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Fantasy Football: Robin Van Persie or Gerard Deulofeu ?

60 minute matches and Gareth Bale for £6m ??

Paulinho’s Spurs switch a sign of Villas-Boas’ desire to look to Porto past?

With the Fantasy Premier League getting back up and running this week we have already had people asking about the potential of some of the new summer signings as viable options for your Fantasy squad. Players such as Jesus Navas, Wilfried Bony and the wonderfully named Ricky van Wolfswinkel have all been mentioned as potential fantasy selections in recent weeks.

In addition to this the recent Confederations Cup gave us the opportunity to look at Paulinho up close. The 24-year-old collected the Bronze Ball as Brazil won the tournament on their own patch and impressed onlookers with his performances.

With this in mind we have a great guest post from the @FootballButler  who goes into detail over the role he expects Paulinho to play for Spurs and how this may lead to a change in tactics.

A great football insight and also invaluable research when scouting for your fantasy team!

*R

Paulinho’s Spurs switch a sign of Villas-Boas’ desire to reinstate successful Porto tactics

 Paulinho

Another Brazilian midfielder is heading east to ply his trade in the Premier League, and the tactical implications of Paulinho’s North London arrival could be indicative of a stark change in Andre Villas Boas’ Tottenham Hotspur tactics.

Villas Boas’ time in England has seen him predominately switch between a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-3-3, the former utilized this season at Spurs and the latter used at Chelsea.

His premature sacking from Chelsea and his switch to a 4-2-3-1 this year at Spurs might suggest that his old 4-3-3, most effectively used during his tenure at Porto, was a striking failure. Regardless of how you interpret the reasons for that tactical change, a £17m investment in a defensive midfielder is a huge statement of intent from a team playing in Europe’s second string competition, especially when a number of Spurs fans would have unanimously agreed that Clint Dempsey and Gylfi Sigurdsson’s underwhelming performances might have warranted a substantial investment in the attacking midfield role instead.

Paulinho will now become Spurs’ third high class defensive-minded midfielder, and it seems highly unlikely that if he, Moussa Dembele and Sandro are all fit Villas Boas would omit any of them from his starting XI. With that in mind, it’s not unreasonable to think that a switch to the 4-3-3- as so effectively used at his time at Porto- could be the framework for Spurs’ 2013/14 campaign.

Rewind two years and that Porto team was quite something, full of flair and individual excellence, exceeding all expectations when it claimed 2 domestic cups, an unbeaten season (by a record breaking 20 points) and the Europa league. It would be naive to assume that Villas Boas’ Porto side was just a team of good players- there were many tactical features to that side, a credit to his managerial ability.

Attacking full backs are by no means a tactical revolution, but Alvaro Pereira and Cristian Săpunaru bombed forward relentlessly. Hulk used his sheer power to cut in from the right to support the superb Radamal Falcao, while Silvestre Varela played a more withdrawn wide role on the opposite flank.
AVBs Porto

But the tactical highlight of that team was midfield rotation, an uncommon British tactical theme. The system primarily revolved around Porto’s no.6, the excellent Fernando, who tended to bomb forward despite being a pure holding midfielder, switching places with Freddy Guarin who usually had license to get forward, but would drop deep himself if Fernando advanced. With Joao Moutinho fulfilling an archetypal box to box role, Porto’s midfield had incredible variety, with opposition teams completely unable to track forward runs from anyone of those 3 midfield players.

Alas, midfield rotation- when it works- is hugely effective. Unfortunately, Villas Boas’ time at Chelsea proved that the Premier League was better suited with coping with such a system.

Villas Boas confessed his difficulties of applying that system to his unsuccessful Chelsea side:

“Our No 6 [at Porto, usually Fernando] sometimes became a more attacking midfielder and we tried to do that here [at Chelsea]. We decided it doesn’t work here, so that’s one of the things I have adapted. You lose a little bit of balance in the Premier League if you play that way. Transitions here are much more direct, making the importance of the No 6 to stay in position most decisive.”

