Tag Archives: Chelsea

WEEK 2 PREMIER LEAGUE FANTASY REVIEW


Follow the story of an avid fantasy player through the Premier League season. Join this weekly edition for the best in tips, strategy and heartbreak. 

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Current Lineup:

Foster (Federici)

McCartney Ivanovic Walker (Hangeland Pearce)

Bale (C) Arteta Silva Ramires (Guthrie)

Graham Bent Tevez

Gameweek 2 Review:

Gameweek 2 was slightly underwhelming with a total of 44 points, but our move to pay a premium for Graham instead of Petric produced an immediate result. The second round was always going to be a round of reshuffle for Woy’s Wandering Wonderboys following our frugal approach in the opening round. We’re cashed up and looking to invest in a seller’s market full of new talent and bargain prices. Foster, Ivanovic, Tevez and Graham were the main contributors, while Silva, Ramires and Bale continued to underperform. At FFTD we’re looking for a vast improvement in our midfield, partiuclarly having missed the strong start made by new boys Hazard and Michu, as well as our long time favourite in Fellaini: http://footballfortheday.com/2012/04/26/a-tribute-to-marouane/ Fellaini continues to be deployed up front, and despite new boy Mirallas’ strong performance midweek, it’s hard to overlook the Belgian for value for money. For the second consecutive week, strong returns from 2 of our 3 strikers have kept us well in touch in our league.

Gameweek 3 Preview:

Gameweek 3 sees a potential boost to the bigger name players with City, Spurs and United all facing promising fixtures. Chelsea are obviously a side to avoid, but we prepared for that last week, and will continue to shift our exposure away from the London outfit. With a decidedly poor opening by Villa, Newcastle could provide upside momentum, with Fulham and Swansea facing winnable matchups. Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton and WBA players look slightly unattractive at current prices. Looking further forward, an international break looms on the horizon, meaning holding fire on any big transfer ploys could be the conservative ploy.

Team Composition:

At current, our composition looks solid, if unspectacular. We’re most worried about our lack of exposure to some of the most promising point-scorers, most pertinently RVP. With Rooney out for an extended period, RVP could provide value despite his astronomical price tag. Our team is steeped towards a midfield bias, which we are comfortable with. In saying that, Arteta could be on thin ice after missing at least one golden chance over the weekend and losing the free kick duties to Santi Cazorla. Over we are looking to make a straight swap in that area of our side. We still fancy Zabaleta, but are hesitant to add further defensive investment spending, while Swansea and Everton retain the best 6 game outlook in terms of fixtures. Everton, particularly, must be squarely in the radar of potential bargain hunters.

Short Term Trade:

This week’s short term trade has to be Romelu Lukaku at West Brom. The on loan Chelsea man has failed to break into the first team as yet, but with Shane Long featuring mid week, we saw this as a signal of Steve Clarke’s intent to give the big fridge from the Bridge his first home start. Lukaku was dominant in his cameo at Spurs, proving a menace to an experienced Tottenham centre-half pairing. The young starlet looks a veritable talent, with touch, strength and a dazzling turn of pace to worry the best. Lukaku’s 4 shots in 32 minutes gives him the highest ratio of any frontman in England. Additionally, the Baggies have a soft short term fixture list, so this high risk play could produce significant dividends over the medium term horizon. Hooroo.

Romelu Lukaku Chelsea West Brom

The Big Fridge from Stamford Bridge

Long Term Trade:

For the second week in a row, our long term trade is a sell option on a highly popular player. Surprisingly 22% of fantasy managers have opted for Ryan Shawcross, but with a horrific fixture list and rumours of personnel changes at the Brittania, we’d steer clear at all costs. Stoke’s midweek loss to Swindon should not be overlooked, as a full strength back line shipped 4 goals against their League One opposition. Defending is often an endeavour of confidence, as much as skill, and Stoke seem to be seriously lacking that commodity. Wigan away from home may look a potential 3 pointer for the Potters, but with Kone opening his account alongside a seemingly rejuvenated Di Santo, we can’t see a clean sheet or any return from Shawcross. As a footnote, don’t be fooled by Michael Kightly’s strong start either, as we see him fairly valued at current levels.

Tip of the Week:

An indirect beneficiary of the Rooney injury will be Shinji Kagawa, who is now assured of a consistent starting berth in the United attacking set up. Kagawa should have had a second on the weekend after clattering the woodwork and as the Japanese import settles into the English brand, his returns should only increase. At 8.6, Kagawa marks an attractive entry point to opening a United position and we’ll be considering him in earnest this weekend.

