Blog Archives

Sunderland vs Manchester City: Confirmed Lineups

Arsenal, Liverpool… and Stoke feature in the Gameweek Preview??

Liverpool’s Loss is Stoke City’s Gain: Joe Allen

Chelsea, Stoke and get loaded up on Everton now!

Chelsea and Man City to give their opponents the Blues this week

Tottenham v QPR and Hull v Stoke: Confirmed Lineups for Super Sunday

Check out our Free Fantasy Football Prize League!!! From Arsenal to West Ham

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The Fantasy Premier League is BACK!!

Click the FY logo above to Join our Free League

Or enter code 10411-3999 at the Official Fantasy Premier League site

With more than 3000 people already in the league it will be a challenge to rise to the top – but if you do you WILL be rewarded!!

To celebrate the return of #FPL we have relaunched the FantasyYIRMA.com Mini-League with a cash prize on offer for the winner to £100 !!

Manager of the Month will win a free shirt from the guys at CAMPO RETRO and not forgetting BetMcLean who will be dishing out spot prizes in the form of free bets!!

 

This season we want to be BIGGER & BETTER

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Will any of the new Premier League additions make your team?? With Sanchez, Costa, Fabregas, Herrera and a host of other new signings make their way into your squad or will you be looking for a bargain or two??

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I think it’s fair to say that if you had told me that the FantasyYIRMA.com site was still running almost two years after it started I would have chuckled immensely… but it has… we have… and as both the twitter account and website has continued to grow, it genuinely is a pleasure to be involved in the wonderful world of Fantasy Football.

The interaction online from #FPL fans across the world has been fantastic!

 

For those who have asked how we finished this season:

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Both myself and FY Writer Mark finished in the top 10k for the season which means that we both finished ahead of 99.7% of all 3,218,887 players in the game. Not bad eh?

I also have just noticed that when the season started for 2013/14 I was clearly too excited about picking my team that I forgot to design a kit!

 

For those that don’t know – the concept of FantasyYIRMA actually started back in 2006 when a drunken conversation back in Belfast around what to name our 6 person mini-league led to the following comment…

 

“I don’t give a flying **** what you call it, sure call it after yir ma”

 

League Cup Lineups: Stoke vs Manchester United and Spurs vs West Ham

Fantasy Premier League: GW27 Review

#FPL GW27 Review

Many thanks as always to @shots_on_target for his weekly wrap up of the Premier League games.

Check out his website at www.shotsontarget.com for some great #FPL insight!

What a performance by Gareth Bale in a very buoyant encounter at Upton Park. There’s not more much to say about Bale so I’ll move right on and mention Andy Carroll and Joe Cole.  Nolan’s injury could prove a blow for the Hammers if it’s serious but this may afford Cole a more prominent role.   He’s not £0.0m by the way, he’s £5.6m.

These two teams have both been great sources of fantasy players this season, and should continue to be so.  With Ba gone, Sissoko and Cisse are providing the goals and Gouffran is one to watch too.  Cabaye, on pens and free-kicks, will pick up points although Sissoko’s (rapidly rising) price tag and advanced role behind the striker make him this team’s highlight.  In a FPL season dominated by midfielders Ritchie Lambert is this season’s third highest scoring forward, behind only RVP and Suarez.  Not bad.  Puncheon’s 2nd benching in the last 4 games throws a spanner in the works for a fair few managers; both were away games though so perhaps a tactical move and ,if so, maybe not too worrying ahead of 4 home games in the next 6 for.  Maybe.

Berbatov was a dim glimmer of light in this match, Fulham unable to really threaten much against a Stoke side willing to let them try. Riise and Riether took advantage of the space to push up down the flanks and get involved in the attack, the latter getting the assist.  Let’s move on.

A tight game without any real top draw attacking play to shout about – perhaps the highlight was Moyes’ fury at the final whistle. Norwich have been a legitimate threat from set-pieces all season which makes Snodgrass a very sound option for your FPL team, with Bassong and Holt the two players who tend to get on the end of things. Everton really didn’t get much going, too often failing to find players in the box.   They need a good win against Oldham in the Cup and then Reading to keep up momentum into the run-in.

Top notch performance from Wigan, excelling not only in attack but defensively too, with the return of Boyce from injury and late introduction of season-long absentee Alcarez.  Kone scored his 8th goal of the season in which he has missed about a fifth of.  I would not be surprised to see him score another 5 or 6 before the end of the season with some nice fixtures over the horizon.