Fast forward another 18 months and Villas Boas has yet to reinstate this tactic. But that could- could– be about to change with the signing of Paulinho. Whether Villas Boas is directly looking to reassert midfield rotation amongst his team is difficult to know, but Spurs now have the perfect players to carry out the system.

Moussa Dembele is a fantastically mobile player, and is perhaps one of the finest box-to-box midfield players in Europe- the role that Moutinho played in that Porto team. Sandro is perhaps a finer version of Fernando, an intricately intelligent player who almost certainly is able to rotate with Paulinho- should Paulinho operate the advanced Guarin role.

England currently seems obsessed with the midfield variety of a holder, box-to-box player and a playmaker in a 4-2-3-1, with each midfield player playing a well defined role. The genius of midfield rotation is that it creates a far more fluid midfield, and omits having certain ‘specialists’ within the team. Villas Boas might just about be ready to play his trump card again.

paulinho at spurs

On a final, more general note, the 2012/13 season seems to have accentuated the use of the 4-2-3-1. Bar Barcelona and Juventus, 6 of Europe’s 8 Champions League quarter finalists (Galatasaray, Malaga, Dortmund, Madrid, Bayern, PSG), and 5 of England’s top 7 (Arsenal, Liverpool, City, Chelsea, and Spurs) stuck to the system.

Granted, Barca (4-3-3), Juventus (3-5-2) and United (Ferguson played something like a 4-4-2 that looked like a 4-2-3-1) stuck to their own unique systems and found domestic success, but all three teams struggled in Europe.

If not playing the 4-2-3-1 is a path to domestic success by that rational, then perhaps Villas Boas’ acquisition of Paulinho could be a masterstroke in elevating to Spurs to Europe’s elite tournament. It’s still early days in this highly active transfer window, but Paulinho’s arrival could be the first major clue of changing tactical trends in the 2013/14 season.

How do you think Tottenham will do this season?? Drop a comment below

 

Follow the Football Butler on Twitter: @footballbutler

Many thanks to @footballbutler for the guest post. You can read more from them at http://thefootballbutler.blogspot.co.uk/

 

The FantasyYIRMA.com Mini-League is now open for new entries – Click the Logo below for more information on how to join and read about our increased prize pot of £100 for the winner!!

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Fantasy Premier League RETURNS!!

My phone started to buzz like crazy this afternoon in the car… My Mrs said Ohh Mr. Popular today?

I checked the phone and a wide grin sprung immediately to my face.

The Fantasy Premier League had launched this afternoon.

She looked at me , then paused, then said …

“You have got to be &£%$ING kidding me… Well you will still have to go to B&Q on Sunday

Long Story short, I am delighted to see the return of FPL – Mrs isn’t .

With the league reopening today FantasyYIRMA.com will be taking a deeper look over the coming weeks at Player selection, one’s to watch, strategy articles, Bargain options and FPL advice. One of the first things that jumped out at us immediately is the change (again) to the Bonus Point system.

“new Bonus Points System (BPS) that has been created exclusively for Fantasy Premier League and makes its debut in this season’s game.

Utilising a range of statistics to create a BPS score for every player, the system is designed to reward contributions of players that may not necessarily earn traditional fantasy points, rather than re-reward players that already score handsomely against the current scoring criteria.”

You can read the full introduction to the new Bonus System here .

While we have yet to see this in action (There is a nice example using the WBA 5-5 ManUtd game) – the new Bonus System is something I wholeheartedly support and agree with – The previous system was flawed in my opinion however it is a very difficult measurement to get correct because of the number of variables and the concept of individual opinion on any one game.

Another link to check out is the full player listing for the FPL which you can check out here

To save you some time, Gareth Bale is 12M!

Quite possibly the most beautiful yet frightening set of figures I’ve ever seen, given that I know the next 33 days will be spent analyzing them!

It is brilliant to have the FPL back, please keep up to date with us Via twitter @FantasyYIRMA and of course here on the site.

Click the picture below to join the FantasyYIRMA.com Mini-League which has a £100 First place prize this year!

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Tale of a Fantasy Premier League Champion!!