Gameweek 3 Team:

On a short term view, we’re hopeful for Gareth Bale for a second week running. We’ll be handing the armband responsibilities to Carlos Tevez, who should extend his scoring spree against a disjointed QPR side. We’ll be looking for a 20 point minimum from our skipper once again. Despite his gameweek 3 blank, we’ll be sticking with Ivanovic, as Hangeland has a favourable fixture against the Hammers, providing ample return potential as a replacement. As mentioned above, we favour Cazorla, or Kagawa over Arteta, but unfortunately, selling Ramires will leave us slightly short for capital. Further, our midfield provides something of a conundrum, stuck with a Reading replacement in Danny Guthrie. Our two options are to deploy a flat back four with Bale, Kagawa/Cazorla, and Silva sitting just in front. Secondly, we could look at exiting Darren Bent, in addition to Ramires, in a paid transfer, to free up cash for our desired midfield reshuffle. We’re a bit hesitant to add a third budget forward option, and are quietly optimistic at Bent’s future prospects. Cazorla’s higher valuation together with his tough fixture list and a stuttering Arsenal attack tips the balance towards Kagawa. Being 0.3 short, we’ll look to offload Pearce for a cheap defensive option. With Richard Dunne still absent, Nathan Baker could be our man.

Foster (Federici)

Hangeland Ivanovic Zabaleta (Baker McCartney)

Bale Arteta Silva Kagawa (Guthrie)

Petric Bent Tevez (C)

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Top Players by Club – Part 1 of 4


Welcome to our look at the players that made the Premier League as watchable as ever, earned the respect of their peer group and endeared themself to their club’s fanbase – here’s our top player from every side:

Arsenal

Alex Song Arsenal Football Soccer Cameroon

melodic at the emirates

In a season dominated by the rampant Dutchman up front, Alex Song has been overlooked by many in a year of progress for the Gunners. Without Wilshere for most of the campaign, Song has established himself as a cunning midfielder with the nous to unlock the most ardent defensive structures. At this stage he has 12 assists for the year – double the output for the more highly fancied Luka Modric. If RVP has provided the goals, then Song has provided midfield authority across the pitch, proving he’s more than just a changing hair style. Wenger’s midfield mob for 2013 looks outstanding with the resurgent Rosicky, returning Wilshere and Diaby, Song, Walcott and a crafty Benayoun inflating the ballooning expectations of the red half of North London. It will be interesting to see how the arrival of M’Vila, who is considered a close replica to Song, fits into the system.

Aston Villa

Darren Bent England Villa Injury

#sigh

What a miserable 9 months for the Villians and what a fall from grace following the departure of M. O’Neill from the managerial hot seat at Villa Park. Picking a standout has been difficult, near impossible, and the choice of Darren Bent from our ardent stargazing tells its own story. Bent was dynamic and prolific before his season was curtailed by injury; a setback that few predicted would add such significant impetus towards relegation. No side in the league is more dependant on one asset.

Blackburn

Blackburn Chicken Venkys Yakubu

too many captions…

Football for the Day’s favourite shambles have ended up precisely where many predicted. We await with bated breath to see Venkys grace the luxurious Barnsley or bask in the glamour of Watford. Never before has a playing group been so absolved of responsibility for a measly return of 31 points, with owners, managers and everyone else barred from actually taking part between the white lines being liable according to the persistent protests. So persistent, a fan protest 3 weeks ago failed to even warrant a mention during coverage. So persistent, FFTD wonders if seasoned patrons even saw the glimpses of promise seeping from the boots of Junior Hoilett, who’s our clear standout. At times, Hoilett was the only viable route to goal and we think he’s bound for continued premier league action. A close second was that chicken that hit the back of the net against Wigan, overcoming driving rain and the unflappable Al-Habsi.

Bolton

Fabrice Muamba Bolton English Premier League Heart Attack Ovation Crying

Bolton – a miserable tale

The Reebok was a place of discontent over the last 38 weeks – bottom at Christmas, their great escape has stuttered, more than flourished. Picking a player that has seen his stock appreciate makes us feel like a Wall St broker back in 2008. Maybe it was Petrov, or could it be Eagles? In truth, it was calamitous and we’ll opt for sentimental favourite Fabrice Muamba for no other reason than his underperforming heart and his tears with the Bolton Lion. Mates that follow the Trotters fear that the fairly pedestrian (am I allowed to say bad things about Fab?) midfielder, and his feel good episode, may have sealed a new indefinite, uncapped contract with the Trotters.

