Gameweek 2 preview

Man Utd v Southampton

Stoke v Man City

Burnley v Liverpool

Spurs v Crystal Palace

Swansea v Hull

Watford v Chelsea

West Brom v Everton

Leicester v Arsenal

Sunderland v Middlesbrough

West Ham v Bournemouth

Our first Friday night fixture of the season sees Southampton travel to Old Trafford. It’s an 8 o’clock kick off. Your team needs to be readied an hour earlier than that. Potentially making his debut will be Paul Pogba, who’ll set you back a relatively cheap sounding £8.5 million. The man most likely to miss out is Juan Mata. But that’s alright, because I don’t think too many people expected him to start last week anyway. 

Chris Smalling is back from his ban and could come in for Daley Blind, completing what could be a first choice United back five for the foreseeable future. Matteo Darmian appears completely out of favour, nailing the full back slots for Antonio Valencia and Lake Shaw. New signing Eric Bailly completes the back four with David De Gea in nets. 

It’s not so clear cut across town at the Etihad. The full backs are still on rotation. It might take a few weeks to get a handle on Guardiola’s feelings towards Sagna, Zabaleta, Clichy and Kolarov. Maybe he prefers a particular pairing for the league and the other two for Europe. Otamendi and Stones will play in the middle until Kompany is fit, but that doesn’t look like it will be until September, at which point he’ll probably suffer another setback. Joe Hart is toast. Providing Pep gets his back four playing, Willy Caballero, could be good for early season clean sheets. Until the cash is splashed on the sweeper keeper. 

Looking good to follow on from last week’s clean sheet are Swansea who play Hull at home. Perhaps in anticipation of this, two Swans have seen their value increase. Stephen Kingsley and Leroy Fer will now set you back £4.1 and £5.1 respectively. Jordi Amat, who has filled in the position vacated by Ashley Williams, is still at £4 million. They’ve improved the squad predominantly in attack with the additions of Fernando Llorente and Borja Baston, both of whom should feature this weekend. Llorente marked his debut last weekend with the assist to Fer’s goal. 

And will we finally see the return to action of all those poor lambs that needed the extra week off to recover from the Euros? Arsenal will be glad to see the return of Laurent Koscielny in particular. Also, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud should surely be ready for action. Dimitri Payet got 24 minutes against Chelsea. You’d expect him to start in the Hammers home tie against Bournemouth – their first in league match their new stadium. There’s definite points potential there.

Gameweek 29 results

1 FC Caligula Ajay Supeda 84 1,641
2 Your Ad Here Matthew Hopkins 85 1,623
3 Golden Boys Stephanie Cripps 83 1,572
4 Rocky Ba Bauer P Hawkins 75 1,571
5 Atlético Chappers Richard Chapman 75 1,567
6 Bicuitmen Chris Morton 70 1,555
7 Game of Throw ins Darren Lavelle 72 1,543
8 Pretty Schitty City Alex Michaluk 60 1,542
9 The Kolarov Mané Trevor Gordon 86 1,539
10 Walking with Memphis Noel Driver 89 1,533
11 Shoelace Untied Caroline Strong 81 1,528
12 Grievous AngelRangel Andrew Swift 75 1,527
13 Sergio Five O DEAN CRIPPS 75 1,526
14 4 Lime Jellies Ian Williams 60 1,525
15 SS3 FC Paul Murray 64 1,523
16 greensmeansbusiness adam greenwood 71 1,515
17 Gaalacticos Colin Goulding 63 1,513
18 Romeo’s Honda Van Rob Hewer 61 1,513
19 Edgbaston Micheal Dinneen 86 1,512
20 Hedgehog Corpse FC Nick Smith 57 1,502
21 Init fc Mustafa khan 70 1,495
22 Uriah Rennie 2nd XI Neil Greenwood 59 1,486
23 JonniestaRedmondinho David Spinks 65 1,485
24 scotty2hotty scott mcgow 80 1,484
25 Howayman Mark Bromham 63 1,481
26 Below Par Paul Bentz 40 1,468
27 The Craggy Islanders Adrian Roche 79 1,459
28 Bermie Utd Glen Davies 65 1,453
29 Panza Grande XI Stuart Baker 59 1,443
30 Neil Madrid Neil Strong 66 1,431
31 Rip Roaring Reds Sean Whyton 78 1,423
32 The Hardy Boys Alan Hardy 41 1,417
33 Upper Bullens Andy Taylor 45 1,404
34 The Mindless Morons John Seacroft 37 1,377
35 Release The Hounds Paul Mitchell 54 1,365
36 Baker Bum Boys Lewis Baker 67 1,354
37 RICO UNITED JASON REACHER 86 1,354
38 Sweet Cherry Pie Jason Earwicker 65 1,322
39 Ciderheads Darren Pope 63 1,316
40 Go Buffoons Go!!! Jitesh Lakhani 57 1,307
41 Crazy Legs XI David Caldicott 49 1,271
42 Bish Bosh Goal Simon Purnell 53 1,216
43 REAL JORVIK Simon Brown 43 1,131
44 BrussiaHairbach Alex Ritchie 33 1,098

