Gameweek 17 preview

December 16, 2016

Crystal Palace v Chelsea
Middlesbrough v Swansea
Stoke v Leicester
Sunderland v Watford
West Ham v Hull
West Brom v Man Utd
Bournemouth v Southampton
Man City v Arsenal
Spurs v Burnley
Everton v Liverpool

As usual with the Christmas schedule, previews and resuts round ups are either very quick or written while drunk. You might find that the Christmas week games are all previewed and rounded up together. That might even include gameweek 20, which is the first gameweek of the New Year. Then there’s a big old gap of a fortnight while we get the 3rd round of the FA Cup out of the way. I’ll try to at least update on the December manager of the month.

For the remaining three weeks of the month, it’d be foolish to look anywhere other than (YAWN!) Chelsea. There may have been a few frustrated managers at Eden Hazard’s latest injury lay off, although he’s not exactly getting in among the points at the moment. Leading the Chelsea midfield form table is Cesc Fabregas, who appears to have patiently worked his way into his manager’s thoughts with some impressive substitute displays. He replaced Nemanja Matic from the start against Sunderland and duly got a goal. Could this be a permanent swap?

West Ham’s players haven’t featured in these previews too often this season. Improved performances have garnered four points from their last two games, including a clean sheet against Burnley and a close run thing against Liverpool. Their remaining December fixtures offer points potential. Andy Carroll and Dimitri Payet are the obvious ways in, although the latter comes at a price as you’d expect.

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Gameweek 1 results

August 16, 2016

Rank Team & Manager GW TOT
new The Craggy Islanders
Adrian Roche
74 74
new 30:19
Darren Lavelle
69 69
new When Harry met Alli
Trevor Gordon
69 69
new Go Buffoons Go
Jitesh Lakhani
63 63
new nO fucHs given
Paul Callaghan
63 63
new FC Caligula
Ajay Supeda
62 62
new greenyteamy
adam greenwood
60 60
new To Elland Back
Alan Hardy
59 59
new Ciderheads
Darren Pope
59 59
10  new Edgbaston
Micheal Dinneen
56 56
10  new Aquamar 15
Noel Driver
56 56
10  new Hucking Fell
P Hawkins
56 56
10  new DJ’s Trail Blazers
Danian Jones
56 56
14  new Atlético Chappers
Richard Chapman
55 55
14  new Biscuitmen
Chris Morton
55 55
16  new QUEEN OF THE NORTH
DORINE REACHER
54 54
16  new Kebab Eaters Utd
Paul Howard
54 54
18  new Racing Club Skegness
Andrew Swift
53 53
19  new 4 Fuchs Ake
Jason Earwicker
52 52
20  new Hedgehog Corpse FC
Nick Smith
51 51
20  new Real Jorvik
Simon Brown
51 51
22  new I am not Zlatan
Colin Goulding
50 50
22  new RG XV
Ryan Garoghan
50 50
24  new Jeff Lamp’s Porsche
David Spinks
49 49
24  new Release The Hounds
Paul Mitchell
49 49
26  new Neil Madrid
Neil Strong
48 48
27  new Cooksters
Peter Cook
47 47
27  new Yeboah’s Right Foot
Paul Murray
47 47
29  new INIT FC
Mustafa khan
46 46
29  new Uriah Rennie 2nd XI
Neil Greenwood
46 46
29  new jetty city
scott mcgow
46 46
29  new Pretty Schitty City
Alex Michaluk
46 46
33  new Your Ad Here
Matthew Hopkins
44 44
33  new Golden Boys
Stephanie Cripps
44 44
35  new Bish Bosh Goal
Simon Purnell
41 41
35  new Joey Bosa
Paul Bentz
41 41
37  new Crazy Legs XI
David Caldicott
40 40
38  new Bakerlona
Stuart Baker
38 38
38  new Jarvis FC
Matt Jarvis
38 38
40  new Rip Roaring Reds
Sean Whyton
37 37
41  new Upper Bullens
Andy Taylor
36 36
41  new FTM
Stu Smith
36 36
41  new Jarv88
Paul Jarvis
36 36
44  new Shoelace Untied
Caroline Strong
34 34
45  new romeoshondavan
Rob Hewer
33 33
46  new RICO UNITED
JASON REACHER
32 32
46  new bazza 28 united
laura barrett
32 32
46  new Pepe Le Blue
DEAN CRIPPS
32 32
46  new Bermie Utd
Glen Davies
32 32
50  new Have a little dink
Ian Williams
30 30
51  new Pudding And Pie
John Seacroft
19 19

 

I don’t think there are any other teams set to join the league – so 51 it is – FIFTY ONE TEAMS. The only slight annoyance about that is the league table page on the website only has enough room for 50. So if you don’t see yourself on that page, you’re probably last. Sorry about that. The prize money calculations appear on the ‘Prize Money’ page. Of all places. Information has been updated on the ‘Buckets Cup’ link page regarding when that will start, how long it will take and who gets a bye into the first round proper.

We’re off. Saturday was a slow-ish start with 14 goals scored across the seven games. The two games on Sunday produced almost as many goals – 11 in total. Worries that Arsenal fans might have had about their defence were justified as they shipped four and Manchester United did what they were meant to do and won convincingly with a Rooney goal, a Zlatan debut goal and noteworthy assists from Anthony Martial. Basically, if you started out the weekend with your team based heavily round the West Brom or Swansea defence, the Liverpool midfield and the Manchester United attack, you probably did OK.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sergio Aguero appeared to start the weekend as the most popular captain choice, and didn’t disappoint, adding all three bonus marks to his goal, and contributing 18 points to the majority of teams. Including The Craggy Islanders – who set the early pace with 74 points – and win the first manager of the week award. The average score across the game was 44 and we had 33 teams scoring above that. Our highest scoring debut manager is nO fucHs given who posted 63 points. Pudding and Pie are the lone team occupying page two on 19 points. They were let down by everybody, not least their defence (and keeper) who only managed six points between the five of them.

It’s only one week so we probably shouldn’t jump to conclusions on settled line ups, but those that included Joe Hart, Yaya Toure and Cesc Fabregas must be cursing their non-selection. On the other hand there might be a few early forays into the transfer market to bring in the mid to low price players that performed well in the first week. The surprise result of the weekend was Hull’s defeat of Leicester. At the arse end of the striker list Adama Diomande, who will only set you back £4.5 million, bagged one of their goals and some bonus marks in their 2-1 victory. Hull’s squad is so depleted that they had to fill their bench with academy players, and didn’t actually make any substitutions during the game. So you can expect Diomande and those other Hull players you’ve never heard of to get more game time in the coming weeks.

Etienne Capoue, also at £4.5 million, scored Watford’s goal, whilst Stephen Kinglsey, of the £4 million defenders, posted 8 points, starting as Swansea’s left back in their 1-0 defeat of Burnley. Also worth noting is Nathan Redmond’s 10 point score for Southampton. Although listed as a midfielder, Redmond started as an attacker, and his goal and 3 point bonus display will have only cemented that place in the team for another week.

 

Player of the week – Philippe Coutinho – 15 points. One of four Liverpool midfielders to score/assist/bonus.

Bargain of the week – Leroy Fer – 11 points. This might be the season he doesn’t get relegated.

Donkey of the week – Ben Watson – -2 points. First red of the season

Goal of the week – Philippe Coutinho. Scored the week one goal of the week last season too.

 

 

Gameweek 37 results

May 21, 2015

1 Neil Madrid Neil Strong 67 2,122
2 Hedgehog Corpse FC Nick Smith 64 2,085
3 Pescara Rangers Stewart Pope 64 2,082
4 NaboombuDirtyYellows Andrew Swift 62 2,055
5 Shoelace Untied Caroline Strong 52 2,029
6 RayCrawfordsCrackers Rob Hewer 50 2,015
7 Uriah Rennie 2nd XI Neil Greenwood 65 2,004
8 * Your Ad Here * Matthew Hopkins 48 1,997
9 Bermie Utd Glen Davies 57 1,986
10 Gaalatcticos Colin Goulding 44 1,986
11 Van Damme United P Hawkins 50 1,979
12 Upper Bullens Andy Taylor 53 1,967
13 Paris Spinks Germain David Spinks 55 1,951
14 Ciderheads Darren Pope 46 1,933
15 Who R U DEAN CRIPPS 65 1,908
16 Accrington Rudyard Ian Williams 35 1,902
17 Pretty Schitty City Alex Michaluk 34 1,856
18 Rip Roaring Reds Sean Whyton 42 1,851
19 Biscuitmen Chris Morton 51 1,848
20 The Mindless Morons John Seacroft 25 1,817
21 Get to the choppa Mark Bromham 47 1,794
22 Panza Grande XI Stuart Baker 39 1,790
23 Real Jorvik FC Simon Brown 35 1,785
24 Release The Hounds Paul Mitchell 52 1,743
25 Luxembourg United Simon Smallbone 48 1,726
26 No Recognized Plan Paul Bentz 40 1,703
27 Sportingabiggerwig Alex Ritchie 48 1,684
28 Crazylegs XI David Caldicott 14 1,585
29 Jordie’s Giants Jordan Raper 66 1,336

As it turned out no-one was destined to challenge the highest weekly score this week. That the week’s highest scorer was Southampton’s Sadio Mane, and not an Arsenal or Sunderland player tells it’s own story. The Saints’ early season penchant for clean sheets and goal fests appeared to have ended – until they came up against a Villa side with all eyes on the cup final. Mane managed 23 points. He’s the fourth player to achieve that total this season,  and after Dusan Tadic,  the second Southampton player. Yannick Bolasie still holds the weekly score record with the 24 he amassed in gameweek 32.

The only Buckets team to have Mane in their ranks was Uriah’s, yet even that wasn’t enough to win them the manager of the week.  That honour went to Neil Madrid who accumulated 67 points – a total which surely seals the Buckets League Championship for a second time. Those chasing Madrid were unable to close the gap. Pescara moved back ahead of Hedgehog into second and the race for the runners up will go to the final week. Any chance Shoelace or RayCrawfordsCrackers had of catching Naboombu’s in fourth looked to have stalled. A lack of Sunderland defenders did for our fifth and sixth place teams. They posted scores in the fifties compared to our top four who all managed scores in the sixties.

So – yes – Sunderland defenders – that’s where the double gameweek riches were. If you’d have taken a punt on Pantillimon, Van Aanholt and Billy Jones you’d have had a head start of 43 points. Their two 0-0 draws secured their status for next season. Sebastian Coates and John O’Shea would have added 13 and 12 respectively. Of the double gameweekers it was those five players – and not Sanchez, Cazorla, Giroud etc who triumphed. The only Arsenal players to make double figures were Laurent Koscielny and Hector Bellerin. No midfielder or attacker from either team got anywhere near. The only player to score for either team was Theo Walcott – and that probably should have gone down as a Tyler Blackett own goal.

 

Player of the week – Sadio Mane – 23 points. A record breaking three minute hat trick.

Bargain of the week – Shane Long – 18 points. Plus goal of the week…see below

Donkey of the week – Cesc Fabregas – -2 points. Unfortunately, no bonus for funniest sending of in history.

Goal of the week – Shane Long. A beauty. 35 seconds in.

Gameweek 29 preview

March 13, 2015

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

 

It’s the first round proper of the Buckets Cup this weekend, and the three teams with byes enter the fray. Crazylegs defend their title with a game against No Recognised Plan. Pescara and Hedgehog Corpse earned their byes winning gameweeks 26 and 27. They play Sporting and Mindless Morons. Tie of the round could be that of Shoelace Untied, last weeks mighty high scorers, against current league champs, RayCrawfordsCrackers. Two previous winners also meet. Only one of *Your Ad Here* or Rip Roaring Reds will get a chance to put their name on the trophy for the second time.

The final is set for gameweek 32. In gameweek 33 we have another reduced week – due to that other cup competition. The semi finals of the FA Cup mean, at present, only eight Premier League fixtures are due to take place. This could be reduced to seven should Liverpool emerge victorious from their replay with Blackburn. Which could lead to Gameweek 35 becoming a bumper week. Already rescheduled for that week is Chelsea and Leicester’s unplayed game from gameweek 27. Could we also see all of the cup semi finalists playing their rescheduled games in that gameweek? Hope so. It could lead to some mega scores, and the massive 102 points collected by Shoelace last week could come under threat in the quest for the highest weekly score prize. Keep your eye on the fixture rescheduling. If you’ve still got your wildcard – well done – or wake up – whatever. If you haven’t, best start planning for a double free transfer week ahead of the reduced week of gameweek 33, then again appropriately, two weeks later.

We seem to be in a part of the season where drops and dips in form are more prevalent, particularly in among some big name players who in the first half of the season seemed almost undroppable. Cesc Fabregas is perhaps the most obvious to have suffered since the turn of the year. And apparently it’s a fairly common thing in his game. Some statistics produced this week show a dip in form in all of his last six campaigns. Into the teens for goals and assists until December, then struggling to get above ten for the second half. Interesting, and something that managers have clearly recognised with a pretty major slump in his value and ownership. Diego Costa’s form has stumbled again. He hasn’t netted since mid January in the 5-0 thrashing of Swansea. That game, arguably, is the last time Chelsea looked like champions elect, and all eyes will be on them again this weekend to see what kind of reaction there is to their babyish Champions League exit.

Still, a home tie against a faltering Southampton means Eden Hazard could still be the best captain choice for the weekend. Of all the elite players, Hazard remains the most consistent. He’s contributed in nine of the last 12 gameweeks – a stat that is only matched by Harry Kane. I’m sure Manchester City fans would expect a routine victory against Burnley this weekend, but bear in mind they played out a 2-2 draw at the Etihad earlier in the season. Sergio Aguero may appear to be in a poor run of form, but I think that’s only in comparison to his scoring rates before his Christmas injury. Since his return he has managed three goals and four assists in eight games. Also consider that he’s managed attacking returns in ten of his 12 road trips so far.

 

 

Gameweek 26 preview

February 19, 2015

21 Feb 15:00 Aston Villa v Stoke
21 Feb 15:00 Chelsea v Burnley
21 Feb 15:00 Crystal Palace v Arsenal
21 Feb 15:00 Hull v QPR
21 Feb 15:00 Sunderland v West Brom
21 Feb 15:00 Swansea v Man Utd
21 Feb 17:30 Man City v Newcastle
22 Feb 12:00 Spurs v West Ham
22 Feb 14:05 Everton v Leicester
22 Feb 16:15 Southampton v Liverpool

 

The Buckets Cup kicks off in two weekend’s time. We’ll have a preliminary round in gameweek 28 in which 26 teams will be entered. Three teams will gain byes into the first round proper commencing in gameweek 29. Those three will be Crazylegs, as last year’s winners – and whoever scores highest in this gameweek, and gameweek 27 – so there’s a mini incentive to getting a high score this week and next. The cup final will take place in gameweek 32. I’ll be drawing the prelim round some time in the run up to gameweek 28.

This week sees a repeat of the opening fixtures of the season. And it’s probably a good week to have two free transfers at your disposal. Not only do we have players returning from suspensions and niggling injuries, but we’ve also got the final few stragglers from the African Nations to pick from again. City will be relieved to finally name Wilfried Bony in a squad, and to have Yaya Toure back in their midfield to bolster their slightly floundering title bid. It’s a week in which they can’t slip up with Chelsea, who will welcome back Costa and Fabregas after their suspension/injury, expected to get all three points with the visit of Burnley to Stamford Bridge. In recent years, Newcastle haven’t had much to shout about from their visits to the Etihad, so the big two can be relied upon for a healthy points haul this weekend.

Alexis Sanchez played in Arsenal’s FA Cup victory last weekend and no longer has an orange injury box next to his name. Sanchez’s value has dropped and he hasn’t contributed goal, assist or bonus points since early January, as Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla have come to the fore. Sanchez bagged a cup assist last week for one of Olivier Giroud’s two goals, and it’s those four players that are likely to lead Arsenal’s line against Palace on Saturday.

Those that clung on to Gylffi Sigurdsson will be glad to see him back on the pitch this weekend following his suspension. The Icelander last contributed on the 29th December. This barren spell has seen his price drop to £6.4 million, which is the lowest that it’s been since gameweek 3. That suggests a bargain if he can get his point scoring boots back on again. Lets not forget the brilliant start he made to the season, scoring 13 points in Swansea’s first game against this weekend’s opponents, Manchester United – and at Old Trafford.

It’s worth remembering, however, that next week sees a reduced gameweek due to the League Cup final, in which Spurs, Chelsea, QPR and Leicester don’t play. So maybe those two free transfers – if you have them – will be better saved.

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