Gameweek 15 preview

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

Last weekend was a crazy weekend – a debacle/triumph depending on your captain choice. This weekend I guarantee most of us will be fielding Alexis Sanchez, no matter how many transfers it takes to get him in. Any managers mulling over the worth of Aguero still, may be secretly celebrating his moment of madness last week. A four game ban – his second lengthy ban of the season – rules him out until New Years Eve. And makes many manager’s minds up for them. Time to go, Sergio. (Till he scores five in his second game back and we all try to crowbar him in at the early expense of our winter wildcard.)

Being banned for six league games before Christmas is meant to happen to people like Diego Costa. This season, after Sanchez, he’s the most potent attacking threat in the game, and still hasn’t reached the five yellow card mark. He’s been stuck on four since gameweek 6 – the last game that Chelsea lost. And he was nowhere near the brawl at the end of last week’s defeat of City. I guarantee that if enough people bring him in to replace Aguero this week, he’ll pick up that long awaited fifth card. So don’t do it.

The other obvious replacement for Aguero is Harry Kane. He has five in four since coming back from injury. Spurs have two home games against Hull and Burnley after this weekend and they look like potential boot-fillers.

Also consider Kelechi Iheanacho, who should get the nod in Aguero’s absence. In the four games in which he’s played more than 45 minutes, he’s scored a total of 29 points. That’d be a healthy addition to anyone’s total from a £6.6 million striker. His value also opens up the door to Sanchez.

Or maybe…if you haven’t got three Chelsea players in your line-up, that’s what you should be aiming for. Chelsea’s next five games all offer clean sheet and goal bonanza potential. Three of them are at home against West Brom, Stoke and Bournemouth. Pedro, Nemanja Matic and Costa are all listed as doubtful. Leaving Eden Hazard, Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses as the only three of their attacking players that look certain to start. I imagine every effort will be put into getting Costa ready, with Cesc Fabregas and Willian on standby to fill in for the other two. As we approach the period in which all teams rotate, a rest for Pedro and Matic would hardly be a surprise.

Meanwhile, check out this prick…

https://fantasy.premierleague.com/a/team/2826453/event/14

737th in the world AND NOT A SINGLE TRANSFER.

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Gameweek 14 preview

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

December is upon us. A six week slog culminating in the festive fixtures. You get £60 if you finish as manager of the month. Eyes down.

Whereas Chelsea’s lack of European action seems to be working out just fine – an unchanged first XI for seven consecutive games is a fantasy manager’s dream – the same can’t be said for Liverpool, who despite also being free from foreign travel, are seeing their much vaunted attacking options dropping like flies.

Biggest headache of the week is dealing with the Coutinho injury. The most popular player in the game before last Saturday’s fixture against Sunderland – his value has plummeted by £0.3 million in the space of a few days. Managers were so quick to get rid of him even before the length of the lay-off was announced. Those waiting till the end of the week to make their change might not be able to bring in their desired replacements as a result of the drastic price drop.

As well as the injury to Coutinho, Roberto Firmino also picked up a knock. Daniel Sturridge is out again and there’s no sign of a return for Adam Lallana, although both he and Firmino are tentatively pencilled in for the Bournemouth match. Klopp might have to play some actual defenders and attackers. Divock Origi is in with a shout having scored in both the victory over Sunderland and the League Cup win in midweek. And Emre Can offers a dirt cheap way into the midfield at £4.8 million. He’s started the last six league matches anyway and scored two goals in that period.

Chelsea conceded their first goal in seven against Spurs last weekend and now they come up against a Manchester City side who have only failed to score once this season. Chelsea will undoubtedly name that same trusted starting XI, but Guardiola has been teasing us with some unpredictable line ups of late. Last week Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva started on the bench – Ilkay Gundogan and John Stones didn’t even make it that far. For arguably their toughest game of the season to date, he’s got to name his strongest XI. Shame no-one seems to know what that is.

