Friday, October 30, 2015

IEFSA Fantasy League Week 11 Preview

An Andre Ayew goal helped seal another win for me last week. That was my second win on the trot but I’m still sitting in a lowly 11th place, nine points off the top. A points total of 55.7 was the third highest of the week and helped me overcome @BenDinnery. I will need a similar score this week as I face 4th placed @FuzzyWarbles. His team averages 54.6 points a week, so I’m definitely going to need some goals to have a chance in this matchup.

@FuzzyWarbles could go top with a big win, while I could jump into the top 7 if results go my way. The league table gets tighter by the week; only three points separate the top 5. No one has a winning run of more than three games, and previous top dog @DanRiccio590 has only gone and lost two games in a row.

@FuzzyWarbles Team

@FuzzyWarbles' only injury concern is David Silva who will be out with an ankle injury. But he has more than capable back-ups in midfield. He can call on Mane and Mata, both players average over eight points a game and have six goals and seven assists between them. They also have games against sides who have been leaking goals lately. Further upfield he can call on one , or more likely two, of any of his four forward players. Between Mitrovic, Rondon, Diouf and Gomis he has 11 goals, in contrast my three forward players have only managed three goals this season.

In goals he has the dependable Hugo Lloris of Spurs. Four clean sheets so far this season, and the chance of another at home to an all at sea Aston Villa side this weekend. His back line now includes some players who have just broken into their respective sides, so dangerously they are in good form. Otamendi should be in the Man City side that host Norwich City on Saturday. Marcos Rojo should also feature for Manchester United as they travel to Crystal Palace. With Jagielka injured his third defender will be Leicester’s Robert Huth. Huth has played every minute of every game so far this season and that sequence should continue away to West Brom this weekend.

What I Need To Happen

I need Jürgen Klopp to wait at least another week for his first Premier League win. Chelsea host Liverpool in the weekends early kickoff as Begovic will attempt to keep only a third clean sheet. A nil-all draw would suit my side as I also have Moreno at the back for Liverpool. Speaking of nil-all draws, if that was the result between Watford and West Ham I’d be pretty happy, because I have a defender from each side in that match.
Can Andre Ayew continue his goalscoring form against Arsenal?
I have two players facing each other in midfield too, but I’ll be looking for goals between Newcastle and Stoke, with the goals to come from Wijnaldum and Arnautovic in particular. My top scorer Ayew plays at home to Arsenal, a tough match but he has the class to trouble the Gunners I feel.  Depay picked up a knock in midweek during a league cup tie, so he may not play (he probably wouldn’t have played anyway!), this means Schweinsteiger will start for my side, but he will have to improve on his 2.47 points per game. Making up the remaining spots on my roster will be difficult because I have three Villa players (I know, I know, I know!!) and they will play on Monday night, because of this I’ll try and keep one spot free for a Villa midfielder to play, I’m hoping I won’t have to call on all three of them.


5 from 7 in the predictions again last weekend. Let’s try for the full set this week. But as I’ve mentioned the league seems to get tighter by the week and predicting winners will get tighter as a result. Remember to follow all these guys on Twitter and to follow @THE_IEFSA too so you can keep up with all the scores in the matchups as they happen.

Good Luck Everybody.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

IEFSA Fantasy League Week 10 Preview

I’ll admit, I was a little worried going into last week’s match-up, but thanks to a Wijnaldum four goal haul, I managed to win with something to spare. If the Newcastle player had not posted any points last week, I still would have got the win against @FantasyYIRMA though. The thing is, I can’t exactly be relying on that to happen each and every gameweek. Some of my other players will have to contribute too. So I find myself worrying this week yet again. Memphis Depay didn’t get a single minute of game time against Everton and only got ten minutes in Man Utd’s midweek Champions League game. Will LVG throw him back in for the Manchester derby? That game is on Sunday, so I may just keep one roster spot for my two Man Utd players, Memphis and Schweinsteiger, and hope at least one of them starts.
This week I face @BenDinnery. Despite the victory in Gameweek 9, my side still sit in 12th place. One place below me is Ben’s team, with two victories from nine games. Even though I have twice the number of wins, I’ve only managed to score 8.5pts more than him so far this season. Clearly he has had the tougher set of fixtures (until now!) to deal with.

