BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 32)

With 6 weeks of the season to go I’m afraid the time has come to concede the office league title.

As predicted, Game week 29 proved to be the pivotal week and since then things have steadily spiralled out of control. We now sit around 100 points off the top so points pride is the only thing left to play for in season 20/21.

Last week we managed 46 in a fixture set average of 41 which seems ok, but it paints a far from realistic picture of the week’s true goings on. 38 of the 46 points scored were only from 2 players, Lacazette (captain) and Allan Saint-Maximin. On the card we had 3 big fat zero’s and 4 one’s. Unbelievably really. How we managed an above average score is beyond anyone’s belief.

Again, pep’s rotation policy has left us short for which I have to hold my hand up. I’ve had opportunities to change and take pep’s boys out of the lineup and have stalled. The buck stops with the manager and I take that on the chin. What we can’t account for, however, is things like the Dominic Calvert-Lewin exclusion – No team news or red flags. As far as we are concerned he should of played and didn’t.

We move on. The target now is to get to the magic 2000 point mark and try and sneak back into the top 1 million worldwide. All the while trying to cut the gap at the top by as much as possible.

LOOKING AHEAD.

First thing to point out is Spurs have a double game week with their opponents being Everton and Southampton respectively. All sounds great but remember, lads… IT’S SPURS, perennial failure merchants when you think all is rosey. That being said, Kane captain is surely a move the vast majority will go with this week.

Elsewhere *takes a deep breathe* Man United at home to Burnley, Arsenal home to Fulham, Chelsea home to Brighton, Leicester home to West Brom and City at Villa all have the makings of points and could be conducive to a lucrative high scoring week. A 100 point week is not beyond the realms of possibility should the results go as most would predict.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS.

Having basically given up on the title, the pressure is off now as we look to enjoy the end of the season. In a way it’s a bit of a relief and the players can now go out and express themselves, hopefully proving to myself, the board and the fans they deserve a place in the squad next season. However, in saying the is pressure off and all that, we still start this week on a -4, making 2 enforced changes. Some things will never change.

Out comes DCL to be replaced by Edison Cavani whilst Ben Chilwell replaces the other crock Aaron Cresswell in defence. Providing Cavani plays, our front 3 looks very strong as the Uruguayan hitman partners captain Kane and Lacazette at the top end of the pitch. And guess what, we still include 3 City players despite the previous weeks failings. Sorry, not sorry.

TOON representation remains at 2 in the form of Allan Saint-Maximin and Joe Willock to continue the accumulation of points, what ever that target maybe.

GW32 TEAM

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 31)

Has gameweek 29 sucked all the wind from our FPL sails? Not quite but the significance of that week lingers on.

The fact we managed to bounce back in week 30 with the respectable total of 48 does suggest we are just about hanging in there. The problem we have is the office leader. He’s riding the crest of a GW29 jet-streamed tailwind and has taking off, extending his lead by a further 15 points. We now lay around 70 back with 7 weeks remaining. BIG GAMBLES with BIG DIFFERENTIALS are now a must but bringing in the right players without taking to much of a negative starting point is the BIG CHALLENGE.

The captain pick was again a stumbling block. Had we chosen Kane over Fernandes we would’ve been looking at an extra 13 or so points and, as predicted, the majority of City contingent were rested. The back up we had planned in the bench positions though did work a treat, Joe Willock contributing a vital 6 points.

LOOKING AHEAD.

In terms of the current squad the fixtures aren’t looking too kind to us this week. Spurs v Man United is certainly one we could’ve done without and, as ever, City have another Champions league match in midweek which causes more selection headaches. The need to shift one or more of my City players is becoming greater by the week but changes elsewhere have always taken priority. Staying within a decent starting number has also taken a precedent. All too often we have been starting game weeks at -8 or more when our main title rival is starting on an even keel. It’s simply unsustainable………..Yet, we still go into game week 31 at -8 with 3 City players still in the squad🤷🏻‍♂️

THIS WEEK’S PICKS.

