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Fantasy Football: From Arsenal to West Ham.. IT’S BACK!

Premier League Preview: Swansea City’s Michu has options all over the pitch!

Fantasy Football: Robin Van Persie or Gerard Deulofeu ?

Fantasy Premier League: Scouting for the next Michu!

FantasyYIRMA.com have brought you a range of articles from some of the best players in the game from last season as we try to delve into the mindset of the top guys to help you with your own FPL teams.

Today is no exception. @JulianZip  finished 6th Globally after a fantastic season where he led the way overall on several occasions!

Many Thanks to Julian for his exclusive piece for FY.

It Starts…

In many ways, you could argue that the teams we pick between now and the start of the FPL season, will determine a lot about how the whole season will pan out for us. Yes, we get wildcards to ‘correct’ what we’ve done on a couple of occasions during the season, but the rest of the time we are shuffling one – or a few – transfers at a time, to get to the ideal team we want…which if you are anything like me, always remains a few weeks away.

Is it Wild to use a Wildcard?

What I believe also proves the importance of our starting teams, is a quick look at the FPL managers at the top last year. The majority of them were high in the overall rankings quite quickly…they had solid teams right from the outset. Where they appeared to believe that  they didn’t, for example the overall winner Matt and also the third place getter, wildcards were used almost immediately in week 2! So I think it is fair to suggest that your position after say the first ten weeks of the season is tougher to improve substantially, than it is to try to maintain a positive start….that’s been my experience, anyway.

Is Wilfried Bony the next Michu?

Having said that, creating our initial team involves possibly the most difficult decisions of all. Once the season proper is underway, we can look at stats and the performances of teams and individuals until we’re blue in the face. Until then though, there are a lot of variables to consider, and we have only limited (and often unreliable) evidence upon which to make our predictions. For two examples of this, think about new players and new managers:

michu

New players are a gamble which can go either way. Where they are joining from different leagues altogether, we really are comparing apples and oranges. For example, Wilfried Bony scored more than a goal a game for Vitesse in the Eredivisie last season, but there aren’t many examples to compare him with to work out how likely it is that this will translate into immediate EPL success. Looking at the last few seasons of top 5 scorers in Holland, Suarez at Ajax is the standout example where it did work (though even he took some time to warm into it) but when I look further, I can’t see too many others. It is also of course, context specific; we need to judge them not only on their own merits, but on the existing squad options they are joining, playing style and all-important fixtures. Michu’s translation of goals from Vallecano in Spain to instant goals at Swansea is an example of where successful transition did happen quickly and spectacularly…but you had to take a bit of a leap of faith to have him before his first game last year which delivered 18 points. If you can manage to pick one or two ‘2012 Michu’s’ in your team now, you’re obviously going to have a head start on many others and be doing really well.

The alternative is to stick with what and who you know. But, even players who are proven EPL performers can become a whole different ballgame when they move clubs within the league! Look at Dempsey going from Fulham to Tottenham last season…his scoring, and FPL productivity took a pretty big swing. He scored only 2 goals in the first 15 games last year, compared to the end of the year before, when he was a ‘must-have’. The role that new players take in a team is something we can only look at the pre-season to get any evidence for…and those games are usually pretty experimental.

To confuse the issue even more, even players who stay at the same team who have had an outstanding season (and ended the previous season in form) aren’t necessarily guaranteed to be good choices…look at David Silva, Nani and Papiss Cisse last year for three examples of that. Despite them though, I still think sticking at the start of the year with a core of proven FPL performers is the way to go.

New Starts: Mourinho vs Moyes vs Pellegrini

The effect of new managers is a particularly relevant variable this season. The way a team plays i.e. formation; who the favoured ‘nailed-on’ players are; or how heavily rotation is used, obviously have a huge effect on player FPL reliability. Will Mourinho apply his (some would say sometimes ugly) Inter Milan approach, or the more free scoring Real Madrid approach (103 goals in 38 La Liga games!)?. He no doubt relies on his personnel to decide, and looking at Chelsea’s riches in the attacking midfield, it’s hopefully the latter…but we don’t know that yet – the guy is an enigma, to put it nicely. Presumably Moyes will in some ways apply a ‘it ain’t broke so don’t fix it too much’ principle, but at the same time, he’ll want to stamp his own mark on Man United. The team that I am most interested in seeing in an FPL sense though this year is Man City. Last season, I mostly steered clear of Mancini and his heavy rotation ways (never forgave him for taking Micah Richards off in the 59th minute during a clean sheet), but if Pellegrini is being straight with us when he promises an attacking style and more time in the oppositions half, then coupled with the removal of the Balotelli and Tevez options, one or two of the City attacking players might well get off to a lightening start and have consistent seasons.

