Friday, March 31, 2017

Week 30: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

Finally, the international break is over and we can get back to the nitty gritty of league football. What seems like an eternity without fantasy football will come to an end with Liverpool facing Everton at Saturday lunchtime. My side won a nineteenth game of the season in the last gameweek, thanks largely to another clean sheet from Tom Heaton. That win keeps my side in second place, nine points behind @RotoZdroik.
Tom Heaton is the only goalkeeper with over 100 saves this season

This week the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer gives me a change to get revenge on a two-point loss from Gameweek 12. That painful loss was inflicted by @wrigavin. Gavin is on a run of three losses which has seen him drop down the table to ninth place. He knows a win, coupled with the right set of results, could move him into fourth though.

@wrigavin’s Team

@wrigavin has only one red flagged injury, but unfortunately for him it is to his most valuable player. Harry Kane has more goals than the rest of Gavin’s squad put together. Now without the Spurs forward, he will have to rely on Alvaro Negredo for goals. Normally this would be a pretty vain hope, but with Middlesbrough sacking their manager, perhaps they can start scoring goals off the back of that new manager bounce. Negredo heads to the worst defence in the league on Sunday, Swansea. The next top scorer on the team is his Defender Craig Dawson. The West Brom player will get a change to add to his three goals this season at Old Trafford on Saturday.
It was only Arsenal right? We can't read too much into this??

Gavin has made a few changes to his squad since the turn of the year. He overhauled his Midfield with the signings of Robbie Brady (Burnley), Lazar Markovic (Hull), and Luciano Narsingh (Swansea). All three have yet to cement places in their respective sides, but in only nine starts between them, they have contributed a goal and three assists. At the back he has added Bryan Oviedo. The Costa Rican defender joined Sunderland from Everton in January and averages over twelve and a half points per game.

What I Need To Happen

Tom Heaton will not have to face Harry Kane, but will have to contend with the rest of a potent Spurs attack. If not a clean sheet, then hopefully many save points will be coming his way. Michael Keane at the back will also be kept busy in the same game and should reach his thirteen point average. In Midfield, it would really help my side if Henrikh Mkhitaryan got back into the Manchester United starting lineup for the visit of West Brom. Scoring a goal would also take points off Craig Dawson. Elsewhere across the middle of the park; Jack Wilshere is slowly recovering from an injury, yet may get more minutes for Bournemouth this weekend; Ibrahim Afellay travels to the champions Leicester City but it would be a surprise if he gets into the Stoke first team.
If I had any hair it would have went white waiting for Borini to score too.

I may be reaching a bit, but it’s April now and Sunderland a running out of time to start trying to stay in the division. With that in mind, someone is going to need to help Defoe score goals, and that someone may as well be Fabio Borini! Failing that, I may have to fall back on Chelsea’s Pedro. He has a game at home to Crystal Palace come three o’clock on Saturday. If Borini and Pedro draw blanks, all my eggs will be in the Kevin Mirallas basket. Everton have a shockingly bad record against Liverpool recently though, so I’m not going to expect too many points from either Mirallas or defender Leighton Baines.


Six from nine last time out. Lots of close games keep the league table nice and tight. Only six points separate the team in third from the team in eleventh. The big match-up this gameweek pits leader @RotoZdroik against fifth place @nikarg. Here are this week’s predictions.

Good Luck Everyone. Also go follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Week 29: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

Kevin Mirallas helped seal a victory against @cjradune with a goal against West Brom. Both our sides were missing players thanks to the F.A. Cup games, but C.J. was really set back when Raheem Sterling was rested. In the end I managed to field eight players to his five and win by over 18 points. That victory keeps my side in second place, nine points off leader @RotoZdroik.
Mirallas with a.... wait.... why is Morgan Schneiderlin wearing number 2??

This week the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer has decided that I need to face a side that has won four games on the trot. A team with a host of star players who all seem to be hitting form going into the last few months of the season. A team that is out for revenge after our match-up in Gameweek 10 saw my team triumph in a week where he would have beaten every other side in the league. That team, @FantasyYIRMA.

@FantasyYIRMA’s Team

Recent surgery to his side has seen @FantasyYIRMA acquire Jamie Vardy and Vincent Janssen in the Forward position. Vardy has rediscovered his scoring boots in Leicester City’s upturn in results, which has seen them get to the Champions League quarter finals. The Janssen pickup is probably due to the fact that Spurs will be without Harry Kane for a run of fixtures, and by the law of averages, they have to play someone up front. He could also call on Wayne Rooney in a pinch if the England captain is fit to return against Middlesbrough on Sunday. Rooney has five goals against Middlesbrough in his career to date.
Will Janssen start on the pitch or on the bench? Will we notice??

