Gameweek 31 preview

19 Mar 12:45 Everton v Arsenal
19 Mar 15:00 Chelsea v West Ham
19 Mar 15:00 Crystal Palace v Leicester
19 Mar 15:00 Watford v Stoke
19 Mar 15:00 West Brom v Norwich
19 Mar 17:30 Swansea v Aston Villa
20 Mar 13:30 Newcastle v Sunderland
20 Mar 13:30 Southampton v Liverpool
20 Mar 16:00 Man City v Man Utd
20 Mar 16:00 Spurs v Bournemouth

 

Nevermind this week. Click forward a few weeks. We have some double gameweeks. And they’re big. Gameweek 34 has expanded to 15 games, whilst gameweek 37 now has 14. To throw an extra spanner in the works, gameweek 35 has been reduced to seven fixtures due to it being FA Cup semi final weekend. And I think there’s still one game left to reschedule by my calculations. Although they have been known to be wrong.

Manchester United, Watford, Everton, Liverpool and West Ham play twice in both double gameweeks. None of those teams play in the reduced gameweek. Newcastle, Manchester City, Arsenal and West Brom play twice in double gameweek 34 and then again in the reduced gameweek. Leicester and Spurs, meanwhile, play just once each week – but hey, at least they play every week. How you use that information is up to you. You’ll probably need a wildcard to get the most out of gameweeks 34, 35 and 37, but even then you’ve still got to figure out exactly when to play it.

So, how far ahead to start any planning? Any doubts about Arsenal and Manchester City’s form might have to be put to one side until Gameweek 35 passes. Leicester and Spurs’ consistent reliability probably shouldn’t be ignored. This week offers up two very winnable games for both teams. And, the Villa factor could come into play again this weekend. Swansea will probably seal their Premiership status with a win against the league’s bottom club. Unfortunately, they’ve no double gameweek interest and they face a run of potentially tricky ties in the aftermath of this match.

The whole thing is giving me a massive headache already.

It’s Buckets Cup quarter final weekend. We’ve an even split of top half and bottom half teams. Rico United come up against Upper Bullens, meaning at least one from the lower reaches will make it through to the semi final. FC Caligula play their nearest title rivals, Your Ad Here, in the tie of the weekend.

Gameweek 29 preview

05 Mar 12:45 Spurs v Arsenal
05 Mar 15:00 Chelsea v Stoke
05 Mar 15:00 Everton v West Ham
05 Mar 15:00 Man City v Aston Villa
05 Mar 15:00 Newcastle v Bournemouth
05 Mar 15:00 Southampton v Sunderland
05 Mar 15:00 Swansea v Norwich
05 Mar 17:30 Watford v Leicester
06 Mar 13:30 Crystal Palace v Liverpool
06 Mar 16:00 West Brom v Man Utd

 

The second round of the Buckets Cup has thrown up a few interesting ties. Second placed Your Ad Here will play fourth placed Atletico Chappers, and current leaders, FC Caligula, take on cup holders Sergio Five 0. The lowest ranked team left in are Bish Bosh Goal. They face a tricky task against top four bothering Pretty Schitty City. The tie between Crazylegs and Rico United guarantees a bottom ten team in the quarter finals.

Those midweek scores were a bit of a nightmare. How have Manchester City and Arsenal become the two most unreliable teams in the league? I mean, you know what you’re going to get out of Villa, Newcastle and Norwich. You know not to go anywhere near. We don’t need to be agonising over dropping Aguero or Ozil. Particularly with both Arsenal and City due to play in next week’s reduced fixture schedule.

City should get back to winning ways immediately. Surely it can’t be four successive defeats at home to Aston Villa? It might even be a week to consider the triple captain. When City spanked Newcastle 6-1 back in the autumn, Sergio Aguero scored 75 points for Romeo’s Honda Van. We could have a repeat performance.

A spate of injuries has hit Arsenal at the worst possible time. It appears Petr Cech and Laurent Koscielny will both miss the next couple of games, the first of which is the North London derby. There’s no need to rush to any rash decisions on Spurs players just yet, despite their defeat at West Ham in midweek. For starters, it is only one defeat, not three in four like City or Arsenal. And they also line up in next weeks’ reduced schedule….against Villa.

Gameweek 28 preview

01 Mar 19:45 Aston Villa v Everton
01 Mar 19:45 Bournemouth v Southampton
01 Mar 19:45 Leicester v West Brom
01 Mar 19:45 Norwich v Chelsea
01 Mar 19:45 Sunderland v Crystal Palace
02 Mar 19:45 Arsenal v Swansea
02 Mar 19:45 Stoke v Newcastle
02 Mar 19:45 West Ham v Spurs
02 Mar 20:00 Liverpool v Man City
02 Mar 20:00 Man Utd v Watford

 

Believe it or not there are actually worse teams in this league than Aston Villa. Norwich and Crystal Palace have picked up fewer points over the last six games. They’re coincidentally the two teams that Villa have most recently beaten. At home, Villa are clearly ahead of Palace, Sunderland, Bournemouth and Everton, who they play tonight. Let’s not ruin the stat by mentioning their away form. Unfortunately, Everton’s away form is the best in the league, aside from Spurs and Chelsea. They’ve gone eight unbeaten and scored 12 goals. A Barkley/Lukaku captain choice could guarantee some points tonight.

