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Lingard Too Good To Resist In Fantasy Football Stakes

Fantasy Football: Clearly, I am in need of this International Break

Wave goodbye to Tottenham’s Dele Alli??

Everton vs Spurs: Lineup and Preview

Arsenal Defence, Chelsea Attack, and a Southampton Hairdo

Fantasy Premier League: GW26 Review

Gameweek 26 still has one fixture remaining with Liverpool playing Swansea this weekend, but here is the round up of the 10 other games so far. Many thanks as always to @shots_on_target for his review, check out his site at a fantastic #FPL resource!

A much needed win for Aston Villa although overall they performed below average for a home
team up against a travelling West Ham, Villa’s red arrows indicating below average totals in
all shot categories.  Their limited attack is all through Benteke though, which makes him
always in with a chance of a goal.  The Nolan-Carroll partnership combined well again
producing plenty of chances in the box but none of real gilt-edge quality.

Torres had a rare performance here where he is the Chelsea player with the most shots on
target, usually he’s second behind one of the midfielders.  There were a lot of efforts to
share out here though, and with many at range from Lampard and Luiz.  Both players can hit ’em  though.  Hazard’s goal and assist flatter his underlying numbers.

A rather muted, some might say controlled, performance from United against Everton.
Ferguson did not need to take any risks with this game, especially after City’s loss, and
this kind of performance was always on the cards.  United’s attack, and Van Persie in
particular, are just so clinical this season they continue to score goals from
limited chances.  Evans, when he gets a start, probably warrants his new found goal scoring tag this season.  Rooney’s lack of threat up-front will have those managers who signed him up recently reverting back to worries of a few months back, will he play too deep too often?  Everton were well contained here.  The talismanic Fellaini was marked out of the game by Jones and Anichebe was no match for Vidic, leaving the best chances falling for Osman from midfield.

If any game was going to be 0-0 this week it was this one.  Fulham have just lost it whilst
Norwich have learnt how to defend.  New signing Becchio looked to be a useful focus for
Norwich’s attack with Snodgrass maintaining his position as my favourite fantasy option in the
Canary’s attack.  I’ll try not to mention Berbatov anymore than is necessary.

The report’s after this game centred on City’s shocker but I’d like to draw some attention to
Southampton’s performances of late since their Argentine coach came on board.  This was not a  result in which they earned a plucky result against defending champions.  They dominated
City at both ends of the pitch, deserving of a dominant victory.  Puncheon continues to present an excellent cut-priced option.  As for City.., who can tell?  Aguero and Silva are not paying
back their price tags yet and rotation risk continues to hang over Dzeko, although he’s
maybe worth that kind of risk with his career goal scoring record.

Stoke managed a lofty number of shots here, hauling themselves all the way up to an average level performance against Reading, thanks in part to Walters bluster up behind Crouch and plenty of set pieces.  There was no miracle comeback for Reading this time but Stoke really should’ve kept a clean sheet.

This was a game with a lot more chances than the score line suggests.  Despite Giroud being  restored to the central strikers berth it’s young Theo once again who posed the most threat in
Sunderland’s penalty box, followed by Cazorla who looks to be finding his spark again.  For
Sunderland, Fletcher will feel unfortunate not to have been on the score sheet.

This was another terrific display from Swansea, led up front again by their main man in Michu.   The Spaniard’s brace and assist will have overshadowed team-mate Hernandez who was rewarded here after some great performances recently.  QPR look doomed already but if they do get anything it’s usually from a Taarabt pass.


What can I say about Gareth Bale that you don’t already know?  With Defoe out and Adebayor
rested after his duties with Togo there’s was  plenty of room up front for Bale to exploit, although it was Dempsey who started up front.  Holtby‘s performance will have caught the eye too, with 4 shots, all in the  box, showing a potential knack for getting into scoring positions.  Gouffran’s was looking good  for the visitors until his injury and that’s blow for Newcastle.  Sissoko‘s lack of shots here is a downer on his virtuoso display last week but an away game at White Harte Lane should not dampen expectations too much, unlike Cisse though who has failed to step it up since Ba’s Chelsea exit.

