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

And what a time to comeback as well, with a MASSIVE fixture pile up over the next 5 days!! Unless you don’t know already 4 teams play twice over the Gameweek – and what a list of teams to boot: Arsenal, Everton, Fulham and Manchester United.

***Correction – 5 teams, i forgot dear old West Ham!! Sorry Big Sam!!!

MU will look to bury last week’s defeat under an avalanche of goals and 6 points… Arsenal and Everton will both be desperate to earn 6 points and stake their claim for a spot in the Top 4… And Fulham… will keep passing the ball to Berbatov.

The Tyne Wear Derby is perhaps the star billed match of the week, but with both teams hovering very uncomfortably above relegation spots a win will become even more crucial to both teams.

For multiple reasons – Arsenal vs Everton will be the match to look out for. It might just be a “six-pointer” though not in the strictest of senses.

A Toffees win wil inch them close to Europe, put a massive gap between them and Liverpool & boost their confidence massively for the rest of the campaign.

Arsenal – if they win – will overtake Chelsea and Tottenham and the psychological  ramifications of 6 points this week will be **MASSIVE**.

Elsewhere, Wigan will potentially take a break from their Annual Avoid Relegation party and they visit Manchester City – who seem earnest in winning maximum points from the remaining matches.

Wit most of the big matches covered, let me head straight for my picks for this week:

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. Joe Hart (High): With a severely over worked Chelsea playing the last match on this week, Hart playing against Wigan seems like a safe bet for a clean sheet. Hart is at the foremost in putting in a shift that’ll make the City supporters and in one of the few players who is still fighting for the City cause.
  2. David De Gea (Medium): After 6 clean sheets in a row, City finally breached the Red Devils defence twice last week. Expect SAF to demand that they embark on a new spree with two easily winnable games against teams who arn’t the most prolific of scores: Stoke and West Ham. With two games to be played, potentially penalty saves might just be a welcome bonus.
  3. Lukasz Fabianski (Low): Hey! i am just as surprised as you are to see Lukasz “Flappyhandski” here – but the Polish keeper has really put in impressive performances to snatch the starting spot away from Wojciech Szczensny. Once again – 2 games, maybe a clean sheet and a potential penalty save. A gamble, but the low price means it might just pay off handsomely.
  • Defenders:
  1. Patrice Evra (High):  The only stumble in this pick – and i do have my doubts – is that Evra might just be rested for one of the two matches that MU play. With the title wrapped up, SAF might just let Buttner have a run of two away games against the physically imposing sides. That said, if he does play the Red Devils VC might just contribute to the attack – adding to his tally of 4 goals and 8 assists.
  2. Thomas Vermaelen (Medium): The Gunners skipper has now got the opportunity to play two games in a week – albeit only due to Per Merstesacker’s suspension. He will be keen to impress & with 2 games, he will get many chances to earn a starting spot. i reckon he will be eager to leave his mark.
  3. Sascha Reither (Low): Imported from FC Koln, Sascha has quickly established himself as a crowd favourite at Craven Cottage. With Fulham playing twice (yeah, it’s a recurring theme in my picks) and the second match to be played at home, he might just turn out to be a smart buy.

***** Note:  Why did i leave out my perennial favourite Leighton Baines you ask, even though Everton play twice and Baines is generally awesome sauce this season?! Answer: He is on 4 Yellow cards – so a booking at QPR who are a scrappy lot – will result in him being suspended for the second match against Arsenal. *****