969b3-pellegrini

FPL players who have been around a while will know that having a good year also relies on  being able to pick a few surprise packets. I believe this is particularly true of budget defensive options. You probably did really well last year if you managed to foresee that you’d get double figure clean sheets from a few cheap Norwich or West Ham defenders. Stoke historically seem to provide a somewhat reliable option in this regard, but there again is the managerial change variable….they’ve just employed a former striker for the top job!

So when it comes to preseason, the more you think about it, the more you are probably left with questions rather than answers. Personally, I’ll be doing my best to make sure that I have a team with a solid base of proven FPL performers, with a couple of gambles – most likely on one or two from the promoted teams, or if I can be convinced the new EPL arrivals from abroad. Most importantly, I’m going to try to have a team full of people consistently playing as close to 90 minutes as possible. Toward the end of last year, when transfers were a valuable commodity, I found myself stuck with the likes of Harte and Marveaux, which is something that this year I’m keen to avoid.

Best of luck fellow addicts!

@JulianZip

I did it just looking at stats heaps, match reports, highlights, and FPL websites – @JulianZip

About the Author

Julian led the way in FPL last year including a 5 week consecutive run at #1 towards the end of the season!…Being from Australia and not getting to see as much of the Premier League as he’d like makes this even more impressive!!

Such is the feat of his achievement Julian actually featured in the National Press Down Under http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/opinion/our-man-in-the-big-league-shows-em-how-its-done-in-his-sleep/story-e6frg7t6-1226613525951

Julian epitomizes the stat based approach to the game, a great guy to interact with on twitter – make sure and drop a follow to @JulianZip .

Truly impressive guy – Best of luck this season from all at #FY

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: World Class performance!

Matt1 J

 

Well, it really depends on how one looks at it and especially WHEN. Immediately after the final GW I felt this overwhelming sensation of failure when I realized I finished »only« 15th overall in the official Fantasy Premier League 2012/13. Not so much because of finishing 15th, but because of being so close and yet so far at the same time. As I was asked to share my story with you by @FantasyYirma, allow me to explain.

Going into the final GW, I had some 30+ points to make up in order to be considered a contender for the top spot and, knowing I needed a huge differential, brought in Dempsey as captain, Carroll and benched Lukaku (you do remember his 45 minute barrage of the new champs in Sir Alex’s last game???). Sigh. Now, I would be lying if I was to say that I was seriously considering bringing in Nolan as the differential and captaining him, but it did cross my mind for a millisecond…and then got laughed at by the other, more sensible ideas. In hindsight, Dempsey was always a high risk selection. And so, after the final GW, there was this one consistent, annoying little thought lingering in my head, playing like a broken record over and over and over again.

 

Matt2j

 

Yes, what if, what if, what if? No sense in crying now obviously, but it had actually helped me realize that I had »blown it« already in the GW before the last one, to be honest. Sitting comfortably in 8th place overall at the time, I decided to play it safe (aaarrrghhhhh!!!) and opted NOT to bring in Sturridge. Why? Well, everyone else was bringing him in. No differential. And also, you know, not to take the dreaded 4 point hit. What if. We all know what happened next.

The rest is history. So, the real question for me, after the end of this season, is where do I go from here? The thing is, I know goddess Fortuna has probably kept a really close eye on my campaign last year as this is the only way I can explain my phoenix-like rise from embarrassment after my first two woeful years playing the game (where I finished 1,1 MM and 0,4 MM, respectively – you can read my story about it here). Sure, I have picked up a couple of useful things down the road (and based on this experience, I am already writing another article entitled »6 (Un)Conventional Wisdoms of finishing in the Top 100 in FPL« that I will be publishing in the weeks leading up to the start of the new season as an ongoing contributor on FPL Hints, blog written by @fplhints), but still, I highly doubt that I will be able to repeat such a feat. So if you ask me about the biggest low of the previous season, it would undoubtedly have to be the last two GWs. The two GWs where I actually had a small chance of claiming the trophy…and failed.

 

Matt3J

Obviously, this was a season to remember (if you allow me to switch to my positive side for a moment) in all aspects. I mean, c’mon, I did finish as #15 out of 2,6 million players! So the highs were plenty – starting from GW #1 when I amassed 96 points with 3 Chelsea players (actually captaining Torres, if you can imagine that), introducing both Hazard and Michu to my starting 11. I believe this was actually a »turning point« (yeah, I know it sounds stupid to call GW1 a turning point, but it still feels like that) as for once, I was quick out of the start gate – up and running from the get go.

The GWs that brought considerable smile to my face were also GW6 which coincided with introducing Suarez (when everyone else was ditching him – btw, I really love taking a gamble on great players in poor form, they are usually on the verge of exploding) and he rewarded me with an amazing output of 20 points (unfortunately I was too chicken to captain him), GW 16 with captaining Sessegnon and him scoring a goal in the waning seconds of the second game to bring the week’s total to 20 points as (c), GW 23 and Walcott’s 38 points as (c), GW26 with 117 points (season high) courtesy of Suarez‘ 30 pts (Enrique 19, Michu 18, Bale 16 and RVP 12, among others), GW 29 with Remy scoring a remarkable goal that had me thinking that QPR are actually gonna make it (and bringing me 16 points in the process) and cashing in my WC in GW 36 for 99 points and a jump to the season’s highest spot – 8.