 

Quick one this week. Walking With Memphis have won manager of the week again. They won it last week, so no prizes for guessing who heads the March manager of the month table. Nine of their eleven players contributed, and they took full advantage of the inevitable Manchester City goal blitz against Villa. Although it probably could and should have been even more convincing. WWM’s City contingent scored 37 of their 89 point total. And it moves them into the top 10. In two weeks they’ve climbed fourteen places and to within 40 points of Europe. There’s still hope.

The first round of the Buckets Cup saw early exits for Rocky Ba Bauer and Atletico Chappers. And there’ll be a new name on the trophy as Sergio Five 0 were knocked out by FC Caligula. Progress to the quarter finals wont be easy for our league leaders as they’ve been drawn against The Golden Boys, who posted their best score for sometime, helped by a triple captain Aguero. See the full round two draw on the cup link.

 

Player of the week – Dimitri Payet – 13 points. His first award.

Bargain of the week – Joshua King – 13 points. Condemning Newcastle to the Championship.

Donkey of the week – Juan Mata – -2 points. He’s not meant to get sent off.

Goal of the week – Harry Kane. His first contender.

Gameweek 12 preview

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

 

Say you were to go with a six man (including your keeper in this) defence and you split it between three Man United players and three West Brom players, what do you think the chances are of earning full marks – all 36 available points and probably a few bonuses on top? It’s probably not all that far-fetched given the form of the two teams, who meet this weekend at Old Trafford. Three of Man United’s last four games have ended goalless and they’ve kept four clean sheets in their last five league outings. No other team has more clean sheets than them and no other player has more than Chris Smalling, who has become somewhat of a defensive linchpin all of a sudden. He’s the highest scoring defender. His 56 points is made up those seven clean sheets, seven bonus marks and an assist. He’s kept a fairly unblemished disciplinary record too having only picked up one booking.

West Brom’s defensive reliability is just as good. They boast the second best points scoring keeper and two defenders in the top 11. Boaz Myhill, Gareth MacAuley and Craig Dawson have 18 clean sheets between them. United’s home advantage might make them slight favourites to contribute a goal to the affair. The early promise of Anthony Martial has waned in recent weeks with five consecutive blanks. Wayne Rooney’s come in for some criticism this season, but at least it’s only three weeks since he last found the net The good start made by Juan Mata has come to a grinding halt as well. The most in form attacker on the park could be Ander Herrera, if he’s picked, or more likely, the Baggies’ Venezuelan striker, Salomon Rondon, who seems to be finding his feet with two in his last two games. With two teams who are principally set up to defend, you know you’re better off getting your attacking options from somewhere else.

A top against bottom clash should never be ignored for obvious goal potential. Remi Garde could definitely have done without having to face Manchester City for his first game in charge of Aston Villa. City were more convincing brushing aside Seville in midweek than they were defeating Norwich at home last weekend. Their clean sheet reliability seems to have disappeared, but their goalscoring ability has not. They’ve scored in all but one of their games this season (that’ll be the 0-0 with Manchester United – see how it all fits together?). Still no Aguero or Silva means almost guaranteed gametime for Bony, De Bruyne, Sterling and Toure. It’d be a miracle if at least one of them didn’t add significantly to their points total.