It is with great pleasure that we welcome FPL World Number 2 and the FantasyYIRMA.com mini league WINNER Kelvin Travers.

Kelvin had an unbelievable season and is a genuine fan of FPL. Having led the overall game for large parts of the year the league was decided on bonus points following the final gameweek of the season.

Take nothing away from this man – what he displayed this year in terms of judgement and consistency was extremely impressive!

We are proud to say the FY mini- league was won by an extremely deserving winner! Kelvin has been kind enough to put together an overview of his FPL journey this year – Enjoy!

*R

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Season Review

By @K3lviN

Having had time to get over the disappointment of missing out by just two points on winning the 2012/13 Barclays Fantasy Premier League, I’ve been invited by @FantasyYIRMA to explain some of the highs and lows of my season, and my thoughts for next year.

Lows

I may as well start with the lows, and to be honest they don’t come any lower than finishing second having lead for most of the season – infact, having lead for most of the final day, right up until bonus  points were added. Seeing Lukaku grinning at me from my bench with a hat trick and 16 points, knowing my decision to play Fellaini over him has ultimately cost me the chance to achieve the impossible and be no.1 in the world at the end of the season.

Hindsight’s a wonderful thing, who would have predicted West Brom scoring 5 past Man Utd and a Lukaku hat trick?! But, the season is played over 38 gameweeks and the guy who finishes top deserves the accolade.

Some other lows from my season that stick out – my  decision to bench Berbatov in gameweek 11 when he scored two against Arsenal. Transferring in Dzeko in gameweek 27, he played 0 mins and I ended up transferring him straight back out the following week, a waste of two transfers and probably a handful of points.

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I’d imagine to some people those aren’t exactly lows – finishing second in the world, benching the wrong player a couple of times, and wasting a transfer; but at the time, to me they were.

Highs

I can easily say what was the high point of the season for me – gameweek 19. It was Boxing Day and I was in my local with some friends having some festive beers. Van Persie had already scored and assisted in the afternoon kick off and everybody has giving me grief for not captaining him, as at that point I was 26th in the world and had chosen to captain Bale – it was 0-0 at half time in the Aston Villa vs Tottenham game. Then came the 45 minutes that completely changed my season, a Gareth Bale hat trick, 42 points as captain and when I woke up the next morning I was World no.1 for the first time. An incredible feeling, and unbelievable achievement, and one I thought would only last until the following gameweek and I’d never see again.

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I was partly right, by the following gameweek I’d dropped to 9th, but over the second half of the season I never dropped out of the top 10, and went back to world no.1 for a further 6 weeks. In the last 16 weeks of the season, I only dropped out of the top 2 on three occasions – hence why I said earlier I was so disappointed with second place overall.

The other high point of my season was taking to Twitter to talk to people about fantasy football and becoming part of the wider fantasy football community. I was completely taken aback by the amount of support and encouragement I received from people over the course of the season, and even afterwards the messages I received after finishing second. I tried to reply to as many messages as possible, so if there was anybody who congratulated me and hasn’t already seen a reply, then I’d like to say thank you for your support.

thank you for your support


 

FantasyYIRMA league

I joined the FantasyYIRMA league around the end of January. At the time a guy called Des was at the top, so I got in touch with him on Twitter to check he was ok with me joining as I would be knocking him off top spot. I didn’t want to just join and spoil it for those who’d been top through the Autumn, but as I was chatting with everybody on Twitter I wanted to get involved in the league. Luckily Des said he was ok with me joining, so I have to say thanks to him otherwise I wouldn’t have been in the league.

When I joined though, I never had any intention of claiming the prize money if I’d won – I joined because of Twitter and the fantasy football community, not money. So, I decided at that point if I made it to the end of the season and won the league, I’d donate the prize money to charity. From that point onwards I felt I was playing for charity, and at one point I was overtaken at the top and wanted to fight back to win the money back for charity.

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The charity I wanted to support is a local one to me, called the Candlelighters. They do some absolutely amazing work for kids who are growing up with cancer, and if anybody is ever looking for a charity to support I would really recommend you consider helping them.

