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
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.
Here in Britain we love a good sporting underdog, someone we can get behind and support even in the face of tremendous adversity.
Examples include Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, a quite spectacularly bad ski jumper who competed at the 1988 Winter Olympics, as well as any number of British tennis players who have tried and failed to win Wimbledon over the years. If you’re lucky and you’ve plied them with just the right amount of alcohol, you can even get a supporter of one of Liverpool’s fierce rivals to admit that a hint of a smile crossed their face when Djimi Traore, Igor Biscan and the like were parading the European Cup around Istanbul after the Reds came back from the dead to beat AC Milan in 2005. They’ll later deny it of course.
All of those were one off, sometimes once in a lifetime moments though, but it seems as though we are a little less welcoming of our more regular underdogs.
Take Wigan Athletic, a club who have only been part of the league system in England for 34 years and come May will have spent the last eight of those years in the top flight. Theirs should be a heart-warming tale of the success of a locally-backed club from a town whose population could fit inside Wembley Stadium, but for many it isn’t.
Wigan ‘don’t deserve’ to be in the Premier League apparently, with their place supposedly blocking the path of other, ‘bigger’ clubs who haven’t produced the results, consistency or quality of football that the Latics have over their stay in the top flight.
Attendances at both home and away matches are often flagged up as one of the key reasons for this belief, with the latest example of it coming last Saturday when a low amount of Wigan fans made the trip to North London for what turned out to be a terrific 1-0 victory over Tottenham.
The same jokes were wheeled out as photographs of the away end at White Hart Lane did the rounds over social media, as fans of other clubs pointed out that they would of course have taken far more fans to such a big game, thereby proving that they were more deserving of a top flight place than Wigan. Jealousy could be detected in the words.
The fact that this was occurring just a couple of weeks after a survey into the price of football which led to many proposing a potential fan boycott of matches due to astronomical ticket prices was an irony apparently lost on many, but as Wigan received the same criticisms they always do off the pitch, on it Roberto Martinez and his team pulled off another spectacular result.
Last season it appeared certain that many football fans would get their wish to see Wigan return to ‘where they belong’ – perhaps to be replaced by the yo-yoing Birmingham or West Ham – but wins at Anfield, the Emirates Stadium and at home to Manchester United and Newcastle spectacularly turned that around, with this latest win at Tottenham coming off the back of a home victory over West Ham and really invigorating the campaign for Roberto Martinez and his men.
Since Wigan’s promotion to the Premier League in 2005 only the seven ever-presents in the 20 year history of the revamped league – namely Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham – as well as Fulham and Manchester City have managed to stick around in the top flight with them, with plenty of other clubs falling away, yo-yoing between the leagues or never coming back up.
The Latics have had their moments when they’ve looked like joining them of course, but the fact that they haven’t is a curiously uncelebrated underdog story which still continues; a diverse story which includes characters such as Paul Jewell, David Unsworth, Emile Heskey, Charles N’Zogbia, Hugo Rodallega and of course Martinez himself.
There might be other heroes this season – Ben Watson, Franco di Santo or Arouna Kone perhaps – but even if there isn’t then surely it is high time to acknowledge this story, and pay tribute to an underdog who can produce a pretty fierce bite.
Every dog has its day, and Wigan have had eight years’ worth of them.
Isn’t that achievement worth celebrating, no matter how many people are watching?