Saturday, November 18, 2017

Week 12: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

Young, Alli, Bong, @FantasyYIRMA, your boys took a hell of a beating! Burnley and Bournemouth were the architects of your downfall; a Steve Cook winner and a Nick Pope clean sheet were your undoing. How does it feel? How does it feel when Gareth Barry does a whole lot of nothing, except get booked, and gets more points than your Vardys and your Rooneys and your Ozils. How does it feel?????
Only one Cook needed to spoil Newcastle's day

This was my side’s second victory of the season. The first victory strangely enough also came before an international break. Perhaps my players up their games in order to cement places for their countries at the very highest level of competition. If this is true, the next international break can’t come soon enough. *checks fixtures* The next international break is in March…. Bugger. I’m not sure how the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture compiler swung that one, but it’s surely just further proof of the uphill struggles my side must face. And struggle it will, as this week sees a fixture against @nikarg, the only other side with two wins to his name. This is surely the match-upnic of the weekend. Nik has been eyeing up this fixture for a while now. So much so, that he has lost his last nine games in a row in preparation.

@nikarg’s Team

We last met in Gameweek 1, where Nik picked up the victory thanks to two Christian Eriksen assists. It’s hard to believe but Eriksen has not provided an assist since then and he scored almost a fifth of his season’s total points in that opening game. The Dane is coming into the North London Derby in great form though, having scored three goals midweek against Ireland in the World Cup playoffs. Arsenal’s defence are not going to be as generous as the Irish were in Dublin though.
Christian Eriksen ran riot midweek. (also pictured, Ireland's answer to Eriksen; Aiden McGeady)

The rest of @nikarg’s players, apart from perhaps Riyad Mahrez, will have somewhat favourable fixtures this weekend. Sam Vokes at Forward will face Swansea at home. He could also rotate in Defoe or Chicharito who are playing Huddersfield and Watford respectively. That’s providing either of them start for their clubs. Andros Townsend in Midfield will be up against Everton on Saturday. The Toffees haven’t kept a clean sheet since the opening day of the season. Unless you count a game against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup in September, but no one counts a game against Sunderland! At the back he has Scott Dann of Palace, and a couple of players who face off on Monday night. Lewis Dunk and Ryan Shawcross both average over 15 points a game. If @nikarg is behind in our match-up going into this Monday night fixture, just watch as Brighton and Stoke play out a nil all draw.

What I Need To Happen

I have no less than five players who will be sweating over late fitness tests and are basically game-time decisions for their managers. But….. But….. if the stars align for my side, then this man is back…
Zlatan is back. Quick, everyone look busy!
You may as well hand that IEFSA Primary League Trophy over to me now if Zlatan returns this week. He inspired his own nation Sweden into knocking out Italy in the World Cup Playoffs and he didn’t even have to play! Everyone had an eleven-week head start, but playtime is over. Manchester United play Newcastle United at home in the evening kick-off on Saturday. Zlatan could well be the Premier League’s top scorer come Saturday night.


Six correct predictions last gameweek, as several tight fixtures went against me. There is no doubt as to the tie of the round this week, it’s my side against @nikarg. While the Secondary League has a rather intriguing set of fixtures because the top four all play each other. Remember to follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to keep abreast of the goings on in the league. Here are this week’s predictions.

Good Luck Everyone

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Week 11: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

For all those following @THE_IEFSA on Twitter, you will have seen a brief rundown of how all the teams in the league are doing with a third of the season completed. My side was encouraged to find some attacking talent in order to improve. But do they not see that I have Swansea’s top scorer Tammy Abraham in my team! I also have Crystal Palace’s second highest scorer of the season! Milivojevic has 33% of all Palace’s goals this season. In addition to all this, in Ciaran Clark, my side also boasts Newcastle United’s joint third top scorer! So, with that slightly optimist take on how my squad is doing, let’s check in on who they face this gameweek.
You asked for goals.. step forward Tammy Abraham

Ooooh it’s @FantasyYIRMA. A side that was described in @THE_IEFSA recap as a Top 2 side languishing with a 5 - 5 record. A side that is sure to climb the table soon. To make sure this prediction sticks, the biased IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer pits him against my side this weekend. YIRMA has won his last three fixtures after a run of three defeats. Those defeats were to sides that had to post the highest points totals that gameweek in order to get the win. If my side has to have any chance, it looks like they will have to score more points than they have ever scored before!

