Gameweek 37 preview

May 19, 2017

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

We’ve made it to the final week of the season. The race for this year’s Buckets title is between three teams. When Harry Met Alli lead The Craggy Islanders by two points. Long time leaders, Aquamar, are 30 or so points back in third. WHMA have their All Out Attack chip remaining, and given the crazy goalfests you often get in gameweek 38, it might be the best time to play it. It might be what gets them over the line ahead of their rivals.

Five other teams go into the week with a realistic chance of finishing fourth. Kebab Eaters United have their All Out Attack remaining. Hedgehog Corpse have a triple captain to play, and they have Gabriel Jesus and Alexis Sanchez in their squad. Manchester City and Arsenal are two of the three teams left with something to play for and those two players were two of the top five scorers from last week’s mega double gameweek. That’s not to rule out last week’s high scorers, Edgbaston, last year’s champs, FC Caligula, and double manager of the month, Rico United. It’s the creme de la creme.

The other team with something to fight for are Liverpool, who, due to their lack of action in double gameweeks, have fallen off the fantasy radar a little. Their rout of West Ham last week, and the fact they take on a relegated Middlesbrough at home this week, should turn your attention to that elite midfield bunch of theirs for one last time this season. Philippe Coutinho seems the obvious choice and would only cost £8.6 million. They’ve also finally figured out how to defend with four clean sheets in their last five. Joel Matip leads the way in their defence with three two point bonus performances in that run.

Gameweek 37 preview

May 12, 2017

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

Here it is. The gameweek that will probably decide so much. The title chase could take a dramatic turn this week. It’s a three horse race. Aquamar have been at the top since February 2nd. They built a lead, but over the last few weeks, The Craggy Islanders and When Harry Met Alli have chipped away. Aquamar go into this double gameweek with 12 players potentially playing twice, as do WHMA. Both have played their bench boost. The Craggy Islanders haven’t. They have 13 players lined up for a double appearance and their bench boost chip remaining. They’ve two free transfers this week. Expect 15 double gameweekers and put your money on The Craggy Islanders for the trophy.

The race for fourth should be as keenly contested. Rico, Hedgehogs, Kebab Eaters, Edgbaston and Caligula are separated by 38 points. Rico are in the box seat at the moment but have no wildcards or chips remaining. Hedgehogs are somehow still sat on their bench boost AND triple captain. Kebab Eaters have a wildcard left, and both Edgbaston and Caligula have their bench boost to play. I’m predicting a bench boost bonanza this week. How well that chip is played will probably determine our fourth place finisher.

Release The Hounds are the current holders of the highest weekly score. It’s 108 points, and they managed that in GW21. That’s got to go this week. If When Harry Met Alli can get a triple figure score from a double gameweek in which only two teams played twice, imagine what could be achieved this week. Ten teams take to the pitch for a second time, and that includes five of the top six. That’s 21 of the top 30 available players POTENTIALLY playing twice.

But only potentially. Chelsea could have the league wrapped up by this evening. If that happens, with the FA Cup final on the horizon, expect rotation for the Watford game. John Terry is bound to get a run out. Cesc Fabregas and Willian deserve more than a few more cameo appearances and will also probably start. We need a West Brom result – with a few Chelsea goals. That would keep Spurs going too. There’s less chance of rotation at the Lane, mainly because there’s not really anyone to rotate to, but how demoralised might they be come Sunday knowing they came so close for a second consecutive year? Surely Harry Kane’s pursuit of the golden boot should keep him motivated. It’s tricky. With something to play for, Arsenal and Manchester City are much better placed for this gameweek. If you’ve a wildcard kicking around – lucky you.

Gameweek 30 preview

March 30, 2017

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

The Buckets Cup has been won and we’ve got the last international break out of the way. It’s a clear run through to the end of the season. Nine more gameweeks to determine our champion. Two more game months – April and May – the first of which is a six week megamonth. And within that six weeks we’ve had the first of the expected end of season double gameweeks announced. Gameweek 34 sees Manchester United, Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace play twice.

And that, by my calculations, leaves the following fixtures left for rescheduling – Arsenal v Sunderland, Chelsea v Watford, Leicester v Spurs, Manchester City v West Brom, Southampton v Manchester United and Southampton v Arsenal. Two outstanding fixtures for Arsenal and Southampton suggests there will be two more double gameweeks – or could we even get a triple header? Apparently we will find out ahead of GW34 as to when those remaining fixtures will take place, so hopefully we should be able to plan exactly when we want to play our remaining wildcards and chips.

