Monday, 22 August 2016

Nay to the Gray? - Gameweek 2 Review

Gray vs Negredo- the battle of the 6.5 forwards goes on

Gray to Negredo was the most popular transfer leading up to the gameweek 2 deadline. 52k transferred Andre Gray out of their teams after he blanked in the first week at home to Swansea. Little did they know the Burnley striker would assist a goal and open his Premier League account v Liverpool in Saturday. This left the 10.5% who kept the faith in Gray rewarded while those who knee-jerked to transfer Alvaro Negredo in feared the worst going into Sunday's North East derby between Middlesbrough and Sunderland. A Negredo blank would be costly. Thankfully for the 18% of managers who own 'The Beast', he came up with two assists and scored the same amount of points as Gray due to his 2 bonus points. No doubt the two standout 6.5 strikers from the first two gameweeks will continue to cause headaches throughout the season.

Liverpool's Problems Remain

After spending £69.1m on new recruits so far, Liverpool have strengthened greatly this summer, particularly in midfield. While their notorious defensive issues are yet to be resolved, the question on most FPL players' lips after Liverpool ran out 4-3 winners at the Emirates was which of Liverpool's talented midfielders to sign for your FPL team. Coutinho was the favourite and raised 0.2 in value due to popular demand after his brace, Adam Lallana had a goal and an assist and Sadio Mane also impressed with his goal, though injured in mid-week and was ruled out of the game at Burnley. Add to that list Giorginio Wijnaldum, who weighed in with an assist and showed his quality at times last season, though seemingly forced to play a deeper role for Klopp than at Newcastle and Firmino, Liverpool's top point scoring player last season. The quality of these midfielders can be top class as we saw against Arsenal, but the consistency of all of these players hangs in doubt. Liverpool in general suffered with inconsistency last season. Beating Chelsea then then losing to Crystal Palace, losing 3-0 to Watford and then beating Leicester was the kind of form Klopp's team were in throughout last season, which could cost you points if they continue to blow hot and cold. Having been outstanding in attack against Arsenal, they struggled to break down Burnley's defence, so the early signs are that they haven't changed.

Aguero and Ibra or bust?

There is beginning to be a recurring theme in FPL this season. Ibrahimovic + Aguero = success. Like last week, they were the two highest scoring strikers again. The other premiums have not come close to the two most expensive players' identical record of 3 goals in two games and maximum bonus points from the first two gameweeks. Whether this trend continues remains to be seen, but the forward alternatives are sure to improve. After a slow start, it might be only a matter of time before Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane start hitting the net as regularly as last season, so it may not be best to panic to get Ibrahimovic for a -4 point hit or to wildcard in order to get both just yet, but another week like the last two and that might be a viable option as the pair have already gone up 0.1 in value and continue to increase in ownership. Miss out on another price rise and they could become difficult to afford even in a wildcard team. 

Kyle Norbury 
Stoke fan and fantasy football nerd 

Follow me, Kyle on Twitter: @SCFCNerd

Friday, 19 August 2016

Candido's XI for Gameweek 2

 GK – Mignolet vs Burnely (A)
  • Liverpool  have kept 9 clean sheets in their past 12 matches against Burnley
  • Made 2 saves vs Arsenal, including a penalty
  • Picked up 1BP in GW1

DEF – Ivanovic vs Watford (A)
  • Watford only had 5 shots in GW1, with only 1 on target
  • 1 chance created in GW1
  • He also registered 2 shots inside the box vs West Ham

DEF – Clyne vs Burnley (A)
  • Liverpool  have kept 9 clean sheets in their past 12 matches against Burnley
  • 1 shot on target in GW1
  • 1 assist
DEF – Baines vs West Brom (A)
  • West Brom only registered 3 shots on target in GW1
  • Baines managed 1 shots assist
  • Being stationed at left midfield heightens his chance of attacking returns

MID – Townsend vs Tottenham (A)
  • Returning to face his old club at White Hart Lane in the league for the first time Has a point to prove
  • Registered 6 shots in GW1 (2 on target) and also managed 2 shot assist
  • Played Tottenham at St James’ Park in GW38 last season winning 5-1 Townsend managed 3 shots in this game (1 on target, 1 off target and 1 off woodwork)  and created 4 chances for his teammates
MID – Firmino vs Burnley (A)
  • Registered 4 shots in GW1 and created 1 chance
  • Burnley conceded 11 shots inside the box last GW (2nd most) and also conceded 2 big chances (=2nd most)
  •  May start the match up front again
MID – Ramirez vs Sunderland (A)
  • 2 shots on GW1 both inside the box
  • Created 3 chances and registered the assist for Negredo’s goal
  • Sunderland conceded 9 shots inside the box in GW1 (=3rd most) as well as 2 big chances (=2nd most)
MID – Lamela vs Crystal Palace (H)
  • Registered 3 shots vs Everton in GW1, one of them the equalising goal all three shots were inside the box
  •   2 bonus points

