Archives for posts with tag: Gameweek

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand  I EXHALE!!……!!!!!

Finally, i’m back from my deep, deep slumber!!

Months and months after the last FPL Gameweek post, a bad case of fever and taking the day off is what gets me back here – hopefully for good!!

It was painful to stay away – but i reckon one has to simply make time for ones’ passion, ehh?!

So with further nostalgic mush-mush; let me dive right in the Predictions for Gameweek 3!

Straight off – the match to look out for is the first game this weekend – Manchester City welcome newcomers Hull City at the Etihad..

The Sky Blues will be smarting from their shock defeat to new boys Cardiff City – and will look to hammer in a few goals and target a clean sheet – especially after Manuel Pelligrini’s comments that Joe Hart can’t take his place as City #1 goal keeper for granted.

Everton would be looking for their first win under new boss Roberto Martinez after 2 draws – but will be wary of a Cardiff team high on confidence.

FPL wise – West Ham vs Stoke City should be one to look out for as well – Sam Allardyce’s men will consider anything less than a win a missed opportunity against the usually ineffective Stoke attack – who did miraculously score *two* goals last week!! :O

And finally he two big matches on Super Sunday! And it doesn’t get bigger than Liverpool vs Manchester United at Anfield AND the North London Derby – Arsenal vs a Gareth Bale-less Tottenham at the Emirates.

Expect no clean sheets in the above two matches and plenty to attackers to try their best to get on the score sheet!

Now that the round up’s done – here are my picks!!

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. Joe Hart (High) – With new manager Pelligrini challenging Hart to justify his automatic selection between the sticks, the English shot stopper will have to be at his best to nail down his spot. Hull failed to score past Chelsea, and their lone goal against Norwich was a penalty. Can Hart notch up another cleans sheet?!
  2. Jussi Jääskeläinen (Medium) – West Ham are a team on the ascendancy. Only 4 points from their first 2 matches will surely have Big Sam huffing and puffing at Boleyn ground. They will look forward to earn their third successive clean sheet – and Mark Hughes’ Stoke City should provide little threat to the target.
  3. Artur Boruc (Low) – Despite having an impressive squad, Norwich City still seem like a which hasn’t found it’s groove yet to accommodate the new summer recruits. Southampton on the other hand, have quietly gone about integrating theirs. A clean-sheet against the Canaries doesn’t seem too far fetched…
  • Defenders:
  1. Pablo Zabaleta (High) – Unless Angel Di Maria joins Arsenal – Pablo will remain everyone’s favourite Argentine in the EPL. To make up for losing his man and conceding three goals against Cardiff – Zabaleta went to the other end of the pitch to make amends – almost scoring and almost setting up a goal in the dying minutes. Not only will he working his hardest to ensure City do not concede at home, his positional awareness might just see him waltz past the Hull back four to score,
  2. Seamus Coleman (Medium) – The Irishman is on a roll! Excellent performances for Club and Country have marked Coleman for glory in 2013. Being a right-back hasn’t stopped him from pumping goals and assists for his team mates. A player with long term prospects this season – a worthy investment.
  3. James Collins (Low) – Yet another FPL prospect who is seemingly flying the radar – with only 6.4% FPL managers having picked the Welsh International – quite frankly an embarrassment! A vital cog in Big Sam’s defense – yet another low priced player to select ASAP!
  • Midfielders:
  1. Theo Walcott (High) – If it’s the North London Derby – AT the Emirates – one person who never fails to tun up is the speedy Englishman. Terrorizing full backs with his frightening pace, Theo has elevated his game to a new level and ensured that he remains an indispensable component of Arsene Wenger’s team.
  2. Kevin Nolan (Medium) – The talismanic Englishman is unquestionably the Hammers’ leader – wearing the Captain’s armband AND leading the players by example. All round action man – Nolan is a natural pick from the Irons’ squad.
  3. Aaron Ramsey (Low) – Yet another Welshman in today’s picks – and yet another Gunner. The 22 year old is seemingly coming back into the form of his life – with 3 goals in as many matches across all competitions. He should be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the arrival of Mathieu Flamini – as he will now have the license to roam in central midfield. Is it borderline blasphemy to suggest Ramsey on form is better than Jack Wilshere?! This season – we shall surely find out!.
  • Forwards:
  1. Wayne Rooney (High) – One thing is for sure – Liverpool will concede finally this weekend and the highest possibility is that the score will be – That Dutch Snake (Jersey #20). But despite that – it will be highly possible that the Man of the Match will be the troubled Wazza. A man who unfailingly turns up at all the right occasions – this game will be now different with the troubled striker having endured a tumultuous summer with never ending transfer speculation. Expect him to to turn it up and take another step at silencing his doubters.
  2. Olivier Giroud (Medium) – Third Gunner in the list!? So what!!? He’s scored 3 goals in the last 4 matches already – and the Emirates is his favourite hunting ground. Being the lone point of attack – now even more after Lukas Podolski’s unfortunate long term injury – expect the burly Frenchman to receive a LOT of service – and he may surely convert a chance or two!
  3. Edin Dzeko (Low) – Oddly, the Bosnian hit-man is almost never given the credit he deserves, despite his habit to score vital goals and vital matches. Priced lower than most FPL forwards, he is embarrassingly the most economical City forward – even behind new signings Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic! Surely an injustice!! But with nwe Pelligrini seemingly having immense faith in Dzeko – he has promised to he will turn back the clock and make the Bosnian the striker who was *expected* to arrive at the Etihad three seasons ago.