As just mentioned, we’ve made 3 transfers this week for a -8 and replaced no City players. The wheels seem to be coming off and rash decisions are being made so a bit a luck is definitely required. Am I happy with the squad? No. Could the board lose patience? Divided dressing room? The remit at the start of the season was to win the title and we are still pushing. After all, its the accumulation of points and getting to that magic number…….. whatever that number maybe.

The changes we’ve gone with are KILMAN for injured TIERNEY as a cash boost, SAINT-MAXIMIN for doubtful FRASER and the big change, LACAZETTE for WATKINS.

Not much to say really other than the feeling of regret. I wish I’d bought in Mason Mount but I can’t really afford another -4. We go into this week lacking in confidence but in adversity we need to show strength. Lacazette will be captain, hopefully as a crucial differential.

TURN BALL

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 30)

It feels like a long time ago and the dust has settled but the disappointment lingers. As predicted, game week 29 was truly awful and has subsequently left us nearly 60 points behind the office leader with only 8 gameweek’s left to play.

With a -8 starting point our lads only managed 21 points for the week with Harry Kane bagging 14 of them. It makes for truly dire reading and is possibly my worst ever return for a fixture set in FPL history. Putting my faith in Newcastle players was a monumental mistake and definitely a case of the heart ruling over the head, an absolute FPL no no. Like Steve Bruce, I have become the fantasy April fool.

If we add a little more context however, the game week average was only 25. In normal circumstances our score wouldn’t have been too bad. The problem was, my 2 main title rivals scored a very impressive 71 and 61 respectively. An average week for them would’ve made our average score week totally fine. Would having Son fit have made that much of a difference to us? With that gap in score lines, probably not.

We did feel this week would be a poor one from our point of view. The fixtures or lack of, the availability of our squad, it all had the hallmarks of a nightmare incoming and so it proved. Obviously the key factor was not being able to foresee the points deficit we now have to claw back, I was thinking it was going to be around the 30 mark. DOUBLE THAT. DISASTER.

We need to get the player’s heads up, take our medicine and move on. There’s still a lot of points to play for and our rivals in question will have to make changes going forward. Yes, we will have to take a few risks but the aim now is to claw 10 points per week back. How? I’m not sure but it’s only a captains pick difference and is by no means impossible. We may have to look down the differentials route in the coming weeks and you know what, I love trying to find the gems. This season we’ve had a pretty good record in the regard.

LOOKING AHEAD.

As bad as our game week 29 was, the squad we have does still look decent for the upcoming fixtures. Our biggest concern, as always, is Manchester City and Pep Guardiola. This week is no different and trying to predict the rotation will be made harder by the fact they have a Champions League match in midweek. With the league all but wrapped up, you’ve got to think the Easter eggs will be firmly placed in the European basket. Is it even worth having City players in your squad at this stage? Definitely a question to be answered.

Man United at home to Brighton and Chelsea at home to West Brom look the pick of GW30, I would predict Bruno Fernandes will be a lot of managers captain this week and quite possibly mine. Do I take the risk and go for a differential though? Food for thought.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

Only 1 transfer this week despite the game week 29 debacle. Importantly, there’s no minus hits in hope that the others have made changes and we already start to eat away at the deficit.

The change is Calvert-Lewin (home to Crystal Palace) coming in for Vydra which many would agree is a no brainer.

We now have a relatively strong bench which has enabled us to retain the Manchester City players. KDB and Gundugan will be in my XI but in the event of Pep roulette we should have decent auto back up subs.

I have played it safe with the skipper and gone with Bruno, while Kane takes the vice. In terms of our TOON representatives, Willock and Fraser will sit on the bench. The magpie’s form is abysmal and they don’t look like they’ll get another point, I just couldn’t afford (negative points wise) to replace them.

FIRST AND SECOND BALLS.

GW30 squad list

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 29)

Rocky times ahead ladies and gentlemen, I’ll briefly summarise GW28 and move straight into the eye of the week 29 storm.

