Archives for posts with tag: Joe Hart

These massive breaks are embarrassing! Don’t reckon these will help kick-start a potential career in sports at all!!

But i – like always – hope against hope that i achieve discipline and can devote a few hours weekly to my blog… If i had a nickel for every time i said that, i could’ve bought a new Lamborghi- never mind…

So – Gameweek 22!!! Where has the time flown by i ask?!! Whhoooooooooosh!!!!

The EPL League paints a pretty picture… cause Arsenal are Top Of The Table ūüôā

But with Manchester “99 problems but scoring goals ain’t one” City and Chelsea ” Jose Mourinho still thinks Manchester United are in the title race” FC a couple of points away – this is quite visibly the hottest EPL title race in ages… (Football Cliche #5 already)!!

This week sees the current Top 4 play home matches with all four expected to take 3 points and keep the title race alive for yet another round….

On the other end of the table, relegation battling teams have relatively easier fixtures – except for Cardiff City, they might as well sit at home on Saturday than play at The Etihad with a hope to score points – or even goals….

Biggest match this weekend is ***OBVIOUSLY*** Crystal Palace vs Stoke City… Tony Pulis goes back to – naaaah! ūüėÄ

It’s Chelsea vs Manchester United!!!

Jose “mind games” Mourinho with David “never mind” Moyes! (agreed, that was lame… still – its worth it!)

Arsenal *have to* win but trust Fulham to find their inner Barcelona when playing at the Emirates (rolling eyes…)

Anyways – might as well save us a lotta time and jump into my picks!

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. Joe Hart (High) – With his start of the season wobble fully behind hi,. Hart is now finally reinstated as the No 1 City goalkeeper, having started the last 5 EPL games with the two out of the last three being clean sheets. Pellegrini would be averse to take Cardiff lightly, ¬†but with their juggernaut showing no signs of stopping – at home, in the least – expecting City to keep a clean sheet today wouldn’t be asking for too much.
  2. Simon Mignolet (Medium) – The Belgian’s early season heroics had the world clamoring to get him in their FPL squad. Halfway into the season and his popularity has only slightly diminished, and with Brendan Rodgers looking to challenge for the title picking up clean sheets against teams like Aston Villa at home while Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge scare the living bejeezus out of Bras Guzan.
  3. Julian Speroni (Low) – Tony Pulis hosts his old team Stoke, with his team at the wrong end of the BPL table. ¬†He still knows the Potters’ inside out – and would love to take points off Mark Hughes. Expect an ultra defensive “watching paint dry is more fun than this” EPL slugfest. Wouldn’t be surprised in the least if this ends 0-0.
  • Defenders:
  1. Seamus Coleman (High) – Everton travel to play the Baggies – who play under new coach Pepe Mel for the first time. Having recently lost Shane Long and understandably taking some time to settle under the new boss’ tactics, Roberto Martinez would love to perform a quick smash and grab for 3 points. He shall duly afford all the freedom to his marauding Irishman. Any result other than an Everton win will be considered nothing short of an upset for the European football chasing Toffees.
  2. Aleksandar Kolarov (Medium) – The Serbian has been a proper wild card at his almost 4 year spell at City. Capable of lung bursting runs, shocking defensive lapses and trademark, long range goals, erratic could well be his middle name. But having hit a marginal form of consistency over the past few weeks he now represents an interesting prospect to FPL managers. Could turn out to be a good buy.
  3. Joel Ward (Low) – This could be the under the radar buy that could pay dividends in the short run. Ward was deployed in midfield in the last match with Mariappa covering the RB slot. His versatility is a massive assest – having been deployed across multiple roles in midfield – he could chip in with a goal or an assist.
  • Midfielders:
  1. Eden Hazard (High) – Eden Hazard is a sure bet to score against United *BUT* there is a distinct fear of him being marked out by the defense – especially if Phil Jones is deployed. However, ¬†Mourinho’s new project of turning Hazard into a Ronaldo-esque player is visibly paying rewards. Long may it continue!
  2. Adam Lallana (Medium) – With Southampton in administrative turmoil, Mauricchio Pocchetino will look to steady the ship against Sunderland to prove all is well on the football field. But the inevitable “club in trouble, player exodus” rumours starting already, stories have emerged of the So’ton captain being linked to Manchester United – who could well do with his presence in the centre of the park.
  3.  Mark Noble (Low) РWith Kevin Nolan having a melt down too many, it falls to oldboy Noble to lead the Hammers out of the relegation they find themselves engaged in. With a goal in the last match and facing Newcastle at home, he ought to come handy again if Big Sam Allardyce wants to take points off the beloved Alain Pardeux.
  • Forwards:
  1. Luis Suarez (High) – To borrow a fan favourite quote “Was there ever a doubt?!”. The Uruguayan is making writers Thesaurus-es by the dozens in their quest to find new words of praise for the man who is sure to win the Golden Bite¬† Boot this season. With Daniel Sturridge back in action, this man is every FPL managers’ Captain from now till the end when he leaves for Real Madrid¬† of the season.
  2. Romelu Lukaku (Medium) – To be honest, Lukaku is definitely one of the reasons Steve Clark got sacked as the West Brom manager. Given a MASSIVE gift in the form of a season long loan of the MASSIVE Belgian, the Baggies finished higher than anyone expected them to last season. And as my penchant for storly lines go, it’s kinda inevitable, ehh?! Lukaku scores, then refuses to celebrate…. Put down a bet on it, would ya?!
  3. Marouane Chamakh (Low) – No! i am not high on sheesha smoke right now… i *have* picked the Moroccan in my FPL picks. To be fair he did go on a three match (*3*) goal scoring run and enjoys the confidence of Pulis like never before. Could nick a header off a set piece ūüėÄ

