can the quartet of Arsenal — Santi Cazorla (£9.5m, 3 pts), Lukas Podolski (£8.2m, 2 pts), Olivier Giroud (£8.4m, 2 pts) and Theo Walcott (£8.7m, - pts) — break the duck this time?

Prediction: EVE 2-1 ARS

TEAM FOCUS: Manchester City
Yes, Wigan have just recorded a sensational victory last Saturday, but I don't think City are ready to slip here when they are trailing against Manchester United already. Carlos Tevez (£9.5m, 1 pt) and Sergio Aguero (£11.0m, 2 pts) are as usual the best pick.

Prediction: WIG 0-3 MCI

PLAYER FOCUS: Sessegnon
It might take some time for Queens Park Rangers to recover from their misery, so Sessegnon may be able to capitalise on that and make it three in a row (3 goals in 3 games).

GAMEWEEK 14 DREAM TEAM
Begovic
Kompany — Shawcross — Rafael
Sessegnon (VC) — Fellaini — Lallana — Bale
Tevez (C) — Van Persie — Suarez
Subs: Gazzaniga — Adam   Clark  Garrido

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Kick-Off: Gameweek 13 Fantasy Preview

Roman Abramovich certainly loves the personnel from Merseyside.

A week of sackings as Roberto Di Matteo became the first Premier League manager to be discharged from his job this season following a 0-3 defeat to Juventus in the Champions League. Shocking. Replacing him is ex-Liverpool gaffer Rafael Benitez, until the end of the season.

The Blues of London certainly need a miracle to progress to the next round now, while the Blues of Manchester — Manchester City — are officially out of the tournament. Both Manchester United and Arsenal have secured their progress though.

Also being sacked is Queen Park Rangers' ex-manager Mark Hughes, after such a horrible season with only 4 points despite having a more than decent squad. He is then quickly replaced by Harry Redknapp, one of the best manager since Premier League's establishment 20 years ago.

Let's see how these sides respond in the Premier League as we head into the 13th gameweek of the season.

GAMEWEEK 12 TOP SCORERS
  1. Carlos Tevez (£9.4m, 19 pts): Explosive. The Argentine is now leading the fantasy scoreboard and looks set to become the first player to break the 100-point milestone.
  2. Jose Enrique (£5.7m, 18 pts): Looks superb to play out of position. If he can lock down the left wing spot he could be the next fantasy hot cake.
  3. David Silva (£9.3m, 16 pts): And finally the Spaniard scored something which tallies with his price. Needs a few more of such performance to regain fantasy managers' confidence though.
  4. Santi Cazorla (£9.4m, 13 pts): The expected one to perform when Arsenal perform.
  5. Adam Le Fondre (£4.8m, 13 pts): A good, low-cost benchwarmer in your fantasy team considering his penalty duties.

FEATURED: Chelsea v Manchester City @ Stamford Bridge
Rafa Benitez will have a tough start at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea face league leaders Manchester City.

The Blues have gone four matches without a win and will definitely hope for a change under the new gaffer. Fernando Torres (£9.5m, 2 pts) is the man on the radar now as he had flourished well under the leadership of Benitez and will hope to replicate the same thing again.

Frank Lampard (£8.4m, - pts) and John Terry (£6.6m, - pts) will continue to spend time with the physios, and thus offensive burden will continue to lay heavily on Juan Mata (£9.6m, 1 pt) and Eden Hazard (£10.1m, 7 pts) while defensively it will continue to leak in my opinion.

Roberto Mancini certainly has huge pressure after witnessing the sack of Roberto Di Matteo and will go all out to deliver the necessary result to avoid following Di Matteo's footsteps. Carlos Tevez (£9.4m, 19 pts), David Silva (£9.4m, 16 pts) and Sergio Aguero (£11.0m, 11 pts) will continue be Mancini's main weapon to rely on if they are to get something from London this Sunday.

Tough one to call given the uncertainty that new manager gives, but I believe City should be able to knock down unsettled Chelsea.

Prediction: CHE 1-2 MCI

TEAM FOCUS: Manchester United
A managerial change at Queens Park Rangers, but I don't think that will change Manchester United status as the most fantasy friendly team this week.

United went for a full rotation in Champions League defeat against Galatasaray and will have their elites fully prepared for a full scale demolition. Wayne Rooney (£11.7m, - pts) will be fit for the clash, though Robin Van Persie (£13.7m, 2 pts) remains the best pick of the team and perhaps across the league as well for this week's FPL captain.

The Rangers don't score a lot of goals, so it's likely for Rafael Da Silva (£6.4m, 1 pt) and co to get some good returns.

Prediction: MUN 3-0 QPR

PLAYER FOCUS: Kone
Wigan will host Reading who have only kept one clean sheet so far this season, so I think Arouna Kone (£6.5m, 2 pts) has quite the chance to get something from the game and become a decent pick for this gameweek.