Regarding Palace – Alan Pardew has admitted that his team are now part of the relegation battle, having not won a game since the 19th December. This will be welcome news for Sunderland, who have an under the radar new signing that might be worth some consideration. Wahbi Khazri will cost you £6 million and in four games has accumulated 22 points. I’m absolutely certain Sunderland will fancy their chances against Palace, with a win potentially seeing them climb out of the bottom three. Scott Dann, despite Palace’s woes, is still delivering. Two one point scores in his last two games hasn’t prevented him from slipping out of the top three defenders overall. He’s an ever present, their top scorer, and second top bonus scorer. Anyone else in blue and red, at present, really isn’t worth touching.

Tomorrow night, three days after losing to them in the Carling Cup final, Liverpool welcome Manchester City, who now probably feel like they have to win every game, or hope for some major nervous slip ups from the three teams above them. Leicester and Arsenal’s home games look very winnable, but Spurs’ trip to West Ham is the first of a double of London derbies. The next being against Arsenal on Saturday lunchtime. Spurs’ run of six consecutive victories hasn’t necessarily come courtesy of one outstanding fantasy player. Thirteen of the Spurs squad have contributed more than just their appearance points in the last three games. Christian Eriksen is the most tempting captain choice with three double figure scores since the start of 2016. West Ham’s main man isn’t Dimitri Payet. Payet has played eight games since returning from injury, scoring or assisting in just two of them. Michail Antonio on the other hand can boast seven scoring contributions in the last ten games. Antonio has 24% less ownership across the game and comes in at £3 million less.

The first two rounds of the Buckets Cup have been drawn. Check the cup link for the full draw. This gameweek 24 teams play off in the preliminary round. Leaders, FC Caligula play Greensmeansbusiness and will face current holders, Sergio Five 0 if they win. Bottom club, Brussia Hairbach will be looking to pull off a major shock against fourth place Rocky Ba Bauer. The prelim round hasn’t thrown up any top of the table clashes, but if Your Ad Here beat Below Par, they will face Atletico Chappers – that’s 2nd against 3rd.

 

Gameweek 26 results

1 FC Caligula Ajay Supeda 53 1,449
2 Your Ad Here Matthew Hopkins 33 1,441
3 Golden Boys Stephanie Cripps 35 1,413
4 Atlético Chappers Richard Chapman 44 1,413
5 Rocky Ba Bauer P Hawkins 53 1,412
6 Game of Throw ins Darren Lavelle 41 1,399
7 Pretty Schitty City Alex Michaluk 31 1,398
8 Bicuitmen Chris Morton 31 1,395
9 4 Lime Jellies Ian Williams 56 1,387
10 Sergio Five O DEAN CRIPPS 47 1,380
11 The Kolarov Mané Trevor Gordon 45 1,379
12 SS3 FC Paul Murray 40 1,376
13 Shoelace Untied Caroline Strong 56 1,372
14 Hedgehog Corpse FC Nick Smith 61 1,368
15 Gaalacticos Colin Goulding 55 1,366
16 Romeo’s Honda Van Rob Hewer 64 1,364
17 greensmeansbusiness adam greenwood 60 1,361
18 Edgbaston Micheal Dinneen 52 1,361
19 Grievous AngelRangel Andrew Swift 40 1,356
20 Below Par Paul Bentz 65 1,348
21 Uriah Rennie 2nd XI Neil Greenwood 34 1,347
22 JonniestaRedmondinho David Spinks 50 1,345
23 Howayman Mark Bromham 35 1,341
24 Init fc Mustafa khan 54 1,337
25 Walking with Memphis Noel Driver 34 1,332
26 scotty2hotty scott mcgow 32 1,323
27 Bermie Utd Glen Davies 57 1,313
28 The Hardy Boys Alan Hardy 47 1,313
29 Panza Grande XI Stuart Baker 33 1,302
30 Neil Madrid Neil Strong 46 1,299
31 The Craggy Islanders Adrian Roche 39 1,292
32 Rip Roaring Reds Sean Whyton 56 1,270
33 Upper Bullens Andy Taylor 34 1,266
34 The Mindless Morons John Seacroft 40 1,257
35 Release The Hounds Paul Mitchell 49 1,249
36 RICO UNITED JASON REACHER 54 1,214
37 Baker Bum Boys Lewis Baker 66 1,206
38 Go Buffoons Go!!! Jitesh Lakhani 41 1,181
39 Ciderheads Darren Pope 30 1,178
40 Crazy Legs XI David Caldicott 44 1,173
41 Sweet Cherry Pie Jason Earwicker 59 1,166
42 Bish Bosh Goal Simon Purnell 23 1,111
43 REAL JORVIK Simon Brown 48 1,043
44 BrussiaHairbach Alex Ritchie 36 1,001