So there’s that!!

Hope you find that useful! i am shedding tears of joy i actually finished this article!

Cliche count – 44.

Belgian Count – 2 (new low record i think!!!)

Please do share – would love all the support and the feedback!

Until next time – and by that i mean next week – hopefully!

Cheers!

DesiEPLFantasyManager.

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 J√§√§skel√§inen (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… ūüôā

– DesiEPLFantasyManager

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

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 Рif they win Рwill 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 Рand i do have my doubts Рis 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 Рadding 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 Рso a booking at QPR who are a scrappy lot Рwill result in him being suspended for the second match against Arsenal. *****

  • Midfielders:
  1. Santi Cazorla (High): Regular readers (Bless You ūüôā ) 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 Рplaying twice and playing against a former club. i persist in my belief that Chelsea will be thoroughly exhausted after their lengthy season Рand 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.

This week will be a crucial one in determining the end of the season standings… For Fantasy Managers and the EPL table alike!

With some potentially high scoring games like The North London Derby, Manchester City’s trip to Aston Villa, Everton hosting Reading it will be of SUPREME importance that you select the right players to get a slice of the action…

Manchester United are expected win their home game over Norwich City, i expect a regulation 1-0/2-0 win for the home side.

Chelsea take on West Bromwich Albion at Stamford Bridge and with¬†Romelu Lukaku unable to play all signs point to a thumping home win – unless the “Curse of West Brom” strikes again… i have the slightest of hunches that it might just be an upset, but i reckon it’ll be a Blues win. Frank Lampard will be keen to make up for last week’s penalty miss and i see no reason why he shouldn’t score his 200th Blues’ goal at home today. Some headlines are just waiting to be written in tomorrow’s newspapers i tell you…

Southampton host QPR with new Saints’s boss Mauricio Pochettino¬†hoping to pick up valuable points and steer the team away from the relegation fight. Harry Redknapp will make an uncomfortable return to St Mary’s. He was at the help when the Saints were relegated in 2004/05. Expect the Soton fans to make the day miserable for the Rangers.. that too on the occasion of ‘Arry’s birthday!! My bet’s on Rickie Lambert to win it for¬†Mauricio’s second home win.

Swansea host Newcastle a week after their historic win in the Capital One Cup and i expect Alan Pardew’s men to notch up three points in what could be an interesting match for the neutrals to watch.

Wigan host Liverpool – and here’s the thing – i expect Wigan to win this one. Wigan’s annual “end of the season relegation staving battle” usually claims a few high profile scalps and i fancy L’pool to be on the hit list this season.