     FWD – Aguero vs Stoke (A)
  • 6 shots (5 inside the box) vs Sunderland in GW1, including a goal
  • 10 shots (7 on target and 1 off woodwork) in the midweek Champions League playoff, including 3 goals
  • He has registered 3 goals in his last 3 games vs Stoke
FWD – Llorente vs Hull (H)
  • Registered the most shots (6) in GW1
  • He was also first for shots inside the box (5)
  • Hull conceded the equal 3nd most shots inside the box in GW1 (9) as well as the most big chances (4)

FWD – Carroll vs Bournemouth (H)
  • Managed 0 shots and 1 shot assist in GW1
  • However, Bournemouth conceded the equal most big chances in GW1
  • West Ham have registered 8 goals in their last three matches against Bournemouth
  • It will also be West Ham’s first league appearance at the new Olympic Stadium
  • Carroll’s potential is boosted by the comeback of Payet and the likelihood of Antonio being deployed at right wing, who will both provide him with excellent service


And here’s how they line up:
Llorente - C
Aguero – VC 
 C:\Users\scandido\Documents\Fantasy\EPL\Articles\GW2 XI.PNG
Player map graphics via @StatsZone

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Gameweek 2 - Best Buys and Why

Gameweek 1 was an interesting start to the season. We saw some surprise packages that could be potentially good for our FPL team in the long run. Today I will highlight some of the best buys for Gameweek 2.

First up, if you are looking for consistent returns from your defence, consider West Bromwich Albion players. With Tony Pulis style of play in which he likes to park the bus, West Brom’s defenders are value for money as they are pretty budgeted. Ben Foster scored a whopping 10 points in the first match of the season and showed why he is one of the best English goalkeepers around. If you are looking for a full back providing assist, at only £4.5m, Gareth McAuley provides good opportunity for assist while Craig Dawson offers goal scoring threats from set pieces at £5.0m.  West Brom’s next few fixtures are relatively good, taking on Everton, Boro, Bournemouth, West Ham, Stoke and Sunderland in coming weeks.

Next, Eden Hazard looks to continue his strong start of the season against Watford this weekend. Hazard has shown in previous seasons what he is capable of, apart from the 15/16 where injury made him have a pretty bad season. With Chelsea’s good run of fixtures in the next few game weeks, Antonio Conte’s side look to score big. Hazard is also able to play as a forward should his team mate Diego Costa ever get suspended for getting booked. At £10.0m, he is pricey, but the possible returns he can get you surpasses his price.

Finally, Manchester United look to be title contenders this season after missing out for the past couple of seasons. With the addition of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and a few others, their squad look solid and with Jose Mourinho as their new manager, the club is moving in a new direction.  If you are looking for a midfielder, Anthony Martial (£9.5m) is a good option as he provides lots of crosses into the box and is able to cut in from the left and create chances himself. For forwards, Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks to retain his goal scoring threat with his new team. He has shown he has what it takes to play in England despite his age. He is a premium player at £11.5m but I believe he is a safe long term investment that will bring you returns over the course of the season.

Those are my picks for Gameweek 2. Most of them will be good in the long run. Some of them are budgeted, some are a premium, pick one that suits your needs for this weekend.

Written by: @FantasyFoxez

Monday, 15 August 2016

Aguerovic Get Off To Flying Start - Gameweek 1 Review

In a rare gameweek where both Vardy and Kane failed to score, if you owned Zlatan and Kun and captained one of the two in the first gameweek then chances are you are in the top 200k overall. With budget midfielders on target and the only clean sheets coming from budget defences, gameweek 1 panned out in favour of teams with the most expensive attacking pair.

The pre-season argument against owning both Zlatan and Kun is that the rest of the team suffers financially. However, 4.5 keeper Ben Foster was the highest scoring keeper and many 'Aguerovic' owners have him as the first choice in goal. Gareth McAuley, Jonas Olsson and Jonny Evans are all 4.5 and kept clean sheets. McAuley is owned by 10% and Evans is also popular at 8.6%. While these may be mere back up options for more balanced teams, an attack that costs over a quarter of your budget may mean some started one of the pair. Jordi Amat and Stephen Kingsley performed above their 4.0 price tag, although more likely to be bench fodder. Kingsley looks to be a stand-in for Neil Taylor, who was short on match fitness for the game at Burnley, but Amat could lay down a starting place at centre back now Williams has left. At 4.0 he will be good asset as a starting player in teams if he continues to play, as an enabler for the likes of Ibrahimovic, Aguero and Hazard.