The early withdrawal of Van Persie will be a keen talking point for fantasy managers through this week ahead of a plum home game against Norwich which comes a few days before the Real Madrid game.  In RVP’s absence it could well be Nani who fills the gap.  Recently urged in the press by Sir Alex to show consistency this might be just the type of “media-message” Nani needs to prove his worth at a top club.  QPR hardly troubled United at all but they will be pleased to get Remy back in action.

All hail Lukaku, right? Although Sunderland have earnt a tag as a defensive team over the last few seasons they don’t travel well at all so it’s no surprise that West Brom created plenty of chances, and even less of a surprise that these chances mostly fell and were put away by Lukaku, who just seems to be getting better through the season.  Sessegnon had one of his best games yet this campaign and Sunderland’s attacking form has been gradually improving.

If United weren’t so far ahead in the league this dominant performance could have been regarded as City reaffirming their title challenge.  Mancini has had a strange strategy this season of starting matches with a block of 5 in a deep midfield line, with the 2 fullbacks lining up with 3 center mids, this week in Milner, Rodwell and Garcia.  Only when Tevez emerged did City have enough creative force to break Chelsea down, Silva and Toure showing their class.  Check out Talk of the Crowd’s awesome tactical analysis of how the introduction of Tevez changed the game.

A lot was expected of Arsenal ahead of this one after their now almost customary March cup exits. Though they got the win and had a host of chances they left it late.  Santi Cazorla has gone slightly under the radar but has now scored 11 goals this season, the same as Walcott although in significantly more minutes.  Walcott and Giroud had their fair share of chances too. Villa, unsurprisingly, did not create much although N’Zogbia is ever so slightly blinking on the fantasy radar.

Stoke City: Maintaining the status quo

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If you weren’t aware of just who was where in the Premier League table ahead of the midweek matches, it wouldn’t really surprise you to know that Stoke City are 10th.

They’ve pretty much always been there ever since their promotion from the Championship in 2008, bar a 3-1 defeat at Bolton in their first ever Premier League match which saw one attention-seeking bookmaker immediately pay out on the team to be relegated.

In the following years, such a move has been shown to be even more ridiculous than it looked back then.

Under manager Tony Pulis, Stoke have never been in relegation trouble at the end of any of their four completed Premier League seasons – instead focusing on an FA Cup final at the end of one of them and always proving to be one of the least appealing fixtures for any top flight team.

A lot of the attention is of course focused on the direct way that Stoke play, but Pulis, his players and the club’s fans won’t apologise for that. It is overblown anyway, and quite frankly why should they say sorry?

All teams should look to play to their strengths, and whilst the majority see their strengths change over time with the appointments of different managers and the signings of new players, Stoke’s style remains the same. Their strength is their strength.

They’ve been in the top flight for long enough now for people to look to combat it too, but with players such as Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross, Steven Nzonzi and recently Kenwyne Jones all impressing this season, once again they’ll be nowhere near the drop zone come the end of the campaign. Flying in their face of their reputation, tidy, technical players such as Matthew Etherington and Michael Kightly have done well too.

Pulis has got all of his men to give every ounce of sweat for the club’s cause.

It may be the status quo that Stoke are where they are in the league, but where they are is surely the best position that a club of their size, infrastructure and value can be in. If that doesn’t deserve praise then what does?

It is easy for the neutrals to love Swansea – the opponents who beat Stoke 3-1 in their last Premier League match – and indeed to appreciate the football often played by Wigan – who the Potters face at the Britannia Stadium on Tuesday night – but whilst those two have survived in the top division by doing things their own way, Stoke’s similar story has been overlooked somewhat, with the focus instead on just how they’ve gone about their stay in the division.

Maybe they are victims of their own success.

Stoke have never really been in relegation trouble and so as such it is not seen as a great achievement when they do survive in the division, as they will do this season and in all likelihood for seasons to come.

They have become one of the constants of the Premier League, with their name now known continent-wide thanks to a run in the Europa League last season, another curiously under-celebrated feat that perhaps deserved a little more attention. Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and Newcastle line up in the knockout stages of the tournament next month, and you can bet that more people will be talking about them.

They and you might not like Stoke’s approach to the game but surely it should be respected?

They haven’t become top division mainstays by accident. It has taken a lot of hard work to get them where they are.

And that is right in the middle of the Premier League, where they are likely to stick around for quite a while yet.

@Mark_Jones86

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