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Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, Captain Shambles and Game of Thrones Anticipation?

Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, Injury Concerns and is Ashley Williams a Gentle Lover?

Donald Trump, Moving to Mongolia and Stoke City’s Wilfried Bony

Liverpool vs Manchester United – Confirmed Lineups

Hold on to Liverpool’s Coutinho!!

PREMIER LEAGUE RETURNS IN 40 DAYS!!

With the FantasyYIRMA team still enjoying their summer hiatus we are delighted to feature FPL superfan Walt (@EPLFanForLife) on the site again.

(NOTE: #FY admin @Pedro_Lamb was last seen heading into what he thought was a table tennis sports bar in Bangkok.. if found please provide with return directions to Burton, UK.)

If you would like to submit a guest post to feature on FantasyYIRMA.com please email Ryan on FantasyYIRMA@hotmail.com.

PREMIER LEAGUE RETURNS IN 40 DAYS!!

Mid-Summer FPL Status Report

It’s agonizing, right? We’re smack dab in the middle of the off-season, the official #FPL site has gone dark, the transfer window is officially open for business, and the only certainty is that there are roughly 2.5 million people sitting on the edge of their seats with all questions and no answers.

After sitting back and thinking for a moment, there are actually some things we do know, but they too are really only things we know about the past and the present; not the future.  These things too, as they relate to the FPL season to come, also lead directly to one place; more questions.

When it all boils down to it, there are three distinct variables that connect last season’s FPL season with the season we all now anticipate. They are:

1) What happened last season
2) What has happened since the season ended
3) What is going to happen between today and August 17

What Happened Last Year

Wouldn’t it be great if last season’s performance was a direct indicator of how players would perform this year? I have no statistics to correlate one season’s performance to the next, but it’s only natural to look to the Van Persie’s and the Michu’s and the Bale’s and the Lambert’s and the Gerrard’s and the Mata’s and the Jaaskelainen’s – Jasskelainen!?!? – to pay rich dividends this time around as well. But what about the guys who came on strong at the end of last season? What about Coutinho and Sturridge and Kagawa and Lukaku? Will the strong end to the season carry forward through the long summer and into the first few fixtures of the season to come?

Although it’s easy to assume that that is the case, things have definitely changed; But just how much? Enough to make last season’s statistics a mistaken indicator of what’s to come? New managers, new players coming and going, World Cup qualifiers, Confederations Cup, pre-season tours, time off on holiday, stress surrounding potential contract extensions or transfer rumours. All of these things affect a player’s outlook, attitude, and ability to gel with a new squad or manager. Some players are affected positively and some players are affected negatively.

How much will last year’s performance influence the 15 guys you select to start your 2013-2014 FPL season with? Many FPL managers will struggle with this thought over the next 40 days, and I will be right there with you.

What’s Happened Since the Season Ended

For all intents and purposes, the 2012-2013 English Premier League season ended quietly. Manchester United had long ago wrapped up their title and the bottom of the table was all but sorted. May 19, 2013 seems like forever ago.

Since then, 5 teams have undergone managerial changes – with 4 of them being in the top 6 sides. That leaves Arsene Wenger and Andre Villas-Boas as the only two managers in the top 6 to be leading their sides into the next campaign. Everyone else – Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Everton – all have managerial transitions to endure and the inevitable acclimitization period that such a change inherently brings with it. Make no mistake about it, these changes will impact these clubs as the new season gets underway. Don’t forget DiCanio and Sunderland either – he has caused quite a stir both inside and outside the club with his sometimes unorthodox approach to managing professional football players.

In addition to the managerial changes and full-scale club transitions that they involve, there have been 101 confirmed transfers since the season ended on May 19. Of those 101 confirmed transfers, 43 have involved players moving into the EPL from a different league, 51 have involved players leaving the EPL, and 7 have involved players being transferred from one EPL team to another.  Keep in mind that the large majority of these 101 confirmed transfers have been confirmed during the past 6 days!

