Saturday, December 9, 2017

Week 15: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18


After a win that briefly lifted my side off the bottom of the table in Gameweek 12, following by an agonising late defeat in Gameweek 13; last week saw my side well beaten by @jwl_15 and a return to the bottom of the table. Even if I had rejigged my side to a full complement of outfield players, I still would have been soundly defeated. The only way is up from here, if only my players could grasp the initiative and perhaps get in the starting line-ups for their clubs.

This week the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer really wants my side to suffer as they have pitted me against @FuzzyWarbles. Steve is only kept from the top of the table by virtue of Fantasy Points scored, and has only tasted defeat twice this season. Our previous encounter saw my side lose by over 65 points. I’m not saying that if I were to win this weekend it would be the greatest upset in IEFSA Fantasy League History. But it would be in the top one.

@FuzzyWarbles's Team


Let’s see who we are due to face this week then…..


Oh…..


Ummmm, I’ve seen enough.

Moving on…

What I Need To Happen


I could stay glued to the Twitter feed of @BenDinnery and see if any of my squad actually get a game this festive season. Or, I could just pray that the FA and the authorities err on the side of caution and call off a few games that involve @FuzzyWarbles’s players.


Predictions


@TRKingston won the top of the table clash last week thanks to both of his Manchester City players, Otamendi and David Silva, scoring both of City’s goals in a 2-1 win. This week he will face fourth placed @wrigavin. To keep track of these and more (or just to hurl abuse) please follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter.

Only four correct predictions out of nine last week, as teams battled for precious points coming into this busy new year’s season. Here are this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone.



The IEFSA Cup has reaced round two and it will be played this coming midweek. Here are those predictions.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Week 14: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

Last week my side's unbeaten run, if you could call it a run, was brought to a screeching halt by @wrigavin with goals from Harry Kane and Xerdan Shaqiri. My side didn’t manage to find the net, but they were still a Nick Pope penalty save away from victory. A penalty save which didn’t materialize as Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez scored and condemned my side to an eight-point loss. @wrigavin stays in the top four while I’m still second from bottom.
If you're thinking,encroachment. Should be retaken! You're right. But there's a conspiracy against my side!

This week my team is up against a side which beat them handily back in gameweek four. @jwl_15 suffered a cruel 0.2 point defeat last weekend at the hands of @RotoZdroik. (scoring 33 points more than my side in that loss by the way) So this week he will be hurting and determined to get back to winning ways as he attempts to climb into the top 2 in the table.

@jwl_15’s Team


His two highest scoring outfield players will be facing each other this week in Aaron Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Ramsey has three goals and five assists on the season so far, while Mkhitaryan has one goal and five assists. He also has Jesse Lingard in that Arsenal versus Manchester United fixture. The midfielder scored his first league goal of the season against Watford in midweek. Ramsey is his joint top scorer with those three goals. Also sitting on three goals for Jake are Manolo Gabbiadini of Southampton and Mame Biram Diouf of Stoke City.
I'm not sure how many points this is in the IEFSA/Fantrax scoring system.

It’s actually between the sticks where @jwl_15 gets a good percentage of his points each week. Swansea’s Lukasz Fabianski may have only five clean sheets in fourteen, with sixteen goals conceded, but he has racked up 60 saves and averages over twenty points a game. Swansea travel to Stoke on Saturday. At least if Diouf finds the net it will take points away from the Swans goalkeeper. Other players who chip in with points for @jwl_15 are Jordan Henderson of Liverpool (over 14 points per game) and Harry Maguire at Leicester City (who also averages over 14 points per game).


What I Need To Happen


While it is good to see Victor Lindelof getting starts and seeming settling into the Man Utd side, I would prefer if he kept more clean sheets. Also returning to the United backline was Marcos Rojo after a long injury absence. Do I risk playing both in a game away to in-form Arsenal? That decision may well be made for me depending on which eleven Jose Mourinho chooses to play in the Saturday night game. Hopefully Jose does indeed decide to finally start a game with Zlatan up front though. The big man could well be my best hope of victory (Hell, he could be the only think keeping me from relegation!)
Jose hopefully telling Rojo to keep his head and not get booked.

The Defence was a bit of a sore point last weekend. Ciaran Clark and Michael Keane both saw three goals fly in behind them as they combined for 16.3 points. On the bench was Watford’s Christian Kabasele, who thanks to a clean sheet scored nearly 25 points. A total, which if he had played instead of either Clark or Keane, would have secured victory for my side. With Keane now injured, and the uncertainty around starts for Lindelof and Serge Aurier of Spurs. I will probably be forced to just play any player who starts for their club regardless of fixture.

