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 36 preview

May 3, 2017

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

There’s one extra fixture this week with Southampton and Arsenal both playing twice – once against each other in the midweek, and against Liverpool (Southampton) and Manchester United (Arsenal) over the weekend.

Meaning neither have an easy week ahead. Southampton are comfortably mid-table – about as mid-table as you can get. Last week, they were the first team since January to allow Hull to collect any away points, and before that were comfortably beaten by Chelsea and Manchester City. On the beach? This may open the door for Arsenal…or maybe not. Their respective form tables make similar reading.

Anyone holding both the triple captain and bench boost chips might be looking at this week to play the first of those. Mesut Ozil is Arsenal’s form man with two goals and an assist in his last five games. I guarantee Alexis Sanchez will still pick up more armband nominations. Ozil’s barely been on the radar at all this season. Sanchez sort of looks like he’s still trying.

Introducing Southampton players to your team is a much easier task. Their defence is made up of three players coming in at under £5 million and whilst clean sheets might not appear likely given the opposition, be aware that both Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens have picked up 27 and 23 points in their last five weeks. That includes bonuses, assists and goals. Up top they’re giving us very little at the moment. Manolo Gabbiadini was meant to offer more. He arrived, he scored goals, he got injured – and he’s been hooked before the 60 minute mark since that return. The last thing you want is four games in two weeks returning just four points.

Double gameweek 37 holds much more potential. Chelsea and Spurs players are a must. Also consider Chelsea welcome Middlesbrough this week, whilst Spurs visit West Ham (on Friday night – remember) with the possibility of reducing the league lead to a single point. The problem with ditching Southampton players is the price difference, but if you’ve got your wildcard left, now’s the time.

Gameweek 33 preview

April 13, 2017

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

This is definitely the year that Arsenal don’t finish in the top four. Just look at their fantasy season. There’s only really been one player worth having at any time and that’s Alexis Sanchez, and even that bubble may well have burst. Laurent Koscielny has had his moments in an unusually unreliable defence and some of us got a bit excited when Olivier Giroud scored that scorpion kick. But that’s about it – and that’s being kind. Sanchez is still the overall leading points scorer, but has Hazard, Alli and Lukaku breathing down his neck. We need more than a single goal and assist in your last five outings, Alexis. That’s coincided with Wenger shifting him back out onto the flanks with Danny Welbeck through the middle. So is it time to get rid? We’re all clinging onto him in the hope that his manager sees sense and sticks him up top again – where the double figure scores undoubtedly are. And there are **NEWLY ANNOUNCED** double gameweeks ahead – two in consecutive weeks for Arsenal. Who’ve they got this week? Oh, it’s Boro. K E E P !!!

Harry Kane’s back. There’s your replacement. Providing of course you haven’t already got three Spurs players in your team. And why wouldn’t you? They’re the form team with the easiest run in and a double gameweek fixture in GW37. Bringing in Kane means the obvious sacrifice of a big hitter elsewhere – Sanchez is probably a leading contender (up against Boro – are you mad?). The real decision is which Spurs player to drop. Maybe there’s just too much surgery involved bringing Kane in right now. Bournemouth at home screams goals, but whose to say those goals won’t be shared between Alli, Son and Eriksen?

Also, drafting Kane in probably disrupts your carefully laid plans for next week’s double gameweek. Anyone whose been gradually transferring in Palace players must be pleased with themselves. Right through the team, from back to front, Palace arguably offer much more, and for much less money, than Manchester United, who also play twice. Be aware that Mamadou Sakho doesn’t play the double gameweek match against Liverpool as part of his loan agreement. And don’t be afraid that as well as Liverpool, they face Spurs away. They’re fairing better against the big guns anyway. Leicester this week – their minds will be elsewhere.

Click forward – the double gameweeks are in. Gameweek 36 sees Arsenal and Southampton play twice. They both play twice again in gameweek 37 – along with Chelsea, Watford, Manchester City, West Brom, Manchester United, Leicester and Spurs. Oh, and Sunderland. Best start planning those chips and wildcards.

Gameweek 24 preview

February 3, 2017

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

Its cup time. The preliminary round and first round proper of the Buckets Cup is drawn and on the Buckets Cup page. Check out who you’ve got and work out how to beat them. There’s a £50 prize for the winners, and this year, for the first time, a runners up prize of £20. If you’ve had your lot with the league, put you’re efforts into the cup. To remind you, you can make as many transfers as you want – if you want to approach it like that. It’ll ruin your league season, but your weekly points score is what counts in the cup competition.

We’ll be hoping for better returns than the midweek debacle. It can’t get any worse. The bankers didn’t come in. Spurs and Manchester United follow up games they definitely should have won with games they definitely should win. Chelsea defender-lovers might have to have another week off, coming up against Alexis Sanchez, who has racked up attacking points in nine out of the last ten gameweeks.

In the same period Sergio Aguero has contributed one goal. It’d be a brave move to assume that Pep is finished with him and Gabriel Jesus is their new main man, as impressive as his debut display was against West Ham. Retaining Aguero or bringing in Jesus might be doubly foolish given City’s blank week in a gameweek 26…

…and likely blank week in gameweek 28 given the favourable draw all the Prem teams have received for the 5th round of the cup. It’s very possible that gameweek 28 could consist of just three fixtures. Bournemouth v West Ham, Everton v West Brom and Hull v Swansea will definitely take place. The rest may not. The 5th round takes place after gameweek 25, giving you gameweeks 26 and 27 to adjust your teams as best you can.

Gameweek 15 preview

December 9, 2016

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…

737th in the world AND NOT A SINGLE TRANSFER.

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