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Fantasy Football – FPL Gameweek 2 Preview – Written by @NiallHawthorne

The dictionary definition of a ‘Series’ is a number of events of a similar or related kind coming one after another.

Coronation Street has had murders, Ken Barlow affairs and hotpots for decades.

EastEnders has had menacing gangsters, unplanned pregnancies and Ian Beale crying for years.

Emmerdale has had sheep, plane crashes and Marilyn from Home & Away inexplicably roaming around the dales for yonks.

The point is that you know what you’re going to get from a ‘Series’, because you can see the pattern.

Now if you happened to watch the first episode of a new series last weekend called ‘FPL Season 2019/20’ and you think you know what’s coming next, you’re an idiot.

So, put down that Wildcard chip, stop f*cking panicking, and at least wait for GW2 to happen before drawing any conclusions. Remember Steve Mounie? He didn’t turn out to be the next Alan Shearer, did he? Yet he scored two goals in GW1 in August 2017 and promptly stank the place out for the next nine months.

In short, nobody knows what’s coming next. So, with that, here’s my predictions for GW2!

Defender: John Egan, Sheffield United  

The Blades had the best defensive record in the Championship last season, which Egan was at the heart of, and they looked very much at home in the cut and thrust of the Premier League when they visited Dean’s Court last weekend.

This weekend the Premier League returns to Bramall Lane, the scene of the very first Premier League goal in history, scored by Brian Deane past a hopeless Danish keeper called Schmeichel. Clearly that was a sign of things to come in the future, eh?

Crystal Palace are the visitors this time featuring Christian ‘I used to score goals’ Benteke, Wilfried ‘I’m a good player get me out of here’ Zaha, and ‘Mad’ Max Meyer. While their away from was their saviour last season, something tells me that The Hodge has a tougher job on his hands this season, and a bouncing Bramall Lane will be a tough place to perform.

 

 

Midfielder: John McGinn, Aston Villa

This season’s version of Ryan Fraser.

You can thank me next May.

 

 

Forward: Teemu Pukki, Norwich City

Norwich look like they’re going to have a real go this season. They attacked Liverpool with gusto on Friday night, deservedly grabbing a consolation goal which was finished with aplomb by their Finnish finisher Pukki.

This weekend the Geordie Circus rolls into town with Steve Bruce in a top hat and Mike Ashley as usual playing the clown. Carrow Road will be hopping, Delia will have been on the sherry since lunchtime, and by 5pm you’ll be crowing about how this Canary helped you nail GW2.

Captain: Mo Salah, Liverpool

Aubameyang faces Burnley at 12:30 on Saturday. I never Captain a player at that time slot, and neither should you.

Sterling/Aguero and friends have a tricky enough looking home game against Spurs. While they may well run riot once more, Spurs are no mugs and may stifle the home side for a while at least.

That leaves Salah at Southampton. He notched there last season when he ran for 50 yards before slotting from outside the box. The Saints were battered by Burnley last weekend and showed defensive vulnerability, and whatever shortcomings you may see in Liverpool so far this season, they look to be as razor sharp offensively as ever.

So, it’s Mo once more.

Outsider: Adrian, Liverpool  

£4.5m to get a guaranteed starter in the best defence last season?

This climate change lark is getting out of hand. It’s Christmas in August FFS!

 

Draft: Moise Kean, Everton 

Everton have signed a young Irish lad from Juventus who should be leading the line very soon and banging in goals for fun.

At least, I’m assuming he’s Irish with a name like Mossie Keane. Wait, what? Moise Kean? Not qualified for Ireland?

Meh, it didn’t stop Tony Cascarino.

 

 

 

 

Fantasy Football – Gameweek 2 Preview – Written by @NiallHawthorne

Written by Niall Hawthorne.

Drop Niall a follow on twitter. Good thing about Twitter – you can always unfollow again later!

Niall Hawthorne has a strange view on most things.

Check out his blog for proof rantsofarebel.wordpress.com.