@FantasyYIRMA probably has one of the best Midfield trios in IEFSA at the moment, and they all have favourable fixtures this weekend. Juan Mata scored midweek in the Europa League. Dele Alli is YIRMA’s top scorer with 13 goals. Mesut Ozil of Arsenal will face a West Brom team that appears to have already booked their summer holidays, and are simply packing the bucket and spade for the beach at the moment. At the back all his defenders have home ties. Ashley Williams faces Hull City. Winston Reid gets to tackle Vardy and Leicester City. While Jonny Evans will have the headache of Ozil and Arsenal.

What I Need To Happen

Thankfully a number of @FantasyYIRMA’s players will face each other at the weekend and will hopefully take points off each other. His Goalkeeper will more than likely be Simon Mignolet for Liverpool, who play Man City away on Sunday. Mignolet has only four clean sheets this season and will be doing well to keep out City. Although City were held scoreless by Stoke City in their last home Premier League game. Trying to outscore YIRMA’s Midfield this week will be difficult. Joe Allen has a tough game against Chelsea. Jack Wilshere has found himself on the bench at Bournemouth of late. Ibrahim Afellay has still to break into the Stoke side. While Kevin Mirallas is always a 50-50 chance to start for Everton. The one bright spot could be the return from injury of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who may need to be the main play-maker for Man Utd this week.

A few players have injury red flags to worry about too. Leighton Baines went off at halftime in Everton’s last game. Marko Arnautovic missed Stoke City’s game against Man City, but is due to return against Chelsea. Speaking of Chelsea, Pedro could be a doubt to start again (isn’t he always), the Spaniard hasn’t completed the full ninety minutes in the league since January fourth. If Pedro does miss out, he could be replaced by Cesc Fabregas, who is currently sitting on @FantasyYIRMA’s bench, waiting to pounce.


Seven from nine last time out, with leader@RotoZdroik scoring the highest total of the week. First plays third in the clash of the round this time out, as @FuzzyWarbles will be trying to cut into @RotoZdroik’s lead. To keep tabs on the action, please follow @THE_IEFSA on Twitter. Here are this week’s predictions.

Good Luck Everyone.

@EPL_MOstradamus over @TRKingston

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Week 28: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

Okay, okay. I’ll hold my hand up! I got the bench players wrong last gameweek. You see, it’s not only Arsene Wenger who struggles to put his best starting eleven out onto the pitch. I took a chance that Jack Wilshere would get more points off the bench against Manchester United, than both Ibrahim Afellay and Kevin Mirallas. I was convinced our Jack would get a decent twenty minutes chasing a huffing and puffing Man U. Instead, Bournemouth went down to ten men and dug in, while Wilshere never left the bench. I was sure Mirallas would only scrape together a few points away at Spurs. He got an assist. Because of these miscalculations, I lost to @TAMc10 by three and a half points.
I'm sure Bournemouth's terrible run ending when Wilshere was absent was just coincidence

No time to dwell on that loss though, as Gameweek 28 starts midweek with the fixture of Manchester City at home to Stoke City. Also, because of the FA Cup next weekend, there will be only a further four fixtures in which to score points. This means it will be difficult for IEFSA managers to get out a full squad of starters. This week the IEFSA/Fantrax fixture computer throws up a match-up with @cjradune, and of course he can call on three of his top four average scoring players, while my side on the other hand, will only have Joe Allen from my top three average scorers.

@cjradune’s Team

Raheem Sterling averages nearly 17 points per game and is C.J.’s top scorer with six goals. Sterling has also added five assists. His highest scoring fantasy player is Everton’s Ross Barkley. He averages over 18 points a game and has chipped in with four goals and six assists so far this season. His third high scoring player for this week is in Defence. Nathaniel Clyne of Liverpool averages over 15 points per game. And to help confirm the ‘hidden’ bias against my team, all of these players have very winnable home games this week.
Raheem Sterling should probably be rested with the Champions League next week, right?

If the six players @cjradune has this week, start and hit their averages, I will need my side to score 85 points in order to win. But will I have enough players to be able to achieve this?