  • Midfielders:
  1. Santi Cazorla (High): Regular readers (Bless You 🙂 ) will be aware that i’m a sucker for footballers who have special reasons to perform – seminal matches, overtaking/equaling club records, playing against former clubs, personal joy etc. etc…. And also, players who play twice a week are easy shoo ins in my team. Without further ado – i present to you Santi Cazorla – who plays twice *at home* this week AND welcomed his daughter India (Reason No. 1588 to love him) last week after his wife/partner (?!) delivered the healthy baby girl. Soooo – he’ll either score and kiss both his wrists – or score twice for his two kids. My bet for fantasy Captain to boot.
  2. Marouane Fellaini (Medium): Regular readers (Bless You :)) will know that rarely a Gameweek goes where i don’t have multiple Belgians in my Fantasy picks. So Belgian # 2 makes the cut again – Marouane “plays twice this Gameweek” Fellaini; who is back from his suspension and will be raring to contribute to the Toffees cause as they seek to sneak into Europe. Fantasy Captain Choice – Rank 2.
  3.  Damien Duff (Low): It has been ages, but there was once a time when Damien Duff was a high flying winger for played for Chelsea. Therefore Duff ticks two boxes – playing twice and playing against a former club. i persist in my belief that Chelsea will be thoroughly exhausted after their lengthy season – and quite possibly slip up at the later stages when they are least expected to. Fulham are gasping for air and would want to pick up as many points they can at this stage, to stave a potential relegation battle.
  • Forwards:
  1. Wayne Rooney (High) – With That Dutch Snake on a mini drought (i fully expect him to end it over the next 2 games) i would still nominate Wazza for the pick. He’s hungrier to prove himself, well rested and more adept at playing physical sides like Stoke and West Ham. His efforts *for* the team are highly under-appreciated and i wouldn’t be surprised if he sets up team mates more than he scores from now till the end of the season. At least, that’s my take. Also, he’s a bit more economical than He Who Must Not Be Named.
  2. Olivier Giroud (Medium): He’s an Arsenal player… looks like a dream… has the body of a Greek God… Is French.. Smiles like a angel… i’m sorry, whaaatt?!! Oh – and he plays twice this week at home. Yup – THAT is why you should have him in your Fantasy…. Squad.
  3. Victor Anichebe (Low): Anichebe is a Fantasy Manager’s delight.. Costing only 4.3M £. And he plays with consistent regularity, now that Nikica Jelavic isn’t on the scincillating form that he displayed towards the end last season. Anichebe wasn’t given many chances at the start of the season, and missed out on a lot of games towards the middle. A run now has seen him contribute with 5 goals and assists. Dirt cheap, play twice – Great buy!

So that’s that…

How many of these will deliver, only time shall tell!!

Till next week..

Cheers,

DesiEPLFantasyManager.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All bets are off for the North London Derby – 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.

After a spectacularly fruitful return in the last outing, comes GW17…

Top story for the week – as reported by Captain Obvious – is that Chelsea and Southampton are not playing, so that will create quite the selection dilemma for scores for Fantasy Managers, as the likes of Juan Mata, Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic and recently Fernando Torres – will leave a gaping hole in the team sheet, and will lead to major reshuffling to earn a decent score this GW to keep pace with teams who do not feature them…

Also, Southampton have some impressive FF picks – Jose Fonte, Nathaniel Clyne, Jason Puncheon, Rickie Lambert – who will be unavailable this week as well.

In terms of Fantasy scoring, Liverpool vs Aston Villa and Manchester United vs Sunderland should be the games FF Managers must keep an eye on. Expecting clean sheets for both home teams and a heavy return from Liverpool/United forwards’ shouldn’t be surprise most Managers.

Manchester City are still smarting from last week’s stoppage time loss to United, and will look to make amends at the ground which bolstered their late title challenge last season – Newcastle United. Couple that with the Toons’ woeful form this season, and any dropped points at the Sports Direct Arena will prove to be nothing short of an upset for Mancini’s men.

Norwich have quietly emerged as one of the in-form teams in the EPL, notching up 4 cleans in the last 8 matches that they have gone undefeated, with upset wins over Arsenal, Manchester United (and Stoke City, if i may add..).

Yet another week, yet ANOTHER London Derby as QPR will host Fulham. Will ‘Arry FINALLY lead the Rangers to their first League win this season??!

Stoke City host Everton in match that should threaten Stoke’s 6 match unbeaten run – they have 4 wins and 2 draws – a record matched by only Manchester United. While facing the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic, expect the Potters to concede goals at the “fortress” that is the Britannia Stadium, but don’t be surprised if they score some of their own via Jonathan Walters, Michael Kightly, Charlie Adam and Peter Crouch.

Tottenham vs Swansea should a match with goals being scored freely at both ends. Jermain Defoe, Emmanuel Adebayor, Aaron Lennon and Clint Dempsey will all to get their names on the score-sheet while surreally impressive Michu, along with Jonathan de Guzman, Nathan Dyer will look to cause yet another upset in North London.

Arsenal travel to Reading, a few weeks after the miraculous 5-7 Capital One Cup match… That euphoria has settled now that the Gunners have been dumped out of the same by  Bradford City and the under pressure squad will take the opportunity to get back to winning ways at Madjeski against the woeful hosts who look destined for relegation. While there may not be a goal fest like the last time these sides met, an Arsenal win is the least that is expected tonight.