So that’s the list of my picks!! How many will deliver and how many will fail!? We won’t be waiting to long to find out!!!

Till the next time – hopefully, next Gameweek itself! May my second innings carry on uninterrupted… 🙂

– DesiEPLFantasyManager

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So i’m back after ANOTHER looooong break… Quite the Tomas Rosicky i am, ehh?! 😀

And what a time to comeback as well, with a MASSIVE fixture pile up over the next 5 days!! Unless you don’t know already 4 teams play twice over the Gameweek – and what a list of teams to boot: Arsenal, Everton, Fulham and Manchester United.

***Correction – 5 teams, i forgot dear old West Ham!! Sorry Big Sam!!!

MU will look to bury last week’s defeat under an avalanche of goals and 6 points… Arsenal and Everton will both be desperate to earn 6 points and stake their claim for a spot in the Top 4… And Fulham… will keep passing the ball to Berbatov.

The Tyne Wear Derby is perhaps the star billed match of the week, but with both teams hovering very uncomfortably above relegation spots a win will become even more crucial to both teams.

For multiple reasons – Arsenal vs Everton will be the match to look out for. It might just be a “six-pointer” though not in the strictest of senses.

A Toffees win wil inch them close to Europe, put a massive gap between them and Liverpool & boost their confidence massively for the rest of the campaign.

Arsenal – if they win – will overtake Chelsea and Tottenham and the psychological  ramifications of 6 points this week will be **MASSIVE**.

Elsewhere, Wigan will potentially take a break from their Annual Avoid Relegation party and they visit Manchester City – who seem earnest in winning maximum points from the remaining matches.

Wit most of the big matches covered, let me head straight for my picks for this week:

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. Joe Hart (High): With a severely over worked Chelsea playing the last match on this week, Hart playing against Wigan seems like a safe bet for a clean sheet. Hart is at the foremost in putting in a shift that’ll make the City supporters and in one of the few players who is still fighting for the City cause.
  2. David De Gea (Medium): After 6 clean sheets in a row, City finally breached the Red Devils defence twice last week. Expect SAF to demand that they embark on a new spree with two easily winnable games against teams who arn’t the most prolific of scores: Stoke and West Ham. With two games to be played, potentially penalty saves might just be a welcome bonus.
  3. Lukasz Fabianski (Low): Hey! i am just as surprised as you are to see Lukasz “Flappyhandski” here – but the Polish keeper has really put in impressive performances to snatch the starting spot away from Wojciech Szczensny. Once again – 2 games, maybe a clean sheet and a potential penalty save. A gamble, but the low price means it might just pay off handsomely.
  • Defenders:
  1. Patrice Evra (High):  The only stumble in this pick – and i do have my doubts – is that Evra might just be rested for one of the two matches that MU play. With the title wrapped up, SAF might just let Buttner have a run of two away games against the physically imposing sides. That said, if he does play the Red Devils VC might just contribute to the attack – adding to his tally of 4 goals and 8 assists.
  2. Thomas Vermaelen (Medium): The Gunners skipper has now got the opportunity to play two games in a week – albeit only due to Per Merstesacker’s suspension. He will be keen to impress & with 2 games, he will get many chances to earn a starting spot. i reckon he will be eager to leave his mark.
  3. Sascha Reither (Low): Imported from FC Koln, Sascha has quickly established himself as a crowd favourite at Craven Cottage. With Fulham playing twice (yeah, it’s a recurring theme in my picks) and the second match to be played at home, he might just turn out to be a smart buy.

***** Note:  Why did i leave out my perennial favourite Leighton Baines you ask, even though Everton play twice and Baines is generally awesome sauce this season?! Answer: He is on 4 Yellow cards – so a booking at QPR who are a scrappy lot – will result in him being suspended for the second match against Arsenal. *****