Next Season

I wasn’t sure if I’d play next season after coming so close. I can’t see how I can ever do better than I have this year, but after a few weeks off I’m already missing football so can’t see how I can sit a season out.

I’m going to enjoy a couple of months off fantasy football, probably not as much as my girlfriend will enjoy me taking a couple of months off fantasy football, but I’ll definitely be coming back next year to play again.

I’ll be getting into the pre-season games and stats, doing some research on new signings, and I’ll share a few of my ideas and plans for the new season on Twitter.

Aside from joining the FantasyYIRMA league again next year, I also want to make an offer to anybody who wants to try and beat me. I’m going to setup a league of my own, free to join, and for every person who can finish above me I’ll donate £5 to charity. For every person I can finish above, I’d ask those people to donate something of any winnings they make over the season to charity, as little or as much as they can afford.

I’ll setup the league once the new season starts and post the code on Twitter, I thought it might be a fun way to play directly against some of my adversaries from this year, people on Twitter, and hopefully some new players – all whilst trying to raise a few pounds for charity. I hope a few people will want to join me alongside their existing leagues.

See you next season,
Kelvin (@K3lviN)

Many Thanks from the #FY team to Kelvin for taking the time to provide this guest post – Drop him a follow on twitter.

Premier League: Goal of the Season

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There are just two weeks remaining in the 2012/13 season, and once again it has been one full of stunning goals and memories.

But just what is your favourite goal of the Premier League campaign?

Take a look at @Mark_Jones86’s favourites below and then cast your vote on our poll!

Hatem Ben Arfa, Newcastle v Aston Villa, 02/09/2012

Is it possible to bit a ball harder or with more precision? This superb strike from the gifted Frenchman was one of few highlights in a disappointing Newcastle campaign.

Luis Suarez, Liverpool v Newcastle, 04/11/2012

One of the players of the season scored one of the goals of the season in early November, when Suarez’s superb control from Jose Enrique’s lofted pass led to this stylish finish against Newcastle.

Jermain Defoe, Tottenham v West Ham, 25/11/2012

Usually seen scoring poacher’s goals, Defoe’s fine run and shot helped Spurs towards this London derby win in late November.

Gareth Bale, Norwich v Tottenham, 30/01/2013

If ever a goal summed up a man’s season this was it. With Tottenhama goal down with just 10 minutes left of the clock, the Welshman took it upon himself to drag his team level with a fine run and shot.

Jose Enrique, Liverpool v Swansea, 17/02/2013

Liverpool’s Spanish full-back was on the end of this superb team move involving Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge as the Reds saw off Swansea 5-0 at Anfield.

Rafael, QPR v Manchester United, 23/02/2013

Manchester United’s Brazilian full-back cracked home this stunning strike in a win at Loftus Road, as his club closed in on their 20th league title.

Gareth Bale, West Ham v Tottenham, 25/02/2013

With the clock ticking down and Spurs set to drop two points in their race for a Champions League place, Bale scored this remarkable effort from range to spark wild celebrations.

Matthew Lowton, Stoke v Aston Villa, 06/04/2013

Arguably the most important goal of Aston Villa’s season and undoubtedly the best, full-back Lowton smashed home this unstoppable effort in the closing stages on the way to a win at Stoke.

Loic Remy, QPR v Wigan, 07/04/2013

The season brought little hope for Queens Park Rangers but their French forward did hint that some was on the back with this superb breakaway goal. Typically, QPR conceded an equaliser in stoppage time.

Robin van Persie, Manchester United v Aston Villa, 22/04/2013

When they needed a win to secure the title United’s Dutch superstar stood up and was counted, scoring a hat-trick which included this stunning strike from Wayne Rooney’s fine pass.

So you’ve seen Mark’s selections, don’t forget to cast your vote!

Fantasy Football Preview GW36: Double up on Aguero as finish line looms

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Well we’re nearly there aren’t we?

As the season’s finish line looms large over the horizon each and every point becomes vital in your head-to-head, mini-leagues and of course the #FYCup, the fact that six teams are playing in a double Gameweek shouldn’t be ignored.