We managed to maintain a slender 1 point lead at the top of the office leaderboard after the latest round of fixtures. In the end, 51 points in a week’s average of 43 was a decent return. Of course Pep did his usual trick and rested a few including my captain Kevin De Bruyne – nil point!! But, an excellent score from John Stones and a surprising 5 points from auto-sub Vydra just about salvaged what was shaping up to be a disaster. That, incidentally, leads me to game week 29. THE NIGHTMARE IN WAITING.

LOOKING AHEAD.

There are only 4 matches on the set list of GW29 which, in itself, is absolutely scandalous. It’s the kind of week your free hit chip is built for but, unfortunately, ours is long gone. With my Steve Bruce head on ‘we need to find another way’🙄

When Heung-Min Son pulled up against Arsenal the other day the magnitude of our plight really started to hit home. At the time, the South Korean was a one of only 4 players pencilled in our side for GW29. Now that he is almost certain to miss the coming fixtures we are, as it stands, down to 3. 3 representing players for a full game gameweek?!?! Unfeasible, unthinkable and a potential undoing of a season’s good work.

Last week’s decision to make 0 changes in order to gain an extra free transfer was a good one. It means we can make two transfers instantly and take our team up to 5 players with no penalty. At the time, it would have been 4 to 6 but didn’t take into account any potential injuries which could occur. What happens? Son’s crocked and it’s disarray. As I see it at the moment, we have only 2 potential ways of playing this.

The first would be only using our 2 free transfers but only starting the game week with 5 players. Advantages being no negative points hit and minimal squad disruption for the weeks ahead. The disadvantage quite clearly being a massive 6 players short of a full team.

The alternative second would be to use our 2 free transfers and make 2,3, maybe even 4 more changes on top of that. The advantages being a near full starting team, matching rivals up like for like. The clear disadvantages being a big negative point start and breaking up a strong squad.

I’m hoping a 3rd scenario will put into my head before I make any changes and we’ll be exploring more potential permutations but, putting the hard hat on and taking a sitting duck battering is looking the most likely option this week. Anything more than a -8 starting point would probably be pretty pointless (literally) and would disrupt our team too much for the coming weeks. The most amount of participants we’re looking at this week is 7. Not great but hopefully any lasting damage to our season will be minimal.

Scouting intel tells me my 2 main rival teams already have 8/9 players ready to start for them and with a transfer or 2 they will probably now have a full 11 a side team. This is where a well rounded squad comes in handy, we have been relying on a strong 11 for the majority of the season but at the value detriment to the bench as a result. Any changes we’ve made have invariably been full blown transfer rather than substitutions. I know my colleagues have been making little weekly tweaks in preparation for this spanner in the works game week and I have to take my hat off to them for that. We have been left in a pickle with only ourselves to blame.

In terms of the fixtures, they aren’t even great and certainly not a set you could make a long term plan from. Look for yourself..

  • FULHAM V LEEDS
  • BRIGHTON V NEWCASTLE
  • WEST HAM V ARSENAL
  • ASTON VILLA V TOTTENHAM

Where are the points at there? This could be our saving grace, a low scoring week is what we need here. There’s not a great deal to write home about that’s for sure but having only 5 players available to play is a problem regardless of the fixture quality. Had the matches been more pleasing on the scoring eye, I would have taken the starting points hit and matched up no questions asked. As it is, all I’m doing is asking serious questions with little few answers. What to do?!? At this point of writing, I haven’t a clue.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS.

So, after much intense deliberation, it’s 2 free transfers……… plus a -8 start for god sake. And we still only have 7 players involved. In terms of selections for a game week this is possibly the WORST I’ve endured in FPL. We start with 4 zero’s on the card and -8. Laughable really but if I can stay within 30 points of the top of the table after the week I’ll be very pleased.

The all important transfers are Cresswell, Tierney, Targett and Willock coming in for Son, Digne, Williams and Mitchell. The thinking here is that I’m predicting a low scoring week in terms of goals so I’ve tried to load up with decent defenders. Its making me ill to think I won’t be playing a goalkeeper.

In normal circumstances the changes I’ve made would be pretty decent but this isn’t a normal week and my hand has been forced. In terms of a captains pick, I’ve gone for the safe option of Kane but I may change that closer to the deadline.

