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Manchester United and Chelsea strong between the sticks : Gameweek7 Review

Fantasy Football GW33 Preview: Arsenal pair can offer double delight

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The business end of the season has already both approached and made its presence felt, and as if that wasn’t ramping up the pressure enough this Gameweek has an added element of complications about it.

Whilst some teams such as Tottenham and Swansea will go through Gameweek 33 without a fixture, others – five others to be exact – are playing twice.

For Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton, Fulham and West Ham a double Gameweek lies in store, and of those sides it is arguably the Champions League-chasing Gunners who offer the best chance for Fantasy points.

Home matches against Norwich and Everton over the next week will go a long way towards confirming whether or not Arsenal will finish in the top four come the end of this season, and two of Arsene Wenger’s men in particular could end up having a huge say in whether or not that becomes a reality.

Both Santi Cazorla (£10.0m) and Olivier Giroud (£7.6m) have impressed at various points over their first season in English football; the Spaniard no doubt more often that the Frenchman admittedly, although both can shine over the next few days.

Four of Cazorla’s last five Gunners league goals have come at the Emirates Stadium, whilst a staggering nine out of Giroud’s 10 Premier League goals this season have come on his home turf.

Both men clearly like their home comforts, and with these back-to-back matches in North London offering them the chance to further improve their records in front of their own fans, then the pair should really be backed to do well for both Arsene Wenger and for you too.

Elsewhere across a Gameweek which has been affected by the FA Cup semi-finals, Manchester United will be seeking to recover from their loss to rivals Manchester City with back-to-back games which could help them seal the title.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s men face tough contests though, firstly at a Stoke City side who are fighting for their lives at the bottom before a trip to West Ham in midweek.

With both matches looking to be on the tight, uncompromising side then it could pay to back United’s defensive players as opposed to their more famous attackers.

Goalkeeper David de Gea (£5.8m) had kept six clean sheets in a row prior to the City loss, whilst Rafael (£6.2m) completed 90 minutes for the first time in three games in the same fixture.

It could be a former United player who enjoys his double Gameweek a little more though.

Dimitar Berbatov (£7.3m) has scored five in his last five, and with the Bulgarian facing matches against a leaky Aston Villa defence and then a tired Chelsea he could just be the man to make the difference for Martin Jol’s men.

The forward has also scored four in his last four Craven Cottage appearances, and so it might be the Chelsea game which really sees him catch fire following Fulham’s visit to Villa Park.

Of the other clubs who are playing two matches this Gameweek, the return of Andy Carroll (£8.2m) to the West Ham side and of both Marouane Fellaini (£7.4m) and Steven Pienaar (£6.6m) at Everton should be noted, although the Blues’ other Belgian Kevin Mirallas (£6.8m) has been the man to watch following three goals in his last four games. Sadly he’s listed as a forward.

Elsewhere, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez (£11.2m) will be backed to cause damage to a frequently creaky Reading defence at the Madejski Stadium, whilst Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse (£8.8m) has rediscovered a scoring touch recently and will be looking to score for the fourth St James’s Park appearance running in Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby against Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland.

In midweek, Manchester City will hope to keep up their momentum following the win at Old Trafford, and Sergio Aguero (£10.9m) should start against Wigan following his Manchester derby heroics.

If he does, there could be more goals in the horizon.

@Mark_Jones86

Follow @FantasyYIRMA on twitter for updates and chat during the games. Shoot us your FPL questions and queries on twitter or in the comments below. Best of luck this GW!

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Fantasy Football: Forward Buying Guide Part 2

Many thanks to @soccersaber for this great Guest Post. New on the twitter scene, take a second to follow @soccersaber and check out his #FPL site at www.soccersaber.wordpress.com well worth a visit!

If you would like to submit a guestpost contact Ryan at FantasyYIRMA@hotmail.com

GUEST POST: Fantasy Football:  Forward Buying Guide PART 2

to read part 1 click here!