What I Need To Happen

Top scorer Pedro doesn’t have a fixture this weekend. Arsenal are another team on FA Cup duty, meaning Bellerin will also be absent. New signing Luka Milivojevic has had a pretty respectable start to life at Crystal Palace, but no game for them this week, means he’ll sit on the bench here. Fabio Borini is another with no game to play, but I’m not entirely sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

Of those who can start, the three players who gave me such a headache in Gameweek 27 will all probably still occupy their sides respective subs list. Wilshere, Mirallas and Afellay could benefit from rotation, but when combined they only got 29 minutes last weekend, so I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one. Two fairly consistent performers from Stoke will get the gameweek underway on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, that game is away to Man City, and Arnautovic will be subject to a late fitness test, leaving Joe Allen to carry my side’s workload. Not for the first time!


There are going to be lots of interesting match-ups this week because teams will be so shorthanded, so make sure you are following @THE_IEFSA on Twitter. @RotoZdroik has extended his lead at the top to nine points, and will be tough to catch this week because he has a full playing squad to choose from.
Last week saw six correct and three incorrect predictions. Will less teams playing mean the match-ups are easier to call this time around?

Good Luck Everyone

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Week 27: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

A Pedro goal and assist against Swansea for Chelsea, coupled with a Michael Keane goal for Burnley away at Hull, was enough to help get me the win against @SportsByGotti last week. That win keeps me two games back from leader @RotoZdroik. A lot of teams would have been hampered by players not having a fixture in Gameweek 26, but no-one will have that excuse this week.

The IEFSA Fantrax fixture computer throws up a rare sight this week, as both goalkeepers will be on opposing sides in the same Premier League fixture. But with the compiler forever against my team, my opponent will have the home advantage in this one. In fact, all bar my Stoke City players will be playing away from home this week. And who is the manager given the leg up this week? Why @TAMc10 of course. A team that has won six out of his last seven games. The only loss being by less than five points.

@TAMc10’s Team

That goalkeeper who has a tidy home fixture this week is Lukasz Fabianski of Swansea. The Swans host a Burnley side who are the lowest away scorers in the league. His backline includes several high scoring Defenders. Azpilicueta of Chelsea averages over 15 points a game. While Koscielny of Arsenal also averages over 15. He can also call upon the talents of Vincent Kompany, who appears to finally be returning from his leg injury.
Despite how bad Liverpool have been playing, it's hard to see Sanchez being rested again.

Supplying the goals for Tate will be his main man Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean already has 17 to his name this season, as well as eight assists. Second on his goalscoring chart is Liverpool player Adam Lallana. The Midfielder has provided seven goals and seven assists in his 24 appearances. These two players will face each other at Anfield in the late Saturday kick-off. @TAMc10 will be hoping for lots of goals (and probably an Arsenal win!)

What I Need To Happen

Jesse Lingard was discarded last week in favour of Crystal Palace new boy Luka Milivojevic. The 25-year-old Serbian would not be as big a goal threat as Lingard, but I do feel that he will get more game time between now and the end of the season. Mkhitaryan is also out injured, so I needed a player who was more sure of a start coming into this gameweek. Ibrahim Afellay is still an option, but for how long? The two games Stoke play in the next five days will go a long way to showing if he fits into Mark Hughes plans going forward.
Lingard's goal in the League Cup Final could be his last for awhile. (or i'll look like an idiot)

With the vast majority of my players playing away, clean sheets might be hard to come by. And if I am looking for goals I will have to fall back on my two big players to deliver the goods once again. Pedro travels to West Ham, never an easy fixture, and Conte could shuffle his attacking options for this game too. While Joe Allen (yes, he’s my big goal threat) faces Middlesbrough. ‘Boro have the fourth best away defensive record in the league though, and rarely go three games without a clean sheet. My other goal threat is Jack Wilshere, but he travels to Old Trafford to face Manchester United this week in the early kick-off. That ground doesn’t get to see too many goals, never mind goals form the visiting team.


Lots of moving and shaking going on this week as @cjradune sends Jamie Vardy to @FantasyYIRMA in exchange for Wilfried Zaha. It will take a few games to see who has got the upper hand in that exchange. The big clash in @THE_IEFSA this week will see leader @RotoZdroik face third placed @wrigavin.

Last week’s predictions went eight to one, with only @TomSunderland_ upsetting my clean sweep. Here are this week’s predictions. Good Luck Everyone.