Predictions


Lots of tight games going against me saw my predictions slip to only four from nine last weekend. But if you factor in the midweek cup games, I actually had a respectable seven from thirteen. The tie of the gameweek in @THE_IEFSA is surely the clash of the top two in the Primary League. @FuzzyWarbles is three points ahead of @TRKingston and is looking to gain his tenth win in a row. He will be tough to stop.

Here are this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone.



Friday, November 24, 2017

Week 13: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

So you’re telling me there’s a chance!

Despite having the lowest scoring squad of players in the league (Primary League, @nealjthurman has scored fewer in the Secondary League. Sorry for that mention Neal), a win over @nikarg in Gameweek 12 has shot my side up one place to ninth in the table. Another Nick Pope clean sheet went a long way to gaining the three points. But we all know how I achieved the victory! The return of Zlatan froze the star players on @nikarg’s team into a below average week. And he didn’t even have to get off my injured reserve list!
Zlatan has the knees of a Lion. But the smile of a Cheshire cat

Ibrahimovic will probably be needed this week though, as the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer sees fit to throw my rebounding side against fourth place @wrigavin. A team who in our previous encounter ran away easy thirty-point winners. If I am to fit Zlatan in this week though, I will have to send someone back to Free Agency. Will @wrigavin be as quick to snap up Gareth Barry, as he was Jonjo Shelvey??

@wrigavin’s Team


Harry Kane has not scored in the Premier League since October 22nd. @wrigavin, (and I’m sure IEFSA/Fantrax!) will be hoping he can end that poor run of form this weekend against West Brom. This barren patch for the striker coincides with Gavin dropping two of his last three games. Kane averages over 20 points per game for Gavin, and behind the England striker, who did score midweek in the Champions League by the way, is another Spurs player; Davinson Sanchez, who averages over 16 points per game.
Kane scores in the Champions League against Dortmund. Or the German Norwich City if you will

Looking elsewhere for points on @wrigavin’s team, the Liverpool goalkeeper, Simon Mignolet has kept three clean sheets in a row at home. This week he is up against Chelsea though, but if he does keep a clean sheet, he will surely be made to work for it. The second top scorer on @wrigavin’s team is Stoke’s Xherdan Shaqiri with two goals. Stoke City travel to bottom of the table Crystal Palace on Saturday at three o’clock. Shaqiri also has five assists on the season. Though who he’s assisting on the Stoke team I’ll never know. They were probably all for Peter Crouch.

What I Need To Happen


Just give Zlatan the ball. The big Swede will surely make mincemeat of the Brighton defence. The Seagulls haven’t beaten Manchester United since 1981, back when Moses was parting defences. I’m going to make a bold prediction and say the newly promoted side won’t be adding to that win from the eighties on Saturday. In other good Man Utd news for my squad. Marcos Rojo has returned from injury, and Victor Lindelof is getting into the first team. He’s falling over and giving away goals, but it’s a start!
Lindelof settles down to the perfect view of Dwight Gayle's opening goal

In fact, most of my squad now is returning from injury. It’s very refreshing to be able to change around players rather than being worried if it’s even possible to get eight outfield players scoring points. The only injury concern this week (so far) is Swansea’s Tammy Abraham. The young forward has been rated as 50/50 by his manager to start this weekend against Bournemouth. Another who has been absent from his side’s first team recently has been Newcastle’s Ciaran Clark. But with Lascelles injured at the moment, the Irishman should slot into the Toon backline for the visit of Watford.

Predictions


Only @wrigavin and @RotoWireAndrew let me down after I tipped them to win last week. Seven from nine is still a respectable score though.  Please follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to see how my side is fairing. Don’t forget that the gameweek starts on Friday night with Leicester traveling to West Ham for David Moyes first home game in charge.

This midweek will also see the first round of the IEFSA Cup, as eight teams battle it out for a place in the last 16.

Here are this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone.