 

Rickie Lambert – I love Rickie Lambert.  I have owned him longer than any forward besides Luis Suarez this year.  I enjoy watching him play and am happy to finally see him at the highest level of English football.  Lambert is a safe option, with solid but unspectacular shot numbers coupled with strong assist potential.  He’s a great budget buy and a good fit for those who can’t stomach the risk of other options such as Lukaku and Giroud.  Keep in mind though he is owned by a good amount of FPL teams and is most likely not a differential for those needing to gain.  Rating: BUY for risk averse and those in solid league positions

Too much of this Olivier

Olivier Giroud – The potential here is through the roof based upon shot numbers.  Giroud gets a ton of chances from close range and one would expect better goal numbers from the Frenchmen (check out that conversion percentage).  Watching him play, it’s clear to see that he misses a bunch of clear-cut chances which must make owning him absolutely infuriating.  Still though I’d much prefer the guy who gets chances versus the one who doesn’t, especially with such low ownership.  Rating: SPECULATIVE BUY for those needing upside

Christian Benteke – That Belgian national team has some potential, eh?  Benteke is an extremely gifted athlete and should be an exceptional player in time.  However, he is very young and struggles with the nuances of the game from time-to-time (e.g., he is very prone to offsides).  More importantly though are Benteke’s teammates.  Aston Villa is not good.  I have their attack rated above only Reading and Stoke.  To put it bluntly, Villa do not generate chances and Benteke’s production is limited because of it.  Rating: HOLD although I would much prefer Lukaku and Sturridge.

Arouna Kone – A bit surprising to some I suspect, but Kone is owned by no one and represents value and upside over the remaining options.  He’s not as physically overpowering as Benteke, but he plays for a substantially more potent attack.  You could make up substantial ground with Kone especially after GW29 when the fixture list improves.  Rating: SPECULATIVE BUY if chasing

Steven Fletcher – Fletcher can score without a doubt and Sunderland’s attack has been much improved over the past ten weeks or so.  However, they are still somewhat toothless and Fletcher’s relatively high ownership numbers limit his upside.  Don’t see the logic in choosing Fletcher over Lambert as they are similar in scope but Lambert is better and cheaper.  Rating: SELL

Papiss Cisse – I have included Cisse here as he has been a popular potential speculative buy on many message boards, especially since the transfers of Sissoko and Gouffran.  As you can see, the table above should put that speculation to rest.  Cisse simply doesn’t get on the end of enough attacks, even since the transfer window.  While I think he has more upside than the numbers above suggest, his price and low assist potential make him a non-option for me.  Rating: SELL

No wonder he is so lazy

Dmitiar Berbatov – I was infatuated with Berbatov early in the season.  However, Fulham’s attack has been impotent since the holidays and shows little signs of reviving.  The numbers above, while poor, tell only half the tale; Berbatov has just four shots on target in his last six matches.  Rating: SELL

CONCLUSION

Get yourself a Liverpool man (or two).  If you are chasing the leaders grab yourself Mr. Lukaku and Mr. Giroud, or, if desperate, Mr. Kone.  Don’t expect RVP to lead the world in fantasy points the remainder of the year, but keep your eye out for alternatives elsewhere in Manchester.  If you are leading you could do a lot worse than bringing in Rickie Lambert.  Whatever you do, don’t purchase  Berbatov, Cisse, or Fletcher.

Hope you enjoyed this.  I plan on providing similar evaluations periodically, although I hope most are much more succinct!  As always, comments and criticisms are very welcomed.

Gameweek 27 preview: Giroud to lift the Gunners’ gloom?

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Liverpool eventually delivered for Fantasy bosses on their Double Gameweek, but the absences of Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge this time around will have those managers looking elsewhere.

Neither Liverpool nor Swansea are in action in Gameweek 27 following the Reds’ 5-0 win at Anfield last Sunday, and so without the Reds and the Swans to call upon then points will have to be picked up from other sources. It’s not the happiest of places right now, but maybe one of those sources will be the Emirates Stadium.

Defeats to Blackburn and Bayern Munich have left Arsenal in the grip of the usual ‘crisis’ they go through about seven times a season, but purely in Premier League terms they aren’t doing too badly.

Three wins and a draw from their last four matches have taken the Gunners to within four points of fourth-placed Tottenham, and with Spurs not playing until a tricky trip to West Ham on Monday night then Saturday’s visit of Aston Villa offers Arsene Wenger the chance to lighten both his own and the club’s mood.

Wenger should start with his compatriot Olivier Giroud (£8.0m) upfront, especially given that the French forward has scored five goals in his last five Premier League appearances at the Emirates.

The experiment of playing Theo Walcott (£9.5m) through the middle has produced good results, but Arsenal looked stronger when Giroud came on against Bayern in midweek and can make that strength tell against a notoriously weak Villa back line. If you’re a striker short given the non-appearances of Suarez and Sturridge, then he could be your man.