 

 

Matt4J

 

Well, I have already set my goal for next season – finish in Top 1% in the next year’s season. If you are interested in how I do and get a few tips and ramblings along the way, you are invited to follow me on Twitter where I tweet as @matejp23 and see how I do. Tip-off is only a good 30+ days away and I am actually already looking forward to it; all those Saturday and Sunday afternoons when you are sneaking a view at the points total on your smartphone, while your dear is giving you the eye because there is for sure something to be done at home…can’t wait! J

All the best to all of you!

 
Matt5j

 

 

 

 

Many thanks to @matejp23 for this fantastic guest post!! Genuinely delighted to feature him on #FY. A season not to forget!!

If you would like to submit a Premier League related post – contact Ryan at FantasyYIRMA@homail.com

PREMIER LEAGUE RETURNS IN 40 DAYS!!

With the FantasyYIRMA team still enjoying their summer hiatus we are delighted to feature FPL superfan Walt (@EPLFanForLife) on the site again.

(NOTE: #FY admin @Pedro_Lamb was last seen heading into what he thought was a table tennis sports bar in Bangkok.. if found please provide with return directions to Burton, UK.)

If you would like to submit a guest post to feature on FantasyYIRMA.com please email Ryan on FantasyYIRMA@hotmail.com.

PREMIER LEAGUE RETURNS IN 40 DAYS!!

Mid-Summer FPL Status Report

It’s agonizing, right? We’re smack dab in the middle of the off-season, the official #FPL site has gone dark, the transfer window is officially open for business, and the only certainty is that there are roughly 2.5 million people sitting on the edge of their seats with all questions and no answers.

After sitting back and thinking for a moment, there are actually some things we do know, but they too are really only things we know about the past and the present; not the future.  These things too, as they relate to the FPL season to come, also lead directly to one place; more questions.

When it all boils down to it, there are three distinct variables that connect last season’s FPL season with the season we all now anticipate. They are:

1) What happened last season
2) What has happened since the season ended
3) What is going to happen between today and August 17

What Happened Last Year

Wouldn’t it be great if last season’s performance was a direct indicator of how players would perform this year? I have no statistics to correlate one season’s performance to the next, but it’s only natural to look to the Van Persie’s and the Michu’s and the Bale’s and the Lambert’s and the Gerrard’s and the Mata’s and the Jaaskelainen’s – Jasskelainen!?!? – to pay rich dividends this time around as well. But what about the guys who came on strong at the end of last season? What about Coutinho and Sturridge and Kagawa and Lukaku? Will the strong end to the season carry forward through the long summer and into the first few fixtures of the season to come?

Although it’s easy to assume that that is the case, things have definitely changed; But just how much? Enough to make last season’s statistics a mistaken indicator of what’s to come? New managers, new players coming and going, World Cup qualifiers, Confederations Cup, pre-season tours, time off on holiday, stress surrounding potential contract extensions or transfer rumours. All of these things affect a player’s outlook, attitude, and ability to gel with a new squad or manager. Some players are affected positively and some players are affected negatively.

How much will last year’s performance influence the 15 guys you select to start your 2013-2014 FPL season with? Many FPL managers will struggle with this thought over the next 40 days, and I will be right there with you.

What’s Happened Since the Season Ended

For all intents and purposes, the 2012-2013 English Premier League season ended quietly. Manchester United had long ago wrapped up their title and the bottom of the table was all but sorted. May 19, 2013 seems like forever ago.

Since then, 5 teams have undergone managerial changes – with 4 of them being in the top 6 sides. That leaves Arsene Wenger and Andre Villas-Boas as the only two managers in the top 6 to be leading their sides into the next campaign. Everyone else – Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Everton – all have managerial transitions to endure and the inevitable acclimitization period that such a change inherently brings with it. Make no mistake about it, these changes will impact these clubs as the new season gets underway. Don’t forget DiCanio and Sunderland either – he has caused quite a stir both inside and outside the club with his sometimes unorthodox approach to managing professional football players.

In addition to the managerial changes and full-scale club transitions that they involve, there have been 101 confirmed transfers since the season ended on May 19. Of those 101 confirmed transfers, 43 have involved players moving into the EPL from a different league, 51 have involved players leaving the EPL, and 7 have involved players being transferred from one EPL team to another.  Keep in mind that the large majority of these 101 confirmed transfers have been confirmed during the past 6 days!