Notable transfers that may affect your FPL outlook as we make our way through the summer include:

  • Carroll from Liverpool to West Ham
  • Mignolet from Sunderland to Liverpool
  • Sanogo to Arsenal
  • Ratt to West Ham
  • Figueroa to Hull City
  • van Wolfswinkel to Norwich
  • Stekelenburg to Fulham
  • Navas to Manchester City
  • Fernandinho to Manchester City
  • Schurrle to Chelsea
  • Amat to Swansea
  • Kolo Toure from Manchester City to Liverpool
  • McGregor to Hull City
  • Mannone from Arsenal to Sunderland
  • Shelvey from Liverpool to Swansea
  • Anelka to West Brom
  • Van Ginkel to Chelsea
  • Paulinho to Tottenham

 

Again we’re left with more questions than answers.

Which Carroll will show up for West Ham this season, having finally settled somewhere he feels wanted? Will Mannone start for Sunderland?  How will Schurrle and Van Ginkel fit in at Chelsea? Will Fulham’s defense improve and make Stekelenburg a viable FPL option in goal?

How will Fernandinho and Navas slot in at City and where does that leave Dzeko, who conceivably would benefit greatly from Navas’ ability to jet down the wing and lob crosses into the big man week after week? How will Shelvey’s move affect last year’s Newcomer of the Year, Mr. Michu, and his position on the pitch? What does Paulinho’s move mean for Tottenham’s midfield, specifically Sigurdsson, who was used sparingly following a pre-season full of significant hype following the arm-wrestling match between Rodgers and Villas-Boas?

How will Moyes respond to the unenviable scrutiny of following the most celebrated manager in the history of the English top division? How will the players respond? How will Martinez keep Everton’s momentum going with the 3-4-3 formation he seems intent on installing (Seamus Coleman anyone?) How will the circus act that was Chelsea fan’s relationship with their manager play out this year, now that the Chosen One has returned to the team he “has always loved”? Will Pellegrini bring stability to the clubhouse of millionaires that make up the Manchester City squad? What will happen to the poor Sunderland souls who are caught with any variation of sugar, natural form or not, pulsing through their systems following DiCanio’s institution of modernly bizarre team rules?

How will new boys Cardiff City, Crystal Palace and Hull City fare? Are they worth investing in at any position?

It’s only July 8. There are 40 days left until the season begins on August 17. Given the questions raised by the moves made to date and the changes that will have each of our heads spinning, there is still so much more to come that may completely change our approach to the new FPL season.

What Will Happen Between Now and August 17

The greatest league of the most popular sport in the world is never short of excitement. With no games being played there is really only one thing to keep the thousands of journalists whose careers revolve around the Premier League in business; transfer rumors. Log onto Twitter for 30 seconds and you’re bound to run across a handful or a dozen of them.  It’s what keeps the EPL world spinning on its axis between May and August. And the rumors are flying fast and furious.

The Thiago Alcantara move to Manchester United has been “confirmed” multiple times since shortly before he led Spain to the UEFA Under-21 European Championships earlier this summer. If that move ever materializes, coupled with Moyes’ insistence that Rooney is going to stay at ManU this season, where does that leave those of us convinced that Kagawa finally seemed like he was beginning to settle in as a long-awaited and much-needed consistent midfield Manchester United FPL option as the season unfolded?

Will the John Ruddy rumored move to Chelsea materialize? Where will that leave Norwich? What in the world is going to happen with Suarez? Will the Higuain deal to Arsenal finally go through, and which Gonzalo will show up if it does?

And these are only the rumors we know about now! Many more will come, and unfortunately for those of us who are unsettled by this fact, the transfer window will stay open right up until gw3 of the coming season. I hate that!

So for now, there is a lot that we know, a lot that we don’t know, and a lot that we don’t yet know we don’t know. The next 6 weeks are going to be a roller coaster; a roller coaster that many of us secretly enjoy because it includes the final pieces of the puzzle that all stews together in mid August to give us all of the information we’ll have available to us for that all-important few days prior to August 17 when we finish fiddling, complete our tinkering, say a final good luck prayer, and click CONFIRM TEAM.

Enjoy it FPL’ers….I know I will.

Walt

 

Please check out Walt’s new FPL blog.. A must read and well recommended from the FY team http://whatiwantmykidstoknowaboutfootball.blogspot.co.uk/

Fantasy Football: Michu to who?…bless you!

Michu’s Successor

by @Fplmaestro

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Swansea manager Micheal Laudrup watched his opposition draw to the now former champions Manchester City 0-0 on Saturday and revealed he now has no option but to field his squad without his top scorer and currently most selected FPL player, Michu.

