Saturday, January 13, 2018

Week 19: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

A battling performance in the IEFSA Cup against @TRKingston, but not enough points to score the upset. Oddly I was hanging in there in the tie until late on in the Liverpool game when Dejan Lovren assisted a Ragnor Klavan goal (both of these Defenders were @TRKingston players) against my Goalkeeper Nick Pope. That is two games in a row where Todd has got the better of my side.
As i said, if it wasn't for bad luck...

It’s back to IEFSA league action this weekend though, as I attempt to drag my side from the foot of the table. So, who has the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer saw fit to put my side up against this gameweek? Why its only third placed @RotoZdroik, who has already beaten me in gameweeks 3 and 10.

@RotoZdroik’s Team


The two highest scoring players on @RotoZdroik’s team have more goals between them than my whole squad. Both of them have nearly three times as many assists as my whole squad too. And to cap it off, they both cost less than five players in my squad. Leroy Sane of Manchester City in Midfield averages over 15 points per game. While up front, Manchester United Forward Romelu Lukaku is just back from injury and will hope to add to his ten league goals this season when he faces Stoke City on Monday night.
Lukaku back from injury, and back on the score sheet in the FA Cup

But even if those two players misfire this weekend, he can call on several other stalwarts to get him through the fixture. Hector Bellerin in Defence is a good accumulator of points. Steven Davis of Southampton in Midfield already has three goals to his name this season, as does Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson. In goals is Huddersfield’s Jonas Lossl, who has achieved seven clean sheets so far this season.


What I Need To Happen


It looks like @RotoZdroik will be able to get a full set of starters in his team and will be scoring points all over the field. My side on the other hand will be struggling once again this week. If Tammy Abraham, (my top scorer believe it or not) is absent this week, that will mean no scoring player for the Forward position. This will force me to look into the abyss of the unclaimed player pool for a goalscorer that everyone else has inexplicably passed by.
Will Joe Allen stay put, go to West Ham, or, retire and move to Celtic?

Mark Hughes has been shown the door at Stoke City. Hopefully this will free up the criminally underused Joe Allen. The Welshman has been a transfer target of West Ham United this January according to reports. Maybe a move to the Hammers would revitalise his fantasy scoring seeing as West Ham score more and concede less than the Potters. Wherever he ends up, his head better be right for Stokes vital clash against Manchester United this coming Monday.

Predictions


Only one from three for the IEFSA Cup games midweek. This was after a rather disappointing showing of five correct from nine during the last gameweek. Things are only going to get harder to predict as we enter squeaky bum time in the season. Remember to follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter for all the latest action.

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



Monday, January 1, 2018

IEFSA Fantasy League Cup Semi-Finals Preview

An expected loss to @TRKingston in the IEFSA Premier to round off 2017. It was perhaps closer than the 40-point loss indicates, and would have definitely been closer if Luka Milivojevic had converted his injury time penalty ending Manchester City’s unbeaten run. Todd had the highest score of the week and is still six points clear at the top of the table. My side on the other hand continue to sit on the bottom with half of the season gone. Star man Ibrahimovic also got himself injured and will be sent to the Injured Reserves. The second half of the season looks like it will be a tough slog to get players on the pitch every week, never mind getting the points needed to achieve safety.
If it wasn't for bad luck...

But let’s park all that negativity to one side for a few days as we dip back into our glorious cup run. We are at the semi-final stage now after putting @FantasyYIRMA to the sword last midweek. Hopefully my players can raise their game for one more herculean effort and give all their fans (fan?) something to cheer to start the new year. So, who has the IEFSA/Fantrax cup drawing machine pulled out of the hat for us this time?...

@TRKingston

OH!..............oh….

Of all the hot and cold balls rigged pre-recorded cup draws, this surely takes the biscuit. Unbelievable! The book of evidence of IEFSA/Fantrax bias against my side gets a little thicker.