  • Midfielders:
  1. Santi Cazorla (High): Regular readers (Bless You 🙂 ) will be aware that i’m a sucker for footballers who have special reasons to perform – seminal matches, overtaking/equaling club records, playing against former clubs, personal joy etc. etc…. And also, players who play twice a week are easy shoo ins in my team. Without further ado – i present to you Santi Cazorla – who plays twice *at home* this week AND welcomed his daughter India (Reason No. 1588 to love him) last week after his wife/partner (?!) delivered the healthy baby girl. Soooo – he’ll either score and kiss both his wrists – or score twice for his two kids. My bet for fantasy Captain to boot.
  2. Marouane Fellaini (Medium): Regular readers (Bless You :)) will know that rarely a Gameweek goes where i don’t have multiple Belgians in my Fantasy picks. So Belgian # 2 makes the cut again – Marouane “plays twice this Gameweek” Fellaini; who is back from his suspension and will be raring to contribute to the Toffees cause as they seek to sneak into Europe. Fantasy Captain Choice – Rank 2.
  3.  Damien Duff (Low): It has been ages, but there was once a time when Damien Duff was a high flying winger for played for Chelsea. Therefore Duff ticks two boxes – playing twice and playing against a former club. i persist in my belief that Chelsea will be thoroughly exhausted after their lengthy season – and quite possibly slip up at the later stages when they are least expected to. Fulham are gasping for air and would want to pick up as many points they can at this stage, to stave a potential relegation battle.
  • Forwards:
  1. Wayne Rooney (High) – With That Dutch Snake on a mini drought (i fully expect him to end it over the next 2 games) i would still nominate Wazza for the pick. He’s hungrier to prove himself, well rested and more adept at playing physical sides like Stoke and West Ham. His efforts *for* the team are highly under-appreciated and i wouldn’t be surprised if he sets up team mates more than he scores from now till the end of the season. At least, that’s my take. Also, he’s a bit more economical than He Who Must Not Be Named.
  2. Olivier Giroud (Medium): He’s an Arsenal player… looks like a dream… has the body of a Greek God… Is French.. Smiles like a angel… i’m sorry, whaaatt?!! Oh – and he plays twice this week at home. Yup – THAT is why you should have him in your Fantasy…. Squad.
  3. Victor Anichebe (Low): Anichebe is a Fantasy Manager’s delight.. Costing only 4.3M £. And he plays with consistent regularity, now that Nikica Jelavic isn’t on the scincillating form that he displayed towards the end last season. Anichebe wasn’t given many chances at the start of the season, and missed out on a lot of games towards the middle. A run now has seen him contribute with 5 goals and assists. Dirt cheap, play twice – Great buy!

So that’s that…

How many of these will deliver, only time shall tell!!

Till next week..

Cheers,

DesiEPLFantasyManager.

Hello there folks!

i don’t want to brag, but a lot of my picks in Gameweek23 did perform remarkably well… Joe Hart and Leighton Baines with clean-sheets…  Theo Walcott with an 18pt haul, Marouane Fellaini with a respectable 5, Luis Suarez and Romelu Lukaku among the goals and assists…

Could get my picks out for GW24, but it was a week of surprises – what with QPR keeping a clean sheet against Manchester City (!!), Wigan scoring 2 against Stoke, Ryan Shawcross with a goal (!!), Sunderland and Swansea in a stalemate 0-0, and Fulham winning 3-1 over West Ham…

Anyway, here’s a quick look at the fixtures this weekend:

QPR vs Norwich – Harry’s New Boys could claim their second home League victory of this season against a Norwich team which seems to lost some of the early season sheen…

Arsenal vs Stoke – I expected the Gunners to win the match against Liverpool, then have a 0-0/1-1 draw against Stoke. Now,  with the high stakes involved, Arsenal face a must win situation, but i fully expect Stoke to put in a real fight.

Everton vs Aston Villa – i expect Everton to win, but whether they shut out Aston Villa will depend on which side of the bed Christian Benteke woke up today..

Newcastle vs Chelsea – A classic “trap game” – the Toons could spring an upset and pile on the pressure on Rafa Benitez, but i fully anticipate a Frank Lampard goal – quite possibly from the penalty spot.

Reading vs Sunderland – An upset – a rare Reading win.

West Ham vs Swansea – West Ham win; Michu to score.

Wigan vs Southampton – Tooooo close to call, but i’d go for a Saints victory. Wigan will kick start their annual “escape from relegation” ritual next week with a shock result against Chelsea.

Fulham vs Man. Utd – Can Fulham pull off a shock victory?! Unlikely.. but this will be a typical MUtd match – a nervy 3-2 win with at least one RvP goal.. A brilliant performance from Berbatov is probably another guarantee.

West Brom vs Tottenham – Striker less Spurs have recalled Harry Kane, but latest news declare Jermain Defoe fit for this clash. Spurs will look to Gareth Bale to deliver yet another sizzling performance and grab three points in their quest for Champions League qualification.