Mid-Priced Mids Come to the Fore

In midfield, 'Aguerovic' owners who sacrificed the cost of their midfield for their forward line would have been pleased with the point scoring of the lesser priced players. 8.0 Coutinho scored a brace at Arsenal to lead all midfielders. He comes in much lower than the premiums and could be the pick of the Liverpool mids, but is yet to reach more than 8 assists or goals in each of his 4 seasons at Liverpool, which raises concerns over his consistency and Liverpool's fixtures don't get easier until gameweek 6.

The early bandwagons could be for the mid-priced midfielders who were in and out of form last season. Adam Lallana has a similarly unspectacular FPL record to his teammate Coutinho, failing to improve on 9 goals and 9 assists in 2013/14 at Liverpool, yet his goal at the Emirates will raise his ownership. Game time is touted as an issue for Lallana with so many attacking players at the club, so Eric Lamela could be the cut-price midfield answer at the same price. Lamela scored on the opening day and may have some managers believe this is the season he can deliver on a regular basis for Spurs on the back of a strong Copa America with Argentina, in which he scored twice and a pre-season in which he also bagged a couple and an assist. Lamela has failed to live up to expectations when he arrived from Roma in 2013, but looks in faster and stronger physical shape than he was when he arrived in England. Having ended last season in fine form, has he finally found his feet at Spurs or will we see yet more inconsistency?

Xherdan Shaqiri disappointed in terms of goals and assists last season, but has already opened his account with a free kick against Middlebrough. He could be yet another past underachiever who has his breakout.

Redmond Shows Striking Potential

A lot of people were talking about midfielders who might play out of position in a more advanced role in pre-season, meaning more of a goal threat. These players are Gerard Deulofeu, Bojan, Nathan Redmond, Firmino, Alexis Sanchez and Eden Hazard. Of these players, the standout in the first week was the cheapest, Southampton's 6.0 winger-turned-striker Nathan Redmond. His price-rise is predicted to be very high, as something of a differential going into the season at around 5% ownership. He had 4 shots inside the box, and only denied by good defending from Watford before finally finding the net. In the striker spot he could hit the ground running.

Differential of the gameweek:
Redmond (6.0), 10pts 

Surprise of the gameweek:
Diomande (4.5), 8pts

Fire sale of the gameweek:
Vardy (10.0), 2 points 

Kyle Norbury, obsessive fantasy football manager and have been for many years. Bit of a nerd when it comes to stats.  #TeamIbra.

Follow me, Kyle on Twitter: @SCFCNerd, and subscribe on Youtube @FPLNerd

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Chief's FPL Team - Gameweek 1

Dear all,

The above illustration is my Gameweek 1 team for the 2016/2017 Premier League season.  With regret, after five consecutive seasons, this will be the final time I publish my team in advance on my blog.  Doing so 36-48 hours on average in advance has become unmanageable.  From now on I will aim to publish it 6-24 hours in advance (after the manager's press conferences) but on Twitter only.

Rest assure, this is not the end of the blog.  I simply prefer to publish my team on Twitter for convenience.  Even if you don't have a Twitter account, you will be able to see it listed under my blog's external links - "Latest FPL Team".  Content relating to FPL hints will still be available on this blog.

The above team is very top heavy for a purpose.  I intend to use the wildcard after Gameweek 3 during the international break.  This will be a good time as teams would have settled by then and players would have recovered from their Euros/pre-season fatigue.


Friday, 12 August 2016

Football Survivor: A Game by Game Guide, Part Two

I've had a go at predicting which team you should back in the first 20 weeks of the Premier League! So have a read about the perfect strategy to survive in Football Survivor!

Match 11: Bournemouth v. Sunderland 
This is a big game, make no mistake, as both teams will be fighting for the drop this season. Bournemouth, having lost Matt Ritchie, will be looking to assert themselves as a Premier League side this season. Last year, they were fantastic at points, beating Manchester United at home and battling to stay alive. Striker, Wilson, was very unlucky with injuries last season and Bournemouth’s form slumped as a result, but with Eddie Howe in charge, and some decent summer acquisitions, you’d expect them to kick on. These are exactly the sort of games that the Cherries will have to win if they are to stay in the PL this season. 

