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Gameweek 38: And Now, The End is Near

GW38 Preview by @NiallHawthorne

there’s a Preview here somewhere…

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain

I’ve lived a season that’s full
I’ve endured each and every game week
And more, much more than this
I did it my way

Regrets, I’ve had quite a few
But then again, too many to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption

I planned each captain pick
Each power chip along the season
And more, much more than this
I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I wanted to throttle my motley crew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I stared at my phone, and I did shout
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my weeks of losing
And now, as tears subside
I find it all, all so amusing

To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a wise way
Oh no, no, not me
I did it my way

For what is man, what has he got?
If not FPL, then he has naught
To play the players he truly rates
And not the players of his best mates
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way

And did it my way

Defender: Aymeric Laporte, Manchester City

On the back of four clean sheets, a cheeky assist in GW37 and maximum bonus points for three weeks running, Laporte heads to the Amex to face Brighton & Hove Albion with it all on the line. As a Liverpool fan (I’m now happy to make this stunning revelation to you all) I know how this game will go. Brighton will camp on the edge of their box from minute one, hoping to hold out. Duffy and Dunk will spend 90 minutes flinging their bodies in the way of every one of the 374 shots that will be aimed at Ryan in the game. City will score early, will then keep their foot on the throttle, and will probably score four to secure the title. All the while, Brighton will forget that they too could attack, so Laporte’s average position for his clean sheet will be 5 yards inside the Brighton half. Easy defensive points, innit?

Midfielder: Eden Hazard, Chelsea

Eden Hazard will say farewell to Chelsea this Sunday before he departs for pastures new, and he’s going to want to put on a show. Chelsea are away to Leicester City and I reckon this game could finish 3-3 at least. Brendan Rodgers has a unique relationship with the final day of the season, as he once led Liverpool to a five-goal shellacking at Stoke City. I back Hazard to net and assist and then wave goodbye as he heads off into a new and even more lucrative life.

Forward: Sergio Aguero, Manchester City

He’s already scored a league winning goal deep in injury time, and he has 90 full minutes to do the same this weekend. Which he will do. Probably more than once. What a Kun….

Captain: Mo Salah, Liverpool

While Liverpool will end the season empty-handed, Mo Salah will be gunning to retain his Golden Boot award, and a home game to Wolves will offer him the opportunity to do just that. He’ll be fresh from not having faced Barca, and I reckon he’ll notch twice to seal the deal. Unless my Aguero tip turns out to be even more on the money than I fear…

Outsider: Ryan Fredericks, West Ham United

You know that thing a lot of customer service departments do to retain customer loyalty? They treat you shoddily for ages and ages and ages. You feel annoyed, then angry, then hopeless, then angry again, then you’re right on the verge of giving up, and THAT is when someone swoops in, does something they should have done at the very start, but it’s such a bloody relief that you feel happy it’s over, and you forget all about the crap that went before it, and you go on your merry way.

That’s West Ham United, that is. Ropey all season long, but they’ve now won a couple of games on the spin, and their fans will head into the summer feeling chipper and with hope in their hearts.

But who are we to complain? Ryan Fredericks is getting a game, is owned by 0.2% of FPL players, has two clean sheets and a goal in his last two appearances, and is facing a Watford team that will have both eyes on an FA Cup final and are going to dial it in.

Draft: Alexander Mitrovic, Fulham

He’s probably been dumped or traded by anyone who had him, as his recent form has been rank. However, he’s facing his former team, Fulham are showing a bit of form, and you just know how this goes, right?

Right, that’s me done for the season. Thanks to everyone who read this FPL/Brexit/Trump analysis piece each week, and for those who followed me and interacted with me on Twitter. To those of you who didn’t, you’re all miserable ungrateful b*stards.

Have a nice summer!

Niall

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Honestly, There’s No Liverpool Players!

GW37 PREVIEW BY @NIALLHAWTHORNE

The final long weekend of football is upon us for GW37. Next week all the action will be squeezed into two action packed hours on a Sunday, but this week we have glorious FPL action from Friday through to Monday night.

Soak it in. Absorb it. Remember it. It’ll be next August before you experience it again.

If you are defending a lead, or scrambling for points, let me guide you to the promised land.

Defender: Sead Kolasinac, Arsenal

Time to roll the dice ladies and gents. You need to make up ground in your mini-league, and this is how you do it. You select a player from a calamitous defence who’s facing a team who refuse to attack and are intent on grinding out a 90 minute stalemate. That gives you what the experts call a differential.

Midfielder: Ryan Fraser, Bournemouth

Spurs travel to Deans Court this weekend in the middle of a pulsating Champions League semi-final against Ajax, trailing by a goal. It’s not often Spurs find themselves in this situation, and while they aren’t guaranteed a top four spot just yet, they’re probably safe considering the slapstick shodiness of their competition.