More important still, is that three of those teams happen to house three of this season’s Fantasy favourites.

Okay, maybe Sergio Aguero (£11.0m) doesn’t have the ownership percentage he deserves following a campaign which has been blighted by injuries, but there should be little doubt that he is Manchester City’s best forward when on form, and after a goal against West Ham last week and with an FA Cup final place to play for he is sure to be ready to impress as City go to Swansea and then face a home game against West Brom in the next week.

As usual with Roberto Mancini you have to be careful when selecting his forwards, but with the Italian likely to go with a front two of Aguero and Carlos Tevez (£9.2m) for the showpiece final against Wigan next week then he’d be wise to give them as many minutes on the pitch together as possible ahead of Wembley.

That should mean they play the vast majority of the fixtures against Swansea and the Baggies, and although the threat of Edin Dzeko (£6.8m) can’t be ruled out the Bosnian has failed to score in City’s last eight matches, of which he only featured in five.

Whilst City’s two opponents this week do possess popular players on double Gameweeks in Michu (£8.2m) and Romelu Lukaku (£6.6m), our next port of call is the Champions League-chasing Tottenham Hotspur.

Gareth Bale (£10.6m) received much Fantasy Premier League attention before, during and after Spurs’ visit to Wigan last weekend – from which he eventually emerged with a goal, an assist and two bonus points.

The PFA Player and Young Player of the Year will be looked to by many as a solid captaincy choice ahead of Tottenham’s matches against his old club Southampton and then a trip to Chelsea which is likely to go a long way towards sorting out those all-important top four places.

Bale is almost certain to be joined by Jermain Defoe (£7.9m) in both of those contests, and the form of both could well be key to just how Spurs do now the pressure is on. The good news for them is that Bale has responded well to pressure all season.

The impressive form of Wigan’s Shaun Maloney (£5.2m) is an aspect to consider ahead of the double Gameweek for the FA Cup finalists which sees them face must-win matches at West Brom and at Swansea in their battle to stay up, but it is Chelsea we focus on for our third key pick.

The sixth of the teams facing this crucial double header, the Blues have tricky fixtures away at Manchester United and at home to Spurs.

The likes of Juan Mata (£10.0m) and Eden Hazard (£9.6m) will of course be looked to to shine in both of those fixtures, but the recent goalscoring form displayed by their teammate Oscar (£7.8m) surely makes him worthy of recognition.

The Brazilian struck in the draw at Anfield and the win over Swansea in Chelsea’s last two Premier League fixtures – matches that he picked up 18 Fantasy Premier League points from.

Crucially cheaper than the rivals he battles for a Chelsea starting berth with, Oscar seems to be coming into form just as the season draws to a close and can take these good performances into Chelsea’s double Gameweek.

He could just be a handy addition as the clock ticks down on your campaign.

@Mark_Jones86

Premier League: Team of the Year 2012/13 by @Mark_Jones86

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The players themselves have had their say, and so it’s high time that we should all give our view on the 2012/13 Premier League team of the year.

There are plenty of matters to take into consideration – this isn’t just going to be a team of eleven players who picked up the most Fantasy Premier League points – and so with that in mind take a look at the XI and tell us just what yours would be.

Get involved in the comments section and on Twitter @FantasyYirma.

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David De Gea – Manchester United

A tough category and one in which the likes of Simon Mignolet, Asmir Begovic and Brad Guzan deserve mentions, but it is Manchester United’s Spanish shot-stopper who takes the No. 1 jersey.

De Gea had a tough start to life in England and hadn’t really got over those problems by the beginning of this season, but he has gradually learned more and more about Premier League and Old Trafford life and only looks like getting the confidence to do better and better.

Having a league winners’ medal around his neck will do that for you.

Rafael – Manchester United

De Gea’s Old Trafford teammate gets the nod at right-back at the end of a season in which he was forced to grow up.

With his twin brother Fabio shipped out on loan to QPR, Rafael grew into his position in Sir Alex Ferguson’s side and even popped up with important goals at venues such as Anfield and against his brother’s team at Loftus Road.