@FantasyYIRMA’s Team

His side has scored 21 goals, spread across eight players. Top scorer Jamie Vardy has six, and Wayne Rooney has four. If needed, he could also call on Daniel Sturridge in the Forward position. With Rooney missing out on the Europa League game on Wednesday, he should be fresh for the fixture against Watford. It’s then up to @FantasyYIRMA to play Vardy or Sturridge away to Stoke or West Ham respectively. In Midfield most of the goals have come from Tottenham’s Dele Alli, who has contributed three. Mesut Ozil has chipped in with one, and Robbie Brady has only contributed one assist but does average nearly 12 points per game.
FantasyYIRMA has a Vardy party most weeks

His highest scorer though has been his goalkeeper David De Gea. In fact, it was largely thanks to    De Gea in Gameweek 2 that YIRMA managed to get one over my team by a measly five points. The Spaniard averages over twenty points a game and has kept eight clean sheets in ten games. In front of De Gea, @FantasyYIRMA has a back-line that are no strangers to finding the net. Nacho Monreal has two goals this season, as has Jamaal Lascelles. Jonny Evans is the man bringing up the rear at the back, with only one. That came from his only shot on target this season. Evans is probably as deadly as Sergio Aguero, if only Tony Pulis would take the handbrake off his team.

What I Need To Happen

Nick Pope has been on a one-man mission to keep the scores of these matchups respectable of late. Last weekend he scored over 30 points, meaning my side only lost by 20 points to @RotoZdroik. Did I mention my side also got their second highest total of the season in Gameweek 10 too. Things really are looking bleak. If goals are needed, Zlatan Ibrahimovic can’t return soon enough to guide my side to safety. Seeing as this weekend won’t see the return of the Swede, Tammy Abraham will have to be the one who scores the goals that fire my side to victory. The youngster will be up against Brighton at three o’clock on Saturday. The Seagullls against the Swans is one of the highlights of the Premier League and Bird Watching Magazine calendars.
A battle as old as time.... but who will win this weekend?

My side is facing another injury crisis. Micheal Keane is still side-lined for Everton with a foot injury. Renato Sanches is nursing a thigh injury and the game against Brighton is perhaps too soon for him. Ciaran Clark is still waiting on a recall to the Newcastle side, meaning it looks like I will struggle to get three defenders onto the field this weekend. Without a full roster playing, I will just be cannon fodder to the big guns of @FantasyYIRMA, which will delight the Fantrax computer no end!


Two predictions wrong last weekend, as ruining the slate were @BenDinnery and (of course) @FantasyYIRMA getting big wins. This weekend in the tie of the round my previous weeks conqueror @RotoZdroik will get the opportunity to upset table toppers @FuzzyWarbles, and a chance to prove he didn’t just raise his game against my side!

Here are this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Week 10: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview 2017/18

The lowest score in the IEFSA Primary League last weekend leaves my side looking up from the bottom of the table. My opponent @TAMc10 scored a rather good 161 points. Not the highest score of the week (that honour went to @jwl_15) but good enough to move him up to eighth place.

This gameweek the clear prejudice from the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer against my side continues, as I must face @RotoZdroik. Last weekend he lost a tight high scoring encounter, that surely must leave him a bit sore. I did score one of my highest scores of the season against @RotoZdroik in Gameweek 3, in a game I lost. My side has only managed to outscore Adam’s in one week so far this season. With this in mind, let’s look in on how my team is preparing for this match-up…

@RotoZdroik’s Team

A below par Sigurdsson performance cost Adam the win last week. The Icelander and his Everton side should have an easier time of things against Leicester on Sunday. They surely can’t ship five goals again can they? Now that Ronald Koeman has been shown the door at Goodison, Gylfi Sigurdsson might be deployed in his favourite position for a change, which would help @RotoZdroik. Another Everton player in his squad is Idrissa Gueye. The Senegalese midfielder was red carded last weekend but served his suspension in midweek and is available again. To complete his set of Toffees, we have Phil Jagielka at the back. With David Unsworth selecting the side at the moment, you would believe that Everton should improve at the back in the coming weeks.

"I heard Pep call us 'that Romelu Lukaku team'"    "I'll show him!"

The biggest providers of points for this side are from his top goal scoring Forward, his Midfield, and the man in goals. Between the sticks is Huddersfield’s Jonas Lossl, who averages over 17 points per game, Midfield trio of Steven Davis, Leroy Sane and Mario Lemina average double figures every game, while Forward Romelu Lukaku (thanks to his seven goals this season) averages over 18 points per game.

