Written by @CraigHazell – (that’s important!) #FPL GAMEWEEK 36 FPL DEADLINE FOR GAMEWEEK 36 IS FRIDAY 5TH MAY AT 7PM DEFENDER: Ben Davies, Spurs It it ain’t broke then stick with Ben Davies. A lot of people have been burned by Kyle Walker’s two minute cameos in recent weeks and I can’t for the […]
Manchester United, Chelsea and Heartbeat’s Nick Berry?!
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#FPL DEADLINE IS FRIDAY 19TH AUGUST AT 7PM (UK) YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED DEFENDER: GEORGE FRIEND, MIDDLESBROUGH After you’ve picked the most valuable players, the goalscoring defenders, and the household names, it really does start to get difficult to fill that fifth defender position in your squad. What credentials do you look for? A kind […]
Arsenal, Chelsea and City dominate Poll result
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So with more than 3.5m players last year – the Fantasy Premier League throws up a LOT of questions for #FPL managers. Who to pick?? who to captain?? what the **** is an FPL chip? One of the more common questions however over the past month was – “Who is the first name in […]
Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City in a Transfer Ban Scandal!!
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Unless you’re questionably unbalanced or have an irrational hatred of uber talented footballers, the chances are you’ll have at least one of Sergio Aguero, Eden Hazard or Alexis Sanchez in your FPL team come the start of the season. But what if you didn’t? What if you broke with convention, ignored the experts and said […]
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard And The 5 Players You MUST Pick This Week
DEFENDER: Anthony Reveillere – £4.5m (Home v West Ham)
Ever since he came into the team in November, the veteran former France international Anthony Reveillere has only been on a losing Sunderland side once – and that was to a Sergio Aguero-inspired Manchester City.
The 35-year-old has quietly done a good job as he’s played the full 90 minutes in each of the previous six games, helping to keep clean sheets in three of the last four. It’s a bit of a left-field choice (unless you’re one of the 0.1% of bosses who owns him) but he could be a useful addition.
MIDFIELDER: Aaron Ramsey – £8.7m (Home v Newcastle)
He’s no longer a must pick for your side, but with a goal and an assist in his last two league games – and Champions League heroics that I SWEAR happened before we decided to recommend him – there are at least some signs that Arsenal’s Welshman Aaron Ramsey is finding some form.
His strike in the defeat against Stoke was his first since scoring in the first two games of the season, and Ramsey will again be looking to get on the front foot at home to Newcastle in a match that Arsene Wenger really dare not lose.
FORWARD: Romelu Lukaku – £9.0m (Home v QPR)
What’s that? You’ve got some Aguero money burning a hole in your back pocket? Well sending some of it in the direction of Everton’s Romelu Lukaku might be the right thing to do.
You’ll have to wait until Monday night to see if your move has paid off, but with QPR proving about as useful on the road as a clapped out old Renault in the hands of a learner driver, they aren’t likely to relish the trip to Goodison Park. Lukaku could take advantage of that.
THE OUTSIDER: Christian Benteke – £7.9m (Away v West Brom)
Injury ensures that only 1.1% of Fantasy bosses own Christian Benteke at the moment, but after Aston Villa earned back-to-back wins over Crystal Palace and Leicester – matches in which he registered a goal and an assist – then that number only looks like going up.
Outstanding on his day, Benteke might actually be playing for a move away from Villa over the next few weeks, and he could make you some points as he does so.
THE CAPTAIN: Eden Hazard – £10.4m (Home v Hull)
Okay, bear with me, but has Diego Costa started looking a little tired in recent matches?
With Cesc Fabregas suspended for Chelsea’s home clash with Hull, then a lot of the creative burden will be thrust upon Eden Hazard, and points for goals and assists could flow.