@TRKingston’s Team


I’m pretty sure he has got the same side as two days ago. Only now he can call on in-form Marko Arnautovic. Even all of his players seem to be fully fit again, apart from Victor Wanyama, who has only featured in two games this season anyway. My only hope is that, because he had so many players figure prominently so recently, perhaps a few of them will be rested this time out.
Arnautovic has five goals in his last five games

What I Need To Happen


Rotation is probably more of a danger to my players though. And unluckily for me five of my squad don’t have a game until Tuesday. Do I leave a slot open in case Serge Aurier or Renato Sanches start for their sides? Joe Allen is one player who seems sure to start though. He was missing from the starting line-up in Stoke City’s last game as Mark Hughes used the full strength of his squad when getting hammered away to Chelsea. A home fixture against Newcastle is far more enticing, especially from a fantasy points perspective. Newcastle have only two wins and 10 goals away from home all season.
Someone pass Tom Ince the ball so he can get some points

Tom Ince is also one who could be in line for more minutes after he was substituted with only 55 minutes gone against Burnley on Saturday. Was he brought off with the coming game against Leicester in mind? In those 55 minutes he gained my team 1.8 points. I’m not sure what he did in those 55 minutes, as you pretty much get 1.8 points for togging out.

Predictions


We have already established that if my side was to win this week it would be a cup shock to rival Sutton beating Coventry or Wrexham beating Arsenal in the FA Cup; but let’s look at the other fixtures and see if we can predict the winners.
Who will get to lift the IEFSA Cup Trophy?


Two teams in the bottom half of the IEFSA Premier meet, hoping to kick-start a run of form to climb the table. @EPL_MOstradamus has two victories over @nikarg already this season and I expect him to make it three from three here. His forward line of Firmino, Depoitre, Benteke and Son, is just too strong at the moment.


Third in the Premier plays third in the Championship in this tie. @jforquer11 might have two more wins in the lower division but @RotoZdroik has scored 275 more fantasy points. @RotoZdroik will be missing Romelu Lukaku for this game, but I think he will have too much for his opponent, who has a side struggling with a number of injures and players in danger of being rested.


Second plays sixth in the Premier, with @wrigavin on a horrible slump that has seen him drop his last five league games. He will also be sweating on the fitness of Harry Kane. Even if the Tottenham striker plays against Swansea, I don’t envisage it being enough against the players at @FuzzyWarbles disposal this week. Aguero and Mane have two winnable fixtures with their sides, and if they start, you would fancy them to score.


Normal league action will be back in a few days. Until them, please follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter. Happy New Year and good luck everyone.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Week 18: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

Welcome to the last preview of 2017. And, thankfully we can sign off on a high note, as my rag-tag bunch actually followed up their defeat of @EPL_MOstradamus last weekend with a cup victory over @FantasyYIRMA in midweek. Two wins in a row is rare enough, but not as rare as a Tom Ince goal, which is what we had to thank for keeping our cup dream alive. The IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer has had enough of my team scraping victories and has decided that now is the time that we should play highest scorers and table toppers @TRKingston. Todd has scored a frankly ridiculous 750 more fantasy points than my side so far this season, and has won his last eight games while opening up a six point lead at the top of the IEFSA Premier. The last time we met @TRKingston walked away with the victory by twenty points. If the teams are even that close once again, I guess I can take it as some kind of moral victory.
Joyous scenes as we knock @FantasyYIRMA out of the cup

@TRKingston’s Team


In a rare bit of good luck, the West Ham and Spurs game has been moved to Thursday January 4th. This means I will be without Serge Aurier this week, but Todd will have to make do without his hottest player at the moment, Marko Arnautovic. The Forward has five goals in his last five games. This means @TRKingston will have to rely on Richarlison or Joselu up front. He could well play both if each of them make their teams starting lineups for what looks like two favourable fixtures. Joselu and Newcastle are at home to Brighton. While Richarlison of Watford (the more likely of the two to play) has a home game against bottom club Swansea.
Every time this happens, @TRKingston gets about twenty fantasy points

His midfield has a very heavy Manchester City influence. On a good day he could put three Sky Blue players into his starting line-up. Fernandinho, David Silva and Ilkay Gundogan have eight goals and 12 assists between them. The majority of these have come from Silva though and he is the only one who is an injury worry going into a game against Crystal Palace. In Defence he has another City player in Nicolas Otamendi, who he will probably pair up with two of the three Liverpool players in his squad, Matip, Lovren and Klavan.