@BenDinnery’s Team

Ben splashed out the big bucks to land Diego Costa and he will be hoping he continues scoring with a game away to West Ham this weekend. His other forward option isn’t too shabby either in West Brom’s Saido Berahino. Between the sticks he has the Newcastle goalkeeper, and with Tim Krul injured for the foreseeable future, that means Robert Elliot holding the fort. Newcastle concedes just over two goals a game on average and head into the Tyne-Wear derby on Sunday at noon. That is a game where anything could happen.
In Midfield he has three solid players who start every game for their respective clubs. Howson, Noble and M’Vila have scored or assisted in eight goals this season. They all play at home this weekend too, so Ben will be expecting some points there surely. At the back his standout player has been Man City’s Kolarov. The other players who will make up his three at the back are Skrtel, Van Dijk and Hangeland. Liverpool and Southampton play each other so he may choose one or the other. But Hangeland may lose his place to a fit again Delaney for Palace, so Ben may have to play both at Anfield.

What I Need To Happen

Memphis to somehow find his way back into Van Gaal’s good graces and back onto the team sheet. Maybe he has got the kick up the backside he needed after sitting out the last number of games. But I wouldn’t hold my breath on that. If (when?) he doesn’t play I’ll need goals from my midfield. Arnautovic has been on form for Stoke recently as they won three games in a row. At home to Watford is a good chance to extend that run.
Tim Sherwood is not afraid of losing, in fact he's quite good at it!
I still have three Aston Villa players in my squad (I know, I know!) so if they could maybe show up this weekend at home to Swansea and fight to stay in the Premier League that would be great. If somehow Tim Sherwood’s powers of motivation fail once again and Swansea get the upper hand, I will need Andre Ayew to be involved. At the back, it would be nice if Chelsea could keep another clean sheet. West Ham haven’t been at their best when playing at home, so there is every possibility Begovic could shut them out.

The league got a lot tighter after last weekend’s results. Any of five teams could claim top spot come Monday morning, while any of four teams could be propping up the table. The rest could all move between sixth and twelfth.
5 from 7 predictions last week. Which was an improvement over the last couple of weeks. Let’s try for the full set this gameweek!

As always, make sure you follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to keep up with all the action. And Good Luck Everybody.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fantasy Football: IEFSA Fantasy League Week 9 Preview

After a break for a week to accommodate international matches, we are back to the bread and butter of the Premier League for Gameweek 9. Unfortunately that butter will have to be spread pretty thinly as the international games has wreaked havoc on fantasy squads up and down the land. My squad unfortunately is no different. There are injury flags staring out at me from the computer screen like dogs begging to be let outside. Let me go, let me run in the field of waivers out back, let me be free!! I just might..... I just might swing open the door and let them go. But then there will be that nagging fear….. who do you let in?
Courtois and Delph were already on the sidelines for me, now they appear to be joined by Toivonen, Schweinsteiger and Nyom. To cap it off, Louis Van Gaal appears to have lost patience with Memphis Depay and rumours abound that he might not get the start this weekend against Everton. My opponent this week, @FantasyYIRMA must be licking his lips in anticipation of this match-up. He is coming off the back of three straight victories and has relatively few injuries to worry about. My team is fresh from a rather limp defeat in Week 8 and currently sit 12th with a lowly .375 win percentage.

@FantasyYIRMA’s Team
Starting out at the back, I don’t think any of my defenders would get picked ahead of his five defenders. Two from the Chelsea backline, along with any one from Williams, Mertesacker, or Lescott should see him in line to rack up clean sheet points. Chelsea have been off form to start the season, but if they can’t keep Villa quiet at home then surely some of those Blues players will be given the footballing equivalent of a P45 by Mourinho. I’m also looking for Chelsea to keep a clean sheet because I have their goalkeeper. But perhaps if that happens it would do me more harm than good!
In Midfield he has two fantasy studs in Yaya Toure and Mesut Ozil. With Man City and Arsenal expected to pick up wins this weekend, these players are sure to be in the thick of it. James Milner as the third in his midfield is another solid player who might just shine in new Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp’s pressing game. Up front @FantasyYIRMA will look to Cameron Jerome to score the goals, and with Norwich playing Newcastle, goals are a real possibility. He also has youngster Kelechi Iheanacho to call upon. With Aguero one of the bigger casualties of the international fixtures, it is quite possible that Iheanacho will see more game time. If not from the start, then surely from the bench.