Luis Suarez (£10.3m, 11 pts) continues to get popularity among fantasy managers as well as with his unstoppable form, scoring 5 goals in last 4 Premier League games.

GAMEWEEK 13 DREAM TEAM
Al-Habsi
Rafael — Shawcross — Enrique
Adam Johnson — Cazorla — Sterling — Bale
Tevez (VC) — Van Persie (C) — Suarez
Subs: Begovic — Pablo Hernandez   Mertesacker  Cuellar

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Saturday Screamers: Five Star City

The golden trinity (Silva, Aguero and Tevez) led City to a 5-0 win.
Quite a number of shocking results including Chelsea's and Manchester United's shock defeats which helped Manchester City climb to the summit. Here are some highlights:

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Kick-Off: Gameweek 12 Fantasy Preview


A week of misery for England as they were crushed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a friendly. Ibra scored an unbelievable bicycle kick as well (view video above). Great, great player.

GAMEWEEK 11 TOP SCORERS
  1. Dimitar Berbatov (£7.4m, 16 pts): Another bombastic performance from the Bulgarian forward. One of the best in terms of value for money.
  2. Javier Hernandez (£7.6m, 15 pts): Almost guaranteed to start again this week with both Wayne Rooney (£11.8m , 2 pts) and Robin Van Persie (£13.6m, 5 pts) in doubt after such a stunning performance last week.
  3. Marouane Fellaini (£7.6m, 13 pts): Rose £0.6m in price in just 2 weeks time. Get him fast if you plan to.
  4. Olivier Giroud (£8.4m, 12 pts): Two goals were certainly good, but unless Arsenal can get more consistent it's a huge gamble to get him.
  5. Andreas Weimann (£5.2m, 12 pts): The youngster capitalised his chance well, but as a fourth-choice striker his playing minutes is hardly guaranteed.

FEATURED: Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur @ Emirates
It's a do or die game for Arsenal as they face Tottenham who are one point ahead of them in the league table this Saturday.

The Gunners are on a very shaky form recently, having grabbed only 7 points from a maximum of 18 in their last 6 league games. The fans surely have started to miss Robin Van Persie, where the team showed much consistent form last term with the Dutch talisman around.

Arsene Wenger will have to continue to rely on Olivier Giroud who delivered 2 goals last weekend to launch attack to Tottenham's goal line, with Santi Cazorla (£9.4m, 2 pts) and Lukas Podolski (£8.3m, 6 pts) providing the required support.

Meanwhile, Tottenham will be ready to exploit Arsenal's dip of form, although their form is even more terrible than the Gunners after suffering 2 consecutive league defeats. Steven Caulker (£4.8m, 8 pts) is the hot man recently, with the young defender already registered 2 league goals this season since playing his first game on gameweek 5. Nonetheless, it will be up to Gareth Bale (£9.7m, 2 pts) and Jermaine Defoe (£8.0m, 1 pt) to penetrate the defence.

Close call, and I think neither side can score 3 points.

Prediction: ARS 2-2 TOT

TEAM FOCUS: Liverpool
Manchester United against Norwich might be the more fantasy friendly match-up, but with several key players (Rooney and Van Persie) on doubt, I will stick to Liverpool, who hosts Wigan this Saturday.

Luis Suarez (£10.0m, 9 pts) is in a rich vein of form and has attracted £50m interest from Manchester City, having scored once each in his last 3 Premier League fixtures. With such form, he is simply a man that you can't resist. Expect him to score again and maybe even register one or two assists.

Steven Gerrard (£9.4m, 1 pt) could also break his silence and score some good fantasy scores, while Raheem Sterling (£5.3m, 2 pts) is the budget alternative from Merseyside as usual.

Defensive wise I remain skeptical about their ability to earn clean sheets, but of course they are more likely to get one in this game than the last three (Everton, Newcastle and Chelsea).

Prediction: LIV 2-1 WIG

PLAYER FOCUS: Hernandez
With Rooney and Van Persie in doubt, it is more likely than not for Javier Hernandez to start this week against Norwich City.

Chicharito's "hat-trick" is Premier League's hot topic last weekend, which not only shows his superb instinct as a forward but also how wasteful it is to make him warm the bench.

Sir Alex Ferguson definitely have no reason to bench him and risk further injuring his two senior forwards, so let's enjoy another great show from the Mexican.