Man. City vs Liverpool – Man City for the win. Edin Dzeko with a goal or two…

So now that we’ve had a quick look at the games, here are the picks for GW25:

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. Hugo Lloris (High)The Frenchman has finally cemented his place as the No.1 at Tottenham, and today will be great opportunity to stamp his authority and silence any remaining doubters. West Brom have been struggling of late, having lost 4 of their last 5 matches. The usually solid Spurs defense could manage a shut out today.
  2. Tim Howard (Medium) – Everton host Aston Villa, and will look to claim all three points in their quest for a top 4 finish. With Villans looking quite lost and the Toffees defense in solid if not impressive shape, this could be their third clean sheet in the last 4 games.
  3. Julio Cesar (Low) – Why Cesar wasn’t awarded all 3 Bonus points after last week’s stupendous performance is beyond me. He single handedly kept David Silva from claiming a hat trick!! Against Norwich, QPR will look to build on their January enforcements with Man Mountain Christopher Samba in the heart of defense.
  • Defenders:
  1. Jan Vertonghen (High)The Belgian has impressed in his first season in the EPL. He has been as important as Gareth Bale in their march towards a top4 finish. Expect him to put in a great shift today once again.
  2. Bacary Sagna (Medium) – The Gunners’ right back is having a torrid season – his slip in the last game led to Liverpool’s opening goal. With Stoke’s forwards rarely threatening to score, i expect Sagna to show us all (and maybe potential suitors in summer) what he is truly capable of.
  3. Christopher Samba (Low) – At 12.5 millions pounds and a salary of 100k, don’t expect Harry Redknapp to give the formed Blackburn Rovers man “time to settle” at QPR. Also, he won’t be caught unawares in the EPL, having left English shores only last January. He will slotted right in the centre of he action, and at the very low price of only 5.0m i fully expect the Congolese international to be a valuable asset – to QPR and to your FPL teams.
  • Midfielders:
  1. Gareth Bale (High) – Some research today confirmed that Jermain Defoe will be available for the match against West Brom. However, Bale’s position as the focal point of Spurs’ attack is beyond doubt. This could well turn out to be one of those games where the midfielder lights up the BPL with a brilliant display.
  2. Marouane Fellaini (Medium) – The Belgian is having a quite run of late, having scored his last goal over 2 months ago. Aston Villa will be the perfect tonic to kick start the new month and a crucial run of games to clinch the top 4 spot for the Toffees.
  3. Yohan Cabaye (Low) – Among the Frenchman who have arrived this year at Newcastle, let us not forget the “dreamboat” who came ashore last season.. Cabaye is already a vital cog in the Toons’ mechanism. With 2 goals in his last two outings, expect Cabaye – NUFC’s set-piece specialist to boot – to lift Alan Pardew’s men away from the relegation battle.
  • Forwards:
  1. Robin Van Persie (High) – If he isn’t in your FPL teams already, then you need to sell off 3 midfielders and get him in already! Agreed.. he costs more than any other player in the league, but bloody hell does he deliver! And now, Wayne Rooney has declared he will be relinquishing his penalty taking responsibilities to the Dutchman.  [http://www.manutd.com/en/News-And-Features/Football-News/2013/Feb/wayne-rooney-decision-not-to-take-penalties.aspx] So that means RvP – who is a Manchester United player now – will get at least 10 penalties from now till the end of… February. 45.2% of FPL Managers already own him…. Will i be surprised to find out the number’s doubled by next week?
  2. Olivier Giroud (Medium) – 3 goals, 1 assist – a maximum 6 Bonus Points in the past two weeks – yeah, the Frenchman’s a flop alright. i hope my wife’s like Oliver – wait, that doesn’t sound right.. Surely, he will muscle (or charm) his way into the starting XI against the Rugby team tonight, and chip with a goal or an assist.
  3. Rickie Lambert (Low) – The Saints are looking for their first win under new manager Mauricio Pochettino. Wigan gives them a great opportunity to claim three points. Rickie Lambert will the best man to score goals, set up team mates and take set pieces as well. And with a record as fabulous as “Career Penalties Taken: 33;  Career Penalties Missed: 0” and with 10 goals and 4 assists this season alone, who wouldn’t want Super Rickie Lambert in their team?! Or am i confusing him with some other penalty scoring Englishman?!

So, what do you think? Do my picks pass muster?!

in 48 hours we shall know for sure!

Cheers!

DesiEPLFantasyManager.

Aaaaand we’re back!

After yet another round of pointless international friendlies, which have resulted in a lot of players probably injured and facing the prospect of a lay off.. ESPECIALLY if you a member of the Arsenal starting XI…

My focus this week, are mainly the players who didn’t play mid week – they will surely be well rested and looking to capitalize their opponents’ fatigue..  it’s my perspective – hope it works…

A quick round up though on the matches this weekend – it’s yet ANOTHER London Derby as Arsenal face Tottenham Hotspurs at the Emirates in the biggest derby of all – the North London Derby!! All form can be thrown out of the window and keep no hopes of a clean sheet in this one – avoid Arsenal and Spurs defenders/goalkeepers like the plague! Plenty of attacking options for Spurs – Gareth Bale (i hate to admit it but i really think he’ll score today), Clint Dempsey, Aaron Lennon (if he’s up against Santos or Vermaelen, i’m afraid i know who’ll win) and former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor that Spurs will *score* is a forgone conclusion.. Arsenal have a long injury list with most of the midfielders suspect for the big match… Yet again, there’s a high possibility that Aaron Ramsey will start in right wing (:|).. Now if only he translates some of his “promised potential” into a real performance, he’s make for a great Fantasy Buy, but until then the highly jaded Santi Cazorla seems the safest FF bet from Arsenal’s ranks…

Elsewhere, Manchester City take host Aston Villa in what i consider should be an easy win for the Champions.. but the whole world claims it’s  a classic “trap game“… Can Christian Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann improve on their result against Man United and claim a result at the Etihad Stadium?! Or will Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and co. ensure a regulation win over the Villans?

