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Fantasy Football – Gameweek 17 Preview Written by @NiallHawthorne

Christmas as an adult is weird. There’s no other way to say it.

As a child, you had one question at Christmas, namely what Santa Claus was going to bring you.

As an adult, this time of year is a veritable cornucopia of riddles and puzzles and queries that make you want to scratch your head and then tear your hair out.

‘What can I get my beloved so that I still get to have sexual relations in 2020?’

‘Where is the Christmas party being held? What eejit booked that???’

‘They want us to be where at what time? In rush hour????’

‘Who invited them? You do remember that he’s a bit…y’know and she’s very handsy, yeah?’

‘How long is our kids Christmas play? Are they doing a remake of Ben Hur????’

‘Who am I going to Captain in GW17 so I can lord it over my work colleagues at the party?’

Well I can help with one of those questions. For the rest, you’re on your own.

GW 17 Defender: Richard Domingo Barbosa Pereira, Leicester City

As we glance at the fixture list for GW17 there are two standout home bankers where those of us with a weakness for gambling and a fondness for single life will lump all the Christmas budget on a double acca, and then spend 5 hours on Saturday sweating like a Tory at a foodbank.

I was tempted to tip either of the Liverpool fullbacks, but Jurgen is rotating like a Catherine Wheel on New Year’s Eve at the moment due to fixture congestion, so it’s time to tip the team that have no European / World Club Cup commitments, and are putting up the biggest challenge to the Scouse Mentality Monsters. That fixture on Boxing Day looks tastier than your Boxing Day Leftover Sandwich.

Pereira faces struggling Norwich City at the King Power Stadium, and he’s off the back of six positive returns in his last seven fixtures. He’s even picked up valuable bonus points in four of those. Admittedly a return of the Pukki party could leave you feeling as pukey as the morning after your Christmas party, but nobody has conceded fewer than the 10 conceded by the Foxes. A clean sheet beckons, and he may also add to has two goals and single assist so far, this season.

GW 17 Midfielder: Sadio Mane, Liverpool

There’s a video on t’internet of a young scally outside Anfield being interviewed by Redmen TV after a game, about a season or a season and a half ago. In said interview he pronounced quite matter-of-factly that Sadio Mane is the best player in the world.

Oh, how we all laughed. The viewers, the crowd around him and even the presenter!

Who’s laughing now, eh? That kid was a visionary. He knows his onions. Mane has been stellar for two seasons, and his performance against Everton last week was one for the ages.

This weekend he faces rock-bottom Watford, having had a nice little rest last weekend. Liverpool tend to batter Watford at Anfield, as demonstrated by Salah’s haul of four goals a couple of seasons ago.

Watford have a new management and coaching team installed. I don’t want to get too dramatic about this, but their first outing could prove to be a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. Sadio! Sadio! Where for art thou hat-trick Sadio?

GW17 Forward: Tammy Abraham, Chelsea

While Chelsea are having their inevitable, and quite frankly overdue, first wobble under Frank Lampard, they face a forgiving fixture this weekend as they host Bournemouth.

That’s five defeats on the spin Bournemouth.

That’s Ake-less Bournemouth.

That’s probably Wilson-less and King-less Bournemouth.

I watched their performance at home to Liverpool last weekend, and they gave up. Absolutely and completely downed tools after Ake and Wilson were struck down by injury. That’s not a good sign. Chelsea need to steady the ship after two defeats in their last three, and Bournemouth are presenting them with a nice little float in the doldrums, which ironically could get them out of them…

GW17 Captain: Jamie Vardy, Leicester City

I know!

Shocking, right?

Well who else could you possibly captain this week? ELEVEN GOALS AND THREE ASSISTS IN HIS LAST 8 GW’S…84 POINTS IN 8 WEEKS.

He faces Norwich City who have conceded 34 goals in 16 games with just two clean sheets. He has his own record of 11 consecutive scoring games in sight. Leicester have won a club record eight in a row.

Look, you can captain somebody else if you want. It’s a free choice. But Vardy is owned by 50.2% of players, and 99.9999% of those are going to captain him.

So, take a chance if you want. But if I’m right and you’re wrong, it’ll be the biggest display of Red Arrows since the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012. Good luck!

GW17 Outsider: Riyad Mahrez, Manchester City

Oh Pep, he’s such a scamp.

He’s like that kid you played football with on the street when you were a child. You know the type – he always had the flashiest, newest football that he insisted had to be used for the kickabout. Yet as soon as his team started to lose, he took his ball and flounced off home, wiping his tears and snot with the back of his sleeve telling anyone who wasn’t laughing at him that he heard his Mum calling him in for dinner.

So now that it seems apparent that the Premier League will lose its Pep next season, and that Guardiola seems resigned to the fact that his team aren’t good enough this season, I expect some different approaches. His future team sheets may well contain a player on the wing called ‘Ah feck it, Mahrez’.