 

Chelsea

Juan Mata Chelsea FA Cup Spain

thank you for your fantasy points

For the KGB bankrolled London outfit, the league has proved challenging and frustrating throughout. But in cups, both European and domestic, Didier and his merry bunch have shown glimpses of the output such a team of stars warrants – stifling the irrepressible Messi et al with a display of adhesive defensive efforts and swatting the pretence of Spurs and Liverpool in the cup. The AVB saga, that effectively ended a vehement title quest with the early season calamity at home to Arsenal, weighed heavily on the more experienced and traditional lifeblood of the side in Franky, Johnny, Ashley, Petry, Mikey and Droggy D’zz, and it was a new addition that glistened brightest. Juan Mata has joined David Silva as quality Spanish additions to the EPL with a consistently superb first year in the league. Mr Mata has 16 assists and 6 goals in the league – a return that few have exceeded. Mata is a constant menace on the left; the bane of right sided defenders across England. It will be a shoot out between Silva and Mata for a Euro12 adventure that involves more than perusing the standards of Polish/Ukranian pitchside facilities. Possibly the best input AVB added to the Blues, something RDM, RA and maybe PG can utilise going forward.

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Friday Forecast – 4th May 2012


Didier Drogba Chelsea Liverpool FA Cup Premier League

up up and away didier

 

This is our preview for the weekend ahead – ensuring that our views are set in stone to be proven wrong come Monday.

Pick of the Week

Look no further than the Cup Final, scheduled in the evening for 2012. Traditionally the biggest match of the English calendar year, the lustre of the cup may have dulled of late, but for many, Wembley in May will always hold a certain sentimental privilege. The romantics haven’t failed us in 2012, with a perfect script delivering two sides converging towards fresh beginnings and distinctly new periods in the history of their clubs.

Newcastle vs City runs a close second and is the easy standout in the league. Here’s hoping for the type of titanic struggle that many of the “bigger” teams have already produced this season.

Bet of the Week

We like QPR into Bolton @ approx $4 depending on your bookie. Both sides are at home, against teams with nothing but Caribbean getaways to plan for. Expect sincere desperation from the trapdoor-threatened protagonists; for losing money is a legitimate motivation for effort. A loss in this fixture for either club, could see a miserable denouement of failure.

It’s a big Weekend for…

Several candidates over the next 4 days, but we’ll opt for a combination of Steven Kean, Venkys and the stumbling embarrassment that is Blackburn. Formerly a European dynasty, this marks a deterioration towards everyone’s most hated club. It is a little difficult to fuel the embers of sympathy for a side that has been overwhelmed by protests from within since before the new year. Even a win over a resounding Wigan may not be enough – a shambles that even poking fun at has become tiresome…

Tweet of the Week:

The Woy Hodgson XI

Wobinson
Wichards – Tewwy – Wio – Warnock
Gewward – Wodwell – Bawwy
Wellbeck – Wooney – Stuwwidge

#teamwoy

Best Article of the Week

That’s right, we also didn’t know Sol Campbell still warranted a formal retirement. Laughable really.

http://www.tottenblog.com/2012/05/happy-retirement-judas-scum-open-letter.html

What you should be listening to

Before a week ago, the name Tito Vilanova meant less to FFTD than the new Minister for Health in Bulgaria – but it did rekindle a genuine love for an absolute classic. You’ll work out where Mr Manager’s name fits in…

Come back next week for:

Season Reviews, Transfer musings, Euro excitement and dumb analysis as usual…

Have a footballing weekend!

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Everton: Howzit Steven Pienaar


Steven Pienaar Everton Football Soccer English Premier League Man United

S. Pienaar with his entry for #sloganonundershirtoftheyear

Everton are in the midst of their customary strong end of season finish that has seen them unbeaten in 6 league games and leading the league in key indicators such as possession, goals scored and chance creation. David Moyes’ merry men have found the back of the net 4 times in each of their last three outings; a first for the club. They have now conceded just the 15 times in the last 16 fixtures since the January window was jammed closed, with the only real blemish being in the midst of that comeback at Old Trafford. While before Christmas goals were the major struggle on Merseyside, the arrival of Jelavic, Pienaar and Gibson has produced something of a transformation for their attacking prowess. The most overwhelming proof: 15 goals in 5 exceeds the 13 from the previous 17 league encounters.

Of the trio, Pienaar and Gibson are proven Premier League performers, but the impact of Jelavic has been particularly impressive. Niki J, as he’s affectionately known, would be a veritable hype machine if it wasn’t for one Cisse in Newcastle – and his contribution should not be understated. The front man has been the definition of clinical, taking previously wasted half chances with aplomb. His report card reads 7 in 6 at the minute.