FantasyYIRMA GW1 preview: No danger in picking Eden Hazard
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Oh so you’re back then? Back for another nine months of tinkering, transferring and telling yourself your captain choice is the correct one. We knew you would be. The return of Fantasy Premier League brings with it the same uncertainty that the game always evokes in all of us, and so the opening weekend of […]
Gameweek 32 preview: Time to switch the Hazard lights back on?
As Fantasy Premier League introductions go, it will be hard for anyone to ever beat the one made by Eden Hazard (£9.5m).
A staggering six assists and one goal in his first three games saw the Belgian explode onto the English football scene, but it also meant that the seven goals and seven assists he registered over Chelsea’s next 27 league games were made to look a little disappointing.
The Blues face a busy end of season schedule featuring matches in both the FA Cup and Europa League, and although that means that Rafael Benitez is sure to rotate his squad across those competitions surely he can trust Hazard to deliver when he needs him too.
Four goals in his last seven appearances for club and country show that the Belgian might just be finishing his first season in England on a high note, and ahead of Chelsea’s game with Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on Sunday he could be just the man to trust.
Staying with Chelsea, an injury to Ashley Cole in the FA Cup win over Manchester United also means that Ryan Bertrand (£3.9m) could be a useful cheap addition to your squad ahead of the meeting with Sunderland, who have struggled to score goals all season and are now without the injured Steven Fletcher.
Elsewhere, another full-back could be worth keeping an eye on.
Glen Johnson (£6.5m) has scored three of his last four Premier League goals against his old club West Ham, and with the Hammers making the trip to Anfield on Sunday without the ineligible Andy Carroll then the right back will be confident that he can play a part in what would be a seventh home clean sheet in the last 10 for Liverpool, as well as getting forward and looking to improve on hitting the post against Aston Villa last week.
Speaking of Villa, they go to Stoke in a huge game for their hopes of avoiding relegation, and after Christian Benteke (£7.2m) scored again last weekend then he could be the man to back there.
Gareth Bale (£10.9m) and Robin van Persie (£13.6m) have been men to back for the majority of the season, and after both became the first men to pass 200 points for the season last weekend they both have big games in which they’ll be hoping to increase their tally this time around.
Bale and Tottenham face Everton at White Hart Lane, and given that the visitors will be without Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar for a second successive week then they could find goals hard to come by. There aren’t many better in the division than Spurs’ Jan Vertonghen (£6.5m) at keeping out the opposition at one end whilst providing a goal threat at the other.
For van Persie, Monday night brings a Manchester derby which has been spoiled slightly by Manchester United’s dominance at the top of the table – but should still be watchable nonetheless.
The Dutchman didn’t get credited with the goal at Sunderland last weekend after we’d given him our big build-up, but perhaps he can make up for that at Old Trafford as United seek to take yet another step towards the title.
At the other end, QPR and Reading face must-win home games in their battles against the drop, and with Southampton and Wigan both capable of capitalising on the nervousness that is likely to be all around Loftus Road and Madejski Stadium respectively, then Rickie Lambert (£7.1m) and Arouna Kone (£6.6m) could take advantage. Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez (£5.1m) has also scored in his last two games.
Santi Cazorla (£9.6m) has only scored in his last one, but he could be the man to watch ahead of Arsenal’s trip to West Brom, where the Gunners will be looking for a seventh win in nine.
What do you think? Who is in your team and who is your captain choice?? Drop a comment below or tweet us at @FantasyYIRMA
Fantasy Premier League: GW26 Review
Gameweek 26 still has one fixture remaining with Liverpool playing Swansea this weekend, but here is the round up of the 10 other games so far. Many thanks as always to @shots_on_target for his review, check out his site at www.shotsontarget.co.uk a fantastic #FPL resource!
A much needed win for Aston Villa although overall they performed below average for a home
team up against a travelling West Ham, Villa’s red arrows indicating below average totals in
all shot categories. Their limited attack is all through Benteke though, which makes him
always in with a chance of a goal. The Nolan-Carroll partnership combined well again
producing plenty of chances in the box but none of real gilt-edge quality.