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This week @JackAGoodwin has decided to write about 5 Totally useless Fantasy Players from GW1. Word of warning – Do Not Pick Them

  1. Oliver Skipp – Midfielder – Tottenham – £4.5M.

18-year-old Oliver debuted in the league last season, with 8 appearances. This season, 1 game, 1 appearance, that’s brilliant right? Well, not so much for 25,000 fantasy managers who picked him in their squads (unless he’s way back in sub #3 position). Fun fact, ‘Skippy’ actually featured in seven different competitions across four age groups in 2018/19. This season, he made his first appearance for Tottenham against Villa in the opening fixture coming on the pitch at 92 minutes. The match ended at 93 minutes. A Solid performance from the lad! (total fantasy points = 1).

 

  1. Bernardo Fernandes da Silva Junior – Defender – Brighton – £4.5M.

We’ll call him just Bernardo shall we, shall we? Can we all agree on that? Well, Bernardo had 22 appearances last season, accumulating a rather terrible 39 points total. This season, surely the Brazilian can inject some flair into the Brighton backline. Not this week he can’t. Taking a page from Skipp’s book he appeared for a total of 1 minute before the final whistle. Hey, it’s an appearance right? He deserves the ice bath afterwards, right? (total fantasy points = 1)

  1. Dominic Solanke – Forward – Bournemouth – £5.5M.

We’ll call him Dominic Ayodele Solanke-Mitchell, shall we? No? Dom is an unbelievably talented 21 year old. But, as we know, if you’re not already at the level of Mbappe, Neymar or Andy Carroll by that age then you’re “never going to make it”! In his 6 years in professional football, Dom has scored a TOTAL of 8 goals – that’s not the best stat is it? So why then did 31,000 people still bring him into their teams? Unsure, to be honest with you there Jack (you all scream). There’s a theme here, as Dom registered 1 minute of playing time in the 1-1 draw to Sheffield United – say it with me guys…. Impact. Player! (total fantasy points = 1) P.s. Dom has an Instagram account, apparently. His Twitter (of 180K+ followers) bio highlights his Insta account with a nice clickable link directly to it so you don’t miss a post. I clicked it. I must’ve been the only soul to do so. 3 followers. 1 following. Sad. Actually what’s happened here, is little Dom has typed his details in wrong – oh how I laughed…

  1. Grant Hanley – Defender – Norwich – £4M.

YES!! A £4M player who actually played for the full 90 minutes! Steady there chaps, Grant had a shocker. He scored the first goal of the 2019-20 Premier League season (into his own net) and went on to concede another 3 goals in the game. This is a man who was club captain and lifted the Championship trophy just months ago with a big ol’ grin across his Scottish face. How the mighty fall eh? (total fantasy points = -2, yes that is a minus before the 2).

  1. Kurt Zouma – Defender – Chelsea – £5M.

Another defensive clanger here as Kurt not only faced the mighty Man United in a 4 goal bashing, but decided he didn’t like the look of Pereira’s shins so jumped all over them in an act worthy of a yellow card. -1 points for the game, -1 points for the 185,000 managers with him in their teams. Here’s something I betcha didn’t know – Kurt’s middle name, is Happy, and in interviews he believes that it is his middle name which makes him so god damn smiley. We’ve all learnt today. Another fact about Happy Kurt, he is named after Kurt Sloane, Jean-Claude Van Damme’s character in the 1989 film Kickboxer. What a guy.

 

Written by Jack A. Goodwin -Follow him on Twitter @JackAGoodwin

Jack is an “alternative FPL writer” (Who knew, right?) looking for hidden tales behind the most obscure players, dark humour in the game and the creative storytelling to the most mundane of GameWeeks!

He’s played the official game for over 7 years, running leagues throughout the offices of his day job.

FPL Gameweek 1 Preview: Liverpool’s Mo Salah is Good

Fantasy Football – #FPL Gameweek 1 Preview – Written by @NiallHawthorne

I must caveat this while column by saying that I’m writing this before the transfer window has closed.

This is because the Lord and Master of FantasyYIRMA is currently starring in Home and Away, frolicking on the beach and being called a ‘Flaming Galah’ by Alf Stewart.

So, the time difference between our planets means I must type this on a Tuesday, and hope for the best.

In short, it’s all Ryan’s fault if anything that follows is factually inaccurate. But all credit to me if I’m right. Fair?

