Thursday, 26 September 2013

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 6

Fueled by the Ozil adrenaline, the Gunners have raced to the top of the table after a terrible opening day setback. Hot on their heels are North London rivals Tottenham, who have addressed their open play trouble. Liverpool haven't won a game since beating Manchester United at Anfield, but the return of talisman Luis Suarez could arrest the "decline". United themselves bounced back from the derby drubbing with a league cup win over Liverpool midweek. Holders Swansea crashed out while Tottenham made light work of a trip to Villa Park. Chelsea and Arsenal also progressed in a midweek that saw no players bitten or ball boys kicked.

Gameweek 6 fixtures

Tottenham vs Chelsea
Aston Villa vs Manchester City
Fulham vs Cardiff
Hull City vs West Ham
Man Utd vs West Brom
Southampton vs Crystal Palace
Swansea vs Arsenal
Stoke vs Norwich
Sunderland vs Liverpool
Everton vs Newcastle

Player Picks


de Gea (6.0) - The Manchester United keeper becomes something of a must-have, with plenty of clean sheet potential in the next five games. The schedule comes as something of a relief after the tough start to the season in terms of fixture difficulty.

Boruc (4.6) - Southampton host a Crystal Palace team who are stricken with injuries and provides good value for money considering the schedule.

Vorm (5.0) - He isn't the best idea for the current gameweek with Arsenal arriving at the Liberty Stadium, but the following games bode well for the Dutchman.


Baines (7.6) - Landing two free kicks into the West Ham net reminded everyone exactly why he is the strongest pick among the defenders.

Vidic (6.0) - Read de Gea.

Clyne (4.4)/Fonte (4.8) - Read Boruc.

Wilson (4.5) - Has been playing in a midfield position, which makes him a decent pick given his price and schedule.


Ozil (10.4) - Without doubt the top pick in the premium bracket. His price has risen by 0.4 since his arrival, which is testament to his form and popularity.

Oscar (8.7) - He is starting to hit the numbers the same way Juan Mata (sniff) was doing last season. The schedule isn't terrible and he isn't out of reach yet.

Ramsey (6.2) - A cut-price alternative to Ozil. He's already the most-owned midfielder in the game, and is red hot right now.

Barkley (5.2) - Is another widely-owned midfielder with points potential who will perform whilst enabling you to splash where necessary.

Brady (5.2) - Racked up fantastic statistics in his stint with Hull in the Championship, and he has been continuing in that vein this season. A shrewd budget buy.

Arnautovic (5.5) - The price, potential and schedule makes for a tempting package.


Rooney (10.7) - He has come into his own since recovering from his head injury, displaying form not seen since the 2009-10 season. Should become a popular pick as he comes much cheaper than van Persie.

Suarez (10.9) - One of last season's strongest FPL performers should see his points total and price rise. Given Liverpool's tempting fixtures, there is no time like the present to dig in.

Lukaku (7.4) - Achieved instantly what Jelavic failed to do in 5 starts. Should lock down a starting place in the Everton team and build on last season's excellent work.

Giroud (9.3) - Arsenal have Walcott and Cazorla out, but the fixtures and support from Ozil should make the Frenchman a strong pick for the coming weeks.

The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's Team
Played Wildcard, in no way is this my final team

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 5

The return of the Champions League made for an eventful midweek. Wayne Rooney well and truly waltzed back into the hearts of Manchester United supporters with his brace+assist performance against Bayer Leverkusen. Theo Walcott was another Englishman who impressed with a great strike in France. Manchester City won on Matchday 1 for the first time ever. Messi and Ronaldo notched hat tricks (yawn) while Chelsea put in a performance that showed eerie signs of willingness to defend the Europa League title.

Back to domestic matters.

Gameweek 5 fixtures

Norwich vs Aston Villa
Cardiff City vs Tottenham
Crystal Palace vs Swansea
Liverpool vs Southampton
Newcastle vs Hull City
West Brom vs Sunderland
West Ham vs Everton
Chelsea vs Fulham
Arsenal vs Stoke
Man City vs Man Utd

The Premium Players

The derby showdown at the Etihad is the biggest match of the season yet for the Citizens. I said in an earlier post to keep an eye on Rooney (10.5). If your eye has been following orders, it will know that he should be considered for your team now. City's frontline is in a flux but Toure (9.0) has been dominating from midfield and is a definite keep if not a buy.

Arsenal's next favourable fixture in a delicious run sees the now-attractive Stoke travel to the Emirates. In what is becoming a tiresome habit, I'll tell you to have Giroud (9.0). Aaron Ramsey (5.9) has also become too hot to ignore.

Roberto Soldado, Tottenham Hotspur forward

Tottenham have a fixture lead that is similarly favourable, and will set up camp at Selhurst Park this weekend. Eriksen (8.1) put in a good performance against Norwich and can be relied upon to keep delivering value for money. Keep using Lilywhites defenders, and this should be the match where Soldado (9.7) starts scoring again.

Liverpool are yet another top side with a good run of games, and in the form they're in, Southampton won't be fancying a trip to Anfield; Liverpool have kept 5 clean sheets in their last 6 home games. That is good reason to stay invested in Liverpool's defence and in Sturridge (9.3), who can't stop scoring. Coutinho (8.9) will be out till mid-October after shoulder surgery, which makes dropping him a much easier decision. Also remember that it is not long before Suarez (10.9) returns to the team.