Looking for a positive to end on, from our 7 players, 2 are TOON representatives. Is that a positive?!? I guess that sums up the week’s plight.

DIG IN, DEFEND.

GW29’s PITIFUL SQUAD

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 28)

Hi all. Welcome.

We’ve reached the summit. An outstanding score of 89 points in week’s average of 60 saw us reel in the 12 point deficit to lead the office league by 2 going into game week 28.

Great stuff but what remains to be seen is, how long will this lead last? I’m not too sure. In fact, skipping over a week and into game week 29 things are looking bleak and it’s one that, if I don’t make some thoughtful changes, could derail my season completely. As it stands that week in question only has 4 fixtures on it’s list and my current squad would only have 4 representatives. With no wildcard or free hit remaining it’s going to take some astute planning of GW28 with 29 fully in mind. How I’m going to do it? Not a clue at this moment in time. I mentioned last week, that every week will likely begin with a negative starting point until the end of the season and that prophecy is likely to live up to the billing. What I must do is incorporate some of GW29’s changes into this week so minimise the hit.

In terms of our scorers for the week just gone, the big hitters all produced. Kevin De Bruyne (captain) Bruno Fernandes and Harry Kane all pulled excellent scores out the bag. That is in contrast to the defenders who only mustered 6 between them, roles definitely reserved from the previous week. Seasons really do swing in roundabouts.

LOOKING AHEAD

As just mentioned, we aren’t just looking at this coming week but also the week after. Only having 4 fixtures for a match set is just ridiculous and getting as many players into my squad from those 8 teams is going to be a monumental task. I could just write off that GW completely and take the hit but I know my rivals will be looking to capitalise. I need to find a way of minimising the damage – I sound like Steve Bruce🙄

Spurs play Arsenal this week in the North London derby which is a tough fixture but they are on a good run and, more importantly, have a fixture in GW29. That is one avenue I’ll be definitely looking down when making my transfers. Crucially, we already have 2 Tottenham players in the squad. Arsenal play in both weeks so that is also a possibility but maybe they will be in next weeks changes.

If we are looking at only game week 28, I would be looking at Man City at Fulham, Man United home to West Ham and Leicester at home to Sheff. United. Neither of those sides have a fixture in game week 29. Do I just play this week as it is and make huge changes and a huge point hit for GW29? This set of dilemmas is actually worse than anything a double game week could produce and there are so many different ways to approach it tactically. Picking the right approach is tough.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

So……. after much thought, mental turmoil and exploring most of the permutations, I decided to make…….. NO TRANSFERS OR CHANGES!

All talk about taking minus hits every week from now till the end of season goes completely out of the window. When I looked at my team and the fixture set they all had for 28, it was all very conducive for good point scoring. Yes, it leaves us short for game week 29 but what making no changes this week gives us is 2 free transfers when we will need it most next week. 2 freebies and a couple of negative hits should see us scratch together a team for the 4 fixture week.

Who’s to say players I could have potentially bought in this week with next week in mind get injured or pick up a suspension. The Premier League could also add fixtures to that game week so we will just sit tight and see what happens. We are airing slightly on the side of caution this round but the fixtures always dictate the selections and we’ll deal with game week 29 when it comes around.

Even the captain pick remains the same, KDB has the armband with Bruno waiting in reserve. In terms of TOON representation, Fraser remains the sole flag flyer in black and white.

MARK YOUR MEN.

GAME WEEK 28 squad list.

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Double Gameweek 27)

Can we chill yet? The double game week of 26 was absolutely mind boggling on all fronts. Triple captains, pep roulette and inevitable injuries all playing a big part in and long and weird fixture set. The general consensus seems to be one of underwhelming disappointment across the board for a lot of managers. It was a game week that was billed as the greatest ever but the average score, although it is high at 75, contradicts that massively considering nearly all the teams played twice. The question this week is

ARE DOUBLE GAMEWEEKS MORE OF A HINDERANCE THAN A HELP? Let me know.

