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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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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 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.

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

————————————————————–

Defenders:

Vincent Kompany (High) – Round Score: 2

Sylvain Distin (Medium) –  Round Score: 0

Danny Simpson (Low) – Round Score: 1

Predictions’ Success – 0/3

————————————————————–

Midfielders:

Gylfi Sigurdsson (High) – Round Score: 1

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

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

Predictions’ Success – 1/3

————————————————————–

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

Nikica Jelavic (Medium) – Round Score: 2

Danny Graham (Low) – Round Score: 2

Predictions’ Success – 1/3

————————————————————–

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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