All bets are off for the North London Derby Рjust make sure you have no defenders of goalkeepers from this game. With Gareth Bale and Santi Cazorla in inspired form in the EPL and the likes of Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Adebayor, Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele just waiting to grab the limelight, expect this to be a totally mental goal fest!!

The only problem with Aston Villa vs Manchester City is that NOBODY knows what team Roberto Mancini will start with!! Only Yaya Toure and David Silva are (near)confirmed starters – how the front line of Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko is started off is beyond anyone’s guess!! Still the City defense has a great chance to notch up another clean sheet, if they keep Christian Benteke under control.

Now that the round up’s wrapped up, here’s the main agenda – my picks!

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. Joe Hart (High) – Last week Hart produced a brilliant save to deny Lampard a penalty and earned a massive 5 points as well for the effort. A clean sheet as well saw him earn 11 points – but Frankly (geddit?!!) nobody in their right minds must’ve seen THAT coming. This week however, a clean sheet will hardly surprise Fantasy Managers. i expect the City attack to have lots of possession and with traffic due to the other end of the pitch, i reckon Hart will have one of his more¬†leisurely¬†days in goal.
  2. David De Gea (Medium) Рi re-iterate Рthis match should be a regulation 1-0 win for the Red Devils, who will field a young side who will be content with keeping possession and more interested in not conceding goals. And if the likes of Wes Hoolahan, Robert Snodgrass do manage to find a way past Vidic and Co. expect the Spaniard to keep the Canaries at bay.
  3. Artur Boruc (Low) – i expect a Soton win today. And with an increasing assured look and disciplined team – barring last week’s 6 goal mad cap thriller – it shouldn’t be a surprise if Boruc notches up his third clean sheet of the year.
  • Defenders:¬†
  1. Branislav Ivanovic (High) РWith Lukaku illegible to play against parent club, Peter Odenwhingie still not completely winning over the Baggies after that bizarre transfer saga and Shane Long a suspect owing to injury, Chelsea have a great chance to stamp their authority over a West Brom side who will be extra cautious in defence. Ivanovic will be allowed venture forward today and might score off a set piece as well.
  2. Pablo Zabaleta (Medium) – The Argentine is right lauded as “Mr Dependable” at the Etihad, and for good reason too. Deputizing as Captain till Vincent Kompany comes back from injury, the armband had further boosted Zabaleta’s credence at City, with a few¬†writers¬†even claiming he should be awrded PFA Player of the year. Lofty praise indeed. A great asset in attack and in defense, Pablo’s a Fantasy buy that stays in the team all season long.
  3. Joey O’Brien (Low) – If all goes as per script, West Ham away to Stoke City should be the dullest match of the weekend, and quite possibly the season.¬†With both the Kevins – Noble and Nolan doubtful to start, Stoke should be looking forward to add yet another clean sheet to their already impressive season tally, hopefully with a goal scored at the opposite end.
  • Midfielders:
  1. David Silva (High) – Along with Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Yaya Toure, quite possibly the only name assuredto be in the starting XI when the city team sheet rolls out. The Spaniard will be aware of the looming 15 gap that could open up after United’s early match against Norwich. Supplying assists and scoring the odd goal or two from the heart of midfield, he will have to be on top of his game if City are to thump Aston Villa and reduce the points deficit between themselves and United.
  2. Frank Lampard (Medium) – Fat Frank is hellbent on over taking Bobby Tambling’s 203 goal tally and forever etch his names in the annals of Chelsea’s err… history. He missed the chance last week to go to 200 and will be looking to make up for it at home against the Baggies. It’ll be quite the story, ehh?!
  3. Stephane Sessegnon (Low) – Last week, Martin O’Neill seemingly realized how boring Sunderland were and decided to go “radical” with a 4-4-2. ūüėź So Danny Graham and Steven Fletcher were paired up front but most importantly, Sessegnon was sent wide to the right. And although they lost, Sessgnon has quite possibly his best game this season with a goal to show for his efforts. A home game with the same line up might boost his troops and surely, they need it. And so O’Niell will need and encore from the prodigal Beninese international.
  • Forwards:
  1. Wayne Rooney (High) – With an eye on the UEFA CL match against Madrid next Tuesday, Sir Alex Ferguson might rest some key players like Robin van Persie (ugh!), Patrice Evra and Danny Welbeck. But resting Wayne Rooney will be borderline scandalous – ask any United fan and you’ll hear the same. With Wazza not among the goals for a while now, a home match against Norwich provides a great opportunity to reclaim form and build up momentum for the showdown on Tuesday.
  2. Rickie Lambert (Medium) – i admit, i am a HUGE Lambert fan. The Englishman has had a brilliant season in the top flight & i feel terrible he can’t make it to the English National team. Ironic, considering they might need his services during the inevitable penalty shoot outs. Lambert will be raring to win 3 points for Saints in their relegation scrap against QPR. Through goals or assists, he shall deliver.
  3. Danny Graham (Low) – Last week, Graham showed a hint of a blossoming partnership with Steven Fletcher when paired together. He will be desperately hoping to score in front of the home fans, who still haven’t accepted him due to his not so flattering comments about Sunderland years ago.