Having said all that, am I happy with our team’s performance and points outcome? Absolutely. We’ve made good ground scoring an excellent 109 points and subsequently cutting the office league leaderboard to just 12. Ironically, that 12 points is the minus starting point we took with 4 transfers but it was necessary. We wouldn’t have been anywhere near the 100 point mark without it. Speculate to accumulate and all that.

The triple captain card used on Harry Kane yielded 24 of the points total which, when using that chip, you would expect as a bare minimum. In all honesty, I would have liked a bit more from it but maybe that’s just shameless greed. The big points came from our 3 defenders; Maguire, Stones and Digne, all of whom scored double figures which I’m obviously thrilled about. The latter, Digne, was an inspired change and inclusion who turned out to be an excellent differential – Excuse me while I pat myself on the back.

Scoring 100+ points in any week is a superb return and is usually the result of a collective team contribution. It turned out to be just that.

LOOKING AHEAD.

There’s yet another double gameweek in GW27…….. for Manchester bloody city. Is it even a doubler? Pep has two world class sides at his disposal which he tends to utilise when his team have more than 1 match in a week. This was evident in game week 26 and will likely be the same in 27. That’s not to say you shouldn’t pick City players, quite the opposite, they are in blistering form and are probably the only team worth watching in the league – A league they will win at a canter. It’s simply picking the right ones which is the difficulty.

Elsewhere, it’s back to basics for the rest. Spurs at home to Crystal Palace could be a point scorer along with Liverpool versus Fulham, despite the reds very patchy form. Outside shouts would be Arsenal at Burnley, the gunners have had a few decent results of late, someone like Saka maybe a good option and wouldn’t break the bank.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

It’s another negative start for us this week, a theme that will likely be running until the end of the season now. Our bench is simply too weak to make substitutions. This time it’s a -8 so a slight improvement on last week.

Vrydra of Burnley replaces Dominic Calvert-Lewin as a cash make way. This make way was to supplement the return of Kevin De Bruyne who comes in for Rashford. The third and final change is TOON related, Ryan Fraser comes in as straight swap for fellow magpie Allan Saint-Maximin who has taken another tumble. It’s a good chance for the Scot to show what he can do, bag me some points and you know my Newcastle United representation is important despite the team’s clear short comings and poor performances on the pitch. Hey ho.

These changes mean we revert to a 3-5-2 formation – The same again from the defenders would be very welcome.

In terms of captaincy, KDB will be the skipper purely on the grounds he has a (small) chance of playing 2 games in the week. Kane will be vice.

TIKI TAKA PASS PASS PASS

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Double Gameweek 26)

Hello all, welcome.

We are still ticking along very nicely this season. 73 points in GW25 in an week’s average of 55 was an excellent return. Still 19 points off the office top spot but in a good position going into a massive double game week.

To be honest, things weren’t looking too clever going into the middle of the weekend, my rivals had doubled up on Leeds and Southampton players. I was banking on Newcastle United’s ineptitude and we were along way behind until the magpies faced Man U but, as expected, Rashford and Fernandes (captain) pulled us through. The pair accounted for 36 points of our total which was spot on. Getting my captain pick right was crucial to the strategy and luckily it paid off.

The one double player I did have was Bamford of Leeds which bought in another 8 points. It was a risky strategy not doubling up and I know the others around me scored slightly more for the week. What sticking with what I had now gives me is a clear path and a strong team going into the MASSIVE double game week of 26. My rivals will have to make a lot of changes which will incur subsequent negative starting points.

That all being said, in true fantasy football style I can’t rule out a number of tinkering transfers and minuses of my own despite our already decent looking lineup for this week.

LOOKING AHEAD

I’ve had my eye on game week 26 for a while. There’s a HUGE 17 game fixture set meaning 14 of the 20 Premier League teams have 2 matches. This is the chip playing territory and, as it’s the only one I have left, I’m certainly considering the TRIPLE CAPTAIN.