IEFSA Cup


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Week 12: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

Young, Alli, Bong, @FantasyYIRMA, your boys took a hell of a beating! Burnley and Bournemouth were the architects of your downfall; a Steve Cook winner and a Nick Pope clean sheet were your undoing. How does it feel? How does it feel when Gareth Barry does a whole lot of nothing, except get booked, and gets more points than your Vardys and your Rooneys and your Ozils. How does it feel?????
Only one Cook needed to spoil Newcastle's day

This was my side’s second victory of the season. The first victory strangely enough also came before an international break. Perhaps my players up their games in order to cement places for their countries at the very highest level of competition. If this is true, the next international break can’t come soon enough. *checks fixtures* The next international break is in March…. Bugger. I’m not sure how the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture compiler swung that one, but it’s surely just further proof of the uphill struggles my side must face. And struggle it will, as this week sees a fixture against @nikarg, the only other side with two wins to his name. This is surely the match-upnic of the weekend. Nik has been eyeing up this fixture for a while now. So much so, that he has lost his last nine games in a row in preparation.

@nikarg’s Team


We last met in Gameweek 1, where Nik picked up the victory thanks to two Christian Eriksen assists. It’s hard to believe but Eriksen has not provided an assist since then and he scored almost a fifth of his season’s total points in that opening game. The Dane is coming into the North London Derby in great form though, having scored three goals midweek against Ireland in the World Cup playoffs. Arsenal’s defence are not going to be as generous as the Irish were in Dublin though.
Christian Eriksen ran riot midweek. (also pictured, Ireland's answer to Eriksen; Aiden McGeady)

The rest of @nikarg’s players, apart from perhaps Riyad Mahrez, will have somewhat favourable fixtures this weekend. Sam Vokes at Forward will face Swansea at home. He could also rotate in Defoe or Chicharito who are playing Huddersfield and Watford respectively. That’s providing either of them start for their clubs. Andros Townsend in Midfield will be up against Everton on Saturday. The Toffees haven’t kept a clean sheet since the opening day of the season. Unless you count a game against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup in September, but no one counts a game against Sunderland! At the back he has Scott Dann of Palace, and a couple of players who face off on Monday night. Lewis Dunk and Ryan Shawcross both average over 15 points a game. If @nikarg is behind in our match-up going into this Monday night fixture, just watch as Brighton and Stoke play out a nil all draw.


What I Need To Happen


I have no less than five players who will be sweating over late fitness tests and are basically game-time decisions for their managers. But….. But….. if the stars align for my side, then this man is back…
 
Zlatan is back. Quick, everyone look busy!
You may as well hand that IEFSA Primary League Trophy over to me now if Zlatan returns this week. He inspired his own nation Sweden into knocking out Italy in the World Cup Playoffs and he didn’t even have to play! Everyone had an eleven-week head start, but playtime is over. Manchester United play Newcastle United at home in the evening kick-off on Saturday. Zlatan could well be the Premier League’s top scorer come Saturday night.


Predictions


Six correct predictions last gameweek, as several tight fixtures went against me. There is no doubt as to the tie of the round this week, it’s my side against @nikarg. While the Secondary League has a rather intriguing set of fixtures because the top four all play each other. Remember to follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to keep abreast of the goings on in the league. Here are this week’s predictions.

Good Luck Everyone



Saturday, November 4, 2017

Week 11: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

For all those following @THE_IEFSA on Twitter, you will have seen a brief rundown of how all the teams in the league are doing with a third of the season completed. My side was encouraged to find some attacking talent in order to improve. But do they not see that I have Swansea’s top scorer Tammy Abraham in my team! I also have Crystal Palace’s second highest scorer of the season! Milivojevic has 33% of all Palace’s goals this season. In addition to all this, in Ciaran Clark, my side also boasts Newcastle United’s joint third top scorer! So, with that slightly optimist take on how my squad is doing, let’s check in on who they face this gameweek.
You asked for goals.. step forward Tammy Abraham

Ooooh it’s @FantasyYIRMA. A side that was described in @THE_IEFSA recap as a Top 2 side languishing with a 5 - 5 record. A side that is sure to climb the table soon. To make sure this prediction sticks, the biased IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer pits him against my side this weekend. YIRMA has won his last three fixtures after a run of three defeats. Those defeats were to sides that had to post the highest points totals that gameweek in order to get the win. If my side has to have any chance, it looks like they will have to score more points than they have ever scored before!