Note:¬†Of course¬†i haven’t picked any players from the North London Derby because… come on! You’d be spoilt for choice too!!

How will these picks perform this week!? We shall know soon…

Cheers,

DesiEPLFantasyManager.

i’m no saint – it’s hard to be a blogger, especially with a limited audience… It’s never about the money (take my word, i’m a Gooner) but a little love goes a long way in such endeavours… the loooooong break was a result of a lot of things, but at the heart of it was disappointment.. Hope writing makes me fall back in line…

Speaking of saints – former Saint Theo Walcott has FINALLY ended his transfer saga by extending his contract, and he will stay at Arsenal and be at the very front of “The British Core”, while Saints Manager Nigel Adkins has been unceremoniously dumped by Southampton after a run of 5 undefeated matches…

No round up this week, i’ll dive straight into the selections:

  • Goalkeepers
  1. Joe Hart (High) – Manchester City host notoriously unimpressive¬†travelers¬†Fulham, one week after they managed to keep Arsenal at Bay. With Vincent Kompany’s Red Card overruled, he will be back to help the Citizen’s cause of retaining the League Championship. And it helps that Hart is easily one of the best ‘keepers in the world, let alone the EPL.
  2. Wojciech Szczesny¬†(Medium) – This pick is slightly risky, but if all goes as per script it’ll pay off. ¬†The Pole saved a penalty last weekend which proved he’s no mug in between the sticks.. And with 2 matches to be played by Arsenal this Gameweek, with a clean sheet seemingly achievable in the home match against West Ham, i reckon this a gamble worth taking.
  3. Adam Federici (Low) – Reading travel to Newcastle United at a time when the North East club is free falling into a vortex of relegation battle. ¬†With Demba Ba’s departure, and key players like Hatem Ben Arfa and Cheick Tiote missing, the Toons are desperately lacking firepower upfront. Can Brian McDermott’s men add to Alan Pardew’s misery?!
  • Defenders
  1. Leighton Baines (High) – Somethings never change.. the number of times i’ve had Baines in my picks and yet i can’t buy him in my squad! Everton take on Southampton mere days after Nigel Adkins was given the boot. David Moyes would want the Toffees to take advantage of their instability. Set piece specialist Baines will look to have a bumper game with assists and goals there for the taking. But can they keep a clean sheet, not if their life depends on it i’m afraid!
  2. Kieran Gibbs (Medium) – Again, a Gunner selected purely because Arsenal play twice this Gameweek. Easily the most impressive of the Arsenal backline, the Englishman is having a terrific season. A goal last week, with assists flowing with some regularity, Gibbs is integral to starting attacks deep in the opposition half. His overlapping runs with Podolski are already impressive and with some practice, his dangerous crosses should regularly find Giroud and Walcott more often.
  3. Billy Jones (Low) – The Englishman has established himself as a near constant presence in the Baggies defence. While not a goalscorer like team mate Thomas McAuley, his ability to read the game and put in crucial tackles and interceptions are essential to the Baggies impressive home defensive record. Against a highly suspect Aston Villa side, Steve Clarke’s men would look for a clinical victory over Paul Lambert’s charges.
  • Midfielders
  1. Theo Walcott (High) – No, this isn’t Gunner bias, not in the least!! If i haven’t told you already, Arsenal play twice this Gameweek, so there! And Theo’s just signed a contract extension. And he is deployed as ¬†a striker these days. So his chances of scoring are higher, and he’s still classified as a Midfielder. “Days after signing a new contract, Theo gives back to his fans by scoring against familiar opponents, Chelsea” – You tell me that headline seems far fetched!!
  2. Marouane Fellaini (Medium) – The Belgian has it a plateau after his blistering start to the season.. A three match ban didn’t help either. Southampton – who’re seemingly in disarray – should provide a great platform for Fellaini to get back in the limelight.
  3. Kevin Nolan (Low) – See?! No bias. West Ham are the other team that play twice this Gameweek, and who else to buy other than their Captain Nolan?!! With The Other Kevin (Noble, for those who came late) suspect, Nolan becomes the focal point in attack AND will take over the set piece duties, if they do arrive. An obvious buy.
  • Forwards:
  1. Luis Suarez (High) – Last week’s battle of the top strikers saw Robin Van Persie emerge the obvious victor. This week the¬†Uruguayan¬†will be keen to set the record straight. Last time he faced the Canaries in the league, he scored a hat-trick, and provided an assist. While hitting those numbers seem unlikely, expect him to put in a match-winning performance nonetheless.¬†
  2. Demba Ba (Medium) – In my books, Ba is now an Undroppable. Every Fantasy team simply MUST have him!! With he boatload of chances that Chelsea create, Ba is a seamless fit at the very top – waiting to poach on every available opportunity. Arsenal failed to mark him the last time they met, and he scored 2. While he was still at Newcastle. i fear for Arsenal.
  3. Romelu Lukaku (Low) – Chelsea seem to have most of their strategies plain wrong. Lukaku is living proof of it. They bought the Belgian (surprise surprise!!), wasted him and then loaned him off to West Brom – where’s he’s been outstanding! He takes on Aston Villa at home, after scoring 2 past Reading last week. Once again, a highly logical buy.

