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Fantasy Football Gameweek 19: Make Mine A DOUBLE

We approach blank GW18 during blank January at the start of what looks like being blank 2021. At time of writing, some games are still scheduled but could be scrapped just hours before kick-off.

The President of the United States is trying to overthrow his own government, constitution and society, while almost every country on earth is bemoaning the slow rollout of vaccinations that will restore normality to the planet.

It seems to me that we could all use a Free Hit chip this week for our lives, not FPL.

Onto GW18!

Written by @NiallHawthorne

Defender: Kieran Tierney, Arsenal

Gary Neville may proclaim that nobody grew up wanting to be Gary Neville, but how else do you explain the absolute plethora of class full-backs in British football these days?

England have more quality right-backs than they have Pfizer vaccines. Scotland have two genuinely amazing left-backs at the same time. Poor Kieran Tierney must be cursing his luck to have emerged at the same time as his national team captain and arguably the world’s greatest left-back Andy Robertson.

Whether this happened because of, or despite, Gary Neville, the good thing for FPL players is that they all play for different Premier League teams. Tierney has two clean sheets in a row and faces home fixtures against a Crystal Palace side who have drawn four blanks on the road this season, and Newcastle United who are starting to play Andy Carroll up front.

Oh, and he’s decent going forward too.

Midfielder: Heung-Min Son, Tottenham Hotspur

(DISCLAIMER – This match no longer exists but Spurs now play Fulham so we’re sticking with it)

This is the game that is seemingly under the most threat of a postponement but seeing as the Premier League are making up the rules as they go along, and Jose Mourinho is far scarier than Dean Smith, there’s every chance that Spurs will face a second game in a week against an opponent they can steamroller in their sleep.

The Villa kids gave a fine account of themselves against Liverpool on Friday night, but ran out of steam after half time, and I reckon their little legs will still be gone if forced into action midweek. Heung-Min Son could do terrible, terrible damage to them.

So, you should probably own him, just in case.

Forward: Edison Cavani, Manchester United

I was going to tip Dominic Calvert-Lewin this week as he faces a Wolves side who haven’t kept a clean sheet for ten consecutive league games, amazingly. He’s also trying to come out of his biggest slump this season, stretching back an almost staggering two games without a goal or assist. The fraud.

However, the Burnley v Manchester United match intrigues me. I know many Free Hitters will be looking to triple-up on United assets, but here’s your word of warning – Since Ben Mee returned to the team following injury, Burnley have conceded a grand total of three goals in nine games when Mee and Pope have been together in defence. They’ve faced teams such as Everton, Villa, Wolves and Leeds in that time, teams who have an ability to put the ball in the back of the net with reasonable regularity.

So, I see this game being a bit more of a struggle than some might think. However, it’s United, so Cavani will come off the bench and win it in the 87th minute. Nailed. On.

Captain: Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City

KDB racked up his fourth double-digit haul against Chelsea last time out, then spent the weekend tormenting Birmingham City like a tabby cat playing with a shrew.

Brighton tend to concede more than one goal against ‘Top 6’ opposition this season (with one notable exception against Liverpool), and they went the full 120 minutes plus spotters against Newport County at the weekend. Hardly the ideal preparation for the run-around they’re going to get at The Etihad.

As a result, it may take until the 60th minute, but I fully expect KDB to haul big against Graham Potters men.

Outsider: Dwight Gayle, Newcastle United

Who fancies one of my patented 0% owned FPL returns? It’s time for another I think, to make it four in less than half a season.

Dwight Gayle away to Sheffield United will score or assist. You heard it here first.

Your move….

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

Fantasy Football: Liverpool, Leeds and WBA

I hope everybody had a peaceful and joyous Christmas, except Sam Allardyce.

Written by Niall Hawthorne.

Onto GW16!

Defender: Charlie Taylor, Burnley

Burnley only tend to concede large amounts of goals when they feel they are the inferior team. They shipped three against Chelsea, five against Manchester City and three against, err, Newcastle United.

Apart from that they’re a solid defensive FPL option having conceded just three goals in seven league games (excluding the City game).

In short what I’m saying is Burnley are like Nelson Muntz. They can pick on the smaller kids, but can get their ass whomped by Jimbo Jones.

This week they face Sheffield United, aka Martin Prince. HaHa!

Cheer up Charlie, this is your golden ticket to a clean sheet!

Midfielder: Sadio Mane, Liverpool

On the third day of Christmas, Sadio gave to you nine FPL points thanks to his goal and bonus points against West Bromwich Albion.

This followed his nine FPL points before Christmas which ended his ‘drought’. We are truly living in biblical times, eh?

Form is temporary and class is permanent. Sadio Mane will always be class, and he likes playing at St James’s Park where he will be on the sixth day of Christmas. Instead of six geese-a-laying, I predict he’ll deliver at least 6 points-a-playing.