@FantasyYIRMA’s Team


His side has scored 21 goals, spread across eight players. Top scorer Jamie Vardy has six, and Wayne Rooney has four. If needed, he could also call on Daniel Sturridge in the Forward position. With Rooney missing out on the Europa League game on Wednesday, he should be fresh for the fixture against Watford. It’s then up to @FantasyYIRMA to play Vardy or Sturridge away to Stoke or West Ham respectively. In Midfield most of the goals have come from Tottenham’s Dele Alli, who has contributed three. Mesut Ozil has chipped in with one, and Robbie Brady has only contributed one assist but does average nearly 12 points per game.
FantasyYIRMA has a Vardy party most weeks

His highest scorer though has been his goalkeeper David De Gea. In fact, it was largely thanks to    De Gea in Gameweek 2 that YIRMA managed to get one over my team by a measly five points. The Spaniard averages over twenty points a game and has kept eight clean sheets in ten games. In front of De Gea, @FantasyYIRMA has a back-line that are no strangers to finding the net. Nacho Monreal has two goals this season, as has Jamaal Lascelles. Jonny Evans is the man bringing up the rear at the back, with only one. That came from his only shot on target this season. Evans is probably as deadly as Sergio Aguero, if only Tony Pulis would take the handbrake off his team.

What I Need To Happen


Nick Pope has been on a one-man mission to keep the scores of these matchups respectable of late. Last weekend he scored over 30 points, meaning my side only lost by 20 points to @RotoZdroik. Did I mention my side also got their second highest total of the season in Gameweek 10 too. Things really are looking bleak. If goals are needed, Zlatan Ibrahimovic can’t return soon enough to guide my side to safety. Seeing as this weekend won’t see the return of the Swede, Tammy Abraham will have to be the one who scores the goals that fire my side to victory. The youngster will be up against Brighton at three o’clock on Saturday. The Seagullls against the Swans is one of the highlights of the Premier League and Bird Watching Magazine calendars.
A battle as old as time.... but who will win this weekend?

My side is facing another injury crisis. Micheal Keane is still side-lined for Everton with a foot injury. Renato Sanches is nursing a thigh injury and the game against Brighton is perhaps too soon for him. Ciaran Clark is still waiting on a recall to the Newcastle side, meaning it looks like I will struggle to get three defenders onto the field this weekend. Without a full roster playing, I will just be cannon fodder to the big guns of @FantasyYIRMA, which will delight the Fantrax computer no end!

Predictions


Two predictions wrong last weekend, as ruining the slate were @BenDinnery and (of course) @FantasyYIRMA getting big wins. This weekend in the tie of the round my previous weeks conqueror @RotoZdroik will get the opportunity to upset table toppers @FuzzyWarbles, and a chance to prove he didn’t just raise his game against my side!

Here are this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone.



Saturday, October 28, 2017

Week 10: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

The lowest score in the IEFSA Primary League last weekend leaves my side looking up from the bottom of the table. My opponent @TAMc10 scored a rather good 161 points. Not the highest score of the week (that honour went to @jwl_15) but good enough to move him up to eighth place.


This gameweek the clear prejudice from the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer against my side continues, as I must face @RotoZdroik. Last weekend he lost a tight high scoring encounter, that surely must leave him a bit sore. I did score one of my highest scores of the season against @RotoZdroik in Gameweek 3, in a game I lost. My side has only managed to outscore Adam’s in one week so far this season. With this in mind, let’s look in on how my team is preparing for this match-up…


@RotoZdroik’s Team


A below par Sigurdsson performance cost Adam the win last week. The Icelander and his Everton side should have an easier time of things against Leicester on Sunday. They surely can’t ship five goals again can they? Now that Ronald Koeman has been shown the door at Goodison, Gylfi Sigurdsson might be deployed in his favourite position for a change, which would help @RotoZdroik. Another Everton player in his squad is Idrissa Gueye. The Senegalese midfielder was red carded last weekend but served his suspension in midweek and is available again. To complete his set of Toffees, we have Phil Jagielka at the back. With David Unsworth selecting the side at the moment, you would believe that Everton should improve at the back in the coming weeks.

"I heard Pep call us 'that Romelu Lukaku team'"    "I'll show him!"

The biggest providers of points for this side are from his top goal scoring Forward, his Midfield, and the man in goals. Between the sticks is Huddersfield’s Jonas Lossl, who averages over 17 points per game, Midfield trio of Steven Davis, Leroy Sane and Mario Lemina average double figures every game, while Forward Romelu Lukaku (thanks to his seven goals this season) averages over 18 points per game.

What I Need To Happen


If Lukaku can be shackled by the Spurs defence at Old Trafford in the early kick off that would be a great start for my side. If Serge Aurier found himself on the Spurs team-sheet too that would be fantastic! The rest of my Defence have tough fixtures this week. Michael Keane must head to Leicester. While Steve Cook, if he can get back in the Bournemouth team, hosts a free scoring Chelsea side.