John Ruddy and Norwich City have kept 3 clean sheets in their last 4 games… But this week they’re up against the team that’s scored the most goals in the EPL yet – Manchester United. With Wayne Rooney possibly out of the game with an injury, and Robin van Persie “supposedly” injured, all signs point to last week’s hero Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will most likely start against the Canaries.. Will he grab the opportunity and further threaten Rooney’s position as a forward?!

Perhaps the most interesting match up this weekend neutrals and Fantasy League players is the bottom of the table fight between Southampton and QPR.. Both teams will throw everything and the kitchen sink at the opposition goal, so expect Djibril Cisse, Adel Taarabt, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Esteban Granero, Rickie Lambert, Jay Rodriguez, Adam Lallana and Morgan Schneiderlin to score points off goals and assists…

Without further delay!

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. Tim Howard (High) – i’m gambling today’s spot for the High spot knowing very well that Joe Hart plays against Villa at home AND Petr Cech against West Brom for Howard, because he is the keeper facing 18th place Reading and i fancy for my chances for a clean sheet. Of course, we’ve seen that the Toffees can’t keep a clean sheet to save their lives, but if there’s a chance to turn the tide this should be it..
  2. Mark Schwarzer (Medium) – After last week’s erratic performance, the Australian ‘keeper saved a penalty and scored 5 for the effort.. This week Craven Cottage welcomes notoriously goal shy Sunderland. Fulham are always a sure bet to win their home matches, but can the defense deliver as well?
  3. Jussi Jaaskelainen (Medium) – Yet another team with similar situation like Fulham, West Ham have had an impressive start to the season, currently sixth in the league with a clinical 1-0 over Newcastle last week. They face Stoke City who are also hardly a dangerous opponent away from home – at least when it comes to *scoring* goals. Reid and Co. eke out a similarly clinical result once again?
  • Defenders:
  1. Patrice Evra (High) – i’m just as surprised as you are, but one good look at the fixtures this week Patrice Evra could emerge as one of the better defenders this week. Norwich do struggle to score, with Grant Holt employed as the lone striker upfront.. The Canaries midfield should have a busy time keeping United’s attack under control, leaving Holt with little service.. Man. United are also great at setpieces, with Evra having scored off a header earlier against Newcastle. Seems like a reasonable bet…
  2. Aleksandar Kolarov (Medium) – i nominate Kolarov today not for his defensive skills BUT his attacking contributions… And with Mancini deploying the Serbian as a free agent on the left flank, i expect him to lay in an assist or, or maybe score a breathtaking free kick! Of course, Mancini may rest him altogether… So a risk, in its own way…
  3. Steven Caulker (Low) – Yet another goal scoring defender, Caulker could take advantage of the defensive frailties that Gooners have against set pieces, having scored two from two in his last two matches, one against Sweden and one against Manchester City last week. And if he lays a cold turkey, i can only be too pleased!
  • Midfielders:
  1.  David Silva (High) – All signs point to it – last season’s Spanish wizard is back.. Those who saw last week’s game against Tottenham will attest to the same. His game was dynamic, creative and sharp – the smart chip to assist Dzeko’s winner was truly the icing on the cake. He seems to be refreshed and hungry, and will be crucial to City’s dominance in the EPL.
  2. Steven Pienaar (Medium) – The South African had a great start to the season and was a FFan favourite until the double Yellow at QPR. With the Toffees facing Reading and with Everton playing some of the best football in the league, expect him to the take the Reading defense to the cleaners along with Marouane Fellaini.
  3. Adam Lallana (Low) – As i said, the Battle of the Bottom Dwellers will be won by the team that scores the most. The Saints skipper is the chief architect of all their attacks, and also a set piece specialist. Can he inspire his team to a much needed win against QPR?!
  • Forwards:
  1. Sergio Aguero (High) – Yet another City player featured today, Aguero will benefit massively from Silva’s return to form.  A classic goal poacher and a tireless athlete, he should score at least a goal against Paul Lambert’s defense if all goes as per script..
  2. Javier Hernandez (Meduim) – With Rooney and van Persie considered “suspect” for the match against Norwich, Little Pea will be a handed a rare League start which is a fair deal considering his past week’s rescue mission heroics. One of the best goal poachers in the League currently, he will have to deliver if Man. United are to stay on top of the table at the end of the week..
  3. Christian Benteke (Low) – Andreas Weimann may have scored two goals last week against United but it was the Belgian (seriously, what do those Belgian mothers give to their kids for breakfast?!) who was singled out for praise by Sir Alex Ferguson. The 7million pound buy looks like one of the best across the league, and if any player can breach the Citizen’s defense today, Benteke is the man for the job!