Without further delay,  here are my picks for Gameweek 17:

  • Goalkeepers:
  1. Jose Reina (High)Liverpool, having finally managed to field an injury free back-line,  have chalked up a couple of impressive defensive displays at home. Aston Villa are still looking a like a team bound for relegation, and the Reds should look to notch yet another win in their ascent up the table. Will Pepe finally stop with his erratic goalkeeping habits and add another regulation clean sheet under his belt?
  2. David De Gea (Medium) – The Manchester United goal keeping dilemma seems to have been settled – for now. The Spanish shot stopper has earned his starting spot and should have one of best seats in the house as he surveys the one way traffic that is expected at the other end.
  3. Mark Bunn (Low) – John Ruddy’s absence has led to an abrupt defensive imbalance at Carrow Road, just when they’d chalked up 4 cleans sheets in 5 matches. Mark Bunn faces a Wigan side who are terrible on the road. Can Chris Houghton’s men eke out another 1-0 win over the Latics? i fancy – yes!
  • Defenders:
  1. Leighton Baines (High)Stoke City have arguably the best defensive record (at home) in the EPL, but also one of the worst goal-scoring records (at home) as well. For Everton to win the match, scoring a lone goal might just put the result beyond the Potters. Add to that the possibility that a penalty might just be conceded by the Jolly Green Giants, and Baines’ inclusion makes a lot of sense. Will the man with this page created for himhttp://www.facebook.com/pages/And-on-the-8th-day-God-created-Leighton-Baines-left-foot/155901457798052?ref=ts&fref=ts – strike this weekend?!
  2. Glen Johnson (Medium) – After a lengthy spell of indifferent performances, Englishman Johnson has put ins some of his best performances in the Reds shirt over the last two matches. Before a home match against Aston Villa, now would be a great time to jump on the Johnson bandwagon!!
  3. Sebastien Bassong (Low) – Speaking of bandwagons, Bassong is another player who seems to have stuck a purple patch. 3 goals in the last 5 matches along with a clean sheet, and the returns have been impressive for any Managers who picked up the Cameroonian. His transfer price too has spiked by 0.5M. Seems like a sound investment in my books.
  • Midfielders:
  1.  Santi Cazorla (High) – The Gunners are officially in crisis – for the umpteenth time this season. The diminutive Spaniard has been one of the few bright spots for the Gooners this season. As Wenger’s men look to dig themselves out of yet another hole, expect Santi to take the lead and pave the way for a much needed win for Arsenal.
  2. Yaya Toure (Medium) – The Ivorian returns to Newcastle, 7 months after he won them the match against the Toons and effectively, the EPL title. With a host of forwards lacking form and City playing catch up to United’s 6 point gap at the top of the table, expect Toure to put in an imperious performance once again.
  3. Anthony Pilkington (Low) – The former Manchester United youth player is one of the key factors behind Norwich’s dominant run in the past few matches. An attacking midfielder with an eye for flair, his goal scoring threat and a low price tag make him a great investment.
  • Forwards:
  1. Wayne Rooney (High) – First off, read this – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-united/9746388/Manchester-Uniteds-Wayne-Rooney-targets-revenge-mission-against-Sunderland.html – Then take into account that Rooney has scored 4 goals and assisted another in the last 2 matches. THEN you tell me it’s not a good idea to appoint him Captain in my Fantasy team. Go on, i’ll be patient……
  2. Jermain Defoe (Medium) – In a season where the headlines are dominated by the likes of Michu, Robin van Persie (ugh!), Carlos Tevez among others, Jermaine Defoe is quietly notching up impressive performances in EPL and the Europa League. Against Swansea, expect the nimble Englishman to break the 10 goal mark this season.
  3. Jamie Mackie (Low) – Owing to injuries to most of the forwards at Loftus road, Mackie – who seemingly enjoys the patronage of new boss Harry Redknapp – will look to make the most of the chances coming his way. Fulham are hardly threatening when away, and with the Rangers desperately waiting for a win, expect the Scottish international to help the cause.

That’s my take on the Gameweek 17.

Here’s to a bumper return (i need a punch line.. badly!!)

Cheers,

DesiEPLFantasyManager.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Without further delay…

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

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

Cheers!

DesiEPLFantasyManager.

Hello 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.

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