What I Need To Happen


With facing so many Liverpool and Manchester City players this week, if both those sides could have a bad day at the office, or at least see a good chunk of their players rested and rotated, then I may have a fighting chance. Of course, I will need the players in my squad to play from the start for their clubs also. Unfortunately, the big signing of my squad looks to have wasted his opportunity to get some valuable minutes. Last time out Zlatan only lasted the first half of a game against Burnley. Even with the fixture pileup over the New Year, this looks to have been the big Swede’s last chance at getting into the Manchester United starting line-up.
Who'll get to the World Cup first? Steve Cook with England? Or Benik Afobe with DR Congo?

My search for goals will have to come from some unlikely sources to have any chance of victory this weekend. Tom Ince has finally gotten off the mark, so could this be the start of a run where he gets so many goals he propels himself into the England squad for the World Cup?? Speaking of the World Cup; What if Tammy Abraham also starts scoring so many goals that he will have to on the plane to Russia also! And what if Steve Cook started defending so well that…….. I think I need to lie down…..

Predictions


Five correct and four incorrect last weekend, which is an improvement on the week before, but nothing to get too excited about. The midweek cup fixtures saw two correct predictions from three games. I surely would have had a clean sweep if @FPL_MNOP had put in two goal ‘difference maker’ Jesse Lingard like I had told him! I’ll be hoping to improve on these figures this weekend. To follow all the action don’t forget to hop on over to Twitter and @THE_IEFSA. Here are this week’s predictions.

Good Luck Everyone.



Tuesday, December 26, 2017

IEFSA Fantasy League Cup Quarter Final Preview

My side comes into this midweek cup fixture high in confidence after defeating @EPL_MOstradamus in Gameweek 17. For once it wasn’t my side that was struggling to get numbers onto the pitch, and thanks to having an extra player earning points I came away with a 25-point victory. That win doesn’t move my battlers off the bottom of the table though, as both the sides in eight and ninth also won. The two of those sides are on a bit of a win streak, as the IEFSA/Fantrax computer proves itself to be trying to keep my side rooted to the table.
A Joe Allen goal and assist helped was crucial for all three points last weekend

The quarter finals of the IEFSA Cup has thrown up the following interesting fixtures.





Let’s have a look at each match-up.

@FPL_MNOP is the lowest ranked team still left in the competition, currently sitting in ninth in the IEFSA Championship. @nikarg is ninth in the IEFSA Premier and has one win more than his opponent this season, and has scored 140 more fantasy points. @nikarg will be relying on Eriksen and Mahrez, but @FPL_MNOP has the talents of Hazard and Wijnaldum in his team. He also has in-form Jesse Lingard. So, I’m going to back @FPL_MNOP to cause an upset here and reach the semi-finals.
Lingard could be the difference maker in this tie

@BenDinnery is top of the Championship and looking good for a promotion spot. He has been hit by injuries lately though, with both Ryan Bertrand and Wilfied Bony sidelined. He will have lean on the scoring of the West Ham United trio of Andy Carroll, Andre Ayew and Pedro Obiang. @wrigavin is currently in fifth in the IEFSA Premier but suffering through a four-game losing streak. He does have Harry Kane in his team though and with all the injuries to Ben’s side I expect @wrigavin to pick up the win.
Kane is chasing Shearer's goals record. How many this holiday season?