Notable transfers that may affect your FPL outlook as we make our way through the summer include:

  • Carroll from Liverpool to West Ham
  • Mignolet from Sunderland to Liverpool
  • Sanogo to Arsenal
  • Ratt to West Ham
  • Figueroa to Hull City
  • van Wolfswinkel to Norwich
  • Stekelenburg to Fulham
  • Navas to Manchester City
  • Fernandinho to Manchester City
  • Schurrle to Chelsea
  • Amat to Swansea
  • Kolo Toure from Manchester City to Liverpool
  • McGregor to Hull City
  • Mannone from Arsenal to Sunderland
  • Shelvey from Liverpool to Swansea
  • Anelka to West Brom
  • Van Ginkel to Chelsea
  • Paulinho to Tottenham

 

Again we’re left with more questions than answers.

Which Carroll will show up for West Ham this season, having finally settled somewhere he feels wanted? Will Mannone start for Sunderland?  How will Schurrle and Van Ginkel fit in at Chelsea? Will Fulham’s defense improve and make Stekelenburg a viable FPL option in goal?

How will Fernandinho and Navas slot in at City and where does that leave Dzeko, who conceivably would benefit greatly from Navas’ ability to jet down the wing and lob crosses into the big man week after week? How will Shelvey’s move affect last year’s Newcomer of the Year, Mr. Michu, and his position on the pitch? What does Paulinho’s move mean for Tottenham’s midfield, specifically Sigurdsson, who was used sparingly following a pre-season full of significant hype following the arm-wrestling match between Rodgers and Villas-Boas?

How will Moyes respond to the unenviable scrutiny of following the most celebrated manager in the history of the English top division? How will the players respond? How will Martinez keep Everton’s momentum going with the 3-4-3 formation he seems intent on installing (Seamus Coleman anyone?) How will the circus act that was Chelsea fan’s relationship with their manager play out this year, now that the Chosen One has returned to the team he “has always loved”? Will Pellegrini bring stability to the clubhouse of millionaires that make up the Manchester City squad? What will happen to the poor Sunderland souls who are caught with any variation of sugar, natural form or not, pulsing through their systems following DiCanio’s institution of modernly bizarre team rules?

How will new boys Cardiff City, Crystal Palace and Hull City fare? Are they worth investing in at any position?

It’s only July 8. There are 40 days left until the season begins on August 17. Given the questions raised by the moves made to date and the changes that will have each of our heads spinning, there is still so much more to come that may completely change our approach to the new FPL season.

What Will Happen Between Now and August 17

The greatest league of the most popular sport in the world is never short of excitement. With no games being played there is really only one thing to keep the thousands of journalists whose careers revolve around the Premier League in business; transfer rumors. Log onto Twitter for 30 seconds and you’re bound to run across a handful or a dozen of them.  It’s what keeps the EPL world spinning on its axis between May and August. And the rumors are flying fast and furious.

The Thiago Alcantara move to Manchester United has been “confirmed” multiple times since shortly before he led Spain to the UEFA Under-21 European Championships earlier this summer. If that move ever materializes, coupled with Moyes’ insistence that Rooney is going to stay at ManU this season, where does that leave those of us convinced that Kagawa finally seemed like he was beginning to settle in as a long-awaited and much-needed consistent midfield Manchester United FPL option as the season unfolded?

Will the John Ruddy rumored move to Chelsea materialize? Where will that leave Norwich? What in the world is going to happen with Suarez? Will the Higuain deal to Arsenal finally go through, and which Gonzalo will show up if it does?

And these are only the rumors we know about now! Many more will come, and unfortunately for those of us who are unsettled by this fact, the transfer window will stay open right up until gw3 of the coming season. I hate that!

So for now, there is a lot that we know, a lot that we don’t know, and a lot that we don’t yet know we don’t know. The next 6 weeks are going to be a roller coaster; a roller coaster that many of us secretly enjoy because it includes the final pieces of the puzzle that all stews together in mid August to give us all of the information we’ll have available to us for that all-important few days prior to August 17 when we finish fiddling, complete our tinkering, say a final good luck prayer, and click CONFIRM TEAM.

Enjoy it FPL’ers….I know I will.

Walt

 

Please check out Walt’s new FPL blog.. A must read and well recommended from the FY team http://whatiwantmykidstoknowaboutfootball.blogspot.co.uk/

Fantasy Football: Michu to who?…bless you!

Michu’s Successor

by @Fplmaestro

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Swansea manager Micheal Laudrup watched his opposition draw to the now former champions Manchester City 0-0 on Saturday and revealed he now has no option but to field his squad without his top scorer and currently most selected FPL player, Michu.