Forward: Patrick Bamford, Leeds United

I know that most people would be expecting to see the name of Harry Kane here as they face Fulham at home, but Fulham are undefeated in four with only two conceded. Spurs may face a harder game than most anticipate.

So, I’m plumping for Patrick Bamford against the Baggies, who have just come away from Anfield with a point. However, that’s the third game where West Brom have taken points against one of the ‘Big 6’ and after each of the previous two games, they got spanked. After a point against Chelsea, Southampton mullered ‘em. After a point against Man City, Villa mullered ‘em.

Plus, I really really want to see Big Sam’s face as Marcelo Bielsa’s tactics rip his side to shreds while he sits on a bucket and ‘posh boy’ Bamford runs amok.

Captain: Jamie Vardy, Leicester City

Brendan Rodgers takes his side to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace, who have hilariously forgotten how to defend, and have now lost their best defender to injury in Gary Cahill.

That’s ten goals shipped in the last two matches and Leicester City possess one of the best away records in the division with six wins from seven trips on the road.

Vardy himself has a frankly ridiculous nine goals and three assists in those seven away matches. It’s almost like Premier League teams don’t realise that Vardy is most dangerous when the other side have the ball and lose it suddenly…

A Vardy Xmas/New Year Party is very much on the cards.

Outsider: Karlan Grant, West Bromwich Albion

Having said all the above, we live in Brexit times, and some good old fashioned British Bulldog Spirit from Sam Allardyce may well put a hole in Bielsa’s bucket.

Grant was a willing front runner at Anfield and perhaps should have scored in the second half, so the not-quite-watertight Leeds defence may get breached.

He’s owned by 0.0% of FPL players right now. You know what my record is like tipping players owned by nobody.

Your move….

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

Fantasy Football: Boxing Day Preview

Fantasy Football: Five Festive Hints

A Personalised Football Book for Any Occasion – Historic Newspapers

GW #16 Review: YIMRA TV Box Sets

I know what you’re thinking, thank God Jack had the time this week to provide a thorough picture-full review for our enjoyment. I doubt you ever doubted me.

The powers that be at YIRMA HQ were over the moon with what I prepared for you three (I assume there’s still 3 confirmed readers of this?) this week…

The theme this week is TV Shows, and somehow I found 10 which I loosely tied into the results from the weekend and/or found reason to stick a players head onto a funny picture.

Hot off the press like a Greggs vegan sausage roll you’ve just sat on because you thought tucking it between your legs whilst driving would work – but now you’re left with pastry all over the place frantically crumbing in into the seats – here’s the GW 16 review…

Everton 3 – 1 Chelsea

Fresh from a victory against Villa, Lamp’s & Co rocked up to Everton pretty damn cocky. Duncan Ferguson in the hot seat for the Toffee’s saw Tammy Abraham swagger on to the pitch almost expecting to score. Not today sunshine – Duncan screamed effortlessly. Everton 2-0 up before Chelsea decided to wake up, but it was too little too late as the Toffee’s took the win. In other news, Chelsea financial director Ron Swanson was finally given the green light to make transfers in January and is already eyeing up a move for Chris Pratt & Aziz Ansari – although his first target is Amy Poehler as the new fitness coach.

Bournemouth 0 – 3 Liverpool

Liverpool are unstoppable. Sad, but true. Leicester’s party will only ever be second best to the Scouse rave, won’t it? I will bet anyone a £10 Burton voucher that Liverpool will win the league – that’s right, Burton (menswear). Spiralling back through the results so far, you have to assume that indeed it is ALWAYS sunny in Liverpool – it must be such a happy place (well, half of it) – like being in Denmark but with more robberies and folk you can’t understand. Liverpool performed a common assault on Bournemouth at the weekend, they didn’t see any of this coming. It was an intense 90 minutes that Eddie’s boys just weren’t ready for. “What’s going on, Eddie?” we heard the players cry. Only to be told “it’s alright lads, it’s over now, we can go and beat Chelsea next week”.

Tottenham 5 – 0 Burnley

Speaking of assaults. Jose’s inmates took the socks-of-soap to Burnley – 5 goals with no reply saw the Spurs faithful give Jose a rousing applause when he exited the field. We’re so fickle, us football fans, aren’t we? So, so fickle. Can you imagine any other elite manager on Earth going to a “rival” team and within a weak be 100% applauded? I’m not even talking a little, Spurs fans were loving life – guys you beat Burnley, at home, chill out, man. I would like for you to stare at the photo of Jose and the lads for some 300-400 seconds please. Tell me you wouldn’t watch that show immediately and I’ll hold a mirror firmly in front of your face and show you a dirty liar.

Watford 0 – 0 Crystal Palace

Please refer to the picture which epitomises the meaning “a picture paints a thousand hilarious words”. Palace had 0 shots on target after we all went mental over Zaha because some FPL genius’ decided he’s a good punt. Watford are bottom of the league and still 2.2% of us own Deulofeu (the most owned Watford player in FPL).  2.2% is now too many. Poop Show indeed, back to you Jack.