So they’re ripe for a plucking, as my randy old dyslexic pipe-smoking grandfather used to say. Ryan Fraser has been in sensational form since his agent told him that three top Premier League teams are interested, and a strong finish to the season would get him that big move. Motivation is a powerful tool.

Forward: Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United

Whether it’s for pride, a vain attempt at gaining a top four spot, or a desperate attempt to attract the attention of other clubs before the summer transfer window opens, Romelu Lukaku will turn up at Huddersfield this weekend, full of vim and vigour.

I’m personally looking forward to the goal-laden LukakuWatchYIRMA this weekend.

Bring. It. On.

DISCLAIMER: LOOKS LIKE BIG ROM WON’T MAKE GW37 DUE TO INJURY. BUT IT’S GW37 AND NIALL COULDN’T BE ARSED REWRITING IT.  

Captain: Jamie Vardy, Leicester City

There’s good form, great form and Jamie Vardy form.

The man is on fire, and he’s going to be facing a team that plays a defensive line so high that if it was adopted in GoT or Avengers Endgame, the show would have ended after 30 minutes.

Don’t lecture me about spoilers! You f*king ask me for them every bloody week! Make up your minds!

Anyway, Vardy to run riot and secure the title for Liverpool. You heard it here first.

Outsider: Ryan Babel, Fulham

Fulham travel to Molineux to face high flying Wolves, absolutely certain of a resounding victory. Everyone has now realised that the bottom four teams in the Premier League are like Kryptonite to Nuno Espirito Santo and his troops. I expect the now veteran clog merchant to continue his fine form for the Cottagers by extending their winning run to four games.

Draft: Sergio Rico, Fulham

Three clean sheets on the spin and a banker against Wolves. Nobody else owns him, so you should.

Fantasy Football – Gameweek 37 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.

Gameweek 29 Preview : Written by @NiallHawthorne

Ten games to go. Ten GW’s left. The clock is ticking, and whatever situation you find yourself in, there’s still enough time to change it. Leading your mini-league and on the verge of glory? Time to kick on. 100 points behind your mini-league leader and in need of inspiration? Time to kick on. Bottom of your mini-league and the subject of abuse on an hourly basis? Time to kick on.

Whatever your situation, follow these tips and you’ll be assured to alter your starting position by Sunday evening.

Note: Following these tips can lead to your overall rank going down as well as up. These tips are not regulated by the Financial Authority of Ireland or England.

Hell, they’re barely regulated by @FantasyYIRMA

Defender: Shane Duffy, Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton have found themselves in a bit of a pickle of late. A side that had seemed to the casual observer to be tootling along in the lower reaches of mid-table, under no real threat, find themselves two points from the drop zone. The seagulls have ruffled feathers. However they do have a game in hand on those around them, and this weekend they have a home game against Huddersfield Town. So two games in hand on those around them then.

That may sound harsh on a Huddersfield Town side that just tamed Wolves in midweek, but I’m nothing if not harsh. Brighton will be targeting this game as a ‘do or die’ affair, and they’ll be led in defence by their talismanic defender Shane Duffy. Five goals, two assists and five clean sheets to his name already, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he increased two of those scoring brackets against the Terriers.

Midfielder: Paul Pogba, Manchester United

Eight goals and seven assists in his last 11 GW’s. You can’t ignore that form, particularly when Pogba faces struggling Southampton at Old Trafford this weekend. He was very close to my Captaincy choice this week to be honest with you, that’s how sure I am he’s going to perform.

Pogba has looked so assured and so talented in recent months. It’s a shame then that he’s got the maturity level of a 7 year old told to get off his Xbox. There’s no doubting his talent, but he’s a spoiled brat with an ego so big it’s got its own weather system.

I’m still picking him though.

Forward: Raul Jimenez, Wolverhampton Wanderers

I saw a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth in midweek from Wolves fans distraught at the defeat to Huddersfield Town in midweek. For the love of all that his holy, every single one of those moaning should be on their knees thanking whatever deity they believe in that it wasn’t a classic relegation six-pointer they were involved in, which would be the norm for two recently promoted clubs in most seasons. Wolves have massively exceeded expectations this year, as has Raul Jimenez. I may be in a minority here but for some reason I just haven’t bought into his hype, despite his impressive figures. 10 goals and 7 assists in 28 GW’s is sensational. I’m not sure what it is, but I’ve had a distrust of all things Mexican since ‘The Night Of 20 Tequila Shots’ in 1999. But they say everyone deserves a second chance, so I’m jumping onboard the Jimenez gravy train. And if the bouncers and owners of The Washington Inn in Cork City are reading this, I surely deserve a second chance by now? Please? That stain must have come out by now?

