Archives for posts with tag: Pablo Zabaleta

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

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 – just 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) – i re-iterate – this 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) – With 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. 😐 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.

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

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

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

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

Goalkeepers:

Joe Hart (High) – Round Score : 3

Michel Vorm (Medium) – Round Score: 1

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

Predictions’ Success – 1/3

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Defenders:

Vincent Kompany (High) – Round Score: 2

Sylvain Distin (Medium) –  Round Score: 0

Danny Simpson (Low) – Round Score: 1

Predictions’ Success – 0/3

————————————————————–

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s hoping for a great weekend!!

🙂

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