What I Need To Happen

If Lukaku can be shackled by the Spurs defence at Old Trafford in the early kick off that would be a great start for my side. If Serge Aurier found himself on the Spurs team-sheet too that would be fantastic! The rest of my Defence have tough fixtures this week. Michael Keane must head to Leicester. While Steve Cook, if he can get back in the Bournemouth team, hosts a free scoring Chelsea side.

Let’s pretend I give myself some hope this week with a full set of players starting for their clubs. To be able to give @RotoZdroik at least a token contest, I will need to score some goals. My top scorer Tammy Abraham is maddeningly inconsistent, but has to head to an Arsenal side who are no strangers to inconsistency. Maybe this could be the week they get plunged back into crisis on the back of a Swansea win and an Abraham hat-trick?
I'm dressing up as Tony Pulis this halloween


A diabolical three from nine predictions last weekend, as a number of teams turned over their more fancied rivals. This Gameweek should be just as tough to call, with the game of the round being third and fourth (@jasonuk17  - @RotoWireAndrew) facing off in the Secondary League. To follow all the action, make sure you are tuned in to @THE_IEFSA and @GarryIrwin on Twitter.

Here are this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone and Happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Week 9: IEFSA Fantasy League 2017/18 Preview

My side achieved their highest points total of the season in Gameweek 8, but unfortunately ran into the team who posted the highest total of the round in @TRKingston. That defeat leaves my side bottom of the table with only one win in eight games. There were a few silver linings in that defeat though. Tammy Abraham netted a brace in a Swansea win over Huddersfield, while Nick Pope kept up his good form with over twenty points against West Ham. The writing was on the wall for my side though when Ciaran Clark didn’t make the Newcastle line-up and I was forced to play with a man short.
Probably harder to miss from there. But they all count.

This week the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer has thrown up a very interesting match-up. My side will be playing the side directly above them. The only thing separating our sides are points scored. And while I would have beaten his side last weekend, he has outscored me every other Gameweek apart from the opening weekend. For the winner, a chance at perhaps climbing up to eighth in the table. For the loser, rock bottom, and a long season ahead. Which side am I playing you ask…

@TAMc10’s Team

A number of fresh injury and rotation worries for @TAMc10 going into this Gameweek. But perhaps the return of both Alexis Sanchez and Shinji Okazaki are imminent, as each of their sides look to bounce back from disappointing results. Shane Duffy went off inured in Brighton’s last game, and with them playing Friday night against West Ham, maybe it’s too soon for his return. Either way, @TAMc10 will know in plenty of time in order to reshuffle his pack and perhaps bring in Laurent Koscielny if needed. It would be a particular blow for Tate if Duffy was to miss out as he has been his highest scorer this season.
The Leicester players get a second manager sacked in two seasons

@TAMc10 could field a whole side of players with fixtures away from home. The only players on his roster who would benefit from some home comforts would be Atsu at Newcastle and Sandro at Everton. With Atsu the more likely of the two to get into the starting lineup. Tate could call on Mark Noble on Friday night too. The West Ham midfielder actually has a higher points per game average than Atsu. If he is put in the Friday night starting eleven for West Ham, that’s definitely something for @TAMc10 to ponder over. In goals will be the Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel. The Foxes have not been enjoying the best start to the season, and just sacked their manager, but the Dane still averages over 17 points per game. Leicester will be traveling to Wales to face Swansea on Saturday, putting Schmeichel in direct opposition to my Forward Tammy Abraham.

What I Need To Happen

I will need Abraham to continue his goal scoring exploits, as he looks like the only player capable of finding the net in my squad at the moment. My second top scorer, Ciaran Clark, should earn a recall to the Newcastle defence, and I’m basing that on nothing more than the fact they let in two goals from Manolo Gabbiadini last time out. My next biggest goal threat is Joe Allen, who has registered one assist this season. He looks to be returning from his head injury suffered during the international break, and his Stoke side badly need him after they were mauled by Man City in his absence last weekend.
Nick Pope recently signed a new three year deal with Burnley.