West Brom’s gameplan worked a treat here. They had to ride their luck at times with Foster in fine form, especially saving Gerrard’s penalty.  But with 70 minutes of pressure successfully soaked, Clarke threw on Lukaku and his enviable strength and pace was enough to hit Liverpool with the sucker-punch..  With Sturridge out injured Suarez was up front but his shooting was off today, failing to hit the target with any of his 7 shots. Gerrard continued to put in the kind of shift that has seen him amass so many FPL points recently.  If he had scored his penalty, which was won by Suarez, this gameweek would have told a whole different story, and it still may with the final fixture, LIV vs SWA, to come this Saturday.


Enrique stole the crown for top points with a goal, assist and clean sheet, plus full bonus points..  Suarez and Sturridge were next best and despite Suarez outscoring Sturridge by 5 pts it was very close between the two of them again.  Suarez won a perhaps fortunate penalty for his assist. Sturridge was generously handed his penalty by Gerrard, but could have easily scored one or two more from open play.  Couthino’s full debut also showed he’s one to watch.

Liverpool’s victory was emphatic. They had 35 shots in total, the most from any team this season, and this has prompted me to take a look back through this season’s results for other dominant performances from a shot data perspective.  As can be seen from the number of goals scored in these games it’s still shots on target that is the important stats.  Sure, lots of shots are good, but if they don’t hit the target it doesn’t count for much.

You can read more on the Liverpool v Swansea game at


GW25: Wayne Rooney keeps Manchester United clear!

The GameWeek 25 Review is brought to you by the team behind

Check out their site and you can also follow them on twitter @shots_on_target . Consistently strong analytical content, provides a must read resource for all FPL fans!

Both these teams have a weakness that is all too often exploited.  Villa can’t defend set pieces and Everton’s defence is as shaky as the come when they are attacked with verve.  Result…?  Six goals.  With Baines’s deliveries and Fellaini aerial threat and with the pace and power on show from Villa’s front line it’s not too surprising.  Doubts over Fellaini’s role should be allayed now with Gibson back giving the Belgian license to menace alongside the hulking frame of Anichebe, in the team on merit ahead of Jelavic.
Rooney and Van Persie played very closely together as a front two in this one.  Despite a lack of attacking drive from central midfield pair of Carrick and Cleverley, Rooney was not tempted to drop deeper and try and play from there.  Fulham’s put up a good fight although without Berbatov they are lack the kind of class that Rooney showed with his precision finish.  Surprising to see so little creativity from United’ wingers though.