Tottenham, Everton, Man City, Man United, Liverpool and Leicester are, what I consider, the main sides with good double fixtures. It’s a embarrassment of riches to choose from and it’s easy to be swept away in endless amounts of transfers in order to take advantage. But, you don’t want to miss out, you can’t miss out! You know your rivals are also tinkering and looking to cash in. These weekends don’t come around often, when they do you need to make the most of them.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

🚨ALERT ALERT ALERT🚨 – THE TRIPLE CAPTAIN CARD HAS BEEN ACTIVATED. Yes, that’s right, our last chip of the season is in play with the honour of the most important armband going to Harry Kane – Who else in all honesty. Although there maybe other big double gamers further down he track, two extremely inviting fixtures against Burnley and Fulham can’t be missed out on. Let’s just hope A) he’s fit and B) he’s bangs in a shitload of goals and creates some for Son while he’s at it.

In other (significant) news, we’ve made 4 transfers meaning a -12 start, our largest negative starting point of the season. When i said earlier that the team didn’t need much TLC, that was right but, when weeks like this come around you can afford to throw the boat out a little to take full advantage.

The transfers are as follows…

NECO WILLIAMS for AARON CRESSWELL (Cash builder)

LUCA DIGNE for ANTONIO RUDIGER

DOMINIC CALVERT-LEWIN for PATRICK BAMFORD

OLLIE WATKINS for MICHAIL ANTONIO.

These changes now mean all 11 starting players have two matches. That coupled with the TRIPLE CAPTAIN make for a pretty formidable force and it’s now a week I’m looking forward to immensely. We’ve really gone for it this week, only time will tell as to whether it’s paid off. In terms of a gamble, I don’t think the tactics applied are a massive risk simply because most fantasy football managers up and down the land will have the same mindset. Capitalising is definitely the running theme this week.

I’ve mentioned the captain picks, but if Kane is (inexplicably, disastrously, inhumanly) unavailable for whatever reason, Fernandes will take the reigns as vice. Our sole Toon representative, Allan Saint-Maximin, will have to make do with a place on the bench. He only has one fixture and Newcastle’s form is terrible.

GET TO THE BYLINE.

DGW26 SQUADLIST

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Double Gameweek 24)

Hello all, welcome.

There’s only one place to start. The big Allan Saint-Maximin deferential gamble of game week 23 paid off quite the treat. He started his match and then managed to conjure up 2 assists along with important win bonus points. It’s the kind of transfer that brings the most satisfaction in fantasy football. A deferential which no other manager thought of and an often risky inclusion that works out a to great effect. It’s excellent when little tactical tweaks like this pay dividends but you have to make the most of it when it comes off, usually they don’t stay rare deferentials for long. In this case, I can see alot of managers looking to bring ASM into their teams in the coming weeks. He’s very cheap, will always play (when fit) and is involved in most of Newcastle’s goals and attacking play. The Frenchman would be an excellent squad man, if anything, to have around your set up.

The Saint-Maximin show was the icing on a pretty productive week’s cake. We managed 67 points in a week’s average of 58 and at one stage of the weekend we were briefly top of the office mini league however, Leeds put pay to that on Monday night so, as it stands, we sit 2nd, a mere 7 points off the summit. Shout outs again to the outstanding Gundogan and of course, the consistent, Bruno Fernandes – Long may their form continue.

LOOKING AHEAD.

Gameweek 24 is a double game week. Now usually the excitement would be tangible when these weeks come around but, looking at the fixtures, this one flatters to deceive. The main team with 2 games in the fixture set to look out for is Manchester City. Great you may think? Hmmm not so much. The problem, first of all, lays again at the door of Pep Guardiola’s rotational selection policy. Is he willing to play the same players 2 games in a row in such a short space of time? History would suggest not. There’s also the extra added factor that there are elusive Champions League fixtures on the horizon, a competition that has slipped through the hands the blue-mooners for so long, a trophy they are desperate to win – Resting becomes a double risk. For arguments sake Pep names an unchanged side for both matches, they are up against Tottenham and Everton, 2 tricky fixtures where points certainly aren’t even guaranteed.