So that’s it! Hope i’m back on Thursday to assess my picks!

***Note: Had Kevin Noble and Lukas Podolski been available, i’d have SURELY picked them! ūüôā

Also, maybe Ben Forster (WBA vs AVFC) instead of Federici as the goalkeeper in the Low department – that’s a close call though.

Cheers!

Welcome once again to the latest installment of DesiEPLFantasyManager’s Gameweek Predictions…

With midweek action, most players from the top teams face burnout, and with two blockbuster matches РEverton vs. Liverpool and Chelsea vs. Manchester United Рmost EPL fans face seletion dilemmas..

All four teams are fairly popular, especially members of the Chelsea defense and Man. United offense… Leighton Baines is one of the most widely selected defenders, but he is up against the mercurial Luiz Suarez.. Club loyalties apart, what would be more satisfying – Everton keeping a clean sheet, with Baines scoring a free kick as the winner or Suarez scoring a goal with an assist to Raheem Sterling?!! And after his midweek heroics, can – gulp! – Stewart Downing star once again?!!

All bets are off for the game at Stamford Bridge.. Juan Mata & Eden Hazard with goals and assists galore, and maybe Branislav Ivanovic scoring as well with a clean sheet to boot?

Or will Johnny Evans pop up again to score a header, while Wayne Rooney continues his excellent form and Robin Van Persie (ugh!) scores yet again…

Will Arsenal cap off a miserable week and re create the magic of the 6-1 hammering of Southampton? Or will¬†perennial¬†Gooner arch nemesis Ji-Sung Park score his bajillionth goal against Arsene Wenger’s boys?!!