Torres had a rare performance here where he is the Chelsea player with the most shots on
target, usually he’s second behind one of the midfielders. There were a lot of efforts to
share out here though, and with many at range from Lampard and Luiz. Both players can hit ’em though. Hazard’s goal and assist flatter his underlying numbers.
A rather muted, some might say controlled, performance from United against Everton.
Ferguson did not need to take any risks with this game, especially after City’s loss, and
this kind of performance was always on the cards. United’s attack, and Van Persie in
particular, are just so clinical this season they continue to score goals from
limited chances. Evans, when he gets a start, probably warrants his new found goal scoring tag this season. Rooney’s lack of threat up-front will have those managers who signed him up recently reverting back to worries of a few months back, will he play too deep too often? Everton were well contained here. The talismanic Fellaini was marked out of the game by Jones and Anichebe was no match for Vidic, leaving the best chances falling for Osman from midfield.
If any game was going to be 0-0 this week it was this one. Fulham have just lost it whilst
Norwich have learnt how to defend. New signing Becchio looked to be a useful focus for
Norwich’s attack with Snodgrass maintaining his position as my favourite fantasy option in the
Canary’s attack. I’ll try not to mention Berbatov anymore than is necessary.
The report’s after this game centred on City’s shocker but I’d like to draw some attention to
Southampton’s performances of late since their Argentine coach came on board. This was not a result in which they earned a plucky result against defending champions. They dominated
City at both ends of the pitch, deserving of a dominant victory. Puncheon continues to present an excellent cut-priced option. As for City.., who can tell? Aguero and Silva are not paying
back their price tags yet and rotation risk continues to hang over Dzeko, although he’s
maybe worth that kind of risk with his career goal scoring record.
Stoke managed a lofty number of shots here, hauling themselves all the way up to an average level performance against Reading, thanks in part to Walters bluster up behind Crouch and plenty of set pieces. There was no miracle comeback for Reading this time but Stoke really should’ve kept a clean sheet.
This was a game with a lot more chances than the score line suggests. Despite Giroud being restored to the central strikers berth it’s young Theo once again who posed the most threat in
Sunderland’s penalty box, followed by Cazorla who looks to be finding his spark again. For
Sunderland, Fletcher will feel unfortunate not to have been on the score sheet.
This was another terrific display from Swansea, led up front again by their main man in Michu. The Spaniard’s brace and assist will have overshadowed team-mate Hernandez who was rewarded here after some great performances recently. QPR look doomed already but if they do get anything it’s usually from a Taarabt pass.
What can I say about Gareth Bale that you don’t already know? With Defoe out and Adebayor
rested after his duties with Togo there’s was plenty of room up front for Bale to exploit, although it was Dempsey who started up front. Holtby‘s performance will have caught the eye too, with 4 shots, all in the box, showing a potential knack for getting into scoring positions. Gouffran’s was looking good for the visitors until his injury and that’s blow for Newcastle. Sissoko‘s lack of shots here is a downer on his virtuoso display last week but an away game at White Harte Lane should not dampen expectations too much, unlike Cisse though who has failed to step it up since Ba’s Chelsea exit.
West Brom’s gameplan worked a treat here. They had to ride their luck at times with Foster in fine form, especially saving Gerrard’s penalty. But with 70 minutes of pressure successfully soaked, Clarke threw on Lukaku and his enviable strength and pace was enough to hit Liverpool with the sucker-punch.. With Sturridge out injured Suarez was up front but his shooting was off today, failing to hit the target with any of his 7 shots. Gerrard continued to put in the kind of shift that has seen him amass so many FPL points recently. If he had scored his penalty, which was won by Suarez, this gameweek would have told a whole different story, and it still may with the final fixture, LIV vs SWA, to come this Saturday.