The other double matched teams aren’t really worth writing home about either. They are Everton, Fulham and Burnley. Everton could possibly be a lucrative scoring avenue but again, as just mentioned, one of their matches is against an inform City side and there are fitness doubts surrounding top goalscorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin who would be my pick if I could guarantee his involvement. On the whole, this doubler isn’t really one to get the juices flowing but, it is a doubler after all with a chance, however slim, to score double points and this brings me nicely to my question of the week.

ARE ANY OF YOU THINKING OF USING THE TRIPLE CAPTAIN CHIP FOR THE UPCOMING DOUBLE GAMEWEEK? IF SO, WHO ON?

For me personally, I’ll be saving my triple captain for later DGW’s for the reasons mentioned above. That’s not to say using it would out of the question for any other manager willing to take a bit of risk. The reward could be great as it would, I think, be a big deferential move. I would love to here from anyone taking the punt.

Elsewhere in the game week, Man United’s fixture at West Brom has to be a great scoring chance. It pains me to say but Chelsea at home to Newcastle is another. Leicester v Liverpool is fixture many of us could do without. In terms of my team, I’m not happy with this week’s fixture set to be honest and if someone offered me the gameweek’s average score right now, I would snap their hands off. Bit of luck needed I think.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS.

Just the one transfer this week which means no minus starting points. Reason being, after looking a the fixture set I’m not overly confident so we are going to need all the points we can get this week. Starting on a negative is out of the question unless totally necessary.

I’ve brought Harry Kane back into the squad despite Tottenham’s tough fixture at City. We were thrown a curve ball last week when the Spur’s number 9 returned from injury ahead of schedule, then inevitably scored. The lack of available fully fit forwards on the roster at the moment is desperate so no choice but to bring the England Skipper back really. Ideally I would have brought him in next week once City were out the way but needs must. He replaces the injured Callum Wilson who is out for a while.

Fernandes, away at West Brom, would of been my skipper had Sterling not had a double game week. Whether Sterling plays both games remains to be seen but it’s a risk we have to take. Allan Saint-Maximin is now our only TOON representative.

Please note, I have wrote this on Thursday evening so tinkering before deadline is possible/probably.

****EDIT***** LATE CHANGE – Cresswell of West Ham now comes in for the perma-crocked James Justin meaning a -4, but hey, it’s a minute to minute business this Fantasy Football game. We have to be able to adapt at the click of a finger.

WORK THE CHANNELS!!!

DGW 24 SQUAD

BLOGIN BETS 28/11/20

This week’s accumulator selection is £10 @5/1.

BOLTON 1/2 (Home v Southend. Saturday – 15:00)

JUVENTUS 4/11 (Away v Benevento. Saturday – 17:00)

REAL MADRID 1/3 (Home v Alaves. Saturday – 20:00)

AC MILAN 4/6 (Home v Fiorentina. Sunday – 14:00)

MONACO 1/3 (Home v Nimes. Sunday – 14:00

CONFIDENCE: 7/10

OVERVIEW: Welcome again one and all, this week’s accumulator selection is a weekend whistle stop tour of the great European hotspots – Starting in Bolton and heading 5 star to Turin, Madrid, Milan, finishing in Monte Carlo for a little casino dabble with our winnings. All during lockdown, what a belter.

The set up is simple, £10, 5 teams, all to win, spread across Saturday and Sunday. We are due a winner and this could be the one.

PICKS: Bolton have started to pick up in League 2 after a difficult opening period. They’ve won their last four matches in all competitions and face a Southend side rock bottom of the football league. The visitors have been the whipping boys so far and have lost 4 of their last 5. HOME WIN

Juventus are starting to do what Juventus do, win games. Although not at their very best in Serie A thus far, they travel to a Benevento side who lost 4 of their last 5 league games and by some by decent margins. ROUTINE AWAY WIN.

Madrids league form has been a bit scratchy so far this season however, they welcome Alaves to the Bernabeu, A team they have beaten by at least 2 goals in their last 8 meetings. More of the same. HOME WIN.

Table Toppers AC Milan welcome 15th place Fiorentina to the San Siro where they haven’t lost for 13 league matches. In form Zlatan Ibrahimovic to continue his rich vein of form in this HOME WIN.