Man City 1 – 2 Man United

Thanks Jack…Got about a hundred thoughts going on, me. A million thoughts. I got a billion thoughts going on. If you tried to have a thought this morning and you couldn’t: that is because I was having all of them, over Man United somehow beating Man City in front of the world, for realz. I mean, where to dig into this party-sized cheesecake of a moment? Where do I tuck in first? This is the best thing Man United have done since, well, they did it to PSG. I am obsessed with watching this match on repeat. I still cheer every tackle by Wan-Bissaka, still nervous at every City attack (silently chuckling that the players aren’t aware that they will lose this match). It’s a delightful treat I never want to end. Alas, it will end, United will inevitably get beaten by Everton at the weekend. Was a good week though. Oh yeah, the picture…Speaks for itself really doesn’t it?

Villa 1 – 4 Leicester

Yeah alright that’s not a TV show but I couldn’t resist – I saw the poster and couldn’t help popping Rodgers and Vardy’s pouty faces on the bods. Rodgers must one day fulfil his prophecy and win the Premier League. He was born to do it, but the poor sod keeps getting pipped to the post. Once upon a time in Leicester this team swept the League, it’s happening again but only this time there’s something quite special up in Liverpool happening which is the footballing equivalent of party pooping. Sure, Leicester look fantastic. Sure, Leicester look very, very good. And sure, Vardy’s wife is still a little sneaky sausage we will not forgive (yet).

Newcastle 2 – 1 Southampton

Jonjo Shelvey was born to be an extra in British gangster films, but accidently became a high paid footballer instead. Jonjo wasn’t meant to score goals, yet here we are. Jonjo was supposed to be one of those guys in the back of a scene who don’t have any speaking lines, you just “assume” he’s got a foreign accent. Jonjo was built to appear side-by-side with Danny Dyer for a scene where he inexplicably gets punched in the face by a runaway chav in a moment of comic relief. Jonjo was set to earn a decent salary from being that guy who would eventually get a bit-part in Hollyoaks but only last until the Christmas storyline where he gets sent to jail for “life” as he may or may not have been caught giving drugs to the landlord’s daughters underage mate called Sheryl (spelt purposely with an S). Jonjo, is doing bits for Newcastle…And the Hasenhuttl circus rolls on, next stop West Ham.

Norwich 1 – 2 Sheffield United

When I was a kid, I loved wrestling if you didn’t know that already. I would pick my mate up routinely and throw him against the furniture until the sofa broke, someone bled, or my Dad caught and bollocked us – me for tombstoning him onto the carpet, him for being tombstoned (which was fair). What I am trying to say here is, even though Norwich are naff, AND the players are naff – absolutely nobody is getting a whack around the back of the legs for this. Clearly, it’s someone’s fault, right? Has Delia Smith been side-tracked by Christmas Cook Book release deadlines or something? Is Alan Partridge touring the city centre in a massive Pope-mobile? No excuses, someone deserves a sacking! On the flip side, Sheffield have once again found their winning ways after a Newcastle blip and are well in the mix for Europa spots still.

Brighton 2 – 2 Wolves

It’s not necessarily their fault, but the season-so-far journey that Wolves have embarked on is a football version of Frodo legging it out of his mushroom to chase a very posh British dragon screaming “I’m off on an adventure lads!”. Nuno (Gandalf) has convinced us all that this adventure could well be a success – based off last seasons performance they’re aiming to be a top table European-place challenging team for the long term. Last season they relied heavily on Jimenez. This season, he’s got little Bilbo-Jota helping him out and banging in some screamers of his own. Brighton played well, the draw was deserved, but going forward Wolves still look a strong squad but with one eye on Europa in the new year will they get distracted/fatigued/eaten by a massive dragon?

West Ham 1 – 3 Arsenal

Arsenal are a right show this year. We blast them, we praise them, we love them, we hate them all within 90 minutes. We dish out the reviews, Arsenal serve it back to us with a panto precision even Christopher Biggins would be impressed with. This week, they started the show poorly, leading us to believe it’s all gone Shane Ritchie in EastEnders (really rubbish to watch). But no, a quick flip-reverse and they go ahead to score 3 and take an easy 3 points away from the London 2012 Olympics Stadium (I refuse to acknowledge any other name for it). We’re fans, at the end of the day, fans just wanting to be entertained. We don’t care if Arsenal have 10 ex-players come and “have a go” at manager this season, we’re not expecting much, who really cares anyway until they hire Sol Campbell?

Lastly a random shout out but one worthy of a mention in my opinion.

@_Bands_FC have this week been collaborating with @OneMinuteBriefs to create some amazing, inspiring and powerful poster art to raise awareness for equality and to stop racism in our wonderful game of football using the concept of Music x Football. A great cause, with some great results – if you haven’t already, go and check them out by searching for #LoveMusicLoveFootballHateRacism

(here’s a couple of my submissions….)

FOLLOW JACK ON TWITTER @JACKAGOODWIN

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.

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