|20 Oct 12:45||Tottenham||2 – 4||Chelsea|
|20 Oct 15:00||Fulham||1 – 0||Aston Villa|
|20 Oct 15:00||Liverpool||1 – 0||Reading|
|20 Oct 15:00||Man Utd||4 – 2||Stoke City|
|20 Oct 15:00||Swansea||2 – 1||Wigan|
|20 Oct 15:00||West Brom||1 – 2||Man City|
|20 Oct 15:00||West Ham||4 – 1||Southampton|
|20 Oct 17:30||Norwich||1 – 0||Arsenal|
|21 Oct 13:30||Sunderland||1 – 1||Newcastle|
|21 Oct 16:00||QPR||1 – 1||Everton|
Gameweek 7 preview: Can Suarez repeat the trick?
Luis Suarez likes Norwich. Norwich doesn’t like Luis Suarez.
In fact, quite a few people don’t like Luis Suárez (£9.4m), but Fantasy managers shouldn’t be amongst them in the next few weeks as the Uruguayan ace looks to provide the goals which shoot Brendan Rodgers’ Reds up the Premier League.
Being Liverpool hasn’t always been too easy whilst they’ve had Suarez around, but Rodgers’ new philosophy is designed to get the best out of the Reds’ No. 7, with last Saturday’s hat-trick at Norwich proving that it is a philosophy which is beginning to click into gear.
Saturday’s treble was Suarez’s second successive hat-trick at Carrow Road, and if you’d backed him to repeat the trick against previously wounded opponents then you might like to see who Liverpool are welcoming to Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
Suarez scored twice against Stoke in the League Cup last season and then once more against the Potters in the FA Cup, helping the Reds towards the finals of both competitions and no doubt leaving Stoke sick of the sight of him.
They’ll be coming up against him on Sunday though, and even though Tony Pulis will no doubt be drumming plans of how to stop him into his defenders’ heads as we speak, Suarez will fancy his chances against an outfit he has shone against before.
Steven Gerrard (£9.4m) managed to get on the scoresheet alongside Suarez last Saturday, but perhaps better value can be found in his fellow midfielder Nuri Sahin (£6.7m), another who found the net at Carrow Road and a gifted playmaker who is only likely to see his influence on this Liverpool team grow the longer the season goes on. The Turk is good enough to warrant Real Madrid spending big money on him last summer, whilst Arsene Wenger was desperate to bring him to Arsenal before he chose Anfield. Three goals and two assists in his last two games hint at a lot more points to come.
Away from Liverpool, Chelsea are still likely to be most Fantasy manager’s focus groups for another weekend, with the re-emergence of one player in particular surely not going unnoticed.
Juan Mata (£8.8m) might be considered old news by some following the arrivals of Eden Hazard (£10.3m) and Oscar (£7.8m) in the summer, but the Spanish magician has started to work his magic in the past week, scoring four goals in his last three games and providing the assist for Fernando Torres (£9.9m) to find the net against Arsenal.
The Euro 2012 winner sparkled during his first season in England, but a gruelling summer both in Poland and the Ukraine and then at the Olympics affected his stock amongst Fantasy bosses at the beginning of this season. Currently only 4.3% of teams have him on their books, but that will only grow in the coming weeks.
The game of the weekend is surely Newcastle against Manchester United, which threatens to become a shootout between Demba Ba (£8.1m) and Robin van Persie (£13.5m) but could be settled by the skills of Hatem Ben Arfa (£7.9m). The Frenchman has either scored or assisted in each of Newcastle’s three games at St James’s Park (sorry Mike Ashley) this season.
Manchester City, Everton and Tottenham all have fixtures which will make their players popular with Fantasy bosses, but for our third player selection of the week we turn to an old Fantasy favourite – the player in the wrong position.
Arsenal’s Gervinho (£7.4m) may be listed as a midfielder but he certainly doesn’t play like one, and the in-form Ivorian will be looking to improve his record of five goals in his last five games when the Gunners go to West Ham.
It’s a short journey for them, but it could be a profitable one for you.