The Spaniard has managed to net an impressive 21 goals from the midfield position during an absolutely immaculate first season in English football and has gained several plaudits with his ‘Magic touch’ and not to mention has been one of the bargain buys of the season being signed by the Swans for only a fee of 2 million pounds! However, he had to be withdrawn during the second half of the league game against City carrying a hamstring injury. In his post match press conference Laudrup said-  “He has a hamstring problem. I am not sure if he has torn it but even if it is less than that, this will be his last game of the season”

It’s now nearly the end of a stressful season of FPL and the last thing that we that we could have possibly asked for is yet another injury to our long list of woes! And I’m sure the vast majority of you are already considering who to bring in for GW1, of next season, however it’s time to focus on the present and attempt to replace the lad, which is not going to be an easy task given the fact that he’s currently the cheapest FPL attacking player on the dream team! However, it’s a task which simply cannot be avoided.

What to consider from the players you pick-

Towards this stage of the season, consistency is only a minor aspect to consider! The main reasoning one should be putting in before making any changes at this moment of time is if the player has relatively easy fixtures in the up and coming 2 GW’s and that is mainly what the list below is based on!

Players you should consider-  

Going through the list of possible midfield options within  £1.5M of Michu’s current value, I have picked the following players as potential options to replace the Swansea talisman from now up until the end of the season-

_64820904_santi_cazorla_getty

Santi Cazorla-

Yet another Spaniard who’s endeared himself to his team’s fans is Santi Cazorla, having hit the ground running in his first year in English football, acquiring an impressive 12 goals and 9 assists for the Gunners since joining at the start of the season , he looks more than capable to add to his tally and help his team secure a place in the top 4! However, a recent slump in form has seen several FPL managers part company with him causing his price to drop considerably from £10.1-£9.5 Million, fixtures do look to be in his favor playing Newcastle and Wigan, both in the relegation scrap, which could really benefit those who do choose him to be the one to replace Michu.

hazard

Eden Hazard-

Eden Hazard is one of the latest Belgian success stories in the premier league.  Having such an immaculate start, his drop of form in the middle season was rather disappointing, however he has recently been on an impressive run of form and could be the right man to join your FPL team as his next games are to Aston Villa and Everton. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see him rack up a descent tally of points and finish the season in style!

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Theo Walcott-

Walcott has had his best season in Arsenal colours, being the clubs top scorer and even being compared by his manager , to a certain French lad who wore the infamous number ’14’ on the back of his shirt! However, his injury and slight dip in form has seen his price fall down to an extremely attractive £8.8m at the moment he’s on a half descent run of form. He finishes this season playing Newcastle and Wigan, which are must win games for the gunners if they are to stand a chance of finishing in a Champions League positions and he could, yet again, step up to the plate and be a vital part of his teams ambitions of finishing in the top 4!

David_Silva

David Silva-

Yet another one of the several Spaniard to have graced the premier league, is David Silva despite not reaching the standards he had managed to set for himself last year, in a rather dismal season he might well be finishing the season in flying colours! Despite the fact his City have had a rather poor season and have nothing much really left to play for in the league, they finish this season playing Reading and Norwich. Now priced at an descent £9.2M I’d be surprised if Silva didn’t hit some big points for your FPL team and help City secure that 2nd place position.

 

By Dean Jones (Flickr: Coutinho Goal) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Dean Jones (Flickr: Coutinho Goal) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Phillipe Coutinho-

Philippe Coutinho has been an instant success at Anfield since joining in January.

The Brazilian international, has lit up Liverpool‘s side with attacking flair and has managed to build a stunning partnership with both Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in only three months. However, with Suarez injured himself and Sturridge will have to rise to the occasion for Liverpool and will have to be key in their goals of finishing in a Europa League place! He even comes at a mouth watering £6.7m and could be set to light up your FPL teams finish to this season.

Many thanks for reading my guest post on FantasyYIRMA.com, feel free to give me a shout if you’ve got any queries in choosing between the bunch or anything FPL related on twitter  @Fplmaestro Hopefully we all have a stunning finish to brilliant season.

If you would like to submit a guest post for the FantasyYIRMA.com website drop an email to FantasyYIRMA@hotmail.com or tweet us at @FantasyYIRMA

CHECK OUT OUR GOAL OF THE SEASON POLL – WHO GETS YOUR VOTE?? CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE CONTENDERS

Fantasy Football GW34 preview: Has Michu’s magic returned?

The sun is shining and Michu (£8.0m) is scoring goals. It suddenly feels like August again doesn’t it?

Swansea’s Spaniard made one of the most spectacular entrances into Fantasy Premier League that we can remember, scoring four goals in his first three games and finishing the year 2012 on 13 strikes. All whilst handily listed as a midfielder.

The goals saw his Fantasy price rocket up from an initial £6.5m, with his ownership percentage increasing each week as a result. However since a goal against Manchester United just before Christmas, Michu has scored just four in 12 games since then. As a player who doesn’t contribute many assists (just two in that time and three all season), the Spaniard started to lose support.