How to play the next nine weeks will be key to anyone catching our league leaders, Aquamar, who presently hold a 46 point lead over their nearest rivals and still have their last wildcard, and for what it’s worth, their all out attack chip. They have, however, played both their bench boost and triple captain, leaving the door open for anyone in the chasing pack still holding those assets.

As for this week, we’ve the usual worries over internationalitis to consider. Air miles have been accumulated and niggles and knocks have been picked up. Seamus Coleman broke his leg – in Dublin. Lots of managers will need to consider defensive replacements for him. Arsenal and City play each other on Sunday. That’s surely too important a game for either Sanchez or Aguero to be benched.

Crystal Palace’s upturn in form, which has seen them keep three consecutive clean sheets, will be tested at Cheslea, who haven’t kept one since GW22. They, and many managers will be hoping they can arrest that slide. It’ll be interesting to see if Palace do extend that record further with their double gameweek prospects in mind. The acquisition of Mamadou Sakho looks to be working, and at only £4.7 million, is definitely one to watch. Maybe he’s your Coleman replacement? As are Leicester – remember them – the champions. Finally (just about) justifying their mammoth price tags are Jamie Vardy and Riyadh Mahrez, both sitting high in the form tables.

 

Gameweek 27 results

March 6, 2017

same Aquamar 15
Noel Driver
74 1531
up The Craggy Islanders
Adrian Roche
71 1509
up Hedgehog Corpse FC
Nick Smith
86 1508
down When Harry met Alli
Trevor Gordon
68 1504
same Biscuitmen
Chris Morton
76 1492
up Kebab Eaters Utd
Paul Howard
77 1462
up greenyteamy
adam greenwood
59 1455
down Uriah Rennie 2nd XI
Neil Greenwood
52 1449
up To Elland Back
Alan Hardy
80 1448
10  up Atlético Chappers
Richard Chapman
88 1448
11  down 4 Fuchs Ake
Jason Earwicker
62 1447
12  up RICO UNITED
JASON REACHER
79 1446
13  down Cooksters
Peter Cook
63 1445
14  same Rip Roaring Reds
Sean Whyton
74 1439
15  down Yeboah’s Right Foot
Paul Murray
35 1434
16  up Neil Madrid
Neil Strong
88 1426
17  up Edgbaston
Micheal Dinneen
77 1424
18  down FC Caligula
Ajay Supeda
69 1422
19  down INIT FC
Mustafa khan
75 1422
20  down Joey Bosa
Paul Bentz
66 1417
21  up Your Ad Here
Matthew Hopkins
73 1413
22  down Upper Bullens
Andy Taylor
62 1412
23  same Go Buffoons Go
Jitesh Lakhani
62 1395
24  up romeoshondavan
Rob Hewer
76 1380
25  up nO fucHs given
Paul Callaghan
71 1378
26  up 30:19
Darren Lavelle
66 1377
27  down RG XV
Ryan Garoghan
57 1372
28  up Jarvis FC
Matt Jarvis
72 1372
29  up Hucking Fell
P Hawkins
101 1365
30  down QUEEN OF THE NORTH
DORINE REACHER
45 1363
31  same Jeff Lamp’s Porsche
David Spinks
63 1361
32  down Golden Boys
Stephanie Cripps
56 1358
33  up Crazy Legs XI
David Caldicott
86 1347
34  down Release The Hounds
Paul Mitchell
64 1346
35  down Have a little dink
Ian Williams
82 1343
36  down Shoelace Untied
Caroline Strong
97 1341
37  same I am not Zlatan
Colin Goulding
77 1314
38  same FTM
Stu Smith
80 1296
39  same jetty city
scott mcgow
77 1292
40  same Ciderheads
Darren Pope
70 1278
41  same Bakerlona
Stuart Baker
68 1275
42  up Pudding And Pie
John Seacroft
77 1271
43  down Real Jorvik
Simon Brown
60 1255
44  same Pepe Le Blue
DEAN CRIPPS
75 1244
45  same Dj daz
darren frankland
62 1243
46  same Big White Chiefs
david frankland
51 1220
47  same Bermie Utd
Glen Davies
70 1213
48  same Pretty Schitty City
Alex Michaluk
55 1198
49  same bazza 28 united
laura barrett
62 1154
50  same Bish Bosh Goal
Simon Purnell
66 1129
51  same Racing Club Skegness
Andrew Swift
52 1105
52  up Jarv88
Paul Jarvis
65 1083
53  down DJ’s Trail Blazers
Danian Jones
27 1057

