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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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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! 🙂

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

Cheers!

It’s that time of the week again…. With Daylight Savings time kicking in, i’d like to think we now have MORE time to craft and sculpt our Fantasy Premier League teams 🙂 And look for further for quality advice, because DesiEPLFantasyManager is here with the weekly dose of suggestions!

Chelsea vs Liverpool is obviously the big match of the weekend. i’ve read in some reports that it should be a low scoring win for Chelsea.. i beg to differ – Liverpool tend to lift their games against the biggest opposition, and with big match players like Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard in their ranks, they will surely fight tooth and nail for three points. The blues of course have the Juan Mata and Eden Hazard for the goals.. And Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill might pop in a goal too…

Fernando Torres has claimed he will not celebrate if he scores against his old club… The Reds’ fans have promised they won’t laugh when he fails. Talk about mutual respect!

And of course there’s always Stewart Downing

Newcastle vs West Ham could be the explosive surprise of the weekend… Everybody’s favourite midfielder Kevin Nolan  will return to the St. James’s Park along with a curiously dangerous looking Andy Carroll. Add to that the Demba Ba, still under-performing Papiss Cisse; the mercurial talents of Hatem Ben Arfa and the forever reliable yet highly underrated Kevin Noble and we might have a goal fest this Sunday.. Fingers crossed!

Manchester United travel to Aston Villa in what promises to be a near rout for Villans. Sir Alex has called upon United to score lots of goals this season to make sure the “losing title on goal difference” scenario will never come up again, and the Red Devils will be smacking their lips in glee at the prospect of banging many past Paul Lambert’s leaky back four… Waiiiit, that doesn’t read well, does it?

Manchester City host Tottenham Hotspurs and frankly i have no idea what the outcome will be.. Carlos Tevez is in great form but no other City players seems to be remotely aware of the massive responsibility that defending an EPL title warrants… Jermaine Defoe is in lethal form, coming into this match on the back of a Europa League hat trick..  And then there’s Gareth Bale and the always-in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time-Clint Dempsey.. Tough one..

In terms of Fantasy scoring, Wigan vs West Brom should be an interesting match… Wigan pulled off an upset last week – defeating Tottenham AND keeping a clean sheet.. WBA dispatched Southampton Saints in a 2-0 win… FPL under the radar safe-bets Gareth McAuley, Zoltan Gera, Shane Long, Ali Al Habsi , Shaun Maloney, Arouna Kone all on the pitch at the same time… Should be an interesting match i say.

So here are my best picks for this GW!:

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. Joe Hart: With the unpredictable nature of the Chelsea vs Liverpool, a clean sheet for Petr Cech seems like a highly unlikely result. City on the other hand, are smarting for what could have been a probable Champions League exit at the hands to Ajax. A definitive performance in the EPL should be the order of the day then, and mighty Joe Hart will have to deliver to ensure Defor, Dempsey and Bale don’t breach the City defense. i’m guess 4 points for Hart could be the minimum result this week…
  2. Ali Al Habsi: Wigan have been pulling off impressive results early on this season and their Omani goalkeeper is definitely one of the most important reasons they’re winning. With West Brom rather tame away from home, this could be yet another scalp for Roberto Martinez’s men, and a clean sheet to Habsi.
  3. Paul Ruddy: Yet another team which has strung together a couple of wins to stave off early relegation fears, it’s the improvement in defense which is helping the Canaries cause, but surely their English goalkeepr would the last man to complain.
  • Defenders:
  1. Leighton Baines (High) –  The Englishman makes yet ANOTHER appearance as a DesiEPLFantasy team pick, and i can’t help but implore you to buy the left back if you haven’t already! My excuse this week is that the Toffees host Sunderland this week at Goodison Park, a team which has scored 6 goals in 9 matches! 5 of those from one man – Steve Fletcher – who looks like he’s lost the plot too soon and desperately needs to get it back ASAP! My standard disclaimer about Baines left foot, his assists, a potential goal, and a clean sheet? Check, check, maybe not and check!
  2. Rafael Da Silva (Medium) – United will be looking to hammer in as many goals as they possibly can against the Villans. Their Red-devil-may-care attitude has allowed the Brazilian to score two goals and provide two assists already. i suspect this weekend, the right back will add to the tally.
  3. Ryan Shawcross (Low) – Quick question -Which team has kept the most clean sheets and still hovers the relegation zone?! It’s the Jolly Green Giants from Stoke City!! Their problem isn’t conceding too many goals – they’ve only let in 10 after 10 matches. It’s that they’ve scored only 8.  So will they keep yet another clean sheets against early relegation favorites QPR? Probably yes. But wil they score against them?! Now that’s the bone of contention i do not want to pick…
  • Midfielders:
  1. Theo Walcott (High) – i admit, i’m taking a gamble by picking Walcott ahead of the likes of Juan Mata, Steven Gerrard, Antonio Valencia and his Arsenal team mate – Santi Cazorla. But a combination of injuries to Gervinho and Ramsey (:|), his earnestness at wanting to play as a striker coupled with his supposed exit in January for want of  better wages, and we have another player who will be itching for a chance to grab the spotlight.. Potent combination in my books…
  2. Marouane Fellaini (Medium) – He’s scored 5 goals already, provided 2 assists, earned 7 bonus points this season in spite of missing a match against QPR and he still costs lower than the likes of Ashley Young, Nani, Ben Arfa, Oscar. The bright side is, at his current price he’s still buy-able.. And he’s against Sunderland this week. Do yourself a massive favour – buy him already!
  3. Shaun Maloney (Low) – An interesting player to look out for, considering Wigan only depend upon their forwards for the goals. With the Latics seemingly hitting a purple patch, the attacking midfielder will be crucial to their sustained success. A good buy at the low price too…
  • Forwards:
  1. Wayne Rooney (High) – We are definitely experiencing a weird season… Ivanovic has scored 3; Gervinho has scored 3; Sidwell has scored 3; FERNANDO TORRES has scored 4 and Wayne Ronney’s at… 2. If any player is due a big break, Wazza is him. With Sir Alex Ferguson backing him to score over 20 goals this season, a match against Aston Villa is as good a chance to kick-start his goal quest as any…
  2. Nikica Jelavic (Medium) – i just realized Jelavic would be the third Toffees player listed here today.. I actually wanted to add Tim Howard and almost took out Al Habsi. But that’s the level Everton is inspiring this season. Jelavic’s work rate is unquestionable.. There’s a high chance his chemistry with Kevin Mirallas comes in good against Sunderland.
  3. Noel Hunt (Low) – yet another team with an odd dilemma..  Reading score a lot of goals. Their problem is that they concede too many – like Southampton. Hunt has just come back from a brief injury break, and he seems hungrier than before. He could add to his tally of  2 goals this weekend, and Brian McDermott will be praying he does!!

So, how many picks will deliver this Gameweek?! Only time will tell.. Till the next episode!

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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