Pienaar has been as influential, and appears motivated in the blue shirt and tireless in his endeavours – two qualities sorely lacking at his unhappy, albeit fleeting, time in London. Standout efforts against Chelsea and United are particularly striking. Specifically, Pienaar’s distribution has been of the highest quality, not afraid to hold possession in more thought out and deliberate build ups. Pienaar is ahead of club averages in several leading barometers: he passes at 82% compared to the team average of 76%. Within this, his final third passing rate is 75%, a figure impressively high, particularly compared to the team’s 66% return. Just to stress this impressive return, across the league, attack minded midfielders typically score below the broader team average, as they are charged with the responsibility for defence splitting passes with a larger degree of difficulty and smaller margin of error.

Further, the South African provides a goal every 138 minutes compared to the next best in FFTD’s much loved Fellaini, who has an assist every 837 minutes and next in line right back Hibbert who provides at just above Marouane’s rate. Incidentally, since returning to Goodison, this is the highest rate of any player in the league. If that isn’t proof of the creativity and imagination of Everton’s best midfielder going forward, then we’ll bring his general chance creation figures for your perusal. Despite appearing only 11 times since January, he is already Everton’s 2nd most proficient manufacturer of goal scoring opportunities in absolute terms. He provides a chance every 28 minutes – well ahead of Leighton Baines at 44 minutes. (It’s worth noting that these figures could be skewed against Pienaar, as Baines takes set pieces to boost his output).

David Moyes is widely regarded for his shrewd squad management, continually scouring the bottom of Europe’s proverbial footballing pool for forgotten talent or untapped potential. But, this year, surely, Moyes should be admonished. The Toffees have moved sideways, trending to the downside, and the sale of Pienaar was an astoundingly poor piece of business. Often teams of lesser financial prowess rest on their povert-status as an excuse for mediocrity and this tag seems to fit Everton a little too snugly. The excuse of finishing above their red rivals is simply mere puff.

Instead of investing in lengthy surnames from Italy and the unproven youth of Greece, two signings that few would have thought could propel Everton from mid to top table, Moyes could have solidified his squad with Pienaar’s autograph. Jelavic is a genuine success even after just half a season and Everton’s future looks rosy with these two in tandem (look no further than their showing at Old Trafford last month). Pienaar’s sale is now a sunk cost and should not be a consideration in wooing him back to the club on a permanent basis. Signing the South African would be an admission of erroneous judgement a year ago, but not signing him would be repeating a mistake hampering progress into the future.

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Monday’s Magnificent Five


Torres Chelsea

#elnino

Each Monday we select our own 5 a side outfit from the weekend’s action. Think of it as our own Nike commercial in a steel cage on a floating island.

Goalkeeper

At the back we’ll opt for the impressive Ben Foster (West Brom) who stretches his man of the match run to 6 home games on the trot. The retired international produced another stellar display against Midland’s rivals at the Hawthorns including two fine one on one saves from Agbonlahor and a commanding presence around his own six-yard box. His autograph will be critical going forward for the seemingly established yo-yo club.

Defenders

While Roger Johnson was tempting (sic), we’ll take Gary Caldwell (Wigan) who kept the irresistible Newcastle front four to an afternoon of no returns. Caldwell seems a leader his teammates are willing to follow, adding inspiration that teams such as Wolves, Blackburn and QPR are severely lacking. His direction on the field is pivotal, being at the heart of Roberto’s improving back 3 experiment, with his dogged determination overcoming the on occasion unfashionable style.

Midfielders

Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal) is included as much for his month of April than the disappointing draw with Stoke. Criticised for basically not being Wilshere for much of 2012, he seems revitalised for no apparent reason, but we fancy Arsene’s slight change in touch line uniform to have done the trick. Whatever the case, the Czech international has finally produced in an Arsenal shirt, working both forward and back, to be the centre of the Gunners strong push towards a disappointing quarter final exit in Europe in 2013. Once again, Tomas found space between the lines against the Potters, providing the goal for RVP on a tray made of the finest in silver and adorned with the most opulent in decoration.

We’re cheating here and you can sue me (please! Could use some publicity) for fielding Luis Suarez (Liverpool) in an attacking role in behind our front man. Meh. Little Luis finally combined promise with outcome in a long overdue display of ruthless efficiency. The provocative Urugyuan, who is never too far from the headlines, was able to write his own this week, with a finish from 55 yards that the footballing public will have rammed down their throats for many years to come. Suarez’ creative flair was too much for the Canaries on an otherwise forgettable occasion.