Elsewhere it’s top against bottom at Loftus Road, where it is simply impossible to ignore the claims of Robin van Persie (£14.0m) as your captaincy pick.

Manchester United’s mercurial Dutchman actually came down in price for the first time since October before United’s last league game against Everton, but he responded by registering a goal and an assist – a 19th and 10th of the campaign respectively – in his team’s 2-0 win. He was rested for his team’s FA Cup exertions on Monday night and so should be primed and ready to go for this visit to Queens Park Rangers.

As always with United it can be quite difficult to pick their midfield, but with an apparent injury to Phil Jones (£5.6m), then Sir Alex Ferguson could look to pair Michael Carrick (£5.8m) – who scored in this fixture last season and is United’s top points-scoring midfielder this time around – with Tom Cleverley (£5.6m, and the pair will be targeting points in what should be a routine victory.

There will be nothing routine about the big game of the weekend, as Manchester City host Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.

There is an intriguing battle going on to see who will finish as City’s top points-scoring forward, and although he is bottom of the list at the moment the smart money should perhaps be on Sergio Aguero (£10.9m), who has started the last three league games whilst Carlos Tevez hasn’t played a minute of the last two.

Clean sheets might be hard to come by in that clash, but they could be seen in the opening game of the weekend at Craven Cottage.

Stoke have only scored once in their previous five away games, and against a Fulham defence marshalled by Brede Hangeland (£4.8m) they could find that record tough to improve.

The Norwegian centre-back was once a Fantasy favourite but he has seen ownership dwindle due to not yet scoring a goal this season. That could all change here.

Another player who hasn’t scored as often as he’d like this season is Papiss Cisse (£8.8m), but it might be worth keeping an eye on Newcastle’s Senegalese forward ahead of what looks a huge game against Southampton at St James’s Park.

A goal there could kick off a much-needed run of form for both him and his team, and perhaps provide you with that all important edge in the coming weeks.

@Mark_Jones86

Check out our new Club article – This week Fulham

Fantasy Premier League: Tips out for YIRMA

Tips out for Yirma

Don’t forget to check out the official FantasyYIRMA preview also available now “GW25 Gareth Bale to sting the Hawthorns”

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Both @pedro_lamb and @mark_jones86 reckon Arry’s wheeling and dealing won’t save QPR from a loss to Norwich

GAMEWEEK 25

Here within the Fantasy Yirma administration team, we like to pretend we have money. With that in mind we have devised a FY Tipster selection competition.

The loser from the Admin team at the end of the season will pay the £50 prize fund for the mini league!!

Here’s the current standings after Gameweek 24:

FY Tipster GW24 Spend GW24 Return Total Spend Total Return  Difference
@pedro_lamb £30  £28 £720 £761.28 +£41.28
@mark_jones86 £30  £0 £720 £527.19 -£192.81
@ryano83 £30  £0 £720 £803.66 +£83.66

Rules

Each player must place three £10 bets (Monopoly) per gameweek. (SINGLES ONLY/ PL Only)

The bet can be on any individual result/market/outcome with the only proviso being that you must stipulate the odds at time of selection submission and it must be from the same odds provider.

In practice this means your three £10 bets can be across three fixtures or three markets within one match.

Get your tips out for Yirma!!!

Gameweek 25 tips:

@pedro_lamb

£10 Norwich (-2.0) to beat QPR 25/1

£10 Stoke to beat Arsenal 7/1

£10 Fulham v Man Utd Draw 3/1

@mark_jones86

£10 Norwich to beat QPR 3/1

£10 Newcastle to beat Chelsea & Papiss Cisse to score anytime 6/1

£10 Luis Suarez anytime goalscorer (Man City v Liverpool) 15/8

@ryano83

£10 Southampton to beat Wigan 5/2

£10 QPR to score the first goal v Norwich after minute 28 23/10

£10 Spurs (-1.0) to beat West Brom 3/1

We want to hear your thoughts.. Drop your bets in the comment section below…

Second season syndrome?

All were new signings in 2011/12, and all impressed in Yirma, but can the five players below keep up that form heading in to 2012/13??

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Demba Ba, Newcastle, Forward – Fantasy Price Tag £7.5m

Few players had more schizophrenic seasons than Ba last time out, as the arrival of a man we’ll mention below saw his goalscoring form at first dry up and then evaporate completely.