Thanks to current Yirma champion Tom for providing his insight into the season so far. Tom finished in the top 250 last season (Out of over 2.7m players) We are already contemplating copying his team 😉
First of all, an apology for my reply to a question raised in my previous post. I believe I advised the unfortunate user to watch out for Cazorla and Giroud of Arsenal, only for me to go and start with Podolski on opening day.
It’s an interesting time as after only 3 weeks we’ll see a massive differentiation of wildcard use. Some will have played it, some will be playing it right now in this two week window, whilst others attempt to hold their nerve and save it for a rainy (or, as the case may be, snowed off) day. There is no correct strategy here but whichever direction you go in, ensure you have a mixture of the players in form mixed with those who may be creeping under the radar with excellent fixtures coming up.
I’d imagine the likes of Michu, Hazard and Tevez will have found their way into just about every team by now so I won’t mention them. Any player who has scored a goal thus far will have been brought into the limelight so the likes of Nolan, Fellaini, Piennar, Fletcher, etc) will also be making their way into squads, but what about those who haven’t fired yet?
An obvious example of an underperforming team is Tottenham. I haven’t given up on them yet and with Adebayor surely pushing for a start this weekend, things will improve. Dempsey may or may not prove to be a hindrance but I believe there are goals here if you are brave enough to pick a Spurs attacking player.
As a Villa fan I tend to stay away from what inevitably turns to disappointment, but signs of life have surfaced and the team outclassed Newcastle last time out and were held to a draw only by a rocket from Ben Arfa. I’m not sure I’d advocate shelling out on Bent or Bentake up top just yet, but there are certainly goals to be had with a fantastic upcoming schedule.
On similar lines, Dimitar Berbatov poses some interesting questions. It’s another wait and see but if he can get regular games and dictate play surely he’s in line for a great season. Cisse and Ba didn’t become terrible players overnight and should pick up last season’s goalscoring exploits very soon, whilst Danny Graham must be given a little faith despite being completely overshadowed by his midfield so far.
And what about Robin Van Persie? A player plucked from obscurity and thrust into the Premier League spotlight. Well, not quite. I don’t believe in ‘must have’ players in this game, especially at his extreme price when we don’t know how he fits into plans when Rooney comes back and Champions League rotation kicks in. Saying all that, I have him slotted neatly in my team and it would be hard to recommend against him for anyone with a wildcard this week. For those without, I wouldn’t break the rest of my team just to have him no matter what he does against Wigan this weekend. After that fixtures stiffen up and rotation is right around the corner.
I’ve avoided the wildcard this week despite some obvious flaws in my squad. The first bullet point in my last post argued that you should pick players who will play. So naturally I stuck De Gea in goal. Ryan Bennett was an unfortunate pick as he was replaced by newly signed Bassong at Norwich after the GW1 window shut, whilst my GW3 signing Ashley Williams has now been left at the heart of a completely shattered defensive unit. Apart from that I was extremely fortunate to start with Tevez, Hazard and Michu which meant that I wasn’t chasing bandwagons and had the pleasure of seeing other teams panicking to transfer them in. For those yet to wildcard, I salute you, and I hope we will be able to keep up and make our move later in the season? This is where the men are sorted from the boys.
Tips out for Yirma…
1. Newcastle to beat Chelsea 11/2 LOST BET
2. Everton to beat Villa 7/5 WON BET
3. Southampton to win by exactly 2 goals 5/1 LOST BET
1. QPR to beat Norwich 11/5 LOST BET
2. Defoe to score at anytime 5/6 LOST BET
3. Arsenal to beat Stoke 11/10 LOST BET
1. Norwich to beat QPR 11/8 LOST BET
2. Villa v Everton Draw 9/4 LOST BET
3. Swansea to beat West Ham 23/20 WON BET
FY Tipster Challenge
Here within the Fantasy Yirma administration team, we like to pretend we have money. With that in mind we have devised a FY Tipster selection competition.
The loser from the Admin team at the end of the season will pay the £50 prize fund for the mini league!!!
|FY Tipster||GW1 Spend||GW1 Return||Total Spend||Total Return||% Difference|
Each player must place 3 £10 bets (Monopoly) per gameweek. (singles only)
The bet can be on any individual result/market/outcome with the only proviso being that you must stipulate the odds at time of selection submission and it must be from the same odds provider.