@jforquer11 is fifth in the IEFSA Championship with ten wins this season and is firmly in the hunt for promotion in what is a tightly contested league. He has lots of good players in his squad, but the problem he has is that many them are never assured of a starting spot for their teams. Willian has featured in 19 games this season but only for 967 minutes. Anthony Martial has 815 minutes in 18 games. While Bernardo Silva of Manchester City has only 480 minutes in 17 appearances. @jwl_15 (fourth in the Premier) has the same issue, with Okazaki, Gabbiadini and Mkhitaryan not getting as many minutes as he’d like. Looking at this weekend’s fixtures, I would give @jforquer11 the nod in this one, but only just.
If Okazaki plays he could win it for @jwl_15

My side and @FantasyYIRMA feature in the only all IEFSA Premier clash. (further proof of a bias against my side?) YIRMA is lying in fifth in the table with seven wins. He has also scored almost 400 Fantasy Points more than my side this season so far. He has the strongest side left in the cup. In fact, he really should be higher up in the league table with the squad he has! Rooney and Vardy have 18 goals between them. In Midfield he has Mesut Ozil, Ashley Young and Dele Alli. A group that has 10 goals and 12 assists between them. In reality, @FantasyYIRMA should walk this one. But being the cup….. you never know….
Jamie Vardy scores against Manchester United at the weekend


Good Luck Everyone, and Happy New Year wherever you happen to be celebrating it.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Week 17: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

The IEFSA Fantasy League on Fantrax lets you use one goalkeeper and eight outfield players in any given gameweek. So, imagine me rubbing my hands after the early game of Gameweek 16 when my bitter rival @TAMc10 started off by shipping three goals against his goalkeeper and getting a red card in the shape of Wilfred Ndidi. I smelt blood in the water, and swiftly moved to make sure I had enough players playing to scrape together the 90 odd points I was sure I needed for victory. In came Alex Iwobi and out when Gareth Barry (Barry scored a goal against Manchester United); Ciaran Clark of Newcastle was sent packing and in came Sebastian Prodl of Watford (Clark as I guessed, didn’t play. Prodl shipped four goals at home to Huddersfield). Prodl was joining his Watford teammate Kabasele at the back, and my trio of defenders was completed by Steve Cook of Bournemouth. The Cherries let in four goals against Liverpool, though mercifully Cook was only on the field for one of those. Two more of my players didn’t get any minutes and I slumped to an embarrassing fifty-point defeat.
Barry scores, but not for my side

This week the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer has me facing @EPL_MOstradamus, one of the few sides I can claim a victory over earlier in the season. He also lost last time out, but with a score that would have comfortably beaten my side. It looks like he will be out to exact revenge.

@EPL_MOstradamus’s Team


His three highest scorers face tricky away ties this week, which means I may have a slight chance! Roberto Firmino goes to Arsenal who have one of the best home records in the league. Charlie Daniels will have to head to Man City, who have the best overall record in the league. While Heung-Min Son faces a trip to high flying Burnley.
Firmino could outscore my whole side 

My side has 11 goals to @EPL_MOstradmus’s 22. As I always say, goals win games. I’ll be hoping that his in-form players have a bit of an off week, while I can perhaps sneak one in off of Tammy Abraham’s elbow or something. His side have also registered 21 assists, compared to my sides paltry four.

What I Need To Happen


Iwobi was actually one of my highest scoring players last week, so perhaps he can keep his place against Liverpool on Friday night. Although if he spent the whole game shadowing Firmino, I wouldn’t be against that. Steve Cook will be looking to regain his place for Bournemouth meaning I can perhaps drop Prodl and go searching to bolster a different part of the team. Watford seem to be on a downward slide at the moment and I wouldn’t fancy them to keep a clean sheet. Maybe I should look to offload Christian Kabasele also!
Iwobi will find the Liverpool Midfield more of a handful this week

Zlatan scored in the league cup midweek, and I am desperate in my need for him to stamp his authority on the league side. Manchester United play Leicester City in the late game on Saturday. And when I say late, I mean late. It will kick off at 7:45. Which is a ridiculous time for all us sushi and prawn sandwich eating fans forced to get up at four am to watch it!