That was a quick round up – if you reckon i should do more of those then leave your thoughts in the comments section, and i’ll make sure i summarize the fixtures before i announce my picks…

Without further delay…

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. Joe Hart (High) – Once again, sticking with the Englishman seems to be the best possible option. Against a Swansea side which is still faltering after a superb start, at home after a European nightmare, City will look to make a statement of their dominance in the EPL…. The Swans are gonna get pummeled, if all goes as per script…
  2. Tim Krul (Medium) – The Dutchman has a decent game against Sunderland, and only Demba Ba’s own goal hampered his opportunity of keeping a well deserved clean sheet. Against an attacking West Brom, expect Krul to score massive points off multiple saves…
  3. Asmir Begovic (Low) – Stoke City – the Jolly Green Giants of the Premier League – are always formidable foes when they host game at the Britannia stadium. Against Sunderland, they only have to snuff out Steve Fletcher to nullify the Black Cats’ best scoring option. And it seems like a job Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth will gladly execute – pun intended.
  • Defenders:
  1. Leighton Baines (High) – There are a lot of repeats since last week’s picks, but bear with me – i have a pretty good reason! The Merseyside side derby is massive, and tempers flare up frequently. No wonder it is the Derby with the most red cards flashed in the English top flight.. That said, Liverpool have a not so potent attack going into this Derby, and with players like Jojo Shelvey, Daniel Agger, Luis Suarez – expect the Toffees to get plenty of free kicks and maybe a penalty too. And their top man for the job is Baines. So while he might not get the clean sheet, he can surely come good via goals or assists.
  2. Jan Vertonghen (Medium) – A member of Belgium’s “Golden Generation” Vertonghen has impressed since his move fro Ajax. Not only is he a solid central defender, he also provides assists and scored a memorable goal against Manchester United. Southampton have failed to score freely lately, so a win and bonus points are easily achievable for the Belgian.
  3. Ryan Shawcross (Low) – The Stoke City captain is a great buy, for this weekend and with an eye on the future. With reports emerging that he maybe purchased by Manchester United in January, expect a solid, responsible performance. And Jolly Green Giant-ness.
  • Midfielders:
  1. Gareth Bale (High) – There’s something about footballers and private milestones.. Paul Scholes scoring in his 700th game for United – check! Frank Lampard scoring after his daughter’s birth – check! Tomas Rosicky scoring after a new contract extension – check! ¬†Jermaine Defoe scoring on his birthday – check! In line with such tradition, and also that Tottenham play Southampton this week, expect new daddy Bale to run¬†riot¬†against the hapless Saints defense, score and then make that stupid heart shaped gesture… i can see it happening already…
  2. Samir Nasri (Medium) – For some inexplicable reason, it seems half the Manchester City midfield line up is injured.. You’d think they’d have bought the Ajax team already after their last European outing… Nonetheless, now is the chance for Nasri to step up and cement his place in the starting line up… and i have a sinking feeling the Swans are not going to be able to contain the wily Frenchman…
  3. Jobi McAnuff (Low) – Reading host Fulham at the Madjeski stadium this weekend and they are looking forward to break their “no-wins” record this season. Their chief attacking midfielder is versatile, but primarily operates on the right wing. With 4 assists under his belt already, expect the Jamaican to add to the tally…
  • Forwards:
  1. Carlos Tevez (High) –¬†The Argentine has been the top forward across the league – bar none. 3 goals and 6 assists already, and he is a favourite of the FPL bosses too – 10 Bonus points in 8 matches! Still valued at under 10m FPL currency, expect his stock to rise, and your FPL points tally to swell.
  2. Peter Crouch (Medium) – Perhaps Crouch would suit Big Sam’s “Route One” philosophy even better than he does at Stoke City. The instructions are simple at Britannia stadium – pass to the giant at the very top.. and quite frankly, he’s hard to miss, ehh!??
  3. Pavel Pogrebnyak (Low) – EPL’s version of Ivan Drago, the Reading forward is yet to master the game this season.. He’s up against his last season’s employers Fulham. Remember that “scoring on important occasions” example i gave before..? Well, i forgot to add “score against former club” to that list… until now.

This is one of the longest posts i’ve written by a mile.. hope it helps!! Looking forward to yet another cracking Gameweek…

Cheers!

DesiEPLFantasyManager.

Hello once again!

Posting on Bleacher Report and creating a FB account did get me some extra views… here’s hoping those Fantasy fans come back when it matters the most!

So after a loooong two week interlull, EPL action is back in all it’s glory!

Lets get straight to the predictions, shall we?!

