In Squad Sheet, Strategy on January 13, 2012 at 11:53 pm
The final 5 fixtures of game week 21 are discussed within. If you’ve missed Part 1, you can read it here.
Tottenham (8-1-1 20:8) v Wolverhampton (1-3-6 8:19)
Wolves last six matches have ended without a victory. They’re giving up goals across the board, two to Chelsea (Lampard, Ramires), one each to Bolton (Ricketts) and Arsenal (Gervinho) and two to Norwich (Surman, Jackson) in the last four. They haven’t kept a clean sheet since game week 3. Given the number of recent goals coming from the midfield and defense we’re quite happy to start Bale, van der Vaart and you choice of defenders – with most seemingly selecting top point earned Assou-Ekotto. Aaron Lennon, priced £7.2m and coming off a goal against Everton, would also be a good one week start here if you’ve space. While Spurs are saying all the right things, Scott Parker still needs to pass fit:
Harry Redknapp said he was ‘hopeful’ that the midfielder would be fit to face Mick McCarthy’s men after missing the last three matches with a knee injury sustained at Swansea on New Year’s Eve. ”We’re hoping he’s going to be okay,” said Harry ahead of training on Friday.
We’re not counting on him though it should be noted, his presence – or lack there of – didn’t seem to matter with Spurs winning both of their last two without allowing a goal.
Fletcher is truly the only player that we’d start against Tottenham, and that isn’t a great start here. Wolves were held 0-2 at home in game week 4 and Spurs have only gotten stronger at the back since that game with Friedel allowing just 2 goals in their last 6, keeping 4 clean sheets to raise his seasons tally to 8. 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 Squad Sheet on November 4, 2011 at 1:34 pm
Tottenham Hotspur played a decidedly second string side in Thursdays 1-0 loss to FK Rubin Kazan as manager Harry Redknapp watched from home. Spurs played Cudicini, Gallas, Bassong, Pienaar, Livermore, Townsend, Fredericks, Carroll, Defoe Flaque and Pavlyuchenko.
Given their poor performance, the general second string nature of the players and the fact that they’re playing fellow Europa League side Fulham on Sunday, this match can be thrown out for fantasy premier league purposes and managers can deploy their regular Spurs starters this weekend.
Their opponents also played Thursday, earning a 4-1 home victory over Wisla Krakow. Andrew Johnson scored a brace between the opening strike by Damian Duff and the final goal from Steve Sidwell. Craven Cottage provided a solid home advantage that Fulham will be hoping carries over to their weekend EPL fixture. However, a number of first choice players got a run in the midweek encounter including a full 90′ for American midfielder Clint Dempsey. Zamora (72′ Frei) and Johnson (76′ Kasami) were rested once the match was in hand as was Danny Murphy (63′ Sidwell) but it will be the 90′ for Duff, Etuhu, and Dempsey, as well as the back four, which will pose problems against a rested Spurs attack. Read the rest of this entry »
In Squad Sheet on October 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm
With just three matches left in gameweek 8, the Black Country Derby kicked off early and West Bromwich secured a 2-0 win with goals from Chris Brunt from Billy Jones 10′ and from substitute Peter Odemwingie, on in 74′, 77′ from Scharner.
Wolves will feel hard done as they controlled possession and matched the home side shot for shot. Wolves held 58% of the ball in the match, taking some 13 shots with 8 being on frame. Ben Foster made 7 saves en route to the clean sheet but it was unfair on Wayne Hennessey to say that he was out played as he made 5 saves of his own as WBA took 13 shots with 7 on target. Wolves also controlled the passing game, making 401 to the Baggie 309. Completing 323 to WBA’s 222 at an accuracy % difference of 81% to 72%. Cooper has previously discussed the hard season WBA are enduring at EPLIndex and though everyone will be happy to earn three points, it was not a dominant performance apart from the scoreline. This was the Ben Foster that Hodgson thought he was signing on seasons loan this summer and it is unfortunately looking like they’ll need more seven save appearances to continue their winning ways.
Shane Long did start the match as the lone forward in a 4-5-1. Following rumors of ankle injury originating in Africa Roy Hodgson had stated there were not an concerns but Odemwingie wasn’t introduced until late in the match. He did score another goal, and it will be a welcome sight as the Baggies will need goals as they play Aston Villa, Liverpool and Arsenal in the next three. Read the rest of this entry »
In Squad Sheet on September 19, 2011 at 1:49 am
Saturday’s games provided one big upset, with Blackburn scoring twice, getting two more Arsenal own goals, and managing to hold onto a 4-3 victory that took some of the pressure off of manager Steve Kean. For the Gunners is was a comedy of errors in the rain as both Koscielny and Song scored own goals on Szczesny’s goal. Equally as remarkable as the poor performance for Arsenal’s defense was the recovery of Aaron Ramsey. He Tweeted the night before the game that he was travelling with the squad and credit the clubs physio’s. Early in the game he was lively and created Mikel Arteta’s goal through tireless work down the wing, a good bit of pace and a calm delivery on the cutback pass finding Arteta alone inside the box.