Chelsea seem to have hit an early rut and the fixtures aren't exactly favourable, so stay away on retail. Hold on to Oscar (8.6) if you have him - he has been the best performer by far for Chelsea this season, and is one of admittedly few bright spots.

The Other Guys

Swansea have had a slow start to the season, owing largely to a tough opening schedule. It gets pretty good for them from here though - barring the visit by Arsenal, their next six fixtures look pretty good. Michu (8.9) got on the scoresheet last week, and this is a good chance to start a scoring run like only he can. Bony (7.7) is an unknown quantity thus far, but his price will probably not get lower, and the team Swansea face from this point don't exactly field Nestas.

Hatem ben Arfa, Newcastle United midfielder

Newcastle had a difficult 2012-13 campaign, but have started this season very well after the rout at the Etihad on opening day. Much of that is down to inspired performances from ben Arfa (7.3), who is fantastic when fit. Yanga-Mbiwa (4.5) could be a good one-week pick seeing as Hull have been rather goal-shy so far.

West Ham are another goal-shy team, and Everton haven't conceded since opening day. Despite the away match, Coleman (5.5) is set to have another good week. Jelavic has had minutes and hasn't delivered, and given his performance last season, it wouldn't be shocking to see Lukaku (7.4) start this and many a game for Everton. Refrain from buying him now, but he's definitely one to watch.

Norwich have had a strangely subdued start to the season, not exactly the takeoff one expected after a good transfer window and previous season. Villa performed much better away than at home last season, and that has been the template of this fledgling season as well. Benteke (9.3) is in awesome form, and should keep delivering.

West Brom and Sunderland. You don't want players from them.

The Blogger's Team

The Blogger's Team

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 4

Between Transfer Deadline Day, Sepp Blatter's comments saying awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar "might" have been a mistake (no shit, Sherlock) and several interesting international matches, there has been quite a lot to enjoy in the last two weeks. But nothing's quite like the Premier League, is it?

Gameweek 4 fixtures

Man Utd vs Crystal Palace
Aston Villa vs Newcastle
Fulham vs West Brom
Hull City vs Cardiff City
Stoke City vs Man City
Sunderland vs Arsenal
Tottenham vs Norwich
Everton vs Chelsea
Southampton vs West Ham
Swansea vs Liverpool

The Premium Players

Robin van Persie, Manchester United forward

Crystal Palace travel to Old Trafford in this weekend's early kickoff. Robin van Persie (14.0) hasn't exactly been value for money since his opening day brace, but this is a fixture crying out for him to leave his mark. Man United's fixtures get considerably easier post-derby, which would make Vidic (6.0) an enticing prospect from that point.

Brendan Rodgers will take Liverpool to his old haunt looking to build on a good start to the season. Three matches, three wins and three goals for Daniel Sturridge (9.2) is a pretty telling story. Mignolet (5.7) is the top-scoring FPL player so far, and the coming fixtures favour an extension of that run. The signing of Sakho (5.5) is good news for Liverpool's defence but bad news for owners of Kolo Toure, who will probably have to drop the Ivorian.

Arsenal are another team whose fixtures are looking up, while Sunderland's are going downhill. Giroud (8.8) looks set to benefit most from Ozil's signing, he should build on his good start to the season with improved service. Theo Walcott (9.5) and his attacking runs may also profit. Sunderland have a nightmare schedule (Arsenal, WBA away, Liverpool, Man United), so keep distance.

Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar, Chelsea midfielders

Chelsea's fixtures don't get easier after Old Trafford and Prague, with trips to Goodison Park and White Hart Lane on the agenda this month. Fixture difficulty didn't deter their best players last season, so keeping Hazard (9.3) and/or Oscar (8.6) wouldn't be foolish given that they will recover from their knocks in time. Keep an eye on Mata (9.9) - Minutes for him are points for you, so nothing's better than knowledge of him starting (or not).

Tottenham's 6 fixtures post-derby are generally kind and should allow for some good points all round. Eriksen's inclusion in the team should result in heightened service for Soldado (9.6), who has so far had only penalties to thrive on. The Dane himself is priced at 8.0 and could be an astute pick with his share of set pieces.

Manchester City have had unconvincing recent performances, and away to Stoke is never easy even if the team is changing from its old, rugged self. It would be unwise to invest on retail, given that there is a derby next week and that there is much uncertainty about Dzeko vs Negredo

The Other Guys

Villa are back playing matches, and that should put Benteke (9.1) back in everyone's radar, given that the schedule over the next four games isn't the worst.

The next four weeks are as good as the schedule will get for Hull City, making it a really good time to get in Brady (5.1) if you're looking for a good budget-price player. Cardiff's schedule blows hot and cold, I'd stay away from them.

West Brom are the only team in the league yet to find the net, and with Foster out for 3 months, there is little value to be had from them. Things are looking up for potential owners of Darren Bent (6.5), however. Fulham host Cardiff and Stoke, and travel to Crystal Palace in the weeks following the derby against Chelsea.

Southampton and West Ham have been hit and miss so far, and with their schedule going the same way, it would be wise to avoid most retail purchases from these camps at the moment, though holding on to Lambert (7.6) would be wise. Ward-Prowse (4.5) is cheap and starts all the time, he could make an excellent fifth midfielder.