In practice this means your 3 £10 bets can be across 3 fixtures or 3 markets within one match.
We challenge everyone to make 3 selections also and we will include this in our table. Make your selection in the comments below.
Get your tips out for Yirma!!!
Gameweek 1 preview: The story of the Blues
By now you’ll have clocked it. There can’t really be a Fantasy player who hasn’t.
The 2012/13 season will kick-off with the European champions gracing us with a double Gameweek.
It can’t really get any better can it? You’ve got all those great Chelsea players to choose from and the chance to score double points with each and every one of them, and quadruple with your captain – be it Eden Hazard, Juan Mata or Ross Turnbull. The world is your expensive, Russian oil money-purchased oyster.
Yet is it that simple? Chelsea’s matches against first Wigan and then Reading certainly look winnable, but players should be mindful that the price for the Blues doubling up on Gameweek 1 is that they’ll miss out on Gameweek 3, when Roberto di Matteo’s side (if he’s still there by then) will have swanned off to Monaco to take on Atlético Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.
So the question facing Fantasy bosses all summer has been whether or not to load up on Chelsea players for the first couple of Gameweeks or to stay away. The answer can be found in an annoying club song, because as far as this Gameweek is concerned – Blue is the colour.
Chelsea’s best players are all expensive enough for you to easily be able to find replacements once they miss out on playing in that third Gameweek, and so at least two and perhaps three of Di Matteo’s boys should be in your starting XI come the big kick-off on Saturday.
As for who those players are, well the Blues’ midfield can now be considered a minefield due to all the players that they have at their disposal in there, and whilst it’s tempting to go with the £9.5m pair of Hazard and Mata, perhaps the old stager Frank Lampard (£9.0m) could come up trumps at the start of yet another campaign.
The usual suspects at the back for Chelsea will feature heavily on plenty of Fantasy teamsheets, as will Fernando Torres (£10.0m), a strong captaincy choice at the start of a huge season personally.
As is the nature of the game, when one team has a double Gameweek then another must too, and its newly-promoted Reading who take the honours as 2012/13 kicks off.
They won’t be expected to take anything from Stamford Bridge next Wednesday, but their Saturday fixture at home to Stoke does offer the potential of a clean sheet for goalkeeper Adam Federici (£4.5m, and a useful substitute in your team) and the defenders. They are likely to start with a back four of Ian Harte, Alex Pearce (both £4.5m), Kaspars Gorkss and Chris Gunter (both £4.0m).
Further forward, the Russian Pavel Pogrebnyak (£5.0m) has proved popular due to his success at Fulham last season, whilst midfielder Danny Guthrie (£4.5m) is a good signing for the Royals and has a goal or two in him.
Elsewhere across the division as the big kick-off approaches, the potential for a stalemate between Newcastle and Tottenham should have you looking at nobody but goalkeepers and defenders from the pair, whilst wins are predicted for Arsenal and Liverpool as they start the season at home to Sunderland and away at West Brom respectively. Reds new boy Joe Allen (£5.5m) has proved a popular buy with one in four of Fantasy players selecting him.
Manchester City start the defence of their crown with what could be a goal-filled success at home to Southampton – Carlos Tevez, at £9.0m, looks even more of a steal after that Community Shield goal – whilst Manchester United can take advantage of Everton’s often slow start to the season when they go to Goodison Park on Monday night.
All eyes might be on Robin van Persie (£13.0m) there, but it is the return of Nemanja Vidic (£7.0m) which should have Fantasy bosses cheering.
Follow me on twitter @Mark_Jones86
To join the free Fantasy Yirma mini league on the official Premier League game follow this link. Remember Free to Play … £50 to the winner!! What’s to lose?? http://fantasy.premierleague.com/my-leagues/15005/join/?autojoin-code=44397-15005
A quick look at some of the new signings who’ll be making their Fantasy Premier League debuts this season. Can they cut it in Yirma?
Olivier Giroud, Forward, Arsenal – Fantasy Price Tag £9.0m
A Thierry Henry or a Jeremie Aliadiere? A Robin van Persie, Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg, or a Francis Jeffers, Kaba Diawara and Christopher Wreh?
