Saturday, 31 January 2015

Match Preview: Chelsea v Manchester City

Tonight's match between Chelsea and Manchester City promises a lot from an attacking point of view.  However, with the absence of Yaya Toure, Diego Costa (and Cesc Fabregas being a bit of a doubt) it could in fact end up being a damp squib.

So far this season, Chelsea have been formidable at home (100% win record, 24 goals scored and 3 conceded), where as City have been fantastic on the road (64% win record, 25 goals scored and 11 conceded).  In effect, the team with the best home record is playing the team with the best away record and in the overall table they are 1st and 2nd respectively.


It is no exaggeration to say that a Chelsea win could virtually seal the title race as they would gain a 8 points lead.  Conversely, a City win will reinvigorate the two-horse race with a 2 points difference.  Then again, it could easily finish 0-0 or 1-1 with the status quo being retained.

I believe that City are capable of breaching Chelsea's defence and vice versa.  Aguero missed a lot of the winter period due to injury, yet remains City's best goal scorer on the road by a comfortable distance.  If he plays to his best tonight, Chelsea would be hard pressed to keep a clean sheet.


With the above in mind, I think there will not be any clean sheets in this encounter.  It probably won't be a goals fest either.  It will probably be a close 1-1 or a narrow 2-1 win.  For this reason, I am picking the following players as my FAN FEUD PICKS:

Sergio Aguero
David Silva
Eden Hazard
Didier Drogba

Have you made your picks yet?

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Thursday, 29 January 2015

Chief's #FPL Team - Gameweek 23

  Latest Rank: 43,479 (8k fall)
Albrighton/Costa OUT (-4)*
Walcott/Defoe IN
Bank Balance: £0.4M 

*I considered buying Cazorla, Ward-Prowse, Walters, Puncheon and Pelle.

Why did I buy Defoe and Walcott?

Both have FPL pedigree via historical stats.
Defoe and Walcott aren't simply risky purchases.
Both are "Super Differentials" (less than 1% ownership).
Arsenal and Sunderland have a good run of games & need wins/goals.
I'm not a fan of template teams & I hope this is the beginning of 2 bandwagons.
I have slumped dramatically down the rankings & I need to try something different.
They haven't shown prolonged form of late due to different reasons, but they are special.

Extra Notes:

I initially wanted to sell Chadli for Walters as I already have Kane and Stoke have a good run of games till April.  In addition, as a result of Chelsea and Tottenham reaching the League Cup final, GW27 is a truncated GW with no Chelsea, Tottenham, QPR or Leicester.  However, GW28 is now a DGW for Tottenham and QPR.  Chelsea and Leicester's DGW should be announced soon.  I am hoping to sell Hamer and Chadli before GW27.

Chief's Main Togga Draft Team - Gameweek 23

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

#FlyBuy - GW23

It took 22 weeks, but finally one of my FlyBuy picks hit the FPL jackpot in the first week of the five active weeks I select them for. Regular readers will remember that there were a few reasons why I picked Crystal Palace striker Dwight Gayle. As arguably the best forward at the club, he was evidently not fancied by Neil Warnock. As soon as Pardew was appointed, I had a feeling that the Gayle/Sanogo partnership would not only be a perfect match, but they would find form quickly.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Gylfi Sigurdsson Sees Red

Gylfi Sigurdsson, the Swansea City and Iceland midfielder, was sent off for a lunge on Blackburn's Josh King during the Swans 3-1 loss in the fourth round of the FA Cup. The 25-year-old Sigurdsson was later defended by boss Garry Monk, but still faces three matches on the sidelines. "It warranted a yellow, but I don't think it was a red," said Monk. "He had a lunge after he was kicked. He shouldn't react, but it wasn't dangerous. I don't think he was in any danger of hurting the player." The ban will apply to the Swans next three Premier League fixtures: trips to Southampton (GW23) and West Brom (GW25) and a home encounter against Sunderland (GW24). 

Fantasy Premier League managers will be scrambling to replace Siggy in their XI as his combination of on-the-ball skill, role in Monk's offensive plan and EPL fantasy price make him an attractive player in all formats. In the Official game, Sigurdsson's price has already fallen £0.1m from £6.8 to £6.7 - and that will continue as 40.9% of all sides own him as of this writing (03:44 am GMT 25 Jan).

With Wilfried Bony sold to Manchester City and Sung-yeung Ki playing in the Asia Cup of Nations for Korea, the three most fantasy-relevant Swans are missing in action. This means managers must first find a suitable replacement for Siggy and then assess Garry Monk's side to determine if there is a potential for returns. The first part first, naturally, is Sigurdsson moving out of your squad. This author already effectuated on such transaction with minimal fuss - selling the Icelandic international and acquiring Liverpool's Jordan Henderson.

If you've listened to me on the Weekly Fantasy Football Show, you're well aware of my fantasy love for Liverpool's young midfielder. Henderson has shown signs of growing into the role vacated by Brendan Rodgers' rotation of captain Steven Gerrard. Hendo's 49 chances created are second in the squad to Raheem Sterling, while his six assists (seven FPL assists) are tops amoung Reds. Henderson's effort across the pitch has a direct impact on his viability in draft formats - like Togga, where he scored 246 points to date - and those same underlying statistics predict future value for the England international. Owned in 11.8% of FPL sides, Henderson has actually seen negative net transfers in five of the past seven gameweeks, including two on the spin. Priced £6.0 before the injury to Sigurdsson, his price has risen to £6.1 at time of writing.

 The second question is a bit more interesting, and certainly more difficult to answer. Bafétimbi Gomis is a popular pick to fire as he replaces the departed Bony. With one goal in 706' this term, a cautious approach is warranted. The Swans do not fare well away from Liberty Stadium and are a poor 2-3-5 with 10 goals scored and 17 conceded in their travels this season. The most direct benefactor may be Nathan Dyer, who has seen a significant reduction in playing time this season. In 1169' he has 13 chances created and 20 successful dribbled (TakeOns). Those are not particularly good numbers for a staring midfielder in FPL. The 20 TakeOns rate fourth in the squad behind Siggy and the injured Wayne Routledge.

The run-away (puns!) leader for the Welsh side is Jefferson Montero. Montero has seen just 21' of pitch time in the past six gameweeks. In 879' he has created 17 chances and recorded 52 TakeOns. The Jacks will require an explosive player to spark the attack and the £5.4m fantasy-rated midfielder is an excellent differential play with 0.2% ownership. He was a named substitute in the FA Cup match and was introduced on 62' in place of Modou Barrow.
Montero may not be an ideal replacement for Sigurdsson in salary-cap formats, but he is a quality speculative add. And in other formats, particularly draft formats, he must be added at once. With four assists in his limited playing time, he has shown an ability to create chances. If you're in a fantasy premier league draft game where other statistics are counted - particularly TakeOns - Montero is a mortal lock to score in the high-single digits each week with a possible 20pt performance should he find the back of the net.