Friday, February 3, 2017

Week 24: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

My team responded to defeat in Gameweek 22 with a big victory midweek against @BenDinnery.  Along with scoring the highest total of the week with 133.7 points, the victory also saw my side move up into second place in the league. A Tom Heaton clean sheet for Burnley, as well as his teammate Michael Keane adding an assist. Marko Arnautovic chipped in with an assist too. Ben only had a Darren Fletcher assist and a one save Willy Caballero shutout in response. My rise was because of a number of upsets, as four of the top eight lost. One person who didn’t taste defeat was leader @RotoZdroik. His side has a league best six wins on the trot (the next best has two!). Adam also had the second highest score in midweek with 132.5. This after he had been nearly sixty points adrift going into Wednesday night.
All Tom Heaton's six clean sheets have come at Turf Moor
@RotoZdroik is now 12 points clear of a group of four teams. He is in danger of being out of sight before we enter the final third of the season. Our clash will also be a revenge game for him, as I managed to beat him in Gameweek 5 by a measly 2.6 points. It was one of only five defeats for him this season. He has only lost three in eighteen games since. While most of the league will be cheering me on in this clash of the top two sides, I have a feeling the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer has thrown up this fixture now in an attempt to undermine my side’s rise up the table. Only three of my players have home games this week. While Adam’s two top scorers, Defoe and Lukaku, have a combined goals total (24), just two shy of the combined goals total of my whole team (26).

@RotoZdroik’s Team

Oh did I mention he has eight goal Fernando Llorente and seven goal Gylfi Sigurdsson of Swansea in his squad too? Or that his Hull Goalkeeper gained more than twenty points in a game away to Manchester United last time out. If his players simply hit their average for the season, I will need 131.7 points to beat him. A score I have only managed six times this season. Adam can only play two of Lukaku, Llorente and Defoe though, so he will have a few choices to make this weekend. Lukaku and Defoe are the obvious picks, but Llorente did score two goals away at Liverpool recently and the Man City backline does tend to have the odd car crash game, even at home.
Sigurdsson spearheads a resurgent Swansea side
The three Defenders he is likely to go with all have home fixtures. Cahill, Maguire and Sagna. While two out of his three Midfielders will be playing at home, Gueye and Sane, the other being Sigurdsson. The Icelandic international has already scored against Man City this season in the League Cup though, and averages over twenty points a game. Unlike the Forward and Defender positions, Adam has no alternative options in Midfield with his Arsenal pair Granit Zhaka and Aaron Ramsey, suspended and injured respectively.

What I Need To Happen

Goals win games. I will need all of his top four scorers to have an off day this gameweek. The last time none of these players scored in a gameweek was back in mid-December in Gameweek 17. But even in that week, Leroy Sane scored for @RotoZdroik. With goals almost guaranteed, maybe I should just worry about my side scoring goals.

With most of my players playing away from home, and my only Forward playing at home is up against Arsenal. Pedro may have five goals this year, but he can’t seem to nail down a place in Conte’s Chelsea side. This London derby is the first game of the weekend, so as least I will know early if Pedro is in or out of my team. If he is out, Arnautovic or Borini will occupy the Forward position. Elsewhere in my team, Joe Allen and Henrik Mkhitaryan have had dips in form recently, and Jack Wilshere is still making me wait for his first Bournemouth goal. It may come this weekend, and if it does it would take cleansheet points away from my Defender Leighton Baines.
Afellay will take his gloves off soon and storm the fantasy scene
In better news, the Ibrahim Afellay Experiment is seemingly improving. He started Stoke’s last game and managed ninety minutes, but only 7.75 points. A trip to West Brom is not the easiest game to gain points in, so perhaps I will hold off on unleashing him to the fantasy football world just yet.


With a few upsets last week, the predictions finally saw a dip from a run of six correct in a row over the previous three gameweeks. Five correct and four incorrect. Remember to follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter to not only keep track of this weekend’s scores, but also to see if any side has dipped into the transfer market. A number of teams are looking to get players in order to improve their fortunes. No one has made a bid for Ibrahim Afellay or Jack Wilshere yet. But when that happens, follow @GarryIrwin and you’ll be the first to know.

Here are this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone

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