Forwards

Fernando Torres (Chelsea), our absolute favourite at FFTD, leads the line after he finally produced the return his endeavours over recent times have deserved. It would be difficult to find a more criticised sportsman anywhere on Earth, but his long golden locks seem impervious to his boo boys. This effort was more than just goals, including tireless movement that proved far too much for an incompetent Rangers, outstanding hold up play that afforded Mata and Sturridge particularly, more space than Victor Valdes last Tuesday evening and a staggering work ethic that saw him tracking back to challenge in his own area at least four times by our count. Simply irrepressible. Nothing like finals footy to add a bit of motivation…

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Friday Forecast: EPL Y’allllll


Norwich vs Arsenal

This is a crucial relegation 6 pointer and both sides will be desperate for points. Arsenal are a shambolic Salmagundi (finally used that word) and Wenger’s grotesque flirting with RVP through the media, the smut is here, is getting a little like watching an old, grey haired, sleazy Frenchman and a Dutch-Nazi, see here, in Brokeback Mountain. Norwich’s Mr “whothefuckishe” Lambert has succeeded in adding to the glasses wearing collective amongst the upper echelons of football management. That success is particularly noteworthy.

6 nil to Norwich

(Ed: Arsenal are good now, 2-1 to them).

Everton vs Wolves

This is a genuine contender for worst match of the season. Noone likes these clubs anywayzz.

7-5 to the Toffs

Man City vs Newcastle

This is surely the beginning of the end for Newcastle, as you can see over here. Newcastle look snug and content at 3rd, but Super Mario has promised further ambiguous questions such as “howzit America?” and “Milan will you not not bid for me?” and this all means trouble for the TOOOOONNN. It also means trouble for the Sheikh, who has reportedly added fire insurance to his insurance against employee conflict. This is your best chance to see a fat, overweight Geordie shed tears. Or if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you’ll probably get a few shots of Mancini’s sunsilk-shiny locks. But really you should just watch this as a sort of vigil to everything that is Balotelli.

Manchester City 9 Newcastle 5

Because we Love you

Because we Love you

Stoke vs QPR

omg this fixture actually exists?

Stoke -1 QPR 0

Sunderland vs Fulham

The biggest talking point in this game will surely be the Michael Jackson tribute statue and whatever happened to that idea? Did that thing happen? Please tell me @afishyoussuf on twitter. Or just shout really loud.

4-4

West Brom vs Bolton

Far and away the pick of the matchups this weekend, as a rejuvenated Trotters travel to the imposing fortress that is the Hawthorns. The baggies have been deadset rubbish of late, but the arrival of the hot and cold Bolton gives them an opportunity at arresting their slide towards the Championship. With (we’ve got) Long, Cox and big Petey O all struggling for fitness, the googly Cameroonian, Tchoyi, will lead the line against Mr Cahill, who has seen his market value go down faster than John Terry on F Capello (see what i did there?!?!?!?!). Anyway: boing boing.

13-0

Wigan vs Blackburn

This actually is a six-pointer, and just to prove it’s never too early in the season to label a game with this tag, Chicken Man Kean and Doc Martinez have slapped the $6 price point all over this clash. If they’d met in Round 1, media outlets would have touted the game as a “relegation dogfight” or other anthropomorphic analogies (think chicken-coup clash). Nevertheless, don’t bother tuning in – just check Surreal Football for the score on Monday or something.

11-11

Swansea vs United

Maybe they’ll push the Gigss and the Whale angle, but really, who cares…

Graeme Swann 0 – Yanited 1

Chelsea v Liverpool

Both these sides aren’t good enough to win the league, but will keep their fan’s hallucinations alive until some time past Christmas. Liverpool fans particularly, have become accustomed to perennial disappointment and despondantly walking the streets over recent years. The whole King Kenny ordeal is beginning to unravel with a Kafkaesque terror. Is this really the new and revamped Liverpool side to bring silverware to Anfield? Is that really a question worth answering?

Well if that question is too much to bear for some filthy reds, then spare a thought for the posh Londoners and their all conquering AVB (sic). Chelsea look toothless and every kid in Africa knows that their press and high line isn’t exactly paying dividends. With the nippy (but spectacularly unclinical) Suarez darting about, the Bridge could be the stage for the next hypnagogic (thank you thesaurus.com) Sunday in 2012.

2-4 (and that’s 4 real)

Spurs v Villa

With the Yids avoiding playing on Shabbas once more, bleary eyed Sydney siders will face another difficult Monday morning to catch any of this one. In truth, this is a fantastic matchup; a chance for Villa to bridge the gap to the more fancied sides/a chance for Spurs to distance themselves from mid-table. Defoe/Adebayor and Agbonlahor/Bent have been clinical in 2011 and the North Londoner’s new found religiosity should stand them in good stead once more.

Spurs to win.

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