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Liverpool vs Manchester United – Confirmed Lineups

Captain Sturridge? Fantasy Football Interview with CHAMPION Tom Fenley

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Manchester United vs Liverpool: Preview and LINEUPS

Can Liverpool’s Sturridge Stir Captain Debate?? FPL

Newcastle vs Liverpool: Confirmed Lineups and Preview

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.




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.



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.





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!






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



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 please email Ryan on


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.



Please check out Walt’s new FPL blog.. A must read and well recommended from the FY team

Fantasy Premier League: 5 make or break buys from @shots_on_target


It may have crept up on you but there are now only 12 Gameweeks remaining in the 2012/13 Season – Frightening!

What also is potentially frightening is to look at your mini-league and see your work colleague/friend/classmate/ FPL ARCH NEMESIS (we all have one) starting to stretch into a comfortable lead. What is especially disheartening with this  is that there seems to be a large core of similar players across you and your opponents’ team, so how are you supposed to catch them??

Some people may want to finish with the highest score they possibly can, however-  if mini-league rivalry is on the top of your agenda then you may just have to think outside the box and be prepared to take risks!

This is where personal preference kicks in, are you prepared to gamble with team selection, are you for example prepared to pick a captain differential in order to make up a points gap??

With this in mind we asked @shots_on_target for his thoughts on players who have the potential to give you the edge now we are in the final third of the season. He has outlined 5 players, each with an ownership of under 10% which may help you make up the gap.

We also would like to hear from you…drop a comment below outlining what player you think has the potential to make or break your season as we head towards the end of the season. Alternatively tweet us @FantasyYIRMA

By @ryano83

Sissoko (Newcastle) £6.1m MID 6% owned

Newcastle’s new signing has already grabbed the headlines with his two goals against Chelsea and has added an assist in each of his other two games in the Premier League so far.  Last season it was Cisse who powered many a FPL team down the home straight – this year it could be Sissoko.

Sturridge (Liverpool) £7.8m FWD 9% owned

Daniel Sturridge has been installed as the main striker in a Liverpool side capable of top quality performances.  Sturridge is a direct rival for Suarez in your team.  At a once £3m and now just over £2m discount he’ll give you plenty of spare cash to invest elsewhere and will give Suarez a good run for his money.

Aguero (Man City) £10.9m FWD 5% owned

The Argentine is probably the biggest disappointment from a fantasy perspective this season, which of course goes hand in hand with City’s stuttering attempt to maintain their title-winning status.  Aguero has had a stop-start campaign himself with rotation and injury, playing just two thirds of the season to date.  If you are looking for someone to match or even out do Van Persie then Aguero, still a world class talent, is as good a punt as you can get.

Giroud (Arsenal) £8.0m FWD 5% owned

The Gunner’s summer signing from Montpellier took a while to find his feet but has now strung together a decent run of games.  Arsenal’s season has followed a similar pattern to recent season, and with another disappoint FA Cup exit they are going to have to put all their efforts into keeping themselves in the Champion’s League positions.

Maloney (Wigan) £4.8m 2% owned

Whilst not exactly like to make or break your season if you’re looking for a cheap player to fill a position in your team and release funds elsewhere Wigan’s Maloney is well worth a look.  He’s had a good run recently and Wigan have one of the better run-ins through to the end of the season.  Maloney’s role behind the striker should see him good for another few goals to add to the 4 he’s scored already this season.

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