Arsenal can be a frustrating side and do blow hot and cold.  They did pretty well here when you look at the stats and Stoke as unambitious as ever away at a top club at least returned to something of their old resolute self.  Wegner’s tactics here perhaps explain the lack of real cutting edge with Cazorla being dropped to accommodate the more combative Diaby.  Walcott won the free-kick for the goal and bagged an assist and new boy Monreal was very impressive on his debut at left back.
Sunday’s 4pm kick-off served up yet another pulsating Premier League encounter, although one that took a while to get going.  Manicni’s lineup with three holders in the middle in Barry, Milner and Garcia.  This really limits the extent to which Silva and Aguero can create anything, as can be seen in the lacklustre attacking stats of their front three – although the strikers did of course both score.  This was much in contrast to Liverpool who were the better team in my opinion, creating far more chances and will rue another missed opportunity.  I really don’t think there’s much to separate Sturridge and Suarez in this team from a fantasy perspective.
This fixture has a real tendency to produce both shots and the goals.  As elaborated on in the GW25 Top Players article, Sissoko really looks to be a player to watch with great penetration and shooting accuracy here.  There’s plenty to like about this Newcastle performance against a decent Chelsea team and Cisse really should  have scored.  Demba Ba owners will be very disappointed with their purchase after his rotation and his now broken nose.  Otherwise though, it’s Lampared stealing the show and Mata remains as irrepressible as ever.
I ventured before hand that QPR would try and win this game.  You know, have some shots, score some goals.  It looks like they tried, a little, managing an “average” number of total attempts for a home team against Norwich but, as is their style, they didn’t get in the box enough and Taarabt, despite his ability, is again the main culprit – even more so not scoring his penalty.  Just one of his shots was in the box (the penalty).  Someone should tell him about this.   Norwich were pretty productive for a change away from home, which probably tells you just how much trouble QPR are in.  Hoolahan, Snodgrass and Holt were most like to grab an away goal.
 Ian Harte’s deliveries are always worth an assist every few games and Reading are now starting to score with some consistency.  Kebe was on the score sheet a few times earlier in the season and is a worthy attacking player and will score a few more this season no doubt. Sunderland’s new boy N’Diaye is certainly catching they eye on the left flank but this was a limited performance overall from O’Neils team.
Quite a reserved performance at the end of the day from Tottenham after West Brom were reduced to 10 men after Popov saw red for spitting.  Spurs were content to keep the ball and pass it around for long stretches.  They’re a team that have really improved through the season and credit must be given to their manager AVB for bouncing back from his “Chelsea experiment”.  Defoe left the ground on crutches and his replacement here was new signing Lewis Holtby who  played an advanced role.  Bale too played pretty central at times and it’s no surprise he nailed another beauty to seal the win.  Lukaku and Long may be the front pairing now after Odemwingie’s transfer-window  antics, although the former was withdrawn after Popov’s dismissal which perhaps gives you some idea of his place in the pecking order.

With Carroll back at the point of their attack West Ham were able to get to something like their early season attacking numbers, and the Nolan-Carroll partnership promises to be very fruitful for both parties.  Mark Noble too, beneficiary of an assist here, should see some joy from his set-pieces with Carroll to aim for.   I’m not all that sure Swansea are equipped for a visit to Allardyce’s Upton Park, and I imagine too that this is a point Laudrup will concede – you can’t win them all.  Pablo Hernandez and Michu had the best chances for the Swans ahead of their DGW 26.

 Despite how well you play, and just like last week at Old Trafford Southampton played well, you are always going to be vulnerable in English football to set pieces.  Today, this was to Wigan’s benefit as two Beausojour corners ended up in back of the net.  They really didn’t create much else to trouble Southampton who showed most threat through their front pair of Lambert and Rodriguez.  Their best chances came on the break.

Fantasy Premier League: Nothing but BONUS POINTS!!


Do you agree with the bonus points this week? Who missed out??

who are you looking at and wondering…HOW???

Drop a comment below!

Gameweek 25
02 Feb 12:45 QPR QPR 0 – 0 Norwich Norwich
Townsend (3)
Johnson (3)
02 Feb 15:00 Arsenal Arsenal 1 – 0 Stoke City Stoke City
02 Feb 15:00 Everton Everton 3 – 3 Aston Villa Aston Villa
Fellaini (3)
Anichebe (2)
02 Feb 15:00 Newcastle Newcastle 3 – 2 Chelsea Chelsea
02 Feb 15:00 Reading Reading 2 – 1 Sunderland Sunderland
Harte (2)
Kebe (3)
02 Feb 15:00 West Ham West Ham 1 – 0 Swansea Swansea
Noble (2)
Nolan (2)
Carroll (3)
02 Feb 15:00 Wigan Wigan 2 – 2 Southampton Southampton
Caldwell (3)
Schneiderlin (2)
Lambert (2)
02 Feb 17:30 Fulham Fulham 0 – 1 Man Utd Man Utd
03 Feb 13:30 West Brom West Brom 0 – 1 Tottenham Tottenham
03 Feb 16:00 Man City Man City 2 – 2 Liverpool Liverpool
Dzeko (2)
Aguero (3)

Still time to join the FantasyYirma mini-league!!

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GW17 – The Review.. by @shots_on_target

As per usual another great roundup from our Stat-tastic regular @Shots_on_target . Check out his site at



No real surprises here.  Rooney and Van Persie continue to dominate chances for the most attacking team in the league.  Sunderland did very well actually, beating the league average in the shot categories (green arrows).  Sessegnon looks back in the kind of form which saw him attract such attention last season.