Ramsey and Arteta, in large part because of their prices, remain viable options for your fantasy squad. However, Arsenal are rapidly showing that they are not the team they were and even Robin van Persie’s struggles are looking endemic of the large squad troubles. RvP picked up an assist on a pinpoint cross for Chamakh’s headed goal. With Bolton (h) and Spurs (a) in their next two, Arsenal will look to salvage their historically poor start. With just 4 points from 5 matches, Arsenal are now below Blackburn in the table, albeit on goal difference.
Blackburn also hasn’t shown much, their two goals were both scored by Yakubu and the Rovers hitman will be on of the most heavily added players this week as he costs £5.5m and should have secured himself a place with the 90′ this weekend. Read the rest of this entry »
In Strategy on September 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm
This was mistakenly left out of our initial publication of Part 1 of the Last Minute Tinkers that published earlier today. We’ve included it there and published it here so that people don’t miss it if they’ve already read the other post. Appologies for missing that after we’d published. Thanks to a reader for catching the mistake!
Wolves v. Tottenham
With each find having a key fantasy premier league injury there is a question as to who will fill the boots of Matt Jarvisand Rafa van der Vaart. While the news is that Jarvis has taken a pain killing injection and may be in the lineup this weekend, Rafa has been ruled out for up to six weeks and likely will not return before the next international break. Wolves have had a hot start and Fantasy Gaffer does like Steven Fletcher to find the net for the first time since gameweek 1. Fletcher will lead the line and, without Matt Jarvis, will face a Tottenham team that has conceded Wolves scored two goals in each of the first two gameweeks, but were held without a score in the gameweek three fixture v. Aston Villa. Tottenham does not have the same defensive discipline and we’re expecting both sides to emphasize the attack and let the chips fall where they may. For Wolves this means sitting ‘keeper Hennessey and defenders Steven Ward andRoger Johnson while handing starts to Fletcher and (if you’re in the less than 5% of managers who own either player)O’Hara and Doyle. Wolves will not have to deal with the threat of Rafa, but they will to cope with both Scott Parker and Adebayor and this match has all the signs of being a 3-2 match.
Tottenham will be without Rafa and, we presume, Ledley King. The midfield will benefit from Scott Parker’spresence, but it remains to be seen if Harry Redknapp will flood the midfield in a 4-5-1 or elect to pair Defoe andAdebayor up front in a more traditional 4-4-2. Read the rest of this entry »
In Strategy on September 5, 2011 at 5:05 am
Rafa van der Vaart is set to miss 6 weeks according to an article from SkySports. The hamstring injury is the same injury that we previously discussed in the game week 3 Weekend Round-Up where we noted that the official Tottenham feed of the match underplayed the removal of Rafa, leaving Spurs with 10 men.
Harry Redknapp was very cautious with the Dutch midfielder last season, and limited both his appearances and his minutes in order to preserve the influential player over the long EPL and continental season. Redknapp will now be tasked with finding an in-house replacement for Rafa while also rallying the troops as Spurs look to recover from a very poor opening two matches. Van der Vaart’s injury could not have come at a worse time as the next four fixtures see Spurs travel to the red-hot Wolves, host Liverpool, travel to Wigan and finally host Arsenal at White Hart Lane on October 2nd. Spurs will be hoping that the two week break between game week 7 (Oct 2) and game week 8 (Oct 16) will give Rafa enough time to get fit. With two EPL matches over 6 days, Spurs will want to be at full strength for the trips to Newcastle and struggling Blackburn October 16th and 22nd.
These next four weeks could well spell the end of Tottenham’s top 4 aspirations as matches with top 4 rivals Liverpool and Arsenal could result in a 6 point swing that keeps them in the thick of the race, or see them anchored to the bottom of the table. Read the rest of this entry »
In Head-to-Head on August 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp had glowing praise for his Coatian midfielder after the first leg of the Europa League qualifier at Hearts. Spurs had scored 5 goals, through 5 different players, and looked lively enough that they’ve now ensured a place in the Europa group stages before the return leg kicks off. Redknapp said the Croatian international “ran the game” and “was outstanding in midfield”. Of course, the Croatian in question was not Luka Modric, but rather Niko Kranjcar.