It was tougher to find a Fantasy manager without the Senegalese in his team in the first half of last season than one who did have him, as Ba’s goals shot Newcastle up the table and kept several Fantasy bosses scratching their heads over captaincy selections on Saturday mornings.

Then the forward headed off the Africa Cup of Nations in January, returned with his international team-mate alongside him and suddenly the goals dried up.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew had of course decided to alter Ba’s position slightly, and although it must be said that he did still weigh in with some assists, the forward’s impact was seemingly reducing game by game, so much so that the summer of transfer rumours surrounding his exit from Tyneside were hardly surprising.

He stayed of course, but a repeat showing from last year’s dazzling first few months looks unlikely.

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Nikica Jelavic, Everton, Forward – Fantasy Price Tag £8.5m

Up in Scotland, Jelavic is now merely a substantial if solitary profit in the Rangers accounts, but the happy memories that Gers’ fans had of him are now being shared in the Blue half of Merseyside.

Jelavic’s predatory instincts have unsurprisingly gone down well amongst Everton fans who have arguably not seen a finer forward in Blue since the early days of Wayne Rooney, and the Croatian will be determined to shine in his first full campaign at Goodison Park.

Much was made last season of Jelavic’s instant, one touch finishes, and so whilst you may want to avoid him if you prefer your forwards to be more involved in the play and frequently able to contribute with assists, as an out-and-out goalscorer in a team who will play to his strengths there can’t be many better picks.

After a summer away at the Euros, this campaign will be the ultimate test to see if the Croatian can produce it consistently in Fantasy Premier League.

The early signs are all encouraging ones.

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Papiss Cisse, Newcastle, Forward – Fantasy Price Tag £9.5m

It can’t possibly go as well for Cisse as it did from January to May. Can it? CAN IT???

The Senegalese’s impact at Newcastle following his transfer from German club Freiburg was nothing short of extraordinary, as goals were scored and records tumbled all over the place.

A clinical, almost effortless forward, Cisse’s performances at St James’s Park (sorry Mike Ashley) have drawn comparisons with Andy Cole’s, and there is no doubt that Newcastle will once again look to play to his strengths as they did so well during the latter half of last season.

However, what with the demands of the Europa League, yet another Africa Cup of Nations coming up in January and now that defenders know his threat a little more, it will be extremely difficult for Cisse to repeat last season’s heroics again this time around.

At £9.5m he’ll have plenty of takers, but expecting him to produce the same fireworks as he did in 2011/12 might just leave you disappointed.

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Sergio Aguero, Manchester City, Forward – Fantasy Price Tag £11.5m

The moment that Aguero secured the league title for Manchester City in May will be burned into the brains of his club’s supporters’ for a lifetime, and probably the minds of Manchester United fans for even longer.

It was deserved too, both for the club and a player who made the transition from La Liga to Fantasy Premier League with ease ever since he scored twice on his debut against Swansea in City’s opening match of the campaign.

Aguero is a livewire; a player who never gives defenders a second on the ball and leaves them wondering for hours just what they can do to stop him.

Bar Robin van Persie he was the best forward in England last season – that Kyle Walker took the PFA Young Player of the Year award ahead of Aguero isn’t a good advert for the decisions of footballers – and the Argentinean looks more than ready to help his side defend their title this time.

He is a simply brilliant attacker, and one that you need to find room for in any team – Fantasy or otherwise – whatever the cost.

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Yohan Cabaye, Newcastle, Midfielder – Fantasy Price Tag £7.0m

As this column indicates, Newcastle bought pretty well last season, and there is an argument for saying that Cabaye was the best addition of the lot.

A lively midfielder, the Frenchman showcased more than a keen eye for goal the longer 2011/12 went on, and after a year of getting used to playing against the big-hitters of the league he’ll now have to understand that he is one.

One of the lesser discussed qualities of Cabaye, however, is his toughness. He can mix it in the middle with pretty much anyone, and so seeing as he is highly unlikely to become overawed by the new challenges he faces as he becomes a marked man, there is nothing to suggest that he won’t prove to be a success on Tyneside again.

As discussed above, the rigours placed on Newcastle this season might ensure that they don’t reach the highs they did in the last campaign, but their French midfielder can still impress.

A bargain buy? Oui.

*M

@Mark_Jones86

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