In News of the Day, Strategy on October 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm
Fantasy EPL news coming after the first of four Champions League fixtures this week for Barclays Premier League sides. Javier Hernandez netted a brace to spare Manchester United their blushes and secure all three points while two midfielders departed with injuries.
Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 Chelsea
Chelsea sXI: Cech; Ivanovic Cole Luiz Terry; Ramirez Lampard (Hazard 18′) Mata Mikel; Torres (Sturridge 70′) Oscar
Oscar netted the only goal for Roberto Di Matteo’s side. The late effort continued to build Oscar’s case for a continued run in the first team. With Frank Lampard departing early with a re-aggravation of his calf injury there is a strong case to be made that Ramires/Mikel/Mata will make-up the middle “3″ with Hazard and Oscar pairing Torres at the front.
Chelsea will be without John Terry again in gameweek nine as he continues to serve a domestic suspension. Gary Cahill was on the bench for the Champions League encounter but should return for the League fixture. The defender scored a screamer in his last start and remains one of the few defenders who will consistently attempt shots from long range. Chelsea’s schedule does not inspire much confidence in their ability to keep clean sheets and Manchester United certainly can score against anyone. Read the rest of this entry »
In News of the Day, Player Projection on September 20, 2012 at 1:15 am
Champions League Group Stage matches continued on Tuesday and EPL fantasy managers had their first chance to see squad rotations for Manchester United and Chelsea for the first time this season. Both English sides were playing their opening match at home and each had an opportuntity to take all three points thanks to the efforts of their summer signings.
On day soon, he’ll have scored his age.
Chelsea did not win. But not for lack of effort from young Brazialian Oscar. The summer signing has yet to make an EPL fantasy impact at Stamford Bridge — he has played 61′ in the Barclays Premier League this season. The start against Juventus was his first for Chelsea and his 31′ and 33′ minute goals put the Blues ahead before the allowed Juve back into the game on an Arturo Vidal strike on 38′.
EPL fantasy managers need to note that the starting lineup for this match featured a middle “3″ of Mikel-Lampard-Ramires, while the front “3″ was Oscar-Torres-Hazard. Read the rest of this entry »
In Team of the Week on September 16, 2012 at 10:52 pm
Fantasy Premier League managers around the globe suffered at their hands of their real-life counterparts as a number of interesting decisions left Barclays Premier League starts relegated to minor roles for the club sides. It was certainly understandable that Messrs. Di Matteo, Ferguson, Mancini and Wenger would have one eye on their opening Champions League fixtures, but some of those decisions sent ripples across fantasy premier league squad sheets. It is no surprise that, following the complete assessment of points and bonus points following Sunday’s fixture, the average Fantasy Premier League side had scored 31 points on average.
Perhaps the most notable decision was Sir Alex Ferguson bringing on Robin van Persie against Wigan. By the time the Dutch forward was introduced for Paul Scholes (71′), United were in control through goals from Scholes (51′), Chicharito (63′) and Alexander Büttner (66′). Van Persie had picked up a thigh injury in his last international outing, and was substituted at halftime of that match. Van Persie’s introduction locked Fantasy Premier League managers into a 2 point outing from their captain, as RVP was the most captained selection in the Official FPL this gameweek.
Shinji Kagawa was named in the squad but stayed on the bench Saturday. He had also been the subject of injury speculation following his withdrawal from the Japan squad with a back injury prior to their last match of the break. Read the rest of this entry »
In Squad Sheet, Strategy on September 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm
Fantasy Premier League managers kindly take notice, this is part 2/2. Part 1/2 can be found here.
Norwich v West Ham
After allowing five in the opening day loss to Fulham, Chris Hougton’s side has recovered and posted consecutive 1-1 draws with QPR and Spurs. This side had three cleansheets last season, the same number as relegated Bolton and Blackburn. We can not condone owning any Canaries defenders, even on grounds of value as there are a number of starting defenders in the £4.0 - £4.5m range that start for sides who have a chance of posting a clean sheet. ‘Keeper John Ruddy is in the same boat, three clean sheets and 97 Fantasy Premier League points in 2011-12.
The midfield is a bit of a better risk, Robert Snodgrass has one goal on eight shots in three games and has completed 59/73 passes – 80.8% – while playing the full 90′ in both game week 2 and 3. Snodgrass is priced £5.9m but should be watched as continued playing time and presence in the attack would make him an interesting value purchase and could limit the value of Anthony Pilkington (also priced £5.9m and also contributing eight shots in three games resulting in no goals and one assist).
Grant Holt has only two shots through three games, with no goals and an assist. Holty had a great season a year ago but his £6.3m price is not enticing with the plethora of discount options available this season.
One of those discount options is Ricardo Vaz Te. The young Hammer’s forward has played 225′ and has two assists through three games. Read the rest of this entry »
In News of the Day on September 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm
Fantasy EPL News & Notes will be abbreviated on Friday’s but Last Minute Tinkers will be up later today.
First from the BBC, news that Kun Aguero was returned to first-team training on Friday and could feature against Stoke on Saturday:
Fellow forward Mario Balotelli has been cleared to play against Stoke if needed after undergoing laser eye surgery during the international break. ”We will try this morning with Sergio,” Mancini said. “And after we try we will decide. He is getting better.” When asked if he could be involved at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, the Italian manager added: “Maybe.”
We mentioned this earlier in the week and will touch on it again later, but expectation is 15-20′ to get him prepared for Real Madrid in Midweek.
The Beeb is also reporting that Darren Fletcher is set for the Manchester United squad v Wigan and that Sir Alex Ferguson is not facing any new injury concerns:
Alex Ferguson confirms Darren Fletcher is back in the squad for Manchester United’s game with Wigan on Saturday. The midfielder could be on the bench for the match after training well following his long absence with a bowel problem.