Monaco have won their last 3 Ligue 1 matches including a Cesc Fabregas inspired 3-2 win over PSG last time out. Opponents Nimes have lost 4 of their last 5. The equation suggests a Monaco win to WRAP UP THE ACCA.

BLOGIN FANTASY FOOTBALL (Gameweek 10)

OVERVIEW: Welcome again one and all. What can you say about game week 9? Own goals, a flawed captain pick and a general mixed bag just about sums it up. When Federico Fernandez knocked into his own net for great a -1 start it was a case of here’s away. But with a few average 2’s across the park backed up by good returns from Calvert-Lewin and Son we rallied to post a decent enough score. After all, I did predict a tough week.

The Captain selection was typically key again and only yielded 6 points. I have to say, the form of Mané is a little worrying. You need to be getting big weekly points from your premium priced players and that’s several weeks now where he hasn’t delivered. It’s quite possible it’s not so much a reflection on him but in fact, the Liverpool injury situation and an unsettled side affecting his game. Saint-Maximin at Newcastle maybe also a big case in point here, underperforming because of the team’s inadequacies. Or are of they as much to blame for their team not playing well. This begs the question..

Do you keep a player in your fantasy side if their team is struggling collectively?

There’s always the danger of the form is temporary, class is permanent thing biting you on the arse end should you transfer out said player. The flip-side being the player carrying on his poor run for another month or so which, in fantasy football terms, is too long to be not scoring good points and especially for those players who are premium priced. One to think about and certainly a dilemma yours truly is going through this week.

Anyway, was I happy with the overall points return for the week? On the whole, yes. 51 with the week average at 55 we were expecting a lot worse. I did say if we could get through game week 9 in or around the average score we would take it and it’s actually the first time this season we’ve been below the average total. We remain in 2nd place and the leader has gained around 20 points but, as I said, it could have been a lot worse and we live to fight another gameweek.

Looking ahead to this weekend, the potential point scoring fixtures that stand out are Man City v Burnley and Leicester v Fulham with arguments also to be had for Everton v Leeds. I mentioned last week about City having a favourable fixture set for the next month or so. The problem we have which has been mentioned so many times in past, is Guardiola’s rotation policy. Only once in the last 3 years has he gone with the same line up back to back, a fantasy football manager’s living nightmare. Also their form has been scratchy, are City players worth taking the risk? Find out later.

We open up with another early Friday night fixture. Silent treatment in full effect. You know the score, keeping quiet in hope that our rivals are unaware of the early start and thus, causing them to miss the team sheet deadline – Any marginal gains welcome in this cut throat game. The trouble is, most of my colleagues have now cottoned on to the hush hush tactics and have downloaded the app which sends alert notifications. Marcelo Bielsa covert cover blown!!

Anyway, here’s hoping for big points weekend.

PICKS: You may recall we didn’t use a transfer last time out in order to gain an extra swap this week. Well believe it or not, I’ve actually only used one of the changes which basically renders last week’s main tactic utterly pointless. I mentioned the worrying form of Mané earlier so I’ve taken him out and replaced with Kevin De Bruyne. This has risk written on both sides of the paper.

1. Mané could quite easily bag a hattrick at Brighton. Form is temporary, class is permanent.

2. De Bruyne didn’t even make the bench in City’s champions league win midweek. Is he injured? Or was he rested for Burnley? One prays it’s the latter, that’s my gut feeling and fortune favours the brave.

Elsewhere, Saint-Maximin has also had a dip in form and I was thinking of changing him. However his value is so cheap, I couldn’t find a worthy replacement and not forgetting, he’s a TOON man still tugging on the old heartstrings. Wilson remains on the bench as Harvey Barnes will have a great scoring chance at home to Fulham and we’re hoping Calvert-Lewin continues his rich vein when he wears this week’s armband.

FINAL THOUGHTS – How many fantasy points would Diego Maradona have racked up in Naples during his title winning Serie A seasons? A TRUE GREAT AND A REAL LIFE FANTASY FOOTBALLER.

GAMEWEEK 10 line-up