Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Week 19: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

I’m not sure what got into my players at the start of this festive season, but they went a bit goal crazy during Gameweek 18. Six goals were scored by my squad. Which is crazy considering they only managed fifteen in total from the previous 17 gameweeks! Unfortunately two of the more spectacular goals, Fabio Borini and Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s efforts at Old Trafford were scored while sitting on the bench. Luckily the 50+ points which didn’t contribute to my weekly total were not needed, as I managed to overcome @TomSunderland_, who could only respond with a James Ward-Prowse assist and two defensive clean sheets.
You can't be offside if you flick the ball from behind you, it's in the rulebook
The @THE_IEFSA and Fantrax fixture computer is clearly not happy with my team gaining a tenth win for the season, and on top of the injuries, will be adding suspensions to my selection headache going into this gameweek. The standout player for my side was Chelsea’s Pedro last time out with two goals. I’ll have to do without him this week though, as after picking up a yellow card, he will now miss a game. He joins Arnautovic on the bench who is also serving a suspension. This will leave me very light in the Forward position when I play against @EPL_MOstradamus this week. @EPL_MOstradamus was the front runner in the league up until recently. He has gone three games without a win and has dropped down to eighth.

@EPL_MOstradamus’ Team

Despite my glut of goals recently, I’m still a few shy of Chris’ sides 26. Benteke missed a penalty last week, so is hardly going to repeat the trick two times out. In fact, Chris has three players with more goals than my current top scorer, Joe Allen (5). Benteke has eight on the season, closely followed by Firmino of Liverpool and Heung-Min Son of Spurs, who both have six. Next on the list of goal scorers is Manuel Lanzini of West Ham United, with three. He has been in and out of the side lately but faces a tempting fixture in a trip to out of form Leicester City on Saturday.
Benteke with a weak penalty, helping Gomes earn some points
Christian Beneteke may have missed his spot kick in the last game, but @EPL_MOstradamus picked up the save points thanks to having Watford’s Heurelho Gomes as his keeper. The Brazilian averages 8.14 points a game. In fact, if all of Chris’ players hit their averages this gameweek, I will need my side to score more than 127 points to beat him. Something my team hasn’t managed to do in the last eight gameweeks. You still think @THE_IEFSA and Fantrax fixture compiler is not out to get me?

What I Need To Happen

The ‘Claudio Yacob Experiment’ is over. Please welcome the new and improved ‘Ibrahim Afellay Experiment’. The Stoke City player has just returned from a knee injury, and while he may not get much joy against Chelsea this weekend, he may do enough in the coming gameweeks to force his way into my Midfield. His inclusion does mean if you divide my squad by the divisor of ‘Stoke players’, the resulting quotient is ‘Too many Stoke players’. If Afellay is to be included going forward, it could be at the expense of a Mr Jack Wilshere. The Bournemouth player is still due that elusive first goal for the Cherries. If it doesn’t come against Swansea on Saturday, I may just have to give up on it happening at all!
Afellay made sure he was wrapped up warm for his few minutes against Liverpool
If @EPL_MOstradamus’ forwards can be kept quiet in tricky fixtures against Man City and Arsenal, that would be a good for me in this matchup. Benteke will be determined to make amends against the Gunners, but perhaps Chris will get more points from Firmino at home to Pep’s, Man City. City may have kept a clean sheet against Hull, but Liverpool are on fire in front of goals. In my side, looking for goals might be a thankless task with Pedro being absent. Lingard and Mkhitaryan will surely get chances against Middlesbrough, but the question is, will either of them start the game? The first game of the gameweek is on Friday night when Hull City host Everton. With Baines and Mirallas in my team, a positive result here will surely put Chris on the back foot.


The league is still really tight. The current top 7 all won in Gameweek 18, which means that @RotoZdroik remains six points clear. A whole host of teams are only separated by points scored. The table may even be tighter than it looks. When @SportsByGotti gets the points owed from the performance of Joel Robles for Everton against Leicester, he would leapfrog bitter rival @RotoWireAndrew and be in ninth position. Also, the transfer window opens soon, so expect a scramble as most managers make crazy bids to take Fabio Borini off my hands.

Five correct and four incorrect, in what was a repeat of the predictions from the week before. The predictions are not getting worse, which is a good sign. Will this week’s be any better? Let’s see. Follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to keep up with the three days of Fantasy Premier League action.

As always, Good Luck Everyone, and Happy New Year.

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