So that’s my list for Gameweek 12. Lets hope they deliver!

Cheers,

DesiEPLFantasyManager

Hello again! i need a new line to start my articles with… think’ it’ll be too pompous if i come up with a signature line?! Do i have a dedicated audience for one…?!

i’ll dive right into my predictions for GW7 – here goes nothing!

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. Petr Cech (High) – Chelsea host Norwich City at Stamford Chance. With the Canaries not really firing on all cylinders and the Blues tendency to utterly dominate lower ranked teams, this weekend provides a great chance for you to invest in the Blues back line – and the Czech shotstopper – to earn bumper points off a clean-sheet.
  2. Brad Friedel (Medium) – The American is one of the most important reasons to Spurs’ success this season. With Hugo Lloris battling for the No.1 spot, the 41 year old – you read that right – is making sure he’s on top of his game, without conceding goals off silly mistakes and giving it 100% (possibly more) while making crucial saves. Aston Villa at home presents him with a seemingly easy chance to notch up a clean sheet – one that has eluded him in a long while now.
  3. Vito Mannone (Low) – The Italian is benefiting greatly from Wojciech Szczesny’s absence. He will take his spot between the sticks again this weekend against West Ham. After 2 cleans sheets at the start of the season – and a horrible mix-up last week against Chelsea – this fixture may yield a clean sheet to the Gunners; as long as they avoid gifting goals off seemingly harmless situations.
  • Defenders:
  1. Branislav Ivanovic (High) – If all goes as per script, the Chelsea vs Norwich should be a clean sheet victory for the Blues. With the Chelsea midfield setting up innumerable chances to score for their team mates, Ivanovic – who has already scored 2 this season, might just end up scoring another one. 7 points seem like a possible return from the Blues’ right back.
  2. Kieran Gibbs (Medium) – The Englishman has quietly notched up excellent performances for the Gunners this season – enough to warrant a call up to the senior National team. With his penetrative runs across the left flank, it’s not too long till he he consistently starts getting points for assists.
  3. Goran Popov (Low) – Westbromwich Albion’s bubble still hasn’t been burst in the EPL – and it would surely be considered a minor upset if QPR beat them at home this weekend! With injuries affecting key players, expect Popov to lay 90 minutes and score points off a clean sheet.
  • Midfielders:
  1. David Silva (High) – After a blockbuster start to life in the EPL last season, Silva is struggling to replicate his imperious form this time around. But last week’s display showed that the Spaniard is getting back in the zone… and with Sunderland coming over to the Eastlands, this could be the game the Blues’ finally see Silva firing on all cylinders.
  2. Yohan Cabaye (Medium) – Last season, the Frenchman nicknamed “Dreamboat” scored a spectacular goal as Newcastle thumped Manchester United 3-0. With a win in their Europa league match midweek by the same margin, the midfielder is making all the right noises before this week’s big match up against the Red Devils. Can he deliver an encore?
  3. Adam Lallana (Low) – Southampton won their last home match, against Aston Villa. With some confidence finally returning among the sqaud, this week’s match against notoriously inconsistent Fulham provides another opportunity for them to exploit home advantage – and expect all attacks to pass through their skipper.
  • Forwards:
  1. Wayne Rooney (High) – Should Rooney be considered as a midfielder these days? With a glut of striking options and with their midfield either injured or inconsistent, Rooney’s grand plan to play in a deeper position is materializing – and with a match against a physical Newcastle on the cards, expect “Wazza” to roar back into form – and in front of the goal – to complete a remarkable comeback from injury.
  2. Jermain Defoe (Medium) – Yet another Englishman on my list today is the Spurs striker, who is enjoying the benefits of Andres Villas Boas’ ne regime at White Hart Lane – and admittedly Adebayor’s injury too. Aston Villa at home – surely another goal for Defoe?!
  3. Rickie Lambert (Low) – The Englishman (yes, i noticed the trend) is finally performing like he was expected to, with 4 goals scored in 6 matches. With a home game against Aston Villa, victory maybe suspect for the Saints – but a goal by Lambert is for sure.

Here’s to a great weekend of football ahead!

– DesiEPLFantasyManager.

Hello once again, DesiEPLFantasyManager is back after last week’s unplanned hiatus.. i don’t reckon anybody was holding their breath for the next post.. still, i’d have been very happy if somebody at least fainted from the lack of air..!!