GAMEWEEK 12 DREAM TEAM
Jaaskelainen
Johnson — Hughes — Baines
Nolan — Fellaini — Mata — Bale
Hernandez (VC) —  Berbatov — Suarez (C)
Subs: Cesar  Sterling   McCartney — A. Ferdinand

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sunday Aftermath: Chicharito's Fury

Javier Hernandez celebrated Saturday with an "indirect" hat-trick.
It was another great weekend for Manchester United as they extended their lead in Premier League to two points. Here are some key points:
  • It's such a waste to allow Javier Hernandez (£7.5m, 15 pts) to warm the bench, and he just proved it again. The impact sub scored 2 and made 1 own goal for the opponent in just 45 minutes of action against Aston Villa, which was an reiteration of his unmatched positioning and poaching skill.
  • On the other side, it was second consecutive start for youngster Andreas Weimann (£5.2m, 12 pts). The lad has now scored 4 bonus points in 2 games, and is showing some good potential for his cheap price.
  • Meanwhile, Arsenal made their worst start in their Premier League history as they lost another 2 points to Fulham. There's good news though, as Olivier Giroud (£8.4m, 12 pts) is starting to show his value and scored a brace for the home side.
  • Manchester United will be glad to sell Dimitar Berbatov (£7.4m, 16 pts) to Craven's Cottage as the Bulgarian was the big hero in the game, having directly involved in all 3 goals to halt the progress of the Gunners. Another man who performed nicely in fantasy terms for Fulham was Alex Kacaniklic (£4.7m, 9 pts).
  • Marouane Fellaini (£7.6m, 13 pts) was the man at Goodison Park again as he scored 28 fantasy points in the last 2 games. Unbelievably consistent and is one of the season man to own for me.
  • A goalless draw between Reading and Norwich made sure that they continue to stuck at bottom half of the table.
  • It was also a draw at St Mary's, with Nathan Dyer (£5.4m, 9 pts) finally scored after a long silence.
  • Charlie Adam (£6.6m, 10 pts) scored his first goal for a very long time as Stoke City defeated Queens Park Rangers who remained last in league standings.
  • Wigan succumbed to a home defeat against West Bromwich Albion, but Arouna Kone (£6.5m, 6 pts) is definitely having a fine time there with his fourth goal of the season. Could turn out to be a good acquisition in some part of the season.
  • Early Sunday showdown saw Manchester City recovered from Tottenham's first-half goal to stay within 1 game gap against derby rivals Manchester United. Edin Dzeko (£7.5m, 5 pts) was the super-sub again with a game-killing goal, but will never become a fantasy force with his limited playing time.
  • Kevin Nolan's (£6.8m, 11 pts) fame as a goalscoring midfielder continues to flourish as he netted his fifth in league this season to record a good victory against Newcastle. Another clean sheet suggests that Jussi Jaaskelainen (£5.0m, 8 pts) is a must in your goalie set-up.
  • Else at Stamford Bridge Chelsea could made it 3 or 4 up in first half but ended up with only one instead as they ended the game with a draw thanks to a second-half equaliser from Luis Suarez (£9.9m), who is in rich vein of form.


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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Kick-Off: Gameweek 11 Fantasy Preview

Is this the end for Roberto Mancini?
So Manchester City are 99% certain to exit UEFA Champions League after a 2-2 draw against Ajax. Group stage exit for two consecutive seasons for the champions of England. What a big humiliation.

GAMEWEEK 10 TOP SCORERS
  1. Marouane Fellaini (£7.2m, 15 pts): The Belgian has scored 5 Premier League goals already this term after blasting two against Fulham last week. In superb form and looks to be a season-long pick.
  2. Peter Odemwingie (£6.9m, 13 pts): Played a one-man-show against Southampton. Don't get hyped on him so fast though.
  3. Kaspar Gorkss (£3.9m, 11 pts): Scored 16 points in last 2 games. Nonetheless I won't invest on any Reading players at the moment unless they can sort something out and start to rack up some league points.
  4. Ben Watson (£5.2m, 11 pts): His fantasy score last gameweek is almost double of what he had so far before last gameweek. Never is a good fantasy asset.
  5. Bradley Johnson (£4.7m, 11 pts): Another rare member in the gameweek top scorers' list. Scored 2 points in 8 out of 10 fantasy fixtures, which suggests that you would need to wait very long for him to replicate such a good gameweek.
  6. Victor Moses (£6.3m, 11 pts): An influential game despite the draw, but will never have the chance to become a regular starter unless Juan Mata (£9.4m, - pts) or Eden Hazard (£10.3m, 2 pts) suffers a long-term injury.

FEATURED: Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur @ Etihad
Chelsea against Liverpool is probably the more intense rivalry, but let's turn our head to Manchester, where defending champion Manchester City welcome Tottenham in a more evenly matched battle.

Roberto Mancini is one of the favourites to become the first Premier League manager to be sacked this season, and another season of premature Champions League exit did not help him neither. A win against Tottenham would be crucial to boost his chance to stay with the Blue Moons.

Sergio Aguero (£11.1m, 1 pt) scored one for City in their draw to Ajax and could be the scorer again against Tottenham, though Carlos Tevez (£9.5m, 2 pts) remains the cheaper and better pick compared to his compatriot.

