|03 Nov 12:45||Man Utd||2 – 1||Arsenal|
|03 Nov 15:00||Fulham||2 – 2||Everton|
|03 Nov 15:00||Norwich||1 – 0||Stoke City|
|03 Nov 15:00||Sunderland||0 – 1||Aston Vil|
|03 Nov 15:00||Swansea||1 – 1||Chelsea|
|03 Nov 15:00||Tottenham||0 – 1||Wigan|
|03 Nov 17:30||West Ham||0 – 0||Man City|
|04 Nov 13:30||QPR||1 – 1||Reading|
|04 Nov 16:00||Liverpool||1 – 1||Newcastle|
|05 Nov 20:00||West Brom
Many thanks to @shots_on_target for providing this Fantasy Yirma exclusive post! You can check out his top content at http://www.shotsontarget.co.uk .
The burning question on many Fantasy Managers lips right now is which Manchester United players to own ahead of the a delightful fixture list. Sir Alex’s Ferguson’s men are already the top scoring team in the league this season with 24 goals, 3 ahead of next best Chelsea. This was despite some tricky fixtures against the defensive set up of Stoke and away at Stamford Bridge. What can they achieve over the next set of games?
|GW 10||(H) ARS||GW 16||(A) MCI|
|GW 11||(A) AVL||GW 17||(H) SUN|
|GW 12||(A) NOR||GW 18||(A) SWA|
|GW 13||(H) QPR||GW 19||(H) NEW|
|GW 14||(H) WHM||GW 20||(H) WBA|
|GW 15||(A) RDG||GW 21||(A) WIG|
As can be seen, aside from the trip to the Etihad in GW16 there’s hardly a game where United won’t be expected to score, and there could be a few drubbings along the way. So who to own? I’m going to take a look through each of the three outfield positions in fantasy football – Defence, Midfield, and Attack.
First up there have been questions raised about United’s defence this season. An early injury to Vidic has left United without their defensive rock again this season, and it’s telling, although the finger has been pointed at the lack of a proper hard man to boss the midfield, a la Roy Keane and Patrick Viera. These are players of the last decade though, and today’s football is evolving, spearheaded by Barcelona and Spain. These days you don’t need necessarily need a hard man in midfield, particularly at the top level, rather 11 good football players, who can pass the ball and use the available space on the field as a team in both the attacking and defensive play.
Sir Alex’s men have been conceding goals and giving up clean sheets, and perhaps not really caring, relying on sheer goal threat to win games. The £24M signing of Robin Van Persie a clear indicator of their intent this season it seems.
Despite this though, they aren’t defending terribly, and are still within the top 5 or 6 teams defensively, which makes the likes of Jonny Evans and Rafael arguably ownable at £6m or less on clean sheet potential alone. It’s the attacking potential though were United’s players will be hoping to earn their corn. Below is a graphic showing Man Utd’s current back four. The image shows the relative statistics for each of the defender’s key attacking stats. As shown, Evra and Rafael lead the way in all categories, which is expected of full-backs in a side like United. Jonny Evans has been a threat from set pieces too, whilst Rio Ferdinand is left to watch the halfway line it seems.
Of these four, Rafael at £6m now compared to Evra’s £6.8m is clearly the man to own. The Brazilian’s current ownership of 20% means 1 in 5 FPL managers will have him in their line-ups. Despite his high ownership I’d still recommended buying him, he’s the kind of player who could score really big and represents little risk for his value.
Carrick is the only player in the United midfield that has played every game so far. Alex Ferguson has really chopped and changed his midfield, bringing in the likes of Giggs and Scholes for certain games, Cleverly has been in and out, Young was injured, Kagawa still is. It’s really been a minefield.
The chief contenders for FPL points are currently Valencia and Young, with Nani and Kagawa behind these two fighting for inclusion. The graphic below has been done on a per minute basis and Ashley Young has had little game time compared to the others. It seems Kagawa and Nani fit into a similar pattern, heavily involved in the attacking build-up (Final 3rd Passes) and creating a medium number of chances and shooting opportunities for themselves. Valencia is much more direct; he does not feature much in the attacking build-up, or get in many shots. He’s out wide providing the ammo. With doubts over the starting roles still for Nani, Young, and indeed Kagawa, Antonio Valencia is my pick of United’s midfield.
The big question. Rooney or Van Persie. Both? What about neither. Welbeck and Hernandez are intriguing options and you should act fast if either Rooney or RVP were to suffer an injury, for now they will have to remain on the sidelines.
It has to be said it is still very early in the Rooney-Van Persie partnership. They only started 3 games together in the league so far. In these though, Rooney has tended to drop very deep, playing as a midfield playmaker, as can be seen by his final 3rd passes in the image below. , which represents both players stats in these last 3 games only. Rooney surprisingly, despite his less advanced position, has edged out Van Persie in all four key stats. In the 3 games they’ve played together both have scored 2 goals, Rooney has 2 assists, Van Persie 3. They have also shared set pieces, with Van Persie having most of the corners and Rooney the free kicks. It really is a close call, but with Rooney coming in at £1.6M cheaper and much less owned he gets my vote out of the two.