Enrique stole the crown for top points with a goal, assist and clean sheet, plus full bonus points.. Suarez and Sturridge were next best and despite Suarez outscoring Sturridge by 5 pts it was very close between the two of them again. Suarez won a perhaps fortunate penalty for his assist. Sturridge was generously handed his penalty by Gerrard, but could have easily scored one or two more from open play. Couthino’s full debut also showed he’s one to watch.
Liverpool’s victory was emphatic. They had 35 shots in total, the most from any team this season, and this has prompted me to take a look back through this season’s results for other dominant performances from a shot data perspective. As can be seen from the number of goals scored in these games it’s still shots on target that is the important stats. Sure, lots of shots are good, but if they don’t hit the target it doesn’t count for much.
You can read more on the Liverpool v Swansea game at http://www.shotsontarget.co.uk/2013/02/liv-5-0-swa-and-other-emphatic-wins.html
Gameweek 21 preview: Juan to make Matas worse for QPR?
Like plenty of Fantasy managers, Queens Park Rangers can only hope that a new year brings a change in fortunes. It doesn’t look like starting off that way.
After three consecutive defeats at the tail end of 2012, QPR begin 2013 with a trip to a resurgent Chelsea on Wednesday night. It may be a short hop across west London, but the gap in quality in huge.
One man who represents that gap is Juan Mata (£9.8m), the Spanish ace who has slowly overtaken Eden Hazard (£9.5m) as Chelsea’s main creative force the longer the season has gone on, scoring seven goals and making eight assists during the campaign to overtake his Belgian teammate following Hazard’s stunning start to life in England.
Against QPR you’ve have to feel that Mata will be able to exploit the shortcomings of Harry Redknapp’s side in much the same way that Luis Suarez did for Liverpool on Sunday, and with Rafael Benitez also surely likely to stick with Frank Lampard (£8.4m) following his brace in the weekend win at Everton, the potential for another big Chelsea home win is there for all to see.
They beat Aston Villa 8-0 in their last game at Stamford Bridge, and if another huge scoreline is to be achieved then Mata is sure to be key to the home side’s efforts. He looks to be a solid captaincy choice.
The festive period was a time to trust ex-Southampton players with your armband, with Gareth Bale (£9.9m) and Theo Walcott (£8.8m) both hitting hat-tricks to thrill the managers who own them.
Bale would have been backed for more points had he not picked up a suspension which keeps him out of Tottenham’s home match with Reading on New Year’s Day, but Arsenal’s Walcott is sure to be raring to go as he heads back to the south coast to take on Southampton fresh from racking up this season’s highest individual points total in one fixture against Newcastle on Saturday.
His three goals and two assists have of course seen plenty of Fantasy bosses draft him into the team in the hope that he can repeat the trick, and whilst he might not manage to pull off that incredible feat again he certainly looks as though he’ll be in the points as he heads back to his old club ― who conceded six to the Gunners, and one to Walcott, back in September.
The Manchester clubs look set to spent 2013 battling with each other in the same way they did in 2012, and both will fancy New Year’s Day wins as champions City host Stoke and leaders United go to Wigan. Sergio Aguero (£11.0m) and Robin van Persie (£14.0m) will again be the main men, whilst City’s Yaya Toure (£8.0) will play his final Premier League match before heading off for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Suarez (£10.2m) and Liverpool will be looking to arrest their schizophrenic form as they welcome Sunderland to Anfield in a match which should see the Uruguayan forward impress, whilst Demba Ba (£8.4m) could be playing his final match for Newcastle as they host Everton. Logic dictates that he’ll be getting less chances to pick up points should he move to Chelsea as expected.
Logic also says that whoever faces Aston Villa should be in the points given recent form, and as Swansea welcome Paul Lambert’s men to South Wales perhaps a move for Nathan Dyer (£5.3m) could pay off.