On the other side, Tottenham have been going up and down in the last few games as they bounced quickly to defeat Maribor 3-1 in Europa League after a shocking defeat to Wigan at White Hart Lane. Jermaine Defoe (£8.1m, 1 pt) scored a hat-trick in the Europa Cup tie, which will definitely attract interest from fantasy managers as he formed a dynamic partnership with Gareth Bale (£9.8m, 2 pts) who remains one of the most threatening players in the Premier League.

A pretty tricky match to predict, but I guess I will stick to the Lillywhites and hope for a surprise defeat for the defending champions.

Prediction: MCI 1-3 TOT

TEAM FOCUS: Manchester United
After some long series of hectic match-ups Manchester United will finally be blessed with mid-to-bottom table opponents in the coming gameweeks, and they will begin with Aston Villa as their starter.

Robin Van Persie (£13.6m, 8 pts) continues to be FPL's hot pick and is owned by 35% of fantasy managers despite his ludicrous price tag. The Dutch forward scored yet again in United's Champions League victory against Braga, which simply shows that why he is so expensive compared to the rest of FPL players.

Wayne Rooney (£11.8m, 2 pts) redeemed himself from the spot after missing one against Arsenal last week, though his fantasy scoring ability is still some distance away from RvP. A little pricey in my opinion.

Defensively I am not so fancy about them keeping a clean sheets, but Rafael Da Silva (£6.2m, 5 pts) has been pretty effectively offensive from the back and worth every penny he costs.

Should be an easy game for Ferguson's team.

Prediction: AST 1-3 MUN

PLAYER FOCUS: Lambert
All eyes will fall on St Mary's Stadium this Saturday as Nigel Adkins may face his final Premier League game for Southampton this season, should he lose. He will be determined to create miracles and his hopes will fall under Rickie Lambert's (£6.1m, 2 pts) shoulders. Swansea won't be a tough opponent for him, having failed to secure any clean sheets for 8 consecutive league games.

Pavel Pogrebnyak (£4.7m, - pts) would be another forward to look at this weekend as Reading hosts leaky Norwich.

GAMEWEEK 11 DREAM TEAM
Begovic
Rafael — Shawcross — A Santos
Kightly — Fellaini — McAnuff — Bale
Van Persie (C) —  Ba (VC) — Suarez
Subs: Al-Habsi  Lallana   G. Cameron — Gorkss

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Sunday Aftermath: United On the Summit

"Oops!" Van Persie made Arsenal's £24m revenue from him a painstaking one after scoring the critical opener against them. 
A weird weekend as none of the teams from the top half of the table won except the new league leaders, Manchester United. Here are some highlights:
  • Robin Van Persie (£13.5m, 8 pts) embarrassed Arsene Wenger as he capitalised on Thomas Vermaelen's (£7.1m, 1 pt) mistake to score an early opener against Arsenal. Incredible consistency which makes his hefty price tag more and more justified.
  • Wayne Rooney (£11.8m, 2 pts) was given the authority to take the penalty on top of Van Persie but somehow missed it. He made up for his mistake later on by making an assist for Patrice Evra's (£6.8m, 10 pts) — still a miserable fantasy gameweek however.
  • Meanwhile, Marouane Fellaini (£7.1m, 15 pts) bossed Craven's Cottage as he scored both goals of Everton against Fulham. The Toffees dominated the game but was left frustrated by Steve Sidwell's (£5.0m, 8 pts) late equaliser.
  • Norwich have now gotten 7 points out of 9 in their last 3 league games as Bradley Johnson (£4.7m, 11 pts) converted Robert Snodgrass' (£5.8m, 8 pts) assist into the net.
  • Fallen fantasy star Gabriel Agbonlahor (£6.9m, 9 pts) scored his first goal of the season as Aston Villa snatched 3 points away from Stadium of Light.
  • Victor Moses (£6.3m, 11 pts) grabbed his chance well to score the opening goal for Chelsea but Pablo Hernandez (£6.1m, 9 pts) stopped Chelsea from climbing back to the top of the league table with a late equaliser.
  • A stunning day at White Hart Lane as Tottenham failed to deliver any goals at home against Wigan.
  • Manchester City's 22 shots proved to be a waste of effort as they shared a point with West Ham in a 0-0 draw.
  • Both Queens Park Rangers and Reading failed to grab their first win of the season as they shared one goal apiece at Loftus Road.
  • Luis Suarez (£9.7m, 9 pts) is certainly on fire currently but his side failed to snatch all three points at Anfield against Newcastle.