Arsenal’s signings can be somewhat hit and miss, but Giroud joins Fantasy Premier League following two prolific years in France, where he helped unfancied Montpellier to win the league last season (an amazing achievement kind of on a par with say, Everton, winning it over here) and he’s bound to have an impact on the Gunners whatever happens with Van Persie.
A big, physical forward, Giroud was seen coming off the bench for France at the Euros – he missed a sitter against Sweden, but don’t let that put you off – and whilst his price is likely to put off all but the most confident of Yirma managers, he’ll be worth keeping an eye on after he’s had a couple of months to settle into life in England.
Marouane Chamakh has put him in his team already.
Shinji Kagawa, Midfielder, Manchester United – Fantasy Price Tag £8.5m
Kagawa is potentially the signing of the summer so far, for a number of different reasons.
Commercially, he’ll fill the Park Ji-Sung sized hole in United’s Asian market, but the Japanese international is much, much more than just a shirt selling signing.
As a key part of the Borussia Dortmund side which won back-to-back German titles, Kagawa scored goals, made assists and linked up the play brilliantly, something that he could do again for United if given the chance.
The trouble is, with Antonio Valencia, Nani and Ashley Young already competing for two spots on the wings and Wayne Rooney guaranteed to start upfront with Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez ready and willing to partner him (oh yeah, Dimitar Berbatov is still there too), just where will Kagawa play?
He might be seen from the bench in the opening weeks of the season as he searches for a position in United’s and your team, but the man from Japan has the quality to eventually make an impact.
Fabio Borini, Forward, Liverpool – Fantasy Price Tag £8.0m
Strictly speaking this isn’t the Italian’s Fantasy debut, as he got 37 minutes – and four points – for Chelsea in 2009/10, but the 21-year-old looks destined for a bigger impact this time around.
As Brendan Rodgers’ first signing for Liverpool, the forward will be eager to repay the trust of a man he’s already played for in Chelsea’s reserve side and at Swansea on loan, and with the Reds all set to play Rodgers’ attractive, possession-based style of football, the youngster is sure to have a key role in the side – certainly more key than Andy Carroll anyway.
Nine goals for Roma in Serie A last season after largely coming off the bench show that he knows where the net is, but Borini could also rack up the assists playing in one of the wide positions in Liverpool’s front three, with his partnership with Luis Suárez looking particularly attractive.
As always with new signings there is a danger that Borini won’t hit the ground running, but crucially he already knows that he’s got the confidence of his boss, and at 8.0 he might prove to be a bit of a bargain.
Eden Hazard, Midfielder, Chelsea – Fantasy Price Tag £9.5m
Look how many midfielders Chelsea have got! Just look at them!
They might have more players in there than more than a few countries have got representing them at the Olympics, but undoubtedly Hazard is the most intriguing ahead of the new season – considering that it’s likely to take the Brazilian Oscar a few months to settle in.
Hazard will be ready from the off though, and after months and months of transfer speculation the Belgian could well be ready to show just why he was the man everybody wanted.
Chelsea’s double gameweek in the first week of the season will have already drawn Yirma managers to their players, and Hazard might just hit the ground running in the same way that Deco did when he first joined the Blues in 2008 and immediately went into everyone’s fantasy teams.
The danger is that Hazard dips in form after that initial impact, but the warning to fantasy managers is already there.
Pick him from the start, or you may be sorry.
Lukas Podolski, Forward, Arsenal – Fantasy Price Tag £8.5m
The 27-year-old Podolski reached 100 caps for Germany during Euro 2012, an amazing achievement whatever your age, but have Arsenal signed the player who performs so consistently for his national team or the one who couldn’t save Cologne from relegation last season?
Podolski struggled the last time he made a big move – to Bayern Munich in 2006 – and after he returned to Cologne with his tail between his legs many in Germany wondered if he was able to handle the big time.
He’s more mature now of course, and is likely to start on the left of Arsenal’s front three when they kick-off their season.
He’s not going to be a prolific goalscorer, and his assists rate is sure to depend on whether or not Van Persie is around to finish off the chances he creates, but if Podolski finds his feet then there’s nothing to suggest that won’t be a good addition to any team at a reasonable price.
He’s an improvement on Gervinho anyway, although whether that’s praise or not is debateable.