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.
Gameweek 5 preview: More than Arfa chance
You’re still here then? You haven’t decided to throw in the towel after the trials and tribulations of last weekend? I salute you.
I wouldn’t have blamed you if you’d gone. It was a Gameweek which saw barely any goals for the usual suspects, the early substitutions of others and a late appearance off the bench for everyone’s favourite expensive Dutchman. You might as well have picked your team by tossing 11 coins.
It’ll be different this week though, as the clubs return to action following midweek European appearances no doubt refreshed and ready to earn you some points.
One man who’ll certainly be prepared is the Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa, who misses his side’s Europa League trip to Portugal due to a European suspension which dates back to his Marseille days.
That means he’ll be fresh for Norwich’s visit to Tyneside on Sunday afternoon, when Alan Pardew’s men will be expecting to earn a victory for only the second time in this Premier League season and the first since the opening day.
The fortuitous draw at Everton did at least highlight that the Magpies are made of resilient stuff this season, and given that Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez and the admittedly under the weather Papiss Cisse were also all left out of the squad to travel to Madeira and face Maritimo, Pardew’s key men will all be fit and raring to go for the visit of the former Newcastle boss Chris Hughton and his side.
Admittedly a player who can struggle when his side are under the cosh as they were at Everton, Ben Arfa picked up 10 points in Newcastle’s opening home game of the season against Tottenham, and then nine in the second against Aston Villa.
The Frenchman loves the Tyneside air, and he could well make Norwich suffer in it come Sunday afternoon.
Elsewhere over this Premier League weekend, eyes are inevitably drawn to the most super of super Sundays as Liverpool take on Manchester United at Anfield before Manchester City host Arsenal.
The focus in the former clash is likely to be just as much on the off-field matters as on-field ones, but Liverpool will be determined to give their old rivals a stern test as they go in search of a first win of the league season. They might not get it here, and the tight nature of the contest makes it difficult to recommend any player from either side. The same can be said of the match at the Etihad Stadium, although City should do enough to win.
For Fantasy football purposes – and that is why we’re here – both matches should be avoided, but the same can’t be said for Chelsea’s clash with Stoke at Stamford Bridge.
The early season pacesetters may have suffered the blow of letting their lead over Juventus slip on Wednesday night, but they’ll be determined to come out fighting after dropping their first Premier League points of the season at QPR last weekend. Petr Cech and his defenders will be confident of a clean sheet, and whilst it has been a whole week since Eden Hazard made an assist, perhaps it’ll be the returning Juan Mata who comes to the fore on Saturday – particularly if Oscar is out injured.
After recommending him last week, Dimitar Berbatov didn’t let us down with two goals against West Brom, and the Bulgarian will fancy hitting the back of the net again when Fulham go to Wigan. If you’ve got slightly more to spend though then perhaps it could be better invested in Jermain Defoe, who overcame the indignity of having to play in that terrible Tottenham away shirt to score twice against Reading last Sunday.
If he can get over that, then QPR at home should be a doddle.
Gameweek 5 Preview – EXTRA TIME
As a special addition to our GW5 preview, Fantasy Yirma had the pleasure of speaking to Man Versus Food legend Adam Richman this week. Now that he has thrown in the fork on eating challenges he has discovered a love for all things Fantasy Football.
Adam plays the Telegraph version of the game here in the UK so first things first – we must get him in the official game also next time!
Speaking about the season so far, Adam has a strong team and you can tell he takes his Fantasy Football seriously when as a Spurs fan he is loaded up with Chelsea players. It’s reassuring to hear that Adam is facing a lot of similar dilemmas as us with his team at the moment with question marks over Swansea and Fulham players giving him food for thought this week.
We asked Adam to select a Captain for GW5, (or predict the GW-MVP-ESPN style, gotta love an acronym or three) and here were his thoughts.
“This week Chelsea will dominate I think” Key Player? “more than likely Hazard”
Thanks to Adam for speaking with @fantasyyirma this week, and good luck this season.
The gauntlet has been thrown down for you to join the Yirma mini- league next season! 🙂
Gameweek 3 preview: The value of Sterling
What were you doing when you were 17? Actually, on second thoughts I don’t want to know.
Whatever it was, unless you’re Michael Owen or Steven Gerrard it’s unlikely that you were running about the Anfield turf with a brilliantly youthful innocence and what looks to be a genuine love of seeing the ball at your feet.
Raheem Sterling has got that, and he showed it during his 90 minute display in the red of Liverpool against Manchester City last Sunday afternoon.