Predictions


Only four correct predictions last week as the ‘crazy’ Christmas fixtures play havoc with sides and therefore my normally sage-like predictions. With all the fixtures coming thick and fast, there are also midweek games which means the IEFSA Cup comes around again. It’s the quarter finals and my side will play @FantasyYIRMA, but more on that in a post during the week. Please follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to keep track of every match-ups' scores.

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



Saturday, December 16, 2017

Week 16: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

Sometimes you ride your luck a little bit, you get the rub of the green, the bounce of the ball, and no amount of IEFSA/Fantrax ‘scoring’ can prevent an upset victory. One such victory occurred last weekend when my side topped the high flying @FuzzyWarbles by a score of 105.3 – 102.6. I had clung onto the lead going into the Manchester Derby on Sunday, knowing I had one player to play (whoever might take the field out of Zlatan, Rojo and Lindelof. It was Rojo who started), yet @FuzzyWarbles still had Aguero to play. But the skillful Argentinian was sitting on the City bench. As the game was going on, Rojo was booked and taken off injured at half time. My lead was slim. If Aguero was summoned to the fray I was surely looking at defeat. City were always in the lead though and were never chasing the game which might have improved the chances of Aguero seeing some action. Ninety minutes came and went, Aguero went unused, and the three points were mine.
Aguero has often sat out the easier games this season

I don’t have time to celebrate that victory though as my team will be thrown straight in against @TAMc10 in a fierce relegation six-pointer. Both our sides have four wins and twelve points. The only thing separating our sides at the moment is fantasy points scored. Oh and @nikarg in ninth place. The last time we faced each other was in Gameweek nine, where @TAMc10 beat my side by over 70 points! I’ll be hoping for something closer this weekend.

@TAMc10’s Team

An Alexis Sanchez goal and assist, as well as a Shane Duffy clean sheet, did the damage that day. He will be hoping for more of the same, Sanchez plays against Newcastle at home and Duffy hosts low scorers Burnley. He can also call on the return recently of Forward Callum Wilson of Bournemouth. The Cherries entertain Liverpool on Sunday, and Klopp’s side have been known to leak the odd goal or two when playing away from home. @TAMc10 may be streets ahead come Sunday though. In fact, he could be out of sight by the time the Saturday three o’clock kick-offs are in view.
If Duffy scores against Pope, @TAMc10 is almost assured of three points

The early kick-off is between Leicester City and Crystal Palace. Normally I would have the ever-reliable Luka Milivojevic in my side, but after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season, he will be suspended for this game. That leaves Tate with two players playing where he can build up a sizable lead. Under the right conditions of course. Kasper Schmeichel will be keeping goal, averaging nearly 17 points per game. While Wilfred Ndidi will be bossing the Midfield scoring an average of over 13 points per game. I expect to be 30 points down before my first player has even laced up his boots.

What I Need To Happen


I need Palace to halt this winning streak that Leicester have been on lately and come away with a victory. Yes, it looks again like I will have to hope that my opponent has a bad day at the office rather than that my players will run up an unbeatable score. The vast chunk of my players are playing with sides struggling in the bottom half of the table, and if they are not, they are not an automatic choice to get into their teams starting eleven. Now would be a good time for managers to start rotating their squads for the busy Christmas New Years games. Fingers crossed some of my squad get rotated into teams, rather than out.
Sanchez is due a good game. Please be due a good game!

If I am within spitting distance of @TAMc10 after Saturdays and Sundays games, I could have three players gaining me points in the Monday night fixture between Swansea and Everton. This includes my top scorer, 4 goals, in Tammy Abraham. My top Fantasy Points scoring player is my Goalkeeper Nick Pope. The Burnley stopper has kept seven clean sheets, and if he can do so again against Brighton, then my side may have a fighting chance.

Predictions


Seven from nine last weekend in what was a very entertaining round. @nikarg scored a week high 164 points, which got him the win and kept my side on the bottom of the table.  I only managed to correctly prediction one of the four midweek cup ties. So, the less said about that the better. The magic of the cup eh?

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



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.