Saturday, February 27, 2016

IEFSA Fantasy League Week 24 Preview

I’m still amazed that I pulled off the victory over @SportsByGotti in the last gameweek. A really tight matchup saw me get the victory by a paltry 0.4 points. It was pretty much a race to the bottom though as both teams posted barely over 30 points. My star man was Moreno as Liverpool went and embarrassed Aston Villa six nil. What angers me though is that I left a lot of points sitting on the bench. This week though, most team’s benches will be filled with players who won’t have a fixture to play. The League Cup final between Man City and Liverpool has taken those two team’s players out of contention this week, as well as Everton and Newcastle United’s squads.

My squad will be missing three players as I prepare to face @nealjthurman this week. @nealjthurman is only three points and one place below me in tenth. His side won last time out thanks to a Matt Ritchie goal and  a couplke of Giroud and Fabregas assists. Ben Foster also kept a rather surprising clean sheet away to Everton. All this helped him to 48.9 points. This week will see him missing two players, so let’s have a look at his squad.

@nealjthurman’s Team

His two missing players have been solid performers for him this season. Ayoze Perez of Newcastle has five goals, while Gerard Deulofeu of Everton is his top assisting player with eight. This leaves him with only one Forward option in Olivier Giroud, while his OF options leave him looking at either Chris Brunt of West Brom or Ben Watson of Watford. Both those players are starters for their respective clubs, although Brunt has been playing more as a left back of late, limiting his usually productive attacking play.

Elsewhere in midfield he has been waiting for Leroy Fer to come to life in a Swansea jersey, but perhaps a trip to Tottenham is not the time to be looking for that to happen. At the back he has three defenders who all will be expecting to keep their opposition scoreless. Bellerin, Fuchs and Rose will surely not give up too many goals collectively this weekend, which will mean I will need my backline to match them cleansheet for cleansheet.

What I Need To Happen

Two of my three defenders play at home against sides not known for scoring too many goals away from home. Nyom of Watford will host Bournemouth, and Jonas Olsson, who picked up an assist last time out, will play against a recently goalshy Crystal Palace. My remaining defender is Angel Rangel, but as I’ve already mentioned, a trip to White Hart Lane is not to place to go if you are looking for points. Which means I don’t hold out much hope for my midfielder Andre Ayew to score a goal. But I may need him to score, because I’ll be missing my top scorer in Newcastle’s Georginio Wijnaldum this week.
Messi scored twice against Arsenal midweek, so Memphis should score......
But maybe, just maybe, I have an ace up my sleeve! Wayne Rooney has picked up an injury and will be missing for the next couple of weeks. Martial also went off injured in the Europa League on Thursday night for Manchester United. All this means that Memphis Depay has been getting substantial game time. Plus he seems to have been making the most of the opportunity. Admittingly the last two positive performances out of the Dutchman have come in games against Shrewsbury and FC Midtjylland. That and United will be playing Arsenal this Sunday, never the easiest of fixtures. If Memphis turns out to be more of a joker than an ace, then perhaps I can rely on Marko Arnautovic to score some goals when Stoke welcome a woeful Villa side to the Britannia at three o’clock on Saturday.


Of the seven predictions in Gameweek 23, I managed to correctly predict a respectable five. This will will be extra difficult to predict because so many squads will be without key players. This won’t stop me from picking a winner in each matchup. Remember, as always, you can follow @THE_IEFSA on twitter for all the latest action, and you can also follow @GarryIrwin for all the latest overreaction!

Good Luck Everyone.

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