Match 12: West Brom v. Burnley 
Tony Pulis will be looking to kick on this season at the Hawthorns. His tenure as Baggies manager has been disappointing thus far, with many expecting him to inspire the club to the mid table of the Premier League. The almost certain loss of Saido Berahino ought to act as a catalyst for improved performance as the young Englishman has been flirting with a move away from the midlands for the last several seasons. Pulis will have a big job on his hands invigorating an ageing squad. But, the visitors in this particular clash ought to be dealt with. If Rondon is scoring goals and performing to the level that he can manage, than it ought to be an easy home win. 

Match 13: Leicester v. Middlesborough 
The Champions will fancy this one. Leicester still look a real threat heading into the new season, even with the loss of N’Golo Kante and the rumours surrounding Riyad Mahrez’s future. In reality, Leicester have a stronger team than last year around, the signing of Musa looks a real bargain given his impressive cameo performances against both Barcelona and Manchester United in pre-season. Expect teams to face Leicester in a different way this season, no longer are they unpredictable. Ranieri’s men will stay behind the ball and counter attack as much as possible; but with the quality players that Leicester have at their disposal, knowing what they’re going to do and stopping them doing it are two very different things. 

Match 14: Everton v. Manchester United
This is what Football Survivor is all about, backing teams against the odds, when up against it and in desperate need of some points. Yet, don't rule Everton out of this clash against United. For the Red Devils, Goodison Park is never an easy place to go. Although running out convincing winners last time around, United under Fergusson had a very mixed record at the home of the Toffees. Mourinho and co will need to be at there very best to get a result here, in an atmosphere which is sure to be intimidating and vocal.

Ronald Koeman

Match 15: Hull City v. Crystal Palace
Surely the’ve got to win at least one of their games? Here’s hoping that this is one of a few.. or even the only one? The KC Stadium will need to be at its very rocking best to inspire a result from the Tigers here. Yet, Palace might be the type of team that suits Hull. Lets not forget, there are some talented individuals still in Humberside; Hernandez, Snodgrass and Davies will all fancy themselves as Premier League quality players. Lets hope they can prove it in this fixture!

Match 16: Stoke City v. Southampton 
This is a very even game, on paper. Stoke, as mentioned previously, have some fantastic players, as do Southampton, so we expect this to be a very tight affair. Stoke will press the Saints all over the park, and this might be why Southampton could knick it with a goal on the counter attack using their pace. Shane Long is a fantastic striker to have when running in behind and in the channels and up against a relatively physical and slower Stoke backline, he’ll fancy it. Claude Puel will need to win this type of away game if he wants to push his team into the higher places in the league. 

Match 17: Man City v. Arsenal 
I’ve saved one of the big guns for late in the game… but now I’ve gotta back them in a clash of the titans. Pep Guardiola will look at these games as must win if City are to win another Premier League title. No doubt, Arsenal will go into this expecting a very tough game, certainly if Wenger doesn’t strengthen any further in the transfer market. City, on the other hand, should be well up for this given that they would’ve had the appropriate time frame to begin to adopt some of Pep’s ideas and philosophies. I would expect a close game here, but ultimately home advantage counting enough for the Citizens to grab a precious three points.

Pep Guardiola

Match  18: Watford v. Crystal Palace
The Hornets will need to be at their best to win this - but they ought to think that the atmosphere at Vicarage Road will get them through this. It seems that Watford have successfully managed to keep hold of Troy Deeney, which is huge for any chance of success. This is a repeat of the FA Cup Semi Final at Wembley last season, which Palace eventually won 2-1, so revenge will be on the cards for Watford. Expect Watford to sneak this one!

Match 19: Burnley v. Sunderland 
You can’t really pick a winner here - but you’ve got to. Thats what Football Survivor is all about and thats why its such fun. In what could be an absolutely vital game at the bottom of the table; Sunderland need to go to Turf Moore and win. By this point, its anyones game really here. So its time to start praying and hoping that a Jermain Defoe inspired Sunderland can get those vital points they need! 

Match 20: Crystal Place v. Swansea

This is it… it all comes down to this. Alan Pardew and his little dance has gotta inspire Palace to a home win in order for you to survive… Can it be done? Hell yeah, Jason Puncheon rolls back those years for a late Palace winner which not only sends the Selhurst Park faithful into pandemonium but you into the promised land. You’re now officially in Football Survivor folklore as the greatest player ever… Or, Swansea spoil the party and you’ll forever be remembered by your mates as a Specialist in Failure. 

Disclaimer: Following these guides may not actually let you win... 

Join in and get involved with all the fun by joining Chief's Survivor League below!