Saturday, February 23, 2013

Kick-Off: Gameweek 27 Fantasy Preview

Jack Wilshere burst into tears after a heavy defeat to Bayern Munich at Emirates Stadium.
Mixed fortunes for Premier League teams at Europe as Liverpool got knocked out of Europa League while Arsenal got dented heavily at home by Bayern Munich. Let's see how they reach as Premier League moves on to gameweek 27. Kindly take note that Liverpool and Swansea have pre-played their fixture on gameweek 26 in anticipation of League Cup final for the Swans. They will play no games for this gameweek.

FEATURED: Manchester City v Chelsea @ Etihad
It's a battle for runner-up as Chelsea travel to Manchester City with four-point gap between them.

Eden Hazard (£9.3m, 13 pts) brought the Blues through to the round of 16 of Europa League with a dramatic late goal against Sparta Prague. He had scored in both of his last two games and could be the main threat again to the opposition apart from Juan Mata (£10.1m, 1 pt) — the Blues' chief in offence.

On the other side, City finally got a win after more than a half-month with Carlos Tevez (£8.7m, - pts) starting ahead of Edin Dzeko (£7.5m, 7 pts) this time. Still looks tough to read through Mancini's brain despite the departure of Mario Balotelli.

So it leaves Sergio Aguero (£10.9m, 2 pts) as the most rotation-free man up front, though his price can hardly be justified with his mediocre performance this season. This is the same as well to David Silva (£9.3m, 2 pts) and Yaya Toure (£7.7m, 1 pt) — two big fantasy jewels of last season.

Close match, but I think City have the stamina advantage to take this down.

Prediction: MCI 2-1 CHE

This might be the last easy game for the Gunners in awhile, so let's enjoy.

Theo Walcott (£9.5m, 7 pts) are the obvious picks as usual, while Olivier Giroud (£8.0m, 2 pts) and Santi Cazorla (£9.3m, 8 pts) are capable to do some damage too if you are looking for goals.

If they can hold off Christian Benteke (£6.9m, 8 pts) then I can see a third consecutive clean sheet coming.

Prediction: ARS 3-1 AST

Harry Redknapp simply doesn't look godly enough to save QPR from Robin Van Persie's (£14.0m, 12 pts) desolation... The Red Devils won't lose such a golden chance to further cement their leading position will they?

Baines — Jenkinson — Rafael
 Walcott (VC) — Sissoko — Fellaini — Bale — Nani
Van Persie (C) — Giroud
Subs: Federici — Le Fondre  Zabaleta — Harte

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Kick-Off: Gameweek 26 Fantasy Preview

Meet Newcastle's latest super value buy Moussa Sissoko.
I'll make it short as I am on holiday mood now, so let's begin!

FEATURED: Manchester United v Everton @ Old Trafford
Old Trafford it's never a heaven for the visitors, and Everton will have a tough time dealing with it.

Marouane Fellaini (£7.8m, 15 pts) did great last gameweek scoring 2 goals for the Toffees, but is classified as 75% playing by the FPL committee. You should start him with confidence anyway if you own him. Leighton Baines (£7.6m, 4 pts) is another man to consider, having scored 43 fantasy points in the past five games.

Nevertheless, I think it's the usual Manchester United show with both Wayne Rooney (£11.9m, 8 pts) and Robin Van Persie (£14.1m, 5 pts) in superb form. However, there are some rotation risks with Real Madrid on Sir Alex Ferguson's mind.

A Manchester United win for me.

Prediction: MUN 2-1 EVE

TEAM FOCUS: Liverpool's Double Gameweek
Two straight home games for Liverpool in this double gameweek, and you know what to do.

Luis Suarez (£10.8m, 2 pts) did not lose his popularity despite the rise of Daniel Sturridge (£7.7m, 5 pts) — he shouldn't lose it anyway with his great consistency and versatility. Definitely the best pick from Liverpool. Sturridge is as great as Suarez with his lower price but is a slight doubt for the first game.

At the midfield Jordan Henderson (£5.4m, 1 pt) is doing impressively well in recent weeks and could crack something out of the two matches. Steven Gerrard (£9.7m, 10 pts) is enjoying his second youth currently with his outstanding performance and could hit the 200-point milestone again. Great picks.

They could harvest some defensive points too, so getting one of their defenders will not look silly. Bear in mind they will not play the next gameweek though.

