It’s barely been four days and the next round of fixtures in the IEFSA Fantasy League on Fantrax comes around again. An agonising loss last week saw my side slip from ninth to twelfth with a .500 win percentage. @BenDinnery might be the go to guy for Premier League injury news, but how long to recover from a broken heart Ben, how long?? I thought I had done enough on Saturday to keep my side in front, before Diego Costa popped up with two goals to crush my dreams, as Ben’s team streaked off into the distance. Everton’s emphatic win on Monday night only served to fill me with false hope as a late rally from Baines left me short by a soul crushing 1.85 points. An interception or a blocked shot and some accurate passes away from the victory. Heart breaking stuff.
This week the IEFSA fixture bias against my team continues, as I’m to face 3-1 (fifth place) @RotoZdroik. He has won his last two games and is the fourth highest scorer in the league. His Forward line has also contributed five goals to his team, while my Forward line has provided the grand total of zero.
That Forward line is led by Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian hit a hat trick last time out and will be home to Middlesbrough on Saturday evening. His back-ups are more than capable too. Jermain Defoe returns to old side Tottenham on Sunday. Wilfried Bony will try to open his Stoke City account against Crystal Palace, while Fernando Llorente heads with his Swansea teammates to Southampton. Adam’s Midfield is full of real work horses who love hoovering up points around the pitch. Idrissa Gueye averages over twenty points a game for Everton. Granit Xhaka will be part of the Arsenal squad that travels to Hull on the back of some good recent form. Gylfi Sigurdsson adds some guile to his midfield; and if any of those three are not fit to start, he has Aaron Ramsey and Leroy Sane waiting in reserve.
|Lukaku won't get everything his own way against Middlesbrough|
His star in defence has been Kyle Naughton. Averaging over 19 points a game, he wins his fair share of aerial duels, as well as putting in a number of accurate crosses. His three other defenders are playing at home though, so he may be tempted to rotate them in to one of his three defensive slots. Cahill will be kept busy by Liverpool. Zabaleta might get to raid forward when Man City entertain Bournemouth. Damien Delaney plays on Sunday in the clash of Palace and Stoke. Finally in goals will be Hull’s Jakupovic. In the opening four games the Bosnian has made 16 saves to three goals conceded.
What I Need To Happen
If Arsenal could put a few past Hull at three o’clock on Saturday that would be good for my squad, which includes Bellerin and Cazorla. Before that game though, perhaps it would be good (if not a minor miracle) on Friday night if Pedro were to actually start a game for Chelsea. He hasn’t done a great deal since joining the Blues and faces stiff competition to break into their starting eleven. More than likely joining him on the bench will be my two Manchester United ‘stars’ Lingard and Mkhitaryan. Playing these two last week more than likely cost me any chance of victory, but the chances of them starting this weekend against Watford are pretty remote. Although we will know more after the dust has settled on Man Utd’s Europa League game.
This will leave the rest of my squad to pick up the slack. Burnley holding champions Leicester to a clean sheet would benefit my goalkeeper, and defender Michael Keane. Two Stoke players, Arnautovic and Allen, need to help the Potters off the foot of the table, and any win away to Palace will surely hurt Delaney’s points tally. My ace in the hole though is tricky Jack Wilshire, who is due a goal when Bournemouth head to Man City. No clean sheets yet for The Citizens means a brace or more is not out of the question.
It’s proving really difficult to predict winners in this league. @cjradune overcame @TomSunderland_ by only 0.2 points in Week 4's top of the table clash for instance. A respectable six correct and three wrong from last week’s predictions though. As usual, to keep track of all the games from this week, make sure you are following @THE_IEFSA on Twitter.
Here are this week’s predictions. Good luck everyone.