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Kick-Off: Gameweek 10 Fantasy Preview


Theo Walcott was the main hero in Arsenal's 7-5 victory over Reading.
A crazy League Cup round as we saw 2 astonishing games played which include Arsenal's unbelievable 4 goal comeback against Reading and Chelsea's extra-time revenge against Manchester United in a 9-goal-thriller. Absolute stunners but let's return to Premier League as we prepare for gameweek 10 of FPL:

GAMEWEEK 9 TOP SCORERS
  1. Robin Van Persie (£13.4m, 12 pts): Second consecutive double-digit gameweek score now for the Dutch forward. Simply one class above of the rest of the Premier League forwards.
  2. Bryan Ruiz (£5.8m, 11 pts): He said that he can fill the void left by Mousa Dembele (£6.1m, - pts) and Clint Dempsey (£9.2m, 9 pts). Quite good so far.
  3. Mikel Arteta (£7.7m 11 pts): First double-digit gameweek for the Spaniard this season. Playing in such a deep position, he doesn't look likely to carry forward his scoring momentum.
  4. Michael Turner (£4.2m, 11 pts): His last gameweek's score has made him more than double his season's score. Definitely not a man to hold until Norwich find some good defence at the back.
  5. Gareth Bale (£9.6m, 10 pts): 12 bonus points in the last 5 games he had played. A season-long pick for me.

FEATURED: Manchester United v Arsenal @ Old Trafford
Premier League continues to get hot this week with Manchester United hosting Arsenal at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils currently sit second on the league after a controversial victory over Chelsea last week. Nonetheless, they fumbled in Capital One Cup tie against the same team in a dramatic match-up.

Robin Van Persie will play for the first time against his old club since his transfer saga, but he won't be kind to Arsene Wenger for sure and will continue be the main goal threat for Manchester United, with Wayne Rooney (£11.8m, 1 pt) continue to provide world class support to last season's Golden Boot winner.

Shinji Kagawa (£8.1m, -  pts ) is still a few weeks away from recovery while Chris Smalling (£5.3m, - pts) could be back to boost Sir Alex Ferguson's options at the back for this important tie.

On the other side, the Gunners have been pretty quiet in front of goal but that ended on League Cup tie against Reading, where they scored 7 goals. Santi Cazorla (£9.5m, 3 pts) and Lukas Podolski (£9.5m, 2 pts) continued to be the best bets at Arsenal, while Jack Wilshere (£6.4m, 3 pts) could be handed another league start again after starting last weekend against Queens Park Rangers. Not so sure about his fantasy value though.

Should be a pretty open play, with the Red Devils enjoying their home advantage and send Arsenal back home with a defeat. Don't expect another 8-2 though.

Prediction: MUN 3-1 ARS

TEAM FOCUS: Tottenham Hotspur
They will play at White Hart Lane against Wigan so you could do much worse than getting Tottenham's players and captain their stars.

Gareth Bale (£9.7m, 10 pts) is the obvious captain pick for this week with his explosive speed the main weapon to break the Latics' defence. Clint Dempsey (£9.2m, 9 pts) is another man you can consider as his starting place is now for him to lose after some consistent run of form.

Upfront Jermaine Defoe (£8.0m, 5 pts) should continue to be Andre Villas-Boas' trusted choice, though Emmanuel Adebayor (£9.0m, - pts) could spoil the party as he recovers from illness.

A fair chance to grab a clean sheet too, with Steven Caulker (£4.8m, 2 pts) providing cheap access to Tottenham's backline. He is in legal troubles though, so be cautious.

Prediction: TOT 3-0 WIG

PLAYER FOCUS: Tevez
Manchester City will travel to Boleyn Ground this week. They will have no League Cup fixtures after being eliminated on late September, so Carlos Tevez (£9.5m, 9 pts) will be full of stamina to produce some nice results.

Shane Long (£6.1m, 1 pt) is struggling to shrug off injury problems, so Romelu Lukaku (£6.4m, 9 pts) could start again and get some good scores against Southampton.

GAMEWEEK 10 DREAM TEAM
Hart
O'Shea — Caulker — Ivanovic
Gerrard — Hoilett — Mata — Bale (C)
Tevez (VC) —  Fletcher — Defoe
Subs: Guzan  McAnuff   G. Cameron — Wisdom

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Sunday Aftermath: Howard Webb's School of Referees