Stoke are a tricky team to play against and took a large hammer to Everton’s recent form, limiting them to just one shot on target from Jelavic (not including Shawcross’s own goal). Everton did manage to get shots off in the box but this often suits Stoke’s physical defence.

Newcastle have really picked up through the season in an attacking sense, and have started generating lots of chances.  This of course is good news for Demba Ba who was doing well before hand anyway and got a goal here this week.  City are moving up the gears too and deserved their win, Aguero and Tevez forming the focal point of the attack with Silva back pulling the strings.

Liverpool were tactically outdone here.  Villa defended deep and in numbers and in Benteke and Weimann they have the power, pace and skill to do well on the counter-attack. Suarez continues to be the beating heart of Liverpool’s attack but it’s not an attack which can simply walk over a team like Villa who are playing well for Lambert now.

No shots on target for Swansea, and only 3 all day, compared to a quite massive 29 for Spurs.  I’m going to hazard a guess that Villas-Boas’s hugely successful tactical nous from his Porto’s days was not actually a fluke and all those nights playing Football Manager must have rubbed off.  There are a lot of great options in this side – Defoe and Adebayor and of course the returning Gareth Bale.  Vertonghen has been promising a good game (pointswise) for a while now too.

Contrary to popular belief QPR’s home form defensively is not too dissimilar to most team’s in the division and Redknapp’s switch to playing Taarabt higher up the pitch has perhaps released the shackles from the Moroccan. He still chose to hit all 7 of his shots from outside the penalty area and perhaps could be tagged as the the poor man’s Luis Suarez in this respect.  If so represents quite a FPL asset as a midfielder.  For Fulham, ‘Shots on Target’ favourite Bulgarian failed again to register a single shot, and despite QPR’s buoyancy under Redknapp this was a pretty woeful display for Martin Jol’s men.

Norwich’s fine form continues in a game in which they showed some guile to go with their grit.  Pilkington and Hoolahan, two players frequently flirted with in FPL last season, scored and assisted the goals.  The all round performance of Snodgrass stands out too.  Wigan’s chief hope of something was with Kone this week but nothing to get excited about.

Another resilient display can be chalked up on Sam Allardyce’s record as he grabbed a point for his team after a game devoid of a lot of creativity.  Carlton Cole is doing his best to lead the line for the Hammers in support of Nolan and the absence of Andy Carroll.  James Morrison’s return to the lineup for West Brom saw him back amongst the think of the action.

Monday night’s final match of the gameweek brought perhaps the most thrill and excitement and Arsenal, led by Santi Cazorla hat-trick put the sword into Reading.  Walcott’s inclusion ahead of Giroud will raise plenty of eyebrows and he had plenty of chances to score, as did Podolski.  Is this a case for Theo’s inclusion in the team as the main striker from now on, does he create space and openings for the other players to flourish that Giroud does not?  Or are Reading just warming up from the Championship?


Gameweek 17
15 Dec 12:45 Newcastle Newcastle 1 – 3 Man City Man City
15 Dec 15:00 Liverpool Liverpool 1 – 3 Aston Villa Aston Villa
Gerrard (2)
Benteke (3)
15 Dec 15:00 Man Utd Man Utd 3 – 1 Sunderland Sunderland
15 Dec 15:00 Norwich Norwich 2 – 1 Wigan Wigan
15 Dec 15:00 QPR QPR 2 – 1 Fulham Fulham
Taarabt (3)
Faurlin (2)
15 Dec 15:00 Stoke City Stoke City 1 – 1 Everton Everton
16 Dec 13:30 Tottenham Tottenham 1 – 0 Swansea Swansea
16 Dec 16:00 West Brom West Brom 0 – 0 West Ham West Ham
Myhill (2)
Brunt (2)
Cole (3)
17 Dec 20:00 Reading Reading v Arsenal Arsenal

Santi Cazorla (3)
Podolski (2)

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