Arsenal’s humbling at Bayern in midweek is not good preparation for a North London derby against a Spurs team who are quietly climbing the league. Harry Kane’s season didn’t start as the last one ended, but it’s now five in five games and he’s among the top ten strikers again. He’s higher than any Arsenal striker in fact. The £9.3 million outlay may still seem a little steep, but it’s cheaper than his starting price, and will only continue to rise if he does start banging them in at the same rate as he did from this point in 2014. Mesut Ozil matches Kane’s form and will cost you a just under a million less. Ozil has notched seven assists in five games, and nine in total – way more than anyone else. A few weeks ago there was a rush on Alexis Sanchez after the Chilean scored six in three games. He’s contributed little else since. The money would have been better spent on his German team mate. Could it be worth swapping one Gunner for the other given their contrasting runs of form?

Gameweek 30 results

1 Neil Madrid Neil Strong 91 1,689
2 Hedgehog Corpse FC Nick Smith 96 1,644
3 Uriah Rennie 2nd XI Neil Greenwood 90 1,624
4 Pescara Rangers Stewart Pope 67 1,623
5 Shoelace Untied Caroline Strong 82 1,622
6 NaboombuDirtyYellows Andrew Swift 41 1,610
7 Upper Bullens Andy Taylor 83 1,608
8 * Your Ad Here * Matthew Hopkins 84 1,605
8 Gaalatcticos Colin Goulding 100 1,605
10 RayCrawfordsCrackers Rob Hewer 87 1,601
11 Ciderheads Darren Pope 63 1,580
12 Bermie Utd Glen Davies 51 1,547
13 Accrington Rudyard Ian Williams 84 1,540
14 Who R U DEAN CRIPPS 83 1,534
15 Van Damme United P Hawkins 64 1,533
16 Paris Spinks Germain David Spinks 73 1,529
17 Pretty Schitty City Alex Michaluk 48 1,525
18 Biscuitmen Chris Morton 60 1,523
19 The Mindless Morons John Seacroft 80 1,489
20 Panza Grande XI Stuart Baker 82 1,488
21 Rip Roaring Reds Sean Whyton 79 1,476
22 Get to the choppa Mark Bromham 78 1,458
23 No Recognized Plan Paul Bentz 83 1,437
24 Luxembourg United Simon Smallbone 76 1,408
25 Real Jorvik FC Simon Brown 31 1,399
26 Sportingabiggerwig Alex Ritchie 69 1,376
27 Release The Hounds Paul Mitchell 60 1,363
28 Crazylegs XI David Caldicott 73 1,284
29 Jordie’s Giants Jordan Raper 31 1,088

A plethora of high sores this week, thanks to some big points from the game’s in form and most owned players. Harry Kane top scored again. Kane’s stats are becoming more and more Last-seasons-Luis-Suarez-like with each passing week. Bear in mind he didn’t start being picked regularly until gameweek 11, so most other players have had a third of a season head start. Only Eden Hazard can really compete with his numbers. This weekend Kane’s 17 points were his seventh double figure score of the season. Hazard equals that. Kane also picked up three bonus points for the eight time. Hazard can better that by one week. But – that’s having played 698 minutes more – the equivalent of nearly eight full matches. There are 17 points difference in the two players scores. In recent weeks Kane has caught and overtaken the totals of Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa. He’s equalled Alexis Sanchez this week. It’s only a matter of time before he starts to challenge Hazard for player of the season at his current scoring rate.

NaboombuDirtyYellows don’t have Harry Kane in their team – and it shows. Only 41 points posted this week – that’s less than half the totals of most of the rest of the top 10. Having been a permanent fixture in the top two since gameweek 16, NDY’s now find themselves in 6th. Neil Madrid remain top, now with a 45 point lead over their closest challengers, Hedgehog Corpse. Hedgegog’s 96 points was the second highest total of the week. Uriah’s also notched 90+ and edge into third. Gaalacticos added 100 points to their total to move into eighth and win the manager of the week. Shoelace held on to win the March monthly award by a single point. They’re the only team to win two monthly awards so far this season.

1 Shoelace Untied Caroline Strong 82 227
2 Uriah Rennie 2nd XI Neil Greenwood 90 226
3 Hedgehog Corpse FC Nick Smith 96 222
4 Neil Madrid Neil Strong 91 217
5 Gaalatcticos Colin Goulding 100 216
6 Accrington Rudyard Ian Williams 84 215
7 * Your Ad Here * Matthew Hopkins 84 214
8 No Recognized Plan Paul Bentz 83 209
9 Who R U DEAN CRIPPS 83 208
10 Rip Roaring Reds Sean Whyton 79 205

Shoelace’s 82 points wasn’t enough to keep them in the Bucket’s Cup. Who R U edged them out by a single point and will meet Accrington Rudyard in the semi finals. That’s 13th against 14th. In the other semi final tie Neil Madrid and Hedgehog Corpse will battle it out, having overcome the challenges of *YourAd Here* and No Recognised Plan in their quarter final matches. That’s 1st against 2nd.