As mentioned, Nick Pope has been a bright spot over the last number of weeks, as Burnley are flying high in seventh. The Clarets have only lost one game and conceded six goals in the first eight games. Unfortunately, it looks like that run will end abruptly with a trip to Manchester City this weekend. City scored seven in their last game and could have Sergio Aquero returning to their side to boot. I may have to lean on my defence for points this week if the goals dry up. Serge Aurier is back from suspension for Tottenham which could help. (Though I wouldn’t hold my breath on him getting back in the Spurs first team right away)


The only thing ruining a perfect round of predictions last weekend was a tie game. A tie game!! @jasonuk17 and @SportsByGotti couldn’t be separated, probably in an effort just to spite me. I wouldn’t put it beyond either of them! Remember to follow this week’s games, keep tabs @THE_IEFSA on Twitter and also @GarryIrwin for a closeup look of a fantasy managers slow mental breakdown.

Here’s this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Week 8: IEFSA Fantasy League 2017/18 Preview

Did you all enjoy the international break? I sure did, because it meant my side went unbeaten for another week! YES, in Gameweek 7 my plucky group of misfits managed to get one over @EPL_MOstradamus by seven points. Another superb performance from Burnley keeper Nick Pope (29.9 pts) and the late drafting in of Defender Christian Kabasele of Watford who contributed 9.8 points, helped my side break into triple digit scoring for only the third time this season. Kabasele was brought in at the expense of Brighton’s Jose Izquierdo (who then went ahead and started his first game of the season against Arsenal!). Couple this with @EPL_Mostradamus’s Roberto Firmino turning out to be his side’s lowest contributor, after I had previously mentioned that the Brazilian could easily outperform my whole side.
Nick Pope with another clean sheet against Everton moved Burnley up to sixth

Every green shoot gets quickly trampled underfoot by the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture compiler though. The victory didn’t move my side from the bottom of the table as @TAMc10 also had a big victory; A good chunk of my squad returned injured from the international fixtures meaning I will struggle to get a full roster of players this week. And who will I have to face this gameweek? Oh, it’s just table topping @TRKingston, who has won six games straight, and has scored 400 points more this season than I have. Thanks IEFSA/Fantrax!

@TRKingston’s Team

Todd has eight outfield players who have scored more points this season than my highest scorer (Tom Ince of all people). The only player who has under-performed for @TRKingston so far has been Yohan Cabaye, but everyone in a Crystal Palace shirt has under-performed this season. It also looks like Todd can play a whole outfield eight of players that will be playing at home this weekend. His only new injury worry has been the one suffered by Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi while away with the German squad for the World Cup qualifiers.
Diego Tardelli was in the latest Brazilian squad but not Richarlison?? #TiteOut

Some of Todd’s best performers have been the triple Man City set of Otamendi, Fernandinho and David Silva. Together they average nearly 65 points per game. None of these players are his top goalscorer though, for that you have to look at the inform Richarlison at Watford. The Brazilian has scored three goals this season and has made a habit of scoring important late goals recently.

What I Need To Happen

A week is a long time in football and now facing into Gameweek 8 my side has picked up several injuries. Most worryingly of all Joe Allen has a head injury and will miss Stoke’s next fixture away against Man City. More tragic than this though, is that the football world has been robbed of having Joe Allen play at a World Cup yet again. The Welsh side missed out on any chance of a trip to Russia after finishing third in their World Cup qualifying group. Also injured on international duty was Renato Sanches. The Swansea Midfielder should be at Russia next summer with the Portugese squad. But to do that, he surely must be playing regularly for the Swans no? He more than likely won’t be able to take the field this Saturday at three o’clock against Huddersfield, meaning the rest of my squad will have to drag their working limbs onto the pitch and earn enough points to be competitive this weekend.
Joe Allen joins, Dzeko, Robben, Bale, Alexis Sanchez etc. who won't be going to Russia 2018

I need goals now more than ever. The average points my players pull in every week is not enough to win the usual match-ups. A goal or two could be crucial. Especially since a goal or two is the sum of what my side has managed all season. Ciaran Clark – one goal. Top scorer, Tammy Abraham – two goals. Luckily Abraham gets to the chance to find the back of the net against Huddersfield this week. The Terriers conceded four goals in their last Premier League game, and they haven’t scored in nearly a month.


Six correct predictions from nine last time out. A lot of high scoring meant a number of upsets. 12 points separate top from bottom in the Secondary League. That is also the league with the tie of the round. The top two, and highest scorers, in the league face off when @jasonuk17 meets @SportsByGotti. Remember to follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter for all the latest goings on in both Primary and Secondary leagues. Plus, for the inner workings of the inevitable changes to my side, follow @GarryIrwin.

