In Squad Sheet, Strategy on December 29, 2011 at 11:09 pm
Well this is the busy season and, as such, we’re not going to make many guarantees. It’s entirely possible that Robin van Persie gets sat on the bench New Year’s Eve against QPR as Wenger looks ahead to a spring campaign in the EPL, Champions League and FA Cup which kicks off without Gervinho or Chamakh – both on ACoN duty. It is wholly possible that a player picks up a late knock, a New Years Day hangover, or misses a bus and we’re left without them in our starting XI. Six consecutive days of football also make injuries, suspensions, rotation and the like more likely to be overlooked and we apologize in advance. There will be an abbreviated LMT that goes up following the conclusion of 1 Jan matches in preparation for the 2 Jan-11Jan game week 20. But, as with most of life, for these next 6 days you’re on your own.
What you need to know up front. SUAREZ is SUSPENDED for 1 game. With the pending 8 game suspension to follow the game week 20 match, if you own him, this is the time to sell.
Milijas did not have his red card overturned. Wigan’s Conor Sammon did have his rescinded and will be facing Stoke City.
Manchester United will likely be without Jonny Evans, but the rest of the United back line is still up in the air for the next two game weeks. Fortunately for Fantasy Premier League managers there will not be many worries between now and the 22 Jan match with Arsenal as United face Blackburn (h), Newcastle (a), and Bolton (h) in the next three.
Theo Walcott’s illness kept him from the last match but it’s been reported that he will be fit to face QPR in the NYE fixture. Read the rest of this entry »
In Squad Sheet, Strategy on December 25, 2011 at 1:02 am
With matches not slated to start until Boxing Day, this Last Minute Tinkers may miss the odd injury reported on the Christmas holiday. Happy/Merry Christmas depending which side of the Atlantic you happen to celebrate on. We hope all our readers enjoy their holidays no matter where on the globe you’re reading or which holiday you’re celebrating. According to the feedback we get from source that include bitly and Google Analytics that includes more than 60 different countries spanning every continent save the polar regions. You’ve made our year a great deal brighter and we thank you for your support.
Same as last week, brackets are home/away record and goals for:allowed in same.
Chelsea (6-0-2 21:12) v Fulham (1-3-4 4:9)
The Blues were hit hard by injuries in the first half of their 1-1 draw with Tottenham Thursday. We expect Ivanovic and Mikel to miss out on Boxing Day and perhaps longer. For the later, a simple like-for-like swap with Romeu is on the cards. Frank Lampard, perhaps due to return this match regardless, will certainly be in the sXI as Ramires misses out through suspension. Not much else to add except that purchases of Sturridge have already propelled his fantasy premier league price from £6.8m 10 days ago to £7.3m today. Read the rest of this entry »
In Strategy, Team of the Week on December 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm
In a match that ended up with a player who missed a penalty taking two bonus points, it was the goalkeeper who saved said same penalty that was denied.
Al Habsi’s 8 saves, penalty save, and clean sheet at home rated only a 16 on the EA Sports Player Performance Index (EAS PPI) that governs the award of bonus points. Adam and Figueroa each rated an 18 while the matches winner was Glen Johnson, rated a PPI score of 19.
In the same match Pepe Reina recorded 6 saves of his own to keep a clean sheet for the visitors. Now, only thing we can tell from the Opta Stats available at EPLIndex is that both ‘keepers passed the ball poorly. Al Habsi 9/16 or 56% accurate, he is also credited with 9 saves by Opta to just 8 by EAS. Reina was a bit worse with 6/13 or 46% accurate. Each also touched the ball few times (43 for Al Habsi, 36 for Reina) while losing possession of the ball a high % of time (12 Total Lost Possession for Al Habsi, 9 for Reina). The ratio of possession lost is 28% for the Latics ‘keeper while it is 25% for the Red’s man. The Latics as a whole lost possession 24% of the time as did Kenny Daglish’s side. We still don’t know the exact formula used for determining the PPI score, but certainly possession, passing accuracy, defensive prowess (high % of 50/50′s and tackles won) all factor more heavily in a players score than saves, even penalty saves.
While no one can complain too much at Al Habsi’s 13 points earned in the Official Fantasy Premier League this week, many would rightly feel that it should have been 16.