 

We’re getting to the business end of the season. A mad dash to make the most of Manchester City’s double gameweek was complimented by a flurry of triple captaining and bench boosting. The jury is out on whether it’s been worth it. First of all, sacrifices had to be made to accommodate the inclusion of Aguero, Sterling, Sane and company, and with next week in mind, it was Chelsea, Spurs, Manchester United and Arsenal’s big guns that took the hit. Be smug if you decided to see the back of Sanchez and/or Ibrahimovic. Wince a little if you decided to give Kane, Alli, Costa or Hazard the boot. In the case of the Chelsea and Spurs players, sticking instead of twisting would have been as beneficial.

Im sure most triple captainers would have been hopeful of surpassing the 100 point barrier. That’s what you want to happen. Of those that played the chip, all went with Sergio, who again, didn’t quite play up to his price tag. You’d have been mad to do so, but you’d have been better off triple captaining the Stoke defence. The fact that the highest weekly scorer didn’t play for either Manchester City or Stoke tells the same story. There were high scores out there – just not high enough. Our leading three teams – Aquamar, The Craggy Islanders and When Harry Met Alli all took the plunge. Hedgehog Corpse didn’t and ended up jumping into the top three thanks to no transfer hits and five double figure scorers, one of whom was Artur Boruc of all people.

One manager did sneak past 100. Hucking Fell were helped by the 27 points of a triple armbanded Aguero, but the double figure returns of Kane, Alli, Grant and Mane were probably more telling.

Shoelace Untied achieved the second highest score with 97 – a total which carried them through to the semi final of the cup. Shoelace were the most successful bench boosters of the week, earning double figure totals from Caballero and Pieters, as well as Aguero, Alli and Grant. They’ll play Jarvis FC in the semi finals, while Aquamar, who are still on for the league and cup double, will face Rico United.

 

Player of the week – Dusan Tadic – 16 points. Always has one good week a season – this was it.

Bargain of the week – Erik Pieters – 14 points. The bus was well and truly parked.

Donkey of the week – Andrew Surman – -2 points. Probably should have been Zlatan’s award.

Goal of the week – Harry Kane. Probably time to draft him in again.

Gameweek 27 preview

March 3, 2017

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

Brilliantly throwing all best laid plans for gameweek 28 into complete disarray – it’s our first double gameweek – featuring two games each for Manchester City and Stoke. Time for a rethink.

Does next week really matter? Realistically how many points are you going to score with only eight teams playing. If you’ve doubled or even trebled up on West Brom defenders and Everton attackers, one is probably going to cancel the other out.

This week has huge potential. City haven’t gone away. They’re away to Sunderland and at home to Stoke. That’s Sunderland, who are….Sunderland. And Stoke, who are, judging by last week’s performance against Spurs, already on the beach. Might this even result in two clean sheets. They might have the creakiest ever defence of any title challengers in the history of the Premier League, but they have managed to keep two clean sheets in their last three league outings.

I get the impression that those of us stung by Aguero’s indiscipline and inconsistency earlier in the season have completely washed their hands of him, no matter what. Well, might that attitude have to change? We don’t have to worry about Gabriel Jesus anymore. Aguero is it. And he has four goals in his last two games. City have ten goals in their last two games. They play Sunderland. As well as Aguero, both Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane look to have cemented their positions either side of the attack with both coming in at under £8 million. Even Yaya Toure could be worth a punt. On penalties and a starter in all of the last ten league games.

Is it even time to roll out the triple captain? There may not be a better double gameweek fixture combination than this.

And we shouldn’t rule out some Stoke players, particularly defensively, considering they’ve got Middlesbrough in their first game. Triple captaining Phil Bardsley might be a step too far though.

It’s cup quarter final weekend. Check the page. There are some low lying teams left in. It could be your only chance of a prize. I like an underdog win.

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