Let’s pretend I give myself some hope this week with a full set of players starting for their clubs. To be able to give @RotoZdroik at least a token contest, I will need to score some goals. My top scorer Tammy Abraham is maddeningly inconsistent, but has to head to an Arsenal side who are no strangers to inconsistency. Maybe this could be the week they get plunged back into crisis on the back of a Swansea win and an Abraham hat-trick?
I'm dressing up as Tony Pulis this halloween


Predictions


A diabolical three from nine predictions last weekend, as a number of teams turned over their more fancied rivals. This Gameweek should be just as tough to call, with the game of the round being third and fourth (@jasonuk17  - @RotoWireAndrew) facing off in the Secondary League. To follow all the action, make sure you are tuned in to @THE_IEFSA and @GarryIrwin on Twitter.

Here are this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone and Happy Halloween.



Saturday, October 21, 2017

Week 9: IEFSA Fantasy League 2017/18 Preview

My side achieved their highest points total of the season in Gameweek 8, but unfortunately ran into the team who posted the highest total of the round in @TRKingston. That defeat leaves my side bottom of the table with only one win in eight games. There were a few silver linings in that defeat though. Tammy Abraham netted a brace in a Swansea win over Huddersfield, while Nick Pope kept up his good form with over twenty points against West Ham. The writing was on the wall for my side though when Ciaran Clark didn’t make the Newcastle line-up and I was forced to play with a man short.
Probably harder to miss from there. But they all count.

This week the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer has thrown up a very interesting match-up. My side will be playing the side directly above them. The only thing separating our sides are points scored. And while I would have beaten his side last weekend, he has outscored me every other Gameweek apart from the opening weekend. For the winner, a chance at perhaps climbing up to eighth in the table. For the loser, rock bottom, and a long season ahead. Which side am I playing you ask…

@TAMc10’s Team


A number of fresh injury and rotation worries for @TAMc10 going into this Gameweek. But perhaps the return of both Alexis Sanchez and Shinji Okazaki are imminent, as each of their sides look to bounce back from disappointing results. Shane Duffy went off inured in Brighton’s last game, and with them playing Friday night against West Ham, maybe it’s too soon for his return. Either way, @TAMc10 will know in plenty of time in order to reshuffle his pack and perhaps bring in Laurent Koscielny if needed. It would be a particular blow for Tate if Duffy was to miss out as he has been his highest scorer this season.
The Leicester players get a second manager sacked in two seasons

@TAMc10 could field a whole side of players with fixtures away from home. The only players on his roster who would benefit from some home comforts would be Atsu at Newcastle and Sandro at Everton. With Atsu the more likely of the two to get into the starting lineup. Tate could call on Mark Noble on Friday night too. The West Ham midfielder actually has a higher points per game average than Atsu. If he is put in the Friday night starting eleven for West Ham, that’s definitely something for @TAMc10 to ponder over. In goals will be the Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel. The Foxes have not been enjoying the best start to the season, and just sacked their manager, but the Dane still averages over 17 points per game. Leicester will be traveling to Wales to face Swansea on Saturday, putting Schmeichel in direct opposition to my Forward Tammy Abraham.


What I Need To Happen


I will need Abraham to continue his goal scoring exploits, as he looks like the only player capable of finding the net in my squad at the moment. My second top scorer, Ciaran Clark, should earn a recall to the Newcastle defence, and I’m basing that on nothing more than the fact they let in two goals from Manolo Gabbiadini last time out. My next biggest goal threat is Joe Allen, who has registered one assist this season. He looks to be returning from his head injury suffered during the international break, and his Stoke side badly need him after they were mauled by Man City in his absence last weekend.
Nick Pope recently signed a new three year deal with Burnley.

As mentioned, Nick Pope has been a bright spot over the last number of weeks, as Burnley are flying high in seventh. The Clarets have only lost one game and conceded six goals in the first eight games. Unfortunately, it looks like that run will end abruptly with a trip to Manchester City this weekend. City scored seven in their last game and could have Sergio Aquero returning to their side to boot. I may have to lean on my defence for points this week if the goals dry up. Serge Aurier is back from suspension for Tottenham which could help. (Though I wouldn’t hold my breath on him getting back in the Spurs first team right away)

Predictions


The only thing ruining a perfect round of predictions last weekend was a tie game. A tie game!! @jasonuk17 and @SportsByGotti couldn’t be separated, probably in an effort just to spite me. I wouldn’t put it beyond either of them! Remember to follow this week’s games, keep tabs @THE_IEFSA on Twitter and also @GarryIrwin for a closeup look of a fantasy managers slow mental breakdown.

Here’s this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone.