Happy New Year everybody. After a short hiatus for the FA Cup and the IEFSA Fantasy Cup, normal service is resumed with a preview for IEFSA Gameweek 20. To get you up to speed, my team has somehow managed to get into the semi-finals of the IEFSA Fantasy Cup, but I did lose out to @cjradune in the league over the New Year which leaves me on nine wins and ten losses for the season. This weekend my squad of players will face off against @GalinDragiev (who has an identical 9-10 record). The last time we met in the league @GalinDragiev kicked my ass by scoring more than double my points for that week. I think some revenge is in order!
When his side beat mine in week 5 it was Alexis Sanchez and Riyad Mahrez who did the damage. In fact those two players outscored my whole team for that week! Thankfully neither of those two appear to be hitting their early season form in 2016. Mahrez and Leicester have struggled for goals over the last few weeks, while Sanchez hasn’t played for Arsenal in the league since November because of injury. This hasn’t hampered @GalinDragiev’s side though, because he has the more than capable Raheem Sterling as another one of his Forwards. Man City face a misfiring Crystal Palace at home this Saturday, and he would be expected to rack up some points.
If Sterling does find his way to goal, this could impact one of his Defenders. Pape Souré has been playing consistently for Palace, but has only gained 4.6 points over the last two game weeks in match-ups where the Eagles have lost. This will mean @GalinDragiev could more than likely swap him out with Southampton’s Jose Fonte. Fonte gained 8 points when the Saints beat Watford 2-0 during midweek. Plus their defence would be fancied to try for another clean sheet when West Brom visit St. Mary’s this weekend. A number of his other players have seen reduced minutes, or have been rested, over the Christmas/New Year’s period, so I expect him to be keeping an eye on the team sheets as they are announced on Saturday.
What I Need To Happen
I too will be eagerly anticipating those team announcements. My side has a number of red flags beside players. Bastian Schweinsteiger has been ruled out for Manchester United, while Joshua King missed out in Bournemouth’s last game. Most worryingly of all, one of my star performers over the last few weeks, Marko Arnautovic was subbed off midweek and is carrying a knock. To win in the IEFSA League it’s crucial to get nine starters on the pitch. I may have to do some juggling of players come 2:45 on Saturday.
Everton blanked last time out against Man City. I’ll be
hoping for the same when they visit Chelsea. Begovic and Courtois between them
have only managed six clean sheets this year. For a side that managed so many
shutouts last season, that is an abysmal return. Speaking of clean sheets, none
of my main defenders, Nyom, Moreno, Rangel, have kept one since the tail end of
December. Surely one of them is due to pick up some points this weekend?
|Bastian Scheweinsteiger will be looking on from the stands this week|
As I look for goals, if Arnautovic is injured, I’ll be hoping Wijnaldum keeps up his impressive run of goals at home when Newcastle host West Ham, and that Andre Ayew can find the net when Swansea host Watford. As for hoping Memphis Depay can score a goal? I’ll just be happy if he, by some miracle, gets into Manchester United’s starting 11. They do have a tricky away trip to Liverpool to navigate. Chances could be at a premium, and I’m not expecting Luis van Gaal to look to Memphis to turn in a superstar performance at Anfield.
Last time out I gave my predictions for the opening round of the IEFSA Cup. I managed to call 5 of the 7 ties. Let’s try for the full set of predictions this week. Remember to follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to keep track of all the winners and losers. Plus, follow me @GarryIrwin, who will hopefully be a winner this week.
Good Luck Everyone