Here are this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Week 7: IEFSA Fantasy League 2017/18 Preview

As the old saying goes, ‘one step forward, twelve steps back.’ That’s precisely what happened last weekend, as @FuzzyWarbles gave out a 65-point shellacking to my side. All the optimism that had been around in the build up to the gameweek evaporated in a haze of red cards and injuries. Unfortunately, that haze tends to stick around for a while so this week we are not in the best shape as we prepare to face @EPL_MOstradamus. After a poor start to the season Chris has rattled off four wins in a row and probably won’t have to exert himself too much to make it five. The IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer will see to that!
Aurier's tackle on Carroll may have been from behind (VAR needed)

Serge Aurier only lasted seventy minutes against West Ham before receiving his marching orders for an incredibly boneheaded challenge that earned him a second yellow card. The $45 spent on him the week before looks like as sound an investment as those AOL Time Warner shares I bought back in the day. He will find himself suspended this gameweek meaning I will have to bring in another defender; but all my defenders are injured! Well that’s a lie, Ciaran Clark is fit, but has to face a free scoring Liverpool side. A team with only one defender has pretty much no chance of victory in IEFSA, so I might be forced to look at Free Agency if my side are to compete in this one.

@EPL_MOstradamus’s Team

My side are not the only ones to suffer the injury jinx. Chris recently lost his Forward Christian Benteke and Defender Benjamin Mendy. @EPL_MOstradamus does have the squad depth to be able to absorb those injuries though. Firmino will lead the line, against my only defender no less! while Charlie Daniels should be a more than capable deputy for Mendy at the back. Daniels already has a goal and assist this season and gets to face a rather shaky Leicester City at home on Saturday. Apart from those changes, it looks a pretty settled side. Manuel Lanzini is still side-lined with a knee injury, and Heung-Min Son will likely sit on the bench for Spurs, and therefore Chris, during the early kick-off.
Firmino may outscore my whole team this week!

Looking around for where the points will come from; Firmino is an obvious candidate, as are Harry Maguire and Nathan Redmond, who average over 16 points a game each. Solly March of Brighton averages over 13 points per game, but has to travel to an Arsenal side who like to hog the ball at Sunday tea-time. In goals will be Ben Foster of West Brom. The Baggies are usually a good bet for a clean sheet at home and they face a kind fixture against Watford on Saturday at three o’clock. Even when conceding two goals to the Gunners last time out Foster still managed 15.2 points.

What I Need To Happen

@EPL_Mostradamus might be down to the bare bones nine players to fill his roster, so perhaps if a few managers where to start tinkering with their formations or starting elevens then now would be an ideal time. The Aurier suspension leaves me in quite a bind. Steve Cook is still recovering from injury, so will perhaps remain on the bench for Bournemouth. Michael Keane looks like he won’t recover in time to take part in Everton’s next fixture. Victor Lindelof played 90 minutes in midweek for a Champions League game and is probably still out of the starting line-up when the Premier League rolls around. This paints a far from rosy picture of my prospects this weekend.
Sometime in the last century Gareth Barry played for a side called Aston Villa (ask your grandfather)

If we try to find the positives, you could say that Tammy Abraham scored last week and should perhaps force himself back into the Swansea eleven. Gareth Barry reached a record 633rd appearance in the top flight since football was invented in 1992, so there’s that…

Ummm…. Nick Pope kept a clean sheet recently…

Moving on…


A more than respectable seven from nine in last weekend’s predictions. Can we do any better this time out? Follow @THE_IEFSA to find out. Also follow @GarryIrwin on Twitter also to keep up to date on all the goings on of my hobbled together WorstSquadInIEFSA™.
Here are this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Week 6: IEFSA Fantasy League 2017/18 Preview

A fifth loss to start the season would make you believe I’m feeling the pressure. But things have been positive this past gameweek, as my side posted their second highest total of the year and everyone got on the pitch and contributed their little bit. Beating @wrigavin was always going to be a tough ask, and a Xherdan Shaqiri (of all things!) goal was the difference between the two sides. Harry Kane had a quiet game but still put up 13 points, which would have been the third best score if he was on my team. Which basically means if @wrigavin wanted to trade Kane for any of my better players, then my door would perhaps be open.
Shaqiri loves a long range shot or two

With performances slowly on the up I can look forward with optimism to this week’s matchup. So, who has the IEEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer decide to pit my side against? Oh it’s @FuzzyWarbles. *checks IEFSA league table* Oh…… oh…. @FuzzyWarbles just happens to be top and has scored the highest amount of points in the league. He has scored almost three hundred points more than my team and scored the highest amount of points last weekend. Surely this fixture is just further proof of the IEFSA/Fantrax bias against my side.