Ferguson says he has no new injury concerns other than long-term abseteesWayne Rooney, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, so Robin Van Persie andShinji Kagawa are expected to play despite both picking up slight injuries on international duty.
The addition of van Persie is not one we’re surprised by in the least, however the addition of Shinji Kagawa comes as a mild shock. Read the rest of this entry »
In News of the Day, Strategy on September 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm
Another round of qualifiers being played midweek and a number of high-profile names are returning to their clubs with possible knocks. Leading the way are Manchester United’s star duo of new boys: Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa. Van Persie was a 45′ substitute for Holland as the Oranje took a 4-1 win over Hungary. There are some reports from the post-match commentary that have head coach Louis Van Gaal dismissing the substitution as precautionary:
“We took off Robin for precautionary measures,” Van Gaal told Dutch broadcaster SBS6. “It doesn’t seem to be too serious, but you never know. We didn’t want to take any risks.”
Fantasy EPL managers should not rush to sell, but this is a reminder that 2011-12 was an abnormal season for Van Perise as he was able to stay on the field for the vast majority. Any injury concern for the Dutch talisman requires careful monitoring. Earlier in the day Shinji Kagawa was withdrawn from the Japanese starting XI after questions about his lower back pain arose. Goal.com with a pair of quotes pulls the issues together nicely:
A Japan Football Association official told Daily Sports: “He felt uncomfortable in his lower back in practice yesterday, and we decided to wait a night and see how it looked, but he’s not at 100 per cent so we’re leaving him off. He didn’t go to the hospital.” Kagawa himself has played down fears that he could be missing for some time for the Premier League champions, stating that he should be back soon. ”It [the injury] happened in yesterday’s practice,” he told Nikkan Sports. “I was holding the ball and went to make a move and in that instant it started to hurt.”
Manchester United have already dealt with a spate of injuries, including the recent news that Phil Jones will miss another 6-8 weeks. Read the rest of this entry »
In News of the Day on September 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm
Reports in every publication we can find have Nani pricing himself out of a move to Zenit St. Petersburg. They all seem to be using the Daily Mail as evidence, straight from the ‘source’ then:
Nani’s ‘unreal’ wage demands wrecked any chance of the Manchester United winger moving to big-spenders Zenit St Petersburg this summer. The Russian club’s director-general Maxim Mitrofanov claimed on Thursday that the deal had hit a brick wall.
The Portuguese has seen his #FPL price fall from £9 to £8.7m and he is selected in only 3.4% of sides. We think he could still prove valuable in fantasy EPL leagues, though he is currently behind Kagawa, Young and Valencia for minutes. Nani has 107′ over gameweek 1 and 3, and did not feature in the gameweek 2 win over Fulham. When considering that Kagawa (£8.6) and Young (£8.3m) are still priced less than Nani, there is no justifiable reason to hold the Portuguese winger at this time.
There was one international fixtures of note on Thursday as Japan had a friendly in advance of their World Cup qualifier vs. Iraq. ManUtd.com dispels the rumours of his 45′ appearance:
The midfielder appeared in the first half of Japan’s 1-0 win over United Arab Emirates in Niigata on Thursday, a warm-up for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Iraq. Some online reports suggested he’d been hauled off by coach Alberto Zaccheroni after a poor performance and others mischievously claimed he had broken his leg. The likely truth is that he was wisely being rested for the more important game ahead. Read the rest of this entry »
In Sorted, Strategy on August 31, 2012 at 10:17 pm
Well, we’ve done it. Left alone with our laptop, our Twitter and a team that was decimated by injures, Chelsea players and the departure of Rafa Van der Vaart to Germany. So we’ve just one Fantasy Premier League Wildcard left and a new team to play with as we continue to build a table-topping side:
Before the injury to Ryan Taylor and the transfer of Van der Vaart to Hamburg we were prepared to use our transfer to bring in Michel Vorm from Swansea and send Cech out. However, the loss of Taylor and Rafa, coupled with Torres, Cech and Cole all missing through participation in the Supercup, meant that we would be unable to field a full squad. In examining the possible moves, we contemplated an eight point penalty but determine we would be better off making wholesale changes than attempting to piece in corrections. Instead, we’ve selected the following players to remain in our side: Read the rest of this entry »
In Pre-Season, Squad Sheet, Strategy on July 24, 2012 at 7:56 pm
Several clubs have already made high profile additions this summer. Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and more have added new talent in advance of the new season. Which of these players are priced to buy? Probably not Shinji Kagawa.
It hurts to say that Kagawa will not be worth the price of admission. His price opened at £8.5m. That is the same price as teammate Ashley Young. In his first season at Old Trafford, Young was solid if unspectacular for Fantasy Premier League managers. Embarking on 19 successful dribbles in 1565′ is impressive, but it doesn’t fill up the stat sheet where it matters. Still, his 6 goals and 11 assists are impressive for 1/2 a seasons worth of minutes on the pitch. With both Valencia and Nani still slated to earn full playing time, and priced equally at £9m, there will be fewer EPL opportunities for the new boy to prove himself. We’re expecting a successful campaign, and you can read more about his statistical outlook in Cooper’s post at EPL Index: Shinji Kagawa.
Arsenal are once more in the midst of summer turmoil as questions over Robin van Persie’s future. Joining Arsene Wenger’s side are Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. Both are, correctly, rated as forwards with Podolski £0.5m behind the £9m rated Giroud. You can read a statistical preview of their season at EPL Index: Giroud and Podolski. The rating as a forward for each certainly diminishes their value if RvP stays and continues to play the centre-forward role. Read the rest of this entry »