It’s a proper IEFSA Fantasy League week of fixtures this week. Last week I managed to gain a cheeky win thanks to an Arnautovic goal despite having only four players playing! This leaves me on thirteen wins and thirteen losses, a model of middle of the road consistency.
This week I will face @DanRiccio590, who himself sits comfortably in midtable, just one place and three points above me. So this really is a massive game for my squad. Win and things start to look up. Lose, and there are three or four teams waiting behind me for any kind of stumble. Last weekend’s FA Cup affected fixtures left @DanRiccio590 nursing a loss. But if our two sides met then, Dan would have been celebrating a victory.
Dan has a quality squad that has been unlucky with injuries and inconsistencies of form. Eden Hazard has struggled to find the form that saw him be crowned last season’s player of the year. He is injured for this weekend’s fixture though as Chelsea host West Ham. He does have a fit and inform Hammer though in Dimitri Payet. It looks like he will only have Payet, Antonio (both West Ham) and Imbula (Stoke City) to fill his three midfield positions this weekend, as Shaqiri is due to miss another game for the Potters with injury.
Up front he will be hoping that Graziano Pelle’s recent glut of goals was not a once off, because his other forward options are the injured Connor Wickham, and the out of favour Wilfried Bony. Remember him! He probably wouldn’t want Bony to play anyway as he has a Man United duo in Smalling and De Gea aiming for some clean sheet points when the Red Devils head to battle local rivals Man City.
What I Need To Happen
As I have Courtois in goals, I will need West Ham to be kept quiet at Stamford Bridge. If two of his players are shut out, it will go a long way to me getting the three points. Clean sheets could be crucial this week. Unfortunately most of my defenders will be playing at different times this weekend and this mean a lot of scrutiny of lineups come three o’clock on Saturday. Three defenders play at home in games that are surely ripe for clean sheets. Olsson of West Brom will host Norwich. Nyom of Watford will entertain Stoke. While Angel Rangel of Swansea will welcome Aston Villa to Wales in the Saturday evening kickoff. Swansea will not have a better opportunity to keep a clean sheet for the rest of the season.
|Still unbeaten in league, but what have they to play for now??|
There was no post last week because most of the sides were missing players. To make up for that, here is an in-depth look at each of the fixtures in the IEFSA this week. Don’t forget to follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to see how each team is doing. And to also follow me, @GarryIrwin, to find out what, specifically, my team isn’t doing!
@FuzzyWarbles will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat when he faces bottom of the table @DFS_hambazaza. He will be sweating over the fitness of Nicolas Otamendi as Man City host an often goalshy Man Utd. But will probably look further up the pitch in that game for points as he has Silva and Mata in that game. @DFS_hambazaza is pretty much reliant on a bumper game from Sergio Aguero again, but I can’t see him getting too many against Man U when LVG parks the Fellaini bus at the Eithad.
Baba Rahman, Benteke, Remy, Walcott, Pedro, Navas. This sounds like a list of players you would rarely put in your fantasy team until they actually did something consistent on the pitch. Unfortunately for Andrew, these players make up the bulk of his squad. @nikarg can keep pace with the leaders here thanks to players like Rondon and Eriksen.
Six wins on the trot has seen @RotoZroik move up to second in the table. A number of his players have red flags next to their names and are doubts for the weekend. This could see him shuffle his pack and introduce some players from the bench. Tom’s side on the other hand is relatively injury free. He doesn’t have many superstar performers though (Kante, Drinkwater and Schlupp for Leicester are playing well, but not huge point getters) so perhaps wont have enough to upset the inform side this week.
The fixture computer shows it’s continuing bias against @GarryIrwin by making him face a team which contains two of the most inform players in the league at the moment; Payet of West Ham and Pelle of Southampton. Garry will have to play this fixture without one of his top scorers in Andre Ayew too. This all points to @DanRiccio590 picking up the win.
This is the matchup of the weekend as leader @wrigavin face off against third place @Smokey_Loogy. Both sides got back to winning ways last week, but who will pick up the crucial three points this week? Looking at the two squads and the fixtures of each player, my opinion would probably fall on the side of Harry Kane, @wrigavin, over deeney and Ighalo of @Smokey_Loogy.
Now that Arsenal’s season is virtually over, it’s probably around the time that Olivier Giroud starts scoring goals again. He loves midtable teams and dead rubber games, and Arsenal versus Everton ticks both those boxes. Of course if he does @nealjthurman will be very happy. @BenDinnery on the other hand will be without Diego Costa due to suspension and will be reliant on Patrick Bamford to get the points. Norwich strikers seem to have some sort of hoodoo over them and I can’t see him getting off the mark away to West Brom.
Last week’s loss has dropped YIRMA back to sixth. In a desperate effort to get back into title contention he looks like he will deploy Divock Origi upfront when Liverpool head to Southampton. Origi has two goals this season, but that’s twice as many goals as his other forward Emmanuel Adebayor. With all these crucial stats in mind, it will more than likely be his midfield of Alli, Toure and Ozil will get him over the line this week. @GalinDragiev could cause an upset if Raheem Sterling or Adam Lallana start justifying their high transfer fees. But between you and me, they won’t start doing that this week.
@cjradune is the other team still in the title race. He has been having a Vardy party for most of the season, though the party has been dying down somewhat of late. There should still be enough partytime left to overcome @SportsByGotti. @SportsByGotti’s team has suffered a weird affliction where if his top scorer got to five goals they would go down with a crippling injury (De Bruyne, Wilson, Redmond). His current top scorer has four, Diafra Sakho, will probably not want to score this week. Plus, Sakho-Party, doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.