Michu (£8.2m) is doubtful for the match, and whilst his fitness should be monitored all the way up to the deadline ― not the most exciting way to spend New Year’s Eve admittedly ― the likes of Dyer and Jonathan de Guzman (£5.7m) could be the men to watch.
* Remember, the January Wildcard kicks in after Gameweek 21’s fixtures. The earliest your Wildcard can become active is Gameweek 22.
GW11 THE REVIEW!! by @shots_on_target
Many Thanks to @shots_on_target for this weeks GW round up. For more great articles from our very own “Statto” check out his website at http://www.shotsontarget.co.uk !!
Special mention this week to new guest poster Super Grover who has provided Match reports to supplement the tables
Very accurate and clinical shooting by both teams. The game wasn’t quite as open as the score dictates as 15 shots in the box is pretty standard. Just one of those games where everything goes in, except Arteta’s penalty that is!
As for individuals, Giroud is the obvious star here. Superb game all around. Berbatov continues to be superb and appears almost fixture proof at this point. Ruiz would be interesting if listed as a MID.
Cazorla’s numbers weren’t bad, but at his price range he needs to produce more in this kind of fixture. Suspect a number of owners will be rethinking their elite MID options with Mata on fire and Silva back from the injury list.
Sunderland managed to find the back of the net again although Everton were clearly the better side in this one. Everton continue to press forward and are susceptible to counters. All the Blues offensive players were involved (Fellaini, Pienaar, Baines, Jelavic, Mirallas) and any of them could have brought home the points. This team remains a gold mine for attacking fantasy purposes.
Wouldn’t look too much at Heitenga’s shot opportunities. Yes he kicked/headed the ball towards the goal, but if Saturday is any indication he’s going to struggle to ever put one on the goal. With any skill he could have easily netted a brace.
While Sessegnon was a handful and showed some of the form he demonstrated last season they still managed just 3 shots on goal. It is still difficult to consider this team from an offensive perspective other than perhaps Fletcher.
My model predicted about 1.5 goals for Man U this weekend. They scored 3 from onlu 5 shots on target. They continue to confound any statistical forecaster with their absurd conversion rate (now at 46% for the year). Van Persie was the most provocative player, but had 4 shots to Rooney’s 4 in 17 fewer minutes and Hernandez’ 3 in 47 fewer minutes. RVP remains a fantasy monster but at soon to be 13.7 million you certainly are paying for it.
Villa didn’t do a whole lot but everything they did was funneled through Benteke and Weimann. While Benteke is a legit fantasy option, Weimann seems like a non-entity to me. This was his first game of any real contribution and Bent remains an ever present option on the bench. I personally see no value in Villa’s offense.
Even game in which Stoke were probably somewhat fortunate to get a clean sheet. Crouch and Walters were involved, but neither are elite options as Stoke isn’t going to put up many crooked numbers this year. For QPR, Taarabt was a menace to both sides as usual, being more than a bit free with his shots. Granero was also heavily involved and Hoillet was solid as well. This is the third game in a row the trio has started together. Any of the three are legit fantasy options if QPR can click into some sort of form. All are on my radar.
Terrible game to watch. From Adebayor’s diving to Mancini’s sideline histrionics. City dominated the game throughout and probably should have scored 3. Aguero and Silva were excellent as expected while I thought Tevez was a bit subdued. Dzeko really was only involved in his goal and a corner, but his presence remains troublesome to Tevez owners. Interestingly Balotelli and Nasri weren’t even included on the bench.
To me, Aguero and Silva are the key options here, with Tevez there if you want to try and read Mancini’s mind. The defense remains stout as Totenham barely threatened and the goal was very soft. Probably should have been a clean sheet for City.
For the Spurs, there wasn’t much to talk about. Adebayor was a flopping menace but didn’t really threaten much. Bale was starved of many real opportunities for him. One thing to note is that Huddlestone took nearly every free kick and 1 of the 2 corners. If that continues that is a bit of a knock on Bale’s value. It did not occur last game though so I wouldn’t look too much into it. Besides Bale, the rest of the Spurs look like non-options right now.