A double gameweek has been sprung upon us in gameweek 31. We’ve got a fortnight to sweat over which Aston Villa and/or QPR players to bring into our teams, before finally realising that it’s not really worth it on either count, as we have an international break to contend with.

Player of the week – Harry Kane – 17 points. See above stat attack.

Bargain of the week – Fernando – 14 points. Scoring the points Aguero should be scoring.

Donkey of the week – Steven Gerrard – -2 points. I’m over ruling the fact that Gareth MacAuley has -3 points for a red card he should never have received. It’ll be rescinded. This chump, however, deserved everything he got.

Goal of the week – Juan Mata. Has barely featured of late – you’ve got to wonder why?!

Gmaeweek 16 results

1 NaboombuDirtyYellows Andrew Swift 68 860
2 Uriah Rennie 2nd XI Neil Greenwood 62 853
3 Paris Spinks Germain David Spinks 52 850
4 RayCrawfordsCrackers Rob Hewer 89 840
5 Neil Madrid Neil Strong 62 834
6 * Your Ad Here * Matthew Hopkins 49 820
7 Hedgehog Corpse FC Nick Smith 62 815
8 Ciderheads Darren Pope 48 813
9 Upper Bullens Andy Taylor 64 813
10 Gaalatcticos Colin Goulding 73 809
11 Shoelace Untied Caroline Strong 59 801
12 Pescara Rangers Stewart Pope 54 793
13 Sportingabiggerwig Alex Ritchie 48 771
14 Pretty Schitty City Alex Michaluk 38 759
15 Bermie Utd Glen Davies 51 753
16 Panza Grande XI Stuart Baker 51 749
17 Van Damme United P Hawkins 76 747
18 Biscuitmen Chris Morton 71 746
19 Who R U DEAN CRIPPS 52 730
20 Real Jorvik FC Simon Brown 62 720
21 Rip Roaring Reds Sean Whyton 54 720
22 Luxembourg United Simon Smallbone 34 718
23 The Mindless Morons John Seacroft 44 717
24 Get to the choppa Mark Bromham 67 714
25 Accrington Rudyard Ian Williams 79 713
26 No Recognized Plan Paul Bentz 45 700
27 Crazylegs XI David Caldicott 45 693
28 Release The Hounds Paul Mitchell 44 666
29 Jordie’s Giants Jordan Raper 55 565

 

PSG’s reign at the top lasted only one week as NaboombuDirtyYellows hit the front for the first time since gameweek three. Leapfrogging four teams into fourth are RayCrawfordsCrackers who posted the highest total of the week of 89 points. Crawfords gained 15 points from our player of the week, Tom Heaton, and their Ageuro replacement, Robin Van Persie, who contributed 22 points as captain.

It was as simple as looking to United and Arsenal for the replacements for Aguero, and to a number of big name players all creeping into form, and earning regular starting berths because of that. Both had two players in double figures. As well as Van Persie, Juan Mata, who is probably benefiting from Angel Di Maria’s absence, bagged 14 points. Santi Cazorla is another getting a run of games of late. He scored two goals and picked up 14 points. And Olivier Giroud made his first meaningful points contribution since his return from injury with two goals and full bonus marks, amassing 13 points.

The raft of suspensions and injuries didn’t seem to affect too many Buckets teams. It appears most had to make at least two transfers, but in a week of few surprises and comfortable victories for the big boys, there were plenty of points on offer. Alexis Sanchez moved ahead of Aguero in the player standings with the nine points he picked up at the weekend. He becomes the second player to pass the 100 point barrier on 107 points.

 

Player of the week – Tom Heaton – 15 points. Penalty save + clean sheet = all the bonus marks.

Bargain of the week – Steven Naismith – 12 points. Early season favourite back in the points.

Donkey of the week – Tom Huddlestone – -2 points. Made sure Filipe Luis didn’t dive, unlike the rest of the Cheslea team.

Goal of the week – Olivier Giroud (2nd goal). Hardly a bumper week.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlUBgwyE8cs – 4 minutes in