Away from the top three, who in truth don’t offer much captain material this weekend, Spurs’ home tie against Swansea is definitely worth looking at. There are plenty of armband options and potential Coutinho replacements. With a bit of tinkering, Harry Kane leads the list. His post injury form isn’t bettered by many and Swansea’s defence are the cheapest for a very good reason. If Palace can score four aganst this lot…

Season preview

1 FC Caligula Ajay Supeda 48 2,261
2 The Kolarov Mané Trevor Gordon 76 2,245
3 Your Ad Here Matthew Hopkins 37 2,234
4 Shoelace Untied Caroline Strong 57 2,215
5 Edgbaston Micheal Dinneen 64 2,210
6 Rocky Ba Bauer P Hawkins 38 2,190
7 Game of Throw ins Darren Lavelle 42 2,162
8 Golden Boys Stephanie Cripps 41 2,158
9 Init fc Mustafa khan 65 2,149
10 Walking with Memphis Noel Driver 86 2,148
11 Atlético Chappers Richard Chapman 55 2,124
12 Sergio Five O DEAN CRIPPS 55 2,101
13 JonniestaRedmondinho David Spinks 39 2,086
14 Neil Madrid Neil Strong 59 2,082
15 Bicuitmen Chris Morton 35 2,074
16 4 Lime Jellies Ian Williams 41 2,068
17 SS3 FC Paul Murray 44 2,055
18 scotty2hotty scott mcgow 47 2,054
19 The Craggy Islanders Adrian Roche 52 2,053
20 Howayman Mark Bromham 38 2,052
21 Hedgehog Corpse FC Nick Smith 38 2,036
22 Gaalacticos Colin Goulding 41 2,024
23 Grievous AngelRangel Andrew Swift 37 2,016
24 Uriah Rennie 2nd XI Neil Greenwood 42 2,005
25 Pretty Schitty City Alex Michaluk 26 1,993
26 Romeo’s Honda Van Rob Hewer 15 1,990
27 Bermie Utd Glen Davies 32 1,983
28 Rip Roaring Reds Sean Whyton 47 1,957
29 Below Par Paul Bentz 32 1,945
30 Panza Grande XI Stuart Baker 36 1,943
31 RICO UNITED JASON REACHER 54 1,936
32 greensmeansbusiness adam greenwood 16 1,928
33 The Mindless Morons John Seacroft 29 1,905
34 The Hardy Boys Alan Hardy 42 1,902
35 Release The Hounds Paul Mitchell 49 1,883
36 Upper Bullens Andy Taylor 47 1,872
37 Sweet Cherry Pie Jason Earwicker 21 1,870
38 Go Buffoons Go!!! Jitesh Lakhani 39 1,801
39 Crazy Legs XI David Caldicott 27 1,792
40 Ciderheads Darren Pope 56 1,783
41 Baker Bum Boys Lewis Baker 27 1,781
42 Bish Bosh Goal Simon Purnell 31 1,578
43 REAL JORVIK Simon Brown 45 1,553
44 BrussiaHairbach Alex Ritchie 38 1,439

 

There’s your end of season table. FC Caligula are champions. Congratulations to them. Not only that – they’re also cup winners. They’re the first team to achieve a Buckets league and cup double. Add to that the fact that they’re a Leicester fan, and you might be forgiven for wanting to smash their face in. Much like Leicester, they started well, and basically got better. They never sank lower than eight place, rising to the summit in week 24 and staying there for all but one other week. In total they collect £405 in prize money, the highest in Buckets history.

At the half way point, The Kolarov Mane were 21st and had been rattling around in mid table for most of the first half of the season. Their rise began around gameweek 23 when they jumped 10 places from 14th to 4th. After a slight dip into the lower reaches of the top 10, they climbed gradually again up until week 34 when they hit 190 points in the first double gameweek and cemented their place in among the challengers for the league. That 190 points is another record. No team has scored more than that in one week in Buckets history. It’ll take some beating. If anything, it was their below average performance in double gameweek 37 that put them just out of reach of a title challenge, although they bounced back to post the second highest score of the last gameweek to clinch second.

Your Ad Here were third. The former cup winners went one place higher than their previous best performance, but will be disappointed not to have finished second – a position which they had held since gameweek 26. They’d also briefly held top spot in gameweek 25. A bad week 38, which saw only ten of their players take the field (in their flip flops) saw them give way to The Kolarov Mane.

Completing the top four are Shoelace, finishing in the prize money spots for the first time. It was another late charge following a slow start and a sluggish middle period. They were outside the top ten as recently as gameweek 29 and only appeared in the top four for the first time last week.