Welcome our next graduate from Howard Webb's academy.
I am simply amused with Premier League's referee standard as Manchester United kept benefiting from such ridiculous officiating. Here are some highlights on last weekend's game:
  • Robin Van Persie (£13.4m, 12 pts) was undoubtedly the man of the match (barring the ref) as he was directly involved in 2 of Manchester United's goals. He definitely is showing some performance that matches his price tag.
  • On the other side Juan Mata (£9.3m, 9 pts) continued his fabulous performance with a brilliantly curled free-kick goal. Just 3 points between him and Eden Hazard (£10.3m, 5 pts) now, as fantasy managers are more and more tempted to switch to the former and use the extra sterling elsewhere.
  • At Goodison Park Luis Suarez (£9.7m, 8 pts) almost embarrassed David Moyes — who accused him as a diver — as he scored one (and another disallowed but legitimate goal) and created Leighton Baines' (£7.5m, 4 pts) own goal in Liverpool's 2-2 draw with their Merseyside rivals. Surprisingly though he did not get any bonus points.
  • So Gareth Bale (£9.7m, 10 pts) did dedicate a goal for his newborn daughter as Tottenham claimed 3 points at St. Mary's Stadium. Clint Dempsey (£9.2m, 9 pts) was the other goalscorer as he seemed to pin down a starting spot in Andre Villas-Boas' squad already.
  • Demba Ba (£8.4m, 8 pts) and Papiss Cisse (£8.9m, 6 pts) both scored a goal in Newcastle's victory over West Bromwich Albion, but it was Romelu Lukaku (£6.4m, 9 pts) who claimed 3 bonus points despite losing.
  • The buy call on Carlos Tevez (£9.4m, 9 pts) is expected to back on rise again as the Argentinian continued to perform consistently and scored the only goal for Manchester City in their victory against Swansea.
  • Bryan Ruiz (£5.8m, 11 pts) starred for Fulham in their exhilarating 3-3 draw against Reading, with fantasy hotcake Dimitar Berbatov (£7.1m, 6 pts) scoring a goal too in the process.
  • Arsenal continue to struggle in getting goals, though at least this time Mikel Arteta (£7.7m, 11 pts) scored one for the Gunners and secured 3 points for them.
  • Christian Benteke (£6.5m, 7 pts) started ahead of Darren Bent (£8.0m, 1 pt) for Aston Villa and did not disappoint as he recorded one goal for the home side in their draw against Norwich City.
  • It's 3 clean sheets in 4 games for Stoke City as they played a goalless draw with Sunderland. The upcoming fixtures look good too, so you should really take a look at the Potters' defence.
  • None of the usual fantasy faces scored in Wigan's 2-1 victory over West Ham United, which was disappointing and boring.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Kick-Off: Gameweek 9 Fantasy Preview

Another early goodbye for Joe Hart and co?
Only Manchester United managed to win in Champions League among Premier League clubs this midweek as Manchester City are on the verge of group stage elimination for 2 seasons in a row after scoring only 1 point in 3 games. A big humiliation for the Premier League champions, I suppose.

GAMEWEEK 8 TOP SCORERS
  1. Juan Mata (£9.1m, 18 pts): Clearly the unstoppable man at the moment. You might want to consider swapping him with Eden Hazard (£10.3m, 9 pts) as he is much cheaper.
  2. Mark Noble (£4.8m, 15 pts): Definitely a decent footballer who can provide occasional goals and assists, but such a high scoring gameweek will be a "once in a blue moon" event in my opinion.
  3. Chris Baird (£4.4m, 15 pts): Started for 5 straight games already in Premier League. Could be a decent pick, though you shouldn't hope for much offensive points like last gameweek.
  4. Wayne Rooney (£11.8m, 14 pts): The birthday boy is on fire. Seems to be more valuable than Robin Van Persie (£13.4m, 11 pts) who provide similar production at cheaper price.
  5. Kevin Nolan (£6.5m, 12 pts): A solid season-long pick who can provide consistent production plus good upside potential. Grab him before he becomes too expensive to own.

FEATURED: Chelsea v Manchester United @ Stamford Bridge
The 6-point brawl in the title race will commence this Sunday as league leaders Chelsea face second-placed Manchester United at their homeground.

The Blues conceded their first defeat of the season in Champions League encounter against Shaktar Donetsk. A shocking one, but things are quite different as Stamford Bridge.

Manchester United definitely have a very leaky defence, being conceded first in 8 of their 11 matches this season. Unfamiliar trait from the Red Devils, with Chelsea looking forward to exploit.

Juan Mata and Eden Hazard are your best bet as always, with Fernando Torres (£10.0m, 2 pts) a slight risk with his unpredictable form. Frank Lampard (£8.6m, 1 pt) is a doubt after limping off with an injury in Champions League fixture — Hazard should be the primary penalty taker then.

On the other side Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie continue to be the main pillars of the club. Unfortunately Shinji Kagawa (£8.3m, 0 pt) is doubtful with a knee injury, which means that the formation identical to the last match — Rooney playing along with Van Persie and Danny Welbeck (£8.0m, 10 pts) in a three-pronged set-up — could be adopted again.

Tough one to call, but I think Chelsea elites should be able to take advantage of United's defensive crisis.

Prediction: CHE 2-1 MUN

TEAM FOCUS: Arsenal
Arsenal have lost both of their last two games and scored none in both, but I think that will end this weekend as they host Queens Park Rangers who lay deep bottom of the table.

