Friday, January 13, 2017

Week 21: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

The Premier League is back after a week of FA Cup action. Most sides put out ‘experimental’ lineups in an effort to save themselves for the rigours of a relegation battle, title race, European campaign, or finishing 14th. (delete as appropriate) The return of league action means the return of Fantasy Football and the IEFSA Fantasy League brought to you by Fantrax. So check your sides for the latest injuries, or in case anyone of your players have scuttled off to China, and lets begin the Gameweek 21 preview.

A Leighton Baines goal helped my team overcome @TRKingston two weeks ago. This result moved my team up to fourth in the league. I would have lost to this week’s opponent if I had been playing him though, @jasonuk17. I overcame Jason in Week 2 and since then our two teams have been scoring pretty close points-wise. Six times in the following game weeks our sides would have only been separated by less than five points, twice by less than a point (0.1 and 0.35). This all points to a rather tight game, but as usual, the IEFSA Fantrax fixture computer has organised it so that @jasonuk17’s Forward is in his best form of the season. While my highest priced Defender heads to the Injured Reserve list. Jason also picked up Claudio Yacob not long after he was discarded to Free Agency. This sets the West Brom man up nicely to come back and bite my side in the ass this week!

@jasonuk17’s Team

The in form Forward in Jason’s team is Frenchman Olivier Giroud. The Arsenal front-man has scored three goals in as many games and averages 24.4 points over the same period. Helping him out and pulling in almost 18 points a game this season is Bournemouth’s Junior Stanislas. Stanislas faces bottom club Hull on Saturday, so should have no problem getting near his average again. Elsewhere in Midfield he has another inform player in the shape of Michael Carrick. The Man Utd player should have plenty of work to do, and therefore earn plenty of points, when United entertain Liverpool on Sunday.
@jasonuk's secret weapon: Claudio Yacob

In goals Jason has another Man Utd star, David de Gea. Rested for the League Cup game midweek, de Gea has started all twenty league games this season, keeping seven clean sheets. He will probably not be the only one looking for clean sheets this week though, as all of @jasonuk17’s Defenders have home fixtures. The toughest of these being Ben Chilwell of Leicester City who host table toppers Chelsea. Conte’s men look like they will be playing without top scorer Diego Costa for this game though, as reports out of Stamford Bridge suggest he is unsettled and looking to move in January.
Will Costa be banging in goals at a sold out Workers Stadium in 2017?

What I Need To Happen

Hector Bellerin joined Arsenal teammate Santi Cazorla on my injured list this week after injuring his ankle. This leaves only three fit defenders, but hopefully they will all get the starts for their respective clubs and pick up a clean sheet or two. My goalkeeper Tom Heaton of Burnley will face Southampton. A clean sheet here, as well as keeping out Jason’s Oriol Romeu would be a good start on Saturday. Jason could also have up to three Watford players in his squad starting at three o’clock on Saturday. So, a Middlesbrough upset would be most welcomed in that game.

Another three-pm kick-off, this time involving four players from my squad, is the fixture between Sunderland and Stoke. Joe Allen has not been his usual self lately in regards gaining fantasy points, but will not get many better chances to reverse this trend than against third from bottom Sunderland. A high scoring affair with an effort or two from Fabio Borini would entertain the neutral and make me very happy. This fixture could also go a long way to seeing if the ‘Ibrahim Afellay Experiment’ will be a success. Jack Wilshere has yet to score in 2017, but should knock in one or two against bottom club Hull City, as he slowly forces his way into the England squad for the crucial game against Lithuania in March.
Jack Wilshere should open his Bournemouth account against Hull


Six correct and three incorrect for the second week in a row. Many of the managers are looking around trying to improve their squads during the January transfer window. Perhaps @BenDinnery is sweating the most as $65 of his budget is tied up in want-away Diego Costa. For the latest on this and all the other goings on in the league, please follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter. Here are this week’s predictions.

Good Luck Everyone

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