Friday, December 9, 2016

Week 15: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

A return to winning ways sees my side move up the table to sixth. It wasn’t a vintage performance by any means as I struggled to 109.5 points. It was a pair of defenders getting on the scoresheet that turned the tie in my favour over @jforquer11. Leighton Baines and Steve Cook left it late to score equalizers for their teams on Sunday, and the twenty plus points they each scored was better than what Pedro, Wilshere and Yacob put together managed for my side.
Baines slots home his penalty with ease
And with this victory, what has the IEFSA Fantrax fixture computer saw fit to do this week? Why it’s decided that I should play the highest scoring team in the league, because it doesn’t want me winning too much. That high scoring side belongs to @FuzzyWarbles. If our sides had met every week this season he would have ten wins to my four. So once again I’m up against it. There is one green shoot of hope though, as @FuzzyWarbles will be missing his top goal scorer Sergio Aguero through suspension. But even this doesn’t help much, as even without those ten goals, his side have outscored mine 21 goals to 15 after fourteen weeks of the season.

@FuzzyWarbles Team

Aguero will miss the first of four games this week. Steve has a number of choices in who will deputise for the Argentinian. He has three other Forward players who could slot in. Fischer of Middlesbrough, Bojan at Stoke and Lucas Perez with Arsenal. None of the three are guaranteed of a start but perhaps after his hat trick in midweek, Perez will get the most minutes this weekend. Although Viktor Fischer did start last week for Boro, and could keep his place for the trip to Southampton. Elsewhere in his team the goals have mostly been supplied by the Liverpool pair of Sadio Mane and James Milner. Twelve goals between them, and they face a West Ham team that shipped five goals against Arsenal recently.

At the back @FuzzyWarbles has gotten three goals out of Gareth McAuley this season, but the West Brom defender faces a stern test in trying to breach the Chelsea backline this Sunday. Another West Brom player in his side, and  onethat has had positive recent form, is Chris Brunt. Brunt has found himself deployed further up the pitch in recent games, yet will probably have to do more defending than he’d like when his team head to Stamford Bridge. Steve might get more points in Midfield from the return of Yaya Toure. Pep Guardiola will have to shake up his starting eleven for the trip to champions Leicester, with the Ivorian perhaps gaining one of the attacking midfield spots.

What I Need To Happen

With @FuzzyWarbles having Hugo Loris between the sticks, I’m hoping that my Manchester United players earn the start and cause him problems. I’m more optimistic about Mkhitaryan getting game time than Jesse Lingard though. Any goals created by the Armenian will doubly hurt, as @FuzzyWarbles also has Jan Vertongen in Defence. My Top scorer Joe Allen was a surprise omission form the Stoke line-up last week, with the Potters heading to Arsenal this week, perhaps Mark Hughes will adopt a more defensive approach and use the Welshman in midfield where he will be kept busy while racking up the points.

The red flags all over my team seem to be abating somewhat going into Gameweek 15. Leighton Baines returned last week and it looks like Hector Bellerin could return this week. If he does return in time for the Saturday three o'clock kickoff, that would mean the end of the ‘Claudio Yacob Experiment’, as the West Brom midfielder would have to be jettisoned. Despite West Brom having some positive results of late, the Argentine has not been doing enough fantasywise and failed to get into double figures for the last two games.

I have two pairs of players playing against each other in the Bournemouth Burnley match; a goalkeeper and defender for Burnley and a defender and midfielder for Bournemouth. A nice boring scoreless draw would be perfect here, but that’s not going to happen, because as we all know, Jack Wilshere is due a goal.
It's tight at the top (and the middle, and the bottom)


An improvement to six correct from nine predictions last week. The league is very tight, with everyone bar the bottom two sides within six points of the top four. Hopefully things go a little better this week. To see how every tie is progressing follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter.

Good Luck Everyone.

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