Sunday, May 21, 2017

Week 38: IEFSA Fantasy League Preview

My team is entering into the final game of the season on the back of a loss after they were unable to overcome the Phillipe Coutinho inspired @TomSunderland_. Tom posted the highest total of the week thanks to Coutinho earning a crazy 54.95 points from two goals and an assist away at West Ham. The 120 points my team posted would have been enough to beat 12 other sides in Gameweek 37, including this week’s opponents @EPL_MOstradamus.
An actual bubble making machine couldn't have done any worse than the West Ham defence last weekend

Chris and I will be in a straight winner takes all game for a fourth-place finish. Looking around the league, apart from winner @RotoZdroik and the two sides at the bottom, every other team can move up or down depending on their result. My squad currently hold the advantage over @EPL_MOstradamus because of Fantasy Points For (FPtsF) over the season, so if I can just avoid defeat, I can get my hands on the fourth-place trophy that everyone wants to win. Chris though will be out for revenge after I beat his side in Gameweek 19.

@EPL_MOstradamus’s Team

Minding the net for Chris is Watford stopper Heurelho Gomes. The Hornets have failed to keep a clean sheet since April 15th. That was a month in which Gomes kept three clean sheets in four games, but May has not been as kind to the keeper and Watford have slumped to five defeats in a row. They face a Manchester City side seemingly intent on finishing the season on a high. City have scored ten goals in their last three games and will be looking for a win so as to cement a Champions League place. On the flipside @EPL_MOstradamus does have Aleksandar Kolarov in his Defence, so will perhaps be looking for a nice boring nil nil draw. If there must be a goal, perhaps Chris will hope it comes from an unlikely source in midfielder Abdoulaye Daucoure of Watford. That’s if Daucoure can break into his starting Midfield.
Roberto Firmino could be @EPL_MOstradamus' Ace card this week

Lots of firepower going forward has helped @EPL_MOstradamus to 23 wins in IEFSA this season. In Midfield he can call on Lanzini of West Ham, Puncheon of Crystal Palace, and Heung-Min Son of Spurs. These three players have 20 goals between them. What’s surprising about that is Jason Puncheon has precisely none of those goals (he does have five assists). Puncheon has not gone a full season without a goal since his days at QPR and he did score on the final day of last season, so could be due a goal against a ‘depleted’ Man Utd side this weekend. Up front he has Puncheon’s Palace teammate Christian Benteke. The Belgian is Chris’s top scorer with 15 goals, but if he does find himself frustrated at Old Trafford on Sunday, he will probably get more joy from Roberto Firmino at Liverpool. The Brazilian faces a Middlesbrough side that were pretty much relegated the day they fell into the bottom three, and who have conceded eleven goals in their last three away games.

What I Need To Happen

Joe Allen had a bad day at the office last weekend against Arsenal. Stoke lost 4-1 and he contributed a paltry 5.7 fantasy points. He has gotten my side out of a number of scrapes this year, and I will be calling on the Welsh wizard once more to deliver away to Southampton. Unfortunately, his, and Stoke’s end of season form has been atrocious. They have only won one game in their last ten and Joe Allen didn’t even play in that game! To cap it off Marko Arnautovic went off with an arm injury in the Arsenal game and is a doubt for this Sunday.
Women want him. Men want to be him. Fantasy Managers  want to *******

Looking across my back-line; Kevin Long might have just started two games this season and conceded four goals, but that’s good enough for a call up to the Irish squad this summer. I’m hoping this recent good news will spark a flurry of fantasy points from Long, as it seems he will once again be playing in the place of the injured Michael Keane. Another of my defenders has a tricky away tie against outgoing Champs Leicester City. Steve Cook of Bournemouth has been solid all season and he averages 14 points per game. My final defensive spot will be a toss-up between Leighton Baines and Hector Bellerin. Arsenal play Everton at home, so if Bellerin starts, he may just get to nod.
Fabio Borini Hattrick 

Goals are the key to winning games, but I just can’t see where they will come from this week. Both Manchester United and Chelsea have bigger games to think of, so will perhaps not risk playing Mkhitaryan and Pedro. As I mentioned Arnautovic is an injury concern, but Stoke seem to have gone on their holidays already this season anyway. Fabio Borini is due a goal. Could he spring a hattrick to ruin Chelsea’s day and put himself in the shop window to be snapped up by one of the Champions League playing clubs? "Borini to Monaco" You heard it here first! Probably the best chance of a goal will be from the player who scored from the penalty spot last weekend. Milivojevic of Crystal Palace has two goals for the season and if , or when, Palace are gifted a penalty at Old Trafford by an error from one of the U-14 Youth team players Jose Mourinho has been forced to start because of the bias of the Premier League IEFSA Fantrax Fixture Computer (PLIFFC for short), then the Serbian is just the man to take it.


Big improvement in predictions last weekend with seven correct from nine. It should be easier to call winners in games this weekend as all the Premier League games kick off at the same time. This means managers will have very little room for blame if they end up with someone who doesn’t play any minutes in their starting roster. The problem will be putting together your strongest starting team. Now, while everyone is not as spoilt as me in choosing between Borini or Arnautovic for the Forward slot, some tough decisions will still have to be made. To follow all the action please point your internet finding…. thing (there must be a better word?) to @THE_IEFSA on Twitter.

It’s been an exciting, if occasionally skewed against my team, season. Here are the final gameweek predictions.

Good Luck Everybody

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