@FuzzyWarbles’s Team

Steve has a player who has already scored more goals than my whole squad put together. Liverpool’s Sadio Mane. He has a player who would be my top scorer (2 goals) if he was on my team. Burnley’s new signing Chris Wood. In Midfield things don’t get much better when you compare our sides. The best passer in my side is, obviously, Joe Allen, with 144 accurate passes in Midfield. @FuzzyWarbles’s players would laugh at this stat though. After five games, his three midfielders of Tom Carroll, Andrew Surman and Eric Dier post numbers of 200, 247, and 316 accurate passes respectively.

At the back things look equally as grim. I somehow have six defenders in my squad and between them they’ve played 15 games and have earned a total of three clean sheets. @FuzzyWarbles also has six defenders in his squad, yet they have managed 13 clean sheets between them. Phil Jones (4) on his own has more clean sheets than my whole team! Steve’s goalkeeper is Spurs’ Hugo Lloris, and the Frenchman has three clean sheets this season. I on the other hand have whoever mans the sticks for Burnley, currently Nick Pope, and that side has yet to stop an opponent from scoring.

@FuzzyWarbles also has another player he can call on if he needs a bit of a goal threat.
@FuzzyWarbles will rest him right?

What I Need To Happen

Not many sides can boast a Golden Boy award winner in their squad!
Well, six sides can boast that, including @FuzzyWarbles, doh!
But moving on… I secured the talents of Renato Sanches for a steal of only $45 a few weeks ago. The Swansea midfielder has yet to find his feet in Wales, but surely will find things easier going when he faces Watford on Saturday. This should also be the game where Tammy Abraham bags (conservative estimate) a brace. Looking elsewhere for goals. My best hope is probably Tom Ince. The Huddersfield man has taken 19 shots this season and is yet to find the net. It would be just my luck that he finally pops one in when he is up against my Burnley goalkeeper.
Izquierdo is Brighton's record signing #TheMoreYouKnow

Jose Izquierdo managed 104 minutes for Brighton during the league cup in midweek. Unfortunately, he didn’t use this time by scoring any goals and probably missed his side’s best chance of the game, as the Seagulls were knocked out. Using my crystal ball, I’d say that the Colombian will fail to break the starting line-up again for some time. This means I may have to offload the winger for another promising player on the Free Agency list. I’m hearing good things about this Marko Grujic, maybe I’ll pick him up…


Five from nine last weekend, as a number of tight games didn’t fall the way I had expected. @wrigavin against @TRKingston is the tie of the round. Both teams have a record of 4-1 and the winner of this tie could go top if @FuzzyWarbles has a below par performance. *crosses fingers* To keep track of all the goings on of this gameweek, please follow @THE_IEFSA. To hear tales of woe, heartache, despondency, misfortune and the occasional cat meme, please follow @GarryIrwin on Twitter.

Here are this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Week 5: IEFSA Fantasy League 2017\18 Preview

“A life spent defensively, worried, is a life wasted”                         -                      Lance Armstrong

Four weeks, four losses. Times were getting desperate. I couldn’t field a whole starting roster, injuries were mounting up as Tom Heaton injured his shoulder which would necessitate a lengthy absence, goals were becoming a rarity (two in four games), and an assist had yet to be seen. Something had to be done. I could not just ride it out and hope Dwight Gayle battles his way back into the Newcastle starting eleven, or that Victor Lindelof would finally usurp Phil Jones from the Man Utd back-line. Actions needed to be taken before I was cut adrift at the bottom of the table.
Shoulder surgery will keep Tom Heaton sidelined for months

That those actions would entail me spending almost my entire budget on three players who probably won’t start for their respective teams this weekend, was not something people could have foreseen. In fact, I didn’t even see it that way, as I had expected to be outbid on at least one of the three players I now possess. Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a value of $68 last season, so I assumed he would go for slightly higher this time around and I had initially bid over $70. But I kept notching up the value until I settled on $85. I probably could have acquired him for a fair but less. The Swede can’t come back from injury fast enough. My other two players each cost me $40 less than Zlatan, but I vastly overpaid. Serge Aurier becomes the most expensive Spurs defender in the game and is fighting with $1 Kieran Trippier for a spot in their line-up. Renato Sanches was made the fifteenth most expensive Midfielder in the league. Not bad for a player who completed 90 minutes only once during a year at Bayern Munich, where he was largely anonymous. While signing these players I had to let go Gayle and Shelvey, what with the earlier release of Jose Fonte, means I’ve basically thrown away nearly $100 since the draft. This sounds like doom and gloom, but my new team get their chance to prove themselves this coming gameweek against @wrigavin. Gavin has three wins this season and would have beaten my side handily if we had met on any other gameweek. Thanks IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer!