In Player Projection, Strategy on December 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm
Rafa van der Vaart is out for Tottenham’s next three games. So says Harry Redknapp, and so we’re listening at least a bit. Totenham did miss judge one of Rafa’s injuries already, leaving him off of the Europa League Group Stage roster over fitness concerns. It is obvious but, you can not hold him if he’ll be injured for three weeks. Over this period there are too many games and Spurs in particular – making up their postponed open day clash with Everton – are going to be good value. Unfortunately, Jermain Defoe has also been injured or this knock to the Dutch play-maker would open up playing time for the England man. At £9.9m Rafa can be sold and Juan Mata, £9.8m can be purchased in a like-for-like swap. Chelsea’s next two matches are at Stamford Bridge and Mata is all but certain to feature in both. While Fulham and Aston Villa were both just beaten by top 4 clubs at home midweek and their combined away record is 2-8-6 with 12 goals for to 21 against. Aston Villa will likely still be without Shay Given and in his absence Brad Guzan has allowed 5 goals in 323′.
Rafa can also be replaced from inside his own club. While many (-81468) owners sold on him in Fantasy Premier League, Bale’s injury has only kept him out one game and he has clearly shown the ability to link with Emmanuel Adebayor. Without Rafa around, it is possible that Bale will suffer as defenders can play more to his side of the field without the threat of the other. However, the introduction of Defoe should maintain the space Bale needs to work effectively on the left. Aaron Lennon is also out for the next three game. This past match saw Sandro employed in a holding role while Scott Parker and Luke Modric were left free to attack further up the field. Read the rest of this entry »
In Sorted, Squad Sheet, Strategy on December 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm
Because we’re writing this on Sunday into Monday in preparation for the Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday game week 17 this will obviously need to be abbreviated. To communicate as much information as possible we’ve changed the format a bit. You can also expect to see this format for the Boxing Day matches and possibly the New Years matches we’ll be on holiday the week between Christmas and New Years. Safe, enjoyable holidays to you all.
The Fixtures (record either home or away, goals for: goals allowed):
Wolves (3-1-4 11:13) v. Norwich (1-3-4 9:17)
Wolves will need a win with just one victory and four losses in their last five EPL fixtures. Usually we put little stock in such motivation but McCarthy’s squad will be hosting a Canaries side that have not kept a clean sheet yet this season and are allowing better than two goals per away fixture. Grant Holt and Steve Morison have both been starting with Anthony Pilkington being sacrificed from the starting lineup. Holt and Morison are both in fine form with the later having 5 goals and 1 assist in the last seven matches while the former has 3 goals in his last two matches. Paul Lambert is also happy with the link-up:
“The two lads up front linked up really well,” he said. “Steve Morison got a good flick on the ball in, and Grant Holt held the lad off, rolled him in the box and then it’s a great goal from our point of view.
For Wolves it was a penalty for Steven Hunt and if you check our Set Piece Takers you’ll see we’ve updated Wolves to make Hunt the primary penalty taker after this goal. Read the rest of this entry »
In Squad Sheet, Strategy on December 17, 2011 at 12:07 am
Last Minute Tinkers Part 2 of 2. Part 1 available here and Africa Cup of Nations info available here.
We’ll start with Norwich where Ritchie De Laet and Elliot Ward are expected to return to training next week but will not be fit this weekend. Norwich are 1-2-4 on the road with 8 goals scored to 16 allowed. Everton have played level home and away with a 2-1-4 record with 7 for to 9 against at Goodison. The visitors haven’t kept a clean sheet yet this season and we’ve no reason to think that Everton will be unable to score. While Everton’s 10% chance conversion is poor, the Canaries 9 defensive errors and 172 losses of possession on the season will likely gift David Moyes’ men at least one, and possibly many more, scoring chances.
Phil "FingerGuns" Jagielka: "Chang Chang! It's a pun"
For the home side, we like Jagielka, Baines, Fellaini and wait patiently for Tim Cahill to break his duck. Read the rest of this entry »
In Squad Sheet, Strategy on December 16, 2011 at 10:28 pm
Last Minute Tinkers back to it’s usual two part format. This is 1 of 2. Earlier today we broke down the Africa Cup of Nations list for all qualified Nations with their potential rosters and the English Premier League club impacted. You can read that here and we recommend it for all Fantasy Premier League managers.