Now this is a Fantasy football blog. We are here to try and give you advice about what to do with your team. So of course I’m not going to say that Sterling should immediately be transferred in and made captain ahead of Liverpool’s match with Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, but the teenager’s £4.5m price tag should raise interest from Fantasy bosses who like to get a squad player who will provide real value.
Thinking long term, Sterling’s value will only go up, and so if you can afford the luxury of bringing in a player who will supplement your squad rather than star in it, then there aren’t many better choices than Liverpool’s new young talent.
The team he plays in looked good last weekend, and there will be many who fancy them to beat a so far scoreless Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, when Nuri Sahin (WHY IS THERE STILL NO PRICE??) is likely to make his English and Fantasy football debut against the team he looked set to join all summer, especially with Lucas Leiva now injured again. Martin Skrtel (£6.0m) remains a popular choice despite last weekend’s error.
His backpass allowed Carlos Tevez (£9.5m) to score at Anfield, and with the Argentinean’s value already up by £0.5m since the start of the season, Fantasy bosses would be wise to add him to their squad before it’s too late. Tevez is a good bet to impress when City host QPR at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.
Just what their neighbours Manchester United will do following the injury to Wayne Rooney remains to be seen, although the blow creates a perfect opportunity for the Fantasy game’s most expensive player Robin van Persie (£13.1m) to settle into his stride at his new club, whilst Shinji Kagawa (£8.6m) is another who could thrive in Rooney’s absence. United should beat Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday.
Gameweek 3’s key problem is the absence of a Chelsea fixture of course – although Eden Hazard could still find a way to make an assist – and so if Fantasy bosses have a free transfer available and the funds to bring in a big name for one week only, they could well settle on Tottenham’s fixture against Norwich at White Hart Lane.
Spurs have misfired under Andre Villas-Boas so far, but with Emmanuel Adebayor (£9.6m) and Rafael van der Vaart (£8.9m) looking to fire against the Canaries that could all change here. Gareth Bale (£9.5m) might be the man to turn to if you can afford to replace Hazard and then buy him back at an inflated price though.
Elsewhere, many Fantasy bosses will be looking a Newcastle’s home match against struggling Aston Villa as a chance for Papiss Cissé (£9.5m) to rediscover last season’s prolific goalscoring form, but it is Hatem Ben Arfa (£7.6m) who has picked up the most points in the Magpies team and could be set to impress again.
It has been Swansea and Everton who have impressed everyone this season, and although both have winnable games again this weekend, it is the Blues players who travel to West Brom who might offer the prospect of more points in the long-term.
Marouane Fellaini (£6.8m) and Nikica Jelavić (£8.5m) have started as they mean to go on.
SUNDAY 26TH AUGUST
|Stoke City||0 – 0||Arsenal|
|Liverpool||2 – 2||Man City|
As with last week – Bonus points are up very early… we figure the PL guys will get bored by week4 and bonus points will revert back to monday mornings.. so enjoy while it lasts!!
|Defenders Top 5 BP||£||B|
|Midfielders Top 5 BP||£||B|
|Forwards Top 5 BP||£||B|
|Swansea||3 – 0||West Ham|
|Aston Villa||1 – 3||Everton|
|Man Utd||3 – 2||Fulham|
|Norwich||1 – 1||QPR|
|Southampton||0 – 2||Wigan|
|Tottenham||1 – 1||West Brom|
|Chelsea||2 – 0||Newcastle|
|Defenders Top 5 BP||£||B|
|Midfielders Top 5 BP||£||B|
|Forwards Top 5 BP||£||B|
We are delighted to be working in tandem with http://www.footysays.com
Following on from Robin van Persie’s completed move from Arsenal to Manchester United, here’s a look at 15 more transfers which shocked English football.
Click here for full article https://fantasyyirma.wordpress.com/fy-guest-posts/
Written by @Lewbob91 for @Footysays
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
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DISCLAIMER: All posts from @pedro_lamb represent only a 1/3 of Yirma Management. Typically the other 2/3 disagree entirely.
So, apparently Robin Van Persie in a Manchester United shirt, is looking more and more likely by the day and the word of the Lamb believes PSG are ready to swoop in with a bid for Wayne Rooney.
The United transfer purse could possibly break the £67 Million barrier in the next few days with the potential arrival of Lucas Moura and Van Persie, and the earlier capture of Shinji Kagawa.
The Lamb bleats that if this was to happen the supposed cash strapped club would have to recoup the transfer fees somewhere.
There is no doubt that Kagawa, famous in Japan will do no harm whatsoever in increasing United’s popularity in Japan and expect a mass of shirt sales, which will help in some part to recoup his own 17 m fee.
Should RVP and Moura arrvive that still leaves a potential 50m deficit in the United war chest.
The Lamb bleats that Ferige has never forgiven Rooney for his contract antics last year and with a offer of around 50 million plus sell on clauses Sir Alex is bound to jump at the chance?? Isn’t he?? Surely?? Maybe??