Prediction: LIV 3-1 WBA, LIV 2-0 SWA

Chelsea need to bounce back from their dismal form, and Juan Mata (£10.1m, 9 pts) surely is their best bet to do so. Against Wigan it shouldn't be tough.

Enrique — Walker — Davies
 Mata — Gerrard (VC) — Michu — Bale
Suarez (C) — Aguero — Van Persie
Subs: Cesar — Snodgrass   Cameron — Bertrand

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Kick-Off: Gameweek 25 Fantasy Preview

Are you kidding me? Queens Park Rangers bought defender Christopher Samba for a club record of £12.5m. I do not mean to humiliate Samba, but this is a freaking ridiculous price.
The winter transfer window ended with Queens Park Rangers' unbelievable £12.5m record deal for experienced ex-Premier League defender Christopher Samba. QPR certainly look more and more desperate in their struggling journey to survive at the Premier League.

Other notable transfers include Nacho Monreal's arrival at the Emirates Stadium as well as Danny Graham's switch to Stadium of Light. Let's just see how these new crop of players fare with their new clubs.

  • Manchester United re-extended their lead to 7 points after a narrow victory over Southampton. Wayne Rooney (£11.8m, 13 pts) was the hero, having scored both goals for United.
  • Manchester City meanwhile were held goalless at Loftus Road as QPR collected another famous point to keep their survival hopes alive.
  • Luis Suarez (£10.5m, 6 pts) and Jordan Henderson (£5.3m, 12 pts) combined to give Liverpool a two-goal lead at the Emirates but in-form Theo Walcott (£9.5m, 8 pts) and Olivier Giroud (£7.9m, 11 pts) helped to salvage a point for Arsenal.

  1. Leighton Baines (£7.5m, 17 pts): A couple of goals from the Toffees' defender made it 39 points from his last 4 games. Fixtures are still pretty favourable for him in the next 3 games.
  2. Juan Mata (£10.1m, 14 pts): His heroics wasn't enough to take 3 points for Chelsea. Proceed with caution as the lad is doubtful against Newcastle with his ankle injury.
  3. James McArthur (£5.4, 13 pts): He was involved in both goals of Wigan. Never look to be a fantasy prospect anyway.
  4. Wayne Rooney (£11.8m, 13 pts): Back on fire but I am still skeptical of his playing minutes as well as influence when compared to Robin Van Persie (£14.1m, 2 pts).
  5. Jordan Henderson  (£5.3m, 12 pts): 22 points from the last 2 games as the young midfielder is on the way to leave the "flop" tag behind him.

FEATURED: Manchester City v Liverpool @ Etihad
Another tough game for Liverpool as they visit to Etihad in their tough quest for a top four finish.

City drew against QPR last week and will look to not repeat such embarrassment against the Reds. Mario Balotelli has left to AC Milan for good and helps to increase the playing minutes of Sergio Aguero (£10.9m, 2 pts), Carlos Tevez (£8.9m, 2 pts) and Edin Dzeko (£7.5m, 1 pt). Not sure which two of them will start up front though, with David Silva (£9.5m, 3 pts) for sure will provide the needed support for them.

Jordan Henderson is the hot man for the Reds but the arrival of Phillipe Coutinho (£6.5m) should restrict his playing minutes sooner rather than later. The more reliable and less susceptible to rotation player is of course Luis Suarez (£10.5m, 6 pts) who can play and perform equally well at any position at the front four.

It's going to be a tough match, but I guess Vincent Kompany's (£7.1m, - pts) will prove to be a hard time for Roberto Mancini's side.

Prediction: MCI 1-1 LIV

TEAM FOCUS: Tottenham
Tottenham have not won in their last three Premier League fixtures, and that's too long.

West Brom are even worst with their 5 game victory-less streak, and that presents a big chance for Gareth Bale (£9.8m, 8 pts), Jermaine Defoe (£8.2m, 5 pts) and Aaron Lennon (£7.3m, 2 pts) to shine. New arrival Lewis Holtby (£7.5m) could get his time too after debuting against Norwich at Carrow Road earlier this week.

Prediction: WBA 1-3 TOT

It's hard to overlook Olivier Giroud (£7.9m, 11 pts) as he bursts into incredible form after a miserable first half of the season. Against Stoke, he will be the towering presence to pierce through the high physical defence of Tony Pulis' team.

Samba — Evra — Baines
 Mata — Bale (VC) — Fellaini — Walcott
Van Persie (C) — Fletcher — Giroud
Subs: Cesar — Henderson   Bertrand — Bramble

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