Don’t look now, but Southampton’s defense is improving. It’s still not good mind you, but improvement is improvement. Swansea really didn’t generate much offense and widely-held Michu and Routledge were invisible. For Routledge, this is the 3rd straight fixture that he has been a non-factor. De Guzman was better this week and has been better recently, but probably not strong enough to warrant investment.
For Southampton, Lambert remains a well-rounded asset, especially at home. He now has 21 chances created on the season, third behind Suarez and RVP among all forwards. If he plays he is almost certainly worth the money at 6.1. Ramirez continues to rack up solid numbers in his playing time. He is now averaging 3 shots and 2.2 chances created per 90 minutes, solid numbers for a 6.0 million MID. Lallana remains a solid 6.0 option as well.
Even game. Both teams were somewhat threatening but only generated 4 chances on target. For WBA, Morrison remains the key figure although Lukaku remains a constant goal threat when he is given time on the pitch. Brunt started instead of Gera this week so that probably removes Gera as a budget option. On the other side it was more of a mixed bag. Kone scored but had only 2 shots all day and no key passes. Di Santo didn’t do much either. Watson did manage 3 shots for the second week in a row. Could he become an option with regular playing time?
Shots on target was right, Reading’s defense was the way to go this week! A pretty non-eventful game, with both teams struggling to generate anything with only 13 total chances created. Hoolahan, Snoddgrass and Holt remain interesting options on Norwich presuming rotations issues can be weeded out. For Reading, only Shorey did anything useful by racking up 3 key passes from his very advanced left-back position. Not sure he is worth investment though as they won’t be playing Norwich’s offense at home every week.
Newcastle probably deserved at least a draw here. West Ham continued their run of allowing a ton of shots and not a ton of goals. Currently, the opposition is converting just 17.7% of their shots on target against the Hammers. Don’t expect that to continue. On offense, WHM has been very aggressive getting shots close in and the pattern continued this week. Nolan remains the primary contributor here although Noble is very cheap and remains on all kicks (including penalties).
On the other side it was pretty much status quo. Cabaye outperformed HBA, but Ben Arfa did enough to keep him as a viable, albeit pricey, midfield option. Ba was Ba, with the only difference being that he didn’t score on one of his 2 shots on target. Cisse remains a non option at this time.
Entertaining game to watch. Liverpool came out in a 3-5-2 formation with Enrique and Johnson as wing backs. Seemed to confuse the Reds more than Chelsea and the home team really dominated the first half. The second half saw a switch to a more traditional back four with Enrique playing left-mid and Gerrard dropping deeper to orchestrate the offense instead of Joe Allen (who was putrid in the opening 45). Liverpool were the better team in the second half and deserved the single point.
On Liverpool, Suarez continued his excellent recent form and seemed more restrained than usual (a 5th yellow on his mind perhaps). His shot and key pass numbers were down a bit but that was more of a reflection of the dominance by Chelsea in the first half. Sterling again created a couple opportunities with his pace. I purchased Sterling at 4.7 and am thrilled with his production. At his current price, I am not sure I wouldn’t be happier trying my luck with Taarabt. On the backline, both Johnson and Enrique were involved offensively, although Enrique’s clumsiness was apparent to my eye. Gerrard was a non-factor as he spent most of the second half directing things as a holding mid. He also gave up corner duties to Suso.
For Chelsea, Mata, Hazard and Torres were all heavily involved. Oscar was excellent but he remains a bit deeper than the other two #10s and thus doesn’t have the same fantasy potential in my opinion. Torres was Torres, getting a hold of a good number of solid chances but failing to put any in the back of the net. Hazard and Mata both remain solid fantasy assets.
Big thanks again to @shots_on_target for the Stats and new guest poster SuperGrover for his match reports!! Visit http://www.shotsontarget.com for more great articles!!