Defender: Kyle Walker, Manchester City

The eagerly-awaited rematch from the Asia Cup tussle between West Ham and Manchester City (said nobody ever) takes place this Saturday at the London Stadium. Having been on the end of a 4-1 shellacking in the Olympic Sports Stadium in China somewhere, Manuel Pellegrini could be forgiven for writing off GW1 for his troops and focusing all his attention on a trip to Brighton in August, which should be nice.

City in third gear should be more than a match for the Hammers, and I expect them to stroll to a routine 2-0 or 3-0 victory here to start their inexorable march towards reaching the fabled 115 points mark this season. Yes, I know that 38 x 3 = 114, but this is Manchester City we’re talking about.

Kyle Walker was noticeable for his quite frankly ridiculous bicycle-kick clearance from under his own crossbar in the dying seconds of the Community Shield, and as an ex-Spurs player he’ll delight in shutting down the Hammers on day one.

 

 

Midfielder: Youri Tielemans, Leicester City

To be frank, the multitude of midfield riches that the Brodge has at his disposal at Leicester City is quite frankly disgusting. Tielemans, Perez, Maddison, Barnes, Ndidi, Gray, Albrighton. It’s ridiculous, and means that Brendan may well opt for the lesser-known 2-7-1 formation this season. These are exciting times for Leicester City fans, and with £80 million (!) burning a hole in their pocket, I’m extremely excited to see who Brendan picks up to replace old slab head. (It’ll be Martin Skrtel, you know it will…).

Going forward the Foxes should be entertaining and while old Jamie Vardy can always be relied upon, it’s a newer arrival that excites me. I got on the Tielemans Train early in the second half of last season and he rewarded me with 3G and 5A in just over 1,000 minutes of action. With a full pre-season under his belt, this could be a mega season for a £6.5m midfield asset. That’s not to say that Perez at the same price should be overlooked, or even Maddison at £7m, but Tielemans is my man.

Plus, they face a Wolves side fresh from a lovely jaunt to Armenia this Thursday to play a team called Pyunik in what is sure to be 158-degree heat on a pitch made from baked clay. So where did you holiday this year, eh?

 

 

Forward: Chris Wood, Burnley

I know that pre-season ‘form’ can sometimes be misleading, but this guy has scored no less than 1,439 goals in just 3 pre-season matches (or something like that). Burnley disappointed last season but weren’t helped by their Europa League exploits in the month of July (and god knows Sean Dyche absolutely HATES Europe), so with no such distractions this season I reckon they’ll be the under-the-radar-quick-out-of-the-blocks team this season (like Watford were last season).

Plus, New Zealand sportspeople are about to dominate f*cking everything for the next few months.

Captain: Mo Salah, Liverpool

The only thing annoying me about this fixture is that it hasn’t come on a wet, cold November afternoon, after the plucky Canaries have had all their hope and optimism battered out of them, and they accept that trips to Anfield are meant to be endured rather than dreamed about.

There’s nothing more annoying than a plucky Canary, so while this won’t be as straightforward as it could have been for Liverpool, I can’t see anything other than a comprehensive home win with Salah bagging at least a quick brace to get his Golden Boot campaign off to a flyer. If he had that many chances against Manchester City, he should have at least 10 shots against Norwich. I wouldn’t even put you off that TC chip y’know…

 

Outsider: Callum Robinson, Sheffield United

There’s a type of player that always starts a season strongly. The type of player who is quick, thrives on good pitches, loves the sunshine, and disappears completely when it’s five below zero and even the pre-match handshake hurts.

Callum Robinson has four goals in pre-season and is your Duracell-bunny type attacking midfielder. A trip to the seaside to take on a notoriously leaky Bournemouth defence means that his mother will be getting quite a few ‘Ooh Mrs. Robinson’ comments on Saturday night, but in a purely footballing sense of course….

Draft: Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City

It’s week one, and if you haven’t completed your draft yet, then I’m pointing out the bleeding obvious.

 

Fantasy Football – Gameweek 1 Preview – Written by @NiallHawthorne

 

 

Written by Niall Hawthorne.

Drop Niall a follow on twitter. Good thing about Twitter – you can always unfollow again later!

Niall Hawthorne has a strange view on most things.

Check out his blog for proof rantsofarebel.wordpress.com.

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