So the blog’s been getting a lot of comments (mostly spam :p ), and very few page visits… i’d be lying if i say it doesn’t disappoint me, but all i can do is chin up and soldier on for the few loyal readers i’m aware of…

Also, i’ve decided that i will have to modify my post pattern… instead of posting player performances AND predictions in the same post, i will post twice a week – the review right after the Gameweek ends, and a preview before the next one starts.

Hopefully that’ll give me more time to analyse performances and explain/elaborate my tactics and selection criteria… (also, that’ll mean more posts!)

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. Jose Reina (High) – Liverpool’s woeful start to the season needs no reminder. But with a seemingly easier schedule ahead, the Reds can be expected to start mounting the “Top 6” finish challenge that seems to be long overdue. They have the best possible opportunity this week, against Norwich City, who have yet to win a single game this season. A lot will depend on the Spaniard, will this be the week he finally delivers?
  2. Cesar (Medium) – Perhaps one of the biggest transfer coups across the entire EPL, the Brazilian is earnestly performing for the Rangers. A dream clean sheet debut against Chelsea was followed by a loss to Tottenham. With  QPR hosting West Ham at home, a second clean sheet in three matches seems a reasonable accomplishment.
  3. Steve Harper (Low) – With Tim Krul injured, Harper is expected to start against bottom of the table Reading. The Toons’ forwards and midfielders will dominate possession, giving the home team barely any chance of a goal scoring attempts. Expect Harper to have a leisurely day in the office.
  • Defenders
  1. John Terry (High) – A clean sheet will be a highly unlikely situation in the North London Derby this week. However, with off the field troubles cast side, the Blues Captain will be looking for an opportunity to start his 4 match ban after a blockbuster performance.  A valuable asset during set pieces, JT might score off a corner. A man to watch out for.
  2. Ryan Shawcross (Medium) – Stoke at home are always be a formidable opponent. With Swansea having misplaced their scoring boots, this might well be the best chance the Potters have to record their first win of the season. Their skipper will have to step up to the plate, and don’t be surprised if he delivers. But his tendency to pick up a card might just do his inclusion in your FPL team some harm..
  3. Billy Jones (Low) – Injuries to the West Brom defense has provided young Billy Jones the opportunity to start in the match against Aston Villa. With Wes Brom battling to extend their fairy tale start to the season, a trip to Aston Villa, who could be tired after a long midweek Capitol One match against Manchester City. Easily the bargain basement buy of this week.
  • Midfielders:
  1. Juan Mata (High) – The one match that Chelsea rested Mata was the only one in which they dropped points. Although Eden Hazard has dazzled the EPL, it is Mata’s intricate and intelligent passing that will be key to a victory at Arsenal. Expect the Blues’ crucial plays of the day to heavily involve the Spaniard.
  2. Hatem Ben Arfa (Medium) – Newcastle will be aiming for a solid performance against Reading. With their forwards seemingly in goal scoring form, expect the mercurial Frenchman to dance around the Royals’ defense.
  3. Raheem Sterling (Low) – The Reds are away to Norwich City, and while the Canaries have managed to shore up their defense after the 5-0 opening day loss to Fulham, they will struggle against the lively 17 year old. With a lot of pressure and responsibility to be shouldered among the Liverpool midfield, this might just be the occasion when the new “Merseyside Messiah” delivers.
  • Forwards:
  1. Lukas Podolski (High) – The German international has settled down fantastically at the Emirates. Great work ethic, combined with a fierce drive and an even fiercer left foot make the former Cologne one of the best buys across the league. HE was largely absent in the previous match against Manchester City. Expect him to make for the lost time. Adept at set pieces, he will look to impress the home crowd against title contenders Chelsea.
  2. Demba Ba (Medium) – Week 3 of the “Demba Ba Audition Show” promises to be as fruitful, if not more, than the previous two. Unsettled by the lack of playing time and seemingly wanting to move out during the January transfer window, expect the Senegalese hitman to put yet another impressive display against a Reading team that languishes at the bottom of the table.
  3. Steven Fletcher (Low) – If he scores today, he will be only the second player in the history of the EPL to score all the first five goals for his side. A comfortable fixture against Wigan should pose a great opportunity for the record to be matched – and possibly bettered.

That’s it for this week’s predictions! Here’s hoping these picks come in handy for your FPL team!

Cheers!

DesiEPLFantasyManager.

 

It’s great to finally have some EPL action after the terribly timed inter-lull!

Most of us can’t wait for the action to start once again – but this week might just be a little unpredictable, what with the players returning from international duty (maybe) not having fully recovered yet…

Plenty of changes to be made – injuries and players being rested mean this weekend is very crucial as your FPL points might take a slight hit – if you’ve stocked up on international superstars!