The early season additions to many teams still sees his ownership percentage at a huge 44.1%, above the likes of Luis Suarez (39.8%), Robin van Persie (37.8%) and indeed everyone else, and after a recent return to goalscoring form there will be even more managers who are willing to take him on board in the closing weeks of the season.

Strikes against Tottenham and Norwich in the past two weeks have taken Michu’s tally to 17 goals this campaign, and after Swansea missed out on playing last weekend he has a double gameweek on the horizon in a bid to find even more.

This weekend though he faces a home game against a Southampton side who have failed to win away at a team ranked above them in the table all season, and so Michael Laudrup’s side will be confident of delivering a victory which will keep them in the top half of the table.

Michu is almost certain to be key to those hopes.

Elsewhere on a Saturday which is likely to go a long way towards determining who will be relegated this season, Norwich host a struggling Reading outfit who still look set to go down despite goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (£3.9m) earning them a point from a goalless draw with Liverpool last weekend.

Like Michu, Robert Snodgrass (£6.3m) scored in the last game at Carrow Road – Norwich’s 2-2 draw with Swansea – and the Scottish midfielder is likely to be a key element to the Canaries’ attempts to break down the Royals on Saturday, when Snodgrass will be looking to improve on his record of five goals and six assists this season.

FA Cup finalists Wigan are another side battling the drop, and although they could find it tough this weekend as they return to London to face West Ham, they do so offer intriguing cheap forward options in Arouna Kone (£6.6m) and Callum McManaman (£4.5m).

QPR simply have to beat struggling Stoke if any hope of them staying up is to remain, and so Loic Remy (£5.9m) is certain to be one to watch, whilst Sunderland’s Adam Johnson (£6.7m) is sure to be key to his side’s hopes of a second successive win as they host a strong Everton outfit.

Sunday’s matches bring together four of the top seven in a couple of big-hitting clashes, and whilst Tottenham will be hoping for the return to fitness of Gareth Bale (£10.5m) ahead of their match against Manchester City, it is a return to form that Suarez (£11.1m) will be after as Liverpool host Chelsea. After hitting 11 goals in 10 matches, the Uruguayan now hasn’t managed any in his last four.

Monday night will see Manchester United expect a victory from their home clash with Aston Villa, and whilst Van Persie (£13.6m) managed to find the net for the first time in 12 and a half hours of football for United against Stoke last weekend, it could be Wayne Rooney (£12.1m) who steals the show this time.

Stationed in a deeper role against Stoke, Rooney will be determined to return to a position further forward here, and he could just make struggling Villa pay.

@Mark_Jones86

FPL: Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla – Differential Potential?

Many thanks to Inside FPL for this great post which looks at why Santi Cazorla should be considered for your FPL team. Check out Inside FPL on twitter @insidefantasyPL . You can also sign up for their free FPL weekly newsletter delivered directly into your email address. Click their logo at the bottom of this article for more information.

Santi Cazorla – Differential Potential?

A lot has been made of midfielders through this season’s fantasy football campaign, with 5 players in particular dominating manager’s selection thoughts – Bale, Mata, Michu, Fellaini and Walcott.  But there is a 6th player who, whilst not exactly under the radar,  has not grabbed the imagination as much as the others, is actually the 3rd highest scoring midfielder in the game, and 5th overall.  He’s also as nailed on as anyone in Arsenal’s starting lineup,  In this article we take a look at the Arsene Wegner’s £16m summer signing from Malaga,  Santiago “Santi” Cazorla González, review his fantasy form, and prospects for your team through to the end of the season.

Cazorla was immediately handed the advanced role in the midfield three, ahead of the double-pivot  typical now in the modern 4-2-3-1.  He made a big impact as soon as GW3, with 2 goals away at Liverpool and 13 FPL points.  At the time Arsenal were receiving plaudits for a new found defensive resolve and his Anfield brace came on top of him topping the key pass and shooting charts.  A real prospect then, and with a home clash against promoted Southampton ahead the transfers soon flowed in.  Almost 100,000 managers brought in the Spaniard for GW4 but despite a 6-1 thrashing of Southampton Santi registered just a single assist.  He bounced straight back though with an assist and 2 bonus points away against Man City and followed that up with 3 goals in his next 7 games, including goals in games against Man Utd and Tottenham.

Cazorla really garnered full-on fantasy attention though with a hat-trick and assist in a 5-2 away win at Reading, scoring a whopping 23 points, the second highest single GW score this season, behind Walcott’s 26.  This did come in the middle of an a lean spell though, just the one, albeit a big one, goal-scoring performance in 10 games. With his hat-trick haul still fresh in the mind though and a double gameweek on the horizon Cazorla’s ownership peaked up at 21% but despite a fairly decent return during this time 5% of managers have since got rid, driven mainly due to some scintillating performances by team-mate Walcott, plus the form and opportunities of alternatives in Gerrard and Bale.