An honourable mention must go to the Golden Boys who eventually finished 8th. They never sank any lower than that position all season having taken the lead in gameweek 10 and holding it for 14 weeks. Unfortunately they go away empty handed having not managed to pinch a monthly prize. In fact they only won one weekly prize despite their early season dominance.

The manager of the week record remains intact – Romeo’s bagged seven two seasons ago. Walking With Memphis and SS3 FC both scooped three weekly awards, with a host of other teams managing a double. We had ten different managers of the month this season. I’m pretty sure we’ve always had one team managing a double or treble of manager awards – but then we’ve never had a 44 team league before.

In the real world Leicester (who else) dominated the player and team awards. They picked up eight player of the week awards across the two categories and only one donkey. Mahrez and Vardy finished first and second in the overall scoring charts. The highest scoring goalkeeper and defender both came from Arsenal – Petr Cech and Hector Bellerin. The Gunners had two other defensive players in the team of the season (jump to the bottom of this page).

Sergio Aguero scored the most single weekly points – 26 in gameweek 34. Several teams triple captained him to a 78 point total. That’s the new highest single gameweek score in Buckets history. Aguero also managed 25 points in gameweek eight, a total which was matched by Georginio Wijnaldum the following week.

Southampton scored seven player of the week awards, with both Manchester City and Sunderland managing six. No one player dominated the player awards. Kane, Aguero, Mahrez, Kevin De Bruyne and the mighty Andy King all picked up two weekly awards.

Chelsea led the way in the donkey race with five – two each for Thibaut Courtois and John Terry. Kyle Naughton was the only player to sink to -4, somewhat unluckily, as he eventually had his red card rescinded.

Leicester also hit six contenders for goal of the season – three each from Vardy and Mahrez. Liverpool equaled that, including two each from Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge. Dele Alli and Andros Townsend also appeared on the goal of the week list twice. Manchester United, incidentally, had no goal of the season contenders. Everyone will have their own favourite. I’ve got a soft spot for the Mahrez goals against Chelsea and Manchester City. The’re still trying to untwist Cesar Azpilicueta. Vardy’s record breaking goal was typical Vardy, but the pass from Christian Fuchs made it a million times better than it first appeared. The Vardy volley against Liverpool and the Alli volley against Palace seem to be the favourites of the pundits, but my choice is Cuco Martina’s bender for Southampton against Arsenal. There’s an angle from behind the strike where you get the full on Roberto Carlos-ness of it. It’s going out for a throw, then it’s in the net. And he can’t fucking believe it can he?

 

 

Team of the Season

  • GK – Petr Cech – Arsenal – 159 points
  • DR – Hector Bellerin – Arsenal – 172 points
  • DC – Toby Alderweireld – Tottenham Hotspur – 166 points
  • DC – Laurent Koscielny – Arsenal – 153 points
  • DL – Nacho Monreal – Arsenal – 152 points
  • DM – Mark Noble – West Ham United – 133 points
  • MR – Christian Eriksen – Tottenham Hotspur – 178 points
  • MC – Mesut Ozil – Arsenal – 200 points
  • ML – Riyad Mahrez – Leicester City – 240 points
  • CF – Jamie Vardy – Leicester City – 211 points
  • CF – Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur – 211 points

 

Bargains of the season

  • GK – Heurelho Gomes – Watford – 157 points (starting price – £4.5 million)
  • DR – Craig Dawson – West Bromwich Albion – 124 (£5 million)
  • DL – Christian Fuchs – Leicester City – 150 points (£5million)
  • DC – Wes Morgan – Leicester City – 139 points (£4.5 million)
  • DC – Robert Huth – Leicester City – 140 (£4.5 million)
  • DM – Danny Drinkwater – Leicester City – 129 points (£4.5 million)
  • ML – Marko Arnautovic – Stoke City – 165 points (£6 million)
  • MC – Dele Alli – Tottenham Hotspur – 166 points (£5 million)
  • MR – Michail Antonio – West Ham United – 126 points (£6 million)
  • CF – Odion Ighalo – Watford – 175 points (£5 million)
  • CF – Troy Deeney – Watford – 166 points (£5.5 million)