Santi Cazorla (£9.5m, 2 pts) continues to top my list of Arsenal players — a goal plus an assist is highly probable for the Spaniard this gameweek. Lukas Podolski (£8.6m, 2 pts) meanwhile is the man you can trust up front, with Olivier Giroud (£8.4m, 2 pts) and Yao Gervinho (£7.6m, 2 pts) the less popular options.

Defensive wise a clean sheet is quite possible so there's no wrong investing on the likes such as Carl Jenkinson (£5.2m, 2 pts) and Vito Mannone (£4.6m, 2 pts).

Prediction: ARS 3-0 QPR

PLAYER FOCUS: Bale
A very delicious fantasy cuisine for this gameweek, definitely. Gareth Bale (£9.5m, - pt), who just became a father last week, will definitely be looking forward to bombard Southampton's defence to embrace his child. Solid, solid captain pick of the week.

Dimitar Berbatov (£7.0m, 2 pts) will face Reading this week, and I have no reason to believe that why he won't score.

GAMEWEEK 9 DREAM TEAM
Manonne
Riise — Coloccini — Baines
Cazorla (VC) — Nolan — Hazard — Bale (C)
Tevez —  Podolski — Berbatov
Subs: Guzan  Duff   McCartney — Wisdom

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Sunday Aftermath: Mata's Madness

After a disappointing start this season, Juan Mata is just 7 points away from FPL leader Eden Hazard (60 pts).
So Juan Mata (£9.0m, 18 pts) continued his scintillating form at White Hart Lane! Here are some highlights:

  • Gareth Bale (£9.5m, - pts) missed the game to witness the delivery of his first child. Unfortunate timing, otherwise Tottenham should have a fair chance to win it.
  • Eden Hazard (£10.3m, 9 pts) continued to deliver consistency with 2 assists, though at the moment Mata is definitely the better of the two with both greater form and cheaper price.
  • Two defenders — namely Chris Baird (£4.4m, 15 pts) and John Arne Riise (£5.5m, 10 pts) — combined to help Fulham to win against Aston Villa. Riise has 4 assists already this season, which is not bad for his mid-range price.
  • Raheem Sterling (£4.9m, 11 pts) delivered his first goal of the season, and was well rewarded with 3 bonus points as Liverpool won their first home game of the season. Luis Suarez (£9.5m, 5 pts) was the contributor, but wasted tons of chances in the game against Reading.
  • Interestingly, Liverpool have collected 2 consecutive clean sheets. Not quite expected, really.
  • Else at Old Trafford, Wayne Rooney (£11.7m, 14 pts) scored a "hat-trick" (2 goals plus an own goal) as he completed his 200 Premier League goal milestone and Manchester United won 4-2 against Stoke City. His strike partners Robin Van Persie (£13.4m, 11 pts) and Danny Welbeck (£8.0m, 10 pts) also scored double digit points — all three are great buys if Sir Alex Ferguson sticks with the current formation.
  • At Liberty Stadium we saw Miguel Michu (£7.2m, 8 pts) back with his magic feet as Swansea recorded their first league victory since August. Pablo Hernandez (£6.1m, 9 pts) showed his class with a goal as well, but Jonathan de Guzman (£5.7m, 11 pts) was the true hero, having provided the assists for both goals of the Swans.
  • James Milner's (£6.1m, -2 pts) red card almost costed City some league points but Edin Dzeko (£7.5m, 11 pts) made sure that it's 3 points in City's hands in just 11 minutes of action. Another frustrating story in FPL — superbly effective yet having his talent wasted on bench.
  • Carlos Tevez (£9.4m, 7 pts) continued to provide, but can that stop his sale bandwagon?
  • West Ham hammered Southampton 4-1 with club captain Kevin Nolan (£6.4m, 12 pts) continued to deliver super value performance with a goal and an assist. The man of the match was Mark Noble (£4.8m, 15 pts) though, scoring 2 goals.
  • At Carrow Road we saw Arsenal getting a shock defeat as Grant Holt (£6.0m, 8 pts) scored in 3 consecutive league games. A man to monitor.
  • Demba Ba (£8.3m, 3 pts) assisted for Yohan Cabaye's (£6.8m, 9 pts) but scored an own goal later as Newcastle have to satisfy with a draw at Stadium of Light against Sunderland.
  • Junior Hoilett (£5.8m, 10 pts) was lively throughout the game but QPR have to satisfy with a draw after yet another sloppy defensive performance, despite playing with one man more for half an hour.
  • Steven Pienaar (£7.0m, -1 pt) was the victim of harsh officiating, and will miss the Merseyside derby next week.