Captain: Sergio Aguero, Manchester City

No change here, he’s facing a Bournemouth side that are leaking goals at an enormous rate. While the Cherries are a much tougher proposition at home, City can temporarily go top of the table for just over 24 hours with a point at Deans Court. I mean, they’re not going to choke now, are they!

Outsider: Chris Wood, Burnley

Despite their recent blip at St. James’ Park, Burnley have become Burnley again thanks to getting back to the very basics. Keep it tight, lump it long, and have two big lads make your life miserable if you’re defending against them. Wood has 6 goals in his last 9 appearances, and Sean Dyche will be growling at his charges to target home games against the likes of Crystal Palace, and to stretch the current 5 point gap to the drop zone.

Draft: Manuel Lanzini, West Ham United

He’s back. He’s good. Get him.

Gameweek Preview Written by @NiallHawthorne

GAMWEEK 26 #FPL PREVIEW

Written by @NiallHawthorne

If you’re like me then GW25 will go down as the week when your mini-league was won or lost. (Ed. I got 101… great week)

Mine was lost, and I’m grumpy, so let’s get on with it and all agree that Pep Guardiola is a bald, hipster FPL hating spoofer with less morals than Boris Johnson.

Defender: Matt Doherty, Wolverhampton Wanderers

Every 20 years or so Ireland produces a full back that does a passable impression of peak Roberto Carlos. Bombs forward, scores loads of goals, provides plenty of assists and is a must have in any FPL team. For example, please refer to D. Irwin, I. Harte and now M. Doherty.

If I were Doherty I’d be eyeballing all those Portugeezers in the squad and telling them that free kicks and spotters are his from now on.

Midfielder: Paul Pogba, Manchester United

GW24 – James Ward Prowse tipped, and scored

GW25 – Sadio Mane tipped, and scored

GW26 – Paul Pogba tipped, put your house on him.

The last thing Fulham want on the back of 12 goals conceded in their last 5 matches is the newly cocky, swaggering Manchester United strutting into town with Paul Pogba brimming with confidence. Alas, that’s what they face this weekend. 4 goals and 6 assists in his last 8 games sees the mercurial Frenchman prime to do some serious damage.

Can we call Pogba mercurial yet? Based on the dictionary definition his picture should be next to the word, so I say yes.

Forward: Pierre Emerick Aubameyang / Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal

Yes, I’m cheating, but I don’t care.

(ED: since writing this post, Aubameyang has been marked as doubtful for the match with uncertainty regarding his availability.)

If you can afford Aubameyang, get him in. If you can’t, get Lacazette in. If you ignore both, then you’re either very brave, very stupid, or both.

Huddersfield have conceded 3 to Manchester United, 3 to Manchester City and 5 to Chelsea in recent weeks, so as another of the ‘Top 6’ roll into town, and their survival prospects are now looking as healthy as the British economy post Brexit, I’m backing Arsenal to gun down the Terriers in a veritable bloodbath of goals and assists.

Captain: Mo Salah, Liverpool

In the same way that many overlooked Aguero for GW25 because ‘he hasn’t banged recently’ or ‘Pep Roulette mate, you’d be mad to rely on him’, the same words of folly should not be applied to Mo Salah this weekend.

Many commentators are proclaiming that Liverpool are wobbling and bottling it big time. Well if two draws on the spin in a season where they’ve lost a single game is ‘bottling it’, then I’m pretty sure a couple of blank GW’s from Salah is going to be seen in the same light by some. More fool them.

Salah got a hat-trick at Deans Court only a couple of months ago, and Bournemouth are one of the least likely teams to produce a classic rear-guard action. Their last four away games have seen them concede 5 to Spurs, 4 to United, 2 to Everton (!) and 2 to Cardiff (!!).

Captain him. If you still have your TC chip, use it. All in!

Outsider: Michy Batshuayi, Crystal Palace

8 minutes played, 4 points bagged.

Palace have been crying out for a reliable goal scorer since Christian Benteke finally realised that he’s a bit sh*t, and this man could well be it. While it’s great to see Conor Wickham finally return from injury, he and Jordan Ayew just haven’t been able to fill the void.

To me the marriage of Batshuayi with a mid-table team like Palace boasting creativity like Wilfried Zaha screams harmony. Be like Commissioner Gordon, and call on Batman in your hour of need.

Draft: Denis Suarez, Arsenal

So, Arsenal finally signed Suarez for a loan fee of £1, with an option to buy for £35,000,001.

Rumours that the powers that be at the Emirates really are smoking something odd and got the wrong Suarez from Barcelona have yet to be confirmed.

He’s not exactly prolific going forward, but he offers another option in the centre of the Arsenal midfield where Torreira has been overworked and Guendouzi has been offered a chance to impersonate Marouane Fellaini. Worth a punt.

GAMWEEK 26 #FPL PREVIEW

Written by @NiallHawthorne

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