@wrigavin’s Team

What I Need To Happen

Zlatan is injured. Heaton is out for months. Rojo is also still injured. Lindelof might as well be injured. Izquierdo (who?) can’t seem to start a game. Tammy Abraham has less accurate passes in 330 minutes of football than Renato Sanches managed in 70 minutes last weekend. Joe Allen is off form. Keane and Cook are defenders in name only as they don’t seem to want to keep clean sheets anymore. Gareth Barry is……. still in my squad??? My only hope this weekend could be the longshot of my Bournemouth and Brighton players outscoring @wrigavin’s Anthony Knockaert (a tough ask in itself), followed by some sort of nuclear war that gets all the other games on Saturday and Sunday cancelled.
Kim Jong-Un has won every season of the North Korean Fantasy League


An improvement from the week before sees six correct predictions from nine. It was the tough-to-call games in the Primary League that were my undoing. To heap praise on this week’s predictions, feel free to follow me on Twitter @GarryIrwin. Also, feel free to badger @THE_IEFSA to ease up on the fixture congestion my side unfairly has to face every week.

Here are this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Week 4: IEFSA Fantasy League 2017/18 Preview

Three matches and three defeats. And while performances have improved week on week, I can tell the fans are getting restless. I’m not sure how long it’s acceptable to be rooted to the foot of the table, but thanks to the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer we may just find out. Firstly, I’m not sure how I lost my match-up last week when @RotoZdroik’s biggest threat to goal was a Lukaku missed penalty?? I had two goal scorers, as Tammy Abraham got off the mark for Swansea, and late signing Ciaran Clark netted for Newcastle. But lose I did, which leaves me bottom of the table with zero wins and the lowest points scored in the two divisions of IEFSA.
Ciaran Clark clearly delighted to have signed with my team this week

When times are tough you can always count on the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture compiler to give you a little kick. This week I will have to face @jwl_15, who would be undefeated if not for an Aaron Ramsey horror show against Liverpool two weeks ago. What makes this worse is that his star man is a player I let go at the end of last season!! And I’m not talking about Jack Wilshere (though he does have him too!).

@jwl_15’s Team

That star man of course is Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Last season he managed a total of one assist and barely a paltry ten points per game. In only three games this season, he has five assists and averages over 26 points per game. (anyone who points out I seem to have replaced the Armenian with Jonjo Shelvey, -2.1 ppg, will immediately be blocked on Twitter!) As has been mentioned, he also has Ramsey in midfield, who is usually good for a decent haul of points, last gameweek aside. Partnering them he has the workhorses of the Chelsea and Liverpool midfield's in N’Golo Kante and Jordan Henderson.
How many assists can he provide this season?....or this weekend?

Up front @jwl_15 has Southampton’s Manolo Gabbiadini who recent got off the mark and will be looking to score again at home to Watford on Saturday. He could also play Andre Ayew, but seeing as West Ham don’t play Huddersfield until Monday night, @jwl_15 may not have the luxury of waiting on the Ghanian’s fitness until then. But seeing the numbers my side has posted so far this season, he probably could afford to! At the back it looks like Cedric Soares, Southampton, Stephen Ward, Burnley, and Mamadou Sakho, Crystal Palace. Between the sticks will be Swansea’s Lukasz Fabianski. Putting him in direct opposition to two of my star players!

What I Need To Happen

Well, I’ll need both of these star players to make the first eleven for a start! It’s Newcastle who travel to face Fabianski and Swansea, but seeing as the Toon won 3-0 last time out without Shelvey or Dwight Gayle, I won’t be holding my breath. As I mentioned earlier, Ciaran Clark was a late signing who came good for me last week. He was brought in after I gave the heave-ho to Jose Fonte after he failed to make it back into the West Ham side. Looking around my squad, there are a few names under pressure to perform. Joe Allen is not his usually box-to-box self and is averaging a woeful, by his standards, nine points per game. Big signing Tom Ince has yet to trouble the oppositions net. While Victor Lindelof has yet to even feature in a Premier League game.
Abraham may have scored but are his other stats letting the side down?