 

Baker Bum Boys AGAIN! For the second week on the trot our 37th placed team are the weekly highest scorers. BBB’s wildcard picks of a fortnight ago have come good again. Diego Costa remained as captain and chipped in 18 points for the second consecutive week. Dimitri Payet made up for a couple of lean weeks and Mesut Ozil remained among the points. The two manager of the week awards have put the Bum Boys in contention for the February manager prize. This is how it stands at the moment…

1 The Hardy Boys Alan Hardy 47 220
2 Release The Hounds Paul Mitchell 49 210
3 Below Par Paul Bentz 65 208
4 Rocky Ba Bauer P Hawkins 53 203
5 Baker Bum Boys Lewis Baker 66 201
6 Sergio Five O DEAN CRIPPS 47 199

 

Good luck to the two other bottom half teams, The Hardy Boys and Release The Hounds, who lead the race for the manager of the month.

It was a relatively low scoring week despite the goalfests at Stamford Bridge and Villa Park. Perhaps because no-one quite knows what you’re going to get still with either Chelsea or Liverpool. There were six different scorers for Liverpool, none of whom were Roberto Firmino, and two of whom were defenders. Danny Sturridge even played – and scored. Philippe Coutinho scored highest in his first league game back after injury. Over at Chelsea, as well as the previously mentioned Costa, there were three other scorers, which included Pedro and Bertrand Traore. Neither, for different reasons, have that high an ownership percentage. Willian scored highest, as he has done for the entire season. Interestingly, Eden Hazard had no hand in any of the goals. Again. Both results were much more to do with the standard of the opposition. Newcastle away from home almost guarantees goals for their opponents. And Villa, it seems, have completely given up.

Christian Erkisen came out on top from the top four clashes. He was the only player to reach double figures. Danny Simpson’s sending off effectively finished off Leicester and awarded him the donkey of the week. City’s failure to get anything out of their game cuts them adrift from the others. By the time they play Liverpool in their next league game, Leicester could be 12 points clear of them.

 

Player of the week – Philippe Coutinho – 15 points. His fifth double figure score of the season.

Bargain of the week – Kolo Toure – 14 points. Another Liverpool player, unsuprisingly.

Donkey of the week – Danny Simpson – -3 points. Beating the Newcastle and Villa defenders to the award.

Goal of the week – Robbie Brady. Norwich’s first contender of the season.

Gameweek 26 preview

13 Feb 12:45 Sunderland v Man Utd
13 Feb 15:00 Bournemouth v Stoke
13 Feb 15:00 Crystal Palace v Watford
13 Feb 15:00 Everton v West Brom
13 Feb 15:00 Norwich v West Ham
13 Feb 15:00 Swansea v Southampton
13 Feb 17:30 Chelsea v Newcastle
14 Feb 12:00 Arsenal v Leicester
14 Feb 14:05 Aston Villa v Liverpool
14 Feb 16:15 Man City v Spurs

 

Strange how the fixture list works out sometimes. We’re two thirds of the way there and this could be a pivotal week in the title race. Looking at the fixture list at the start of the season you’d never have guessed we’d be seeing the top four squaring up against each other this weekend. On top of that, it’s Arsenal and Manchester City (because just referring to them as ‘City’ isn’t really fair on Leicester is it?), who need to win their games. The reverse fixtures, played on the 26th September, resulted in a 4-1 victory for Spurs and a 5-2 victory for Arsenal. They’re four of the five highest scoring teams in the league. Don’t expect two 0-0s.

Remember gameweek 27 is a reduced gameweek so don’t make your squads too Man City, Liverpool, Everton or Newcastle heavy, and if they already are, it’s time to think ahead. Which is a bit of a bummer because Everton and Liverpool have two of the most winnable games of the weekend. Anyone who comes up against Villa is made automatic favourite. That is ignoring the fact that they’ve managed three clean sheets in the last five games and that Joleon Lescott is one of the form defenders. I’d wager more on Roberto Firmino continuing his goalscoring run ahead of Lescott.

Everton are in the midst of a largely positive run of results, including two 3-0s, a draw against Spurs, and a goalfest against Chelsea. West Brom aren’t in the best of form and had to come through a penalty shoot out to dispatch of Peterborough in the FA Cup in midweek. Tiredness could tell, and their usually sturdy defence might find it difficult to keep out Lukaku and Barkley, who rarely get through a weekend without contributing something.