At just 22 years old, United look to have found their right-back for the next few years.

Matija Nastasic – Manchester City

A name that will surprise many, but Manchester City’s Serb deserves recognition for a fine first season in English football.

Nastasic only turned 20 last month, but the composure and quality he showed during a campaign in which he ousted Joleon Lescott from the side makes you believe he’s much older.

City kept five clean sheets in Nastasic’s first six Premier League 90 minute appearances, and that wasn’t a coincidence.

Jan Vertonghen – Tottenham

A stellar first season in England for Tottenham’s Belgian, who has scored five goals as well as showcased his fine defensive attributes.

The highlight of those goalscoring exploits came with two goals in a 3-2 defeat at Anfield, but Vertonghen has been a key man in the many games that Spurs have won this season and looks like being around in these teams of the year for years to come.

He’s set the bar pretty high for himself.

Leighton Baines – Everton

There have been plenty of calls for the nation to recognise Baines as the No. 1 left-back in the country for the past couple of years, and this has been the season in which he’s confirmed those beliefs.

An ever-present threat from set pieces, Baines is so important to everything that Everton do, and can arguably be viewed as the key attacker in David Moyes’ side.

He’s likely to attract plenty of attention this summer.

Juan Mata – Chelsea

The twinkle-toed Spaniard has faced competition from teammate Eden Hazard this season, but he remains the best thing about the current Chelsea side.

A player with gifts which would light up any team in the world, Mata has registered 10 goals and an astonishing 17 assists in the Premier League alone during the campaign, and there is little wonder that Stamford Bridge fans love him.

Whoever the Chelsea manager is next season will be inheriting a gem.

Marouane Fellaini – Everton

Previously seen by many as merely a clumsy figure who could often look like a foul waiting to happen, Fellaini silenced any remaining doubters with a fine season which began with a stunning display and the winning goal against Manchester United.

He and Everton went from strength to strength from there, and with Fellaini playing in a variety of positions the Blues went on to enjoy surely their most consistent season under Moyes.

The Belgian was the key figure behind that, and is another who could attract bids this summer.

Michu – Swansea

Easily the most impressive of the Premier League players in their debut season, Swansea’s Spaniard had a terrific campaign and provided the inspiration for a comfortable top half position and success in the Capital One Cup.

Often used as a forward – although squeezed into midfield here – Michu’s penalty area predatory instincts frequently saved Swansea in tight contests, as the stylish Spaniard followed up strong goalscoring seasons in his homeland as he took to Premier League life like a swan to water.

The task now is to repeat it again next season.

Gareth Bale – Tottenham

The professionals’ choice as Player of the Year was arguably the first name on our teamsheet following a season which saw him elevate his game to yet another level.

There was a time over the campaign when the Welshman looked simply unstoppable, and even if he doesn’t reach that level again in the closing weeks of the season a total of 19 league goals and nine assists is pretty special.

Bale can seemingly be as good as he wants to be, and next season he’ll be fascinating to watch again.

Robin van Persie – Manchester United

When last season’s second best team buys the forward and main source of goals from the third best team then what do you think will happen?

The title happened for Manchester United in the most emphatic of manners, with 25 goals from their Dutch forward going a huge way towards sealing a 20th domestic league triumph for the men from Old Trafford.

The outlay on a player who will turn 30 before the start of next season doesn’t look so silly now, and Van Persie will already be eyeing goals in next season’s defence of what is his first league title.

Luis Suarez – Liverpool

You don’t have to like him, but you do have to respect his quality.

The most entertaining player to watch in the Premier League either scored or assisted 33 goals during his 33 appearances in the competition this season – a season which is now over following the much publicised against Chelsea at Anfield.

Suarez is box office though, and at times dragged Liverpool through matches during a campaign in which he was simply a compelling watch.

He’s a force of nature.

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So that’s it then, that’s the 2012/13 team of the year.

Yes, it may be a bit too attacking but would you fancy playing against them? Who’d be in your team?