Before we go into the GW4 player prospects, let me quickly highlight performances by last weeks’ picks’:

Goalkeepers:

Joe Hart (High) – Round Score : 3

Michel Vorm (Medium) – Round Score: 1

***Vito Mannone (Low) – Round Score: 7***

Predictions’ Success – 1/3

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Defenders:

Vincent Kompany (High) – Round Score: 2

Sylvain Distin (Medium) –  Round Score: 0

Danny Simpson (Low) – Round Score: 1

Predictions’ Success – 0/3

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Midfielders:

Gylfi Sigurdsson (High) – Round Score: 1

Yao Gervinho (Medium)  – Round Score: 0 (DNP)

***Shaun Maloney (Low) – Round Score – 7***

Predictions’ Success – 1/3

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***Robin van Persie (High) – Round Score: 15***

Nikica Jelavic (Medium) – Round Score: 2

Danny Graham (Low) – Round Score: 2

Predictions’ Success – 1/3

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Okay, so i’ll be the first to admit my calculations were waaaaay off the mark…

Here’s hoping this week’s picks have better returns!

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. Petr Cech (High): The game agains QPR will be in the spotlight mainly due to the Terry-Ferdinand drama, but it will an intense match nonetheless. QPR have had many new signings but whether they have found their rhytem is debatable. Expect the Blues defense to play for pride and produce a top-drawer performance – which bodes well for the Czech.
  2. Brad Friedel/Hugo Lloris (Medium) – This one’s a gamble. Spurs have had a nightmarish start to their season. New Andres Villas Boas is under a lot of pressure. A new distraction for the Portuguese gaffer is which keepr to pick. American Friedel is an EPL veteran. Frenchman Lloris is one of most prodigious young keepers – and Captain for his national side. Whoever DOES get picked will have to perform impressively or risk losing their spot. Keep the pop corn ready…
  3. Jussi Jaaskelainen (Low) – West Ham United had a great game against a weakened Fulham. Norwich have had a less than decent start to the season – with 2 points from their first 3 games. They’ve only scored twice this season, but let in 7. Jussi might jaasst make it two clean sheets in a row. Couldn’t help myself.
  • Defenders:
  1. Thomas Vermaelen (High) – With the Gunners seemingly finding their goal-scoring form up front, all eyes will now focus on the only defense across all 4 leagues in England who haven’t conceded a goal after three rounds of matches. A fourth clean sheet against the menacing but extremely unlucky Southampton team looks achievable – and the Belgian will have to take charge for that to happen, by keeping Lambert & Co. in check.
  2. Pablo Zabaleta (Medium) – No matter what formation Roberto Mancini puts out this weekend – expect the Argentine to be in the starting XI. Having quietly established himself as an indispensable part of the City team, he will play key role if the Citizens finally end their erratic defensive performances and reclaim last seasons’ form.
  3. Winston Reid (Low) – Reid had a fantastic outing against Fulham. A clean sheet and a well taken header to show for the teams well deserved victory. With Norwich attack not really posing a major edge, another clean sheet might well be on the cards.
  • Midfielders:
  1. Eden Hazard (High) – The Belgian is in irresistible form. Having scored a truckload of points in the first 3 matches already, Hazard is being hailed as the man who will lead Chelsea to their next domestic title – some say as early as this season itself. The Blues will play a League match after almost three weeks, and should be well rested and well prepared to run riot against a seemingly clueless QPR side. Hazard for FPL Captain!
  2. Hatem Ben Arfa (Medium) – That Ben Arfa is talented is clearly stating the obvious. But the mercurial Frenchman fails to churn out consistent performances and deeply divides opinions among EPL fans. If Newcastle are to mount a challenge for a top 4 finish, they will have to defeat teams like Everton en route. Expect a cracking match at Goodison Park. The Toon Army will be praying the prodigy arrives.
  3. Moussa Dembele (Low) – Dembele is widely tipped to be handed his first start for Spurs. The former Fulham man will be key to their attacking moves, with Gylfi Sigurdsson and Gareth Bale not having found their edge just yet. A great buy, and a sound investment.  And yet another Belgian to feature on today’s list.
  • Forwards:
  1. Carlos Tevez (High) – The Argentine has put last seasons troubles firmly behind and given the Citizens many reason to cheer – 3 goals and 3 assists to be specific. If the Sky Blues want to stamp their authority at Stoke – where many top teams struggle – Tevez will be the key to unlocking the stingy Potters defense.
  2. Peter Odemwingie (Medium) – West Brom are having a fairy tale start to the season. The Nigerian has enjoyed a mini-rejuvenation as the elder statesman for the young West Brom team. If  the Baggies are to to sustain that run, expect Peter to a play a major role and pile on pressure on the Cottagers.
  3. Franco Di Santo (Low) – Can Wigan pull off a repeat of last season’s performance when they defeated the Red Devils? Possibly. With a suspect defense and an even more suspect David De Gea, don’t be surprised if Roberto Martinez’s men manage to upset the Old Trafford faithful. A clean sheet by United seems highly unlikely, though a win can surely be achieved. Expect Di Santo to pester the red Devils back line convincingly.

After a less than impressive return last week, can this weeks picks possibly perform any worse? Highly unlikely…

Here’s hoping for a great weekend!!

🙂

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