The  infographic below shows Cazorla’s form, which we measure by comparing the number of shots he takes from inside the penalty box with how many shots in the box Arsenal have.  We can see that Cazorla’s form basically tracks Arsenal’s.  If his team do well, so does he, if the team are struggling, so does he.  He doesn’t carry the team and dominate, like Bale does, or Ba did for Newcastle.  He doesn’t produce something out of nothing a la Van Persie..  He’s had a real slump through January too, scoring just once and averaging only 3 pts/game in that time, but as can be seen he’s got himself back involved in Arsenal’s attack now, and the goals and points have returned.

Santi

So, what are the prospects for Santi from now through to the end of the season?  Well, we imagine it’ll be business as usual,  but without the winter slump, averaging about 6-7 points per game through to the end of the season.  This places him behind Bale, and indeed behind Walcott, but level with the likes of Mata and Michu.  He’s significantly less owned though than all these other players, who are all 25-30% except for Michu who is almost at a staggering 50% now.  Arsenal also have a tempting set of fixtures to come after their GW29, playing Reading, Norwich and Wigan at home, and Fulham and QPR away, plus another double gameweek, making Cazorla a massive differential captain option through that stretch. Keep an eye on his price, he could be just the player to make the kind of difference that counts.

By @InsideFantasyPL

TheGameweekPoster

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Fantasy Premier League: DON’T BLAME DAVID DE GEA

Fantasy YIRMA : Guest Post

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DON’T BLAME DAVID DE GEA

by Adam Zdroik

And that’s why everyone likes double Gameweeks. Even though Liverpool put in a sub-par effort against West Brom in their first match of Gameweek 26, they helped out Fantasy owners with a 5-0 win over Swansea. While Swansea lost that match, they won 4-1 in their previous game.

Basically, all of the players that were favorites to be top captains last week did well and that’s why Fantasy squads averaged 65 points.

Luis Suarez didn’t score against WBA, but had a goal and two assists against the Swans. That’s the line for pretty much everyone on the Reds and it’s the opposite for Swansea players. Michu had two goals and an assist against QPR, but didn’t even play against Liverpool.

Now we have to deal with the aftermath. Neither Liverpool or Swansea have a match in Gameweek 27, which means you’re going to have some high-priced players on your bench, or you’re using your wildcard if you have one.

Considering most owners already used their wildcard, I’ll focus more on what to do with what you have.

If you have Michu, Suarez and Steven Gerrard, you’ll need to get rid of at least one of them. There’s no way around it because that’s going to leave roughly 30m of the 100m (variable depending on team) on your bench.

Not including Michu, there are four players on Swansea that are owned by at least nine percent of people. Michu is owned by 49 percent, almost half of the owners at premierleague.com.

Surprisingly, Liverpool is at the same amount of ownership with Suarez, leading the way at 36 percent. That means there are 10 players not playing this weekend in the Premier League who are owned by at least nine percent of the Fantasy community. Throw in the rest of those team’s squads still owned by plenty of people and you have a good amount of transfers happening this weekend.

WHO TO GET?

GK, David de Gea, Manchester United, 5.5m
The Spaniard has two straight clean sheets in the league and is no doubt United’s number one keeper at this point. He was the main reason United didn’t lose against Real Madrid in their Champions League match.

United’s upcoming schedule is one of the best: At QPR, vs. Norwich, at West Ham, vs. Reading, at Sunderland. The Red Devils have a chance to get clean sheets in all of those matches and De Gea will benefit the most. At 5.5m, his price tag is at the cutoff of the maximum I want to spend on a goalkeeper. He’s going to be the best option for the next five weeks. That’s worth my money.

David de Gea isn’t the one to blame anymore. Photo Credit: Dudek1337

DEF, Davide Santon, Newcastle, 4.9m
He’s one of Newcastle’s cheaper defenders and plays in a very attacking role, which led to two assists for him most recently against Chelsea. With friendly fixtures and a squad that’s playing a lot better after the transfer window, now is the time to buy into Newcastle defenders.

Upcoming fixtures include road matches at Swansea and Wigan, and on home soil against Southampton and Stoke City.

MID, Moussa Sissoko, Newcastle, 6.1m
Three Premier League matches, two goals and two assists. That’s all you need to know right there. Sissoko has come into the lineup and immediately made a difference for Newcastle. His price is much cheaper than all of the top dogs, yet he could easily provide the same kind of numbers.

FOR, Wayne Rooney, Manchester United, 11.9m
Supposedly Rooney had a sinus infection and missed United’s FA Cup match against Reading last Monday, but I wouldn’t be worried about it. He’s started in three straight league matches and is a couple million less than Robin van Persie, which makes him the easier addition.

As you can see, Manchester United and Newcastle players are in the best situations to succeed for the next month and the players listed above would be the best moves for your squad to make if you want to succeed.