Drop your comments/advice/abuse either in the comments box below or on Twitter. See you there!

@Mark_Jones86

 

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Fantasy Football GW35: Nothing but BONUS POINTS!!

After Suarez went all Hannibal Lecter on us last week GW34 was always going to be a tough act to follow…

Little did we know the drama, the wait… the sleepless night over the carry on that was the Gareth Bale assist! (We acknowledge we need to get out more)

Essentially the kind chaps at the Premier League were kind enough to review the footage from the 2-2 draw between Wigan and Tottenham and retrospectively declare that the ball did indeed touch (barely) Mr PFA player of the year. Great for us #FPL Managers who have him in our team.

This late change transformed a 7 point performance into a 12 as with the assist came 2 bonus points also. Boyce still managed to pick up the 3 Bonus points despite his own goal once again raising a question mark over the bonus point system…

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  • Elsewhere, Yaya Toure smashed his way through midfield again to collect the maximum in a 2-1 win for City over West Ham.
  • Pienaar picked up the maximum bonus allocation as he reminded us that there are alternative options for your #FPL team if you would like a midfielder from Everton.
  • Lukaku repaid the faith of thousands of FPL managers who have brought him in for DGW36 with all 3 bonus points to go alongside his goal.
  • Crouch was tipped by FY this week as picking up form and while he didn’t get the goal his performance perhaps deserved, he did pick up the maximum 3 bonus points.
  • Reading and QPR both were relegated in a drab 0-0 match. Really was not a great game to watch and no players on the pitch stood out. The panel drew straws and decided Guthrie was the stand out player however I’m sure 3 bonus points for him will be no consolation what so ever for relegation.
  • The Arsenal – Manchester Utd game may not have the same intensity of previous seasons but was a close fought affair. RVP started so RVP picked up 3 bonus points. With Walcott, Evans and Rooney picking up 2 points each also.
  • Frank Lampard is inching closer and closer to the Chelsea all time top scorer record and picked up 2 bonus alongside his goal from the penalty spot with the ever improving Oscar picking up the maximum.
  • Newcastle 0-6 Liverpool… Hands up if you had a £5 bet correct score on that?? No.. Didn’t think so.                                                               With Suarez out now for the next 10 games I think there was a level uncertainty over which Liverpool team would turn up, yet this was as accomplished performance as you will see all season. Henderson scored twice and picked up the maximum. Downing provided a brace of assists but couldn’t manage to get a bonus point, shame.

As I write this Aston Villa have just put 6 past Sunderland in a mammoth 6-1 win, Di Canio did not knee slide this evening. The bonus points have yet to be announced at time of writing although after smashing in a hat-trick i expect Benteke to be nailed on for the maximum bonus. A goal and 2 assists puts Agbonlahor in the mix for 2points also.

@ryano83

As per usual, drop us a tweet with your thoughts, did they get the bonus points right or wrong? What did you make of the Bale assist? Would you have given it? Tweet us your comments on @FantasyYIRMA or drop a comment below

 

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Gameweek 35
27 Apr 12:45 Man City Man City 2 – 1 West Ham West Ham
Bonus
Zabaleta
Nasri (2)
Yaya Toure (3)
27 Apr 15:00 Everton Everton 1 – 0 Fulham Fulham
Bonus
Baines
Coleman (2)
Pienaar (3)
27 Apr 15:00 Southampton Southampton 0 – 3 West Brom West Brom
Bonus
Lukaku (3)
Fortune (2)
Long
27 Apr 15:00 Stoke City Stoke City 1 – 0 Norwich Norwich
Bonus
Begovic
Walters (2)
Crouch (3)
27 Apr 15:00 Wigan Wigan 2 – 2 Tottenham Tottenham
Bonus
Boyce (3)
McManaman (2)
Bonus
Bale (2)
27 Apr 17:30 Newcastle Newcastle 0 – 6 Liverpool Liverpool
28 Apr 13:30 Reading Reading 0 – 0 QPR QPR
28 Apr 15:00 Chelsea Chelsea 2 – 0 Swansea Swansea
Bonus
Lampard (2)
Hazard
Oscar (3)
28 Apr 16:00 Arsenal Arsenal 1 – 1 Man Utd Man Utd
Bonus
Walcott (2)
Bonus
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29 Apr 20:00 Aston Villa Aston Villa 6 – 1 Sunderland Sunderland

Fantasy Football GW35 preview: Defoe to take a bite out of Wigan?