This weekend there is another top 4 clash with Manchester City hosting Arsenal in the weekend’s final fixture. Before that match kicks off the rest of the weekend will have featured a number of top clubs facing off against sides where 3 points are the only acceptable return. Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool all travel this week, to QPR, Wigan and Aston Villa, respectively. We’ll deal with these matches first.
Manchester United look set to build on their 4-1 win over Wolves as they face a QPR side that has allowed at least one goal in six on the bounce. Their last clean sheet came in the 1-0 victory over 10 man Chelsea and if United see as much of the ball as Chelsea did that game Neil Warnock will be lucky to see his side escape without conceding a handful. Read the rest of this entry »
In Strategy on December 16, 2011 at 7:57 pm
We’ll expand upon the impact that this tournament has in later posts but it is important to remember that this is fast approaching. This kicks-off on 21 January with the final group stage match being played 2 February. The tournament ends with the Final being played on 12 February. Prior to that same span of time there will be training camps (Guinea has theirs in Abidjan from 9-16 January:
According to the Guinean Football Federation (FEGUIFOOT), Coach Michel Dussuyer and his charges will be in the Ivorian capital from 9-16 January, 2012. During their stay there, they are likely to pitch their strength against some local division Ivorian sides in search of their rhythm.
The team is expected to return to Conakry where they will face Sudan in a friendly match on January 18. The match is to inaugurate a new stadium ‘Stade de Guinée’ constructed by the Guinean Government.
You should plan on your African players participating in the Cup to be absent starting gameweek 20 – the Tottenham v. Everton rescheduled match is the 11th fixture of gw 20, scheduled for 11 January. Game weeks 21-24 (ending 6-Feb) will likely be missing all Group Stage participants. Read the rest of this entry »
In Squad Sheet, Strategy on December 15, 2011 at 10:14 pm
Today Tottenham followed Fulham out of the Europa League. While Spurs managed to win 4-0, their victory would have only kept them in had Rubin Kazan failed to earn a point. As Rubin drew 1-1, Harry Redknapp’s side will now be free to concentrate on League and Cup duties.
The Spurs loss could have significant #FPL impact in the New Year. Rafa van der Vaart’s struggles to stay on the pitch have been well documented, in part through his own interactions with the press and his managers responses. While injury provided a decent excuse to leave Rafa from the group stage squad, he undoubtedly would have been called upon in the knockout stages and those extra minutes add quickly to tired legs. An injury to Rafa would likely mean more minutes for Defoe, who will see his playing time significantly reduced now that he is no longer needed in the European competition.
This is as good a place as any to start reminding fantasy premier league managers that the Africa Cups of Nations will once more be disrupting teams, causing unwelcome national team/club side stress and a slew of injuries of varying magnitude that must be monitored by all FPL managers. Read the rest of this entry »
In Strategy on December 13, 2011 at 8:00 pm
As we noted in a Tweet this weekend Michel Vorm posted a remarkable 12 (T.W.E.L.V.E.) Fantasy Premier League points this gameweek. For his effor in posting six saves, a penalty save against Dempsey to preserve a 1-0 match, and keeping a cleansheet against Fulham he earned an EA Sports Player Performance Index (EAS PPI) of 19, his second highest score of the season. His highest score came in the 3-0 win over WBA when he had 6 saves, posting 8 FPL points.
Sinclair (3), Routledge (2) and Graham (1) earned the bonus points in this match. They posted EAS PPI scores of 30, 29, and 25. Of course, the truly remarkable aspect of all this is Danny Graham played just 15′ and his goal was, in the grand scheme of things, a negligible contribution to this game coming in added time.
You’re likely saying, well, we know goalscorers are oft rewarded in the new bonus point system and ‘keepers aren’t. At least Vorm isn’t the only one getting shut out. True. But you know who did get bonus points? Szczesny. (He ties w/ RvP for 1; Song (3), Arteta (2) rounded out bonus points in that match). Szczesny posted an EAS PPI score of 20, a point higher than Vorm’s 19, in a match where he kept a clean sheet, the same as Vorm. The key difference was that Szczesny was credited with 0 (Z.E.R.O.) saves in that match. Not one.
And that is the injustice of Fantasy Premier League bonus points. If you lose your mini-league by less than 3 points and you started Michel Vorm this week, you have our official blessing to consider yourself champion.