WEEKLY RANKINGS

Goalkeepers

  1. Wojciech Szczesny, Arsenal, 5.3m, vs. Aston Villa
  2. David de Gea, Man United, 5.5m, at QPR
  3. Tim Krul, Newcastle, 5.2m, vs. Southampton
  4. Mark Schwarzer, Fulham, 5.1m, vs. Stoke City
  5. Adam Federici, Reading, 4.4m, vs. Wigan

Defenders

  1. Patrice Evra, Man United, 7.1m, at QPR
  2. Leighton Baines, Everton, 7.5m, at Norwich
  3. Nacho Monreal, Arsenal, 4.2m, vs. Aston Villa
  4. Rafael, Man United, 6.0m, at QPR
  5. Bacary Sagna, Arsenal, 5.2m, vs. Aston Villa
  6. Brede Hangeland, Fulham, 4.8m, vs. Stoke City
  7. Davide Santon, Newcastle, 4.9m, vs. Southampton
  8. Gareth McAuley, West Brom, 5.2m, vs. Sunderland
  9. Kyle Walker, Tottenham, 6.1m, at West Ham
  10. Gael Clichy, Man City, 5.6m, vs. Chelsea

Midfielders

  1. Theo Walcott, Arsenal, 9.5m, vs. Aston Villa
  2. Gareth Bale, Tottenham, 10.0m, at West Ham
  3. Marouane Fellaini, Everton, 7.7m, at Norwich
  4. Santi Cazorla, Arsenal, 9.3m, vs. Aston Villa
  5. Moussa Sissoko, Newcastle, 6.1m, vs. Southampton
  6. Juan Mata, Chelsea, 10.1m, at Man City
  7. David Silva, Man City, 9.4m, vs. Chelsea
  8. Frank Lampard, Chelsea, 8.5m, at Man City
  9. Yaya Toure, Man City, 7.7m, vs. Chelsea
  10. Yohan Cabaye, Newcastle, 6.6m, vs. Southampton

Forwards

  1. Robin van Persie, Man United, 14.0m, at QPR
  2. Lukas Podolski, Arsenal, 8.3m, vs. Aston Villa
  3. Olivier Giroud, Arsenal, 8.0m, vs. Aston Villa
  4. Wayne Rooney, Man United, 11.8m, at QPR
  5. Sergio Aguero, Man City, 10.9m, vs. Chelsea
  6. Demba Ba, Chelsea, 8.9m, at Man City
  7. Christian Benteke, Aston Villa, 6.5m, at Arsenal
  8. Edin Dzeko, Man City, 7.5m, vs. Chelsea
  9. Adam Le Fondre, Reading, 4.9m, at Wigan
  10. Romelu Lukaku, West Brom, 6.5m, vs. Sunderland

YOU’RE THE CAPTAIN

  1. Theo Walcott, Arsenal
  2. Gareth Bale, Tottenham
  3. Robin van Persie, Man United
  4. Lukas Podolski/Olivier Giroud, Arsenal
  5. Sergio Aguero, Man City

Aston Villa is brutal on the road and Arsenal should be able to get out of their slump in this one. Walcott has three goals and three assists in his last five matches and many haven’t been better than him. Because of this, I am dethroning RVP as the top captain option for the week. Villa has allowed the most away goals and Arsenal has scored the second-most home goals this year. Walcott will be around for at least one goal.

Bale is playing amazing right now, which is why managers from all of the biggest clubs are looking to call his name, including Pep Guardiola soon to take the helm at Bayern Munich. Bale had two free kick goals in Tottenham’s Champions League match which doesn’t happen often. He has scored his club’s last six goals in all competitions. That says enough right there.

RVP is still great, don’t worry, but his numbers haven’t been as good or consistent since Rooney returned. Not to mention, Danny Welbeck is also getting a lot of time up front. Nevertheless, Van Persie scored and assisted on United’s only two goals in their last league match.

These two forwards should be in for a nice match as long as Arsenal doesn’t take the day off. As said before, Villa allows a ton of goals on the road, which means Podolski and Giroud shouldn’t have any problems. One of those five-goal games would help them right now. The Gunners have actually scored at least five goals in five matches this year. That’s a lot.

There’s going to be goals in the Man City-Chelsea match and Aguero gets the edge over the others. This is a last-ditch captain option and I would only advise it if you like to play risky, or if you need to move up about 100 spots in your league.

*Stats up-to-date as of Feb. 18

@RotoZdroik

Adam joined RotoExperts in 2008 as a member of the Scout/Player Updates Team. Throughout the years, Adam has written articles encompassing a number of sports. If you like your Fantasy advice full of numbers and straight to the point, look no further. Find him (@RotoZdroik) on Twitter, to get a daily take of what’s happening in the sports world

 

The official FantasyYIRMA Gameweek 27 Preview will be available on Thursday 21st February

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