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. Joe Hart (High) – The English shot stopper has put in excellent shifts in goal recently – not counting the San Marino international match of course – and kept a clean sheet in the last EPL match against Sunderland. While Roberto Mancini has hailed West Brom as the best team in England, the Blues’ recently well organized defence should keep Shane Long, James Morrison and co. in check.
  2. Tim Howard (Medium) – Everton are away to bottom of the table QPR, in what will prove to be tricky fixture for the Toffees. They are without talismanic Belgian Fellaini, and could be short of attacking options. But with Baines, Jagielka in defence, expect Moyes’ men to enjoy a marginal, yet hard fought victory, with the American keeping a clean sheet
  3. Jussi Jaaskelainen (Low) – The Hammers were defeated for the first time this season by a classy Arsenal side, who made yet another comeback. But with Sam Allardyce’s men welcoming Southampton, expect order to be restored as Route One football ensures yet another win at home..
  • Defenders:
  1. Leighton Baines (High) – Another Everton player making the cut today, Baines is the epitome of the “cultured left foot”. A fantastic defender, he is also the Toffee’s chief set piece specialist. A match against QPR should offer little challenge in defensive terms, and loads of opportunities to attack and score. Too good to be true? Only time will tell…
  2. John Arne Riise (Medium) – Matches at Craven Cottage almost always end with Fulham comfortably grabbing all three points. A visit from Aston Villa should be no different, and the Matin Jol’s men should enjoy plenty of possession. The home advantage also ensures that crowd favourite Riise will try to create more scoring opportunities than he usually does, and that can only bode well for those who pick him today.
  3. Andre Santos (Low) – Perhaps the wildcard selection for today, ¬†the Brazilian gets a spot in the Arsenal starting XI only due to an injury to Kieran Gibbs. The left back – whose tendency to bomb forward regularly has led to jokes about him being converted to a left winger – should continue in the same vein as last year, but hopefully with more defensive discipline. With transfers rumours circulating as well, he will have a point to prove, or a show to put on…
  • Midfielders:
  1. Steven Gerrard (High) – Liverpool just can’t catch a break. Already having few goal scoring options, they have been hit with yet another injury crisis – this time it’s Fabio Borini. With only one recognized striker available, Suarez will require as much service as possible. Guess who will step up to fill that role? Steven “Hollywood Pass” Gerrard, and this time, he can’t be blamed either.
  2. Aaron Lennon (Medium) ¬†– In this week’s blockbuster match, many a player will stake claim to the top honours for the day. Lennon will be one among them, and he will surely torment Ashley Cole throughout the match with his mazy runs and ceaseless dribbles. The Englishman is slowing getting back into his¬†stride, and Chelsea should provide a great opportunity to continue the purple patch.
  3. Kevin Nolan (Low) – Yet another West Ham player on the list, the skipper is actually a great pick with an eye on the future. West Ham have a fairly easy set of fixtures ahead, one that they should score most points off if they are to retain their Premier League status. With Andy Carroll seemingly finding his groove, expect his best mate and one time partner in hell raising to score goals, pile on the assists and lead from the front.
  • Forwards:
  1. Sergio Aguero (High) – After an early injury scare, “Kun” is back for good. Two goals in the last two matches he’s played should come as no surprise. At 11.7m, his FPL value ¬†will only grow as the season progresses. With West Brom up next, expect the Argentine to surely make three out of three – at least.
  2. Olivier Giroud (Medium) – After uncharitable¬†comparisons¬†to Arsenal’s other failed forward import, Giroud set the stage for Arsenal’s comeback win with a well taken goal. Add to that a superb assist to Theo Walcott, and the Frenchman is considered to be relieved of the goal scoring pressure off his back. With Theo injured, and games against the more physical EPL sides due in October, expect the burly hitman to feature heavily for Gunners. Which promises to bring about goals & assists galore.
  3. Arouna Kone (Low) – Wigan Athletic take on Swansea as the Swans contend with a woeful lack of form after a dazzling start to the season. With Swansea failing to keep a clean sheet after their first two matches, and their defense is shambles, Kone’s marauding physical presence will be a sore sight for Michel Vorm. Great lin kup play with Franco Di Santo means could possibly add to his tally of 2 assists.

That’s it for this week’s predictions!

Here’s to a great Gameweek after the loooooooong gap!

Cheers!

DesiELPFantasyManager.

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