What I Need To Happen
Depay to start! Plain and simple. I need Memphis to start proving why he is so highly thought of. He may have had a rather embarrassing time with the Dutch squad this past week, but he is due a good performance, or, at least, a half decent one! I have three Villa players in my squad (I know, I know!) and because of injuries, I will have to play two of them. So a spirited showing at Stamford Bridge would be good, yet having Begovic in goals means I’d probably rather they didn’t score. But as I mentioned earlier, if they don’t score @FantasyYIRMA will gain most of the points.
Will Memphis be getting the thumbs down this weekend?
If Memphis is firing blanks again, then my goals will have to come from elsewhere. My main goal threats this week will be from Andre Ayew and Georginio Wijnaldum. Swansea host Stoke City. The Potters have only kept one clean sheet away from home this season, and that was to Villa! Newcastle have yet to keep a clean sheet at home in any competition, I will need Wijnaldum to step up if Jerome does get among the goals for Norwich on Sunday.

A number of very close contests last gameweek and I only managed to predict 3 from 7. It was an improvement over the previous week, but it’s still not very good. Maybe it will be easier to predict this weekend with all the injuries going around? We’ll see. As usual, if you want to keep track of what’s happening in the league then simply follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter. Also, follow me on Twitter, because if I’m within sight of picking up the win, I won’t shut up about it! @GarryIrwin

Good Luck Everyone.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Fantasy Football: IEFSA Fantasy League Week 8 Preview

My team might be sitting in 10th and nine points off the top of the table, but things are looking up after winning last week. A first Memphis Depay goal coupled with a Wijnaldum strike against Chelsea saw me overcome @nealjthurman and leapfrog him in the table. My hope for a clean sheet from any of my defenders never came to pass, but it did not hamper my team too much. Begovic continued to leak goals, as Chelsea struggle to recapture the defensive stability that was a feature of their league winning campaign. I’m starting to think that Chelsea will not fix this problem anytime soon and any points that I can gain are a bonus at the moment.

This week, in an effort to get to .500 and move up the table, I face @SportsByGotti. A win is never assured in this league, and Mike’s team may sit below me in the table but he has scored 14 more points than me this season so far. He had a heartbreaking loss to @RotoWireAndrew in week 7 and will be determined to bounce back this week and move ahead of my team at the same time.

@SportsByGotti’s Team

Mike’s team averages 46.5 points every gameweek. But digging a bit deeper; since the signing of Kevin De Bryne and the goalscoring form of Redmond and Sakho, his starting team average 58.5 points. So I’m hoping he leaves some of those points on the bench this week. One player who he will have to leave out is Koscielny as the defender picked up a hamstring injury in the Champions League midweek. This will mean he has to play Janmaat at the back, as the Newcastle man visits Man City.

@SportsByGotti is strong up front. His players have 13 goals between them, while my team only has nine. Sahko of West Ham heads to Sunderland and he would hope to continue his goalscoring form there. The Black Cats have yet to keep a clean sheet in the league and have let in five goals in their three previous games at home. West Ham also seem to play better away from home, they have a 100% record away from Upton Park and have only conceded one goal in this time, and that was away at Man City.
Will Falcao or Remy start in place of the suspended Costa?
Three Chelsea players make up a big chunk of his squad. Falcao, Oscar and Willian could all start at home to Southampton this Saturday evening. Falcao has yet to start a league game for the Blues and is probably the biggest gamble of the three. A number of his forward players will be involved in games prior to the Chelsea v Southampton kickoff, so his Forward and OFfensive slots will be more than likely filled before then.

What I Need To Happen

To beat @SportsByGotti this week I’m going to need to score goals, Depay will continue up front for me. United play Arsenal on Sunday, and while I’m fairly confident he’ll start against the Gunners, I’ll be hoping that I’m not too far behind Mike’s team going into Sunday’s games because if I’m relying on Memphis to drag my team over the line, it could be a long wait.

Everyone could well know this guys name come Saturday evening....

I also need Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa to start picking up their performances. I have three Villa players and with them playing at home to Stoke City, a Stoke side that have yet to pick up a win away from home, if any of my three players start, and I’ll be sweating over the fitness of Idrissa Gana Gueye, they will be in my starting team. While needing a Villa win, I’ve decided to drop Arnautovic to the bench and bring in Ola Toivonen of Sunderland instead. I’m aware that this could easily backfire on me too because Sunderland are Sunderland!

Oh dear! 2 from 7 last weekend was an abysmal return. A lot of sides put up some impressive numbers last week which totally surprised me. @wrigavin had a Hennessey clean sheet and five goals as he put up a season high of 82.4 points. Most of his players will be playing away from home this week, so surely that number won’t be possible again? Either way, @FuzzyWarbles will have to worry about that!

Enjoy all the football this Saturday and Sunday everyone, and don’t forget to follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to keep up with the goings on in all the matchups.