Friday, December 2, 2016

Week 14: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

An embarrassing defeat to @RotoWireAndrew last week continues my side’s slide down the table. Fans are surely getting restless after three losses in a row, while the board are probably scratching their heads asking ‘What’s a Claudio Yacob?’ Things don’t get any easier this week in the @THE_IEFSA and Fantrax Fantasy League as the fixture computer (which hate’s me by the way) throws me into a matchup with @jforquer11. Both our teams have 21 points and are in danger of dropping down to the lower reaches of the table this week if things don’t go their way. @jforquer11 has a fully fit squad to select from though, whereas my players just love that treatment table.
A wild Yacob appeared.

@jforquer11’s Team

A good spread of teams in Joel’s squad. Only Stoke City supplies him with two players; the goalkeeper (currently Lee Grant) and the left back Erik Pieters. Luckily for him also, is that most of his team will be playing on Saturday. He might sweat over the inclusions of Gareth Barry or Daley Blind in the Everton versus Manchester United game on Sunday, but could fill his Defence and Midfield with players with Saturday fixtures and save himself that headache, while more than likely opening up a sizable lead in our matchup! His top scorer, Burnley’s Sam Vokes, does travel to Stoke though, so while these players could keep each other busy, they could end up taking points off each other, so that even the sting of a Vokes goal will be tempered by the points Grant would lose.

Elsewhere in his squad he will be looking to some of his more reliable players to gather him points. His highest salaried player, Man City’s Fernandinho, averages nearly 17 points a game, but does have a tricky game against Chelsea in the opening fixture of the weekend. Joel spent big in defence and will perhaps be disappointed with the returns so far from Wes Morgan (Leicester City) and Jose Fonte (Southampton). These two players do have fixtures with some of the Premier League’s lesser teams in Sunderland and Crystal Palace respectively. Complementing Vokes in attack he will have to choose between Shinji Okazaki and Joshua King. They have started 18 games between them, but have only managed three goals, so they are perhaps due a goal this week.

What I Need To Happen

Speaking of being due a goal, Jack Wilshere will return to the Bournemouth side this week. The Cherries host Coutinho-less Liverpool, and a clean sheet there rake in the points for my side. Steve Cook also owes me a solid 90 minutes after last week’s horror show. Another player returning this week is Stoke’s Joe Allen. Fresh from suspension, Allen will hopefully rediscover the form of a few weeks ago. The Stoke versus Burnley fixture will include Allen as well as Arnautovic for the home side, against Michael Keane and the Burnley goalkeeper with the away side. Last week Paul Robinson found himself in goals after Tom Heaton was ruled out with a toe injury. A highly entertaining nil all draw would be ideal here. But a boring draw that ends up shown last on all the highlight shows is more likely.
Has Mkhitaryan done enough to earn a start?
Another game that will include four of my squad will be the Sunday four o’clock kick-off between Everton and Manchester United. Though if all four players do play, I will be genuinely surprised. Baines does seem to have settled back into the side after injury, but Mirallas has seen himself fall out of the side after a number of anonymous performances and a run of poor results for the Toffees. The Man Utd team is even harder to predict. Lingard and Mkhitaryan have been in and out of the side over their last four fixtures, with perhaps the Armenian midfielder more likely to gain a starting berth this weekend.


12 points separate the top 18 sides in this league. The longest win streak is only three games, by @FantasyYIRMA in 17th. Any team can beat any other, so even a fixture between top (@jwl_15) and bottom (@DFS_Hambazaza) cannot be predicted with 100% certainty. Only three of nine matchups correctly predicted last weekend. Are things going to improve in Gameweek 14? Follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to find out.

Good Luck Everyone

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