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Friday, October 19, 2012

Kick-Off: Gameweek 8 Fantasy Preview


David Silva is a major doubt for this week's Premier League.
Real Madrid suffered a large scale FIFA virus after the notorious international fixtures. Fortunately it doesn't look that bad for Premier League clubs, with David Silva the only big name on the casualty list so far. Let's get back to business then, fellow fantasy managers.

GAMEWEEK 7 TOP SCORERS
  1. Aleksandar Kolarov (£5.7m, 20 pts): A super productive gameweek for him, just like what we saw frequently last season. He don't play regular minutes though, which makes it hard to persuade myself to get him.
  2. Jose Fonte (£4.0m, 15 pts): Not so sure how he managed to get in here. Averaging not even a point for the past 6 gameweeks before the last one, you will need incredible courage to get him. Not recommended.
  3. Steven Caulker (£4.7m, 15 pts): So defenders top the list of last gameweek. Good price, good offensive stats so far, but needs a few more gameweeks to observe his playing minutes, his offensive consistency and Tottenham's defensive resolution.
  4. Jonny Evans (£5.8m, 14 pts): If Manchester United can regain their tight back line, then he is the man to own. Evans is currently the cheapest access to the Red Devils' list of fantasy defenders following Nemanja Vidic's 8 weeks injury.
  5. Patrice Evra (£6.8m, 13 pts): A much more solid performance. Still not recommended however with Branislav Ivanovic (£7.2m, 12 pts) and Leighton Baines (£7.5m, 6 pts) both performing much better with just a little bit of premium.
  6. Wayne Routledge (£5.2m, 13 pts): Played a big part in ending Swansea's consecutive defeat streak. Taking the inflation of Nathan Dyer (£5.7m, 2 pts) into consideration I believe Routledge is the more valuable pick of the duo should you need some Swansea exposure.

FEATURED: Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea @ White Hart Lane
A big showdown will happen at London this Saturday as Andre Villas-Boas hopes for a redemption against his former club Chelsea.

Though the Mourinho protege had an awful career at Stamford Bridge, he is having a much better time at White Hart Lane, grabbing 12 points out of possible 12 in his last four Premier League games after a slow start. It could hardly get any better to face his former employer at such a timing.

Much of his hopes will depend on Gareth Bale (£9.5m, 43 pts in total) — who has been superior in both club and country level and earned numerous praises after a fantastic feat for Wales earlier this week.

Emmanuel Adebayor (£9.0m, 1 pt) should be fit for action, but I don't think that will refrain Jermaine Defoe (£7.8m, 5 pts) from going into action — a 4-4-2 is quite likely for Villas-Boas' side.

On the other side, Fernando Torres (£10.0m, 12 pts) will be looking forward to extend his fine form, with Eden Hazard (£10.3m, 9 pts) and Juan Mata (£8.9m, 8 pts) providing strong support from the flanks. Great exciting offensive match in anticipation.

I don't expect clean sheets, so it is not advisable to get any of their defenders hoping for 4 clean sheet points. Close call, but I am more inclined to a Tottenham victory after their wonderful feat at Old Trafford two weeks ago.

Prediction: TOT 3-2 CHE

TEAM FOCUS: Liverpool
Arsenal will play at Carrow Road against leaky Norwich City, but in my opinion Liverpool's home game against Reading is as delicious as the Gunners in fantasy terms, if not better.

Just like Norwich, Reading are still struggling to earn their first Premier League of the season, and the road to Anfield — which is set for an expansion plan — won't be kind to them.

While the Reds have just won one Premier League game so far, they have the tendency to bully defensively weak teams. Luis Suarez (£9.6m, 2 pts) is the only match fit senior forward of the team, and is surely the man to invest following Fabio Borini's (£7.3m, 0 pts) injury for Italy.

Fernandez Saez (£5.0m, 2 pts), better known as Suso, is another Liverpool man on fine form and could start and score some good returns this gameweek, while Andre Wisdom (£4.5m, 9 pts) will hope to start again after claiming 9 points which include 3 bonus points last gameweek.

It's too long to not win at Anfield, and I think that will end on Saturday.

Prediction: LIV 3-1 RDG

PLAYER FOCUS: Cazorla
Arsenal will play Norwich this week, so it's very hard to ignore the likes such as Santi Cazorla (£9.4m, 8 pts). The Spanish playmaker is expected to bring lots of troubles to the Canaries' defence.

Lukas Podolski (£8.6m, 5 pts) is another man you should consider from Arsenal, while Everton's match against QPR presents several fantasy opportunities such as Steven Pienaar (£6.9m, 8 pts) and Nikica Jelavic (£8.4m, 5 pts).

GAMEWEEK 8 DREAM TEAM
Manonne
Johnson — Evans — Baines
Cazorla (VC) — Nolan — Sahin — Bale
Suarez (C) —  Podolski — Jelavic
Subs: Schwarzer Routledge   McCartney — Rangel

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