Just 3.5% ownership, he could be a real wildcard for your squad especially when you consider that in just six starts this season he has four goals and 6 assists….

GW17 Draft: Gabriel Teodoro Martinelli Silva

One start. One goal. One bonus point.

When you have Aubameyang and Lacazette in your squad, it takes quite a maverick to decide to give a young kid a run.

However, this kid is decent. And have you seen Freddie Ljungberg recently? Rumour has it that Tom Cruise was his understudy for Top Gun 2, until Freddie decided to concentrate on coaching. THAT’S how maverick he is.


ED: Buy ball shaving stuff for Xmas

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Fantasy Football – Gameweek 17 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


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Fantasy Football – Gameweek 11 Preview –

Written by @NiallHawthorne


Many of you now have big decisions to make. Those you have previously chosen have left you down, and not delivered what you wanted. But as ever there’s a chance to change your mind and get it right this time. Who’s going to deliver what you need? Who’s going to make your life better? Who’s going to (finally) deliver on all that promise?

Yep, just as each FPL decision is important, the upcoming General Election in Britain is a once in a lifetime event in terms of importance and significance, and you have a chance to choose your future.

But let’s be honest, your choices for GW11 are significant too, so let’s go!


Defender: Marcos Alonso, Chelsea


Considering the fact that Alonso missed the first 4 GW’s of the season, his points haul of 36 points in 6 weeks is bloody impressive and too good to ignore.

This week Chelsea are away to Watford who are the lowest scorers in the league this season with a sensationally crap five goals in ten matches. Chelsea and Alonso have three clean sheets in his six appearances, and are aiming for a hat-trick of consecutive clean sheets. Throw in his attacking ambition and this really seems to be a no-brainer this week.


Midfielder: Youri Tielemans, Leicester City


Last season’s post-January break out star started a bit slowly this season, but just like his team, is now flying high. He has twenty points from his last two outings which have yielded two goals, an assist and two bonus points.

The humiliation that the Foxes inflicted on the Saints should ensure none of them get past the Pearly Gates when the time comes, but that’s a while away, so I suspect that they’ll continue to plunder points and make life hell for opponents. This weekend they visit Crystal Palace, and I’m tipping Tielemans to continue his scorching form.


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Forward: Marcus Rashford, Manchester United 


Trying to analyse this Manchester United team is like trying to analyse Brexit. Nobody really knows what’s going on, what’s going to happen, and any predictions will make you look like a bloody fool.

Hi everybody! I’m a bloody fool!

The return of Anthony Martial will free up Marcus Rashford to return to his far more effective wide forward role (probably), and United really battered Norwich City last weekend. The two missed penalties spared the Canaries’ blushes, but it did show that United may be finding form going forward.

A trip to Dean’s Court this weekend offers further attacking opportunity. While Bournemouth are off the back of a couple of clean sheets, they’ve been against Norwich and Watford. Boasting about that would be akin to me boasting about my ability to put on my pants every morning. People are grateful, but it’s really nothing more than society expects. The Cherries won’t be keeping a clean sheet this weekend, you can take the word of a bloody fool on that.

Captain: Any Manchester City Attacking Player You Trust Pep To Pick, Manchester City


What’s the one thing you don’t want to have to face after you concede 9 (NINE) goals at home in a league game? That’s right, a trip to the highest scorers in the league. Unfortunately for Southampton, it’s even worse, and they face TWO trips to the highest scorers in the league. Football, eh?

This is the biggest no-brainer of the season allied with the trickiest selection dilemma since Love Island finished.

You know City are going to batter Southampton. But who will do the damage? Will Aguero start? If you know he will, it’s Triple Captain territory. But he started midweek (scoring twice) and hasn’t started in the league since 1976 or so it seems. Raheem will fill his boots, yeah? But Pep knows his side will stroll it, so will he rest him? Kevin De Bruyne then! Probably….But if at the end of the match this weekend, it wouldn’t at all surprise me to see Mahrez with 25 points, and all of the above with 1 point each after 90 second cameos off the bench.

But you should captain one of them!

Good luck….


Outsider: Kieran Tierney, Arsenal


He’s now started playing league games, and only 1.0% own him. Time to get him in, purely for the attacking potential. Also, Arsenal may stumble upon a clean sheet or two in the next few weeks as they face Southampton, Norwich and Brighton.

Worth a punt?


Draft: Dejan Lovren, Liverpool


A humongous 0.2% of FPL players own him in the classic game, and he seems to be getting the nod over Gomez in the league. If he’s available, get him in. Klopp knows best. So join Mrs. Lovren and Mo Salah and get him in your squad.


Fantasy Football – Gameweek 11 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

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