Earlier this summer there was considerable speculation, fueled by Kranjcar himself, that he would be out the door with advances for his international and club teammate being rebuffed by the Tottenham board. The curtain still has not been raised on the Spurs EPL season and Modric missed the Europa League fixture. Redknapp’s squad for the Manchester United fixture does not include Luka, with Harry saying that his “head’s not in the right place”. It may be that his head and the rest of him are moving across London shortly, leaving his position in midfield to be filled by Kranjcar.
Valued at £6m in the Official Fantasy Premier League game, he cost £2m less than Modric. Kranjcar has played in the EPL with Portsmouth and Tottenham since the 2006-07 season and two FPL seasons over 110pts, each time playing more than 2000′. He has scored 17g and 15a and looks set to assume full time minutes. Given that last season Modric scored 125 points in 2,794′ it is likely that Kranjcar would be able to equal, if not exceed, the fantasy premier league total of his compatriot. Kranjcar’s impact on his teammates scoring is equal importance.
From EPLIndex.com we’re able to review a number of statistics comparing the two midfielders. For purposes of this article, two sets of statistics are the most important, the passing and the 50/50 duels: Read the rest of this entry »
In Pre-Season on August 18, 2011 at 4:44 pm
Fantasy Premier League managers were faced with a dilemma as the riots that caused so much destruction threatened to derail a number of matches around the country. In the end, only one match was postponed and Everton and Tottenham would have undoubtedly seen ownership drop even further had the unfortunate Fantasy Premier League technical issues prevent many managers from making those last minutes tinkers. As a result, we’re all the beneficiaries of unlimited transfers, essentially being handed an extra, one-week only, wildcard.
The Spurs lineup is still in flux with Harry Redknapp fanning the transfer flames surrounding midfielder Luka Modric. Wilson Palacios and Peter Crouch are the subject of a rumored joint £16m bid from the Potters and Tony Pulis is hopeful he’ll land them to strengthen his already injury hit squad. Crouch certainly seems to be the next striker out the door, following the transfer of Robbie Keane to Major League Soccer. Crouch is valued at £7m in the Official Fantasy Premier League and any transfer would have to be an increase in his value. However, at that price there is no guarantee that he is worth the fee to your squad. Stoke’s incumbant striker, Kenwyne Jones, is priced at just £6.5m and would remain the better fantasy option.
Palacios is another interesting option based solely on his price. He is in at just £5m and if he were to transfer to Stoke would be one of several options in the same price range. Injured midfielders Rory Delap, £5m, and Etherington, £6.5m both need some time on the sidelines. £6m rated duo Walters and Pennant are very good bets to see the field, each getting the full 90′ in the opening match. Stokes schedule presents a few nice runs, but it isn’t until game week 10 that they get a sustained run against teams outside the top 6. If Palacios and Crouch do make the transfer fantasy premier league managers would have a few weeks against difficult opposition to see how many minutes the receive before transferring them in for the better match-ups. Read the rest of this entry »
In Squad Sheet on August 18, 2011 at 1:16 pm
While the Europa and Champions League qualifying matches that took place this week have no direct impact on our fantasy premier league season, a number of teams were in action, including two we haven’t seen yet this year. Everton, Tottenham and Arsenal all faced midweek matches, and each
Arsenal’s Starting XI: bore resemblance to the team that took the field against Newcastle with Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Sony, Ramsey, Chamakh, Walcott, Gervinho and Rosicky lining up to start. Arsene used his full compliment of substitutions as Djourou replaced Gibbs at the half. Gibbs suffered a hamstring injury and Djourou soon suffered the same, being replaced by Carl Jenkinson. Walcott scored the only goal with a 5′ strike as newly appointed Captain Robin Van Persie missed the match through suspension. Van Persie will return for the weekend match as Arsenal begins it’s post-Cesc era.
The initial word out of The Emirates is that Gibbs and Djourou will both miss the match this weekend against Liverpool. Also ruled out of the match are Alex Song and Gervinho as the FA has upheld three match bans for each following the incidents in the Newcastle match. Song’s stamp on Joey Barton had gone unpunished initially opening the door for disciplinary action. Gervinho saw red for his slap on Barton and lost his appeal to have the suspension reduced. This certainly means that Tomas Rosicky is set for a third consecutive match, joining Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott in battling the new look Liverpool midfield that should be set to see Dirk Kuyt return to the starting lineup replacing Jordan Henderson.
Arsenal’s defense has been shuffled a bit, and Djourou is not looking fit enough to include in your squad. With the inclusion of Koscielny in opening day it is clear that Wenger prefers him paired with Vermaelen in the centre with Gibbs and Sagna playing to either side. Gibbs had looked a good buy, earning 2 bonus points in the match with Arsenal. He clearly played well with the midfield link-up and was set to benefit from Arsenal’s friendly schedule with Swansea, Blackburn and Bolton following the Liverpool and Manchester United fixtures. Read the rest of this entry »