The Spaniard has managed to net an impressive 21 goals from the midfield position during an absolutely immaculate first season in English football and has gained several plaudits with his ‘Magic touch’ and not to mention has been one of the bargain buys of the season being signed by the Swans for only a fee of 2 million pounds! However, he had to be withdrawn during the second half of the league game against City carrying a hamstring injury. In his post match press conference Laudrup said-  “He has a hamstring problem. I am not sure if he has torn it but even if it is less than that, this will be his last game of the season”

It’s now nearly the end of a stressful season of FPL and the last thing that we that we could have possibly asked for is yet another injury to our long list of woes! And I’m sure the vast majority of you are already considering who to bring in for GW1, of next season, however it’s time to focus on the present and attempt to replace the lad, which is not going to be an easy task given the fact that he’s currently the cheapest FPL attacking player on the dream team! However, it’s a task which simply cannot be avoided.

What to consider from the players you pick-

Towards this stage of the season, consistency is only a minor aspect to consider! The main reasoning one should be putting in before making any changes at this moment of time is if the player has relatively easy fixtures in the up and coming 2 GW’s and that is mainly what the list below is based on!

Players you should consider-  

Going through the list of possible midfield options within  £1.5M of Michu’s current value, I have picked the following players as potential options to replace the Swansea talisman from now up until the end of the season-

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Santi Cazorla-

Yet another Spaniard who’s endeared himself to his team’s fans is Santi Cazorla, having hit the ground running in his first year in English football, acquiring an impressive 12 goals and 9 assists for the Gunners since joining at the start of the season , he looks more than capable to add to his tally and help his team secure a place in the top 4! However, a recent slump in form has seen several FPL managers part company with him causing his price to drop considerably from £10.1-£9.5 Million, fixtures do look to be in his favor playing Newcastle and Wigan, both in the relegation scrap, which could really benefit those who do choose him to be the one to replace Michu.

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Eden Hazard-

Eden Hazard is one of the latest Belgian success stories in the premier league.  Having such an immaculate start, his drop of form in the middle season was rather disappointing, however he has recently been on an impressive run of form and could be the right man to join your FPL team as his next games are to Aston Villa and Everton. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see him rack up a descent tally of points and finish the season in style!

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Theo Walcott-

Walcott has had his best season in Arsenal colours, being the clubs top scorer and even being compared by his manager , to a certain French lad who wore the infamous number ’14’ on the back of his shirt! However, his injury and slight dip in form has seen his price fall down to an extremely attractive £8.8m at the moment he’s on a half descent run of form. He finishes this season playing Newcastle and Wigan, which are must win games for the gunners if they are to stand a chance of finishing in a Champions League positions and he could, yet again, step up to the plate and be a vital part of his teams ambitions of finishing in the top 4!

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David Silva-

Yet another one of the several Spaniard to have graced the premier league, is David Silva despite not reaching the standards he had managed to set for himself last year, in a rather dismal season he might well be finishing the season in flying colours! Despite the fact his City have had a rather poor season and have nothing much really left to play for in the league, they finish this season playing Reading and Norwich. Now priced at an descent £9.2M I’d be surprised if Silva didn’t hit some big points for your FPL team and help City secure that 2nd place position.

 

By Dean Jones (Flickr: Coutinho Goal) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Dean Jones (Flickr: Coutinho Goal) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Phillipe Coutinho-

Philippe Coutinho has been an instant success at Anfield since joining in January.

The Brazilian international, has lit up Liverpool‘s side with attacking flair and has managed to build a stunning partnership with both Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in only three months. However, with Suarez injured himself and Sturridge will have to rise to the occasion for Liverpool and will have to be key in their goals of finishing in a Europa League place! He even comes at a mouth watering £6.7m and could be set to light up your FPL teams finish to this season.

Many thanks for reading my guest post on FantasyYIRMA.com, feel free to give me a shout if you’ve got any queries in choosing between the bunch or anything FPL related on twitter  @Fplmaestro Hopefully we all have a stunning finish to brilliant season.

If you would like to submit a guest post for the FantasyYIRMA.com website drop an email to FantasyYIRMA@hotmail.com or tweet us at @FantasyYIRMA

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