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Well he was never going to exit quietly was he?

Sunday saw the last action of one of the Fantasy Premier League stars of 2012/13, with Liverpool’s Luis Suarez leaving the game for the season with a goal in the 97th minute of what was an 11-point performance against Chelsea – not that everyone was talking about that come full-time.

In his absence, forward options are being scoured and teams are being altered, but perhaps his direct replacement was seen earlier on Sunday afternoon.

After failing to start since the 3-2 loss at Liverpool last month, Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe (£7.9m) – another with a history which includes biting opponents – came off the bench to score in Spurs’ fantastic comeback to beat Manchester City at White Hart Lane last weekend.

With Emmanuel Adebayor (£9.0m) struggling having scored just three league goals all season, Defoe’s return to fitness could be perfectly timed for Andre Villas-Boas’ side as they chase the Champions League.

As far as the Fantasy game goes, Spurs head for Wigan at the weekend before a double Gameweek next week when the north Londoners face Southampton and Chelsea, meaning that Defoe is likely to get plenty of playing time as the campaign draws to a close.

The England forward could prove to be a key man for both Tottenham and for your team as the scramble for league positions becomes more intense, and he could just be the forward to trust in Suarez’s absence.

Those fixtures for Spurs and the return to fitness of Gareth Bale (£10.5m) mean that the Welshman is sure to find himself thrown back into plenty of teams following his recovery from injury, whilst defensively the likes of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (£5.8m) and defender Jan Vertonghen (£6.6m) could also offer much.

Elsewhere, the battle for the Champions League places will go up a notch at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea entertain a Swansea side who seem to have been on a downward spiral ever since they won the Capital One Cup.

Juan Mata (£9.8m) took his tally to 16 assists for the season after being credited with laying on both goals in the draw at Anfield, and with the Spaniard so key to everything his side do then Rafael Benitez surely won’t risk leaving him out for the clash with the Swans.

The form of both Eden Hazard (£9.6m) and Oscar (£7.8m) has been encouraging in recent weeks, but it is still Mata who makes Chelsea tick and who they’ll be looking to in a contest that the hosts will really need to win in their challenge for the top four, especially given that Suarez took a bite out of their hopes on Sunday.

Arsenal are the other one of three clubs that cannot go into the two still available top four places, and they’ll be hoping that champions Manchester United will have taken their eye off the ball as they visit The Emirates.

The absence of Olivier Giroud through suspension means that Lukas Podolski (£8.1m) is likely to come in from the start for the Gunners, whilst Theo Walcott (£8.8m) could also be restored to the central forward role that he so enjoyed earlier in the campaign.

A little higher up the table than Arsenal, Manchester City host West Ham in a contest in which Carlos Tevez (£9.1m) will be looking to keep up recent form against his former club. Having kept six clean sheets in their last seven home games, the likes of Joe Hart (£6.8m), Pablo Zabaleta (£6.2m) and Vincent Kompany (£7.0m) will be confident of keeping West Ham out.

Having scored only a second goal in 26 games at QPR last weekend, Stoke’s Peter Crouch (£6.0m) could be fancied for another strike at home to Norwich, whilst Christian Benteke (£7.3m) will be confident going into Aston Villa’s clash at home to Sunderland.

At Goodison Park, Everton will be going for a sixth home win in seven games as they host Fulham.

Marouane Fellaini (£7.4m), Kevin Mirallas (£6.9m) and Leighton Baines (£7.8m) are likely to garner the most attention, although for a cheap choice it could pay to go with Victor Anichebe (£4.4m), who has started the last six Blues games and is sure to have chances against a Fulham side who have kept just three clean sheets on the road this season.

@Mark_Jones86

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