Archives for posts with tag: Rickie Lambert

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…




Hello there folks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

in 48 hours we shall know for sure!



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

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

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

Here’s to a great weekend of football ahead!

– DesiEPLFantasyManager.

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of DesiEPLFantasyManager.

So the blog views have been encouraging – hits from a wide range of countries – Trinidad and Tobago, Hong Kong, Macedonia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany and The USA! (part showing off, part urging fellow Desis to spread the word more – locally and globally!)

Here starts the tricky part of DEFM – now that the initial 15 member team has been already picked, making wholesale changes to your FPL team won’t be possible without incurring hefty penalties.  Tracking player performances will be easy, just pick a football statistics based website to get a better idea. Heck, the dropdown in the FPL Player Filters will suffice for some as well!

i’ll attempt to identify the players who might just be a great investment, for weeks to come. The ones whose performances probably didn’t make the headline. i’ll try to watch a couple of matches (time restrictions!!) and analyze patterns (if any) of team and player performances, and try to predict results for the next Gameweek.

With that, let me try to present my take on Gameweek2. The technique i’ll adopt – for now – is this: i’ll recommend players across the various positions (G’keeper/Defender/Midfielder/Forward) from three price bands – Low/Medium/High.

Here goes nothing!

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. David De Gea (High) – Easily the best United player at Goodison Park, the Spaniard was the only reason why Everton didn’t win by 3 or 4 goals – well, him and the woodwork that is.
  2. Michel Vorm (Medium) – Swansea blew away QPR by scoring 5 goals, but Vorm made a respectable 4 saves as well. With the next match against West Ham, expect a clean sheet – or points off multiple saves at least.
  3. Kelvin Davis (Low) – The Saints’ shot stopper proved his mettle with the penalty save. With Wigan up next at home, a clean sheet won’t be a unexpected result.
  • Defenders:
  1. Leighton Baines (High) – Quite easily the best defender from last week, Baines was vital in attack and defense. The trip to Aston Villa might lead to a second clean sheet victory in a row.
  2. Kyle Walker (Medium) – Yet another match-up this week which could be a clean sheet victory, expect Spurs to bounce back from their Toon heartbreak.
  3. Carl Jenkinson (Low) – An assured performance and Bacary Sagna’s absence means another 90 minutes for the right back. Barring any mishap, expect a solid performance (maybe a clean sheet) and maybe (just maybe) an assist as well.
  • Midfielders:
  1. Shinji Kagawa (High) – After having an unceremonious start to life in EPL, expect Kagawa to stamp his authority at Old Trafford with a performance that’ll cause a lot of trouble to the Fulham defense.
  2. Miguel Michu (Medium) – The un-Spanish-ly tall Swansea star had a stellar debut for Swansea. West Ham will offer a great platform to dazzle again.
  3. Steven Pienaar (Low) – The South African had an erratic match against Man. Utd. Expect him to be among the goals with an improved performance.
  • Forwards:
  1. Wayne Rooney (High) – The Red Devils will be hurting. While RvP might score, Rooney has to for the Devils to record their first victory this season.
  2. Papiss Cissé (Medium) – Demba Ba has ended his goal drought. Expect his Senegalese team mate to join in the goal fest.
  3. Rickie Lambert (Low) – The Saints’ top scorer was a surprise exclusion from the starting XI against Man. City. He came off the bench to score a well taken goal. He has admitted to being hurt by the axe, and will probably make Nigel Adkins look like a fool for even thinking of not starting him again.

i realize that we only have the ONE free transfer to make every week, but you can decide if the list above presents an option where the rewards outweigh the penalties.

So there you have it! How badly can my predictions fail? How many will hit the bulls eye? Does calculated logic apply to EPL matches?!

Will Stewart Downing FINALLY come good for Liverpool in the Premier League?!

Here’s hoping we have the answers in next week’s edition of DesiEPLFantasyManager!


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