Times are getting desperate. If a heavy defeat is suffered this week, I could be forced to abandon the whole squad that was carefully assembled during the draft. I will need to replace them with grafters. Players who are ready for a scrap. Who can play dirty for ninety minutes and get you all those much-needed tackling and accurate passing points. Tammy Abraham has 26 accurate passes in three games. 26?!? My goalkeeper has more! If, as I presume, he’s generally around for the kick-offs, that’s a quarter of his passes. Wholesale changes could be on the horizon if results don’t improve. If there is no reaction this week I will have no qualms about replacing an expensive signing with….. checks Free Agency list…… squints….. Solly March?


To send me general abuse for my team/signings/predictions follow me on Twitter @GarryIrwin. Though you should really direct your ire @THE_IEFSA who seem to find new ways to undermine my carefully thought out plans every week. Before the international break I managed a rather poor four from nine. Will it be any better this weekend? Let’s find out.

Here are this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Week 3: IEFSA Fantasy League 2017/18 Preview

A slight improvement from the opening weekend, but unfortunately it was still a loss to @FantasyYIRMA in Gameweek 2. Fifteen extra points were scored, and even better, all of my players stayed on the field, but it wasn’t enough, as a failure to get a clean sheet out of any of my defenders or goalkeeper cost my side dearly. It leaves my side deep in relegation trouble and we haven’t even reached September yet. So, this week what has the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer in store? Why it’s only the second highest scoring team in the league, @RotoZdroik.
Dwight Gayle  has had some early season struggles in front of goal

The international break can’t come fast enough. It might give my players a chance to rest and recuperate! As I mentioned many times, goals win games. With no goals so far this season, I’m starting to think Dwight Gayle is not as good Romelu Lukaku. My side also has failed to register any assists, with only three assists of actual shots from my whole squad. Compare this to @RotoZdroik’s squad who has assisted 23 shots and it looks like it might be a long weekend.

@RotoZdroik’s Team

Everton have scored two goals this season and both were assisted by Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The youngster must surely have moved himself up the pecking order in Adam’s Midfield. This week Everton have a difficult trip to Chelsea though, so perhaps Calvert-Lewin will be held over in the OF position until Sunday. A lot of his players, at least on paper, have difficult ties. The majority of them have an away fixture this weekend. His highest scoring player has a home fixture on Saturday though.
Can @RotoZdroik be tempted to rest Lukaku??

Romelu Lukaku has scored 48 points in the first two games of the season, scoring three goals. The Belgian has had eight shots and will hope for a few more at Old Trafford when Manchester United face Leicester City. @RotoZdroik could pull a trick on everyone though and play Ayoze Perez in the Forward position. At three o’clock on Saturday, Newcastle will play West Ham United. The Hammers have shipped seven goals in two games and it could be fruitful for Adam to find a spot in his roster for the Spaniard.

What I Need To Happen

I really need my side to break the 100 point barrier. @RotoZdroik averages 154 points, which is only 18 points less than I have managed in two Gameweeks. I`m in desperate need of some goalscorers. Dwight Gayle didn’t even last an hour last time out and has only one shot on target this season. The players who have taken the most shots in my squad, (and are therefore due a goal this weekend!) are Tammy Abraham of Swansea and Tom Ince of Huddersfield.
Gareth Barry will face Joe Allen in the game of the weekend

Looking elsewhere around my squad for points, you have top point scorer Michael Keane, who faces a tough away day at Chelsea with Everton. In Midfield Gareth Barry has settled in well with West Brom who have won two games to start their campaign and have yet to concede a goal. Barry and his side face a resurgent Stoke City on Sunday. Joe Allen has not has as good a start as he managed last term, but hopefully he can pick up some points in this game, which should be a tense midfield battle.


Those of you following @THE_IEFSA on Twitter (and you all should be) will see that a lot of sides have been busy in the transfer market in the hope of unearthing that $1 gem that can turn a loss into a win. Six sides including mine have yet to get off the mark. In the prediction stakes, last weekend was a bit of a bust as only four of the nine predictions were correct. Let’s hope for better this Gameweek. Here are this week’s predictions.

Good Luck Everyone