Saturday, March 5, 2016

IEFSA Fantasy League Week 25 Preview

Another really tight affair last week saw me squeak a win by only 0.7 points over @nealjthurman. The win was pretty much singlehandedly earned by two goal Marko Arnautovic. That result leaves my still in ninth, with 12 wins and 12 losses. My team gets a chance to perhaps move up a place this week if they can overcome @BenDinnery. Ben’s team might sit four places below me in the league, but he has won his last two games and has actually outscored my side over the course of the season so far.

This weekend will see most of the Premier League teams play their third game in seven or eight days. These leads a lot of managers to rotate members of their squads, as well as the increased likelihood of some players picking up knocks that may keep them out of the starting eleven. My side has been fortunate in not picking up any new injuries, but @BenDinnery doesn’t have any new red flags to worry about either.

@BenDinnery’s Team

The weak link in his team has probably been his goalkeeper. Newcastle seem to pack it in after they concede their first goal and this has effected the points Rob Elliot has been able to gain. The Toon do host Bournemouth this Saturday though and it will be a game that Steve McClaren will be determined to win. At the back he has three defenders who like to get in among the goals. Ivanovic, van Dijk and Kolorov have all scored twice this season, with Ivanovic and Kolorov even providing a couple of assists each. With those two players having a couple of winnable home games this weekend, it could be a very profitable Saturday indeed.

His midfield has been quiet of late, with Mark Noble’s goal against Norwich three games ago being the only bright spot. It’s up front where @BenDinnery’s team has been helping him gain victories of late. Diego Costa has put his early season funk behind him and has scored eight goals in his last ten games. He also has Saido Berahino in the OF position, and with Tony Pulis seemingly abandoning his defence first approach recently (the Baggies last two games have involved 9 goals!). Berahino has played the full ninety minutes in those two games, while also contributing a goal in a win over Crystal Palace.

What I Need To Happen

I was lucky to get the win last time out, especially since I didn’t have a full roster of players playing. Nyom of Watford found himself on the bench again, in what I hope is just a rotation issue. But I will have to keep an eye on the lineups for the Saturday evening kick-off, where Watford entertain table toppers Leicester. My only defender with a favourable fixture is probably Angel Rangel of Swansea, as they host Norwich. The Canaries don’t travel very well, so a trip to Wales could see them camp inside their own box for ninety minutes!
Chelsea (along with 12 other teams) are eyeing a European place again
Further up the pitch things have been looking a lot brighter of late. Memphis Depay has been getting more game time, while not exactly pulling in more points it has to be said. Arnautovic has rediscovered his scoring boots, but will face a Chelsea side who have yet to lose under Guus Hiddink in the league this season. My main goal threat will have to come from Andre Ayew and Georginio Wijnaldum again. Ayew as I’ve mentioned will be facing a timid Norwich side. And Wijnaldum saves all his goals for Newcastle’s home games, so will be expected to get back on the scoresheet this weekend against the Cherries.


Ouch! Only two correct predictions from seven last week, as everything became a bit unpredictable thanks to a lot of squads missing players because of the league cup final. @wrigavin picked up another win though to move six points clear at the top of the table. Remember, as always, you can follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter for the latest action, and you can also follow me, @GarryIrwin for all the latest overreaction!

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